Statesville Record & Landmark
A Troutman teen’s first flight in a glider at Triangle North Executive Airport happened to be the state Civil Air Patrol’s 1,000th.
The 15-minute flight of Cadet First Class Sarah Haynes, 16, was a milestone for the program and in Haynes’ journey to become a commercial airline pilot. The flight, in a L-23 Super Blanik, was co-piloted by Capt. John Styers.
Haynes first became interested in piloting a year ago when her brother, Richard, 13, came home discussing his experience in the Civil Air Patrol’s cadet program.
“I’ve always wanted to travel, but I wasn’t sure what job I could have that would allow me to do that,” Haynes said. “Then I learned about aviation and realized that travel itself could be my job.”
Her father, Christian, repeatedly tried to arrange for his kids to fly in a glider, but until the Sept. 9 flight — the program’s last of the fiscal year — it never worked out.
Christian said Capt. Dave Stange, the N.C. Wing’s glider orientation flight coordinator, called him to tell him he had two spots reserved.
When Haynes’ turn came, Styers knew she was interested in the glider’s more extreme maneuvers. He asked her if she wanted to try them and she said yes. Together, they burned through the glider’s descent time performing stalls and 2G turns.
“It was awesome,” Haynes said.
Lack of an engine gives gliders limited time in the air, but experience flying them allows pilots to read the weather and wind better, giving an advantage in emergencies in which a plane’s engines give out, Christian said.
Haynes, a member of the Iredell Composite Squadron in Statesville, intends to join CAP’s 2018 Glider Academy and earn her private pilot’s license by the time she’s 17.
“It’s not just a dream,” Christian said. “It’s a plan she’s putting into action.”