Civil Air Patrol

Martin squadron cadets take first solo

9/2/2018 – Middle River, MD. – Cadets from the Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol completed a major milestone in their flight training: first solo.

Cadet 2nd. Lt. Nicholas Korotunow graduated from the 2018 Colonel Robert Ayres Memorial Flight Scholarship Program (formally Maryland Wing Solo School). Korotunow was one of six cadets selected for an expedited flight training program. Each cadet completes a weekend of ground school followed a month later by a full week of flying and ground instruction. By the end of the week, Korotunow had logged over 12 hours of instruction and completed his first solo. Three successful takeoffs and landings at Hagerstown Airport in a Cessna 172. Before the week was over, all cadets also took the Federal Aviation Administration private pilot written test. “I initially became interested in aviation when I was introduced to Civil Air Patrol.”, he said. “The recruiters that I met with explained to me that I could obtain my pilots license through the program. Participating in orientation flights really strengthened my interest for flying.”

Korotunow will be attending Embry-Riddle University this fall to start his major in Aerospace Engineering. He plans to continue his flight training while in college and wants to attend Blue Beret and Cadet Officer School before becoming a senior member. His long-term plans include an instrument rating and hopes to be able to work for SpaceX, Boeing or Lockheed Martin.

Cadet 2nd. Lt. James Demonte-Weckle attended the National Flight Academy – Glider, Fredericksburg, PA in 2017 and 2018. Cadets spend an entire week learning to fly an airplane without an engine. Gliders are towed into the air with a powered airplane and released at 3,000 feet. Depending on weather conditions, flights can range from 20 minutes to over an hour. Cadets learn preflight requirements, basic maneuvers and emergency procedures, such as what to do if the tow cable breaks during launch. During the 2018 academy, he had completed a 2-year total of 30 launches and completed his first solo launch and landing. His interest in aviation started when his sister returned from a flight academy in Wisconsin. “She came home so excited and convinced me how great flying was. I was in the program at the time, but too young to attend the academies.” He continued, “When I finally turned 14, the closest I could get to soloing was attending a glider academy whereas I could solo with only 30 flights. After the first year, it really boosted my interest into the idea of flying and achieving my solo.”

Demonte-Weckle will be starting 11th grade at Perry Hall High School this fall. He plans to continue his training and hopes to have his glider rating complete when he turns 16. He is planning to apply to the Air Force and Coast Guard academies, earn a degree in Aerospace Engineering and be a professional pilot. Demonte-Weckle wants to attend a few more national activates and is very excited about the other opportunities CAP has to offer.

Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron meets every Thursday from 6:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Martin State Airport. For information on the squadron, including meeting address and contact information, visit Follow the squadron on Facebook at and on Twitter at

Nearly 1,500 CAP members serve in Maryland. Last year wing members flew 13 search and rescue missions. The wing was credited with four finds. Maryland Wing flew 32 missions for the State of Maryland. Members flew 2,245 hours in all mission categories. Volunteers contributed services estimated at $4.6 million. For more information, contact the Maryland Wing at or follow the wing on Facebook at

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. CAP’s 60,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, CAP plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit or for more information.


Korotunow along with flight instructor, Lt. Col. Pete Lowenheim


Demonte-Weckle (5th from left) poses with other cadets at the glider academy


Demonte-Weckle (right) poses with other cadets at the glider academy


Korotunow along with flight instructor, Lt. Col. Pete Lowenheim


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Lt. Col. Christopher Roche, CAP

Public Affairs Officer

Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron