The first time Mallory McGarry flew in a plane, she piloted it.
“I flew a plane even before I got my driver’s license,” she said.
McGarry, 17, a Dalton native, is one of about eight cadets who are members of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Dalton unit. She flew as part of a CAP orientation flight. These flights let the cadets learn about the science behind aircraft flight, navigation, weather and how planes maneuver. It also gives them a chance to actually fly a plane, under the supervision of an experienced pilot.
“The planes have dual controls,” said Eric Rochelle.
Rochelle’s title is assistant leadership officer, but in practice he is the flight commander in charge of the Dalton CAP unit. He’s also a recruiting sergeant for the Army National Guard. The CAP unit meets each Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Dalton’s National Guard armory on Crawford Street.
“It’s extremely new in Dalton, less than six months old. We aren’t well known now, but we are trying to change that,” said Rochelle.
CAP is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, and its membership is open to both adults and youth as young as 12.
“We do three programs — aerospace education, emergency services and cadet ...