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Flight Training Pipeline

[updated 29 May 2023]

5/29/23 Update: Cadet Wings Webinar uploaded to AKWG YouTube Channel

Lt Col Robin Kim recorded the Alaska-specific webinar he hosted on 5/21/23.  You can view the recording here.  33 days until the Cadet Wings application window opens! If you start now, you can make some great progress on your ground school and other items listed under the "Heads Up For Wings" event instructions below.  Col Kim encourages every cadet to apply, even if you are too young, so you learn the process. Ideal age to apply: turning 16 by 9/14/23 (ie birthdate 9/14/07 or earlier)

5/14/23 Update: Cadet Wings Webinar especially for Alaskans, 7-8pm AKT Sun 5/21/23.

Google Meet code aak-zpnn-ajn (

Uniform: Civilian attire.  Cameras need not be on, though Lt Col Kim may appreciate seeing whom he is talking to.

Lt Col Robin Kim, NHQ Cadet Wings liaison, will update all interested cadets, parents & SMs on the Private Pilot License Scholarships that cover up to 60 hr flight instruction ($15,000) at an FBO.  Application window opens 7/1/23. Scholarships awarded first-come first-served for eligible cadets. See below for instructions for cadets to get as far as possible in the process before the webinar  


Even if you are not yet old enough to qualify, consider applying this year to get a feel for the process.  


"Heads Up For Wings" event

(NOTE: Cadets can complete any of the below tasks at any time on their own!)

When & Where: Saturday 5/13/23, 1-4pm at Polaris Hangar Squadron (entry gate in Ardaiz Cir near Merrill Tower)  EVENT HAS PASSED. SEE BELOW FOR INSTRUCTIONS TO DO THIS ON YOUR OWN

Cadets and Parents,  prepare for the 2023 Cadet Wings application window opening on 7/1/23.  

Cadet Wings is a merit-based scholarship that, if awarded, may fund up to 60 hr of flight training, designed to culminate in a private pilot's license--up to a $15,000 value (Reference: and CAPP 60-43)

Uniform: ABUs for cadets, corporate for SMs, casual civilian attire for all others

Admission: To participate, cadets must show their physical pilot's log book with inside cover information completed

  • Pilot's Logbook: (available at Northern Lights Avionics, amazon, etc)
  • See below for steps to take before this event.  Get as far along as you can on your own so we can help you if you get stuck on any step

Also gather the following:

  • Laptop computer, headphones (this does not work well on a phone)
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Birth certificate, Passport or other government-issued identification proving your US citizenship if you are a US citizen
  • 3-ring binder: If Capt Padgett gave you a Flight Training Binder in 2022, bring that.  If not, bring an empty 3-ring binder.  Better yet, print the binder section cover pages available on this website (
  • Notepaper/pen
  • Contact information for any instructor pilots you know/have worked with


Preparation: Before arriving, get as far as possible on the following tasks so we can help you where you get stuck.  These items do *not* need to be completed in order.  Do as many as you can!

1. Obtain Student Pilot Certificate aka your IACRA number ( NOTE: Recommending Instructors (RIs) *will* be available at this event! Ask your Squadron Leadership who the CFI's are in your squadron so they can serve as your RI for your registration.  Your RI does *not* need to be a CAP member!

2. Register with MedXPress & Schedule your Flight Medical ( (Class 3 medical or higher required for powered flight instruction)

3. Start Sporty's Ground School

   a. If you did not join Young Eagles when you received the email invitation after your 1st orientation flight, join now by doing the following:

   b. Go to  Select the “Student” tab, then select “Sign up!” After entering your “New Member Details,” tick the box under the name "Sporty's" that says, “I do not have my Activation code.” To enter your “Young Eagle Flight” information, use your 1st CAP Orientation Flight details (date & location).  When it asks for "Young Eagle Name," type in your name.  *Your* are the Young Eagle!

    c. To see the date of your first o-flight, see your CAP member search report.  To do that, log into eservices ( From the menu, choose "Administration" and "Member Search." Type in your CAPID, and click the "Member Search Report" blue link under your photo. Print your Member Search Report to pdf & save it on your hard drive.  Scroll down to find the "Orientation Flights" section and list the first date/month and location (city/state) you took an o-flight.

    d. Log into your Sporty's student account and ensure it is activated by watching the first video under "Flight Training".  (PRO TIP: Before your next o-flight or instruction, watching all 26 "Your First Hours" videos demonstrates your commitment to becoming a pilot and helps you get the most value from your time in the plane with a pilot.  Your pilot will appreciate your dedication and be able to show you more !!)

    e. PRO TIP: Before taking your FAA Written Exam, AKWG Instructor Pilots recommend you not only get >90% on both of your Sporty's practice tests but that you also purchase and use the Dauntless Test Prep materials available here:

4. Gather all of the above in your 3-ring binder.  Templates for each section heading of your binder are on this webpage under "Related Documents":

5. Review the Cadet Wings Guide (CAPP 60-43:  Start gathering in your binder the items listed in Section 3.2.1 (Prospective Candidate Task List) and Attachment 3 (Required Documents for selectees) of the Cadet Wings Guide.  Also note the other activities you get "points" for in the selection process in Attachment 2! Get involved in *everything* CAP has to offer!!



Dec 2023: Apply to Lower 48 National Flight Academies (NFAs)

"Early on-time" Deadline is 15 Jan 2023.

If you apply before 15 Jan 2023, do not make *any* changes to your application until after slotting begins 

If you have not applied before 15 Jan 2023, submit your application as soon as possible up to the date of the NFA(s) you are interested in.

Various types of CAP NFAs nationwide:

  • Balloon (Illinois)
  • Glider (various states)
  • Powered (various states)

Alaska Wing-specific NCSA info:

  • See a calendar showing when each NFA is scheduled
  • See which ones filled up last year & which had unfilled slots
  • Ask around to see if others attended an NFA you're interested in

National NCSA info: 



Find a Mentor

Many Senior Members are standing by to serve as mentors to you as you work through your flight training.

Some such mentors are Instructor Pilots

Other Senior Members can still help you find opportunities and hold you accountable for what you say you're going to do, even if they are not pilots

For the Cadet Wings program, these mentors are referred to as "Ray Navigators."

Here's a link to information & documents about Ray Navigators:

It's also OK to have a SM mentor for your flight instruction that is not officially your Ray Navigator


Flight Training Binder (see below): 

Create a 3-ring binder for yourself and take it to all your flight training.  Use it to collect all the important documents and evidence of your flight training.

See here for instructions on one way to create your own binder.



Let People Know You Want to Learn to Fly:

  • Your DCC (Deputy Commander for Cadet)
  • Instructor Pilots & other CFIs in your squadron
  • O-Flights: Tell your o-flight pilots
  • Your Squadron's Aerospace Ed Officer(s)
  • Your "Ray Navigator" or other SM Mentor
  • Apply for Alaska Wing Flight Academies (applications may open in December each year)
  • Mark it on your CadetInvest application (1 Oct-30 Dec every year

CadetInvest (applications open 1 Oct - 30 Dec every year--start compiling your information *now* in your Flight Training Binder) NOTE: The Cadet Wings application window may open earlier in 2023!!

  • Tab 1: Check all boxes in Tab 1
  • Tab 2: When you are evaluating your financial need, consider the higher-than-average cost of flight instruction in Alaska, especially if you may be traveling to the Lower 48 for any of your flight instruction
  • Tab 

More on Cadet Wings...


Apply again next year for the 2024 Alaska Wing Flight Academies (Glider & Powered). 

An announcement will be sent to your CAP email address in about October 2023, and applications will probably be due by 31 December 2023.  The more "yesses" you can check on your application, the better your chances for selection.  The earlier you submit your application, the more chance we have to make recommendations for a stronger application before the final due date.



(1) IACRA: Get your IACRA Student Pilot number:

(2) FAA Ground School Completion Certificate or CFI Endorsement (Sporty's online Private Pilot ground school is FREE to CAP cadets: and other resources)

(3) Passing score on the FAA Knowledge test (aka "Written Test"): and other resources

(3) Get your Class 3 or better medical.  Once resource: MedXpress:

(4) Solo Endorsement (Powered or Glider)

Your progress in the CAP cadet program, coupled with the following items make you an ideal candidate for AKWG, other National Flight Academies, and flight training scholarships across the nation:

Flight Training Binder

Create a 3-ring binder for yourself to keep track of all the required information for flight training and to apply for scholarships & financial aid.

See documents at the right for contents of your flight binder and a briefing on how to use it.

Sample Flight Training Binder


Ideal Alaska Wing Cadet Flight Training Progression

As soon as possible after joining: Get as many glider & powered O-flights as possible

Get your IACRA Student Pilot Certificate (ask a CFI for help & follow the steps on the IACRA website--does not require any instruction yet)

Get your medical (3rd class or better)

Start taking ground school. 

Take/pass the FAA Written Test as soon as you are reasonably sure you can pass it the first time


Age 13: Attend AKWG Glider Flight Academy as an O-Flight Student

Age 14: Attend AKWG Glider Flight Academy as a Pre-Solo Student

Age 15: Attend AKWG Glider Flight Academy as an Advanced Student

Age 16: Participate in AKWG Powered Flight Academy

Things cadets with pilot's licenses can do in CAP:

  • Use monthly proficiency hours
  • Continue to receive instruction
  • Relocate aircraft (minimum age?)
  • If 18 & have CFI: Provide o-flights
  • If 18, learn to be a scanner & observer (does not require pilot's license)

Advice from your peers: 


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