ROTC Cadets experience flight
By Staff Sgt. Peter Dean, 107th Airlift Wing
/ Published November 01, 2010
Niagara Falls, N.Y. -- Recently Cadets from the Lewiston/Porter Junior ROTC program spent the day flying high with the 107th New York Air National Guard. Upon arrival to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, cadets were ushered into the 107th Operations Briefing Room where Lt. Col. Deanna Miller the 107th Executive Officer gave the cadets an overview of the 107th's history, its present mission and a rundown of the day's events.
Following the colonel, Aircraft Commander Lt. Col. Greg Miller briefed the cadets on the upcoming training mission that they would be on. The routine C-130 mission, a low level, followed the Southern Tier terrain at an altitude of 500 to 1000 feet off the deck, enabling the pilots to maneuver the C-130 to follow contour of the earth as close as possible. Training missions such as these allow the pilots and aircrew to maintain and fine tune their elusive skills in a friendly arena as opposed to a hostile environment.
"Today's mission will give you a taste of what the Air National Guard and the Air Force does, our ongoing training is one part of the equation that allows us to be the best Air Force in the world," said Lt. Col. Greg Miller.
During take-off, flight, and landing, cadets had the opportunity to rotate into the cockpit seeing firsthand the skill required to pilot a mighty Herc.
"It was amazing, the pilots were so busy constantly checking gauges and dials, and making steering adjustments," said Cadet Rebecka Gorko. "But I'm up to the challenge," she added.
After the low level portion of the mission, cadets still on-board, pilots reduced the air speed from 200 knots to 140, adjusted for wind speed and line up on the target area. As the target came into range, the rear ramp of the aircraft opened and out popped a sand bag attached to a parachute. The sand bag that came within 50 foot off its intended target is used to simulate an airdrop of supplies or equipment.
With the ramp still open the pilots navigated the aircraft above local attractions such as, the Falls, Fort Niagara, the Ralph, and the City of Buffalo giving the cadets a view typically reserved for the birds.
"This is a great opportunity for the cadets," said Retired Col. Lance Dickinson, the Lewiston/Porter ROTC Commander. "Opportunities like this, give the cadets an experience that will help direct them in the career path of their choice, whether it be as a pilot, a navigator or one of the many non-flying opportunities the Air Force has to offer," he added.