Nick Loscalzo keeps a busy schedule. The J. Taylor Finley Middle School eighth grader is a Civil Air Patrol cadet. He signed up more than a year ago and the teenager has been enjoying the experience.
A member of the Civil Air Patrol since the summer of 2015, Mr. Loscalzo fell in love with aviation while attending a STEM summer program at Farmingdale State College. He flew in a simulator and was hooked. His parents contacted Republic Airport and he began his journey into the Civil Air Patrol cadet program.
A member of the Lt. Quentin Roosevelt Cadet Squadron at Republic Airport, Mr. Loscalzo attends weekly three hour meetings where he studies leadership, aviation and rocketry.
The Finley eighth grader proudly wears his Civil Air Patrol issued uniform. Over the past 14 months, Mr. Loscalzo has participated numerous fun events, including touring the U.S. Coast Guard station at Eaton’s Neck and the Army Aviation support faculty at Long Island MacArthur Airport. He even visited the New York Police Department’s aviation unit in Brooklyn.
Mr. Loscalzo has also played a role in several community events, including placing roses in tribute at the American Airpower Museum in Farmingdale, placing wreaths on graves at Long Island National Cemetery and the Air Force Auxiliary medal ceremony and the Cold Finger Run, both at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City.
The Huntington teenager said his best moments as a cadet have involved participating in community events and veterans ceremonies and going on real flights, including take-offs and landings and briefly taking over the plane’s controls. He has learned about Cessna’s and C-130 transport planes. Mr. Loscalzo loves begin a cadet and he expressed thanks to all those responsible for giving him the opportunity.
“In the late 1930s, more than 150,000 volunteers with a love for aviation argued for an organization to put their planes and flying skills to use in defense of their country,” the organization’s website states. “As a result, the Civil Air Patrol was born one week prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Thousands of volunteer members answered America’s call to national service and sacrifice by accepting and performing critical wartime missions. Assigned to the War Department under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Corps, the contributions of Civil Air Patrol, including logging more than 500,000 flying hours, sinking two enemy submarines and saving hundreds of crash victims during World War II, are well documented.”
The Civil Air Patrol was permanently established as an auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force when the U.S. Congress passed a law on May 26, 1948. The group’s three primary mission areas at were set as aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services.