By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Most teenagers spend a Saturday afternoon navigating their phone or making plans to hang out with their peers.
Millington Central High School senior Sean Srock might be found doing those things but he also could be located in the Millington sky on a Saturday.
This past fall Cadet Srock joined another cadet for an orientation flight with pilot Jonathan Cole at the Millington Regional Jetport. Srock and his fellow cadet are a part of the Civil Air Patrol United States Air Force Auxiliary program.
Normally two cadets joined a certified pilot on the plane to fly for an hour each. Srock had a chance to fly to Covington that Saturday while his fellow cadet missed out on a return flight because of weather.
Srock completed his third flight, second with the Civil Air Patrol.
“It’s smoother than driving a car and you also get more directions to move into,” he said. “It’s the open air.
“There’s a lot of controls,” Srock added. “That’s the one thing that’s overwhelming. It’s overwhelming how many different dials there are.”
Learning the controls of a plane now, Srock plans to make flying a part of his future. The 17-year-old said being a part of the Civil Air Patrol has helped him plan for his career overall.
“It’s brought some organizational structure and help me realize what I want to do,” he said. “I now plan on going into the military, which I hadn’t before.”
The CAP’s cadet program has helped thousands of young people from ages 12 to 21 to be introduced to aviation. The program allows young people to progress at their own pace through a 16-step program including aerospace education, leadership training, physical fitness and moral leadership.
Cadets compete for academic scholarships to further their studies in fields such as engineering, science, aircraft mechanics, aerospace medicine, meteorology and more.
“I would like to get a private pilot’s license but I don’t plan on being a pilot for an organization,” Srock said. “I plan on going into the Air Force Academy earning a degree in Aerospace Engineering. At which point I will work for the Air Force and then retire. Then I’ll work for a private company.”
Srock recommends the program to anyone interested in flying, aerospace education and much more.
“There’s a lot of opportunities and learning experiences,” he concluded. “It keeps you in physical shape. There’s emergency services training to where you get to volunteer. You get to help the community. There’s a lot of different programs you can do depending on what you are interested in.”