One great thing about the Academy is that they have so many different things for us to participate in. You just have to know where to look. One such experience is the Pilot Shadow Program (PSP). You have to sign up for it and it’s over a weekend so you leave on Friday after your last military obligation and come back Sunday evening. This is a great opportunity for people to get a first-hand look at what pilots do in the fleet and it’s a chance to interact with the pilots as well. The program takes place at the beautiful Air Station Cape Cod. Just recently the station received two gifts from Mobile – two new CASAs (medium-ranged, twin-engine aircraft). These planes are starting to replace the Falcons and are easier to use and a lot more practical for the various missions for the Coast Guard. Since they had just arrived I wasn’t able to go up in one, but I traveled on the Falcon and did fishery patrols.
I also had the pleasure of going on a HH-60, better known as the Jayhawk. Both times we did Public Relations missions so I was able to interact with all different types of people and I had the pleasure of showing them this great helicopter. There’s so much power in it! It was my first time flying in a helicopter and it was a great experience and definitely reassuring that I was with some very talented pilots. PSP offers cadets an opportunity to learn more about the different options in the aviation branch of the Coast Guard. I will definitely be going more!
More about Nelson.