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Eclipse
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« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2017, 07:08:03 PM »

Correct.  Paved field was one of the requirements given to me by the Wing O-Flight Coordinator.  I didn't think too much of it, the paved only restriction is standard for airplane rental too.  Surprised to hear that other places allow it.

If it's a non-factor in your wing, then no point in engaging, if it's one more pinch point, you might want to address it with the DO.
I've found O-flight people, especially, love to make things up.  We still on occasion get the wives tales about cadets needing safety currency or AGH.

Properly executed there's no reason not to use grass strips, and it adds a little spice to what can be relatively unexciting flights.
If nothing else, at least it opens flying up to areas without paved runways.

As a matter of fact, grass strip landings were included in the last two Evals my wing has done.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 07:13:21 PM by Eclipse » Logged

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CAPDCCMOM
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Posts: 244

« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2017, 07:17:48 PM »

In my experiences,  I have learned that the o flight coordinators are gatekeepers,  and trolls, much more than they are fellow volunteers. Full of self importance and, shall we say, "Bravo Sierra ". It is their wish to control a corner of their Universe, and woe betide the minion that dares to request to see the Wing o flight calendar or schedule. 
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Panzerbjorn
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« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2017, 07:42:24 PM »

In my experiences,  I have learned that the o flight coordinators are gatekeepers,  and trolls, much more than they are fellow volunteers. Full of self importance and, shall we say, "Bravo Sierra ". It is their wish to control a corner of their Universe, and woe betide the minion that dares to request to see the Wing o flight calendar or schedule.

Just out of curiosity, have you yourself ever coordinated the air operations side of a O-flight day/weekend?  There are lots of moving parts and lots of stars and moons to line up in order to fly a cadet or two, let alone multiple plane loads of cadets.
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stillamarine
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« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2017, 08:52:40 PM »

In my experiences,  I have learned that the o flight coordinators are gatekeepers,  and trolls, much more than they are fellow volunteers. Full of self importance and, shall we say, "Bravo Sierra ". It is their wish to control a corner of their Universe, and woe betide the minion that dares to request to see the Wing o flight calendar or schedule.

Just out of curiosity, have you yourself ever coordinated the air operations side of a O-flight day/weekend?  There are lots of moving parts and lots of stars and moons to line up in order to fly a cadet or two, let alone multiple plane loads of cadets.

I have. Not that hard. We regularly did Group wide ones and even invited some from another wing that was close by. Even did some with a grass taxiway. FLWG required WGCC approval for grass fields. Wasn't difficult at all to get.
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Panzerbjorn
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Posts: 261
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« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2017, 09:28:59 PM »

In my experiences,  I have learned that the o flight coordinators are gatekeepers,  and trolls, much more than they are fellow volunteers. Full of self importance and, shall we say, "Bravo Sierra ". It is their wish to control a corner of their Universe, and woe betide the minion that dares to request to see the Wing o flight calendar or schedule.

Just out of curiosity, have you yourself ever coordinated the air operations side of a O-flight day/weekend?  There are lots of moving parts and lots of stars and moons to line up in order to fly a cadet or two, let alone multiple plane loads of cadets.

I have. Not that hard. We regularly did Group wide ones and even invited some from another wing that was close by. Even did some with a grass taxiway. FLWG required WGCC approval for grass fields. Wasn't difficult at all to get.

Me too.  We have 60 cadets in our squadron alone, and are getting more on a regular basis.  Then we also get requested nearly every weekend to do cadets from other squadrons that don't have aircraft assigned to them.  The logistics are always monumental for that many cadets.  It's not just a matter of calling up a cadet and seeing if they want to go fly that weekend.  So you know everything that has to go into it.  One can make a full time job of organizing and flying O-flights in my neck of the woods.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2017, 09:30:22 PM »

I have. Not that hard. We regularly did Group wide ones and even invited some from another wing that was close by. Even did some with a grass taxiway. FLWG required WGCC approval for grass fields. Wasn't difficult at all to get.

+1 - Lots of moving parts and follow-through required, far too often thwarted by weather, but utlmatley not that
big a deal, absent artificial or unnecessary pinch points.

My wing, thankfully, has streamlined the process and is generally in "yes" mode, but BITD, I'd have to agree the planes and the rides
were often treated like incubators on M*A*S*H.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2017, 09:33:18 PM »

It's not just a matter of calling up a cadet and seeing if they want to go fly that weekend.  So you know everything that has to go into it.  One can make a full time job of organizing and flying O-flights in my neck of the woods.

O-ride coordinator is a CAP gateway drug.  I know more people, including myself, whose first real exposure to cadet activities
and the whole of CAP was coordinating O-rides, because it touches just about every corner of CAP.
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TheSkyHornet
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« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2017, 01:01:56 PM »

If it's a non-factor in your wing, then no point in engaging, if it's one more pinch point, you might want to address it with the DO.
I've found O-flight people, especially, love to make things up.  We still on occasion get the wives tales about cadets needing safety currency or AGH.

The O-Flight game is a real pain. I get tired of being asked "What flight is this cadet going for" or being asked two days out "Hey, how many cadets can you get to show up on Saturday (it's Thursday)?" I absolutely love seeing cadets go for their first flight, most of whom have never been in a small plane before and some getting into a plane for their first time ever. But this is something that the Air Ops boys/girls can handle. There are a list of codes of what means what. You're trained in reading this, not me. You tell me what it means. What flight are they on? I have no clue. Call me a bad CP officer...

In my experiences,  I have learned that the o flight coordinators are gatekeepers,  and trolls, much more than they are fellow volunteers. Full of self importance and, shall we say, "Bravo Sierra ". It is their wish to control a corner of their Universe, and woe betide the minion that dares to request to see the Wing o flight calendar or schedule.

I'm really not trying to talk down the pilots. They do a heck of a job when it comes to actually providing the O-Flights. But I do take issue with them acting like a pilots club sometimes. Any time I ask a question, I get treated like it's too complicated for me to comprehend. Not to mention, as I pointed out, that you get pilots who ask to conduct O-Flights at the most inopportune time and then talk to me like I'm doing something wrong. "Can you get cadets to be at the airport at 1500 on Wednesday?" No, no I can't. They have school, Sir.

"Hey, get as many cadets as you can on Sunday."
"Wilco."
"Hey, did you get any sign ups yet?"
"It's only been one day, Sir."
"Well, I need to know sooner than later in case I can attend this TRANEX."
"Understood, Sir."

Ugh. Excuse the rant. I'm sure my seniors up the chain in our Group, Wing, and Region on this board roll their eyes at me. Fill my shoes for a day.

Me too.  We have 60 cadets in our squadron alone, and are getting more on a regular basis.  Then we also get requested nearly every weekend to do cadets from other squadrons that don't have aircraft assigned to them.  The logistics are always monumental for that many cadets.  It's not just a matter of calling up a cadet and seeing if they want to go fly that weekend.  So you know everything that has to go into it.  One can make a full time job of organizing and flying O-flights in my neck of the woods.

This is all too true. Even for a unit with 21 cadets, it's almost impossible to get O-Flights for all of them. We don't have a plane. We don't have a pilot willing to come in on a Saturday and fly. We have to go outside to coordinate our flights. And it's a challenge every time.

"Okay, well, we can do three." I can't spend every weekend sitting there, supervising the cadets waiting at the airport. Then I have to work around the coordination of the rides and schedules themselves. I can't set the order in which people show up. It's just a real pain.

Like I said, I do appreciate that this is a unique opportunity and respect those that fly the birds to provide this not only educational opportunity but lifetime memory experience. It's just extremely frustrating.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2017, 01:25:46 PM »

"Okay, well, we can do three." I can't spend every weekend sitting there, supervising the cadets waiting at the airport. Then I have to work around the coordination of the rides and schedules themselves. I can't set the order in which people show up. It's just a real pain.

This is why the pilot(s) handle(s) the W&B and deconfliction of the sortie types (really only an issue with P3/S8), and then the cadets show up for their flights
and fly.

I'm a big proponent of AEX days where we do o-rides as well, but flight order and sortie schedule should never be the random chance of "who shows up that day",
and if there is no other activity at the airport, no need for anyone sitting in the FBO exchanging silent glances with the parents.

My wing handles all rides at the Group / Wing level. We set a day(s), get x number of cadets, preferably groups of three, and then send the info to the
O-ride coordinator who hunts down a pilot, a plane, and sends reports about who needs what ride. We're at an airport, but no plane or pilot,
that's still 1/3rd easier then a unit without any of those 3 important parts, but leaves us with some chicken and egg sometimes.

Knowing pilots who like to play doesn't hurt, especially for meeting night o-rides, which we've had some small success with.  Cadets who can are scheduled
to show up about an hour early, bang-zoom, happy sunset last leg and every one gets something that day.

« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 01:33:00 PM by Eclipse » Logged

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Spam
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Posts: 872
Unit: GA-001/CV

« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2017, 02:41:05 PM »

Hey there, Hornet.

Suggestion: when you get the question, "what flight do these cadets need", the easy and quick answer is to pull the report for your unit from Member Reports at https://www.capnhq.gov/CAP.MemberReports.Web/Modules/MemberReports.aspx. Pick "Cadet Orientation Report", and you can quickly see who hasn't had any flights (end of the report), which is our first priority group (first timers). Then you can see exactly which flights each cadet has had (flights 1-5 are glider, and 6 and up are powered flights); I provide a list by name/grade/CAPID/last hop number.

Second suggestion: demand organized O flight/AE days, as pick up games for O flights don't work well for most units, it would appear. We sent nine cadets to our Group O flight day last Saturday (which ain't bad, because we sent a fully qualified ground team to south GA to work the tornado disaster relief mission the week before - we seem to be on an upswing here). Setting the simple expectation for all cadets to be there the whole day makes it much easier. Its planned and run as a discrete activity, not as a revolving door with 38 separate schedules all with separate emails and parental "can I come get her now" texts (your phone will be constantly blowing up, as will your blood pressure). Better to just say: 0830 - 1600 for all (or whatever hours), and PLAN AHEAD for AE theme activities and classes to make it a fun and educational day, flying or not.

Around here, typically the mission number is set and reserved a couple of months in advance and the main and rain dates are publicized for parents and pilots. It is very important to post those two dates to the various unit calendars! I've already had parents asking about an upcoming flight event in early April (over 8 weeks from now)! Then, two to three weeks out we ask for commitments (not "I think I cans" but "I fully commit", subject only to family emergencies etc.). Three or four days ahead I send that final list with flights to the coordinator (whom I've been many times as well). When I'm the coordinator, I ask for all the names with a THU midnight deadline, I assemble the shoot list and send it to the pilots on FRI, and we hold a FRI evening call in brief for the pilots at which we review the weather and make a go decision or a Rolex call to shift to the preplanned following rain date. SAT AM we execute.

During the day, I usually end up teaching a mix of low end AE classes and a few high end ones like "Fifth Generation Fighter Weapons and Tactics", and "Synthetic Aperture Radar Targeting" and "Fundamentals of Flight Test". I try to intersperse that with frequent breaks and many hands on AE activities to avoid death by .PPT, and I avoid doing ES classes like the plague on O flight days (the cadets have self selected for AE interest, not necessarily ES or leadership... it then becomes a raw deal on their part to suddenly find themselves pushed into a mini-basic training event being yelled at, or pulled into the woods behind the airport in bad weather for an impromptu "survival" class. So, I stick to AE, ONLY.  (One exception, I did have a cadet NCO once who was drilling a flight on a 15 minute break, using compass headings for fun: "zero nine zero flank, MARCH", which they all thought was funny and helped them "get" the topic).

The creative challenge is to then schedule and set a mix of reasonably short but interesting classes with instructors who are interesting and not BS artists, and who aren't busy flying themselves. Consider using Phase 3 and 4 cadets, who have a program requirement to teach "Did this cadet instruct (Y/N)?" being a promotion requirement (but then I ask for their material several days


The conversations you cite (e.g. the "in case I can attend" one, in particular) indicate members who aren't committed and/or who aren't following any sort of a repeatable, workable process. We need to follow the process: to put cadet events on an online calendar no less than 2 weeks out, to notify parents with the Who/What/Why/When/Where/How intent of the Form32, and to hold to standards on uniforms, behavior, et al.


I'm with you - this can be massively frustrating at times, if not run on a repeatable basis. I never got one stinkin' O flight in my cadet years, thanks to Georgia Wing pilots in the early 80s being essentially a flying club that wanted nothing to do with cadets. The tune has changed since general aviation has realized that their days are numbered without fresh blood...

Cheers,
Spam


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Eclipse
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« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2017, 03:31:48 PM »

^ Full AE days can be a great way to eat away AEX requirements, and DDRX.  If you have enough cadets and a couple seniors, you
can set up stations with the DDRX activities, knock the whole thing out in a day, and provide a nice well-rounded activity for everyone.
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Paul Creed III
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Unit: GLR-OH-254

« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2017, 04:00:07 PM »

If it's a non-factor in your wing, then no point in engaging, if it's one more pinch point, you might want to address it with the DO.
I've found O-flight people, especially, love to make things up.  We still on occasion get the wives tales about cadets needing safety currency or AGH.

The O-Flight game is a real pain. I get tired of being asked "What flight is this cadet going for" or being asked two days out "Hey, how many cadets can you get to show up on Saturday (it's Thursday)?" I absolutely love seeing cadets go for their first flight, most of whom have never been in a small plane before and some getting into a plane for their first time ever. But this is something that the Air Ops boys/girls can handle. There are a list of codes of what means what. You're trained in reading this, not me. You tell me what it means. What flight are they on? I have no clue. Call me a bad CP officer...

In my experiences,  I have learned that the o flight coordinators are gatekeepers,  and trolls, much more than they are fellow volunteers. Full of self importance and, shall we say, "Bravo Sierra ". It is their wish to control a corner of their Universe, and woe betide the minion that dares to request to see the Wing o flight calendar or schedule.

I'm really not trying to talk down the pilots. They do a heck of a job when it comes to actually providing the O-Flights. But I do take issue with them acting like a pilots club sometimes. Any time I ask a question, I get treated like it's too complicated for me to comprehend. Not to mention, as I pointed out, that you get pilots who ask to conduct O-Flights at the most inopportune time and then talk to me like I'm doing something wrong. "Can you get cadets to be at the airport at 1500 on Wednesday?" No, no I can't. They have school, Sir.

"Hey, get as many cadets as you can on Sunday."
"Wilco."
"Hey, did you get any sign ups yet?"
"It's only been one day, Sir."
"Well, I need to know sooner than later in case I can attend this TRANEX."
"Understood, Sir."

Ugh. Excuse the rant. I'm sure my seniors up the chain in our Group, Wing, and Region on this board roll their eyes at me. Fill my shoes for a day.

Me too.  We have 60 cadets in our squadron alone, and are getting more on a regular basis.  Then we also get requested nearly every weekend to do cadets from other squadrons that don't have aircraft assigned to them.  The logistics are always monumental for that many cadets.  It's not just a matter of calling up a cadet and seeing if they want to go fly that weekend.  So you know everything that has to go into it.  One can make a full time job of organizing and flying O-flights in my neck of the woods.

This is all too true. Even for a unit with 21 cadets, it's almost impossible to get O-Flights for all of them. We don't have a plane. We don't have a pilot willing to come in on a Saturday and fly. We have to go outside to coordinate our flights. And it's a challenge every time.

"Okay, well, we can do three." I can't spend every weekend sitting there, supervising the cadets waiting at the airport. Then I have to work around the coordination of the rides and schedules themselves. I can't set the order in which people show up. It's just a real pain.

Like I said, I do appreciate that this is a unique opportunity and respect those that fly the birds to provide this not only educational opportunity but lifetime memory experience. It's just extremely frustrating.

If you are having issues with scheduling flight operations, you need to escalate the issue up the chain of command to address, not on a public forum.
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Lt Col Paul Creed III, CAP
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TheSkyHornet
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Posts: 838

« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2017, 04:57:52 PM »

@ Spam, I have never heard of that concept, but I will definitely take that into consideration and discuss it with our AEO. So far, I have never seen a "group AE/O-Flight day" in any group, not just my own. So maybe that's something that hasn't reached this area yet.

These two lines stuck out in particular:
Quote
The creative challenge is to then schedule and set a mix of reasonably short but interesting classes with instructors who are interesting and not BS artists, and who aren't busy flying themselves. Consider using Phase 3 and 4 cadets, who have a program requirement to teach "Did this cadet instruct (Y/N)?" being a promotion requirement (but then I ask for their material several days

The conversations you cite (e.g. the "in case I can attend" one, in particular) indicate members who aren't committed and/or who aren't following any sort of a repeatable, workable process. We need to follow the process: to put cadet events on an online calendar no less than 2 weeks out, to notify parents with the Who/What/Why/When/Where/How intent of the Form32, and to hold to standards on uniforms, behavior, et al.

I will discuss this immediately with my peers and see what stirs up in that discussion.

@ Lt Col Creed, noted; however, I believe the intent of this topic is to share ideas, even if those ideas are in response to a voiced frustration. I think some of the responses provided have contributed to potential solutions that can help make it easier.

Had it not been mentioned here, I never would have received feedback that I can say, "Now there's an idea! I want to give this a try!"  8)

Just to clarify, the intent of any topic on here should never be to insult a particular individual nor gripe about them. I don't think saying "The Wing Commander this..." or "The Group Commander" or "My Deputy Commander for Cadets..." Frustrations come out; they're expressed. But it seems more often than not, there is someone else in the exact same boat, or at least with some words of wisdom to chance perception or action.

Much appreciated, all.
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LTC Don
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Unit: MER-NC-143

JoCo CAP
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2017, 05:25:42 PM »

To sort of parrot what Spam said -- Our wing also does a wing-level aerospace day that includes O-flights, and our annual encampment also emphasizes O-flights during that week.

But, our squadron was doing a terrible job of O-Flights and cadets were sadly aging out, with issues similar to yours.  I decided early last year to declare a standard O-Flight/Activity day, and problem solved.  Our standard O-Flight/Activity day is the fifth Saturday.  Our wing has an O-Flight Coordinator on the Ops team so I let him know by completing an online wing form about a week out that lists the cadets and their syllabus; he takes care of the rest.  He'll let me know how many planes will be arriving on O-Flight day, then we work with the pilots to set the schedule for the day.  Our expectation is that all cadets show up, and spend the day (although we still have to confirm attendance to verify the seats to justify the aircraft).  We usually try to have some sort of cook-out or other type of catered lunch and other activities/projects.  I'm really pleased with the way it has worked out since its a stable schedule and the stress level is much, much lower.

Our O-Flight report is now such that we are third in the wing for O-Flights (meaning fewest first-timers waiting to fly) out of some thirty plus squadrons.
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Panzerbjorn
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Unit: MER-NC-048

« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2017, 12:33:38 AM »

Our O-Flight report is now such that we are third in the wing for O-Flights (meaning fewest first-timers waiting to fly) out of some thirty plus squadrons.

You're welcome. :)

But what it also does by having that Wing Coordinator is that I'm getting requests every single week for other squadrons besides my own.  So, my O-pilots are flying other squadrons' cadets left and right, and we're not able to actually fit our own cadets into the schedule.  So while we are flying hundreds of cadets every year, boosting their numbers, our own numbers are tumbling towards the bottom of the ranking.  It really did get to a point where I had to good naturedly tell the Wing O-Flight coordinator to pound sand for a month so we could actually fly our own cadets instead of everyone else's.  Then we had the worst streak of weather for an entire month, and didn't fly a single one of our cadets during that period.

That being said, it's an incredibly efficient way to get your cadets flown when you don't have a plane assigned to your squadron.  The Wing O-flight coordinator will find a plane and pilot for you from somewhere to get it done.
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Майор Хаткевич
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« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2017, 11:27:14 AM »

^ Full AE days can be a great way to eat away AEX requirements, and DDRX.  If you have enough cadets and a couple seniors, you
can set up stations with the DDRX activities, knock the whole thing out in a day, and provide a nice well-rounded activity for everyone.


DDRx is going back to obscurity, since it's no longer a QCUA point.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2017, 11:53:14 AM »

^ Full AE days can be a great way to eat away AEX requirements, and DDRX.  If you have enough cadets and a couple seniors, you
can set up stations with the DDRX activities, knock the whole thing out in a day, and provide a nice well-rounded activity for everyone.


DDRx is going back to obscurity, since it's no longer a QCUA point.

! ? !

http://captalk.net/index.php?topic=21837.msg399369#msg399369
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Briank
Member

Posts: 52
Unit: GLR-OH-064

« Reply #37 on: March 11, 2017, 12:24:21 PM »

Suggestion: when you get the question, "what flight do these cadets need", the easy and quick answer is to pull the report for your unit from Member Reports at https://www.capnhq.gov/CAP.MemberReports.Web/Modules/MemberReports.aspx. Pick "Cadet Orientation Report", and you can quickly see who hasn't had any flights (end of the report), which is our first priority group (first timers). Then you can see exactly which flights each cadet has had (flights 1-5 are glider, and 6 and up are powered flights); I provide a list by name/grade/CAPID/last hop number.

Excellent information there, very helpful!  I'd not yet found those member reports.
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