CAP cadet makes the grade

Student achiever

October 31, 2001

The student: Elias Bechara, 13

School: Clarksville Middle

Special achievement: A member of the Civil Air Patrol, Apollo I Squadron, Elias is the youngest cadet in his squadron to pass tests in Leadership 1, 2 and 3 and Aerospace 1, 2, 3 and 4.

What is the Civil Air Patrol? Elias explained that the Civil Air Patrol is an auxiliary unit of the Air Force. Members meet weekly to learn about the history and mechanics of flight, assist in search and rescue missions and offer aid during a state of emergency.

Why he loves the Civil Air Patrol: "I enjoy it because we get to go camping and search for things. We get to make rockets and all kinds of cool stuff," he said.

His first flight: On his seventh birthday, Elias' father, Nizar Bechara, retired from the U.S. Air Force, and a flight instructor, let Elias co-pilot a Cessna 172.

His dream plane: "My favorite plane is the F-16. I like aerobatic airplanes."

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