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Youth Aviation Initiative Panel

 

Civil Air Patrol's Youth Aviation Initiative (YAI) was created in 2019 to help address a national pilot shortage. Each year, more than $1 million is invested from CAP, Air Force, and private donors like the James C. Ray Foundation into the Youth Aviation Initiative. This investment helps cadets learn how to fly earlier, enhancing their experience and giving them a head start as they embark on military, commercial and other aviation-focused careers.

Consisting of industry professionals, the YAI Panel is a group of CAP volunteers who help guide the Youth Aviation Initiative. They work closely with the Cadet Wings program, helping to mentor enrolled cadets working towards their Private Pilot Certificate. Learn more about the YAI Panel members below.

 


Col Christopher Peterson
Youth Aviation Initiative Panel Chair

Colonel Christopher “Chris” Peterson was the South Carolina Wing Commander from March 2021 – March 2024. As a former Cadet, Peterson has a unique perspective of CAP in general standing by his motto to give the cadets leadership opportunities and allow them to fail in a safe and constructive environment to guide and amplify learning. Peterson is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Designated Pilot Examiner evaluating pilot applicants in the Charleston, SC area. When he is not working or doing CAP, Peterson enjoys flight instruction, spending time with his family, kayaking and fishing.

 


Col Michael Cook
Youth Aviation Initiative Coordinator

Colonel Christopher “Chris” Peterson was the South Carolina Wing Commander from March 2021 – March 2024. As a former Cadet, Peterson has a unique perspective of CAP in general standing by his motto to give the cadets leadership opportunities and allow them to fail in a safe and constructive environment to guide and amplify learning. Peterson is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Designated Pilot Examiner evaluating pilot applicants in the Charleston, SC area. When he is not working or doing CAP, Peterson enjoys flight instruction, spending time with his family, kayaking and fishing.

 


*need better photo or crop&mirror this one, EH put background on it

Lt Col Mark Bailey

Youth Aviation Initiative Panel Member

Joining California Wing as a cadet in 2005, Lt Col Kim earned the Earhart Award before becoming a Senior Member. He is a Check Pilot Examiner for CAWG and a regular instructor at National Flight Academies. Lt Col Kim is a pilot for Alaska Airlines.

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Maj Brad Berger

Youth Aviation Initiative Panel Member

Joining California Wing as a cadet in 2005, Lt Col Kim earned the Earhart Award before becoming a Senior Member. He is a Check Pilot Examiner for CAWG and a regular instructor at National Flight Academies. Lt Col Kim is a pilot for Alaska Airlines.

 

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Capt Edward Chimel

Youth Aviation Initiative Panel Member

Joining California Wing as a cadet in 2005, Lt Col Kim earned the Earhart Award before becoming a Senior Member. He is a Check Pilot Examiner for CAWG and a regular instructor at National Flight Academies. Lt Col Kim is a pilot for Alaska Airlines.

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Capt Sara Fishbein

Youth Aviation Initiative Panel Member

Joining California Wing as a cadet in 2005, Lt Col Kim earned the Earhart Award before becoming a Senior Member. He is a Check Pilot Examiner for CAWG and a regular instructor at National Flight Academies. Lt Col Kim is a pilot for Alaska Airlines.


Lt Col Robin Kim

Youth Aviation Initiative Panel Member

Joining California Wing as a cadet in 2005, Lt Col Kim earned the Earhart Award before becoming a Senior Member. He is a Check Pilot Examiner for CAWG and a regular instructor at National Flight Academies. Lt Col Kim is a pilot for Alaska Airlines.

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Lt Col Al Van Lengen

Youth Aviation Initiative Panel Member

Joining California Wing as a cadet in 2005, Lt Col Kim earned the Earhart Award before becoming a Senior Member. He is a Check Pilot Examiner for CAWG and a regular instructor at National Flight Academies. Lt Col Kim is a pilot for Alaska Airlines.

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