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Opelousas student cadet undergoes actual flight experience

By January 31, 2022No Comments

Photos sent with permission of  J.S. Clark Leadership Academy and the Jolivette family.

BOBBY ARDOIN
Contributing Writer

Those model airplanes Issac Jolivette once assembled as a youngster have become a pathway to an actual aerial experience.

Seated in the co-pilot’s seat of a twin-engine aircraft, Jolivette experienced his first moments of controlling an actual flight recently as a member of the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol.

Cadet Airmen Issac Jolivette
Cadet Airmen Issac Jolivette

Along with an instructor, the 16-year-old sophomore at J.S. Clark Leadership Academy took control of the plane that lifted off from Lafayette Regional Airport and flew towards Opelousas, where he circled the city in a wide arc before returning the flight.

Flying it seems has always been a passion for Jolivette, who is also a member of the state championship J.S. Clark track team.

“I’ve always liked airplanes and flying when I was younger. I went to airshows and hung around hangars. When I was 10, I went up in a plane and I’ve flown in a helicopter,” Jolivette added during a Monday interview at the JSCLA campus at T,H, Harris in Opelousas.

Faltery Jolivette, said his son has always had a penchant for flying.

“He (Issac Jolivette) has put together a bunch of model airplanes. He could tell you about each one and what they did, how they flew and how fast. I think we’ve attended every airshow in the state over the years. Flying is something that he has been interested in since an early age,” Faltery Jolivette said.

Marie Jolivette, mother of Issac Jolivette, has photos of her son sitting in the pilot’s seat of a passenger jet that five years ago transported the family to a conference in Washington, D.C.

Issac Jolivette has an uncle associated with Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport and has taken tours of the facility there.

One of several St. Landry Parish students participating in the Cadet Civil Air Patrol program, Jolivette is required to meet program requirements by taking tests and studying instructional  manuals about flying.

As he progresses as a cadet, Jolivette will eventually be placed in a flight simulator in order to enhance his skills.

His flight control experience as a student recently included performing the basic aspects of handling the in-flight duties of the airplane, such as controlling movements of the front and tail wings and flaps, Jolivette said.

“I was pretty excited about getting up and flying the plane, but I am more excited about what else I will be able to do,” added.Jolivette, who handled the plane at cruising speed after leveling off following the initial ascent.

According to a Civil Air cadet brochure, those students in the program are required to be between 12 and 19 years of age, with once weekly meetings in addition to one Saturday meeting monthly.

The program, which costs $100 to begin,  is supervised by adult volunteers, fingerprinted and screened by the FBI. All cadet activities are chaperoned, the brochure indicated.