Civil Air Patrol cadets show their colors

By Michelle Costanza

Civil Air Patrol cadets show their colors

September 5, 2013 Updated Sep 5, 2013 at 11:50 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Education, leadership skills and military-style training are things some local students didn't take a break from this summer -- and they were happy to do it.

Civil Air Patrol cadets spent the past three months participating in a handful of activities across New York state.

The squadron was invited to MetLife Stadium Aug. 29 to perform color guard duties at the New York Jets game.

Prior to the NFL appearance, the group visited Watkins Glen Raceway for both the Continental Tire 150 and Zippo 200 races.

"It's great for them, they had a blast," said Civil Air Patrol 1st Lt. David Hektor.

Aside from the color guard, Broome-Tioga cadets were joined by participants of the Elmira CAP to help with crowd control during balloon launches at the Spiedie Fest.

"That's not all it's about. you earn rights, just like you would in the military. They have tests; a leadership test, an aerospace test, a physical fitness test, each of which they have to pass. And they'll be sitting in the co-pilot seat of a little four-seater Cessna, the pilot takes off, gets to two or three-thousand feet, and says okay you take the wheel," explained Hektor.

Flying a plane at 12 years old may seem like an incredible responsibility, but instructors say it is one that is well-deserved through the students' work.

As cadets gear up for an autumn full of structure and education, they said the hours of commitment in the warm weather were well worth it. Lieutenants are hopeful the squadron will be invited back to the summer events in the future.