Cadet Wings flight instructor earns service award


Capt. Martha “Mother Goose” Pickard recently earned Civil Air Patrol’s Meritorious Service Award for her efforts with the Cadet Wings program.  

As a certified flight instructor, Pickard has spent hundreds of hours providing ground and primary flight instruction to nine New York Wing cadets. Three of the cadets, recipients of the Cadet Wings Scholarship, completed their private pilot certificate. A fourth cadet is close to earning their certificate and the others are in various stages of flight training.  

Capt. Martha Pickard receives Civil Air Patrol’s Meritorious Service Award at the Northeast Region conference in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

“Capt. Pickard has made it her mission to promote aviation amongst New York Wing cadets,” Cmdr. John Jones said. “She has a passion for flight instruction and a desire to help young people achieve their dream of becoming a pilot. She has been a constant mentor to the Wing’s cadets, steering them to achieve great things while furthering aerospace education, one of Civil Air Patrol’s main missions. With the decline in general aviation and the looming pilot shortage, her continued efforts on this project have the potential to have a significant impact on the aviation community.”  

Pickard serves as the aerospace education officer with New York’s Rochester Composite Squadron. She works full-time as the assistant chief flight instructor at Rochester Air Center and as an adjunct professor at Rochester Institute of Technology. 

“We’re making pilots in upstate New York thanks to the Cadet Wings Scholarship program and it is awesome!” Pickard said. “For me, training cadets to fly is hugely rewarding, and does require many, many volunteer hours of flight instruction. It is completely worth it.”