Civil Air Patrol cadet earns his ‘wings’


Chief Master Sgt. Zachary Derck, of Rochester, passed his recent flight test as he and instructor Capt. Martha “Mother Goose” Pickard flew from Rochester for Binghamton.  

Derck is the third graduate of Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet Wings program from the Rochester Composite Squadron in as many months.  

Chief Master Sgt. Zachary Derck graduates from Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet Wings program.

“I hope to be a pilot in the Air Force one day and I am thankful for the financial support the Cadet Wings program offers me,” he said.  

Derck, a mechanical engineering junior at the University of Rochester, is entering his third year of AFROTC with Detachment 538 at Rochester Institute of Technology.  

The Cadet Wings program is a scholarship made available to Civil Air Patrol cadets and funded by the U.S. Air Force to help curb the growing pilot shortage. It covers the cost of flight training for the cadet to earn their private pilot certificate. 

“For me, training cadets to fly is hugely rewarding and does require many, many volunteer hours of flight instruction,” she said. “It is completely worth it.” 

Capt. Martha Pickard with Zachary Derck.