09:57 AM

National Commander Addresses Cadet Death in Miss. Crash

To my fellow members of CAP,

It is with deep regret that I inform you that CAP lost one of our own on Saturday. Cadet Master Sgt. Elizabeth Lake Little with the Mississippi Wing was performing a cross country flight in a CAP aircraft as part of her training to achieve her private pilot’s certificate. She crashed short of the airport and was transported to a regional trauma center, but died of her injuries. Please hold Cadet Little’s family, friends and local squadron in your thoughts and prayers. Further details of arrangements for our cadet will be made available as soon as we learn of them.

It’s hard to put into words how much of a tragedy this is and how deep of a loss it is. Such a loss affects all of us on different levels and different ways. Chaplains and CISM team members are available for any and all individuals who desire help.

So, where do we go from here? I believe that the best way for us to honor our cadet is to carry on with our assigned missions, with the level of excellence and professionalism we expect from each other and what is expected by the Air Force, our customers and the parents of our cadets.

My request is that each of us, from a risk management perspective, reflect on the duties assigned to us. Whether we are in steady state CAP activities, involved in cadet special activities or conducting flight activities, let us ensure that our approach to and performance of these duties reflects the high standards of excellence and professionalism to which we are called. Doing so will honor our fallen member and help ensure the safe conduct of our operations.

With a heavy heart,

Maj. Gen. Mark Smith
National Commander and CEO