In Memory of
C/CMSgt Matthew P. Shope
November 4, 1992 – July 23, 2011

Civil Air Patrol Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Matthew Paul Shope died in a non-CAP related single engine airplane crash in Corona, Calif., bordering the Cleveland National Forest, on Saturday July 23, 2011. He was 18.

Shope was born in November 1992 and resided in Long Beach. Shope is survived by his mother, 1st Lt. Paula Shope, CAP, and his younger sister, Mariah Shope. Shope attended Los Alamitos High School and hoped to attend Cypress College in the fall. Shope joined the Civil Air Patrol Los Alamitos Glider Training Squadron 41 in June 2007, and later transferred to the Fullerton Composite Squadron 56.

Shope’s love of aviation began when he received an introductory flight for his 13th birthday. At 14, Shope soloed in a glider after completing flight lessons at the Los Alamitos Glider Training Squadron 41 and received his FAA Glider Pilot license on his 15th birthday. At 16, Shope soloed a powered aircraft, and received his FAA Private Pilot license at 17.

Shope continued to train and earn additional FAA certifications, including passing the FAA Commercial Pilot license exam at 18. Shope earned an FAA Ground Instructor certificate and was a Certified Flight Instructor. Shope was using his CFI rating to help build flight hours towards his Airline Transport Pilot license to become a commercial airline pilot.

“Matt truly lived to fly, and flied to live,” said Maj. Grant Henninger, Squadron 56 Commander.

While a member of the Civil Air Patrol, Shope attended two cadet encampments and several National Cadet Special Activities including the Air Force Pararescue Orientation Course at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., and the National Blue Beret at Oshkosh, Wis. Shope also attended the Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Familiarization Course at Columbus Air Force base, Miss., and the National Emergency Services Academy at Camp Atterbury, Ind.

Shope was very active in Emergency Services and training to become a Civil Air Patrol Mission Pilot. “His drive to participate in Emergency Services was so infections that it encouraged other cadets and even a few senior members to participate in Emergency Services,” Henninger said.

He was a confident and excellent pilot, with a true passion for flying, said Lt. Col. James Welliver, Squadron 41 Commander. “Every time I flew with Matt, you could see that he had everything dialed-in.”
“Shope was well respected by Civil Air Patrol cadets and senior members alike,” recalls Welliver. “Matt was a really great, easy-going kid who truly loved to fly,”said Welliver.