Busy Start to 2022 has CJP Scholars Looking Forward to Summer

2417_090517CJPF_LogoWith summertime approaching, the five latest recipients of CJP’s Flight Training Scholarship are reflecting on how much they’ve already accomplished this year while looking ahead to their continued studies and new adventures.

Justin Chirco

BIG NEWS! It’s official… effective immediately I have successfully completed my written exams, oral exams and flight check. I am now officially a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI). Now along with my Private Pilot License, Instrument Certification, Commercial Pilot Certification, I can proudly add Certified Flight Instructor to my accomplishments.

This is another major step in my progress toward my goal to become a professional commercial pilot. As a CFI and a Commercial Pilot I can continue to both hone my skills while logging additional flight hours and actually earn money to help offset some of the costs involved. It also provides me with an avenue to add hands-on flight experience along with experiencing the new position as instructor rather than student. I am looking forward to this new challenge.

In addition, I spent my spring break on a trip from Florida to the amazing national parks in the southwest areas of this beautiful country. This summer I will again be joining Christ Community Church, Embry-Riddle classmates, and other local college students in returning to Puerto Rico to continue our efforts in assisting the underserved people recovering from hurricane damage to their homes. We will be working on structural rebuilding projects, large and small, along with working with families and especially children in our efforts to improve their lives.

I must close this update with a heartfelt thank you to everyone at the Citation Jet Pilots Association for their continued support and assistance in facilitating my path towards becoming a professional pilot. Without such generosity, my journey would be a financial struggle and my final goal more challenging.

Lexi Ebersole

Being a flight student is not easy. It takes hours of studying a day, sacrifices, and commitment. By utilizing these advantages, I have gained the best knowledge of aviation.

Reflecting back on this semester, I can feel and see success. I walked into this school in January a nervous wreck. I thought that it would take me all semester to finish my private pilot license and that I would be behind on getting my instrument rating. I just thought that I could never finish. Two weeks into the semester, and I earned the license. Fast forward to now, and I am halfway through my instrument rating.

I am even staying for the summer so that I can finish and even maybe start my commercial rating. This school has given me the motivation to push myself forward through flight and classes. Writing this, I have one more class to go. So far, I have two As and a B. I have pulled through and pushed myself and my work is paying off.

During this semester, I also participated in Dance Marathon ERAU and raised money for Children at the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital. We ended up raising over ten thousand dollars. It felt amazing to be able to physically meet the miracle families in person and see how much that our association has impacted their lives. This semester has turned out to be incredibly successful and thanks to CJP, I am able to progress through my training with less stress, and I am so thankful for this opportunity.

Matthew Kennedy

The spring semester is ending, and it sure has been a challenge; however, I have to say it has also been very rewarding. At the time of writing this I am finished with most of my courses for the spring and I am gearing up for what should be a very busy summer of flight training. If things continue as they are, I have nothing to complain about. Career, flight training, and academics have all been progressing nicely.

In terms of career progression, I have to say I am very pleased with the way things are moving so far. I am in the Delta Propel Pilot Pathway which offers a defined path from where I am now as a student to sitting in the flight deck of a Delta airliner one day. The program extends a qualified job offer to us and in return we must work as an instructor at our university, fly for a Delta Connection carrier, and then ultimately fly for Delta. Throughout the Spring semester we have already hit a few milestones in the program.

In January I completed the indoctrination process into the program and really kicked things off. Following that I attended the Delta Propel Convention in Atlanta this March, this was a two-day event where I was able to meet Propel pilots from other universities, meet some Delta mentors, and even heard from guest speakers which include the likes of Ed Bastian (the CEO of Delta Air Lines). The convention was a great event to network further and learn more about the company.

Since the convention I have attended the Delta Day on campus where our Propel liaisons came and spoke to us about some topics that our relevant in our career, this Delta Day we learned about airline style training. Following the Delta Day on campus our Propel liaisons planned a social for the Propel pilots at the university, this was another event that allowed us to get to know the Propel pilots at Embry-Riddle and the Propel liaisons even better.

In addition to my career goals, my short-term flight training goals have been progressing well. In the beginning of April, I finished my commercial multi-engine add on rating. This was great to accomplish as the beginning part of the course was a challenge. My instructor unfortunately contracted COVID twice and due to the shortage of multi-engine instructors it was hard to find additional coverage, this meant it took longer than usual to finish the course. Luckily that is finished with now and I am a freshly certificated multi-engine pilot.

The next step is becoming a CFI/II. Embry-Riddle offers something known as Fast Track over the summer. Selected students from the application pool can participate in an accelerated CFI/II course that finishes near the end of the summer semester. I was fortunate enough to be selected for the program, it will be a tough summer flying almost daily but I am up for the challenge and looking forward to it. Following the completion of CFI/II I hope to work for Embry-Riddle as an instructor pilot.

With Propel and flight training being so busy it has occasionally been difficult to find time for adequate studying. This semester has been a challenge but as things stand right now, I will likely finish this semester very strong. My academics are of a massive importance to me and even though things can get busy it is always one of my top priorities to maintain a high GPA. As a soon to be senior I am looking forward to the final push and want to continue doing well.

Jasmine Lombardi

Since my last time writing in February, I have made a lot of progress both in my academics and in my flight training. I have since completed my CFI ground lab course at Epic Flight Academy in New Smyrna Beach, FL. It was a lot of work, especially meeting the deadline to have lesson plans done on what my ground instructor called, “Binder Fridays.”

Strangely enough, I enjoyed making my lesson plans. While I was making them, I found out that I was not as knowledgeable as I thought I was on certain topics. This revelation forced me to dive deeper into FAA documents and seek out more information from other flight instructors and even our maintenance crew. I am certain that making my own unique lesson plans instead of copying someone else’s or purchasing them off of a website made all of the difference in my understanding of some fundamental aspects of flight, maneuvers, and general aviation as a whole.

Along with my lesson plans, I have been perfecting my technique in the right seat. After just a few flights, I was able to get much more comfortable and even confident in the right seat. What I have found to be the hardest thing to master from the right seat is landings.

Initially, I struggled greatly with my sight picture and timing. I had issues judging where I was with respect to the ground, causing me to land hard and flat pretty frequently. I also found an issue with identifying when the nose of the aircraft wasn’t in line with the tail, causing me to sideload when I touched down. Once again, I attribute this lack of identification to the new sight picture that I had not gotten used to yet.

After a few landing flights in some pretty windy conditions, I finally got the hang of it. I found my sight picture again, and have been able to land smoothly, not side loaded, and on centerline. Flying in the heavy wind conditions also gave me something else that I desperately needed and that was confidence. Now, I know that I can handle windy conditions, and I am even comfortable doing so.

I am at the point in my CFI training where I am perfecting all of my maneuvers in preparation for checkride. I have also been doing orals with my instructor, and even having some of my friends serve as my pretend students so that I can practice my teaching and presentation skills. I am gaining more confidence in myself daily. My checkride is scheduled for next week, so hopefully the next time I write I will be sharing exciting news of my new certificate.

After completion of CFI, I plan to go right into my training for CFII. This will also be done at Epic Flight Academy. I am excited to get back to some instrument flying as it has been such a long time since I have been able to use those skills. I am still on the waitlist to get a Multi-Engine instructor at Embry-Riddle, and I am hopeful that I will get one soon. In the meantime, I will be focusing on my flight training at Epic Flight Academy and when the summer semester starts at Embry-Riddle I will get right back into getting the best grades that I can.

Jonathan Spangler

First, let me thank you all for supporting the scholarships which are helping me achieve my dreams of flying for Delta Air Lines. I just wrapped up another rigorous semester here at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach campus and wanted to share some updates.

Some highlights from this semester include completion of my Commercial Single Engine Airplane certificate check ride, participation in the Delta Air Lines Propel convention in Atlanta and beginning my flight instructor training.

At the end of February, I was able to secure a date to complete my commercial check ride. Having completed my private and instrument training in Northern California, before transferring to Daytona Beach, I was not as confident in navigating the airspace in a stressful check ride situation. Nonetheless, I focused myself, and planned as much in advance as I could. On February 24 I wrapped up the check ride and earned my commercial certificate.

A few weeks after completing my Commercial certificate, I along with several of my peers who have been accepted into the Delta Propel program, attended a two-day convention in Atlanta. I had a remarkable time, learning about the company, networking with leaders and other pilots, and touring the training facilities in Atlanta, GA. The highlight of the trip was the simulator tours and seeing my future office. It still seems so far away from where I am now, but the visit re-ignited my drive and motivation.

In March, I began flight instructor training and have been hard charging every week. The amount of time spent developing my flight instructor lesson plans, rehearsing them, and then performing each lesson for my instructors has been a full-time job, on top of a full load of academic classes. I am proud to say it was one of the most stressful terms, but I had a very successful semester, and my grades reflect my efforts.

This summer I am staying to take a full load of classes along with finishing my initial flight instructor rating, and then progressing into the flight instructor instrument course. My goal is to flight instructor at Embry-Riddle, which is also a requirement of the Delta Propel pilot program. Ideally, I want to get to the regional air lines by fall of next year, 2023 and begin my full-time airline career.

I want to reiterate my sincere thanks to everyone who donates to scholarship funds and to the philanthropy committee for making this opportunity available to us. My family greatly appreciates the support.11