CJP Bob Hoover Presidential Scholars
It has been about two months since my last update, and a lot has happened since then. I finished my sophomore year of college very strong, acing all of my classes. I am so happy to be one step closer to earning my degree. I am not currently taking any classes over the summer because I want to focus on earning my instrument rating.
As I mentioned in my last update, my goal is to finish my instrument training in July. Since then, I have learned non-precision and precision approaches, and some few minor things in between. For my cross-country flights, I flew to Needles, California and Kingman, Arizona. For my second cross-country, I went to Deer Valley which is in the Phoenix area. Both flights were not to extravagant places but I met the requirements for my instrument rating. Currently, I am waiting to take my last end-of-course checkride flight. At Embry Riddle, before you take your end-of-course checkrides, you take stage checks to make sure you know everything before going into the end-of-course. I have passed all three stage checks, and the end-of-course oral. Now, I only have one more to go!
After finishing my instrument, I am planning to go home for a couple weeks to be with friends and family. I have not been home since Christmas time and I am very eager to see everyone. Aside from flying this summer, I have been doing some side jobs and exploring Arizona. I went on a couple of hikes in Sedona and also for the very first time, hiked down into the Grand Canyon. Although I did not go all the way down to the Colorado River, it was a totally different view looking from the bottom up. I definitely need to go back one day and hike down to the river, or maybe do the Rim to Rim trail.
My goal once I return from home is to start my commercial single-engine training before school starts in August. I will be moving out of the dorms and living on my own this upcoming year, which is very exciting. I am very blessed and happy to be moving forward in my life adventures and doing things I love every day. I want to thank everyone at CJP for making my flying dreams a reality. I am very appreciative of the support I have from everyone, and I look forward to talking to soon.
I’ve had a great couple of months. The spring semester ended very well for me; I am proud to report I am still achieving my goals in all of my classes. Along with that good news, during the early part of May, I accomplished my first local solo and cross-country solo flights! I flew from Daytona to Gainesville. This was a special place for me to go because Tom Petty is my favorite musical artist. I never thought I’d be flying myself into his hometown one day. Now, I have one more solo cross country to do then I’ll prepare for my private check ride.
I also recently made a trip home to Texas for my girlfriend’s graduation from Texas State University. It was a blast getting to celebrate with friends and family. As a gift to her, we went down to Key Largo for two days and went on a snorkeling trip. The water was beautiful! We saw the “Christ of the Abyss” statue and a good-sized nurse shark swimming nearby (the shark was not expected to be part of the tour). In Daytona, the summer heat has hit so I’ve also enjoyed relaxing on the beach and by the pool.
With the normal school year ending, I lost one of my on-campus jobs but signed up to be involved in random job opportunities offered throughout the school. It’s odd jobs, but exciting since you never know what you may asked to do. For instance, last week I had the opportunity to be the Geico Lizard mascot at a baseball game. I decided to pass on that one. This Saturday though, I’m going to an elderly lady’s house in Ormond to help her with yardwork for a few hours.
As for the future, I have a lot to look forward to in the next two months. I will be finishing my private license and starting summer B classes that includes Weather and Flight Physiology which I am looking forward to. I have family visiting for the Fourth of July holiday as well as more family coming in mid-August. But one of the most exciting things I’m looking forward to is attending AirVenture with CJP in July! I met many of you in Bentonville and had a great time. I am looking forward to seeing you all again in July.
I hope everyone is enjoying the summer months as much as I am. I have been working in Talkeetna, Alaska for a company called K2 Aviation for a little over a month now. K2 is an aviation tourism company that provides flightseeing tours of Denali and the surrounding Alaskan Range. So far, it been one of the best experiences of my life.
Living here is a very remote lifestyle. Most of the streets are unpaved, and everyone lives in cabins; many without electricity or running water. The “downtown” area is on Main Street and it is about two football fields in length. I can walk anywhere within 10 minutes. I live in a nice little cabin in the woods with most of the other summer interns at a place called Talkeetna Hideaway. I’ve come to enjoy living in the woods. My cabin has a heater and even wireless internet. We have a shared kitchen and washrooms. I have met some amazing individuals up here and made new friendships with students from the University of North Dakota and Western Michigan. I consider them “my Alaskan family.”
Working at K2 Aviation as a reservation agent is one of the most enjoyable jobs I have had to date. My coworkers are friendly and extremely helpful, which is great because understanding the intricacies of the job takes time. The first few days of work were rough because I felt like I didn’t know how to do anything. The greatest struggles happen when the weather in the mountains is not great for flightseeing. I dread those days because I end up disappointing a lot of excited tourists and must repeatedly explain why we can’t provide the tour they were scheduled for. But the job can be really rewarding too. Everyone that does fly comes back with a smile and I get to meet some incredible people from all over the world.
I have had the opportunity of tagging along on a flight tour two times. Once in the Beaver and once in the Navajo. The Denali and the Alaskan Range are absolutely breathtaking. The black mountain peaks create a stark contrast with the mountain snow creating a beautiful landscape. It is some wild flying that the pilots at K2 do. They fly through channels and passes between the mountains to reach places you can only see by plane. On my first flight, I also had the opportunity to stand on the Ruth Glacier. While standing out there, if you hold perfectly still and remain silent, it is the most peaceful silence you will ever witness.
Living and working in Alaska is better than I could have ever imagined. I definitely would consider working in Alaska as a pilot after I graduate. I have made connections that could potentially turn into a job opportunity at ACE Air Cargo. However, I am always looking for that next great opportunity haven’t seen yet. Thank you so much for your continued support. I look forward to attending the regional event in Wyoming. Till then, I wish everyone a fantastic summer.
Since my last update, I’ve been flying through my Commercial course and should finish well before the start of the Fall semester. Despite the Florida weather being less than ideal for flying almost every day, I am doing my best to work around it and typically find the window of opportunity in the mornings. After spending plenty of time “under the hood” during instrument training, it feels fantastic to fly VFR again and practice maneuvers. My favorite one so far would have to be Eights on Pylons, which my instructor says I’ve just about mastered. My first long solo will also be coming up soon. Ideally, I would like to take that opportunity to fly down to Marathon and see the Florida Keys while also gaining some experience navigating through Miami’s challenging airspace.
Within the last month, I’ve had the opportunity to try out the Diamond DA42 multi-engine airplane to build 10 hours of required complex time. After flying the Cessna 172 for the past year and a half, it was quite the adjustment – although an enjoyable one for sure. During one of the long flights, I was even able to practice turns around a point over my old house and later experienced a simulated VMC demonstration. Since I am still in the single-engine course though, I returned to flying the Skyhawk once I completed the ten hours. But the few flights I did in the Diamond were a great preview for what I will learn in the multi-engine course next year.
For the remainder of the summer, I plan on balancing flight training with my dispatch job and getting ready to start the CFI course. I’m really excited for how quickly things are moving along and how I get closer to my goals each day. Thank you once again for giving my fellow CJP scholars and me your continued support!
Yann Bosch (2014 Hoover Scholar)
I am writing to you a few hours after finishing my Airbus A320 check ride!
I started training with Spirit Airlines in early May, just three weeks after interviewing. It was a very condensed training program that proved difficult, but I am happy to say everything went smoothly.
The decision to leave Skywest for Spirit was difficult initially, but after weighing my options I decided that this was the right move. Spirit pilots have recently ratified a new contract that puts pay and quality of life very close to that of the major airlines, and I am very fortunate for the opportunity to come onboard at this stage in my career. With only 2,100 hours total flight time, I had the lowest flight time in my new-hire class and was the youngest by nearly six years.
I will be based in Las Vegas, Spirit’s most westerly base, and will commute there from LA. With 37 flights a day, it will not be too difficult. I now have a few weeks off before flying the airplane for the first time. One of my first scheduled flights is to Bogota, Colombia and I am really looking forward to the international experience.
I am certain that the opportunities afforded to me through the CJP scholarship played a large role in Spirit’s desire to move forward with me as a viable candidate. Thank you all for supporting this scholarship that continues to have a tremendous impact on my career.