CJP Bob Hoover Scholar Updates
I hope the new year has been treating you well. I’m about halfway through the spring semester. It has been relatively smooth so far. I think I’ve started to master the art of balancing my course load, flight training and extracurriculars.
Flight training is still going well – just this past week, I received my commercial pilot certificate. Now I’m looking into the CFI training course over the summer at Embry-Riddle called CFI Fast Track. The course is designed to take an instrument-rated commercial pilot to their CFI/II ratings within three months. The program is very competitive as only 20 persons are selected. I would love to get in so I could start instructing by the fall and building up my knowledge base as well as helping persons achieve their aviation dreams.
Finishing the commercial check ride process has freed up some space in my life and I was able the go to the Airbus Training Facility in Miami. I coordinated with the safety director at the facility to allow me and 28 members of my Aeronautical Honor Society the opportunity of a lifetime. The visit was very in-depth and informative. I definitely understand Airbus’ policies and culture, and how it has translated into them becoming a global force and aviation manufacturing giant. That said, I am looking forward to flying their aircraft in the future.
I will continue to work towards achieving my goals and uphold the high standards set as the semester progresses. Thanks again for believing in me and allowing me to do what I love.
It is now nearly halfway through the semester, and so far it has been quite the journey. I would say personally that this has been one of the most challenging semesters here at ERAU by far. I think with a combination of the classes I am taking this semester along with working towards my Commercial Pilot License has led it to be a very challenging semester. Although this semester has been very challenging, in no way am I letting that get in the way of accomplishing my goals. Also, the honor of receiving this very prestigious scholarship has lifted so much weight off my shoulders – allowing me to focus on the important things, such as flying and academics, and not as much on how I am going to finance this semester.
A couple of weeks ago, I was able to accomplish one of the biggest milestones in my flight training; the long solo cross country required for the commercial license. For me, it was quite an exhilarating flight as this was the longest flight I have ever recorded in my logbook. Plus, the longest flight I have flown solo. I feel like when you make this flight, you truly feel like you are becoming a real pilot. You fly a very long distance alone, having full responsibility of every aspect of the flight. I made the flight to KDHN in Dothan, Alabama, with a quick stop in Tallahassee, and then back to Daytona with a total HOBBS time of 6.2 hours. The weather was great, and the flight could not have gone better! Besides being able to fly the long solo cross country, my progression in the commercial course here has been coming along very nicely. I have currently completed 20 out of 31 total modules in the course. If all goes according to plan, I am hoping fully to complete the commercial course in April before finals take place for my classes.
As the progression with my flight course goes well, my classes this semester have been somewhat more challenging. Aerodynamics has presented itself to be a very challenging course as the content is dense and complex. But even though this is a difficult course, I continue to study and use all available resources to my advantage in helping me succeed in the course. My Humanities course has also been challenging, as this area of academics has never been my specialty. The course also includes many major projects and papers that are very time-consuming. As these courses have presented a challenge to me, I am very much enjoying my commercial ground school course and my International Studies course. The commercial ground school course is essentially a continuation of the private ground school course; it helps with learning the content presented in this course.
If I am not flying, in class, or studying, I am usually at work. As I’ve stated before, I work for the university’s information technology department as a student technician. On top of flying and studies, I work here 25 hours a week to help cover my personal and housing expenses. This is a very rewarding job for me as computers have always been a passion of mine. IT has universal applications in the workforce.
I hope you all have enjoyed this update on my progress this semester! As this has been a very challenging semester due to the high workload, receiving the CJP Bob Hoover Scholarship has helped me out in more ways than you could imagine, and for that, I could not thank you all enough!
Garret Graf, a Freedom Wisconsin High School student, was the recipient of the CJP Association flight scholarship. Garret was supported in preparing him for the Private Pilot Examination and flight lessons for the Private Pilot check ride. The Blue Sky Educational Foundation worked closely with Chick Gregg, a Director at CJP. Jim Thompson, President of Blue Sky, is also a CJP member. Garret is a very talented young student with clear goals to an aviation career.
Thank you for your support and for awarding me with this scholarship! Receiving it has truly been one of the greatest gifts of my aviation career so far. I’ll tell you a little more about myself:
I’m 17 years old, and I was born and raised in Freedom, Wisconsin, 15 miles southwest of Green Bay. I’ve been a member of the Civil Air Patrol for more than 2 years now at the Fox Cities Composite Squadron at Appleton Int’l Airport – the same location where I did my private pilot training. I’m currently serving on staff as the Cadet Public Affairs Officer. I passed my check ride last Saturday to get my PPL. I have been accepted into Utah State University, and I will join their “Aviation Technology – Professional Pilot” major this fall in Logan, Utah. I will receive the rest of my training at USU, and from there, my goal is the airlines. USU has partnerships with multiple airlines, including Skywest.