CJP Bob Hoover Scholar Updates
Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing well and remaining safe. The fall semester here at Embry-Riddle is beginning to wind down, but we are still going strong. I’ve been keeping myself safe and doing my part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All of my classes and flights are going well so far; I actually have my check ride for my multi coming up.
This semester was overall very different from any other past semester for obvious reasons, COVID being the number one. Since this is my final semester at school, my course load was reduced from the normal 15 credits to 12 credits. Any person would think that the workload would be less, but I’m here to prove you wrong. I don’t think I have ever had to write so many essays and analyze data the way I have this semester. It is tough, but I think of it as not being permanent. Just like all things, it will pass, and in the moment, it is helping to make you a better and more capable person so future challenges will be a walk in the park.
The flight training side of the semester has definitely been an uphill battle. Going into the multi-engine course, I tried to prepare myself the best way I could. I asked a ton of people what their experience with the course was like and the responses were all positive. I went in thinking it would be a breeze – oh boy, was I wrong. Out of all the flying I’ve done, this was definitely the hardest. Learning a completely new airplane and how to fly it proved difficult not because it was necessarily hard, but the level of “hand-holding” was very minimal and I was forced to teach myself in some situations. It’s definitely been a struggle, but I’m now at the end and plan to come out on top.
I can’t thank the Citation Jets Pilot Association enough for this amazing opportunity and for allowing me to achieve my dreams of becoming a commercial multi-rated pilot. I literally would not be who I am today without you all. This organization has helped and continues to help aspiring aviators. I am grateful to have been welcomed with open arms into this amazing family.
To say the least, it has been an interesting semester so far. It has taken some getting used to, but I have begun to adjust to this new way of living life. Being in the classroom only once a week still boggles me, though. I was scheduled to have all of my classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week, but with social distancing protocols in place at the university, I only attend classes once a week now with the other day used for studying and working from home. My flying has also been an interesting endeavor with the way the course of events has happened this semester.
I am currently at the end-of-course portion for my commercial flight course. I only have a couple of modules left before beginning the check ride process. Unfortunately, I am not where I would like to be with the course, as I did plan and expect to have the commercial course finished by now. This semester has brought on some unforeseen challenges, though. Out of my entire time attending this university and flying in this area, I have never been weathered as much as I have this semester. I suppose with the time of year it is, and the time of my flight block, it just so happened to be an unfortunate pairing in relation to the weather. I also just had to take a leave of absence due to a death in the family, which has set me back a little in my training.
These setbacks internally have created some struggle for me as I am a strict planner and like to abide by the timelines I create for myself. But if this year has taught me anything, it is that circumstances beyond your control are going to affect your goals and plans. There is nothing to do but to accept these setbacks, and instead of getting upset over it, adapt to the changes and continue to do everything in your power to continue on with your goals and plans. It also takes patience. I know in the long run, I will become the pilot I have always dreamt of becoming, even if it happens a little later than expected.
Even though my flying has been set back a little due to unforeseen circumstances, my classes have been going very well this semester. It is quite the change only being in class once a week, but I have been able to adapt to these changes and continue with my work in a way that works for me. It is also a pleasure that I am in all Aeronautical Science classes with the exception of a business class for my finance minor. I enjoy learning about every aspect of aviation, so I am very happy to be able to focus nearly all my energy on classes that I truly enjoy.
Next time you hear from me, you will be hearing from a commercial pilot, I can guarantee you that. I know that everyone has experienced some type of hardship this year, but all we can do is accept them and move on with our lives the best we can instead of letting these hardships take over us. That is something I have learned this semester, which has also helped me accept these challenges and keep going no matter what happens. I hope this newsletter finds you all well, and I look forward to writing to you all again soon!
I would like to open this newsletter by giving an update on my flight training progress. As I stated in the last letter, I had just received a multi-engine instructor at the beginning of September, and I am excited to say I have completed all of the required training and have been signed off for my check ride. I have had so much fun flying the Diamond DA-42, and I am excited to receive my multi-engine add-on and complex endorsement. After completing this check ride, I plan to start CFI training and hope to finish before I graduate in May.
At school we are over halfway through the semester and have less than one month of classes remaining. I am thankful that we have been able to continue in-person learning this semester as many of my classes are labs. I am taking the final classes for my major this semester, which mostly consists of flying the A320 Simulator on the computer and learning how to program both the CRJ and the A320. Two of my professors are retired airline captains and have given me a great insight into the industry and how everything works. One of my favorite things about coming to this school was that the instructors have so much real-world experience to offer the students.
It is interesting how writing out my progress in these letters to keep all of you updated has reminded me how much I have really achieved. When I first interviewed for the Bob Hoover Presidential Scholarship, I had just received my instrument rating, and now I am about to be a commercial multi-engine pilot with an instrument rating. I cannot put into words how thankful I am for everyone at the Citation Jet Pilots Association. This organization has had such a positive impact on my life, providing so much support in my flight training. I am excited to continue my career in aviation, and I will never forget how the CJP helped me get where I am today.
I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the cooler weather. A few weeks ago, I was surprised and sorry to hear about the passing of Tracy Forrest. I later watched the live video in memory of Tracy on the Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation YouTube channel. The positive and joyful stories everyone had to share were fun to listen to. Tracy had a positive impact on everyone he had contact with, including myself and other recipients of the CJP/BHLF scholarship. I had the pleasure of meeting Tracy on two separate occasions at EAA AirVenture 2018 and 2019. The first time I met him, I instantly knew he was welcoming and supportive. At the time, I did not know he would be a part of selecting me for the CJP/BHLF scholarship. My time knowing him may have been short, but Tracy significantly impacted my life and my progress towards an aviation career.
The fall semester is past the halfway mark already, and I have been making progress in the commercial multi-engine course. Having my private multi allows me to log not only duel but also PIC during my flights at Embry-Riddle. I got my private in a Piper Seneca, an older aircraft with steam gauges and constant speed propeller and mixture controls. The DA-42 has FADEC, which helps reduce and simplify the pilot workload. I am excited to be learning on both platforms as it is expanding my overall knowledge and experience. The new DA-42 fleet is very fun to fly and shares surprisingly few similarities with the Seneca. Although it produces less horsepower, the Diamond has better performance and cruise speed over the Seneca. This course also includes instrument training. The commercial single course was only visual. The instrument took some refreshing of the memory and has been a lot of fun in the twin. Not to forget single-engine approaches!
Being busy with classes and flights, I have not had much time to go down to Phoenix to work on the Helio Courier. I am still assisting an A&P mechanic on the project, although progress has been slow. The wings have been reattached, and I recently installed the rudder after some repairs were made to the mass balance.
Classes will be finished in just a few weeks for the fall semester. This is my final semester in college! Once finals are complete, I will graduate in December. The commercial multi course will then conclude my training at Embry-Riddle. I greatly appreciate the continued support from the Citation Jet Pilots Association and the Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation. You have made it possible for me to graduate early and get a head start on my professional pilot career!