CJP Bob Hoover Presidential Scholars
I hope everyone is enjoying the last weeks of their summer. During this summer, I am proud to say that I became instrument-rated. The training was a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun at the same time. I think the approaches were my favorite part of the course because all of the training from the past came together to now get me safely on the ground. Aside from flight training, I have been doing some jobs on the side. But, the highlight of my summer was the two events that I attended with CJP – EAA AirVenture and the regional event in Alpine, Wyoming.
Oshkosh was a big shock for me because I have never been to this magnitude of an event that surrounds aviation. Even better, so many people have the same passion as I do for airplanes and flying. It was so great to meet many of you at the show. You always make me feel like a part of the group from the second I get there. Seeing all the airplanes is great but meeting so many great people like you, and hearing all the great stories were the highlight of my trip. I want to give a special thanks to Cheryl and Hugh Hardy and Tracy and Rae Forest for their hospitality. I also had a great time talking to members of CJP like Randy and Cindy Broiles, listening to memorable stories. Aside from spending time with everyone and touring the show, I got to talk to some employers at the event – regional airlines such as Envoy, Piedmont, Endeavor and Mesa. I also talked to Textron and some other corporate companies. I got some very good information which will help me make a decision for my career in the near future.
I also had a great time at the regional event in Alpine, Wyoming. I had not heard about fly-in communities before, so visiting Alpine was a new experience to me. The scenery was beautiful, but the people were even better. It was so great to talk and hear stories from so many of you. I met such great people such as Mr. Comedian, Jim Mclennan and his wife Barbara, Behn Wilson and his wife Rita, my local Arizona neighbors Mark and Lekki and many others. I want to give a big thanks to Steve Funk for hosting us and making us feel so welcome at the Refuge. I also made a great connection with DesertJet at the event. I am exploring opportunities with them and looking into their internships for next summer, which could lead into something bigger in the future.
Since I am very close to graduating, it’s important for me to figure out where I would like to work in the future. I currently have two plans which are subject to change. My first plan is to get my CFI at Embry Riddle, and work my way up to 1,000 hours and join a regional airline, which would lead me into a major airline such as American or United Airlines. My second plan would be to also get my CFI, but try to find a job at 500 hours with a corporate employer and work my way up in the company. The biggest goal currently is trying to find a job to get my 1,000 hours, so I am qualified to get my restricted ATP. My end goal is to work for the major airlines due to their steady work schedule, but I am still open to the idea of working on the corporate side. I think the next few months will be crucial to the way I want to shape my career, and ultimately the way I want to live my life.
Once again, all of this would not be possible without your support in my future goals and dreams. CJP has helped me so much, and I am so grateful for the opportunity that each of one of you has given me. I hope you enjoy the last weeks of your summer.
What a busy summer it has been! Although it appears these past few months flew by at the blink of an eye, I’ve managed to progress greatly in my flight training. Today, I successfully passed my Commercial Pilot “in-house” oral exam. The way it’s done at ERAU is by first completing an oral and flight evaluation with our own standards examiners (hence the “in-house”). This is followed by another oral and flight evaluation with a Designated Pilot Examiner from the FAA to ultimately attain a Commercial Pilot Certificate. With one checkride down and three to go, I feel optimistic and prepared after several hectic months of training.
Two other milestones I recently achieved: surpassing 200 total flight hours and completing my longest solo flight to date. As I briefly mentioned before, I really wanted to fly down to Marathon and the Keys which fortunately worked out in early July. After spending nearly seven and a half hours in the Skyhawk that day, I flew over 600 nautical miles through some of the toughest airspace Florida has to offer! It truly was a test of all skills I had learned over the past year and a half, but ultimately it was an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life. Having the opportunity to fly down and back up the Florida coast while spotting the places I grew up around and visited over the years felt surreal at times. Perhaps my favorite moment came as I flew over Biscayne Bay and passed right along Miami Beach. Whenever I visited that beach growing up, I always saw dozens of small aircraft fly along the shoreline while other beachgoers and I enthusiastically waved “hello.” But this time, I got to experience it from a pilot’s perspective. The above picture was taken while parked on the ramp at KMTH, moments prior to my departure back to Daytona.
In the last few weeks leading up to classes, summer has slowly started to wind down and I have focused a lot of my time on preparing for the checkride and covering some extra shifts at my dispatch job. Last month, I drove down to South Florida to spend a weekend with extended family, and most recently celebrated my 20th birthday. Many of my friends have also begun returning to Daytona after their summers at home, and I’ve been helping a few of them move into their first apartments. It feels incredibly rewarding to be starting the second half of my undergraduate experience, and I owe it all to you! Thank you once again for giving me the opportunity to keep on learning and flying.
Hello CJP family,
I genuinely loved my summer experience in Alaska and would gladly move back. I made some amazing friends and had some unforgettable experiences. However, I am excited to be back amongst old friends and familiar faces. I find it difficult to fathom that this is my last year of college; my last year in a formal educational system. The training wheels are coming off and I hope the world is ready for me.
I finished up my summer in Talkeetna Alaska by not allowing myself to waste a waking moment. Every weekend I was with my fellow interns camping, hiking, eating and exploring all that the great state of Alaska has to offer. Piling into my friend Billy’s 1986 Beamer, we voyaged to Denali National Park to camp and take in the beautiful country from a different perspective. Denali is as beautiful from the ground as it is from the sky with rolling hills, calm valleys and towering mountains. We didn’t venture too far into the park since you must take an 8-hour guided bus tour to go further. But, what I did see was spectacular.
On the following weekend, we travelled south to Whittier Alaska, a town originally developed in World War II for use by the United States Army to protect the state of Alaska and drop off supplies and troops. It is a tiny sea port town approximately 60 miles south of Anchorage. There are 214 permanent residents and only way in or out. But it is a beautifully eccentric little sea port, and in true Alaskan fashion it rained the entire time we were there. I left soaked to the bone. These are just some of the highlights of my summer experience. There is so much to tell that would never fit in this newsletter. Long story short, I love Alaska and am actively pursuing the opportunity to fly there year-round.
For those at the Alpine Regional Event, it was an absolute pleasure to get to know you. Thank you for your compassion and letting me be a part of your lives. It was a fantastic weekend full of laughter and fun. For me, the weekend in Alpine was a weekend of first-time experiences. I shot skeet and a bow, practiced fly fishing, rode in a helicopter and conquered the waves of the Snake River white water rafting – all firsts for me. Alpine Wyoming is some of the most beautiful country I have ever seen. I also had the privilege of meeting Mr. Steve Funk, the founder of the incredible flying community the event was held. He is such an inspiration with everything he has accomplished in his life. Andrius and I also had the privilege of speaking with Mr. Stuart Horn, the owner of Aviat Aircraft. He brought to the forefront the important reminder that life is too short not to love what you do. My weekend in Alpine was a concrete reminder to never give up on your dreams, and never take the easy road in life, but at the same time love the journey.
Now it is time to get back to reality, and my life as a college student. This semester should not be too difficult considering I am only taking four classes. I am also continuing my duties as a dispatcher for the Embry-Riddle Flight Department and representing my school as the mascot for athletic competitions as well as other various events. Something new I am doing however, is working as a Campus Ambassador in the admissions office as well as a peer tutor for the College of Aviation. As a Campus Ambassador, I will guide tours for potential students as well as work in the admissions office. As a peer tutor, I will get my Advanced Ground Instructor Certificate which will allow me to conduct FAA ground school class makeups with students and assist them with any flight related studying. It has caused me to have a very busy schedule, but I am thrilled for the new experiences.
My hope is that I have saved the best for last and my senior year will be one to remember. Very soon, I will be seriously looking for jobs as a professional pilot and filling out applications. I am currently at the end of commercial single-engine training and will complete it in the next month or two. Once I am in commercial multi-engine, my resume will be marketable to companies looking to hire low-time pilots like myself. Thank you for everything you have done to get me to this point, and I look forward to reporting nothing except happy news as my career and life after college takes flight.
Hope everyone has been enjoying the summer. I’ve had a monumental one. I’m proud to report that I passed my checkride last week and earned my Private Pilot Certificate! A very exciting and rewarding moment for me. A year ago I was not a pilot and this year, and for the rest of my life, I am.
In July, I was lucky enough to attend AirVenture with CJP. I can’t thank all of you enough that contributed to that and made it possible. That was my first air show and set the bar high for future airshows I’ll attend. I plan on going back to Air Venture several times, but none will ever compare to the first time. So many great moments out there, and thank you to everyone I spoke with for the knowledge and experiences you shared with me. Special thanks to Rae and Mr. Forest as well as Hugh and Cheryl for spending so much of their time making sure Andrius and myself were taken care of. There were many memorable moments, but the top four had to be the helicopter ride, Ford Tri-Motor ride, tour of the control tower and the Bob Hoover Dinner.
While at AirVenture, I made great use of my time visiting with the different regional airline recruiters. I didn’t realize there would be so many different places and options to consider. It really helped me to start making a plan and paving the path from where I am to where I want to be. Also, while there I got to speak with Textron about applying for an internship in the summer of 2019. I had not considered an internship while at Riddle, but this opportunity has me motivated to apply. It’s amazing how many internship and career options I was exposed to that I wasn’t even aware existed!
As for the future, there is always a lot to look forward to. In the fall, I have to take Physics. It’s going to be my greatest academic challenge which will make it that much more fun to succeed. Also, I’ll be moving forward in my flight training by beginning my instrument rating next month. Needless to say, I’m ready for the adventure of flying at night and in those mysterious clouds I have not yet been allowed near.
Hope you all have a great next couple of months, and I look forward to sharing with you again soon!