CJP Bob Hoover Scholar Updates
Good afternoon, everyone. I hope you’re all doing well keeping safe and still social distancing. I can officially say that this pandemic is driving me insane, and I’m sure everyone else can attest to that or feels similar. I spent my entire summer wearing hot pilot uniforms and a hot mask all while baking in a hot plane. But overall worth it because I achieve what I had set out to do for the summer, which was complete my instructor ratings course here at Embry-Riddle and start my multi (my last flying course). After two months of intense training, I’ve learned a tremendous amount not only about myself but how to relay information to students and others who may not be too familiar with the aviation industry. Though it was a tough summer, every experience gained was worth it, and I wouldn’t give it up for the world.
The new school year has finally started, and I’m ready to take it on headfirst. Though the scene here at Riddle is a little bit different from anything I’ve experienced before (actually a lot different), I think as a student body we’re ready to take on the challenge of COVID-19 and make the best of our semester. I mean, we don’t really have a choice, right? This is my final semester here at Embry-Riddle Riddle and it’s bittersweet having it during a global pandemic because all of the events such as graduation, socials, and career events have either been postponed or made virtual. Putting it bluntly campus life is kind of dull now. I recently heard a saying that goes, “The struggles you face along the way are only meant to shape you for your future purpose.” I think this is spot on for what we are going through right now. This is just a phase and a hurdle that we all have to get over and once we do, we’ll be stronger and better equipped to take on the world and other situations we may be faced with.
Now, on a much lighter note! At the end of the semester I should have a job with the flight department here at school as a flight instructor. It was all made possible through the course I took over the summer. The torture was well worth it especially now that it’s extremely hard to find even a flight instructor position. I’m really excited to put all the knowledge I gained into practice when I actually get assigned students and I’ll be able to give back to others. I know times are rough, but we are a resilient group of people and will get through it just keep looking forward never backwards.
After an interesting summer, things are slowly returning back to normal with the start of classes at the University. This semester will be unlike any other I’ve experienced so far though. Since being back, the atmosphere on campus has completely changed. I am hoping, as we all are, to avoid another possible campus shutdown and remain on campus for the entire semester. Even though last semester I experienced an unfortunate setback in flight training due to the flight department closure, I am hoping to obtain my commercial pilot’s license by mid-semester.
Thankfully, since my last report, I am one step closer to obtaining my commercial pilot’s license with the passing of the written exam. With the start of the semester, I also resumed flight training, picking up where I left off in the spring semester. As of right now I am on Module 24 out of 31 with one night solo remaining for the course. I have a great new instructor and I believe with her help I will be able to finish the commercial course in no time. After completing the commercial course, I will immediately move onto the commercial-multi add-on course.
With university classes back in session now, the university has adopted a hybrid format for nearly all classes this semester to enforce social distancing regulations in classrooms and throughout campus. With that being said I am on campus much less than I’d normally be during the semester with more work being online. Even though it is not the same as face-to-face instruction, I believe it is a good balance to still be able to experience face-to-face instruction this fall. I am very excited for the classes this fall as I am finally able to focus on my core major classes instead of general education courses. I am currently taking Turbine Engines, Aircraft Systems and Components, Aircraft Performance, Domestic and International Navigation and Corporate Finance (required for my Finance minor). So far, I find each class very interesting and I am eager to learn more about the in-depth components of aircraft.
A big personal decision I made since my last report is that I decided to resign from the University’s IT department and to remain employed with Target. This decision was not made lightly as I have worked there for a year and a half, but due to the current circumstances I decided this was the best decision to make for myself financially speaking. With better pay, better hours and a secured job throughout the pandemic, it was a decision I could not turn down.
It is also a big honor to announce I have been invited as a guest on the “All Things Aviation” webcast on behalf of the Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation. I will be attending as a guest on September 24, so hopefully I will see some of you there! I was also very honored to receive my CJP gift in the mail that contained my award plaque, CJP shirts and additional CJP-themed gifts. I once again want to thank all of you for this honor and wish I could be able to accept it in person.
I am excited to start this month’s newsletter with some good news. As of July 19, 2020, I am officially a commercial pilot. There were several bumps in the road to get to this point, the largest being COVID-19, but I am excited to say all my hard work paid off. The most difficult part of earning this rating was having three different check rides (stage check ride, end of course check ride, and DPE check ride) as I mentioned in the last newsletter.
I received a multi-engine instructor assignment yesterday and hope to begin that course this week. I am very excited to learn to fly the Diamond DA-42 and finish my final flight course required to graduate this May. I think the course will be fun and challenging and I am ready to get started.
Aside from flying, I am entering my second week of classes as a senior here at Embry-Riddle Prescott, and a lot has changed. It has been difficult to get used to wearing a mask during class and sitting six feet away from everyone else since our classes are usually very hands on and group-based. But the school is doing a great job putting the students’ safety first. I am very happy that we were able to resume in-person classes for the fall semester; I hope we will be able to continue.
I’m very excited for all my classes this semester, but one in particular is my air traffic control class. For this class I get to go into the ATC lab on campus and act as Denver approach. I think it will be challenging and interesting to see how it is being the controller rather than the pilot. I think the most challenging class this semester will be my Electronic Flight Management Systems class where we will be learning how to operate the FMS for the CRJ and the A320 using the flight simulation software prepare 3D. We get to preform several scenarios throughout the course and even communicate with the ATC lab on campus to make live scenarios. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!
I hope everyone is doing well and had a great summer. I sure did! In July, I finally completed my commercial single-engine course! Being monsoon season here in Arizona, the check ride was early in the morning, and it could not have gone better. My favorite maneuvers in this course were “eights on pilons” and short field landings. I enjoyed the precise flying based on outside visual references and “flying by the seat of your pants.”
After my commercial single check ride, I spent the rest of my summer at home in Cave Creek. I had the opportunity to get my private multi-engine rating at a flight school here in Phoenix. The training aircraft was a turbocharged Piper Seneca II. Flying in the summer heat of Phoenix was its own challenge. The rating took less than two weeks and was so much fun! Having my private multi will allow me to log not only duel, but also PIC during my commercial multi course at Embry-Riddle. The Seneca was 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 will increase my overall knowledge and experience. Now multi-rated, I am even more excited to transition to the new DA-42 fleet at Riddle. This course will include commercial and instrument, bringing everything together. I am currently number six on the waiting list and cannot wait to start!
The Helio Courier project continues as I assist an A&P mechanic. Each day I learn more about aircraft structure and maintenance. We recently made some nice visual progress by installing the wings. It is amazing how each wing is attached by only three bolts. An upper and lower on the main spar, and one on the rear spar. We used a forklift to hold the wings up, then gradually shifted them into place. The process took time and patience since the attachment fittings need to be perfectly aligned to insert the bolts. Next, we will be reconnecting all the fuel lines, control cables and electrical wiring for the wings.
Classes just began last week for the fall semester – my final semester in college! I am still on track to graduate this fall. My college career is almost over, but it feels like I just started. I greatly appreciate the continued support from CJP and the Bob Hoover Legacy Foundation. Thanks to you, I will be graduating early and getting a head start on my professional pilot career.