About Dylan

Freshman

Aeronautical Science

Name: Dylan Johnston
Major: Aeronautical Science
Minor: Applied Meteorology
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Career Goals: To have a successful career as a pilot in the Airline Industry; becoming a captain for a major airline and flying internationally.
Activities: WIKD Radio, Skydiving Club. Avid golfer, Frisbee expert and body surfing master.

5 weeks left!

Spring break has come and gone and there are only five weeks left of my first year here at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. This year has gone by so fast and it is weird to already be making plans for my summer.

I am looking into taking some courses over the summer at a Community College near my house. This is a good way to save a bit of money and get some of your general education credits out of the way. I am also looking for a job where I can make enough money to pay for next year’s tuition. So, if anyone knows of any openings please don’t hesitate to contact me. Hopefully I can make enough to fund my instrument rating as well, wouldn’t that be nice! Anyways, now that we are on the home stretch, it means that final exams are approaching and I will most likely be spending most of my time in the coming weeks studying at the library.

One thing I have noticed about college that is different from life in high school is that during college, there are distinct “phases” throughout the academic school year. In other words, every couple of weeks seem to be different in terms of what you are getting ready for. It seems like you are always preparing for something (i.e. an exam, presentation, break or a new unit), whereas in high school it seemed (at least for me) that there would be weeks, if not months, where school just felt unproductive, time-consuming and, for lack of a better word, boring. Things are much different here at Riddle and therefore, that is my theory as to why time literally flies by when you are in college. However, I will understand that this might change as I get closer to graduation.

As I wrote earlier, I decided to wait to take my Private Pilot Check ride until after spring break. Now that it is “after spring break”, I should be flying towards the end of this week or beginning of next, weather and schedule permitting, so stay tuned for updates on that. Other than that, I don’t have too much else to inform you about. Sorry for not having a plethora of pictures for you this time (I know that is what everyone looks forward to). The camera on my phone which I usually use to take pictures for my journal entries has decided to stop working for me. However, I didn’t want you to leave feeling empty handed so here is a picture I thought was pretty cool which I took with my iPod on my way back to Florida after spring break.

Sunrise at 35,000 feet

 

Spring Break 2013

Spring Break is here! This fact means a couple of things. First off, it means that my fellow classmates and I will be able to use this week off to catch up on some much needed sleep and relaxation. Neither of which I have been able to get much of these past few weeks. Spring break also means that the end is near! After we get back from break we have about five weeks before final examinations begin. We are getting close to the end and it is truly hard to believe I am also almost done with my first full year away at college.

The past weeks have been relatively uneventful; midterms came and went without too much stress. My parents were actually in town a couple weeks ago and it was really nice to be able to see them and spend time together. Highlights of the week included watching a spring training with my dad and having dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack.

spring training, baseball

Soaking up the rays while watching some baseball

The Daytona 500 came to town back in February and yes, it was crazy. This town was inundated with race fans and it looked completely different. Over 200,000 people were in attendance at that race and I happened to be one of them. I was able to score a free ticket since I had previously volunteered at the speedway, so me and a few of my buddies went to check it out. I have to say, I have never been a NASCAR fan, and I’m still not, but now I see what it’s all about. It was definitely a pretty cool experience to be there at the most prestigious race in the world.

Daytona 500, daytona international speeadway

On the sidelines at the Daytona 500

More Daytona 500 fun

Air Force ROTC is still going well. I wish I could tell you that you get used to waking up at 5:45 every other morning but it always seems to be a struggle to get out of that nice cozy bed. For our midterm evaluations we had to defend a “base” against the upperclassmen. It was actually pretty fun as each Squadron was assigned a specific task and we were able to apply what we have been learning this semester. Also, we had our Beach Run PT (physical training) a couple weeks back which is always a nice change of scenery. Watching the sunrise isn’t bad either.

Air Force, Daytona Beach

AFROTC Detachment 157 on the beach after PT

Spring break (especially in Florida) should be indicative of warmer weather and nicer days. That hasn’t necessarily been the case here in Daytona Beach up until now. Virtually ever since the spring semester began back in January, the temperatures have been well below average, with the exception of a few days that have made the mercury rise. Believe it or not, this morning was a chilly 39 degrees. However, cooler weather generally means better flying. Which I have not been doing much of recently since I have been preparing for my checkride (funny how that works right?). I have actually spent most of my time doing orals and studying, studying. There is a lot of knowledge, procedures and regulations that you have to be proficient with in order to pass your checkride (especially your Private Pilot checkride). However, I am done with my flight training and ready to go. My plan was to take it before spring break but bad weather, scheduling conflicts and a high workload in my other classes means I will have to wait until after we get back from spring break.

That’s all I’ve got for now, more to come in a week or so.

Baseball, jet dragster, magician and more!

I normally try to start each entry with a type of “hook” to grab the reader’s attention. But, to be honest, I can’t really of anything clever to say without sounding like a broken record. So I’ll just get right into it. Last weekend was family weekend down here at Riddle. The University put on a bunch of events for parents and families to attend while visiting their Riddle student away at college. Festivities kicked off Friday with the “College Student for a Day” event, where parents were able to sit in on classes with their son or daughter. Unfortunately, my parents weren’t here for family weekend, but I assume that this was a pretty cool opportunity for most parents and something they enjoyed. This school definitely had a different look with parents and families walking around everywhere all weekend. One of the most popular events of the weekend (not surprisingly) was the “take your parent flying” opportunity. As you would expect, many of the students were eager to showcase their flying skills to their parents. I also assume this was one of the highlights of the weekend for most parents and families. Some of the other events of the weekend included an ERAU baseball game, a magician and a showcase of the ERAU Jet Dragster (shown below), just to name a few.

ERAU jet dragster, erau family weekend

Photo credit thanks to Jay Weiss

My flight course has been going well and I am almost up for my end of course checkride. Hopefully by the next entry I will have my Private Pilot Certificate, but some of that will depend on the weather and how quickly I can get scheduled for my checkride. Once you get to the end of course, you have to spend some time going over each and every maneuver you were taught earlier in the course. It’s taken me a few refresher flights to make sure I’ve got each maneuver nailed down. Hopefully I’ll just need one or two more flights to practice landings and I’ll be ready to go. Another part of the end of course check that often gets overlooked is the Oral Check. Basically, you have to sit down with a Check Airmen while he evaluates your cross-country flight planning, knowledge of weather and use of charts, publications and data, knowledge of operations of systems in the aircraft you are being examined in, Aeromedical factors such as hypoxia and spatial disorientation, night preparation and other items relating to Private Pilot Test Standards. To say the least, it’s a lot of studying and reviewing key terms and procedures. But, nevertheless I am feeling confident about the end of course checkride and oral and will keep the internet world updated on how it goes in the next couple of weeks.

I recently applied for the Resident Advisor (RA) position here at Embry-Riddle. A Resident Advisor is an older student (Sophomore, Junior, Senior) who is in charge of overseeing the living halls and making sure policies and rules are followed. For freshmen, an RA should also strive to create a sense of community for his/her residents and be a good friend and leader for them. I applied for the position because I thought it would be a great experience and just a good solid job. So far, I’ve been through two interviews and up next is a four week class which meets for two hours on Tuesday nights. After the class, the Housing & Residence Life Office will make a decision on the final selection of Resident Advisors.

Lastly, I just wanted to add a cool picture I took from the top of Joe’s Crab Shack the other night right after the sun set. The weather has been beautiful the past couple of weeks!

daytona beach sunset

View from Joe’s Crab Shack looking south as the sun sets on Daytona Beach

 

 

My fourth week of the Spring 2013 semester

January 2013

I am in my fourth week of the Spring 2013 semester here at Riddle and operations are in full swing. I have been very busy with my classes. I’m taking 16 credit hours this semester which means I spend a lot of my time studying/doing homework during the week. What has worked out so well this semester is the fact that I was able to set my schedule and pick my own classes. I was able to stack four of my classes together on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so I go right from one class to another without having much down time (other than an hour lunch break). Last semester I had class from 9:45-12:30, then I had to wait around for a class at 3:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Other than the fact that I could take a nap after lunch, I didn’t really like that schedule; I just didn’t feel very productive. So this semester should be better from a schedule standpoint.

As I briefly mentioned in my last entry, I really like all of my professors this semester. All of them are so knowledgeable in their subjects and passionate about what they are teaching. For example, my Introduction to Rhetoric Professor spent 20 years working as an award-winning journalist for the Daytona Beach News Journal, while my Instrument Pilot Operations professor spent years flying the DC-10 for Hawaiian Airlines. It really makes each class engaging and I feel like I can take away a lot from each of my professors.

ROTC is also in full swing. We have been having Physical Training (PT) on Monday and Friday mornings and Leadership Laboratory on Wednesday mornings. I have been working hard at PT getting ready for our Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA) which is graded based on sit-ups, push-ups and a mile and a half run. Your PFA score is important in determining scholarships, rank and Officer Potential so it is important to me that I do well.

Ever since coming back to Daytona Beach in early January, the Daytona International Speedway, which is adjacent to the Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach Campus on the other side of the airport, has been alive with action. This past weekend they held the Rolex 24 race, where race teams compete for 24 hours around the track. It is a test of endurance and skill for the drivers and their crews. My Air Force ROTC program sends cadets each year to volunteer at the Speedway and help with the races. This past weekend, me and a couple of friends worked for 11 hours on Saturday helping load and unload trams that would shuttle fans from one side of the track to the other. The best part of the job was taking a break for dinner, where we were able to watch part of the race right on the track. It’s amazing how fast (and LOUD) those cars are. It was a great experience.

Dylan's blog, Watching the Rolex 24, ERAU, Daytona, Admissions

Watching the Rolex 24 as the cars speed by

Also, my friends and I have taken up a new hobby: surfing. All of us have really wanted to learn since coming down to Florida in August, but we didn’t really know where to start during the first semester. About two weeks ago, we did some research, drove down to a local surf shop and purchased some surfboards. Ever since, we have spent almost every minute of our free time at the beach learning how to surf. Let me tell you, it is not as easy as it looks. Like any sport it takes a lot of practice and determination (not to mention an amazing amount of core strength) to master. But after last weekend, I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of it.

Driving down the beach, ERAU, Daytona, Admissions

Driving down the beach on a sunny Sunday afternoon, ready to surf.

More to come on surfing, flying, and Embry-Riddle in my next entry, stay tuned!

January 2013

Half way! It’s really hard to believe that I am already over halfway done with my freshman year of college. This year has really been flying by (pun intended). I’ve been back at Riddle for almost three weeks now since traveling home for winter break. Boy was it good to see my friends and family back in Seattle and spend some time with them over the holidays. It really never felt like I even left! My room was the same, my clothes were still there and my dog was still happy to see me. I was able to get some snowboarding, hiking and some good ole’ R & R in the three weeks I was home for. It was a much needed break. It worked out well because by the time I was boarding my flight to head back to Florida, I was ready to hit the ground running for the spring semester. I’m going to have to keep that mentality going because I have a busy semester ahead of me. I’m taking six classes, ROTC, working, playing intramural sports and getting ready for a Private Pilot check ride, just a few of the involvements I have ahead of me the next few months!

After returning to Florida in early January, I got right back into the swing of things with my flight training. The first day back my instructor did my dual cross-country and flew to St. Petersburg. We were able to get quite a bit done during the week before classes started despite relatively bad weather. The flight operations discount all flight activities by 50%. It worked out perfectly because I was able to get all of my cross countries done during that time. Last week I did my local solo and my first solo cross country. For my solo cross country I flew to Gainesville and back. It is about a 150 Nautical Mile round trip and takes about 2.3 hours. Tomorrow I am scheduled for my long cross country where I will be flying to the Tampa area, then up to Gainesville and back to Daytona. This is a much longer trip which is about 250nm and should take close to three hours. After that, I have a couple of practice flights then I’m up for my check ride! It’s hard to believe I’m already at the end of course. A bunch of my buddies  and I already have plans to go flying once I get my license, so I’m definitely looking forward to that.

My classes are going great. I was able to pick my classes and set up my schedule this semester and I have to say, I did pretty well. I really like all of my teachers and I am very interested in the classes I am taking. I will go into greater detail about my classes and ROTC in my next post which will be in the next few days.

Stay tuned for important updates on the Daytona Speedway, college professors, Florida weather, flag football, aviation, and possibly even surfing, all to come next week. Happy New Year!

Cruising above the clouds on my solo cross country.

December 11th 2012

Finally! Winter break is here! Done with classes and don’t have to worry about school for a month. It will be a much needed break for everyone. Looking back on the semester, however; the last three months have just flown by. It literally seems like it was just yesterday I was moving into my dorm room, and yet today I spent most of my day cleaning and packing for my visit back home. What a great first semester of college it has been. Not anything like what I had expected, yet completely exceeded my hopes and aspirations. I could not be more confident with my decision to attend Embry-Riddle.

Finally finals are over. Throughout the course of the semester I’ve heard people talk about “how stressful finals are” and how you should remember that “there is a life after finals,” so naturally I was really curious as to how I would respond to my first week of finals at Embry-Riddle. Fortunately, I did quite well on all of my exams. I didn’t fail any tests that resulted in a dramatic change in my grades, so it was a win. In fact, I did so well on my math final I brought my grade up to a B, and math is not my strongest subject so I was very pleased with that. It felt good to finish the semester out strong. Now, I can go home and enjoy the break with friends and family and not have to worry about my grades. If you put the work in during the semester, you really shouldn’t have a problem with final exams.

Last week, Air Force ROTC ended for the semester. We had our Pass in Review ceremony to close out the fall term. Cadets were given different awards based on leadership, academics and physical fitness. It was a very nice ceremony other than the fact that we had to stand in the same place for about 45 minutes without being able to move. I am really looking forward to next semester in ROTC. Now that I have a good understanding of how ROTC life works, I am ready to start making some strides and working my way to becoming a commissioned Officer in the Air Force.

Photo: My Flight poses for a picture after the fall 2012 Pass in Review Ceremony.

Flying is going great. I had my first solo a couple of weeks ago and it was awesome! My instructor and I went up to Palatka, Florida where I dropped him off and took the plane for myself. I did three landings while he watched from the ground. After, I picked him up and we stopped for lunch to celebrate. It was definitely a great experience and is a milestone in your aviation career. This past week I have been working on my cross country flights. Over the weekend, I flew down to Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Florida, then back to Daytona for a duration of 1.9 hours. Cross country flying is definitely my favorite. You really feel like a pilot when you are filing a flight plan, getting a weather briefing and planning your route of flight while calculating time, fuel, distance, etc. Last evening, I was scheduled for my night cross country to St. Petersburg, but we had to cancel due to weather. I will be finishing up my cross country flights after I return in January. After that, I will have another solo in the local practice area, then two solo cross country flights! After, I will have a few practice flights then I’ll be up for my end of course check ride. It’s crazy to think that before I came down here in the summer I had absolutely no flight experience and now within 2 months I should already have my Private Pilot Certificate. Up next will be my Instrument rating.

Photo: Photo from Embry-Riddle of my first solo.

 It’s been a great first semester and I am really looking forward to going back home and spending the holidays with my family. I hope you have a great holiday and I’ll talk to you next year. Thanks for reading!

November 2012

It’s about that time again, time for a new entry. The days are getting shorter and shorter and the semester is getting closer and closer to the end. We really only have about a month of classes left before winter break. Thanksgiving is next week and I am certainly looking forward to seeing my extended family in Chicago. And yes, I am also looking forward to some weather that is colder than 70 degrees, but probably only for about 4 days. This might not be the most exciting journal entry but you can go read Waverly’s if you get bored. She is good!

Anyways, the past couple of weeks have been a blur. It almost seemed like the first month of school went by really slow but it seems like the past month has just flown by. Classes are still chugging along; they are kind of starting to wind down. When I say wind down I really mean pick up because professors are starting to get us ready for finals. Unfortunately, I have two tests this week and a paper due. But the good news is that one of my classes is already ending on Wednesday, which should free up some much needed nap time for me.

This past weekend was awesome. Me and a couple of friends rented a plane and flew up to Gainesville where the University of Florida is located. It was their homecoming weekend so we took advantage of the festivities and had a good time touring the campus and tailgating before watching the Gators play a football game, then flying back on Saturday evening.

Photo: Watching the Gators play at the Swamp
Photo: Nice weather on the flight back from Gainesville
In other news I am working my way towards getting my Private Pilot Certificate. I should be soloing by the end of this week. I have my pre-solo check ride coming up next and, if I pass, my instructor and I will go up to Flagler where I will do my first solo. I am choosing to do my Solo at Flagler because I like that airport a lot. There is a restaurant called Hijackers (very ironic) that my instructor and I have stopped at for lunch a couple of times, so I feel comfortable with the area. How the solo will work is we will leave Daytona and fly up to Flagler, we will do 3 full stop landings together, then I will drop him off and do 3 full stop landings myself while remaining in the traffic pattern. I will then pick up my instructor and we will fly back to Daytona. I am really curious as to what it will feel like to be in the plane by myself. I expect it to feel like driving by yourself for the first time but on maybe a little bit of a bigger scale. Either way, I am looking forward to it and will be a great experience.

Photo: Quick picture at Flagler after stopping for a bite to eat
I’ve gotten some good e-mails from readers with good questions lately. I’m glad because I didn’t think anyone was reading! My email address is johnsd66@my.erau.edu if you have anything feel free to ask!

October 2012

Burrrrr it’s getting chilly here in Florida! Not really but this morning we woke up to a cool, crisp 50 degrees. Finally feels like fall around here. And it really feels like Halloween with all the decorations that people have been putting up on their dorms and around campus. It’s kind of weird to think that it’s already almost November! It’s amazing how time flies when you are in college. School has been pretty busy lately, I feel like I’m always doing homework or studying but that’s alright with me. I love learning about Aviation so I can hardly complain. Last weekend was our fall break, and it was sure nice to have a good chunk of time off of school. While most people went home or left campus for the break, I was able to bring part of my home back with me. My dad and brother were in Nashville, Tennessee touring a college for my brother who is currently a senior in High School. I thought it would be fun to meet them in Nashville and drive with them down to Daytona so they could tour my school and see the area. I flew up on Saturday and we got a not-so-early start on Sunday morning and after a 12-hour drive, we arrived back in Daytona around 11P.M. For the remainder of the weekend, we went to the beach, drove to Jacksonville and met up with my cousin who is working down here for a couple of weeks. It was a great weekend with them, but I’d have to say that the highlight for me, and I know it was for my dad, was when I was able to take my dad along as an observer on one of my flights. It also happened to be a beautiful morning with nearly clear skies and almost no wind. It was awesome to be flying knowing that my dad was in the back.

 

Photo Credit: Steve Johnston

After our flight on Monday we drove up to St. Augustine and spent the better part of the day at Anastasia State Park. It’s beautiful up there, miles and miles of pristine beaches. The nice thing about going to a state park on the coast is that there is no development, cars, or even people for that matter, for as far as the eye can see. It was so peaceful and relaxing to hear the waves breaking and the birds chirping without any of the distractions that come along with a beach by a city.

 

Photo: Big Waves at St. Augustine

 

ROTC is also going well. Last Friday we had our Midterm Evaluations. We were graded on drilling, knowledge and uniforms. It was basically a culmination of everything we have learned so far in ROTC. It’s cool to see how far we have come in such a short amount of time.

In other news, Hurricane Sandy “hit” last week. When I say hit I use the term “hit” lightly because it really only passed by Florida on its way up the East Coast. Nerveless, we did get some pretty neat weather. Some rain, some wind, and one heck of a beautiful sunset as it passed through.

Photo: Beautiful Sunset as Hurricane Sandy passes by

Thanks for reading!

October 14, 2012

Well I’ve got to say, things are going really well here at school. It’s amazing how quickly the weeks fly by, especially the weekends! It’s weird because I’m used to living up north where by this time of year the trees would be turning color and the days would be getting shorter and it would be getting much colder outside. But no, not here! Feels the same yesterday as it did when I walked off the plane on August 20th! It’s nice though because the humidity has started to die down which makes it feel much cooler.

We had our homecoming last week. And no, it’s not anything like your high school homecoming. Instead of having a dance, we had a week full of activities. The band “We the Kings” played a live concert, comedian Jim Gaffigan entertained for an hour and we had a carnival (with rides) complete with a corn dog stand, just to name a few of the events the school put on.

Photo: We the Kings play live at Embry-Riddle.

 Now that homecoming is over I’m back to studying for mid-terms which are this upcoming week. Fortunately I’m not swamped by a bunch of tests like some of my friends are, but regardless I want to make sure I do well. The good thing is that after mid-terms we have our fall break, which is a four day weekend. We get Friday and Monday off. It will be nice to relax and not have to think about school for more than 24 hours. In addition my dad and brother are coming to Daytona to visit for a couple of days. I’m really looking forward to seeing them; it’s already been two months since I left for college!

This weekend has been big for the school. The Wings and Waves Airshow was in town and how fitting is it that Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University hosts it? The show features a variety of military and civil aircraft. The US Air Force Thunderbirds, Canadian Snowbirds and an F-18 demonstration, are just a few of the many performers in this show.

Photo: The Thunderbirds fly in formation at the Wings and Waves Airshow.Speaking of Air Force, ROTC has been going really well. This past week I had the opportunity to take a tour of the Air Force Planes that are here for the airshow. We got to see the F-18 and the KC-135. Everybody loves the F-18 but I was more impressed with the KC-135, I hope to fly that plane one day.

 

Photos: Posing for a quick picture with the Boeing KC-135 (left )and the F-18 Super Hornet (bottom right), KC 135 (top right).

As far as my flying is going, it has been going very well. My instructor and I have been very busy and have been flying quite often. We have been doubling up on activities and are working through the Private Pilot course fairly quickly. I have about 4 more flights before my Pre-Solo check ride which I have heard can be tough so I am working hard to make sure I pass. One of the things you will learn is that you do not want to have to repeat any flights. It can be expensive if you start having to repeat lots of flights. My goal is to not repeat any flights so I can save as much money as possible. In order to do so, you have to put in the time outside of training. The school provides you with all the tools you need in order to be successful. There is a Redbird Simulator lab that is absolutely free for students to use. There is about 10 Cessna 172 Simulators that are complete with a yoke and rudder pedals. They are equipped with the Garmin G1000 set up which is exactly the same as the planes I fly so it’s great to practice on.

Photo: Daytona Beach from above.

That’s about all I have time for. Next time, you will get a review on how fall break went. How ROTC is going. What the weather is doing here. How flying is going (of course) and anything else that comes to mind.

Also, email me at johnsd66@my.erau.edu with any questions, comments and/or concerns.

Thanks for reading!

September 2012

September 2012

Greetings from Daytona Beach! I’m looking forward to writing to all of you and sharing my experiences down here at Riddle. I remember when I was applying to Embry-Riddle, reading the student blogs really helped me get a good idea of what life would be like here on campus so hopefully I can do the same for you.

I should start by telling you a little about myself. My name is Dylan and I’m a freshman here at Riddle. I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington so you could say I’m pretty far away from home. However, you will learn that this campus is very diverse. Students from all over the world come here to study. Compared to the travels some of my classmates had to take to get here, it makes the distance I had to travel here seem short. Ever since I was little I have been fascinated by airplanes. When my family would take a vacation that required air travel, the best part of the vacation for me was the flights to and from our destination. When it came time to start looking at colleges I did some research (I didn’t have to look very far) and discovered that Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University was the premier school to go to if you wanted to learn how to fly. Talk to anyone in the Aviation Industry and they will tell you the same thing. I came here one month ago with absolutely zero flight experience, and as of today I already have 5.8 hours of logged flight time under my belt. I am also participating in Air Force ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) here. So yeah, you could say this past month has been quite the change for me. Not to mention the fact that the Florida weather is just a little different from the cool, dampness of the Pacific Northwest.

In case you didn’t know I’m majoring in Aeronautical Science which is basically fancy terminology for “Professional Pilot.” Aeronautical Science and Aerospace Engineering are the two most popular majors here on campus. Coming here with no flight experience I wasn’t really sure what to expect with how the flying would work. Now that I’ve been here for a while I can see why this place is so good at training pilots. There are times I feel like I could be in the movie Top Gun. The flight line is incredible; there are over 60 airplanes in the fleet, from a variety of different manufacturers. The best part of my day is walking to the flight line and checking in for my flight and walking out to the plane with my instructor. They really make you feel like a professional pilot from day one. This week I have three flights which I’m really looking forward to. However, don’t expect to be flying every single day. The flight curriculum for the Private Pilot Course is based on Modules. For each module you will have an oral, FTD (Flight Training Device) and flight. Basically, you and your instructor will spend a day discussing what you will be practicing. Then you will practice in a flight simulator. After that you will apply it to the skies in the airplane. So realistically you will have 1 or maybe 2 flights per week depending on when your flight block is and how the weather is, but it varies.

My roommate and I are living McKay Hall. It is one of the four dorms that are generally designated for freshman students. I have to say that I think McKay is the best dorm to live in. I also lucked out with the fact that my roommate is very clean so our room is never dirty.

Also, Air Force ROTC has been pretty busy lately. We have PT (Physical Training) on Monday and Friday mornings. I’m really glad I stayed in shape over the summer because PT would be a killer if I had not. Last Friday we did the famous beach run. We all met up and drove down to the beach at about 0530. We ran up and down the beach chanting Jodie’s, and watched the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean. It was a really cool experience and it made PT a lot of fun.

I’ve only been here a month but I already feel like I have been here for 2 or 3. Some friends and I have been busy. A few weekends ago we went to Disney World for the weekend and stayed at my roommate’s house in Orlando. This past weekend we went to the Coco Beach Airshow. We’ve already been to the beach at least a half a dozen times. It’s cool how you can go to the beach anytime of the day and not worry about being cold. The water is warm and the weather is even warmer. We went body surfing at 8AM a few weekends ago.

Anyways, that’s all I have for now. There will be much more to come next time. Feel free to e-mail me at johnsd66@my.erau.edu with any questions you might have.