November 2012

SOLO!!!!! On November 2nd, my instructor finally turned me loose in Deland Municipal Airport and had me fly traffic patterns on my own. It was a beautiful Florida day, low 70s, very light wind, and not a cloud in the sky. My instructor and I took off in N477ER for Deland. After flying three traffic patterns, we parked the airplane and went to the restaurant at the airport and grabbed some breakfast. He signed off in my logbook endorsing me to solo. After breakfast, I went to the airplane, and started it up, and taxied over to runway 25 waiting to take off.

Another Embry-Riddle Cessna did a rejected landing and went around, so once he was clear of the runway, I made my way onto the centerline of the runway and started putting the throttle in. 800 feet later, I lifted off the ground in the airplane alone! My instructor watched me fly a traffic pattern over Deland on my own, and then watched me do a textbook landing. I’m currently waiting for him to give me the video of me flying so I can upload it to my Youtube channel.

November is also upon us! Florida weather has been beautiful as of late. For a guy who comes from the Northeast, the temperature of the low to mid 70s has been perfect. My friends who are from Florida keep saying its cold outside, but I have nothing to complain about.

Hurricane Sandy blew through Florida a few of weeks ago, and some of my friends and I went to the beach to look at the waves crashing onto the beach. Being from the northeast, I don’t get to go to the ocean too often, so I was amazed at the size of the waves hitting the beach.

Two weekends ago, the Sport Aviation Club held a drop what you brought contest at a grass airport called Pierson. Pierson is about a half hour drive north of campus. Some of the sport aviation club members went out a day early and had a campout at the airport. Where else besides Embry-Riddle would you have college students camping out at an airport for a night? That was a lot of fun, and will definitely be participating in again next year!

The next day, the Radio Control club hosted their indoor electric fly-in in the ICI center. I attended that, and flew one of my friend’s small electric planes. After spending a few hours at the fly-in, I decided it was time to head back to my dorm and begin my homework, which put an end to the awesome weekend.



This past weekend, I had a “buildathon” on my Control-line airplane hoping to get it done by the weekend so I could start flying it. Starting at 5:00pm, I worked on it until 3:15am, and had it completed. Two days later, I went to the Richard Petty soccer fields, and gave the plane its maiden voyage. I’ve only flown it one other time since then as of this date and I’m trimming it out little by little and it’s already had drastic improvements just after two flights.

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, with only a week before I board a JetBlue flight to get back home and enjoy some turkey and football with my family. Also this week, registration for classes next semester will start. I, for one, am planning on getting up early on that day so I can register as early as possible to get the classes I want!


If you have any questions, feel free to email me at You can also add me as a friend on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. If you do wish to add me as a friend on Facebook, send me a message to let me know that you read the student blog so that I know it is not spam. If you have a Youtube account, you can subscribe to my Youtube channel.

‘Till next time, aim high!
Matthew Colan

February 2012

Members of the Embry-Riddle R/C Flight team Compete in Miami, Florida

Alan Bedsworth, Aerospace Engineering; Patrick Fox, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Science; James Bumbaugh, Aerospace Engineering; Max Podberesky, Communications; Kevon Ritter, Aerospace Engineering; Kevin Garland, Aeronautics

We brought home 3 first place finishes and also a 4th place finish, 6th place finish, and 7th place finish.

Freestyle competition with pilot Kevin Garland: [Video]

Freestyle competition with pilot Jim Bumbaugh: [Video]


Go Eagles!

January 2012

Winter break has come and gone. It felt like yesterday I finished my last final for the Fall 2011 Semester and I was heading home for Christmas Break. Now I am back at school starting my last semester of college! If all goes well I will be graduating this May!

Over the Winter break I mostly visited with the family and relaxed at home. It was my first time being home for that long since last winter break. Near the end of the break one of my high school teachers invited me in to speak to his class about college life and making the right decisions in choosing a career path that you will love and enjoy. I also spent time talking about Embry-Riddle and how great their programs are.

Out of the five classes I talk to, I hope to inspire at least one student to go out and do something they love to do and succeed at it! I plan on visiting other schools back at home and around the Daytona Beach area talking about the same topics I discussed at my old high school. Several teachers have asked me to give speeches when I return back home for Spring Break.

The first week of classes went very well. I have two classes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which don’t start till 1 PM. This means I can catch up on some sleep! Tuesday and Thursdays I start early at 8:15 and have three classes. So far I am enjoying my schedule and hopefully it does not get too busy during the semester!

On January 14-15 I went down to Port St. Lucie, FL for the Season Opener Aerobatic Contest. The Aerobatic Season has officially started with this contest. There were a total of 28 pilots at this competition. This year I have moved up to the Unlimited class, which is the highest class in Aerobatic Competition besides the Invitational Class. Considering I had NO practice going into this contest I did very well! I ended up placing 4th place for my first Unlimited Contest. I am using the same airplane as I used last season except with a different setup and transmitter. Weather was a little cold, but for the most part it was a great relaxing weekend.

The last weekend of January we will be going to Jacksonville, Florida for the annual Aerobatic Judging School. We will learn the new rules for the 2012 season along with discussing how to become a better judge and pilot at these competitions. After this event we will be heading to Miami, Florida during February 18th for the 2012 AMPs Aerobatic Challenge.

Thanks for taking the time to read this month’s journal! If you have any questions feel free to email me!

December 2011

It is now crunch time for the Fall Semester. Finals are coming up and my free time is fading away! Luckily I only have two finals this year. After my last final on Tuesday December 13th I am hitting the road north to Georgia to spend some quality time with my family for Christmas. We finally moved into our new home over the Thanksgiving break. The house is looking great and I am very thankful for everything the Lord has done to help my family and I get through these rough times. Homes can be replaced, but a family can’t.

Lately I have not had much time to do any R/C Flying due to the lack of time I have these days. School and work is keeping me extremely busy. The first week of November we went to Jacksonville for the 2011 Regionals Competition. As I mentioned before this is the last contest of the year and the top ten pilots from each class was invited to the contest. I ended up finishing in 2nd place for the Advanced Class and 1st place in the Freestyle Class. I had some minor plane issues throughout the contest, but ended up finishing very well. The 2012 season is quickly approaching and the first competition is January 14-15. In Port St. Lucie, FL. I will be competing in the Unlimited class, which is the highest of the 5 classes offered.

Well, that is about it for this month. School and work has been keeping me very busy, and it feels like I never stop! I go from 8 AM in the morning till 10 o ‘ clock at night every day! Hopefully once the Fall Semester ends things will slow down for me and I can enjoy flying R/C Aircraft and manned aircraft. I hope over the winter break to complete my CFI training so I can begin working as a Flight Instructor for Spring Semester of college.

October 2011

Six months ago, on April 28 at 12:30 AM, I received a phone call from my Mother saying that a tornado had come through at 12:15 AM. I was sound asleep when I received this phone call because the next day was the last day of my junior year at ERAU. My home, my Grandparents, and Aunt/Uncle’s home were destroyed. Luckily no one was injured and everyone is still with us today.

Today my Grandparent’s home and my Aunt/Uncle’s home are rebuilt. My home is still in progress, but we hope to be moved in by Thanksgiving. Over the month of October, I went home for the weekend to see the progress of the house. Everything is looking great and is on schedule for us to move in right before Thanksgiving. I would like to thank Embry-Riddle and its staff for being there for me through this hard time. Homes can be replaced, but family can’t.

On October 22-23 I participated in the 2011 Ocala Aerobatic Competition in the Advanced and Freestyle class. School comes first on my list and with my busy schedule I did not get any practicing going into this event. Having Friday the 21 st off from school for Fall Break though made it easy for me to leave for the event early and get to the field to practice the day before the contest. Friday I was able to get in three practice rounds before the contest started on Saturday the 22 nd .

The first day of the contest we completed three full rounds and I was very consistent and placed 2 nd and 3 rd throughout the rounds. By the end of the day I was in 3 rd place. I figure with hardly any practice this is not too bad! The second day of the event on Sunday we flew one more round and I ended up finishing 3 rd in my class. I also competed in the Freestyle contest and this is where all the pilots fly to a four minute music mix demonstrating all styles of aerobatic flying. I ended up coming in first in this class. Overall it was not a bad weekend. This contest was a test for me to see how much practice I need before the Southeast Regional’s Contest that is November 4 th thru the 6 th in Jacksonville, FL.

The end of the 2011 Aerobatic Competition is coming to the end and it all ends at the Southeast Regional’s, which is in Jacksonville, FL. This event is where the top 10 pilots from each of the five classes get invited to compete to see who is the best in the Southeast Region. I ended up finishing 5 th in the Region for the points race, so I was invited to compete against the top pilots in the region. School is still keeping me busy, but I have been able to sneak in a few practice rounds after class!

This is it for this month, between competing in Radio Control Airplanes, flying home, and school; I have been a busy student this month! Check back next month for updates on the Southeast Regional’s, and updates on the current progress of rebuilding home. Thanks for reading!

October 1, 2011

My name is Kevin Garland and I am currently a senior at Embry-Riddle majoring in Aeronautics, with an Air Traffic Control (ATC) minor, and an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) minor. How did I get where I am today? Well, back when I was just six years old, my grandfather introduced me to aviation by means of flying Radio Control Aircraft. I first soloed my first R/C Aircraft when I was seven years old and since then I knew what I wanted my future career to be in.

Today I am a commercial-rated pilot with instrument privileges and currently sponsored by some of the top Radio Control Aircraft companies in the world. I travel throughout the southeast region competing in precision aerobatic flying, or known as IMAC. ( The 2011 season started back in January and currently I am ranked 4th in the region in the Advanced Class. Due to time constraints, I have been able to make only three competitions this year. The first one was in Land O’ Lakes, Florida where I came in 1st place with my new competition aircraft called a Raven. Ohio Model Planes, which is my sponsor, supplied me with this aircraft for my 2011 Season. In February, I attended the Deland IMAC event and placed 2nd place and finally in June I attended the South Georgia IMAC, in Andersonville, GA and placed 1st place.

The season is currently coming to an end with only a few events left on the schedule. One, which takes place in Ocala, Florida during the Fall Break, is a competition that the Radio Control Airplane Club at ERAU has always attended and done well in. The last contest of this year is the 2011 Southeast Regionals. This is where the top 10 pilots of each class go and compete to see who performs the best for the 2011 season. This contest takes place the second weekend in November in Jacksonville, Florida. Last year we brought home 3rd place in the Advanced Class and were 2nd place for the points race. We hope to bring home a win at regionals this year!

Flying R/C Aircraft is not all about competing. On September 18th we hosted an Indoor Fly-In at ERAU’s ICI Center. We had a total of 32 pilots from all over Florida attending this event. This was the second run of the event and it was a success for the organization! Keep a look out for the 2012 Indoor Fly-In which we hope for it to be in March!

The R/C Club at ERAU currently has 49 members involved in the organization. Many members have no experience flying R/C Aircraft so we assign instructors to teach them to fly. We have been busy the past month teaching new members to fly, which a few of them will use these skills in the field of Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Having R/C Experience is great to have on your resume if you plan to go into the Unmanned world!

That is about it for this month. Check back next month for results on how we do at the Ocala Aerobatic Competition. The R/C Club and I will be heading over to compete as usual and we always have a great time!