NBAA Regional Forum: Great Success!

On January 30th I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the National Business Aircraft Association’s Regional Forum in Boca Raton, Florida on behalf of Embry-Riddle.  The exhibitor area and static display ramp were sold out with over 80 vendors and 20 aircraft.

The exhibitor area was packed with vendors and potential customers alike, really putting a positive vibe over the whole event.

The exhibitor area was packed with vendors and potential customers alike, really putting a positive vibe over the whole event.

The advances in technology were at the forefront in the static display area with Cessna showing off its newest revision Sovereign aircraft alongside its TTx piston rocketship and Gulfstream bringing its G280 demonstrator.  Turboprop aircraft were also shown off including a new Quest Kodiak, a Beech King Air 250, and the ever pleasing Piaggio Avanti II, rounding out the new aircraft contingent.  On the technology side, FltPlan.com was there supporting their online and mobile flight planning applications and many vendors were selling new iPad and wireless capable apps for everything from flight and performance planning to inflight wifi.  The ever changing technology is sure driving the revived business and general aviation markets!

 

Technological advances are really driving the business and general aviation markets as a whole.  New flight deck systems such as this Garmin system in a new Cessna Citation M2 are not only making pilot's jobs easier, but also making flights more safe and reliable.

Technological advances are really driving the business and general aviation markets as a whole. New flight deck systems such as this Garmin system in a new Cessna Citation M2 are not only making pilot’s jobs easier, but also making flights more safe and reliable.

The real purpose of traveling down to Boca was to interview five industry officials and get their take on the state of business and general aviation as a whole and maybe provide some insight into the future.  First I heard from Gil Wolin of Wolin Aviation Consulting, a man that grew up in the back of his dad’s V-tail Bonanza and has been in the industry for over 70 years.  He brought up the points that aircraft sales are up and that new aircraft are driving these numbers even higher, validating my point that new technology is again driving a prominent industry in a time of uncertainty.  We then heard from Mr. Steve Johns, an aviation insurance broker from Michigan with over 25 years of experience in the industry.  Mr. Johns spoke about insurance rates and that they are decreasing and have been for some time now, helping the unstable market in these times.  Mike O’Keeffe from Banyan Air Service also spoke with us about FBO and aircraft sales being positive in late 2013 and early 2014, again showing good signs for our industry at the moment.

Check out the recap of the entire NBAA Forum in Boca Raton on our COB YouTube page!

Check out the recap of the entire NBAA Forum in Boca Raton on our COB YouTube page!

To wrap this all up I just want to reassert that general aviation is such an important piece in the global economy.  It isn’t only a thing of pleasure, it is a definite business tool for everyone from middle managers to top level management in all sorts of industries.  Flying in an airplane is a true form of being able to time travel, something that people have been dreaming about for quite some time.  Being able to travel anywhere quicker than the airlines, get closer to the destination you are really going to, and still have an office to work in with wifi connectivity makes business aviation a go-to answer for any sized company or family really.  Thanks to organizations like NBAA, AOPA, and EAA and initiatives like No Plane No Gain, general aviation is on an upswing and might once again return to its glory days.

No Plane No Gain

For more coverage of the NBAA event in Boca and other ERAU College of Business and aviation news, join me on the new COB Report video series on our YouTube channel at youtube.com/user/eraubusiness and view our newest video recap on the NBAA event in Boca Raton (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lmefabO_nI).

Happy flying,

Kyle

Me at NBAA BCT

 

The Magic of Flight

There is just something about flying that excites nearly every single human-being.  I think flying is as magical as it is because of the simple thought of flying through the sky, in any type of flying machine, with nothing supporting it up there except the nothingness of the air around it.  Some folks don’t like to fly, and some, like myself, absolutely love to get in an airplane.  For those that don’t like to fly, they still look up at every airplane in amazement, because flying is indeed an amazing and puzzling thing.  Whether it be actually flying the machine or just sitting in the back enjoying the ride, I always love to go up into the wild blue yonder.

The sights you see in aviation are second to none to anything else in this world. Nature is always seen in its finest moments and it truly is just man and machine up there.

Over the past few weeks I did quite a bit of flying back home in Indiana and I met another young man that was just as crazy about airplanes and flying as I am.  We ran into each other at the famous Sporty’s Pilot Shop near Cincinnati, Ohio and were both there trying to find new toys to enhance our flight bag.  He was just starting his flight training at Ohio State and it was neat to see a young 18 year old that was so passionate about aviation about to start his dream career.  The same passion is shared among most all students here at Embry-Riddle.  I am an Aviation Business Administration major here, as a lot of you know, and most students in this program have a good idea of where they want to end up, meaning they know what company they want to work for and what they want to do there.  These students may or may not be pilots, but they too feel that magic when they’re dealing with the “business of flight” as we like to call it.  They love to see the flight schedules come together and deal with the daily operations of aircraft manufacturing and airline planning and management, it is just a great thing to be involved with.  The same goes for the engineering students here.  They, in a way, make this magic happen.  They dream up and create the machines that the businessmen and women finance and the pilots fly.  But at the end of the day, they’re inspired by this magic, the awesomeness per se that is felt when you see a machine going through the air.

Some of the best experiences I have had in aviation haven’t come in a flying-for-hire environment in big airplanes, they came in small airplanes with friends such as this picture depicts. Shown here is a typical “backyard” style fly-in, with this one held near Muncie, Indiana at Dalton Field.

Here at Embry-Riddle, you can study about everything aviation.  From designing the airplanes in the College of Engineering, to financing and managing the business end in the College of Business, to actually flying them in the College of Aviation, and to making sure safety is assured in the College of Arts and Sciences, the students of ERAU are definitely immersed in everything aviation.  Every one of the majors at this university have an aviation flavor intertwined in the curriculum, and it all comes back to this magic of flight.

Happy flying,

Kyle

A License to Learn

 

Posing with My check pilot after completion of in-house checkride on Halloween Day. The mask WAS NOT worn in-flight.

 

Hey there readers, I hope you are doing well:

I write to you as a newly certificated Commercial Pilot! I completed the DE checkride process on the 20th of last month and it was quite an adventure. The Commercial certificate is where you take everything you’ve learned and polish it to a professional shine. The desire is to get paid for flying one day after all!

Next I will be beginning my Flight Instructor Course (CFI). I will be staying some extra time into Christmas break to get a head start on it. The Flightline is open until the 24th. I’m staying until the 20th.

Right now we are entering the final week of regular classes here in Daytona, and everyone’s eyes are glazing over at the amount of work ahead of us. Or is that just me? I currently have two classes with grades right on the B/A margin and it’s the most aggravating feeling. I have to Ace two final tests to make those B’s become A’s. A wise man once said that the private certificate is a license to learn.Therefore, everything that proceeds from that is continual pursuit of aeronautical knowledge. Remember what I spoke of in a previous post about being a Student of the Skies? Learning never stops in an aircraft, no matter the pilot’s level of experience.

Single-Engine Commercial Course at ERAU (FA321 P141)

You will fly two aircraft: CE-172 NAV III    and the    PA-28r-201

  •  Stalls and slowflight are re-visited, with the addition of accelerated stalls and Spin Awareness. Note: Your stalls will be recovered at the onset of a buffet, full stalls are not practiced per the Commercial PTS.
  •  A new ground reference maneuver is introduced: Eight’s on Pylons in the Cessna.
  • Three new Performance maneuvers are done: Chandelles, Steep Spirals, and Lazy-Eight’s to accompany your steep turns.
  • Our old friends,  the short and soft field takeoffs and landings are demonstrated again in the PA-28r. You will have 100 feet to make your point, reduced from 200 feet in the Private PTS.
  • Pilotage and Deduced Reckoning, Use of Navigation systems and Radar Services, Lost Procedures, and a Diversion will be redone,  refined, and re-tested from your Private level of experience.
  • Emergency Operations are practiced: You will demonstrate an Emergency Decent, a Simulated Emergency Approach to landing, and the fabled Power off 180° (short approach) in the Arrow. You will also  brush up on your knowledge of survival gear.
  • New Aeronautical Knowledge of High-Altitude operations, Pressurization, Oxygen systems, Complex gear and prop systems, FAR’s, and Commercial Pilot Privileges will be added to the knowledge from your Instrument and Private course.
  • Yes, you still have to know all the past subjects, and in finer detail!
  • The End of Course process is L  e  n  g  t  h  y  !  After a successful Pre-prog Oral, Cessna flight, and Arrow flight; you will be signed off for Checkride. First  There is an ‘In-house’ checkride process which includes an Oral, a Cessna, and Arrow flight with an ERAU check Airman. After completion of the inhouse, you graduate Embry-Riddle’s Commercial flight course. But you must then pass a Designated Examiner Checkride (DE) In order to get your actual certificate from the FAA. It will cover all of the same material and maneuvers as the Inhouse but with a Certified Examiner outside of the Embry-Riddle culture. If you  passed once with Riddle, you can do it again. The DE’s are really neat guys, I had Ken Luckett. Once you pass the DE, you are a commercial pilot, and will enjoy the satisfaction of being handed your signed certificate then and there.

I started working on my Commercial Rating over the Summer, so it’s been a long process and I’m very satisfied with the result. I can’t wait to see what more lies in  store for me through the Flight Instructor course. Now I’ll get the opportunity to practice teaching something that is close to my heart. It is that shared experience of piloting an aircraft that keeps props turning here at Embry-Riddle. The love of flying and the desire to do it for life is what drives our Eagles to soar.

Are you thinking of looking into ERAU? well I implore you to take your first step right now.  Send me an email with any questions you have and I can point you in the right direction.

Wilkinsz@my.erau.edu

 

 

 

January 25, 2009

The spring semester got off to a great start! I couldn’t ask for better. Things have been working very well and I feel a lot more confident in myself. So far classes are going great, and I love all my professors. This semester I have all female professors…woot woot! It’s a new refreshed feeling compared to last semester where I had 2 female professors. I feel like I’m learning a lot now and love the learning opportunity. I have my first exam of the semester next Monday in WX 201. So far, in that class, we covered the atmosphere, solar radiation, and seasons. The professor is very low key but fun and knows a lot about weather and geometry and tries her best to make sure we understand the facts and concepts.

With my flight training, I’m currently on financial hold [yes the economy is hitting hard on my pockets], but while I sort out my financial situation, I am doing observer flights with my best friend and now third roommate Derrick, and will be doing landing clinics on Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. to keep up to speed. I am also preparing to take my Private Pilot Written exam by late next week. A few of my good friends, Darryl and Kayla, just started working on their private pilot license and are having a blast so far. I am so proud of them and wish them all the best. They have been really good friends to me so far and I know they are going to succeed in their endeavors.

As for clubs, I am still involved with First Gen and TFO. I will return to the Avion this coming Sunday in hopes that I can still have the same editor position I had last semester. Also, my third roommate Derrick and I joined ERRSA last Wednesday. ERRSA stands for the Embry-Riddle Resident Student Association. It’s basically a way for students to represent their halls and try to fix some of the problems we have in the dorms such as infrastructure, Internet etc. It’s a very good association to be a part of, and a great way to be involved on campus and for community service hours, and just for the individual that wants to make an impact. Just this weekend, ERRSA had a retreat and went to a vacation house in Orlando. Sadly I and Derrick were not able to attend because of the time that we joined and budgeting issues. However, they all had fun and enjoyed the weekend away from campus.

This weekend, we had the Rolex 24 at the Daytona Speedway! It was very loud and you could hear the crowd cheering. It was a cool experience. We got to see the private jets parked up on the ramp and even saw a few take off Sunday afternoon. Saturday night there were fireworks! I am looking forward to the Daytona 500, which lasts an entire week and is a bigger event.

So far, I haven’t really missed family as much as I did the beginning of last semester. I still talk to my mom a lot and every once in a while a cousin or aunt. I have become a lot more responsible and even though I have the cushion of student loans and work and parents helping me out, I am learning to appreciate what I have and to live within my means. Not because the resources are available does not mean one should go out and be impulsive.

Even though it’s really early, I and my friends are planning a cruise to the Bahamas for spring break. It’s still in the planning stages, it looks like a go and I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I’ll keep you guys posted.

[For those of you guys that didn’t know… Barak Obama is now President… WHOOO HOOO]

My friends Kayla and Hemali got their cartilages pierced last Thursday, while last Friday, Derrick and I got our ear lobes pierced! It still hurts but not bad. Today, Kayla got her hair stuck in the earring. Derrick and I sat her down and took it out, it was a painful experience for her but she appreciated our help.

One last thing, on Sunday, my girlfriend and I celebrated 8 months of being together. Even though she is still in New York City and I’m here in Daytona, we still have our relationship going.

Remember, if you guys have any questions or comments, I appreciate them a lot. Thanks to you guys that emailed me. I wish you guys all the best, and until next time, be safe!

Andre’ McIntosh

November 3rd, 2008

Hello again, it’s November! I can’t believe it, one more month and the fall semester is over. I’m a little sad that this is my last semester taking aviation related classes. I’m going to miss the enthusiasm from the teachers and their wonderful flying stories. This semester has truly been amazing.

Flight technique analysis has been a worthwhile class, and the best is yet to come! This week, we are starting the application part of the course. This is where crews of 5 people get together and simulate several situations using the Aerosim program. Aerosim is flight sim times a million. It is super accurate and realistic. The cockpit is an actual picture taken from a real 747-400 and every button and switch works just like the real one. The point of these sim sessions on the computer is to tie everything we have learned in my past 3 years at Riddle together. Every student has an opportunity to be in a pilot position, while the others play the role of air traffic control, dispatch, and the lead flight attendant. It should be a wonderful learning experience. The neat thing about the sim sessions is that it takes the place of a final exam. We are graded on how well we work as a crew, handle an emergency, and get 400 people on the ground safety in a timely manner. Where else can you say you played flight sim for a final? Truly awesome!

In flight management systems, we use the same Aerosim program used in flight technique, but we learn the specifics on how to use the automation. The first 3 tests were over how to properly fly the 747-400 using the autopilot. There was one written test, and two practical tests using the simulator. I love it! It is such a great learning environment to actually see how every thing works through Aerosim. Last week, we started to learn how to program the flight management system. This is the little computer that holds all of the information relating to the flight; truly the heart of any aircraft operation. I can’t wait to see just how much can be accomplished with this equipment!

Crew resource management is also way above my expectations for a college class. Last week, we had crew led discussions. This is where 3 students run the class and are in charge of starting a discussion on a specific topic. This was so much fun. Our topic was how time and task management is important in the cockpit. Because of the fact that I am a flight instructor, I talk in front of people everyday. Therefore, I love giving group presentations and leading the class. You learn so much from everyone when you lead a classroom discussion.

Last week I took my second test in flight safety. I have learned so much from this class. It is a perfect example of a class that is focused on the students learning as much as possible with out any tricks. The tests are straight forward and allow to you leave with knowledge that will stay with you forever.

Finally, I had my third test in airline dispatch last week. Whew, what an interesting one. It was over aircraft performance. I was given weather, an aircraft, weights of cargo and people, and a bunch of other information relating to the flight. From that, I had to determine how much fuel we needed on board, how much we could weigh at take-off and landing, climb data, etc. Tons of fun! It was an intense test, but I did really well. The reason I aced it was because of the performance class I took last year. This is a perfectly good example of how Riddle provides you with information that you will never forget. I didn’t do a performance problem for over a year, and I still remembered 75 percent of the information. I was truly shocked. I hardly had to study for this test because most of the knowledge was already in my head.

Finally, I just want to say just how much fun I’m having being a flight instructor. I flew every day last week at sunset! It was probably the most amazing week of flying in my life. The weather was clear skies and about 65 degrees. This proves that I truly love my life at Embry-Riddle and I would not change a thing!

Well I hope everyone has a great start to November. I am starting to get sad that my senior year is almost half way over! I still can’t believe it. Well, it’s time for me to start my day. I have two classes to go and I’m flight instructing for most of the night. Have a great day everyone!

October 20, 2008

Hello everyone. Wow, I can’t believe this semester is halfway over! Time flies when you’re having fun. Wait, you can have fun going to school? Well you can if what you are studying is your passion. I enjoy attending all of my classes because it enhances my knowledge of flying and makes me a better and safer pilot. While we are on the subject of classes, I can’t believe how great they have been this semester. This is definitely my favorite semester so far! Like I said earlier, I am taking my last 5 classes relating to aviation. They are tying together everything I have learned over the past 3 years, and wow, I can’t believe I have learned so much! Embry-Riddle definitely prepares you for the real world. I would not change anything about my past 3 years here; it has by far exceeded my expectations of a top aviation university.

Remember my new safety job? Well I love it!!!!! It is so much fun and I have already learned so much. We had our first safety meeting last week and it was so neat to hear about all of the safety issues. After the meeting, it was my job to let all of the flight instructors on my Team know what has been going on with the safety department. Therefore, the next day I gave a 15 min presentation to my team. I gave them recommendations on what to do to ensure that they are operating in the safest way possible. Finally, I listened to their concerns and comments on how to make us even safer. I love being involved and contributing to Embry-Riddle everyday.

Flight instructing has been going fantastic as well. I have a new student and I’m ecstatic about that. I am now teaching one student in the instrument flight course and the other in the private pilot course. So much fun! For those of you that don’t know, the instrument flight course consists of teaching students how to fly in the clouds. What an experience! It is so neat to be able to fly when you can’t see anything. That is when you realize that you are truly a pilot. One of the best feelings in the world is taking off, going into the clouds at 400 ft, flying for 2 hrs without ever seeing the ground, and coming back to land. It is so neat breaking out of the clouds at 300 ft and seeing the airport right in front of you. Now the private flight course is a whole other ball game. I am now teaching someone who has no aviation experience how to be a pilot! This is truly a blast. It is so satisfying watching a student go from knowing nothing about flying to flying completely by him/herself. Life couldn’t be better, I’m going to school, learning about my favorite subject, and sharing my joy of flight with my students. What more could I ask for?

Well, I hope everyone enjoys what’s left of October. If you’re planning to attend our Open House this Saturday – look for me, I’ll be around showing prospective students the College of Aviation. The weather is starting to become extremely beautiful here. Today it was sunny and 70 degrees, what a life. I am truly living in paradise. Now its time for bed, I have an extremely busy week ahead.