Weather… or not?

Hey there readers, stop scrolling and remain here for a spell.

Some of the most difficult choices  I’ve had to make as a flight student here at Riddle are when it comes down to the classic “Go or no-go” decision. Sometimes, it can be a very daunting task. If conditions for safe flight are not prevailing, then  your instructor will cancel the flight for weather. If conditions are fair, but not conducive to a productive flight (Such as scattered clouds at 2,000 when ground ref is to be done, or 20 kt gusting winds when your soft-field landings need work) your instructor will cancel the flight for weather.
Or worse, they will leave the weather decision for you to make.

Of course, I am only kidding. Making decisions for yourself as a pilot is the best way to prepare yourself for being a top quality Aeronautical Decision Maker. It puts a lot more pressure on you as a flight student when you have to make the call. I remember myself thinking of all of the variables in such a decision:

  •  An urge to complete the activity, a desire to progress to an end. –Impatience.
  •  A fear of making the wrong decision and being forced to turn back, the wasted money and time. –A potential for real risk.
  • An uncertainty of my instructors intentions, does he think we can go but just wants to hear me say it? is it a test?  –A pressured decision.

To say the ultimate truth, being a pilot is far more than just flying the plane…

Professional pilots are Decision Makers.

Aeronautical Decision Making is defined as a systematic approach to the mental process used by aircraft pilots to consistently determine the best course of action in response to a given set of circumstances.

 

So, Moving on…

“Yeah, I got weathered today” — ERAU flight students, thousands of times a year.

It happens to the lot of us and It is not uncommon for students to get backed up pretty far in their training due to cancellations for weathered activities. It’s really easy for frustration to set in. As a private student with a mid-morning flight block in the Fall of 2011, I experienced my fair share of cancellations. I believe I stopped counting after 20 or so. The uncontrollable external circumstances led to an internal struggle for me with confidence in the airplane.

At the cost of being very cliché, let me extend a healthy invitation for you  to weather the storms you may encounter in life. Though you may feel blinded by zero visibility with nothing around you but stinging rain and shattering lightning, the storm will always pass. When I look back on the storms in my life I see the growth I have sustained due to those experiences and how I was sharpened and improved by them. Long ago a wise man wrote in a book  that as Gold is refined through fire, a man is refined by his experiences in life. And surely I can attest to this fact.

When storms roll in, I find assurance in taking a long-term perspective

Here at Embry-Riddle you will have the resources to bring you far in life as long as you aspire to work hard each day and weather the storms when they build. Looking back at myself as a freshman student pilot who barely knew what the parts of an airplane were I’m amazed at how far I’ve come in  a short two years. I keep in mind the fact that I will always be a student of the skies and there will be more to learn with each change in the winds. The future is truly bright.

An action Point: Being a weather minor at ERAU and a member of humanity, I must add that we be mindful of the current relief efforts in the Philippines during the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Those people have gotten the brunt of nature’s effects and need help. If you feel compelled, please consider donating to relief efforts. You can find many organizations to donate to with a quick google search

Thank you for reading, I wish you a pleasant day

God’s blessings be with thee.

You may always contact me at wilkinsz@my.erau.edu with questions or if you just want to get to know me.

Welcome Back!

Welcome back, readers!

I apologize for not writing in a while.  Before I knew it, the semester ramped up and I was swamped (happily) with activities and studying.

This semester I am serving on the executive board for two different organizations.  I am the Parliamentarian for ERRSA (I handle the constitution, bylaws, and order of the meetings), and I am the News Editor for the Avion Newspaper.  These positions are both exciting for me because I am very passionate about both!  There will be more details to come in later journal entries…

For classes, I am moving on with my physics and calculus classes, but I’m taking on a lot of new stuff as well.  Last semester I took EGR120, the class for drafting and CAD, but this semester I am taking EGR115 and learning another fundamental skill: programming in MATLAB.  Although it is a lot of work, programming is actually really fun.

My favorite class this semester, however, is Survey of Meteorology.  I was so excited to be able to start working on my minor in meteorology this semester and I have completely fallen in love with the subject.  Surprisingly, my weather textbook is the first textbook that I can sit down and read cover-to-cover and actually enjoy.

My professors this semester are really cool, especially my PS160 (Physics 2) professor Dr. Sanders.  He uses a lot of demonstrations to teach the information, which is good because, unlike in PS150, which was mostly kinematics and motion equations, PS160 covers topics that are not as easy to visualize, like fluid motion and waves.

Another cool class that I am taking this semester is Technical Report Writing.  I like writing, and although it takes a lot of work to churn out a technical report, we are getting to research topics of our choice, such as mechanical exoskeletons and cloning, which makes for really interesting research.

Over winter break I started applying to more internship opportunities, and I even got an interview with a local company.  I haven’t heard anything yet, but even if I don’t get the position I am glad that I’ve had the experience of going through a real interview.

In my next entries, I will be updating you on all the fun and exciting things I have been doing in my extracurricular activities.  Stay tuned!