Machin’ through Maximum Operating Altitude.

Modeling for sponsor Scheyden Precision Eyewear
Ayrton Senna said it perfectly: “On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, ‘Okay, this is the limit’. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.”

What a few weeks it’s been! Classes have been the usual, various club meetings taking place, and I am progressing through my Commercial over at ATP. This past weekend was Fall Break and my mom came to Orlando to visit. It was nice to have San Diego come to me for a few days. :) This upcoming week is Homecoming and you know what that means! The Annual Sigma Sigma Sigma Halloween Fashion Show! This Wednesday, Oct 30 at 8pm in the Student Center. Be sure to get your ticket early!

First off, what is Maximum Operating Altitude? It’s the highest altitude an airplane can reach for structural or pressurization reasons. An airplane could go higher toward ‘absolute altitude,’ however, the equipment will not allow it. After hearing this quote from Senna this past week, I was reminded of the limitations I even continue to place on myself. We all have these ‘maximum operating altitudes’ we place on ourselves and most of us don’t even know it. And those limits are present in our everyday thoughts: “That’s too hard.” “I’m too lazy.” “I can’t do this.” “I can’t do that.” But, once you put yourself in a constant pattern of limitation, you place yourself in a fixed state of being. You can’t grow. Limits are these evil things that we all fear because we are too afraid, too lazy, too comfortable to break them. The reality of it is the fact that these limits are self-imposed. The only limits you have are the ones you set yourself. No one else has the power to give you limits- but you. You choose them. You have the ability to make a choice and say, “this is my maximum operating altitude, I’m done” OR you can equip yourself with the determination to go a little further.

  Courtesy of Scheyden Precision Eyewear
Most of us think we have reached our limit when we fail to realize a simple extra push is all it takes to break that barrier. An airplane has to be equipped properly or else it physically cannot push through its maximum operating altitude. You have the potential to break through your limits if you allow yourself to be equipped with determination, passion, perseverance and most importantly: belief. A limit is not a limit until you give it the power to be one. You can let your maximum operating altitude defeat you, or you can choose to overcome it. Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it. What’s keeping your throttle at idle?
And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/ayrtonsenn348838.html#SWHjPf6isLgih0u2.99
And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/ayrtonsenn348838.html#SWHjPf6isLgih0u2.99

Sail.

 LOCATION: San Diego, CA

Summer is over! My internship is done, bags are packed (kinda) and in less than 48 hours, I will be hopping on a plane back for another semester at the college of my dreams. Overall, my summer was pretty amazing. Flying, modeling and working at King Flight School has been nothing short of a blessing. As a side note, I’ll be the first to say, although I didn’t use King Flight Schools’ courses for my Private and Instrument training, I am currently using their program for my Commercial practical test (oral and flight). In all the years I have been flight training, I have never experienced a more interactive and engaging educational atmosphere aside from being in a classroom at Embry-Riddle. The material is very straight forward and easy to comprehend. I would suggest to any prospective student pilot to browse through the King Flight Schools material in order to grasp a foundational knowledge of flying. It is guaranteed to make you a better pilot!

This last week in San Diego has been way too bittersweet, but it’s actually been eye opening. From one coast to another, I’m forced with choices that promote and bring about change. Is it weird that I actually LOVE it? Every day, we are given the opportunity to live up to our fullest potential. Some people say “why?” Some people say “why not?” It could go like this: I could go to Florida, get off the plane and drag my suitcases to the nearest taxi with complete detachment from everything around me sulking into another semester. But, that’s not me. Why? Because being pushed out of my comfort zone has been the most rewarding process I could ever experience. And if I had abided by the walls, the resistance, the voice inside my head that tells me “stop!” before I’m about to do something great- I wouldn’t be where I am.

So instead of seeing your fear as a stop sign, see it as a green light. You are far more capable than you imagine yourself to be. If you are afraid, maybe you are doing something right. Don’t set self-imposed limits upon yourself. Why not? Because truly, they don’t exist. Yes, disregarding fear might preserve a perfect, failure-free life. But perfection can never be as respected as a steadfast attempt at doing something remarkable. So if you don’t steer your own ship, you risk staying in port. Which is even more dangerous because you aren’t allowing yourself to live up to your fullest potential.

Entangled in the cancerous discipline of security, I flung my life beneath the wheels of routine and before I knew it my life was gone.  I always wanted to sail the seven seas but I couldn’t afford it.  What I really couldn’t afford was not to go.” – Unknown

 Whatever you are doing: going off to college, traveling the world, even exploring your own neighborhood – it is the way you sail that will bring you to the current you want to be in. There are far more ships on our horizons than meets the eye. And there are reasons as to why we can’t see past such horizons – simply because there is more meant to be discovered. That reason fuels my ship alone.

I’m so excited for a great semester with new roommates, enticing new class work, awesome events and unforgettable moments with my Sigma sisters. What else will it bring?

See you on the flip side. Embry-Riddle bound.

Scud Running vs. A Fear of Scud Running

POSITION: CRQ

As the end of summer is approaching, lots of excitement has been stirring up for this upcoming year at Embry-Riddle. I’m getting anxious for another great semester full of awesome events and neat classes. Coming to the closing of summer I’m realizing that soon I will be done with my internship, stuffing a suitcase and hopping on a plane back to Florida. There’s this really cool quote I spotted the other day:

 and it struck me. Exactly a year ago from this very moment in time, I was fearful of leaving my home for the other side of the country.. a venture that didn’t necessarily look promising, but yet it was so alluring, so full of wonder. Following a dream can sometimes be tricky- you have to take risks. But what I realized is that it doesn’t matter if you are kicking and screaming along the way- the point is that you have still chosen to fight that fear. Risks are scary things, but would you rather be safe in shallow waters or push yourself into the deep end to discover the unfamiliar? We as human beings are floating in these tides which eventually lead to delicious quenches of adventure and abundance… but if the opportunity is omitted, we live our lives in shallows and miseries. Although we still float, we have to take the current when it serves us- or we will lose our ventures.

Out of every quote I’ve heard, this is the one I want to base a life off of. You are faced with two simple decisions when dealing with a risk. First, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it. Second, you have to decide whether or not you want it more than it your fear of it. It’s a simple Yes or No. How you go about it is up to you, but if I let an opportunity slip me by when I knew I wanted it more than the fearful impact it had on me, I would regret it, wouldn’t you? Because fear is a temporary feeling until you overcome it. Then when you fight against your fear, it gets easier until it’s gone permanently. To me, that’s worth the risk.

How do you feel when you’re in a risky situation with adrenaline rushing through your veins while you hold your own world in your hands? That’s like me when I’m in an airplane. You know something could go wrong, but you want the sky more than you are afraid of that magneto failing or your engine quitting. You decide that the period of time you are poised in between the earth and its atmosphere that you are going live in the moment and make a choice to grasp the enticing experience of what it means to choose faith over fear.

 But I’m not here in life to play in traffic patterns and do touch n goes. I’m here to go scud running along the mountains, breeze by the beach 20 feet off the coastal waters; flip an airplane on its back with an ocean in the sky. Because once you finally taste a glimpse of what it means to overcome what you are afraid of, it’s like you can fly the plane without the machine. And you never want go back.

So hello there, August… I have a feeling you are going to be a good one. :)

Blue Skies

Pilot’s Bag of Luck.

POSITION: CRQ
ALTIMETER: 29.92
 
What an amazing summer it’s been- and I can’t believe it’s almost over. One month left until I’m back underneath the Florida sun. As for this pilot, summer has been nothing short of awesome. Not only have I been enjoying my old friends, my family and these California sunsets- but I’ve been appreciating the ability to sit back, relax and get my fingers further in the aviation industry. Recently, I started my new job at King Flight Schools and it’s been such a blessing to be able to experience a different and refreshing work environment and be surrounded by others who share the same appetite for aviation. I never truly realized how much WORK goes into an aviation education program until I got to be behind the scenes of it all. Wow.. and I’m learning more and more every day. I’m barely a sophomore in college and I get to experience THIS! Well, in aviation, they say you start off with a full bag of luck and end with a full bag of experience.
 
Yes, all these things somehow ended up in my flight bag today. Thanks AOPA for the cool sticker! This photo sums up my summer flying: breezy and relaxing. I’ve still been up in the Citabria enjoying the So Cal scenery, but I’ve also been keeping up with Instrument work- we had some great IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) here in San Diego last week. Now it’s sunny- I but can’t complain!
 
So far I’m loving my new job. When you’re in an environment that’s filled with gems and treasures you are so passionate about, it’s hard to keep focus! If you haven’t tried out King Flight Schools program- give it a look. Their program has great training guides for any certificate/rating you are going after.
 
So, you get the point- my summer is going great. I’m so busy, but honestly it’s worth it. For prospective students, when you attend college, make sure you are using your summers. I cannot stress it enough. Travel, learn, educate, just do. I never knew my summer would be so crazy working two jobs that I love, flying, volunteering, traveling and even prepping for the upcoming semester. Use your time wisely and network all you can- opportunities will come to you. In the aviation field, we have to start out with a bag of luck or unfortunately, the experience would never come. I can’t stress it enough how important it is to be fearless and pursue whatever drives you. It’s your bag to fill, not your parents, not your peers- it’s yours. Whether you are filling your bag day by day or filling it along the course of these next few years, fill it with things that will FULfill who you are. Otherwise it’s just going to sit. Empty. I don’t know about you, but when I look back in a few years I want to have a bag full of adventure and unforgettable endeavors where I wasn’t afraid to take a chance in order to truly fulfill who I was. So build up; plan an amazing summer, prepare for an even better semester. Keep adding to your bag. Luck now equals experience then. You just have to ask yourself if it’s worth taking.
 
What’s in your bag today?
 
Blue Skies

Ground Effect Glow.

POSITION: CRQ
 
Let’s talk about ground effect. What is it? Glad you asked. When an aircraft is within wing distance from the ground, an increase in lift is generated in reference to the surface of the earth and airflow patterns about the airplane. This is called ground effect. It’s sort of like a cushion.
 
 
Personally, I love ground effect. An airplane flies better when in this phenomenon. However, there are two problems when it comes to ground effect. 1. The airplane may become airborne before reaching recommended takeoff speed. 2. Induced drag decreases in ground effect, so excess speed may cause floating upon landing.
 
 
So don’t get me wrong, this ‘cushion’ is a wonderful mechanism, but it can sometimes be unsafe. Sometimes ground effect can be a relief because the airplane wants to fly better, but what about this ground effect that makes us feel so secure? I think in a sense, we all have our own ground effect- a place that makes us feel safe and gives us comfort. An airplane cannot fly unless it leaves its ground effect and breaks free of the Earth’s surface. If not, there is no such thing as pure flight. Adventure begins at the end of your comfort zone. We cease to do so much when we are afraid to get out of our ground effect- it’s like we never take off. We never get airborne. Although it may seem appealing to stay in a comfortable place, it’s probably the most unsafe place you could be because you aren’t growing. We need to remember that getting out of our comfort zones is where the deliciousness is.
 
 
When you allow yourself to step out of your comfort zone, you open yourself up to a richer, more fulfilling life. You see and hear things that others miss and you are faced with opportunities that most aren’t. Determine one thing in your life that makes you uncomfortable, but would help you grow if you embraced it. There is a reason we have to go through ground effect before we can put our wings to use.  
 

✈ I was so excited when I got this drink at Starbucks. It’s an instrument approach drink! Finally Starbucks is starting to recognize their pilot clientele ;) If you didn’t know, VOR stands for VHF (very high frequency) Omnidirectional Range which is a means of radio navigation that enables an aircraft to determine its position and stay on course (that was the best ‘non-pilot’ explanation I could give). Haha.
 
 
 
The other day after my flight I looked up and found a Piper Arrow in my rearview mirror with my Embry-Riddle decal in frame. It was one of those moments. Another moment of leaving ground effect. Aside from working and flying, I am helping out at an aviation summer camp! Photos to come.
 
 
So, last thing’s last. Are you living in your ground effect, or are you rising above it?  It’s your call. When are you going to take it?
 
 
 
Blue Skies 
 
(My heart goes out to the passengers, crew and families who were involved in the Boeing 777 Asiana Airlines flight yesterday at San Francisco International Airport.)

Summertime Slipstream.

Sporting Plus One Flyers

This summer has been an awesome one so far. Catching up on sun rays, getting some flying in and working has been on the schedule lately… but mostly flying! I’ve been flying the C172/180hp and the Citabria 7GCAA and 7ECA. I think I’m addicted to tailwheels, but I’m completely OK with that. The airport has been quiet lately! Weather has not been CAVU (Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited), but luckily it’s been staying pretty warm here in San Diego.

Another side note to me.. in case some of you didn’t know, modeling is my other life. I started modeling when I was about 15 and have been doing it ever since. I can’t do as much when I am away at school, so during breaks it’s all I am doing. It’s definitely a fresh of breath air away from the college life. I get to work with all different kinds of incredible people, do awesome things, go to unique places (kind of like aviation, huh?)… and well, I love every part of it.

Modeling for my sponsor Scheyden Precision Eyewear

So, what’s going on this week?

Well, besides yoga and getting some sun, I’ll be up in Los Angeles for a few photo shoots and will be flying later on in the week. I’m loving this flying club and all it’s benefits, so if you’re already a pilot and not sure whether or not you should go to your local flight school as apposed to a flying club- join a club. The benefits and privileges outweigh any local flight school. For real. It took me about three and a half years to realize that. If you want to learn more, you can email me at GIANNOTW@MY.ERAU.EDU. I’m loving this huge airplane selection I now have! Especially, well, when I can get my hands on a few tailwheels.. you could say I am a bit spoiled. :)

Scheyden flight luggage in front of the Cub with Ben, a fellow ERAU graduate!

Short but sweet today, I have a huge week ahead of me.

 Keep squawking the blog!

Blue Skies

 

Slant Range Sunshine.

POSITION: MYF (Falcon 10)

 

 

“The meaning I picked, the one that changed my life: Overcome fear, behold wonder.”

 

 - Richard Bach 

 

Happy Summer! It’s been crazy already. So many opportunities going on. Just when I thought aviation couldn’t get any cooler, this happened.  This past week, I received an amazing opportunity: flying with John & Martha King!!

 

 

We took a 14 minute sunset flight at 11,500 feet to Borrego Valley (L08) for dinner. And I got the best seat in the house! Andreas took the wing photos- he’s the great photographer, not me.

 

 

Watching them fly was so neat. Sometimes when you’re so inspired, you can’t seem to make sense of words, so you sit and watch completely in awe. This was one of those few moments I experienced.

 

 

Borrego Valley

 

Descending into L08

 

 

California is truly beautiful. We took off looking over the ocean and 14 minutes later were here in the desert. I don’t know of many other places where you can do that!

 

After dinner walking around the jet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Falcon 10 cockpit at sundown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Falcon 10 cockpit in color

 

 

Losing myself within this masterpiece and its airfoils. There are certain things I can’t explain.

 

 

What else have I been up to? Glad you asked! :) This past week and a half I had a very important visitor in town and was basically a tour guide all over San Diego. I also switched flight schools here in San Diego, not that I’m following my old flight instructors around or anything (haha), but I’m a HUGE fan of this new flying club which will also allow me to rent out at other airports all over California- the whole country, if I wanted to! More about this internship opportunity will be revealed this upcoming week. As of right now, I am keeping my lips sealed!

 

 

I’ve been living on that Richard Bach quote for the past month- it’s a good reference to live on this summer. At first I was like, “how do you really overcome fear and how are you supposed to truly behold wonder?” Then I thought – you don’t force it. You just do it. It’s as if your fear is not overcome, it will block you from visualizing your wonder. Once you experience the wonder, it just fuels that fire of passion within you. Let it. Seriously. You’ll forget what made you so fearful in the first place. The wonder of it all is that strong.

 

Blue Skies
….and “Slant Range Sunshine” – you figure it out.
 

True vs. Magnetic North

Woah. Where has the year gone? I’m officially done with my freshman year of college. So much has happened in one year. I left home with two suitcases (to have one actually stolen when landing at MCO) and a vision in mind; I made friends, acquaintances, a networking web, a new life for myself. I’m amazed at how fast it has all gone- how fast life is going. It’s incredible, really. I would not be where I am today if I had never attended Embry-Riddle. It’s made me grow into the woman and the pilot I am today.

There is a saying that goes, “Don’t get so busy trying to make a living that you forget to make a life.” What I’ve learned this year? You’ve got to commit yourself to making mistakes – they teach you lessons. You have to find hard work you love doing. You also have to accept and embrace change. And unless you’re trying to make a good impression while interviewing for a job,  you don’t have the time to care what others think about you. What is important is how you feel about yourself. You’ve got to ask questions. Most importantly- do what moves you, what shakes you to the bone. Refuse to recite the following: “How the heck am I going to do this for the next 30 years?”

 

See, there is this magnetic north that we think we have to follow. We have to keep our compass lined up or else we will feel as if we are lacking. Society tells us that if we don’t stay up to par on a materialistic, fake course then we are not successful. What is being successful? You can sort that out yourself. For me, it’s working hard and loving every minute of what I do. My love for aviation gets stronger by the day, the minute.. and it’s led me to other passions and interests that I didn’t even think I had. The qualities aviation has given me have branched out into other spectrums that I didn’t believe to be a reality until I followed them. Life gets more interesting by the minute- if you allow it. But if you follow this drawn out course your society, your peers tell you to follow- you will lose sight of your true north. Refuse to get so off course to where you don’t know how to get back again, because the farther an aircraft gets off course, the longer the time and the bigger the angle it takes to intercept back. Do not get so busy trying to make a living that you forget to make a life.

Warning: Don’t stand too close to the prop! But it needs loving too :)

I am now back in San Diego for a four month long summer. A possible internship here in San Diego is on the horizon (good thing I went to Sun N Fun) and I plan on learning some more aerobatics. Proposed: I may be going to Greece in August. I’m keeping the summer a fun and relaxing one..you know, before I have to start doing ‘big people’ stuff.

 I recently shot for my sponsor Scheyden Precision Eyewear. Here are some behind the scene photos :)

 

Blue Skies and Endless Horizons