October 7, 2010

I finally had the chance to do something I had wanted to do since I became interested in attending Embry-Riddle, observe a flight. Yes, for a student like me, who was attending school for Communications, something about flying still intrigued me and I had made it a personal goal to go on an observance flight before the end of my semester. I walked over to the flight line and, with a little fear and hesitation, proceeded to go to the flight desk and ask about observing a flight. Of course, I had to have to permission of the pilot, but, thankfully he allowed me to fly with him and his instructor. His name was James and he was quiet yet friendly. After I received my visitor’s badge and a loaner pair of ear muffs I was more than ready to go. We walked out to the gate and were let in by a security guard then we proceeded through the other gate. We were picked up by a golf cart and brought down to the plane that he would be flying. I stood in one place trying to be out of his way but still so interested as he cleaned down his windows and checked over the plane thoroughly. He told me it may be awhile since he still had yet to get topped off with fuel and wait for his flight instructor. At this point though I didn’t mind at all, I knew I was going to observe this day and I was so stuck on the idea the nothing could bring me down. His instructor walked up after he had gotten more fuel and introduced himself to me, his name was Daniel. He told me he had been flying for six year and was a graduate from Embry-Riddle as well. His dream job was being an instructor at Embry-Riddle and after four years of college and a few months of waiting for an open position he had become an instructor. An hour nearly had passed but it was worth the wait because there really was no room for error when flying and having a guest passenger (who did want to return safely). Finally though, the time did arrive, we boarded the plane buckling up and going over different safety procedures while waiting to get clearance from ATC (Air Traffic Control) so we could begin our flight. We taxied down the flight line and after a brief propeller check between the student and instructor we rode down the runway, faster and faster we went and slowly ascending into the air nearly hovering into a higher altitude. I couldn’t believe how beautiful it was in the air, I had flown so many times before but it was much more different with being in a smaller aircraft. I have lived in Daytona Beach basically all my life and as we flew towards New Smyrna I saw just how much of this place I had actually ever seen. It was breathtakingly beautiful and I was honored to have been able to go on a flight as such. Since he was practicing landings we landed and took off multiple times from the flight deck in New Smyrna. With each take off I noticed more about the surrounding land and how beautiful it was to be up seemingly weightless and seeing how the sun shone through the plane’s windows and the beach down below that looked endless, I never wanted to leave from the air. Unfortunately, the flight did come to an end (an hour total not including prep time) and though happy we made it back safely, I had wished it could’ve been a longer flight to see the beauty that every pilot has the opportunity of witnessing everyday on our campus.

It gave me a whole new outlook on the pilots at our school, each one of them takes a risk every time they fly but it was an experience that most people would never experience or some would be too afraid to. Honestly, the flight made even me want to change my major so that I could fly to be a daredevil and see that captivating view once more, however, I did make a promise to myself before leaving to take at the least one observance flight each semester (though secretly I dared myself to go once a week or four times in a month since there are NO LIMITS to how many observance flights a student takes believe it or not). I would suggest to every student to take an observance flight at some point in your college experience. Sure you may have been on so many other flights but unless you’re a pilot, well, you shouldn’t want to miss out on flying in the sky with Embry-Riddle finest. Who knows maybe you will have a change of heart and want to fly, or maybe you will see what the drive for the pilots that we see flying above us as you walk to class every day. A beautiful experience that I can barely describe in words it’s much better to be seen in person. Since I will be taking more flights up (hopefully really soon) I plan on trying to take pictures and maybe even some video of my trips up. If you would like to view them please feel free to add my facebook page (you can also ask me questions about campus and I will try my best to answer for you) or you can contact me via email at: gatorg12@yahoo.com Pictures to come soon so keep looking out!

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About Hannah

**Minor:** Psychology **Career Goals:** I want to start a magazine and photography company but I'm still looking into career goals. **Why I chose Embry-Riddle:** I chose ERAU because I fell in love with the campus and the atmosphere. I didn't feel like just another number here and the relationships with faculty and staff were genuinely one-on-one. Anytime I'd meet students they were always warm and inviting. In a way I feel I didn't choose Embry-Riddle but it chose me.

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