October 18, 2010

Hi again everybody! Hope you all are doing well. Everything is going well for me. My workload has finally calmed down, and I think I will be able to take a much-needed relaxing weekend this coming weekend when I will be going home to Connecticut for our four-day Fall Break.

As I mentioned, my workload has finally decreased. In my previous entry, I mentioned how the work comes in waves, at least for me. Gladly, for the most part, I am in a trough, so I have some time to relax. Going home this weekend will be nice; I haven’t seen my dog and family since August. I will also be able to pay a visit to my airport at home and see the newly resurfaced runway and my friends and co-workers.

One thing that I like to do to relax is fly. One thing you will realize if you are coming to Embry-Riddle as a flight student is that it can get pretty intense. Especially in the middle of a rating, when the beginning is in the distant past and the completion is just past the end of the tunnel, it is easy to want to give up and stop flying. Literally every single pilot goes through this at some point. I remember that during my Private Pilot Certificate training, I had just finished a bad training flight and was very angry. I was nearly ready to give up flying when the next day, my friends (who were already pilots) offered me to fly to Gainesville for dinner with them.

That is the key, flying for fun every once in a while. It is truly essential because it serves as a reminder of what you are flying for in the first place—because you love it. Not because you are in school for it, because you will make a fortune from it (because, as we all know, you will not), not because you are being pressured to, but just because you love to fly. If you ever start feeling worn out, take a friend or two and go fly, it is a great way to build back up your enthusiasm, and, after you get a rating, to have fun and relax.

So, what I have found myself doing a lot recently is flying. Being in the middle of my instrument rating, I have felt a bit worn out with flying a few times recently, but after the two days of flying that I had this past weekend, I am refreshed and ready to go. I will tell you guys a bit about the flights I did, but first I want to mention something about Embry-Riddle’s Flight Department.

The flight department at Embry-Riddle is as good as it gets. It is recognized in this way around the country and around the world. You know it, employers know it, and it is just a fact. It is why you are interested in becoming a student at Embry-Riddle. But, if you haven’t been fortunate enough to be able to take an observation flight here (which, by the way, if it is at all possible that you come and do this, I strongly recommend it), I am going to describe a few of the things that make Embry-Riddle’s flight department so professional.

For starters, if you have never seen the ramp, take a look at the picture above, it was taken by a good friend of mine, Tony Ports. There are hundreds of training aircraft parked on it, including Cessna 172’s, Piper Arrows, and Diamond DA42 L-360’s. The picture just shows a sampling of these. Additionally, you must ramp in and out with flight dispatchers before and after your flights, much like at an airline. In the sky, you can call the operations frequency and speak with the flight supervisor to request a longer flight, report a problem, etc. The checklists and their usage as well as the callouts used in flight are closely paired with those that airlines use. This is just a sampling, though. You will experience the rest for yourself soon.

The first flight that I did this weekend was to St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport (PIE) with my friends Eric and Jeff. We departed from Daytona Beach at around 1930L, and arrived in St. Pete at around 2045L. We then went out for dinner and flew back to Daytona, landing around 2300L. It was a very nice flight, especially because it was at night. I have found that Florida is a very pretty state to fly in at night due to all of the activity happening below you. For our approach into St. Pete, we were vectored directly over the top of Tampa International Airport (TPA), which was also very cool. A picture of one of the terminals is also in this entry.

The second flight I did was to Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) with my roommate, James. This is always a fun flight and one that I enjoy doing very much. Flying up there affords very nice views of historic downtown St. Augustine as well as downtown Jacksonville, Florida. Perhaps my favorite part of flying into JAX though is the fact that it is a relatively busy commercial air carrier service airport. As a result, you always land in a mix of 737’s, 757’s. A320’s, MD-88’s, etc. The FBO we use at Jacksonville is one of the nicest FBO’s that I have visited, and there are plenty of places to grab lunch or dinner nearby the airport. Thanks to James for the use of the pictures from the JAX trip.

Well, that’s about all I have for you guys! Talk to you soon. As usual, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me with any questions you may have.

Pete

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Pete

About Pete

Concentration: Air Transport Concentration
Minor: Flight
Career Goals: To work in Airport Operations at a major airport, or become a commerical airline pilot.
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: Location, Name Recognition, Academic Program Quality.

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