November 1, 2010

 Hi everybody! I hope you all are doing well. Things are pretty good with me. My instrument rating flight training has been progressing very quickly recently and has been going very well. Since I wrote last, not all that much has happened here at school. We had our fall break this past weekend, and that proved to be a very well needed and well-deserved period of rest.

Luckily, this semester, my professors decided to be nice and not give any real homework over the break. I remember at this time last year sitting in front of the fireplace at home and typing an essay for my COM122 class. This year, I didn’t bring home a single book and it felt great.

I know you all are reading this because of your interest in Embry-Riddle, but due to the fact that the majority of the time between my last entry and this one was spent in class or at home, I will share with you some of the aviation-related things that I did at home over the break (unless you want me to talk about sitting in lectures—just kidding!)

I flew home via Orlando International Airport. Actually, it might be a good idea to talk about your options for getting to Embry-Riddle, especially if you live out of Florida and need to fly home, so I will do that for a bit.

Basically, you have two primary options when it comes to airports. Daytona Beach International Airport is the first, which, as you know, is next to Embry-Riddle. You could literally walk to the passenger terminal with your suitcases and fly home. The downside to Daytona International is that it is only served by two airlines, Delta and US Airways, and all of the flights are exclusively to either Atlanta or Charlotte, respectively. As such, you may find the fares to be a bit higher at times, especially (and unfortunately) around the Embry-Riddle breaks.

The other option is Orlando International Airport, which is about an hour and fifteen minutes from school. If you don’t have a car, don’t worry, there are two shuttle services—DoShuttle and DOTS—which can take you. Obviously, Orlando is a major international airport so you can fly practically anywhere from there. The downside, though, is obviously the drive and the earlier time you must get there before your flight.

Anyways, I was happy to find that I was on a Boeing 737-800 on this particular route. For years since Delta Song was disbanded, Delta had been flying McDonnell-Douglas MD-88’s on the route, and I was getting very sick of those. Even better was the fact that the aircraft I was on was equipped with in-flight satellite TV. That made the 2 and a half hour flight go by much more quickly. Then, before I knew it, we were on final approach to Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

When we landed, one of my good friends who is an Airport Operations Specialist at Bradley met me at the gate and we were able to catch up a bit while I waited for my mom to pick me up. I hadn’t seen him since the summer and it was good to be able to chat for a while. When I walked outside, I remembered one of the reasons I went to school in Florida—the warmth. It was about 50 degrees and raining, when in Orlando upon departure it was 90 degrees and sunny.

When I walked in the door of my house, my dog jumped up and was all excited to see me. I also saw my family and had the first home-cooked meal I’d had in several months. You really take that for granted when you are living at home through high school. I then went to sleep in my own bed, which was also something that was very nice after months away.

The next day, I paid a visit to my airport in Connecticut. It was a very busy day at the airport that day, which made it even more fun. For one thing, it was Parent’s Weekend at nearby Yale University and the General Aviation ramp was full of private jets. Then, due to President Obama’s planned visit in the area, a C-17 Globemaster filled with his motorcade landed. A convoy of vehicles emerged. Finally, the last phase of the runway resurfacing project began that night which entailed carving the grooves into the runway asphalt. These grooves prevent aircraft from hydroplaning on the runway and they allow the rainwater to drain more efficiently. Unfortunately, it is also the loudest portion of the project, and the neighbors did not like this at all.

Other than that, though, the rest of my break was spent relaxing with my family and some friends who were also on break. I then flew back into Orlando and drove back to Daytona. Now, we are back in classes and into the swing of things.

I apologize for not having more to talk to you all about this entry! Going home really was the majority of what I spent my time doing. Next time, I promise I will have some more stories to tell you. Please ask me any questions you might have—I would be glad to answer.

Talk to you soon!

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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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