November 1, 2010

Trick or treat! We all know (mainly those who are from the US, Canada, UK, and Australia) what this holiday phrase means. It means it is Halloween time and it was my first Halloween experience here at Riddle and what fun it was. Being in McKay, the university has kids from the community come to the dorm and trick or treat because it’s an open dorm, unlike Doolittle, Adams, or Woods, where you need a key to get access. Friends from those other dorms came over to give out candy with us and we had a blast and so did the kids.

We had dry ice flowing over the floor, creepy music, and we were all dressed up. The event began at 5pm and ended at 7pm. The RAs helped with event by holding a Halloween Carnival in front the dorm with games and food. Our RA, Fiona, was the fortune teller for the kids in the study lounge and played the part very well. Over all it was an amazing weekend and a good break from school work, but sadly reality comes back, but fortunately, reality isn’t too bad.

Also this weekend was the Open House 2010. Adriana, a fellow student journalist, and I helped out by talking to you prospective students who attended. It really did put a smile on my face when I saw the high schoolers because that was me last year. Although I didn’t attend the Open House, I did attend the Accepted Students event which is usually sometime in the spring. Side note, I encourage you to join the Class of 2015 Group on Facebook, where you can ask us questions, meet fellow students, and even look at pictures that we take because we can’t fit all of them here.

Flying has been amazing. The past week I had a flight mainly focusing on approach and landings. If you are completely new to flying, like I was, you learn that landing is the hardest part, and supposedly, you can judge a pilot on how he lands the plane. After the flight, my Instructor and I felt that it would be better if I had to repeat that lesson, which I was a little disappointed about but I realized that it’s okay and that it’s better to get that extra practice. So the next flight block we completed an oral on flight emergencies and systems, like the Hydraulic system that controls the brakes, the fuel system, the engine, and the propeller. There are many more systems that are to be discussed, which we will do in the near future. I may note that with my flying, I take a ground class called “Private Pilot Operations” which basically is a class to reinforce concepts you need to know to fly. Although the classes are in the same steps or flow, it’s a great benefit to have two sources of learning the material. In the class, we had already discussed the systems, so when my instructor went over them, I had previous knowledge, and so he didn’t have to spend as much time as originally planned. Then on the third flight block, we repeated the one lesson on approaches and landings. We went up to Flagler, which is one of the airports in the practice areas around Daytona. It went so much better than the first time. There are mainly three parts to the landing, after completing the traffic pattern entry and lining up with the runway. Once you begin your final decent and are aligned with the runway, you use your final notch of flaps, which help you steepen your descent without increasing airspeed. You descend and descend, then once you use believe you are at the point, you begin your flare where you become level and “float” over the runway. Your airspeed then decreases and then you begin descending again and then you continue your flare and pull up so that you your nose gradually points up, which causes your main landing gears to touch first. Then once they touchdown, you can slowly lower the nose and touch it down. At the airport, we didn’t want to do a full stop landing, so we perform a touch-and-go, which means you take-off as soon as you land. So once your nose gear touches and you slow down enough, you can go full throttle and decrease flaps to 20 degrees. Once you are at the rotate speed, or 55 KIAS, you pull up. Once above obstacles, you can eliminate the flaps. We took off and because we wanted to practice again and again, we turn once we enter the traffic pattern altitude and contact tower requesting another touch-and-go. So it consists of a lot of actions, within a small period of time. This contributes to making it one of the hardest parts of flying.

So it’s back to school for me and no big events, like Halloween are coming up but fun things seem to always happen here. I hope you all had a great Halloween. Over and out.

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Alex

About Alex

Minor: Applied Meteorology
Career Goals: To become a pilot for a major airline, hopefully one day Southwest Airlines.
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: I was born in the United Kingdom and moved to the United States when I was six, traveling between the countries I became a frequent flier. Ever since walking into that cockpit when I was 5, I always dreamed about becoming an airline pilot. One day, I searched online for the best school to become a pilot. Result: Embry-Riddle.

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