March 28, 2011

Welcome back everyone! Spring break is over and that means were on our last third of the semester. 25 days of classes left. It’s another thing you will love about being in college. In high school, you go on spring break and when you come back you still have like 2 months left. Here at Riddle we only have about a month. Just before spring break I did my local solo, which is different than my first solo where my instructor and I flew to an airport and she hopped out and I did a couple landings. This time I left Daytona by myself, took off and flew around in the local practice area. I did some stalls and slowflight and then came back to Daytona.

Great experience and very liberating to know I could it do it all by myself. Delta 757 flew right over me as I was coming in back to the airport, which was really awesome to see. Anyways, it was great to get home and to see friends and family. I flew out of Daytona, which tends to be easier sometimes plus I get to fly on a different variety of planes rather than Southwest’s common 737. I flew out on a Delta 757-200 and, just like Delta, we had a maintenance issue. Supposedly there was a fuel leak, so we were delayed approximately 35 minutes or so.

If you are like me, one thing that will love once you start travelling again after you’ve gained knowledge of aviation, is that you think about what the pilots are doing and what’s going on in the cockpit. I was right behind the wing and I saw that when we taxied on to the runway, which I knew because of construction it was shortened to 7,150 ft instead of 10,000ft, that the flaps were much lower than usual. I knew from learning to fly that he was performing a short-field takeoff, which is a takeoff where you want to get off the ground as soon as possible due to a shorter than usual runway. I am performing these in my course in my Cessna 172. It really is amazing how the same maneuver is performed in the different aircraft but the same idea is being used. The flaps are increased to provide more lift and take off at a quicker speed and, once you are lined up with the runway centerline, you hold the breaks and full power. Once engine instruments are in the green, you let go of the brakes and fly down the runway and rotate at a lower speed and pitch up a bit higher. Stopped in Atlanta for a bit and then flew back to Baltimore.

Wasn’t so great to go back to the cold but supposedly I brought the warmth with me. It got up to about 55-60 when I was home, but the day after I left they got a couple inches of snow, which is hard to believe. I arrived back in Daytona with sunshine and 85 degrees. The next morning, I had to go pick up friends from Orlando Intl. Their flight was due in at 11am but because of some pilot from University of North Dakota, which you will learn is kinda like our rival school, I guess, put too much fuel on board and they were over takeoff weight so they had to spend an hour or so to take some fuel out. So I spent an hour just sitting in my friend’s car at the cell phone waiting lot with the sunroof and all the windows down, listening to LiveATC through her speakers since I have it on my iPhone and she had an Aux cable and then watching those same planes take off and contact departure. It was very relaxing plus I got a nice tan. This week it is supposed to rain and thunderstorm, which I am very excited for, because although I love the Florida sun and heat, I love when a little change is thrown. Also this week, we will be picking dorms for those students who will be living on campus next year. I have happily gotten a low number for the lottery so I will most likely guaranteed a spot in Apollo, the newest dorm and right next to McKay and a great view of the airport. I also get to pick my suitemates so I have gotten together with 3 other friends who we decided to live with. Other than that it was a great spring break and looking forward to final exams and then it’s summer. If you haven’t already I highly suggest you sign up and come to the Accepted Students event here on campus on April 16. Go here to register.

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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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