June 6, 2011

These past two weeks have been really exciting and amazing. There was so much I saw, did and learned. This Internship has opened my eyes to the world of the airlines. Many of the things we learn in school I am seeing in full practice. Just this past week I attended a meeting on behalf of the American Airlines Flight Department with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The safety culture here at AA is very unique and strong. Terms and practices learned in Human Factors and Safety classes are being implemented right in my field of view. As I kept saying, the education at ERAU is unmatched and has prepared me very well for the future in this industry. The OSHA meeting focused on electricity safety and safety audits.

Other meetings that I attended were the LGA JTL (Joint Team Leadership) Meeting where Customer Loyalty as it relates to revenue was emphasized, and the Safety Contact meeting, which once again supports the extraordinary safety culture of AA through safety recommendations.

The really fun parts of the internship are still ahead but over the past two weeks I was given the opportunity to preflight the 737-800 and MD-80 aircraft. It was quite a thrill! Two very different aircraft in terms of design, performance and handling characteristics but quite similar in operations. The pictures to the right and below are from the preflights. There was so much to learn and see with these two airplanes and the pilots were very knowledgeable and willing to teach me. As I write this journal right now, I am on my way to Chicago in a MD-80 that I preflighted and programmed the FMS for. Amazing!

The picture to the left is from the AA ramp control at LGA, where I began my Ramp Operations Training. It really brings to light the importance of CRM and the training that Riddle has instilled into me. On that day, I was giving an American 757 clearance to push back for its flight to MIA while talking to Flight Ops. The amount of people and work that goes into a flight from one gate to another gate is remarkable and each one of them must be appreciated.

On the right is a picture of the ORD crew that I was chatting with one day. I just went to their cockpit, introduced myself and chatted a bit. Sometimes you never know who you might find, and that day, the Captain was a Riddle Grad., and the FO is a Union Rep. Looks like I’ll be chilling with the pilots at the Jets game in July just from stopping by and saying ‘Hi, I’m the intern Ryan….’

Last week I completed my SIDA Training and will be the first AA intern who has ramp access at both LGA and JFK. Also, I was very fortunate to get a tour of the LGA FAA Control Tower. There I saw many practices that I have studied while doing my minor in ATC. It was so amazing to see the training in full practice.

The picture on the right is from the tower. As you can see the queues are quite long at LGA for take-off as it is on of the busiest airports in the country. Today, I was 15th in line for take-off but it looks that we’ll be landing in ORD on time.

The picture on the left is from my office at JFK. You have to love your job when you come to work with a view like this everyday. When I have lunch the view is a queue for take-off with 747s, A380, A340s and 777s. I just can’t wait to be actually flying one of them.

In two weeks I will be beginning my flight training so I’ll be heading up to DFW. I begin with the International Ground School, which lasts for a couple of days then onto 737 Ground School and Sims.

The best part of the Internship is the travel benefits. There are so many places to go, so much to see, do and learn. These two weeks I have been to Fort Lauderdale, Miami and now Chicago. On my way to FLL I met a FedEx MD-11 FO who gave me some good advice and information about Cargo Flying and flying the MD-11. The picture to the left was from my first non-rev flight.

You never know where I’ll be next week so stay tuned for more updates and I might be in a city near you…

Safe Flying!

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Ryan

About Ryan

Minor: Safety; Aviation Weather; Air Traffic Control; Dispatch Program
Employer: American Airlines; Proctor & Gamble
Hometown: Georgetown, Guyana
Career Goals: Work on Master of Science in Aeronautics while Flight Instructing, then enter the regional airlines to build some hours before entering the majors or corporate aviation. After retiring, return to ERAU as a professor in the Aeronautical Science Department.
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: I have always been passionate about flying since I was a child and always pursued that dream. As such I wanted to attend the best school for Aviation, that being Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. I wanted to obtain the best education possible in the field as well as the most advanced and unsurpassable flight training; therefore I chose to attend ERAU.

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