Greetings from Daytona Beach! I’m looking forward to writing to all of you and sharing my experiences down here at Riddle. I remember when I was applying to Embry-Riddle, reading the student blogs really helped me get a good idea of what life would be like here on campus so hopefully I can do the same for you.
I should start by telling you a little about myself. My name is Dylan and I’m a freshman here at Riddle. I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington so you could say I’m pretty far away from home. However, you will learn that this campus is very diverse. Students from all over the world come here to study. Compared to the travels some of my classmates had to take to get here, it makes the distance I had to travel here seem short. Ever since I was little I have been fascinated by airplanes. When my family would take a vacation that required air travel, the best part of the vacation for me was the flights to and from our destination. When it came time to start looking at colleges I did some research (I didn’t have to look very far) and discovered that Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University was the premier school to go to if you wanted to learn how to fly. Talk to anyone in the Aviation Industry and they will tell you the same thing. I came here one month ago with absolutely zero flight experience, and as of today I already have 5.8 hours of logged flight time under my belt. I am also participating in Air Force ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) here. So yeah, you could say this past month has been quite the change for me. Not to mention the fact that the Florida weather is just a little different from the cool, dampness of the Pacific Northwest.
In case you didn’t know I’m majoring in Aeronautical Science which is basically fancy terminology for “Professional Pilot.” Aeronautical Science and Aerospace Engineering are the two most popular majors here on campus. Coming here with no flight experience I wasn’t really sure what to expect with how the flying would work. Now that I’ve been here for a while I can see why this place is so good at training pilots. There are times I feel like I could be in the movie Top Gun. The flight line is incredible; there are over 60 airplanes in the fleet, from a variety of different manufacturers. The best part of my day is walking to the flight line and checking in for my flight and walking out to the plane with my instructor. They really make you feel like a professional pilot from day one. This week I have three flights which I’m really looking forward to. However, don’t expect to be flying every single day. The flight curriculum for the Private Pilot Course is based on Modules. For each module you will have an oral, FTD (Flight Training Device) and flight. Basically, you and your instructor will spend a day discussing what you will be practicing. Then you will practice in a flight simulator. After that you will apply it to the skies in the airplane. So realistically you will have 1 or maybe 2 flights per week depending on when your flight block is and how the weather is, but it varies.
My roommate and I are living McKay Hall. It is one of the four dorms that are generally designated for freshman students. I have to say that I think McKay is the best dorm to live in. I also lucked out with the fact that my roommate is very clean so our room is never dirty.
Also, Air Force ROTC has been pretty busy lately. We have PT (Physical Training) on Monday and Friday mornings. I’m really glad I stayed in shape over the summer because PT would be a killer if I had not. Last Friday we did the famous beach run. We all met up and drove down to the beach at about 0530. We ran up and down the beach chanting Jodie’s, and watched the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean. It was a really cool experience and it made PT a lot of fun.
I’ve only been here a month but I already feel like I have been here for 2 or 3. Some friends and I have been busy. A few weekends ago we went to Disney World for the weekend and stayed at my roommate’s house in Orlando. This past weekend we went to the Coco Beach Airshow. We’ve already been to the beach at least a half a dozen times. It’s cool how you can go to the beach anytime of the day and not worry about being cold. The water is warm and the weather is even warmer. We went body surfing at 8AM a few weekends ago.
Anyways, that’s all I have for now. There will be much more to come next time. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you might have.