Let’s go flying!
Finals week is upon us at ERAU, taking place from Saturday, December 9 through Wednesday, December 13, with the exception of Sunday, December 10. And fun fact: professors have two days after that to grade everything, meaning final grades should be in by the end of day on Friday, December 15. Hooray!
After this semester, I will only have one more semester left before I graduate with my degree in aerospace engineering. I’m really excited since I already have a job lined up, and all I need to do is graduate.
I had two finals this year: AE 434, Spacecraft Controls, and AE 418, Aerospace Structures II. My other three classes didn’t have finals during finals week, and it was nice to only have two finals this year. My controls final has already been graded, and I did better than I expected (and definitely good enough to keep a grade I like). My structures final hasn’t been graded yet, but I only took it last night, so I don’t blame the professor.
I studied hard for my finals- we have a Study Day which is the Friday before finals start. I spent all of Study Day, Saturday, and Sunday studying before my two finals on Monday. They were at 12:30 PM and 7:15 PM, respectively. It’s an unpopular opinion, but I really do prefer night finals compared to the 8 AM time. I’m personally someone who enjoys waking up later, but I know some people disagree with me.
Tuesday rolled around, meaning I was free from my finals and instead was in purgatory waiting for my grades. Chris came back to town, which meant we could go flying! I haven’t been flying all semester, so it was a nice treat for me. Of course, I paid my fair share of the flight costs.
We rented from one of the nearby flight schools since they had an available plane. After the preflight, we got in line for take off and then went flying around the area. It was also cool to see some of the things I’ve been hearing about in the classroom in the real world. I’m in a group chat with a bunch of my friends in the program, some of which are aeronautics-track students, and their controls professor was talking about flight control surfaces. When in a real airplane, I could see them in action.
Chris showed me some of the other maneuvers he’s been teaching as a flight instructor- stalls, steep turns, chandelles, and lazy eights. We flew over to DeLand, landed, and then got right back into the air to fly around some more. Since Chris is a CFI (and CFII), he could also let me legally fly the plane, which made me remember how I started as an AS major. If I had stuck with AS, my life would look much differently. That’s weird to think about- I’m definitely glad I made the jump to AE, since I really like the program.
After about an hour of flying, we headed back to the Daytona airport. They were using the north-south runway today, which meant I got a great view of Riddle coming in. We taxied back to the ramp and tied down the plane before leaving. It was cold (at least for Daytona!) and the wind was blowing hard, so I couldn’t wait to get back inside. We went back to my apartment before Chris had to leave, but it was nice to see him for a short while.
I think I’ve said it before, but getting crazy fun experiences through people you’ve met is one of my favorite parts about ERAU. There aren’t pilots who are willing to take you flying at every university! There’s also a skydiving club for students here, which could be fun if you’re into it. I’m not- I like staying inside a perfectly good airplane. Either way, I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!