Ryan

About Ryan

Senior

Aeronautical Science

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.

August 21, 2011

The week spent with Procter & Gamble was a once-in-a- lifetime experience. To be a part of a multi-billion dollar corporation and to continuously help in fostering its development is a pride only a few can claim. Corporate Aviation isn’t just flying around the world in airplanes, it involves so much more and encompasses many highly skilled and knowledgeable people who all work together to touch and improve the lives of their consumers. This opportunity gave me a platform to educate myself on Corporate Aviation and learn about a company and operation that I hardly knew about. After coming from an internship with American Airlines I was able to compare the two types of operations side by side and they actually fall at the end the spectra, with quite a lot of differences.

The program started out with the other intern, Michael and I going to a Cincinnati Reds vs. San Diego Padres ball game, accompanied by the Chief Pilot Global Flight Operations P&G, Captain Skip Margraf and Program Coordinator, Captain Dave Brown. It was a great experience and the Reds dominated with 7 home runs. It gave us an opportunity to relax and become comfortable with Cincinnati life before we began our sessions at the Hangar.

The next day started early as we headed to the Global Flight Operations (GFO) for a tour of the Hangar with Mike Pecore. It was quite a thrill and the operations there are quite extensive with highly technlogized systems, techniques and equipment. I was highly impressed by the systems and state-of-the-art equipment that GFO employs at their Hangar. Later that day we spent time learning about the aircraft and their avionics. We went through the checklist of the G-4 and G-550. This gave us the ability to learn where the buttons are and we got to program the FMC of the G-4. The procedures were a little different from the airlines but still encompassed the same things. Things I have never seen before were the FLIR- Forward Looking Infer-Red, SVS- Synthetic Vision System and very highly technologically advanced airplanes. The late afternoons and evenings of every day were allotted for us to explore Cincinnati and it is a beautiful city.

Monday morning led us to the General Operations Building (GO). It was a complex and huge group of building with a labyrinth below the surface. We got a tour of GO, which was impressive. P&G savors innovation and progression and it was quite obvious during the tour. Later that day after the tour we met with Skip Margraf, Chief Pilot, and Steve Ripley, Director GFO. Through these interactions I was able to get a better insight into GFO and how it helps P&G surge forward and foray into being the top brand company in the world. In the afternoon, we got to assist in the trip planning for the following day. We were actually going to be on the flight in the jump seat observing.

The next day was one of the highlights of the internship. I got to fly in the jump seat of the G-4 from KLUK- KILG and it was fun to see the operations and professionalism of the crew. We were taking the CTO and a few others to meeting in ILG. During the flight we chatted about Pilot Duties and Responsibilities, had lunch and then on the way back I sat in the cabin and chatted with Bruce Brown, Chief Technology Office P&G.

Wednesday brought a new day with more exciting things to do. We attended the Weekly Hangar Meeting and then chatted with John Hampton, Scheduling Manager. We got an insight as to how scheduling operates and how they have to manage their resources along with the needs of the company. New things that I learned were FOS, Rockwell-Collins flight plan program and the statistics that were generated. We then spent some time with Dennis Daley, Aircraft Maintenance Department Manager and Dave Melk, Chief Inspector/ Aviation Materials Manager. Maintenance was so much fun and quite a learning experience but it is a lot of work to fathom, along with all the paperwork and record keeping. Discussion topics were the repair station, inspection authorization, training, Cabin Safety Attendants, technician requirements and RVSM requirements. In the afternoon we met with Diane Wingate, Financial Coordinator, who gave us a brief overview of the budget, assets, expenses, purchase orders and a budget analysis.

The following day was really fun, as we started out chatting with Captain Gary Hebbard from the Pilot Training Department. It was a great opportunity to pick his brain and see how training is done and the difference from that to the airlines since I had just come from AA. We talked about the evolved training needs with company development, different training due to pilot qualifications, duties and responsibilities, training flights and special emphasis areas such as breaking, landing, CRM, flight practices and techniques- callouts, taxiing, windshear recovery, mach technique climb, single-engine operations and cockpit communication. I was thoroughly impressed and wished we had more time with him as all that we talked about was of a lot of interest to me. After meeting with Gary, we spent a few hours with Captain Ken Robinson learning about international flight planning and procedures. We planned from KLUK-KLBG and then South America Operations. I learned things that I wouldn’t have in class due to the nature of their flying and the decisions that needs to be made as per Part 91 Operations. It was a great learning experience.

Later that day, we hung out with Todd Hillsgrove, Assistant Chief Pilot and Safety Officer. We discussed the development of the Safety Program at GFO, ARG/US- PRISM, Safety Management Systems (SMS), safety training elements, reports and risk management and the AAI- Go Team. Having a little background in safety made this portion interesting to me as well. Todd is a wealth of knowledge and a great person. Concluding the day was a little chat with the present intern, Saul Meza. He gave us an insight into his projects and experiences at P&G. He enlightened us on life in Cincinnati and being involved in the company. It was definitely an eye opener and very informative. Later that night Michael and I were very fortunate to go the Western & Southern Open Tennis Tournament. We got to see the match between Roger Federer and James Blake and I never thought I would be about 30 feet away from these two world top players. We also got front row seating to watch the Janckovic and Schiavone match and was about 10 feet away from the players. It was amazing!

Friday was the last day and I was a little sad that the experience was coming to an end. We just rapped up, did evaluations and then spoke with Captain Dave Brown about the road to Corporate Aviation. There are many turns and diversions in the life of a pilot and you never know where it may take you and what the outcomes may be but you know that you want to fly. The presentation showed us what we need to achieve and the goals we need to set to get into this industry. This week has been a great one that has helped me to figure out where I want to go and do with my life. Who knows, I may end up at P&G or the airlines but I am now more informed as to what both sections has to offer and what I can do to improve and progress the companies that I am involved in.

My summer has now come to an end and it was a great one. I have experienced, learned and seen so much. Thanks you all for reading the journal entries and seeing what the internships are like coming from an ERAU background.

Let’s go Eagles!

August 08, 2011

The last two weeks at the American Airlines Internship was fun, but at the same time somewhat saddening as I would be no longer working as an Intern there. What the future may entail would be my walking down those halls again as a pilot for AA. I can’t wait for that to become a reality. Working at the JFK Flight Office was quite an experience and I could not have asked for a better Internship. I did and saw so much that many pilots around the world may never have the opportunity to see or do and I consider it quite a privilege.

The experience was worth the while and I thoroughly had an amazing summer. I met so many people, created so many friendships and networks and got quite a lot of advice from chatting with hundreds of pilots on a daily basis. I would encourage anyone who wants to do an internship to apply for AA! You will be surprised at what you may learn and how it would create the path for your future. Just drop by Career Services and any one of the advisors would be willing to help and advise you.

The second to last week I spent a few hours up in the Ramp Control Tower directing some flights and chatting about the upcoming arrivals of AA’s new aircraft. It was a good time and I saw some ‘emergencies’ with getting aircraft out of their gates with minimal delays. The picture to the left is the ramp control tower at JFK. Later that week I was fortunate to spend two half days at Ramp Services. Through this experience I got to drive around the AA Ramp with the Manager on Duty. We went to all the aircraft that were coming into and out of the gates, ensuring that they were being unloaded and loaded promptly, fueled efficiently and catered correctly. We looked at load management for the airplanes and I even got the opportunity to load cargo onto the 777 and 767. It was quite amazing at what goes on in the cargo area for those larger airplanes.

It is all automated and the process is quite easy. The crew chiefs taught me a few things about operating the loading machines and it was just a thrill. I also loaded a few bags onto the conveyor belt to go into the 737 forward cargo area. The picture to the right is from after I unloaded cargo out of the 767.

While I was on the ramp, I got the opportunity to drive the tow after pushing back an aircraft. That was so much fun! I am really going to miss this internship. The Ramp guys were so welcoming and gave me all the knowledge they could have. I couldn’t be more appreciative. During the week, I also got a tour of Baggage Services. What they do down there is quite amazing. Those conveyor belts form a labyrinth under the terminals and I was so shocked. The bags shoot down, over, under with so much speed like a roller coaster.

If you saw Toy Story 2 where Woody was lost in the conveyor belts, then that was a perfect representation of the system. At the ending of that week I headed to Dallas for a luncheon with the fellow interns. I was also able to receive an ARFF Tour at JFK. They have the most up-to-date technology there. Their fire trucks were state-of-the-art and quite new. The officers gave me a tour of their facility, explained their operation and allowed me to jump into their trucks and drive around a little. Thank you AA!

I returned to Dallas the following week for a DFW Tour and the closing luncheon for the Internship. The DFW Tour was fun and quite different from that at JKF and LGA. The operations side of things was more hectic as DFW is our major hub. We toured the Flight Offices, Ramp Control and drove around the Ramp. The picture to the right was from a preflight of a S80 at DFW.

The closing Luncheon was nice, as it was the one time where all the interns were able to be together. The night before a couple of us explored the city of Fort Worth. No better BBQ than in Texas! We had a delicious lunch and then the Vice President of Flight- Captain John Hale gave a heart-warming speech. My last two days were spent at the JFK Flight Office. On the final day I went to a presentation for Flight Services, where I saw booths comparing our products in the different cabins with other world-class carriers, and I must say that AA measures up quite well with the 5-Star carriers. We are a force to be reckoned with.

When I returned to the Flight Office I was surprised with a farewell party. It was in such a shock, as I wasn’t expecting anything of the sort. The LGA Flight Office closed down for the day and came over to spend time with me on my final day. I was surprised with a really nice lunch, cake, and lots of presents and heart-warming cards and words. I am so fortunate to have worked with such great people. The picture to the left was from my last day at the Flight Office and the one to the right are some of the amazing people of the JFK/LGA Flight Office.

I am at the LGA Airport headed to CVG right now writing this journal entry. I will keep you posted with one more entry next week about the Procter & Gamble Student Development Program. I am very fortunate for my time at AA. It was a wonderful experience and a great learning opportunity. I would eventually like to fly for this airline because they really do embody all that I believe in, and AA is and will continue to be the American legacy.

July 30, 2011

The past two weeks have been amazingly great. I did so much within that period that would probably have spanned the entire internship. I have a new respect for the airline industry and for those who work there. It is a dynamic environment with many people who all work arduously together to ensure a flight is out on-time in the most safest and expeditious manner. Be it baggage services, passenger services, flight service, maintenance, the flight crew or the administrative group, their main aim is towards the common goal of managing an effective airlines and American Airlines has accomplished that.

The week started out with me flying to Dallas for 3 days to partake in a Luncheon and then Simulator Training. I spent four hours in a 737-800 Level D simulator which was divided up into 2 hours in the Captain’s position and the other 2 hours in the First Officer’s position. We had an hour briefing before and after the session. The ‘Sim’ session consisted of normal take-offs and landings, Precision & Non-Precision Approaches, Single-Engine Approaches and Landings, Aborted Take-Offs prior to and at V1, Failures, Fires and In-flight Emergencies, Single-Engine Operations, CAT I, II, III Approaches, RNP Approaches, Drift Down, FMC Operations, Unusual Attitudes, Wind shear Recovery, Missed Approaches, Low Visibility Operations and much more. It was so much fun and I learned a lot about flying large transport category aircraft. Flight Technique Analysis class at ERAU did indeed pay off. CRM is very important also and the FMS Class made me a pro at working the ‘box’.

I came back on Wednesday and spent the remainder of the day at LGA. Helped out around the office and caught up with some friends since I haven been spending all my time over at JFK. Later that week I spent half of a day up at the JFK FAA Tower. That was fun, as they gave me a headset to listen in on their communications. So many accents! I got to see a missed approach, a go-around and Emirates A380 land. The air traffic controllers were very much passionate about their jobs and have a lot of fun in the tower. I was able to understand most of their strip markings, procedures and phraseology. Riddle’s Air Traffic Program has been so beneficial and now I can see things not only from a pilot’s perspective but also the controller’s side. The picture to the right is a view from the tower.

The following week proved to be busier that I expected. Monday I met up with a 767 crew who invited me to preflight with them, program the FMC and hang with them in the cockpit before they were ready to push back. Later that afternoon I spent a few hours with the Flight Service Department. I learned about their operations and then gate hopping with the MOD to ensure the flight attendants were okay, the cabin was ready for departure and the cabin crew was all set for their flight. There is a lot of work that goes into ensuring the plane is well prepared for flight, from cleaning, catering to maintenance. Once again I reiterate the importance that all the employees place on ensuring the planes go out and come in safely, with the best of services.

The next day proved to be so worthwhile. I spent the day traveling to ORD and back just for fun. I hopped on a ferry flight and repositioned it over to ORD. Spent 10 minutes at ORD and then hopped on the next flight to LGA. It was a long day, but one of the best days of the summer. The next day I got up-close and personal with all the airliners that fly into JFK. I spent the day with the General Manager of the Airport. I got a tour of their facilities and then I jumped in their car and drove around the entire field. It was so much fun and I learned a lot from the managing side of things. I went from cargo facilities, to every terminal, runways and taxiways.

Even got to see an airport sign get blown out by jet blast. I was also fortunate to get a tour of the land side of the airport and not only the air side. I was all over the airplanes though, especially the 777-300ER’s, 747-400, A340-600, A380-800. The picture to the right was taken from the approach end of the runway as BA 747 was landing, one of my favorite airplanes of all times. I was even at the end of the departure runway as the planes took off and got jet blasted a few times…. FUN! The pictures below are from the A380 rounds and some jet blast from AA 757:

This week has already been an amazing one but there was still more to come. Thursday I hopped on a ferry flight from JFK to LGA on a 757. Basically I just repositioned myself too, which was closer to home. This was just an amazing week to culminate into my birthday festivities with my friends on Saturday. On the last day of the week, I had a surprise party at work for the Chief Pilot, and myself as we both celebrated our birthday on July 30th. It was really fun! Later that afternoon, I was fortunate enough to get a tour of the JAL Facilities and Operation. Their 777-300ER is amazing. The crew bunks are above the first class cabin. I got to preflight the aircraft with the FO and partake in the cabin briefing, which was indeed quite different from the American Carriers. The picture to the right is from the First Class Cabin with 2 flight attendants on JAL 777-300ER.

It was an amazing two weeks and I saw, learned and experienced a lot. Now I’m heading into my final two week on the internship then onto Proctor & Gamble for the Student Development Program. Stay tuned for the next entry and fly safe! Keep the blue side up…

July 17, 2011

The last two weeks have been probably the best thus far at the American Airlines Internship Program. I have learned, experienced and met so many people that I can now say I have a better understanding of how an airline is managed. From the last journal entry, I spent my 4th July weekend with my family and friend Justin who came to visit me in NYC. We explored the city, toured a bit and went on fun excursions that led us to meeting new and quite interesting people. We even met a representative from Singapore Airlines and the Manager of a NY Museum. We were fortunate enough to get VIP invitations to an art exhibition later that week.

Work commenced at the office with Lauretta, Dee, Lorraine, Melissa and the Chief Pilot, Scott Meade. I spent most of the week working on the APU Project, preparing spreadsheets, and charts. These charts would go to Jan Paladino, a 767 FO who works in the Flight Office. From there, the work that I have done goes to the Chief Pilot and then to the Vice-President of Flight, John Hale. I feel very privileged to have an input into such a massive project that makes an improvement in American Airlines. That Friday I worked closely with Jan going around the airport and shutting down Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) on aircraft that have a long ground time. I even stayed an hour after work to continue this, as it was so much fun and exciting. Now I can turn on and off the APUs on the 737, 757, 767 and 777. The pictures to the right and above are from that experience.

The next week proved to be one filled with great experiences and interactions. I spent 3 days in the Maintenance Hangar learning about their operations, and hanging out with the mechanics. The first day I got a tour of the facility from the On-Duty Manager Fernando Whitehead. He made sure that I had a great time there through the observation of their operations and mingling with the mechanics and airplanes. It is quite impressive as to how the maintenance personnel work so intimately with the airplanes to ensure they are back in service in the most time effective manner with superior work. These mechanics are a wealth of knowledge and gave me a plethora of advice. They even tried to convince me to become a Mechanic. Lenny, Frank, Brian and Marlene were very welcoming, accommodating and made my stay there quite enjoyable. The picture to the left is from the 757 engine undergoing some maintenance.

I got the opportunity to taxi a 777 from the hangar to the gate as it was being returned to service and later that day a 757 also. The picture to the right is what the centerline looks like from the FO’s seat as you are taxing. Saudi Arabia usually parks at our hanger along with British Airways during their prolonged ground time. I was fortunate enough to get to do a walk around of these airplanes and get up close and personal with them. The mechanics explained a lot of things about these aircraft that I had never known before, such as if the 777 were to lose an engine, it could still do a full Autoland. The pictures below are from that experience:

 

 

 

 

 

The second day at the hangar was even more exciting. I got myself all greased up and dirty working on a 737. The first part of the day I spent over at the terminal maintenance department, which was quite different from the hangar. The operation is at a faster pace as the aircraft that required maintenance at the gates needed to be worked on immediately and expeditiously so as to prevent delays. The hangar was of a slower rate as the aircraft there needed larger maintenance requirement and were out of service. It was quite enlightening to see the difference in operations and a great learning experience but at the same time fun. The mechanics were also going to do a manual start of the 737 CFM-56 engine, but unfortunately I could see that as it was too dangerous.

Later that day I observed the operations at the Engine Bay in the hangar. Here is where they host a few spare engines, APUs and work on engines that have issues. It was so much fun as it brought back a lot of memories and information that I have learned in Turbines class at ERAU. I was able to go around the engines and find all the major parts and understand their importance. ERAU has educated me so well that it was quite easy understanding the engines, especially when the mechanics explained parts and concepts to me. I even got to participate in the Anniversary Party of a few mechanics who were celebrating their 20-25 year milestones at AA. The pictures to the left and above are from my time there.

In the afternoon, I stayed an hour after work to help the mechanics get a 737 back into service. There was brake line that needed to be changed on the left main gear along with an engine test. I was quite excited to help them accomplish this task. After we changed the brake line, the manuals required that the gear be swung to ensure proper operation. This was here I came in to the rescue! I had to hoist the airplane up into the air so that the gear could be cycled. The picture to the right proved it.

Actually we just jacked the airplane up but it was a good photo opportunity. After that, we taxied the airplane out of the hangar and did an engine run up. That was really fun and REAL! Not like the simulator but an actual engine start. The next day I stayed almost 2 hours after work to help get a 757 back into service after a line check. Talk about putting in over time. These mechanics are so dedicated it is unbelievable. They are passionate about their jobs and so motivated. I also spent a few hours in the Maintenance Training Department. I got some training on the Computer Based Training Systems and it so happens that the manager of this department knows my parents. Small world huh! The pictures to the left and below are from the 737 gear well and cockpit:

The Maintenance Crew is an amazing group of people and I had a blast with them. The picture to the right is just a small group of the wonderful people who ensure that the airplanes are well kept, maintained and safe.

The next day I headed to Dallas to spend some time in Dispatcher Training. ERAU really prepares you for this. If you are in the Dispatch Program like I was then the classes at Riddle are very good and probably the best training. While I was going through Dispatch Training at American Airlines, it was more like a recap of classes at school. I was able to communicate quite easily with the dispatchers as all the knowledge came rushing back. ERAU’s training like I always say is the BEST!

When I returned to NY on Friday, AA was celebrating it One World Alliance Anniversary with JAL. I got to partake in the festivities. There was a cultural show, amazing food and giveaways. AA also had their 777 One World Series on display. Once again I saw a photo opportunity. I may be going to Japan in September now.
The pictures to the right and above are from the party. As you can tell the past two weeks have been quite packed, fun and exciting. I can’t wait to continue learning and experiencing. Next week I’ll be in Dallas for a few days for flight training, a luncheon and when I return to JFK I’ll be spending some time with the MOD of Flight Service hoping from aircraft to aircraft learning about their operations. This weekend I’ll be heading to New Jersey to spend some time with my good friend

July 3, 2011

The past two weeks have been so hectic, traveling back and forth to Dallas. I even almost accidentally went to Narita, Japan but that’s another story. My seventh week on the internship was somewhat slow. Most of the time was spent in the office going to meetings and learning about general airport operations. It is definitely amazing to see how much input is needed to efficiently run an airport.

The week was spent working on the APU usage project, where I updated spreadsheets and created graphs, which had to be presented to the Airport Manager. It’s a lot of work but it will save the company millions of dollars and also increase the efficiency of the airport operations as it points out where flaws are.

The best part of this internship I’d have to say is the interaction  with the pilots. I probably chat with about 50 pilots daily and they all have advice for me. It is great to be surrounded by such an intelligent, supportive and fun group. Being a Safety Minor also, I got to meet some pilots who are on the AA Go Team, which are basically Accident Investigators. We were able to speak about things related to Accident Investigation and I learned so much. After taking SF330- Aircraft Accident Investigation class at ERAU, I was able to hold a conversation with the investigators and relate to some of the things they were speaking about. It may be something I’d like to pursue in the future.

The weekend took me to Las Vegas. It was amazing. I was there with two friends, one an American Eagle Pilot and the other an intern from Alaska Airlines. We hardly slept so that’s a testament of how much fun we had. The pictures to the left and above were from that trip. The one from the air shows the Grand Canyon from about 38,000 feet. I returned to NY on the Saturday and then met up with my good friend on Sunday for some fun in the city. It was an amazing weekend.

The eight-week began with so much 777s. This aircraft surrounded me. On Monday morning by 9:30 I had already preflighted two 777s. I almost made it to Narita also. That would have been funny to explain to my boss. I was chilling in the cockpit with the pilots after the preflight and the flight attendant almost closed the door with me in the aircraft. I wished she did! When I went back to the office I met two 777-check pilots and later that day had lunch with a 777 captain who was heading to Brazil later that night. The wealth of advice and knowledge you can gain from these pilots is unbelievable. The picture to the right is from the preflight and the picture below is of me enjoying the 777 First Class with a few of the crewmembers.

Later that week I headed to Dallas for a Luncheon with the fellow interns and Ms. Lauren Tascione- AA Senior Administrator FOQA and Accident Investigator. It was a fun time and she had a lot of great advice and stories to share. This internship has given me so much and there is so much more to learn too.

The following weeks will be so much more involving as the Chief Pilot asked me to give him my wish list and he will allow me to do everything on it. Next week I will be heading to the FAA Tower at JFK, and also working 2 night shifts at the Ramp Control Tower. In the near future I will be going to the New York ARTCC, have an airport and ARFF Tour, preflight Air Berlin’s A330, JAL 747-400, Finnair A340, and Qatar 777-300ER. I’ll also be working in the Maintenance Hanger too. So stay tuned and see all the pictures… Happy 4th July!

June 17, 2011

The past two weeks have been quite hectic but at the same time very interesting and proved to be quite a great learning experience. My fourth week at American Airlines commenced with the preparation for the Annual LGA Safety Fair, which I had to assist the Flight Department with. I was in charge of doing research and creating posters for the American Airlines Flight Department booth. My knowledge from Flight Physiology came in quite handy as I was able to create posters emphasizing the importance of good hydration in flight as it may lead to kidney stones, stress and stress management, vision and hearing for pilots, as well as emphasizing the importance of the advanced avionics which includes the Electronic Flight Bag. The EFB would reduce the large, heavy kit bags thereby reducing the lifting aspects for pilots, maintenance personal and flight attendants. .

The rest of the week was spent learning about the operations of American Airlines and managing the Flight Office. I was able to accompany the Chief Pilots on some meetings and it is quite extraordinary how much work they have to do and still fly the line. This experience has enlightened me on what I want to pursue in the future…. Maybe Chief Pilot of AA!

Within that week also I was given two projects to work on. The first was to create a presentation about EMAS- Engineered Material Arresting System for the Chief Pilot so that he may present to the Vice-President at a meeting in Manhattan. Hopefully I shall be attending this meeting. The presentation was made in order to convince the city of New York of the importance of EMAS and thus lead to its implementation at LGA.

The second project is the larger of the two and I will be heading this up over the summer. AA is looking at the APU usage of their aircraft on the ground and monitoring its inappropriate use. We are trying to reduce the ground operation of the APU, thus allowing a savings of almost 10 million dollars annually on fuel. My job is to input and analyze the data, determine trends and come up with solutions/recommendations for the problem. It is quite a tedious project but proves to be very beneficial and a great learning experience. I also have the opportunity to turn off the APUs on some 757, 767 and 777 aircraft. I couldn’t be happier!

The weekend led me to Los Angeles. It is a beautiful city with a bustling metropolis. I toured a bit, walking down Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard, visiting Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, and meeting up with friends. The picture to the left was form that excursion.

The next week commenced with me attending the daily debrief meeting at JFK. This is a meeting where all the heads of departments meet up in the morning to go over problems that arose the day prior. Discussions involved delays, AA Operations and reducing passenger inconveniences. We even discussed CAT I accuracy of some of the aircraft. I was able to learn so much about the operations of AA. This meeting also allowed me the opportunity to meet Miss Universe 1970, 1993, 2001 and 2006, all from Puerto Rico. American Airlines invited them to attend the Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC.

The next couple of days I found myself in Dallas at Headquarters doing ground school. It was the international ground school and it lasted for 2 days. I was in a class with two captains and two other interns. This proved to be very informative and a great learning experience. ERAU classes are so in-depth that the classes taught at AA were just a refresher for me. Topics that we covered included Mach Technique, Strategic Lateral Offset Procedures, Weather Deviation, International Altimeter Reset Procedures, Fuel Planning, Volcanic Activity, Cold Temperature Operations, ETOPS Training, Foreign Airport Operations, Mountain Terrain Clearance Program, and Depressurization Planning. The picture to the right is from class. There was a lot of information that we covered. This class covered the topics that we would have studied in Flight Technique Analysis and Airline Operations.

The classes even dealt with Regional Differences between the Atlantic, Far East, Central Pacific, Latin America and India. Focus was on weather, terrain and operations. This proved quite interesting as I had previous knowledge of the topic from Weather for Aircrew class at ERAU. That class at ERAU was very in depth and detailed so the information presented in International Ground School became quite easy and more so of a refreshers. Once again, our education at ERAU is above average and this is why we are the best Aviation School in the world.

In class we also went through plotting Atlantic, Pacific, Polar and Latin American routes, with emphasis on North Atlantic and Latin America. Seems like International and Domestic Navigation came in handy.

While I was in Dallas, I also went to System and Operational Control (SOC), which hosts all the dispatchers and crew scheduling persons. There I chatted with some dispatcher to further understand their jobs as I had completed dispatcher training at Riddle also. It was so amazing to see how the training goes into practice. The pictures below are from SOC. The first one is an overview of the department and the second one is with the north Atlantic dispatchers and myself.

The picture to the right is from the JFK Ramp Control Tower. The view is amazing, especially when you have 747s and A380s passing by. Operations here are quite different from that at LGA. As such, I will be given the opportunity to work the night shifts at the Ramp Control Tower so as to learn about these differences, especially with working with bigger airplanes such as the 777, 767 and A330 for Air Berlin and Finnair. The wonderful thing about the JFK American Terminal is that there is no need for Air Marshals. The gates are all equipped with DGS- Digital Guidance System, which allows the pilots to follow a guidance system into the gate. You may even send messages to the pilots via this system. I was able to see it in full action as a 767 came into the gate and I sent the pilot a message reminding him to turn off the APU after the GPU was connected. Amazing huh!

This weekend I’m heading off the Charlotte to see a friend. Here is hope for it being a great weekend. I’ll be back on Monday for work with more exciting experiences. Never underestimate the wealth of knowledge you gain at Riddle. You are getting the best education possible.

Seems like we are one our final descent into Charlotte. Do stay tuned for my next update! Maybe I’ll be writing it on my flight into a city near you…

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!

June 1, 2011

I was very skeptical as to what the American Airlines Internship would have planned for me but to my surprise and excitement, I would be having the time of my life. I was unable to attend the orientation process on the 13th and 14th of May as I was graduating but I was able to make the second class on May 16th and 17th. The picture to the left was taken at the AA Flight Academy in Dallas just before Orientation commenced. There are so many people that make an Airline run efficiently and at American it is quite evident. The people are great and friendly and they work together to ensure the airline is at its best.

During orientation, I was given a tour of the Flight Academy and Headquarters. At the Flight Academy I saw the dispatchers’ room aka ‘Mission Control’. This is where they host all the dispatchers who control the flights that are in the skies and about to enter the skies. I had the privilege of chatting with 3 dispatchers who were in charge of the trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific flights.

This experience brought back so much knowledge and training that I have done in International and Domestic Navigation, Airline Operations and Dispatch Training. I could have spent the entire day with them just chatting and learning about their jobs and dispatching. My tour guide practically had to beg me to leave so that we could continue the tour. I guess when you learn so much in classes and then actually see it in the practical sense is quite fascinating and exciting.

The Dispatcher, Stephen, also taught me how they choose certain routes, their planned NAR’s, NAT Tracks and European Routes. We chatted about ETOPS, reporting points such as Shemya in Alaska and the fact that AA can get a 757 from ORD to LHR. I learned so much from just an hour with them. This just shows how superior ERAU’s course work and training is!

I stayed at the Park Inn while in Dallas and it was quite comfortable. Breakfast was even free with my AA ID Badge. Later the following day I flew down to LGA, my base for the next 3 months. My flight was delayed into LGA due to weather but I eventually made it and I started work on the 19th May.

On my first day at LGA little did I know that I would be having the best first day ever! Melanie Rodriguez, one of the friendliest AA employees, greeted me at LGA. She took me to my office where I met my supervisor, Ellen Barbaro. Melanie oriented me around the facilities and gave me access codes and keys to different departments and rooms.

There wasn’t a lot for me to do on the first day so she took me for a tour of the AA Operations Tower. The picture on the right is from the Tower. There I met some really nice people who, without them, flights would not be possible. They ensure aircraft are parked at their gates, they clear aircraft in and out of gates, approve delays and turn-around times, and even change aircraft if need be. This brought to light the importance of CRM and I value our training at Riddle so much more now. I will be getting training in this in a few weeks and will be able to execute all their duties. Yay!! I will also be getting to see the FAA towers at LGA and JFK.

After I returned from the Tower, I ran into a 757 Crew who gave me a tour of the pilot operation. They taught about their flight release, how to read it and what to pay special attention to. I had previous knowledge from classes, so it was quite easy for me to read it. They were impressed by how much I knew and complemented ERAU’s training. The FO was a Riddle grad also. They then took me on the preflight of the 757and that was the highlight of my first day. Not only did I learn about how to preflight a 757 but I also got to program the FMS. Riddle has prepared me very well for this. After taking AS435, programming the FMS came with ease. It was so much fun to actually put what I learned in class to practical use. The pictures below are from the preflight.

The second day was filled with chatting with pilots and crewmembers. I met Chief Pilot, Mark Cronin, and it so happens that we share the same birthday. He’s a really nice and friendly guy. The second day was as eventful as the first. I leaned so much about the company and pilot procedures. I received my 737 checklists and calculations/limitations information.

Next week should be also quite fun, as I will be starting work at JFK and also doing my SIDA training. Travels begin next week also, and I maybe headed to MIA or SFO. If you are there, hit me up. Stay tuned for more updates and until then, fly safe!