James

About James

Junior

Business Administration

Concentration: Air Transportation
Minor: Flight
Career Goals: Manage a corporate flight department and/or FBO (Fixed Base Operator). Currently operate Dulles Jet Management, Inc.
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: Growing up I had been involved in automobiles and aviation. My middle school (7th Grade) history teacher told me about Embry-Riddle… since then I had my sights set. The Daytona campus gives me the opportunity to be surrounded by the two things I love, cars and planes.

August 08, 2011

Hey guys, I can’t believe another summer is almost in the books. I’ve started what most of you probably have too … packing! The pile of boxes and bags to load into the van for the road trip is starting to get taller as the days go on. This weekend I am going to load my Mustang into the transporter/tractor trailer so it can be dropped off down at my apartment once I arrive next week. Then am going to head for Daytona on Tuesday (23nd) … 12 hours later I should be pulling into my apartment parking spot if all goes as planned. I am glad to have moved in to my new place after the spring semester… allows me to just relax down at the beach before classes start for the fall.

So, since I last checked in with you all I’ve been back on the road traveling the east coast. Earlier this month we traveled up to York, PA to pick up some vintage Buicks and bring them back down to Maryland. I always have a blast traveling up to the restoration shops to either drop off or load up cars because of the history I learn from the guys/gals at the shops. The shop we visited in Glen Rock, PA – Prueitt Auto Restorations, had vehicles ranging from the early ‘20’s up to the 60’s and 70’s and with each car came the history behind each. He had plenty of neat cars sitting inside the restoration area but a 1925 Buick that they are doing a stellar restoration on. From the paint to the immaculate interior the car is going to clean up at car shows once it is finished. Like I said, it was a great trip… we loaded up the 1931 and 1941 Buick’s and headed home.

The local Buick/Olds car club hosted an All GM show and we took the 1987 Buick GNX. Some friends also showed vehicles including a 1949 Buick and a 1976 Trans Am both of which are amazing examples. The weather was hit-and-miss all day but we had a great time showing the car and talking with others in the hobby that had never seen a GNX before. It is still amazing the reaction that car brings when we pull it out of the trailer. People were coming up to us all day saying how they had gone 25 years without seeing a real GNX. Towards the end of the day the weather had deteriorated to the point that we loaded the cars in the trailers and waited for the awards. We showed our 1991 Camaro last year and took second place, this year we took first place in our class and in total our friends had also taken “Best Buick” and a second place award.

Well, this is the last journal entry for summer break … I hope to see you all down in Daytona for the fall semester. Remember to make the best of the year and get involved. There are plenty of clubs and activities to get in involved with – myself I am Vice President of ERMCA – Embry Riddle Muscle Car Association. We are planning on hosting another car show or 2 this year on campus so come on out and join us. Oh! I finally finished editing some of my Oshkosh photos… took about 3,500 so here is a link to my Flickr Collection showing all weeks events.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdingell/collections/72157627372577958/

Best of luck in the fall,
James Dingell

July 31, 2011

Hey Everyone… I hope you are all getting ready for Riddle in a little less than a month. Since I last checked in with you guys I have been on the road, or should I say “airway”. Early in the morning on July 24th, a fellow Embry-Riddle student and I loaded up the Cessna 182T and pointed the nose to the west enroute to Oshkosh, Wisconsin – AirVentures 2011. We made a quick stop in Columbus, Ohio at Ohio State University Airport to make a pit stop before heading to Joliet, Illinois for a planned fuel stop. As we crossed into Indiana we ran into a storm cell that thankfully broke before we got too close. Our airplane, a 2008 Cessna 182 Turbo has the latest in avionics giving us the ability to view weather using XM Weather and giving us advance warning to weather issues. We landed in Joliet, IL (KJOT) and taxied in for fuel … talk about easy access to cheap gas. We pulled up the line service tech was waiting, fueled us right away and we were back on our way to Oshkosh.

During the week of EAA’s Airventure – Oshkosh is the Busiest Airport in the World … and as we made our way to OSH we listened in on the ATIS and reviewed the NOTAM one last time before making one of the easiest and most fun approaches to an airport I have ever done. As we came up on RIPON we turned, followed the approach procedures and traveled over the railroad tracks keeping an eye on other traffic joining the arrival route into OSH. With about 2 miles to go we got our queue to “Rock your Wings” and we were cleared to land on runway 36L. We had my GoPro HD camera suction-cupped to the windshield giving us an amazing video of the approach all the way to shutdown at our campsite. Once touching down at Oshkosh the reality set in and I still could not believe that I had just flown half the country (in about 6 hours) and would be living the aviation dream for a week … living at an airport with the airplane and surrounded by people who have the same passion for flight. So we shut down and pushed the plane back and began to set up our campsite for the week to come. With the tents set up in about 20 minutes and day light left to burn we walked the North 40 Campgrounds looking at aircraft and then ventured into the main Airventure display to get a preview to the week’s events. Though it was the first night we met the pilots and families around us at the airplane and, to my surprise, the Piper Cub about 10 feet away had come from the airport near my house in Virginia…. it’s funny, travel 650nm to meet a guy that lives 20 miles from home.

So Monday marked the start of the week and we started bright and early making our way through the many displays set up by exhibitors from all parts of the aviation community. Monday was mostly spent looking over the manufacturers displays (Cessna, Piper, Embraer, etc.) before the crowds formed later in the week. Of course the fact that I was attending ERAU came up in conversation between the exhibitor’s and as for me, I feel like I made some great connections with those in the industry and fellow Riddle grads at different companies. Embry-Riddle was well represented – the large “tent city” that was set up near Conoco Phillips Square that was well represented by Riddle students and faculty/staff and the aircraft from both Daytona and Prescott. As I walked around during the week I kept seeing ERAU t-shirts, hats, jackets around the airport … a nice reminder that we are in fact #1!

For those of you who know about Oshkosh 2010 – it was a very rainy year for EAA. That being said, we thought ahead and reserved a dorm room at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh for the week as well as setting up camp at the North 40. We did this so we would have an alternative to sleeping in a wet/muddy camp ground if the weather turned for the worse. As the week went by I had to face the reality that I was not going to cover the whole show that stretched over the entire airport and over at the Sea Plane Base. This being said, Eric and I began planning our days to cover the maximum ground and see the most in the time we had. One of the most interesting parts of the day was lunch; we would eat at the show and with a short supply of tables (giving us shade from the sun) that involved finding a table to share with a few others. We had the pleasure of eating lunch with some very interesting business people, pilots and other college students.

Tuesday we continued to cover the show and visit displays and watching the air show acts. We ventured through the Vintage Aircraft parking area to view some of the nicest aircraft ever designed … and they were being flown around the country throughout the year by their owners. In the Vintage area I found a familiar airplane, a Ryan Navion B – the first airplane I had ever flown back when I was 15. I met up with some friends from home and at Riddle that had made the trip out to OSH. Wednesday, was a bit cloudy making it harder for the performers, having to stay low. Given the weather conditions the airshow acts put on a great show. Thursday… Thursday morning was marked by the unfortunate landing of the Alabama ANG F-16 that overran the runway and continued into the grass. It was a very hard/abrupt stop causing damage to the nose, landing gear and engine. Later in the afternoon the last flying Navy FJ Fury overran the same runway but escaped unharmed from the looks of it.

Friday morning was marked by the arrival of the Boeing 787 – the first time it visited AirVenture. At approx. 9AM it touched down on 36L, the same runway I had landed on nearly a week prior. With what looked like thousands of fellow aviation enthusiasts I watched the massive aircraft taxi into Conoco Square where it would sit for the day allowing guests to tour the aircraft. In addition to the 787 we all had a chance to see the B-29 bomber “FiFi” take to the skies over Oshkosh. Saturday’s air show was phenomenal with a large selection of Navy aircraft taking to the skies before a large wind storm blew through the area causing the show to be cut a little short. Before we knew it aircraft were back up and flying and we were headed for the night airshow at OSH. If you haven’t seen a night airshow it is one of the most amazing things you can watch as airplanes light up the skies overhead.

Sunday we loaded our belongings back into the Cessna and headed back for Joliet for a splash of fuel before headed back to Winchester, VA. With the ceiling and performance of the Cessna 182T Eric and I cruised at FL200 – 20,000 feet … yes 20,000 feet in a Cessna ha. We had our oxygen and we were taking advantage of a kicking tailwind cutting giving us a shorter trip home. It is very hard to explain how great the show was in a single journal entry, and I don’t want to drag this on and on… but out of the 3,000 + photos I took I am hoping to upload on Flickr – they are already up on Facebook (about 300 of which I have edited covering the week)

It seems I have been in the air a lot … Monday the 31st I was back up in the air flying from Manassas to York. This time I had the opportunity to fly in a Cessna CJ1 … I know want one, guess I have some saving and working to do to accomplish that dream :).

To view the landing at Oshkosh checkout the video I posted on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWBcs7–VPM

Thank you,
James

July 17, 2011

So the month of July has been awesome… and we are only halfway through right now. The month started with working 10-11 hour days to get the cars ready for the big trip up to Boston for the Buick Nationals 2011. July 5 marked the first day of the trip, when we loaded up the trucks and pulled out for the 12 hour drive to Danvers. We made it up there before the severe weather hammered Massachusetts. As the days went by the show field started to fill up with amazing cars, the group I was with brought up a total of 4 cars. We had our 1987 Buick GNX – 1 of 547 ever made out on display for the show and friends had their cars up from the Maryland area. When Saturday came around they had around 300 cars on display ranging from the early 1900’s through present. Our car was originally ordered by a dealer in Ohio, I had the pleasure of meeting the owner of the dealership who had actually ordered our car new. For those of you have never been to a car show, we had our car in a 400 point judged class where all the cars are judged based on a standard set of categories. We were shooting to receive a BCA Gold – you would have to score between 385 and 400, which for the first time out with the car is hard to do. We had a great time showing the car and had a chance to show and talk to others about the car who shared an interest. That evening, we attended the awards dinner where we received a BCA Gold award for the GNX… turns out the car scored a perfect score with 400/400. Very hard to bring any car to a show and the judges not find a single thing wrong. Our family friend took top award with his 1931 Buick; he won the Best Pre War award which is equivalent to Best in Show. We had several more shows to travel to before school starts back up next month, most are local shows in the VA/MD area.

From July 5th through July 10th I was in Boston, MA then I traveled up Maine for a week with friends. Sunday morning I took JetBlue from Boston Logan to Portland, ME via Kennedy in NYC. Flights were great… never had an issue with JetBlue. So I arrived into Maine ahead of schedule and was ready for another great vacation. My friend Jen picked me up from the airport and we headed for Sokokis Lake/Limerick Maine. The trips served as a much needed break from Northern VA where it seems we are always running around. I was supposed to come home that Tuesday, turned out coming back home Friday the 15th. The extra days in Maine made the trip SO much better. Monday night I was thinking to myself; “I really, really don’t think I am ready to go home yet ha”. Monday night we all went down to Old Orchard Beach and spent the night between the Pier, rides and all the shops on Main Street. We hung around the house and Lake Tuesday… Wednesday we spent on the water and then one heck of an epic night. We drove back up to Portland and hit up LL Bean – the Flagship store, the World’s Largest Rotating Globe in Yarmouth, ME and back down for a quick stop at Old Orchard for food. Our last day in Maine was a blast out on the water… full moon + midnight tubing = awesome night! So the week spent in Maine turned into one of the best weeks of the year so far and I made some great friends. It was awesome to spend a week just relaxing and having fun without having to worry about when I was supposed to be at work, what needed to get done around the house and just enjoy being with friends. Friday we headed out of Maine and pointed the car towards Virginia, making it home in pretty good time.

So, I will be home for a week before I head out to Oshkosh with fellow ERAU student Eric. We leave the 24th and will be out there for a week surrounded by aviation. If you are headed out to OSH for the show, make sure to check out the Embry-Riddle booth(s) set up at the Air Show.

July 3, 2011

It is hard to believe that summer is halfway over, before long I’ll have to be packing up for the drive back down to Daytona. Until then I have plenty of traveling to do before the semester starts. At the end of last month we made a quick day trip out to Minnesota, Indiana, and back home (HEF-RST-IND-HEF) to pick up a new car trailer before our trip to Boston next week for the Buick Club of America Nationals. Like all the other trips, this one was amazing and a friend and Embry-Riddle Grad (Kevin G.) was sitting in the front seat flying! We left out of Virginia in the morning and rocketed out to Minnesota for a quick stop before heading down to Indy to spend the afternoon. The new trailer looks amazing… it is a 2 car trailer able to securely transport cars to and from locations. With the new  trailer hooked up to the truck, it pulled out for the long drive back to the east coast and we were headed back to the airport. As we pulled back into MillionAir a surprise arrival passed overhead. What was it?? The new Boeing 747-800 made about a 15 minute stopover in Indy before headed back to Seattle, WA – landed, taxied back and took off. Not really sure what the reason was behind the stop, but it was awesome to be in the right place at the right time to see it. From there we boarded the plane and headed back home after a great day crisscrossing the Midwest… awesome to say we went out and back before dinner.

Now that we are back home in Virginia we had to get going on cleaning the cars up before the show next week. My dad and I started the in-depth cleaning on the 1987 Buick GNX. The GNX is a unique vehicle because it was the only year of production, only 547 were every made and this one…. only has 680 miles on it (yes six hundred). It spent its 24 year life sitting on the dealer showroom floor and then sold in 2011. After changing all the fluids and getting the vehicle serviced we began the detailing for the concourse show. If you haven’t dealt with old cars, they will fight you all the way to the end but when finished the car looks amazing. In addition to our car, 3 more cars are making the trip to Boston for the show. Our friends are bringing their cars from the 1930s and 40’s. With a total of 4 cars going, we are sure to have a great time and hopefully we can bring some iron home in the form of trophies. After a few long nights in the garage, we are wrapping up the cleaning and we are starting to wind down before making the drive to Danvers, MA (north of Boston) for the week starting Tuesday (July 5).

So, looking towards the month ahead… as I mentioned earlier we are going to Boston for a week then I am headed to Maine for a few days. From there I come home and then start preparing for the flight out to Oshkosh for AirVenture 2011. A friend Eric Florence and I are taking a 2008 Cessna 182 Turbo featuring the top avionics Cessna/Garmin offers for the trip. Like the other trips this summer this one is bound to be a blast – let’s hope for great weather. Between trips I we will have about 2 weeks to prepare and get some flying in before making the weeklong trip to Wisconsin. This summer is combining everything I enjoy… cars, airplanes, friends and, of course, the occasional Nationals game.

If you have any question about Riddle or anything else feel free to shoot me an email or Facebook message and I will be happy to answer the questions you have.

Talk to you later,
James

June 17, 2011

Hey everyone,

Just checking back in with you all … hope your summers are going well. June has been a pretty busy month so far, a few trips and other fun events and we are only halfway through. I flew out to Ohio for a day to spend some time with friends and spend time. We had a chance to see a 1908/09 SEARS Roadster. The name might sound a little familiar; the Sears Department store sold pretty much everything from their catalog. You could buy anything from average household items to entire homes themselves from what I was told looking over the car.

Last night, Wednesday June 16, I went down town to watch the Nationals vs. St. Louis Cardinals game with a few friends… in the front row! The Nats continued their winning streak with the sweep of the Cardinal series. Since we were sitting in the front row we were shown on MASN during the TV coverage to that was pretty cool! Nice to see the Nationals winning games after a bit of a rocky start to the franchise.

This Saturday is the big Fly-In at the Smithsonian – Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center where we are expected to have 50+ aircraft on display for the day. I will be helping out in the Education Department with several activities that the “Discovery Stations” put on to educate the visitors. As of right now it looks like I will be running the Simulators, giving guest the chance to land aircraft at Washington Dulles.

To see photos of the Fly In and the trips from this summer, check out my Flickr Page:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jdingell/

James

June 6, 2011

Hello Again,

Like I promised, I wanted to check back in with you all to share the day’s events. Today, June 6, 2011, was a special day at Washington Dulles International Airport. The first was the Top Off Party at Dulles Jet Center, the hangars that I work out. The party was to celebrate the completion of raising steel on the new hangars… opening day is getting closer. I have worked at DJC since I was 15 years old and have grown up in the Corporate Aviation world because of the opportunities that came with working there.

The second milestone to happen at the airport involved Air France and their newest A380-800 Super Jumbo Jet. June 6 marked the first day of commercial air service for the A380 at Dulles Airport. At around 2PM the 380 touched down on runway 1R … I was able to be standing on the DJC ramp at the end of the runway. Back in 2007, I was standing in the same place to see the first ever arrival of the A380 at Dulles when it came during its United States Tour. On that visit I was able to tour the aircraft, which was being shown by Lufthansa. Like all new things, today’s events didn’t go without a glitch… the jetway to reach the top deck on the Super Jumbo was about 1 foot short so they had to work on it during the quickturn.

Well, it’s going to be an early night for me… heading to New York at 6 in the morning for a day trip.

June 6, 2011

Hey Everyone,

I hope your summers or last month in school are going well. Since I last checked in with you guys I have been on a few trips and have been working a little. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I work in the education department at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center – National Air and Space Museum. During the summer months I’m there every 2nd Saturday for the “Super Science” event that brings in the youth as well as the parents in to the museum to explain and get younger children involved in aerospace and science. I helped with the Cessna 152 activity that gives guests a chance to sit in and manipulate the controls of an aircraft. During a single 6 hour shift I was able to get roughly 1,000 visitors through that cockpit – if you think about it … that would be like all first-year students at Embry-Riddle inside a single airplane in 6hrs.

What else does this month have in store for me? I am planning on a few day trips to the Midwest – Chicago, Columbus OH, Pennsylvania, and possibly Indianapolis. The trips are for various car shows scattered around the country. Next month brings the major event that we have been planning for: the Buick Club of America Nationals is being held in Danvers, MA, just north of Boston. I’ll be making the trip up there for a week and then back to VA for a week before headed to Oshkosh 2011!!!!

I will post another update later this week with a report from Dulles Airport. This coming Monday is a big day for the airport – the Airbus A380 is starting service with Air France. I will post pictures and a brief report on the big day…

Feel free to shoot me an email or add me on Facebook if you have any questions about Riddle or just want to talk.

Talk to you soon!
James

June 1, 2011

Hey everyone! I want to start out with a little introduction of myself. My name is James Dingell, and I am headed into my junior year at Embry-Riddle in the Business Administration degree program with a focus on Air Transportation. I am happy to have the opportunity to write for the program and hopefully give you a glimpse of what it is like to be a student at Embry-Riddle.

I am from Oak Hill, Virginia – about 20 miles west of DC, where I have lived all my life. If you have been to the area, you know that we have a ton of history and activities year round… which is great. Since I can remember, I have had a major interest in cars and airplanes. In 2003, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center – Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum at nearby Dulles Airport opened its doors, and I was one of the first persons through the doors at a private preview. Since then, I began volunteering at the age of 14 with the Education Department where I did many events and activities with the public.

The largest is the annual Fly-In “Become a Pilot Family Day” where we have had more than 100 aircraft from all different backgrounds attend. At nearly the same time, I began working at Dulles Jet Center, a private aircraft facility at Washington Dulles International Airport. As a line service worker I was exposed to the great world of business aviation. I had known since middle school that I wanted to attend ERAU, but my high school classes combined with my work at Dulles Jet Center made me quickly focus towards Business and the business aviation industry.

Getting closer to graduating high school, I made it my goal to have my Private Pilot Certification before coming down to Embry-Riddle. After a long winter packed with cold weather and snow… July 20, 2009 came and with it came my check ride. Mission Accomplished! High school also brought with it a new look towards my future in aviation. I created Dulles Jet Management, a sales/management company that specializes in corporate aircraft. I have continued to grow the company, now listing a total of 4 aircraft.

My freshman and sophomore years at Riddle were packed full of memories that I wouldn’t have had at a different school. The first thing you will notice is the weather. It gives you more opportunities to get out and do things, even in the winter months when your friends are stuck in their dorms back north with snow on the ground. The friends you meet freshman year will become some of your best friends. To this day, we pull out our sectional charts and find a new place to fly to and explore on weekends. That is one of the perks of having a ramp packed full of Cessna’s and good weather (for the most part).

Of course not everything has to do with airplanes, aviation and being pilots. Daytona Beach has a ton to offer off campus. Being so close to the Daytona International Speedway, I have attended the Rolex 24 Hour race, Daytona 500, Nationwide Series and club sponsored race weekends each year. This is a great plus for me since I am really into cars and automotive-related events.

The Daytona 500 is a huge event for the Daytona Beach area. I was able to get a unique perspective of the 500 this year working at SheltAir Aviation – Daytona, the FBO over at the airport, where we had several hundred… yes several hundred airplanes ranging in sizes. Both working at Dulles Jet Center and SheltAir has given me contacts in the industry that I will have when it comes time to graduate, you will notice networking is a key to success in the aviation industry. Working during the Daytona 500 gave me the chance to see and meet drivers, crews and owners.

Over the past two years we have made plenty of trips back and forth from Orlando to visit Disney World and Universal Studios. My roommate Pete and I went down to Disney World last August and purchased our Annual Park Pass that gave us access to the Disney Parks year round. It is a great feeling to work through the week with classes and course work knowing that your hard work during the week will lead to a stress free weekend of fun at Disney World. Now, I want to say that I thought at first that having the ability to go down to Disney so often would wreck the experience – boy was I wrong, it takes me back to my childhood visit of the parks. You don’t want to sit around the dorm room and play your Playstation or Xbox 360 – remember we are in Florida… get out there and have fun. v

So, by now you are probably wondering what I do when I leave Florida. I decided to stay a few extra days in Daytona to finish moving from the dorm to my new apartment. My friend Pete and I decided to move off campus for the next two years. This summer, I have now returned home to Virginia where I am continuing my volunteering and work combined with several big trips. I didn’t waste too much time; I arrived home on a Thursday and was back at the airport Friday morning for a day trip down to Wikesboro, North Carolina with my dad and friends.

As I mentioned earlier, I am interested in cars in aircraft, I have several car and air shows to attend around the country. I will be in Boston for a week in July for the National Buick Club of America car show and Oshkosh towards the end of the month for AirVenture. A good friend and fellow Embry-Riddle student, Eric and I are flying from Winchester, VA (KOKV) to Oshkosh, WI (KOSH) in a Cessna 182 Turbo for the EAA AirVenture show. It is the first time I am attending Oshkosh so I am very excited. It will be a great week of camping, airplanes, friends and memories. Other trips include several trips to Pennsylvania and other states and several trips to Nationals Park for MLB action.

Well, that pretty much sums up a lot about me and my future plans for the summer. If you have any questions with regards to ERAU, student life or anything, don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail or via Facebook. I will be sure to keep you all posted on summer events and my travels.

Sincerely,
James Dingell