Kyle

About Kyle

Junior

Aviation Business Administration

Major: Aviation Business Administration.
Minor: Flight.
Hometown: Albany, Indiana
Activities: Flight Professional Conduct Board, COB Student Advisory Board. Elected official: Student Government Association | COB Student Representative, Student Assistant: Dean of COB, Vice President: Phi Beta Lambda / Future Business Leaders of America ERAU, Military Liaison: Wings and Waves Airshow, Proud Owner of a 1955 Piper Apache airplane, karting driver coach and previous Formula BMW scholarship winner

The Summer of Delta: Part 2

Delta 767-400 in Atlanta.My internship at Delta Air Lines this summer has been quite the adventurous one.  Besides a very busy work schedule, I have already touched the east and west coasts, mainland Europe including Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as many interior states.  My trip to Brussels was quite the ever-changing one as I had to take the train to Amsterdam and catch a Boeing 777 ride home to the United States.  Keeping up with the rest of the aviation geeks here, being able to spot some gorgeous airline heavy metal is a regular occurrence at the world’s busiest airport.  The cell phone lot at ATL gives you the opportunity to take some great pictures, like the one above of a company Boeing 767-400, when we are using a west departure operation. Working at an airline is NEVER a boring job!

A panorama of NYC on the approach into LaGuardia.

A panorama of NYC on the approach into LaGuardia.

 

Infamous Delta Biscoff cookies help power a lot of our 90,000 employees each day.

Infamous Delta Biscoff cookies help power a lot of our 90,000 employees each day.

Delta is a very dynamic place to be right now, especially since we seem to be the airline with the target on our backs.  Massive profits in recent times have set Delta apart from the rest of the industry, showing that massive growth and acquisition strategies have seemed to play out in the company’s favor. One of the biggest happenings at the company since I have been here was the recent opening of the Delta Flight Museum at the airline’s Atlanta General Offices location.  The event was well-covered on social media and news sites as well, so check it out for more information on how to see this great attraction.

There was quite a crowd of employees and distinguished guests at the grand opening of the renovated Delta Flight Museum on June 17th, the 85th anniversary of Delta.

There was quite a crowd of employees and distinguished guests at the grand opening of the renovated Delta Flight Museum on June 17th, the 85th anniversary of Delta.

The internship has really opened my eyes to how complex an airline is.  Thousands of people are needed to get a flight off the ground, not just the six to twelve crewmembers that are in each airplane getting the passenger from point A to point B.  The typical view of an airline is one that comes from what folks see at an airport but it is really much, much more in depth.

One of our flagship machines, a Boeing 777, took me back across the Atlantic from Amsterdam to Detroit.

One of our flagship machines, a Boeing 777, took me back across the Atlantic from Amsterdam to Detroit.

Departments like mine (Network Planning) touch each flight at some point and build a schedule that has integrity and will be profitable, Revenue Mangement, aka ticket pricing, prices many levels of tickets with limitations depending on what days you might be traveling or how far in advance you might be purchasing your fare, Operations Control handles each flight enroute and solves any problems that might arise, and Finance provides the money needed to get each flight off the ground by financing airplanes and projects as well as daily operations.  The picture to the right shows my ride back to the US from Amsterdam, one of our Boeing 777s.  Partnerships like our one with KLM in AMS make our international operations much easier by sharing gates and ground equipment plus personnel. Hundreds of other specific departments and sectors are needed as well, really showing the complexity of the world’s greatest mode of transportation: Flight.

 

One of the experiences that I have been able to take in at Delta has been the opportunity to fly a handful of their full-motion simulators.

One of the experiences that I have been able to take in at Delta has been the opportunity to fly a handful of their full-motion simulators, including this Boeing 767.

Not only am I a business major, I also have my FAA Commercial Pilot’s Certificate and keep current in both multi-engine and single-engine airplanes.  One perk of being at Delta has been access to the full-motion flight simulators that our pilots use to train on their specific aircraft type.  We have at least one simulator or more in-house for every type that we fly except the Boeing 717 (Boeing owns those simulators).  I have been fortunate enough to fly the Boeing 767-300ER and Boeing 777-200LR sims as well as the Airbus A330.  I hope to fly the other types, stay tuned for more pictures!

I am excited to see where else my non-revenue travels will take me this summer and I will be sure to share more pictures and stories as they happen!

Happy flying,

Kyle

 

 

Summer Life – Delta Air Lines Internship

 

Delta World Headquarters

Hey all!  I hope everyone is having a great summer as we fly into the month of June.  My month of May was quite eventful; I wrapped up finals at the beginning of the month and then headed up to start my summer internship at Delta on May 12th.  I’m working with the great folks in the Network Planning department where a large group of individuals plan where and how we are going to fly all of the routes that are out for sale to the public.  The process isn’t as easy as saying you’re flying from point A to B at this time, it is a very choreographed process with tons of steps between deciding when and where to fly and how they are actually going to do it.

Sabre AirVision is the software that we use in Network Planning to schedule all of the flights that Delta operates.
Sabre AirVision is the software that we use in Network Planning to schedule all of the flights that Delta operates.

My internship started off very quickly as I quickly became acclimated with our scheduling software, Sabre AirVision.  The product is very easy to use and not only contains the flight schedule that we are working with, but it also generates reports on things such as flights that may have the same number as another (duplicates, which you cannot have on the same day) and hours that airplane types and crews will fly (we only have so many airplanes and pilots and crews are restricted by the FAA on how many hours they can fly in a day).  I cannot imagine scheduling flights without a product such as this one.

Network PlanningPutting together the schedule is quite a challenge because of dozens of things that the normal traveler doesn’t see.  Things such as performing overnight maintenance on our fleet and keeping the number of flights coming into and out of a hub within max limitations is a very hard task due to the number of flights that we are trying to fly in a day.  The Delta system is based around a hub-and-spoke style layout and every hub has special characteristics that the folks in Network Planning have to keep in mind.  No one flying on an airline likes delayed or cancelled flights and it is our job to make sure that every flight gets off the ground as planned, on-time through major planning months before the day of the flight.

Traveling while interning at Delta is a must!  I went to NYC for the first time over Memorial Day and it was a fantastic experience!

Traveling while interning at Delta is a must! I went to NYC for the first time over Memorial Day and it was a fantastic experience!

One great perk of interning at Delta is the flight benefit package.  A normal intern has the opportunity to non-rev, or fly anywhere in the world for minimal or no cost at all as long as there is an open seat in the cabin, aka a non-revenue generating seat and passenger for the airline.  So far I have worked at Delta for three weeks and have gone home to Indiana twice and to New York City, Myrtle Beach, and Daytona Beach all once.  Being an airline intern definitely has its perks other than gaining awesome experience behind the scenes.  I cannot wait to use my non-rev benefits to travel around the world!

6Delta World Headquarters, known as the G.O. by employees, is an awesome place to work and I am extremely honored to have been chosen to work for and represent such a well respected and successful entity.  Stay tuned for blogs in the coming weeks and months from here in Atlanta!

 

Happy flying,

Kyle

 

A Riddle Student’s Spring Break!

Spring Break 2014 is a wrap from all of us here at ERAU!  I just wanted to have a short “photo” blog on what an “ERAU Student Spring Break” might look like…

Inflight meal service via Biscoff cookies is a must on ANY flight!

Inflight meal service via Biscoff cookies is a must on ANY flight!  Enroute to Sebring, Florida for the 12 Hour race night practice to kick off spring break.

Flying with my dad and girlfriend is always a great time!  Here we are enroute to Muncie, Indiana from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Flying with my dad and girlfriend is always a great time! Here we are enroute to Muncie, Indiana from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

I had a few chances to go flying over break and my dad's 1950 Piper PA20 Pacer was exercised quite a bit!
I had a few chances to go flying over break and my dad’s 1950 Piper PA20 Pacer was exercised quite a bit!

Descending into ATL from IND on a Delta A320.

Descending into ATL from IND on a Delta A320.

 

NBAA Regional Forum: Great Success!

On January 30th I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the National Business Aircraft Association’s Regional Forum in Boca Raton, Florida on behalf of Embry-Riddle.  The exhibitor area and static display ramp were sold out with over 80 vendors and 20 aircraft.

The exhibitor area was packed with vendors and potential customers alike, really putting a positive vibe over the whole event.

The exhibitor area was packed with vendors and potential customers alike, really putting a positive vibe over the whole event.

The advances in technology were at the forefront in the static display area with Cessna showing off its newest revision Sovereign aircraft alongside its TTx piston rocketship and Gulfstream bringing its G280 demonstrator.  Turboprop aircraft were also shown off including a new Quest Kodiak, a Beech King Air 250, and the ever pleasing Piaggio Avanti II, rounding out the new aircraft contingent.  On the technology side, FltPlan.com was there supporting their online and mobile flight planning applications and many vendors were selling new iPad and wireless capable apps for everything from flight and performance planning to inflight wifi.  The ever changing technology is sure driving the revived business and general aviation markets!

 

Technological advances are really driving the business and general aviation markets as a whole.  New flight deck systems such as this Garmin system in a new Cessna Citation M2 are not only making pilot's jobs easier, but also making flights more safe and reliable.

Technological advances are really driving the business and general aviation markets as a whole. New flight deck systems such as this Garmin system in a new Cessna Citation M2 are not only making pilot’s jobs easier, but also making flights more safe and reliable.

The real purpose of traveling down to Boca was to interview five industry officials and get their take on the state of business and general aviation as a whole and maybe provide some insight into the future.  First I heard from Gil Wolin of Wolin Aviation Consulting, a man that grew up in the back of his dad’s V-tail Bonanza and has been in the industry for over 70 years.  He brought up the points that aircraft sales are up and that new aircraft are driving these numbers even higher, validating my point that new technology is again driving a prominent industry in a time of uncertainty.  We then heard from Mr. Steve Johns, an aviation insurance broker from Michigan with over 25 years of experience in the industry.  Mr. Johns spoke about insurance rates and that they are decreasing and have been for some time now, helping the unstable market in these times.  Mike O’Keeffe from Banyan Air Service also spoke with us about FBO and aircraft sales being positive in late 2013 and early 2014, again showing good signs for our industry at the moment.

Check out the recap of the entire NBAA Forum in Boca Raton on our COB YouTube page!

Check out the recap of the entire NBAA Forum in Boca Raton on our COB YouTube page!

To wrap this all up I just want to reassert that general aviation is such an important piece in the global economy.  It isn’t only a thing of pleasure, it is a definite business tool for everyone from middle managers to top level management in all sorts of industries.  Flying in an airplane is a true form of being able to time travel, something that people have been dreaming about for quite some time.  Being able to travel anywhere quicker than the airlines, get closer to the destination you are really going to, and still have an office to work in with wifi connectivity makes business aviation a go-to answer for any sized company or family really.  Thanks to organizations like NBAA, AOPA, and EAA and initiatives like No Plane No Gain, general aviation is on an upswing and might once again return to its glory days.

No Plane No Gain

For more coverage of the NBAA event in Boca and other ERAU College of Business and aviation news, join me on the new COB Report video series on our YouTube channel at youtube.com/user/eraubusiness and view our newest video recap on the NBAA event in Boca Raton (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lmefabO_nI).

Happy flying,

Kyle

Me at NBAA BCT

 

The Joys of Aircraft Ownership

Last January was an exciting time for me.  Not only was I coming back from the Holiday Break as a junior, but I was coming back as an aircraft owner.  A Piper PA-23 Apache, N1140P had came up for sale on the market during the last few weeks of December 2012 at an airport just a short drive from my house.  I had been looking at light piston twins for the entire fall just researching and feeling out the market, and this Apache was the airplane I had been looking to get for quite some time.

Here’s my Apache over Daytona Beach in the Spring of 2014. Light piston twins can be a great way to travel and fairly economical if you fill the seats on long hauls. Photo credit James Dingell.

The Piper Apache started out as a design from the aircraft manufacturer Stinson in the late 1940s and early 1950s.  Eventually making its way to Piper, the Twin Stinson name was swapped out for the Apache, starting the long line of “Indian Pipers.”  The early Twin Stinson had smaller Lycoming engines and an “H” tail design, not unlike the B-25 Mitchell bomber.  The Apache was really the first light twin piston engine airplane to make it big on the market as everything before it was quite large, such as the big Beech 18 Twin Beech and Cessna T50 Bamboo Bomber.

The onset of the Apache was quite a significant one as the airplane was really the first “light” piston twin to catch on in the general aviation market. It was touted as a smaller business airplane but doubled as a family station wagon as well. Just as the advertisement says, the Apache is quite the utility airplane with it’s rugged twin engine design and extremely roomy cabin.

Buying an airplane is quite easy, hand over the money or sign finance paperwork at the bank and it’s yours, but it’s the other things that make aircraft ownership rough.  Insurance has to be found and paid for and a hangar or ramp space for the airplane is also needed.  An annual inspection of the airplane is required which can set you back some serious cash and if you’re flying for hire, a 100-hour inspection is needed every, yes you guessed it, 100 hours of flight time.  Then you have the consumables: fuel, oil, oil filters, tires, light bulbs, all of the little stuff.  It really does become an expensive toy very quickly.

 

Annualing an airplane is quite expensive, and on a complex airplane (one with retractable gear and flaps and a constant speed prop) like this Piper Aztec or my Apache, it gets even more expensive and time provoking.

It might seem like there’s a lot to keep straight when owning an airplane, and there is, but it all teaches you to be a better manager and teaches you to take care of the equipment you are using.  In flight training, most people have total disregard for the equipment they are using, but when you own the machine it changes all perspectives about the joy of flight.  Owning a light airplane can open all sorts of doors for you.  Just driving up to a hangar and getting an airplane out and not having to schedule one at a flight school or jump through a lot of hoops to get into one and rent it is quite nice.  The disadvantages are quite minor ones, like cleaning and detailing the airplane.  If you’re going to have it, you might as well keep it spotless, right?  I have spent many late nights and early mornings keeping the ole Apache clean, and it’s quite enjoyable in itself when it’s all finished and polished up.

Owning or even just taking care of an airplane is quite the task. One of the most enjoyable parts of owning an airplane is seeing it shine and gleam at the end of a long day of flying.

 As you can probably tell, I absolutely love my airplane.  Owning one is quite expensive, but the advantages and experience that one can pull from it is priceless.  Going flying isn’t the only thing to it, the management skills and dedication needed can really teach a person a lot about life in general.  It is a great way to really experience aviation!

Happy flying,

Kyle

 

Why are all of those flights really delayed?

As an aviation business major here at Embry-Riddle, I have taken a lot of neat classes in the past three years.  Everyone likes classes that make you think and answer real-world questions, and Airline Management taught by Dr. Abdelghany here in the College of Business is one of those courses.  In Professor Abdelghany’s class you learn the management side of airline operations, which is a very complex model in itself.  From who is involved with each and every flight, to how an airline schedule is built and run on a day-to-day basis, to how an airline recovers from a major storm just like Winter Storm Ion that just blasted through the Midwest and the East Coast, most every part of airline management is covered.

At landing slot controlled airports, only so many flights can takeoff and land per hour all based on what airline “owns” each slot. With any storm, the number of flights that can operate per hour is decreased because of the weather conditions which impacts every flight in the system. This diagram shows the impact during a weather system and a recovery plan below depicting what flights depart when to recover operations.

Here this week we saw US major airline jetBlue cancel all of its flights from its four major Northeast US airports: New York JFK and LaGuardia, Newark, and Boston.  Some stated that they thought it was a sign that jetBlue, or B6 as it’s known in the industry, was on the brink of failure, on the verge of shutting its doors.  In my opinion, I think it is a great way for jetBlue to recover from the terrible start to the winter season.  Two major weather systems have wrecked airline schedules to start 2014, and the flights you see on the boards aren’t the only things affected.  Resources, including airplanes and crews are misplaced at different destinations and duty hour limits (maximum hours one can work per day) are reached at difficult times.  Not only are resources limited, but worker safety is a giant factor as well.  In Indianapolis this week, exposed skin could potentially be hurt via frost bite in as little as five minutes meaning that ground crews are stressed to the max in the frigid temperatures.

Every box indicates a flight which has resources involved including the airplane, the pilots, the flight attendants, gates, etc. When a flight is delayed, a domino effect happens and all flights later on down the schedule using the previous resources are affected as shown here.

This and more is discussed in the Airline Management course at Embry-Riddle, making students in the Aviation Business major or minor very well prepared for a successful career in the aviation industry and the airlines specifically.  So the next time a flight is delayed and folks are wondering why, step back and look at all of the things affected by a major storm.

Major winter storms like Ion in January 2014 affect airports all across the world. Here you can see that it takes a massive effort between airport, airline, and government officials to get airline schedules back on track.

Happy flying,

Kyle

 

 

 

The Magic of Flight

There is just something about flying that excites nearly every single human-being.  I think flying is as magical as it is because of the simple thought of flying through the sky, in any type of flying machine, with nothing supporting it up there except the nothingness of the air around it.  Some folks don’t like to fly, and some, like myself, absolutely love to get in an airplane.  For those that don’t like to fly, they still look up at every airplane in amazement, because flying is indeed an amazing and puzzling thing.  Whether it be actually flying the machine or just sitting in the back enjoying the ride, I always love to go up into the wild blue yonder.

The sights you see in aviation are second to none to anything else in this world. Nature is always seen in its finest moments and it truly is just man and machine up there.

Over the past few weeks I did quite a bit of flying back home in Indiana and I met another young man that was just as crazy about airplanes and flying as I am.  We ran into each other at the famous Sporty’s Pilot Shop near Cincinnati, Ohio and were both there trying to find new toys to enhance our flight bag.  He was just starting his flight training at Ohio State and it was neat to see a young 18 year old that was so passionate about aviation about to start his dream career.  The same passion is shared among most all students here at Embry-Riddle.  I am an Aviation Business Administration major here, as a lot of you know, and most students in this program have a good idea of where they want to end up, meaning they know what company they want to work for and what they want to do there.  These students may or may not be pilots, but they too feel that magic when they’re dealing with the “business of flight” as we like to call it.  They love to see the flight schedules come together and deal with the daily operations of aircraft manufacturing and airline planning and management, it is just a great thing to be involved with.  The same goes for the engineering students here.  They, in a way, make this magic happen.  They dream up and create the machines that the businessmen and women finance and the pilots fly.  But at the end of the day, they’re inspired by this magic, the awesomeness per se that is felt when you see a machine going through the air.

Some of the best experiences I have had in aviation haven’t come in a flying-for-hire environment in big airplanes, they came in small airplanes with friends such as this picture depicts. Shown here is a typical “backyard” style fly-in, with this one held near Muncie, Indiana at Dalton Field.

Here at Embry-Riddle, you can study about everything aviation.  From designing the airplanes in the College of Engineering, to financing and managing the business end in the College of Business, to actually flying them in the College of Aviation, and to making sure safety is assured in the College of Arts and Sciences, the students of ERAU are definitely immersed in everything aviation.  Every one of the majors at this university have an aviation flavor intertwined in the curriculum, and it all comes back to this magic of flight.

Happy flying,

Kyle

The Future of General Aviation

My 1955 Apache with my Dad’s 1950 Pacer. Airplanes like these are mainstays in the general aviation category.

Some of you might be wondering why I’m righting a blog about the future of general aviation because these blogs are supposed to be related to student life at Embry-Riddle.  But, what about life after Embry-Riddle?  I plan to stay in general aviation as a career and I am a huge general aviation proponent and believe it is a vital component to the transportation system around the globe.  It is a pure form of time travel, and when someone is lacking a bit of time and needs to get from Point A to Point B more efficiently, regularly, general aviation is a the go-to to provide that service.

The GA industry has sure evolved since its major inception just after the Second World War, and it is still evolving today.  Just like its big brother, the airline industry, competition across the GA market on the big scale has decreased, but it is still extremely strong today.  One reason it is so strong is because of the advent of growth in the experimental aircraft category, which continues to pave the way for new, feasible aviation technologies.  Parts being non-certified doesn’t always mean bad things, unlike their general connotations.  Non-certified parts are generally cheaper and of the same quality as their certified counterparts, and sometimes they’re identical to the same, more expensive piece!

Consumer electronics are another revolutionary in the aviation industry as well.  The onset of the true Electronic Flight Bag age is here, and that was all because of the iPad.  No longer are the days of purchasing new charts every 56 days, just click “download” in ForeFlight and updated charts are at your finger tips.  Cell phones are also being used for the same application, and that sector is only going to grow like the size of their new screens.  One other consumer electronic device has revitalized flying, and that is the GoPro.  Capturing everything aviation, the fish-eyed GoPro is making waves and bringing new people to the industry, young and old.  Inflight wifi is also the next big thing that is coming to light airplanes, and hopefully soon.  Costs are going down on that technology as developments are being made.  I really think that will spark new interest in the common man with new found connectivity while on the go.

With all of these positives, there has to be a negative, and that comes in the sense of rapidly growing costs.  No longer are the days of ads with $5000 airplanes, now $500,000 gets you a nice traveling machine.  Fuel costs and associated airport fees are also skyrocketing which is only driving down the activity in and around general aviation.

Back to when General Aviation was growing rapidly. Piper offered to teach you to fly for free if you bought your own Piper J3 Cub.

I wrote this because I truly care about general aviation.  I grew up around it and always aspired of owning a company in this industry sector because of all of the great things that come from it.  True innovation happens here, and the gift of flight is given to so many here as well.  I cannot wait to see what the future brings to general aviation!

Happy flying,

Kyle

 

 

 

 

From the Cockpit Desk of Kyle Ludwick

In front of the Riddle AMS Gulfstream III.

Hey guys!  Being a student at the world’s leading institution in aviation studies is quite the task, and also quite an honor.  The experiences and opportunities that students get here are unbelievable and it’s awesome to be a part of it.  Growing up as a kid I always wanted to have that big desk in the corner office, but my first love was flying, and here at Riddle I can pursue both!  I’m an Aviation Business Administration major here at the Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach campus and also have my Commercial Pilot multi-engine and single engine ratings.    Learning the “Business of Flight” here at the College of Business and juggling many other tasks makes life hectic, but there’s no other way I would want it.  Many long days are put in as I am also a Student Government Representative for the COB, a COB Student Advisory Board member, and a student assistant in the COB Dean’s Suite.  Like I said before, students at Riddle get some amazing opportunities, like the chance to tell all of you about my experiences through this blog.  I hope you all enjoy it and continue following my journey through my junior year down here in Daytona Beach!

Kyle

When Are We Ever Going to Use That?!

How many times as a high school student did you say, “When are we ever going to use that?!”  I know I must have said it hundreds of times, and even say it sometimes now as a junior in college!  When you look back on it, it’s all about gaining a specific way of thinking so to speak, and all of the hard work you put in is definitely worth it.  Thinking back, I can remember many Calculus lectures with Mr. Paul Keller and many days in AP Anatomy with Dr. Lance Brand back at Delta High School asking myself why on earth would we ever need to learn this stuff, but it all comes down to learning to put your nose to the grindstone and grit your teeth to finish the job.  As a student in Mr. Glaze’s engineering classes in high school, I often wondered why we needed to keep such organized class work and practice our class presentations so often, but those are things that I do every day here at Riddle.

Presenting the 2010 Delta High School IMSTEA SuperMileage entry as a junior in high school.  I never thought that I would carry that presentation experience into my daily college career!

As a student leader here, I often speak in front of peers and faculty members about many various topics and the experience gained in high school makes it that much easier every time the opportunity arises.

Another example of mine that I use often is my career in racing.  I have worked as a driver coach and tuner in karting for a few years now after a short, successful driving stint and I must say that, even though aviation and racing might not be the same industries at all, they are quite similar! Management and interpersonal skills are key in both arenas and I carry experiences from my flying over to the race track and vice versa.

I would have never imagined that racing would have taught me so many other useful skills that I use in my daily life. Here I am driver coaching at a national kart race in early 2013.

I hope you guys have enjoyed this blog as much as I have, and next time you wonder when you’re ever going to use what you learned by doing that 10 page research paper you dreaded so much, just think about the set of skills you carried away from it to put to good use in the future.

Happy flying!

Kyle