A Midsummer Morning Update

Sunset at the Spruce Creek Fly-In

Sunset at the Spruce Creek Fly-In

Hello there readers, so nice of you to wander over here.

Summer A classes have ended, and I got two A’s! Isn’t that sort of cool?

I really enjoyed the two classes I took, and I’ve decided not to take classes summer B in order to give myself some more time to devote to finishing my CFI rating, working as the Editor-In-Chief of The Avion Newspaper, Serving as the Director of External Affairs for the Student Government Association, and…


I’m working as a ground lab instructor, so I get to introduce kids to the fundamentals of aviation! It was really neat how I got his opportunity. One of my training managers in the Flight Department, Dan Thompson, gave me a call and personally asked if I could help out. Naturally, I said yeah! who wouldn’t like to spend time with kids talking about all of the awesome subject areas of Aviation?

So far I’ve taught three ground labs:

1) A Lesson on Fundamentals of flight, how airplanes fly, the four forces, and Airplane flight controls

2) A lesson on weather, weather services, Radar and satellite imagery, and making good Go/No-go decisions

3) A lesson on piloting skills, ground reference maneuvers, and how Wind drift effects an aircraft

Later today I’m teaching Aeromedical factors, IMSAFE procedures, and a little bit about cross-country operations.

I’m very excited about this because I’m getting real teaching experience. In CFI training, we learn about the Fundamentals of Instruction. FOI is based on psychology, and analyzes how people learn best, but also what hinders learning. Flight Instructors and Aviation Instructors use this knowledge of FOI to better teach students lasting concepts.

I’m getting started on my CFI experience now! that’s how I’m treating this summer job


I’ve also been keeping up with photography now and then this summer. Summertime brings lots of storms to Florida, and one of my favorite things to photograph are thunderstorms. But let’s be honest, the best part about living in the creek is the airplanes! here’s a few of my shots, I take hundreds at a time. RVnamed bonanaza C130USCGcrop2 crk2

A 1955 Cessna 180

A 1955 Cessna 180

Embry-Riddle has everything you need to succeed while in college. If you have a passion for aviation or any of the degree programs offered here, come visit campus, or email me ans ask me about the school. I’ve been here for a while now, and I’ve met a lot of people that I could refer you to if I cannot answer your question. Why wait?


May 2010

The Spring 2010 Semester has finally come to a close, which unfortunately means that this is my last journal entry. A lot has happened in my life throughout my first two semesters in college. I hope that by following me many of you are able to paint a better picture of what college life will be like. I also hope that many of you can learn from my experiences and take them into consideration to make decisions yourselves.

I just recently passed my Private Multi-Engine Instrument checkride. Making me a Private Pilot in both single & multi-engine land airplanes, with instrument privileges in both classes. I’ve completed all of those certificates and ratings along with a complex endorsement and a high performance endorsement.

My plans for Fall 2010 Semester are to take the Commercial Multi-Engine course in the Diamond DA-42-L360. Along with Commercial Ground and other Aeronautical Science (AS) courses. I’m still keeping my Air Traffic Control minor, as a backup for flying.

I moved out of my dorm on Thursday, May 6th. I split a storage garage with four other guys and the rest of my stuff I packed into the car and took home. I left big items, such as my bike, TV, shelves, mirror…(etc). I had more stuff than I had originally thought: something to keep in mind when buying things throughout the year. My room looks quite empty and plain now as the posters are taken down. All that is left is the furniture.

I’m moving back to New York for four months, where I will be taking a few courses at community college to continue my studies as well as save money.

I was able to take my parents flying before I left Daytona Beach. I rented the Cessna 182T from Air America and flew to Flagler County Airport where we ate lunch at Highjackers. I was able to log an hour of flight time, making the $100 hamburger a $180 hamburger. However if you can split the cost, it comes out a reasonable amount.

These last two weeks have been quite busy: having a checkride/flight test, moving out, and having my parents in town. I also volunteered time at the Alumni Welcome Reception for graduating students. This was held at the NASCAR Daytona 500 Experience, which is quite a lot of fun. There were car races, tire changing races, movies, and many cars on display. Overall it was a blast, and the Alumni Association hosts it each semester for the graduating class.

I want to thank all of you for reading my journal these past few months. I appreciated the nice comments many of you have left me. It’s always nice to know someone out there is reading and enjoying my work. I also write for The Avion Newspaper, so be sure to check that out! I wish you all the best of luck!

As always,
Over and Out.

May 2010

It is unbelievable that I have already finished my first year here at Embry-Riddle. It seems each year goes by faster and faster. After attending Rochester Institute of Technology for two years and now Embry-Riddle for one year, I finally caught hold of something, a dream that has inspired me, to take a chance, a leap of faith perhaps, to try something new and challenging.

I have lots planned for this summer break which I am anxious to get underway. I am getting involved with a team of students to formulate a research and design experiment for NASA’s Microgravity Competition. It will be an awesome opportunity to try and earn a spot in the contest which will enable us to fly our experiment onboard NASA’s Reduced Gravity Aircraft, aka “Weightless Wonder”, or better known as “The Vomit Comet”. I have seen pictures, videos, and even heard from people who have actually experienced the 0g sensation. Now I might have the chance to experience it myself!

I am still waiting to hear how well I placed in the NASA Art Contest. Judging is supposed to commence next month and my patience is diminishing as I wait to hear the results! I received honorable mention last year so I am hoping I improved this year.

The other activity I have planned for is to develop a website featuring a collection of my 3D models and digital art. A big hobby of mine is learning how to use various 3D software applications to design random things. I was looking over my previous journal postings as I thought I mentioned this already once but I guess I did not. A few years back I had started a website, Mammoth Pictures, to share my work. As I got more involved with my studies, the less time I spent on web development. So, I am going to give it another attempt, this time though with the help of a friend. The new website, Virtual Aerospace, will feature 3D models of aircraft and spacecraft along with digital space art. I am really excited to be working on it with another colleague from school and the site should be fully available in the upcoming weeks.

This will be my final sign off for this year. I hope you have learned something from reading my monthly journal whether it be something about the school or a certain experience that I have shared. I enjoyed hearing from some of you throughout the year and if there are any questions regarding the campus or anything relating to the Aerospace Engineering program here at Embry-Riddle, I will be more than willing to answer back. You may contact me via e-mail at wlodarcs@my.erau.edu I look forward to hearing from you!

As always, you can continue to follow me throughout the summer break on my blog, Working My Way into Space. It is great to look back now after this year and see how much I have accomplished… the experience thus far has been phenomenal and there is plenty more to come!

Until then, see you out there!

May 2010

It’s that time of the year, the end of school. I cannot believe how quickly this year went. I feel like it was not too long ago when I first moved in here and now I am already packing. These past few weeks have been very stressful, but also some of the best. While I look forward to going home, I will miss all my friends here at ERAU.

Picking six classes, as my advisor puts it, is “overload.” Throughout the year, tests and assignments were well planned and classes rarely coincided with each other. However, during the past two weeks, everything has coincided. Six classes means six finals. Needless to say, I have spent a majority of my time studying for exams, yet hard work throughout the year takes off some of the pressure. The pool reopened the other day, so I have been able to take breaks and relax for small amounts of time.

Embry-Riddle’s Sneak Peek Campus Preview weekend brought in a fair amount of incoming freshmen. If you went, you might have seen me in the college of business with ERAU’s collegiate entrepreneur’s organization (CEO). Additionally, we were set up alongside the College of Business’s table. Even if you are not majoring in business, picking up a minor in business is a smart move… of course, I might be biased.

I recently discovered that I can double major here without spending extra time here. The major in management parallels the air transportation major very closely, and the only difference between the two is 6 classes or so. I have yet to officially declare it, but I will be reworking my four-year plan this summer and I hope to declare my second major next semester.

Next semester I am signed up for marketing, air transportation principles, financial accounting, quantitative methods II, and business communication. Unlike this past semester, my course-load will be business-based. Aside from the sciences and a few math classes, I have a fair amount of non-business classes / general education courses out of the way.

On Tuesday I will be driving back up to Pennsylvania. It will be sad to leave ERAU, but I will certainly be back for Fall 2010.

I hope everyone has a great summer!

May 9, 2010

I’m done with my undergraduate degree! A part of me still can’t believe that I’m already done and I don’t think the reality will hit me until I walk across the stage and accept my diploma! Some of my friends in the past have decorated their graduation caps and I want to decorate mine, but I’m having trouble deciding what message or picture I want to put up there. One thing I do know is that it will be done with rhinestones for the full bling effect! My finals went really well and I know for sure that I got an A in two of my classes. I’m still waiting on my final grades for my master’s classes but I’ve got a feeling that those went well too.

Two weeks ago, I found out my Air Force job and upon entering active duty I will become an Acquisitions Officer. I’m pretty excited about it and I’ve had a lot of people tell me that it’s a very marketable career field outside of the Air Force. You may be wondering what an Acquisitions Officer even does. Well from what I’ve read, I’ll be in charge of a program and making sure that small parts of that program are completed on time, have the proper funding, and fit into the bigger program. I’m not sure where I will be stationed yet, but I did have to submit a list of my top six base choices from a predetermined list. My first choice was Colorado because I have always wanted to live out west. I think I will find out in September where I’m going to end up.

Later today, I will be on a plane headed for home and I’m so excited! I’m looking forward to seeing some of my family and the cornfields. Three years ago when I left home, I never thought I would miss it as much as I do sometimes. I’m looking forward to the road trip back to Florida with my sister! I think it will be an adventure to remember! When I get back to Florida, I will move into my new apartment, go through the graduation ceremony and say goodbye to some of my friends, then start summer classes. My prediction is that this summer will be just as busy as this past semester, but that’s the way I like it!

I’ve enjoyed telling you about my experiences throughout the year here at Embry-Riddle! I hope that I helped answer some of your questions about Embry-Riddle or college life in general. I’m looking forward to spending one more year here before I enter the Air Force. Good luck with all of your endeavors!

Until next time,

April 2010

Hello everyone! This is my second to last journal for the school year. I’ve received many comments and made many connections while writing to you about my first-year experiences.

I’m happy to say, I’ve successfully completed my instrument training and I am now a Instrument Rated Private Pilot. I started the course in January and with my availability this semester, as well as my instructor’s, I was able to complete 47 flight activities (Flight, Simulator and Ground Lab). I took the Check-Oral exam on Monday (4/19/10) and took the Check-Ride flight on Wednesday (4/21/10). I passed both tests with an FAA Part 142 Examiner. Coincidentally the two examiners were brothers.

Sneak Preview day is coming up this weekend (4/24/10) and I will be there to cover the event for our newspaper, The Avion. If you see me feel, free to stop and chat.

Finals are approaching and the final projects that I discussed last journal have been completed and on both I got an A+.

On campus we had guest speaker Michael Durant. The movie Black Hawk Down is based on his experiences. He spoke as part of Veteran’s Appreciation Day, last Monday.

Most recently, this past weekend (4/17-4/18) was the annual Sun ‘N Fun air show in Lakeland, Florida. On display were static aircraft, which were mostly the same airplanes from the AOPA AirportFest, however there were a few I haven’t seen before. In addition, there were exhibits in the hangers which consisted of representatives from King Schools, Garmin, and Beechcraft. My friends and I stayed overnight in town and returned late Sunday night.

Finals are approaching, and I’m also figuring out how I’m going to finish my Private Multi. Hoping to finish that before I head home.

Over and Out.

April 2010

It is amazing how fast time can fly by at Embry-Riddle. I owe that to my six classes and my two clubs that keep me busy, one of which, Embry-Riddle’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO), I will be the new vice president for next semester! In my other club, Airport Management Club, we were able to tour Tampa International Airport this past Saturday.

Out of all the tours we have done this past year, this was by far my favorite and it is also the largest airport I have toured. We toured their Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting (ARFF) station, which proved to be a state-of-the-art facility. In addition, we got to drive around the airport’s ramp, tour their communications center and baggage handling areas. Naturally, my favorite part was when we were on the ramp. Immediately, whenever an aircraft was nearby, everyone in our group got their cameras out and started taking pictures. You can read more about my tour here http://jetcheck.net/2010/04/19/tour-of-tampa-international-airport/

Unfortunately, this past week was also the most stressful. Every day there was either a project due or a test to be taken. One of my papers, covering the recessionary effects on the aircraft manufacturing industry, totaled 16 pages. A group project, for my advanced computer system class, totaled 20 pages. However, I did not have any homework this past weekend, which let me catch up on sleep I missed.

With about two weeks left here, everyone is making preparations for going home and for coming back next semester. I will be going back up to Pennsylvania the way I came: driving. It is a 16 hour drive, but split between my Dad and I, it should not be too bad. I am excited go back home, but I know I will miss friends here at Embry-Riddle.

Until finals week,

April 19, 2010

Happiness,…not in another place but this place, not for another hour but this hour. -Walt Whitman

This is one of my favorite quotes because it reminds me to be happy every moment and, while this isn’t always possible, I wish it were. My birthday was this month and I had a great time celebrating and hope that the year to come is just as wonderful as the last. Some reasons to be happy: I picked up my cap and gown, I’m going home for a few days before graduation, and school is almost over! Of course, this month has had its moments that weren’t the greatest, but that just made me realize how great my family is. Going to college over a thousand miles away from home and everyone I knew hasn’t always been easy, but everyone is just a phone call away!

Graduation is fast approaching! I’m happy that I will be able to fulfill another dream of mine when I walk across the stage! Classes are starting the process of winding down, which means projects are coming due and the last test is approaching. I’ve lucked out and for the first semester since I have been at ERAU I don’t have any finals during finals week because they are all taking place the last week of classes. For this reason, I’m able to fly home for two days and then make the road trip back to Florida with my mom and sister. I know that I won’t be home for long but it will be nice to breathe in the Illinois air for a day or two! There is just something special about the smell of corn and soybeans growing in the fields. Most of my projects that are coming due are group projects and the hard part with those is trying to find a time when everyone can meet. Lately, we have decided to do sort of an open house meeting where some people leave early and some come late. It’s hard to keep everyone up to date, but we have found that it’s the only method that will work for now!

This past weekend I attended Air Force Dining Out, which is basically a dinner and the celebration of another year completed. We all get dressed up in our service dress, eat dinner, watch a video of the year in review, have an award presentation, and then the announcement of next semester’s cadet wing leadership positions. I had a good time and enjoyed spending the evening with some of my friends. The rumor was that I along with others would be finding out our AFSCs (Air Force jobs), but it didn’t happen. So, we are now supposed to find out on Monday…guess I’ll just have to be patient and keep waiting, which is easier said than done! Next journal entry, I’ll be able to let you know what job I will be doing in the future.

Try and be happy as many moments as you can each day, I’m trying to be! Remember they say it only takes seventeen muscles to smile, but forty-three to frown. Therefore, everyone should smile because it’s easier than the alternative!

Until next time,


April 2010

There is no better way to wake up on a Monday morning than with a shuttle launch in your own backyard. Space shuttle Discovery blasted its way into orbit on a mission to rendezvous with the International Space Station. I rode down with some friends to a dock over the beach in New Smyrna and had a great view of the pre-dawn launch. We were fortunate to be looking up at the moon when we started to see this tremendous glow in the sky. I thought at first it was Venus but then realized the planet was only starting to rise above the horizon. Also, planets do not streak across the sky so rapidly and I figured that the only object that could be glowing brighter than Venus and traveling that fast was the ISS. Sure enough, it was the ISS and some photographer sent in an image on NASA’s website and captured the station transiting the Moon.

Seeing a shuttle launch is one thing, but that morning had it all. The moon was glowing, the sun just peaking over the horizon, Venus gleaming in the distance, and the ISS flying by. This will forever be embedded into my memory!

Remember the design competition I was entering? Well, I uploaded my submission and since registration is now over, I can release to you my entire design project. I am satisfied with my work, but then again, I definitely think there is more I can improve on. But I will not get into details about it. They say ‘you’ are your own worst critic and so we will leave it at that. I call it “Magnificent Desolation” in which I stated in the description:

‘Humans are the most curious species on this planet and space has allowed us to apply that curiosity. It is part of our nature to explore the unknown, to expand our capabilities and technology, and to inspire the next generation to disprove the meaning of the word impossible.’

You might not be able to see the two people in the window the one lunar capsule (Hint: I took pictures of myself pointing and typing on a keyboard and then composited the shots into the scene!) You can visit my online blog to see a larger version of the image.

I will wrap it up here for now. There are only a few more weeks until this year comes to an end and I could not be more pleased with my first year at Embry-Riddle. Until then, see you out there!

April 2010

It seems as though it was just yesterday that I said it was the beginning of the Spring 2010 Semester, but now it’s apparent that only one month remains. Classes are coming to a finish and final projects assigned in January are… just getting started.

Housing for next semester is finalized and I am living just down the hall in O’Connor with 8 other friends. That’s going to be a great year (Fall 2010 – Spring 2011).

For those of you who are starting ERAU in the fall, look out, as I just might be your Orientation Team Leader!

Student Alumni Association is getting a move on as upcoming events such as the Etiquette Dinner are giving the exec board quite a list of things to do.

Fall course registration started today for sophomores. I registered for Commercial Pilot Operations (AS 321), Flight Physiology (AS357), Air Traffic Management II (AT302), Technical Physics (PS 103 w/ Lab), and Aviation Weather (WX 301).

Next semester’s flight, I’m registering for Commercial Multi in the Diamond Twin Star (DA-42-L360). That will be on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

As an incoming freshman your academic advisor makes your schedule. But the following semester and on, you are given the course offerings booklet and you select the courses and times to suit your needs.

Just the other night we watched as the last ever night space shuttle launch took place. It was quite a sight in Titusville and quite a long day thereafter, as the launch was 6:21 AM on a Monday.


That weekend my friends and I spent two days at the beach. It was a really nice day out, both days! Hoping to do the same next weekend!

Daytona is a really great town to be located for college! Some might disagree, but everyone has got their own opinion.


Don’t forget, if you’d like, to add me on Facebook! (Just make a note that you know me from my journal)

Over and Out.