Research Opportunities

This past summer, I had the privilege to work on an undergraduate research project with my faculty mentor. I was accepted to the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows (SURF) program offered by the undergraduate research department. I spent the spring 2020 semester (pre-covid) designing my research and a plan for data collection. I conducted my research on Women in Aviation and factors that impact minority female students enrolled in aviation higher degree.

2020 SURF Receipients

During the summer and into the spring semester, I was conducting interviews on zoom from a remote site (due to the pandemic). These participants identified themselves as a minority female and I was able to have meaningful conversations with them in order to explore their needs and wants in order to achieve success in a very homogenous industry. The entire process almost took up a year but this past month, I was able to present my research at the Global Virtual Conference on Diversity in Aviation, Aerospace and STEM, hosted by Ohio State University. The paper was later published on UAA (University Aviation Association) for the CARI (Collegiate Aviation Review International) journal. In addition to the publication, I will be presenting at the virtual Student Research Symposium (ERAU) this fall.

It was such a meaningful opportunity to be able to conduct my own research, present it in front of people and be able to publish a research paper. I have learned so much from the experience and all the time I spent working on this project was well worth it at the end.

I always knew that our university had great research programs, but as a pilot, all those opportunities felt distant from me as I assumed they were more for the engineering students. However, from my own research experience, I found out these research programs extended to aeronautics, business, homeland security and many more majors offered at our school. It was a refreshing experience to see the work of student researchers from a diverse pool of studies.

For anyone who is interested in conducting their own research (you can also do it in a group), I would highly recommend contacting our undergraduate research department to find out more about all the opportunities they have to offer. They will help you find anything from a good research topic, a mentor, a scholarship, to conference opportunities. The experience you will gain from conducting a research at a higher degree institution is something you will not obtain from your average classroom setting.

I Watched the Product of Literal Rocket Science

Spoiler alert: It was freaking awesome, and hopefully, one day, I will be in a mission control room…

So, as space lovers like myself are well aware, the Crew-1 mission launched on Sunday from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Since I live in Daytona now, I was lucky enough to be able to see it from ~10-11 miles away. And let me just say- that was awesome.

Since the Crew-1 was a crewed mission, a lot of people wanted to go. Thankfully, Embry-Riddle is only an hour or so away from Cape Canaveral, and everyone knows it. Because of the proximity, there’s a group chat on Snapchat full of people that like attending rocket launches. A lot of people- and I mean a lot– of people decided to go to this launch, whether they are in the group chat or not. Here’s what my snap map looked like nearly two hours before the launch:

Yeah, a lot of people went down. Some people made it a full day endeavor, hanging out at Cape Canaveral/Titusville/the Kennedy Space Center. If I had the time, money, and a car of my own, I definitely would have. Embry-Riddle has ZipCars, so people with ZipCar accounts can drive the ZipCars. That’s how my friends and I got a ride down there.

My friends and I settled on a bridge nearby to watch the launch. The bridge was pulled up, and the lights were pretty bright, so we decided to go exploring. We found a path that led to a birdwatching spot and realized that the launch pad was right in front of us. (We were facing south, north of the Cape.) Once we realized that, we instantly took a seat on the birdwatching benches.

There was no service for most of us, but luckily, one of our friends had 5G service. He streamed the launch and played it through one of our other friend’s Bluetooth speaker, but since he had limited cellular data, turned it off 30 seconds before launch. (We only had it on to ensure that the launch didn’t scrub.) While the stream was playing, we talked about the launch, including the rocket’s trajectory. Most of us were aerospace engineering majors on the astronautics track. Then, the launch pad lit up right in front of us, and we all started cheering.

We all screamed when we saw this. Photo credit: me.

It was crazy. It was as if the night had turned into day for a split second, and then we saw a tiny burst of light streaking up into the sky:

The little dot is the rocket. Photo credit: me.

We all had our cameras and filmed the little rocket shooting up into the sky. A few moments after the rocket launched, we heard the loud rocket rumble, and we were so close that we could feel it in the ground. I totally understand why some people cry during rocket launches- it was amazing to watch. This is how far people have come- we’re sending each other into space. This is the product of literal rocket science, something that I’m lucky enough to learn at Riddle. I couldn’t stop thinking about it- one day I could do something like that with my degree.

Since the rocket trajectory was going northeast, it curved to the left in the sky. We were able to see everything: we saw the first stage booster separate from the rocket, and then we watched the second stage booster ignite. After that, we watched the rocket get smaller and smaller until it disappeared into the sky.

We waited around in case we could see the first stage booster coming back down to land on the drone ship, but unfortunately, we didn’t see it. After that, we headed right back to Embry-Riddle. The roads back were quite busy, since people had a lot of different spots to watch from. One of my friends took this from a beach:

Crew-1 from the beach. Photographer wished to remain anonymous.

This is the second rocket launch I’ve seen; the first one was the Starlink launch in August. I’ve noticed that Crew-1, however, had a lot more attendees to it. It was absolutely amazing to watch, and I’m really glad I got to go. Even those who didn’t make the drive down to Cape Canaveral were able to see the launch from Riddle’s campus, which is another thing that I love about going to Riddle. On Friday, I had a test, so I couldn’t drive down with the rocket-watching group chat to watch the Atlas V launch close up. However, I could easily see it from Riddle’s campus!

Somehow, I Won Two Halloween Costume Contests

Well, now Halloween is over, and so are the Halloween events. Embry-Riddle hosted several events this year despite the pandemic:

The student government association (SGA) also had free treat bags for students in the Student Leadership Suite all week, which was very nice of them. Each treat bag had a drink (some had Starbucks Frappuccinos and Gatorades!), a full-size candy bar, a bag of chips, and a small bag of fruit snacks.

The Honors Student Association hosted a door decorating contest, room decorating contest, and costume contest that all of their members were invited to participate in. I noticed a few doors being decorated, and some other people left free candy outside of their dorm room for the entire week preceding Halloween. Some of the candy buckets are still there.

This year, I didn’t have too much time to come up with an amazing costume, and I didn’t have too much money to spend. However, I was able to come up with two low-effort costumes: Regina George (from Mean Girls!) and Miss ERAU the CFI.

On Friday, I decided to dress up since I saw several others doing it. I had a crown, so I threw on a white shirt and black pants and decided to cross over the beauty queen idea with the flight instructor idea that I’d had earlier in the year. The Embry-Riddle certified flight instructor (CFI) uniform consists of a white polo, black pants, and black closed-toed shoes, which was pretty easy to replicate. This year, Miss America is a pharmacy student, and she often wears her lab coat on her Instagram, so I decided that “Miss Riddle” could be a CFI.

With a little help from the SGA, I was able to borrow a blue graduation stole to make my sash. I used two paperclips, one at the top and one on the bottom, to help make the cross, and I was good to go! I walked around campus as Miss ERAU on Friday, and then had plans to be Regina George on Saturday. I even stuffed some papers in a pink folder to make the Burn Book:

However, the heat and I did not get along. Since I’m in Florida, I overheated very quickly and changed back into my Miss ERAU costume, which I wore for the rest of Friday.

On Saturday, the Halloween events started at 6 PM. I met a few friends outside of the student union, and we explored the festivities. There was plenty of treats at different tables: candy apples, bags of candy, hot apple cider, and even full-size donuts. Inside the student union, the school had set up a haunted house. I tried to go in with my friend, but we chickened out three times. Our friends eventually got her to go through it, but I decided to be a chicken and not give myself nightmares.

At 7:30 there was a costume contest in front of the student union, and I decided to enter it. There were seven categories: Best Group, Blue & Gold, Scariest, People’s Choice, Most Creative, Best Homemade, and Air & Space. My costume fit best under Blue & Gold, so I chose that category. The judging committee consisted of a few students, one of which was the SGA president.

The contest was really well organized. Once the category was announced, the entrants lined up on the side. Once the judges were ready, they then walked in front of the spectators and the judges’ table. Contestants would then state what they were to the judges and student body before walking off to the side. The process repeated until every costume in the category was judged, and then it started all over again. There was also a photographer from the Student Engagement & Student Union department, and he took photos of all of the contestants.

The costume contest was very entertaining for both spectators and entrants. One of the funniest group costumes (in my opinion) was this group of guys:

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the UK, has made an appearance. He is accompanied by two flag carriers and a member of the Embry-Riddle Flat Earth Society.

After all of the judges had judged the costumes, they announced that voting for the People’s Choice costume was open. To vote, students scanned a QR code and voted on a CampusGroups poll of the entrants. While that happened, the judges determined the winners.

I ended up winning the Blue & Gold category and the People’s Choice category. I got a $10 Starbucks gift card for the win in each category, and the People’s Choice win also came with a Cards Against Humanity set. I also got two certificates.

After the costume contest, Touch-n-Go, the entertainment division of the SGA, screened The Nightmare Before Christmas. Riddle-sponsored Halloween events were after that, but one student hosted a bonfire in the fire pit by New Residence Hall Phase II, which several other students attended.

I thought Halloween was great this year despite the pandemic. I’ve never experienced a pandemic-free Halloween at ERAU, but this year there was a surplus of events. I heard that the haunted house was really well done, but I was not willing to test it out. In my opinion, the SGA and Student Engagement teams did really well, especially with the amount of free candy.

And let’s be honest, one is never too old for free candy.

The Uncertain Future

25 Awesome In-Flight Photos Taken by Pilots from the Cockpit - 500px

Almost anyone I talk to about my future career, they often ask me these two questions. Why do you want to become a pilot / what made you choose this career? Which airline do you want to work for? In today’s blog, I will be sharing my answers to these two questions.

Why do you want to become a pilot?

I am currently studying to become an airline pilot so my specific program is called the restricted Airline Transport Pilot/ Certified Training Program (R-ATP/CTP). What this means is that once I graduate with all my hours and my Bachelor’s degree of aeronautical science, I have some options of working either as a commercial pilot, flight instructor or an airline pilot. Who knows what my future will look like especially with the pandemic situation, but my ultimate goal is to become an airline pilot.
When I was a child, I loved cars and animals. I had boxes full of toy cars and everyone around me knew that I was always surrounded by cars. As I entered middle school, my interest shifted towards airplanes and helicopters. I often drew sketches of military jets and helicopters and I also collected miniature airplane models. However, aside from these hobbies, I didn’t have a any close family member who was in the Air Force or the airlines that I grew up looking up to. My only exposure to flying in general was the experience I had traveling abroad with my family.

During high school, we had college representatives visit our school once a year to promote and guide students in their college application process. One day, a college rep was standing in the lobby of my school with a campus map of a university that was placed right next to a runway. At first, I thought that map was the coolest thing since the rep also had small plane models sitting on the table. Her name was Terra (who is the international recruiter for ERAU Daytona Beach) and that’s when my story with Embry-Riddle began. Long story short, I got accepted to Embry-Riddle and I started attending this university from 2017. After spending almost four years at Riddle now, I am still fully committed to the future career of flying.

My first flight in a small single-engine aircraft came a few days after my first day of class. The university really got us into these planes from day 1 and we have been building hours ever since. The view from my “classroom” is absolutely stunning every single day, as we coast along the shorelines of Florida in our Cessna 172s. Flying above the clouds really changes your perspective and you start to realize how small the world is. To be able to look out the small window of your two-seater airplane and see the roads you take every morning commuting, and the Target store around the corner of your neighborhood, it’s an eye-opening experience.

I wanted to travel since I was young and traveling has always been part of my life. Before I heard about Embry-Riddle, my desired major was political science and international affairs where I was going to choose the path of a diplomat and pursue my passion for history, foreign affairs and diplomacy. This option would also give me a chance to travel the world with the help of the government. Either way, I wanted to travel the world and experience different lifestyles across the glove. I just thought traveling by flying an airplane in cool uniforms would be a better option.

What airline do you want to work for?

Some of my peers at the university have everything planned out already. One wants to intern with company X, get hired by them and one day become a captain of an A321 flying from Los Angeles to Atlanta. One wants to become a cargo pilot working out of Anchorage for company X or Y.
Then there’s me. “I would gladly fly planes for any company who wants to hire me!”

I thought I had a plan set out, but I also realized that life is very good at altering your plan without notice. Take the pandemic for example, where thousands of already-flying pilots were furloughed and the aviation industry was substantially impacted. If I learned anything from these trying times, I decided to stay even more open minded because things can go out of plan really quickly. My friends are already looking into their dream airlines’ commuting distances, health care benefits, company culture, scheduling, etc. I do believe that being proactive and planning your future is important. However, I just want to focus on my study and enjoy what I have going on at the moment. I always thought it was better to be more spontaneous than having everything planned out.

It’s definitely a new lifestyle that the world had to adapt to with a pandemic and especially in the aviation side of it, people and companies are hurting. However, I don’t want to discourage the current and future pilots as we will recover from this over time. It would be a great time for us to look at alternative paths and plan B, C, D, etc. It’s important to do the research and explore other parts of flying as a career so you don’t find yourself stuck on a single path that you’ve been relying on for so long. Fly safe!

Hope & Half-Way

Happy October folks! I’m currently blogging from Daytona Beach, we’re about halfway through the semester, almost a month away from finals, and I’m so excited to visit Virginia again come Winter Break.

Mid-terms the past couple weeks were not easy. From my personal experience, college students are some of the most stressed out group of humans I have ever encountered. Maybe it’s because we’re all navigating excessive hours of homework, studying, class, and other university obligations, and there’s somehow only 24 hours in a day? I have found that I am currently coming out of the stressed wave from midterms and the only thing to do now is to keep cruising full speed ahead until the end of the semester. Stay on the grind of prepping for quizzes, doing homework, studying, and using the down time (can it really be considered down time?) between exams to mentally prepare for finals season.

Student Court’s group photo channeling Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry ie Harry Potter vibes.

I have been enjoying the little moments recently. This especially includes the few and far between coveted days I get the luxurious chance to sleep in. I also have been feeling very grateful for the little moments I get to catch up with old friends, girl gang brunches never get old especially when they haven’t happened in a few weeks.

This semester has been mentally exhausting, whether it’s from online classes, a global pandemic, general life stressors, or a cumulation of everything, everyone I’ve encountered seems a little off. Navigating “normal” life with so many abnormal aspects doesn’t feel right. Check on your friends! The world could use a little more compassion, understanding, and connection right about now. I am extremely hopeful for the end of the semester and SO excited to use Winter Break to catch up on sleep and mentally recharge.

I have surprisingly made some new friends this semester and even though our interactions are limited to Microsoft Teams calls studying or phone calls, the little bit of connection feels extremely comforting in the cold virtual aura that online classes have presented.

A visual representation of how the Student Court feels about being a little over half way through the Fall 2020 semester.

In other news, SGA Student Court has been going great! As the newest Associate Justice to the team I’m constantly learning and increasing my understanding of how the university functions and its rules, policies, and regulations. We meet virtually once a week to give updates, work on appeal cases, and do other courtly duties. I am so happy to be on such a great team with motivated, hard working, and dedicated individuals who strive to advocate for students. Generally I like to think the universe is for me, and so is everything else, but particularly in this case I can 100% say the Student Court is for you, and I am too.

Will report back soon. Keep on keeping on folks!

Hi, I’m Carly! The Pilot (AE) Intro Post

Hello, world!

Hello there! I’m Carly McDonald from Berea, Kentucky. As you might notice above, I’m a freshman aerospace engineering major. However, I didn’t start that way- I actually switched my major less than one month into school. Before I was an aerospace engineering major, I was an aeronautical science major.

By now you might be thinking, “She did what?” or “She did not.” Yes, I did. This was me after my first flight here at Riddle:

First Riddle flight with N437ER on August 27, 2020.

So, what made me change, and how’d I get here?

When I was eight years old, I went as a pilot for Halloween. I had just brought my little sister home from China (she and I are both adopted), so I chose to ‘work’ for Cathay Pacific. I decided to be a Boeing 747 pilot since the Boeing 747 was the airplane that brought both of us into the United States. My parents helped me make my uniform, including a little crew member badge, and I went trick-or-treating in ‘uniform’ that year.

Me as a pilot for Halloween.

Fast forward eight years later. I was a sixteen-year-old junior in high school knowing that I wanted to major in something STEM-related. Several college magazines had arrived in the mail and my dad was looking through them while I ate lunch. He stopped at one page and pushed the magazine towards me and said, “Take a look at this one.”

I finished my lunch and looked over the college page, which was Embry-Riddle’s. The more I read about it, the more I liked it and wanted to apply. A few months later, in June, my family planned a college tour trip. We had just flown into DAB when I got my first glimpse of Embry-Riddle through the plane’s window. It was almost midnight when we landed, but I was able to recognize the student union as we landed on runway 25R.

The next day, I took the engineering tour. I was still undecided about what I wanted to do, but by that time, I had narrowed it down to aerospace engineering (AE) or aeronautical science (AS). My mom had registered me for the AE tour, and I loved it. I saw lots of different things that looked interesting: the rocket lab used by ERPL and ERFSEDS, the EcoCAR trophies, and so much more.

From that moment on, I knew that I wanted to attend to Embry-Riddle.

June 2019, post-tour.

Over the summer, I did a lot of thinking. I decided to apply as an AS major and pursue my eight-year-old self’s dream, but I still liked the idea of being an engineer. I eagerly submitted my application to ERAU in August of 2019, and on October 18, the decision came. I was actually away in Northampton, MA touring another college when my parents texted me a photo of the envelope. I told them to open it, and then they sent back a photo of my acceptance packet.

As my senior year progressed, I grew more eager to get to campus in the fall. I was invited to apply to the Honors Program, and in February, received my acceptance email. I planned to attend preview day before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and was extremely disappointed when I couldn’t attend, but I looked forward to my move-in day.

So… yeah, I have a lot of stuff.

My family decided to drive down so I could bring all of my stuff since I had a lot of it. (Pro tip: if the upperclassmen say “it won’t fit,” don’t listen to them, you can still make it fit!) I had a basic idea of what to expect my dorm to look like since there is plenty of information on the Internet. I’d visited the ERAU website so much over the past month in preparation for college that I practically had all of the links memorized.

Move-in day was kind of hectic, but I was able to successfully move in. ERAU gave us large blue bins to help cart our stuff in.

Move-in day!

As I settled into life at ERAU- and came to terms with the fact that I was finally at Riddle- I also thought about my major and what I wanted to do with it. I had continued to think about it all summer, and I had set my schedule up with mostly general education classes that would count to either the AS or AE requirements.

The decision didn’t really hit me until after a few flights. I was one of the lucky students; ERAU has a lot of AS majors, so not everyone is assigned a flight block. However, the one they gave me was from 5:30-10:50 AM, and I am not a morning person. I loved my instructor pilot (IP), but after a few flights, I realized that I didn’t really want to be a pilot as a career, which is the purpose of the AS degree.

After I made my decision, I told my advisor, and she pointed me in the right direction. I switched majors with relative ease and dropped my flight block. However, the add date for courses had already passed, so I was stuck in AS121, the private pilot ground school course, so I could maintain my full-time student status. That’s okay; it just counts as an elective class, so I’m still making progress towards the AE degree.

A little while ago- October 2020.

Currently, I’m taking fifteen credits, and I’m happy with my schedule. I’m part of several different activities on campus: the Honors Program, the ERFSEDS Pathfinder project, the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge Controls Development and Testing team, and I’m the Introduce a Girl to Engineering Workshop Committee Ambassador for the Society of Women Engineers. I think that I’ve made the right major decision for me (haha… a major pun… get it?), but obviously, that could change. We’ll see!

I’m super excited to join the blogging team and I can’t wait to start writing about all of the crazy educational stuff that I do here at Riddle. I’m still learning how college works, but if there’s anything at Riddle you want me to write about around here, let me know.

Bye for now!

Breaks, Balance, & Burnout

Happy October everyone! I am currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida, it’s Midterm season and the Fall 2020 semester is halfway over!

I am very excited for Thanksgiving break, taking finals from home (with my sister’s amazing cooking), and an extra long winter break. I originally didn’t expect that having 3-day weekends canceled this semester would have a huge impact on me, but I was definitely wrong. Today’s topic is how to take small breaks when you can, and prevent burnout.

Pre-COVID family moments that have me looking forward to the extra long winter break this year!

Health is a dynamic part of everyone’s life, and it plays a huge role in how you’re doing academically. This semester I’ve been busier than ever, which is still astonishing to me. Navigating full weeks of classes back-to-back filled with lab reports, essays, homework, quizzes, and exams is rough! Time management and self care will be your key to success. 

Set goals! I keep an outline of my weekly schedule, with recurring class times, meetings, study group sessions, and homework times. I fill in the rest of my free time as my responsibilities change every week with (typically) more homework, workouts, and meetings. Knowing your limits is important. Sometimes you have to gauge if an extra hour of sleep is more important than an extra hour spent studying, or vice versa. I try to keep a similar bedtime every day to keep my schedule consistent. By trying my best to stick to my schedule and by checking off boxes on my to-do lists everyday, I find consistency in the chaos. 

My AFROTC Fall 2020 photobook picture.

You will most certainly find me on a Friday or Saturday night doing homework and going to bed by 8pm from being mentally exhausted at the end of a long week. I’m at the point in the semester where I am heavily reliant on coffee and internal motivation. I find I thrive when I am fairly busy, but there is a fine balance between healthy workloads that challenge you to grow, and feeling burnt out and exhausted. Rest and recovery are equally as important as grinding to get your assignments done and hard workouts. Progress comes with balance!

Hydration, quality sleep, healthy eating, time to de-stress, and time to process what you’re learning in your classes are all very important! I have in-person PT once a week with AFROTC, one Remote-PT, and an in-person LLAB, so I usually wake up fairly early. On the nights before, I set my alarm very early in the morning, I try to go to bed as early as possible, and set my future self up for success by laying out my uniform, prepping my gear, and making sure that if there are steps I can take the night before that will give me a few extra minutes of sleep in the morning, I take them.

Sometimes this is as simple as pouring water in my Keurig and filling my reusable pods with coffee grounds, but it makes a huge difference in my morning routine if all I have to do is press a button when I’m half asleep in the morning. For you this might look like studying for a quiz the night before instead of the morning of, or prepping your cover sheets for your homework assignments for the week on Sunday evenings. Set your future self up for success, anything I can do to make my future self’s life easier, more peaceful, or more well rested, I try to do.

My preferred schedule (that I adored sticking to over the summer) started with me waking up to the sunrise (preferably doing yoga and going surfing) and going to bed at sunset. My Fall 2020 school schedule doesn’t allow for my leisurely preferences, but I am very hopeful that my winter break will be filled with hiking, resting, lots of sleep good food, and my sister’s new puppy! My motivation lately has been looking forward to the future.

Keep on keeping on folks, stay safe, and I will report back soon!

Climb up the Ladder (Virtually)

spring 2018 expo - Career Services | Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

On October 13, 2020, ERAU will be hosting its annual Career Fair where a number of companies show up to showcase their businesses and recruit students. Due to the special circumstances this year, the career fair will take place virtually this time. Career fair invites a number of airlines like Delta Air Lines, United, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Frontier, and Spirit. Boeing, Embraer, Gulfstream and Northrop Grumman are also invited for engineering and business students. There are also government jobs and non-aviation contractor companies that visit to recruit students. It is very similar to your average college fair except you have the exchanging of resumes and business cards instead of college brochures.

This will be my fourth career fair I will be attending at Riddle. To be frank, as a low-hour pilot, there is not much that applies to you unless you enter your junior / senior year because often times, we just don’t have the hours or the certificates we need in order to get recruited. However, it is always a great opportunity to look for internships and talk to company recruiters about your potential interest in them. This year’s fair will be little different as everything will be conducted online. We have to exchange our resumes online through a program called “Handshake” and these companies will be hosting online meeting sessions to answer questions and showcase their companies.

Career Services | Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Prescott, AZ

The university puts great emphasis on these career fairs so on the days we have the fair, our classes are cancelled. You can see many students attending the fair in professional attire in hopes of getting a chance to work at their dream company in the future. Our school is heavily specialized in pilot and engineering programs and as a result, the level of competition between similar major groups is intense. Before COVID, you could see people waiting in line for Boeing, or Delta Air Lines for hours, just to get a chance to talk to one of the recruiters. If you see the desk areas of these major companies, the pile of resumes reaches an impressive amount by the end of the day. I’m hoping that the shift to conduct this fair online will not only keep us safe and healthy, but it will reduce the somewhat “chaotic-and-competitive” atmosphere of our usual career fair.

I believe it is a fantastic opportunity that is given to us students and it really gets you to start thinking about the real world after graduation. I am grateful that the school hosts these events that get you to be ready for your career before you graduate. It makes you realize how competitive the real world is and prepares you with the right tools for you to succeed after you leave Riddle.

Everyone has their own goals and whatever the goal may be, it’s important that we don’t let laziness and insecurities of our own distract us from the opportunities that are given to us. Whoever works the extra hours and shakes more reps’ hands will increase his or her chance of landing a spot in that interview or the company’s job.

I hope everyone will have a chance to attend this event and find some success in reaching your end goal.

https://careerservices.erau.edu/opportunities/events/industrycareer-expo-information-student/

What Do We Fly?

Embry-Riddle Flight Training, Aircraft Fleet, and Observation Flight

This blog will cover the technical side of flying as I will go in depth about what we fly to train everyday here at Embry-Riddle. This will only apply to the Daytona Beach campus and some of the statistics may be out of date.
As a student pilot who is working to get his or her Private Pilot License and become Instrument Rated, they will most likely be flying the Cessna 172 Skyhawk. Some students working on the Commercial Pilot License and Certified Flight Instructor training will also be training in these planes but they will spend majority of their time in the Diamond DA42-VI. I will be going over these two planes and giving you an idea of what it’s like to fly in one of your college classes in the state of Florida.

Cessna 172 Skyhawk

Cessna 172 | Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach, FL

“Skyhawk 405 Echo-Romeo, wind 050 at 7, clear to land runway 7L, caution wake turbulence, departing runway a Boeing 737.”

There’s a chance you will hear this through your headsets if you are flying near Daytona Beach airport in one of these Cessnas. Currently possessing 51 of these Cessna 172s, ERAU operates state-of-the-art aviation programs in order to help students train with a high level of professionalism. To briefly go over some specs,

C172SP: G1000 Glass Cockpit / ADS-B / Single-Engine (Textron Lycoming)

Max Speed: 124 knots

Stall Speed (flaps down): 40 knots

Range: 515 miles

Endurance (Time): 4.2 hours

Fuel Capacity: 56 gallons

This airplane can take a beating which is why it is used for flight training by so many different flight schools. It is so stable the plane will refuse to stall, which is a maneuver we need to practice. A stall is simply when you yank back the yoke and the plane loses thrust to compensate the weight and drag which pulls the plane down. Your plane will then “drop” from the sky which is why we train to recover from such dangerous situations. The plane can also take some “hard” landings which is a common mistake for many beginner pilots.

ERAU takes pride in all their Cessna 172s being equipped with G1000 glass cockpit and ADS-B. G1000 is a flight instrument panel that gives the pilot all the information he or she needs in a presentable manner. It is the updated version of the traditional “six-pack” where all the manual gauges and indicators were used to fly.

Garmin G1000 vs. Avidyne Entegra Avionics | High Performance Aviation, LLC

One quick glance at the G1000 system can give the pilot all the information he or she needs which may include: Altitude, Airspeed, Heading, COM Frequency, Engine RPM/ instruments, Warning signs, Glide slope indicator, GPS Map, Terrain, Weather en route, etc. It is now more common for the airline pilots to be flying fly-by-wire airplanes with computer generated Heads Up Displays and glass cockpits.

The second one is ADS-B which is Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast. What it does is track all the aircraft that are equipped with ADS-B using satellites and ground controls which allows their locations to be displayed on the G1000 GPS map. It will tell you the other plane’s location, flight path, altitude and airspeed and this becomes very useful especially in practice areas where high traffic of student pilots fly in limited airspace. Only down side is that not all planes are equipped with this expensive gadget so it is important for us as pilots to not rely solely on our instruments but rather looking outside.

Interesting perspective of what it’s like to fly in one of our planes out of Daytona Beach Airport by @AirForceProud95.

Diamond DA42-VI

Diamond DA42-VI | Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach, FL

Diamond 42 is our only multi-engine, complex aircraft which you can see by the two propellers spinning on each side of the cockpit. Complex aircraft means the landing gears can be retracted and it has a constant speed propeller… which simply means you can adjust your propellers in order to adjust the performance and fuel burn. These planes use jet fuel unlike the Cessnas so they are truly designed for commercial students who are about to graduate and head out to the airlines.

DA42-VI: G1000 Glass Cockpit / ADS-B / Multi-Engine (Austro Engine – Jet Fuel Piston)

Max Speed: 188 knots

Cruise Speed (economy): 152 knots

Service Ceiling: 18,000 feet

Range: 1273 miles

Fuel Capacity: 76.4 gallons

Currently operating 10 Diamonds at DB campus, these planes offer great training for commercial pilots who are working on long cross-country flights to Key West or North Carolina. They are packed with state-of-the-art gadgets as mentioned before and the complexity of these planes allow students to train on a high level of professionalism even before they get hired by the airlines.

Another wonderful perspective of flying a DA42-VI by @AirForceProud95

I hope you got to learn something about the planes we fly here at Embry-Riddle. It is truly a gift and a privilege to be able to fly and have access to these amazing gadgets and aircraft that are maintained for our flight training purposes. It is always easy to overlook how valuable this opportunity is when we fly everyday.

“They Shall Mount Up With Wings of Eagles, They Shall Run and Not Be Weary” Isaiah 40:31

Fall & Figuring It Out

Happy September everyone! I am currently blogging from Daytona Beach, Florida and I recently bought my plane ticket for winter break to head back to Virginia for Thanksgiving and virtual finals.

The first day of fall is very near and I am so excited for the air to start getting crisp and chilly, with rainy Florida fall days. Additionally, I’ve been very busy lately and it still boggles my mind how taking less credit hours (12) with more virtual classes, fills up my schedule more than taking 18 credit hours with in-person classes. I’m still adjusting and learning how to set boundaries, which is proving very tricky indeed. There is an unfortunate expectation with online classes that because classes are virtual, students are readily available 24/7, but I’m quite exhausted. There is a balance between virtual classes and life, and I feel like teachers, students, and staff are all figuring it out together.

My bitmoji enjoying some meditation after a long day.

Today my schedule consists of yoga, working out, breakfast, blogging, Aerospace Structures I homework, working on essays for study abroad program scholarships for Summer 2021, writing an essay for my Air Force class on a national security issue of choice, more study abroad scholarship applications, writing a letter to my brother as he is currently at basic training, an ROTC meeting, working on an Experimental Aerodynamics lab report virtually with my lab partner, going to get my daily wellness check, printing a slew of items, preparing myself for PT tomorrow (ie filling up my camelbak with water, laying out my PT gear, yoga because my muscles are sore and still recovering), and then sleep!

Teachers typically assume I have extraneous free time to relax on Saturdays and Sundays, but my weekends are equally as busy as my weekdays. I could use a 3 day weekend to get caught up on everything right about now. I am looking forward to the end of the fall semester, putting down my laptop and phone, and relaxing.

In other news my sister got a new puppy that I am so excited to meet when I return to Virginia in late November. Taking virtual finals with a tiny mascot seems like an amazing stress relief.

My sister’s new puppy Dasiy!

To be continued folks, keep on keeping on, stay safe and studious, will report back soon!