Thanksgiving Break 2022

Home is where my cats are.

So, this Thanksgiving I went back to Kentucky for Thanksgiving break! I didn’t end up going back last year but this year provided me with less homework to complete over the break so I could have a few days of vacation. I flew Avelo Airlines, which gave me a direct flight from Orlando (MCO) to my home airport of Lexington, Kentucky (LEX). Since Avelo is an ultra-low cost carrier, I’d stuffed my backpack full of everything I needed for the trip to avoid fees.

Avelo 737-800

The flight leaving Orlando was around 6 AM, so I ended up leaving Daytona at about 3 AM. I was too exhausted to pay attention to the flight since I was running on very little sleep, and I ended up sleeping for a good portion of the flight. After arriving on the ground and making my way out of the airport, I met my parents, who then drove me home.

It felt weird to get in around 8 AM since I still had the entire day ahead of me. When I got home, I had breakfast and then played with my cats for a few hours. It was nice to be able to relax, and I was anticipating lunch. I had already planned to go to my favorite local noodle restaurant. As always, the noodles were delicious, and I can’t wait to go back when I’m home for Christmas break!

Thursday was Thanksgiving, and of course, that was its own entity. I made a delicious chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting as my contribution to the meal, and it was enjoyed by all. It’s my favorite dessert to make, and the cake mix comes straight from the box. I usually use milk instead of water, add an extra egg, and replace the vegetable oil with butter instead. It’s delicious (and if you get the chance, I suggest you try it)!

Friday was pretty chill. Again, I spent the day at my house relaxing and doing nothing productive. It felt good to have a few days to do nothing but exist, play with my cats, and not think about schoolwork. That’s why they call it a break.

On Saturday, I packed up all of my things and prepared to head back to Orlando. I had a 2:45 PM flight this time instead of an early morning flight, which was very nice. It was a smooth ride back to Orlando and I ended up sleeping on the way back, too.

Orlando’s airport is a lot more chaotic than Daytona and it serves a lot more aircraft. There were several aircraft lined up for a runway as we taxied by with three different airlines. I love airplanes (not as much as I love spacecraft, though!) and it was fun taxiing by and watching them all sit there.

Southwest 737 MAX waiting in line.

The other fun thing about the Orlando airport is the terminal shuttle. At the TSA checkpoint, I went through, the airport separates two terminals by a shuttle, so I ended up taking the shuttle to the other terminal so I could look at planes. It was also great that the Starbucks line was considerably shorter at the other terminal.

I went back to the car and had to take a shuttle back to the parking lot the car was in, but it was much cheaper to park over there. By the time we left the airport, it was already dark. That’s one thing I don’t like about daylight savings is the lack of light in the evening.

The Orlando airport has its benefits and drawbacks. The main benefits from Orlando are (usually) cheaper flights and more food options, but it comes with the additional cost of time. The TSA line was very short when I was there at 5 AM, but when I went through at 3-4 PM for a trip, the line took me an hour. The Daytona airport is much closer, and the TSA lines are always short, but the flights are generally more expensive and there isn’t as much to choose from in terms of dining.

The other benefit of the Daytona airport is seeing Embry-Riddle flight students take off and land next to the larger commercial aircraft that come in. When I left from Daytona, I’ve always thought of the students that start at ERAU and then end up at the airlines- including a few of my friends. Maybe that will be you one day, too. I’ll see you in the next post… and hopefully at Riddle!

Two Engines Are Better Than One: The Multi-Engine Experience

Shine bright like a diamond.

So the last time I was in a small aircraft, I went flying with a few Riddle friends. The time before that, I went along with another friend, who was preparing for his commercial checkride. However, those were both small single-engine aircraft. The Colorado aircraft was a Piper Cherokee, and the other a Cessna 172. This semester, I got to experience the Diamond DA-42, Embry-Riddle’s twin-engine training aircraft for multi-engine students.

Chris has since passed his checkride, so I convinced him to take me along for a ride. All Embry-Riddle students are eligible to ride in the back seat of the aircraft (commonly referred to as “backseating”). The only condition is that the flight instructor and student must agree. The flight I got to backseat was his cross-country, flying from Daytona Beach (KDAB) to St. Simons Island Airport (KSSI). It was pretty cool- the Diamond moves a lot faster than the Cessnas.

To backseat a flight, first you stop at the dispatch desk with the student you’re accompanying. They’ll sometimes send you up to the flight supervisor’s desk, or sometimes they’ll give you the badge at the dispatch desk. Once you have the badge, you fill out some paperwork while the flight student begins their preflight activities inside. When the student is ready to go to the aircraft, someone from the dispatch desk will escort you to the plane (or you can wait for the flight instructor to escort you).

Waiting on the ramp!

While Chris preflighted the aircraft, I mostly stayed out of the way and looked around. I hadn’t been out on the ramp since last year when a GoJet aircraft visited and students were allowed to tour it. It took about half an hour to preflight the plane, and then we waited for the instructor to come. And that’s when the real activity began.

As one would before any sort of flight, you have to get from point A (the ramp) to point B (the runway) on the ground. To do that, pilots need to gain clearance and instructions from air traffic control. After we got to the runway, the run-up checklist was performed to make sure the aircraft was still doing okay. Since it was, we waited for our takeoff clearance, and then we were off!

The flight was pretty cool. Chris had filed an IFR (instrument flight rules) flight plan, which meant he could fly through low visibility and clouds. We ended up flying through several clouds, and I can see why instrument ratings are important. Sometimes it was hard to see the wingtip of the aircraft, which was only several feet away.

It’s just a bit cloudy outside.

The flight was around an hour each way, so within the hour we were coming up on St. Simon’s Island. I noticed that there were some heavy crosswinds on the landing, but Chris did just fine. We didn’t come to a full stop- we ended up doing a touch and go before turning around and heading back to Daytona Beach.

The flight on the way back was the opposite on the way to Daytona. We passed through the clouds again, flying back down the coastline. It was pretty cool to see Riddle from the sky- it’s always an amazing sight to see. When standing next to the buildings, they look huge, but from the sky, they look tiny.

After we landed, we headed back to the Riddle ramp. Since people are constantly walking on the ramp, pilots must taxi slowly and be conscious of their surroundings. Once we parked, Chris filled out some paperwork telling the school how long the flight was and where the aircraft was parked, and we walked back into the building.

I was free to go, but flight students do a debrief after each activity (ground instruction, flight simulator, or flight). It’s a way for flight students to discuss how the activity went- what the student did well and what they can improve on. Flight training at ERAU is rigorous, but I can tell that the university wants its students to succeed.

See you in the next blog post… and hopefully at Riddle!

New Year, New Member

Greetings everyone, my name is Eugene and I’m the newest member to join My Life @ Riddle blogger team. I’m a junior majoring in Aeronautical Science with minors in international relations and airline operations. I’m currently an instrument rated private pilot working on my commercial pilot license.

I’m from Seoul, South Korea. It’s a country in East Asia next to Japan and China, and I’m proud to call it home. We are famous for K-Pop and Samsung, and it takes about 14 hours to fly there from the east coast.

Seoul

In my spare time, I like to stay active, so I enjoy running, kayaking or going to the beach on a nice, sunny day. I enjoy reading which seems to be a fading hobby. I keep myself busy by picking up new projects and hobbies, and I try my best to keep my mind off school work and flying when I need to de-stress.

I always wanted to study international relations and foreign affairs by majoring in a political science degree. My goal was to work in the field of diplomacy and possibly end up with a career in the embassy. Fast forward to my junior year of high school, I was introduced to Riddle when a university representative from the school came to talk to us about college application. It was the only school I applied to that had a pilot training program. Fast forward few more years, I’m now a year away from graduating while studying international relations that is offered as a minor.

My short-term career goal is to become a flight instructor here at Embry-Riddle upon graduation. I’ll get a chance to teach and help eager student pilots earn their way towards getting their certificates and ratings. My long-term career goal is to work my way into the regional airlines and start building my airline career to end up with in a major airline in the long run.

I used to write personal blogs about traveling and flying in my freshman year of university, so I’m very excited to join the team to share about my flying experience here at Embry-Riddle as well as my traveling / college stories!

Inside the cockpit of a Delta Air Line’s A350-900 on my way back to Inchon, Korea from Atlanta, GA

Reminiscing with OBAP

Student clubs and organizations THRIVE on campus. There are over 200 different organizations ranging from professional organizations, major-specific orgs, and even clubs for music and the arts. There’s a home for everyone, and I found a home in the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP).

We hosted our first ever OBAP week during Black History Month and we’re finally compiling all of the content. OBAP week emphasizes our pillars – scholarship, leadership networking, and community service.

This was our OBAP week flyer that we distributed throughout campus. All events were open to everyone and we were happy to see that faculty members participated in events as well.

Sunday, club members got together to paint the Spirit Rock. Located steps away from the Student Center, the Spirit Rock is a point of self-expression for students on campus. OBAP was excited to add the layers of painted history that the rock provides the student body.

Our finished product! We definitely aren’t spray paint masters, but in the process of painting the rock we got a chance to bond, talk, and just have fun.

Throughout the week we displayed Black Aviation/Aerospace Facts in the student center. This was an opportunity to shed light on the giants that paved the way for Black and African-Americans in aviation.

Prior to flying with United Airlines, Captain Marshall served in the United States Air Force beginning in 1964. In 1972, Captain Marshall was forced to eject over enemy territory and was captured. He was a Prisoner of War (POW) until his release in 1973. Our members and other attendees were fortunate enough to hear his stories as an African-American in the USAF and a POW in the 60s and 70s – a time of racism and civil injustice. His stories highlight the importance of celebrating Black History Month as well as the other men and women that contribute to “reclaiming our time.”

Later in the week, we attended the Embry-Riddle Basketball games with the Caribbean Students Association. Dressed in our blue and gold, we were the embodiment of school spirit. Still one of the best games I’ve been to!

Our members also got the opportunity to participate in the half-time games. I honestly can’t remember if we won; we were so busy cheering that we didn’t know what we were really cheering for. We were just excited! The games are a must.

On Friday, we invited Bethune-Cookman University to participate in our annual trivia night. Questions were centered around Black history, aviation, aerospace, and pop culture.

OBAP closed off the week with a leadership retreat in Orlando. Staying in the house allowed us to bond, connect, and learn from one another.

In light of all of these events and the upcoming close of the year, our club (myself, especially) is reminiscing. This was a semester to cherish. Thank you to everyone that participated and those that will participate in the future. OBAP is Embry-Riddle and I couldn’t be more proud to be an Eagle!

To see more of OBAP’s events and our role in the Embry-Riddle campus community, check out our Instagram.

⋆ Dani

Last Minute Career Expo Tips

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY! For those of you who are attending the Industry/Career Expo, I have prepared a few last minute tips that you can use before, during and after the event!

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I got my Fast Pass!

Before
Here is a list of things you can do before the event:

Fast Pass pick up: Today is the last day to get your Fast Pass early to avoid long lines at the day of the event. Stop by Career Services with your Eagle Card to get your Fast Pass. It just takes a few seconds!

Download the Embry-Riddle Career Fair Plus app: The app is available on Google Play and the iTunes App Store. You will have access to the list of employers, which includes their company description, the job positions available, and any type of work authorizations required. The app also offers a map of the fair so you will not get lost the day of the event.

Do some research: Get to know the companies you are interested in working for. Navigate on their websites to know what jobs are currently offered and what are the requirements. Review the job requirements and qualifications. Companies want you to show them that you are interested in working for their company.

Review your resume: Take a look at your resume one last time to make sure that it is properly formatted and free of spelling errors. Click here for resume tips!

Practice interviews: Practice your elevator speech that you will use to introduce yourself to the employers. Make good impression. Additionally, get together with a friend and simulate an interview. Practice answering questions about the company or about the position you would like to work for. If you are applying for a particular position, go look on Glassdoor to see if there are any sample interview questions. Click here for other interviewing tips and sample questions!

Attend the info sessions: You should attend the information sessions of the companies you are interested in. From past experience, many of them gives you important tips such as how to approach an employer and how to shake hands. Below is the schedule of the Company Information Sessions prior to the Industry/Career Expo.

Overall-Expo-Company-Info-Sessions-1

Spring 2017 Company Info Sessions


On Site
Dress Code: During the event, you should look professional. You should wear clean, pressed business attire and be properly groomed.

What to bring?: You should bring your EagleCard, a notepad/portfolio to take notes and to hold copies of your resumes, a list of the companies you are interested in, and business cards.


After
Following the event, you may want to send thank you notes to the employers you had significant interaction with or whom you interviewed with.

It’s definitely okay if you don’t get an interview during your first year of college. I used my first time at the Expo as practice. I did not get any interviews, but I went to talk to the various recruiters to get more information. You can ask them what the company is looking for to hire students. They are usually looking for extra curricular activities, clubs and past work experience. Use the following year to boost up your resume!

Hope this helps!

Nicolas

What are the “Hippity Haps” for this week?

Hello, hello! Back at it again with the biweekly updates. With another two weeks under my belt, I cut right to the chase.

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You can catch me on the air with my good friends Lonnie and Ella Wednesday mornings on WIKD!

As usual, classes are starting to get more and more challenging as the semester progresses. And with my time management getting slightly better, I am definitely looking forward to using Spring Break as a period of time to catch up.

Yeah so you can actually see a rocket launch from campus which is legit.

Yeah so you can actually see a rocket launch from campus which is legit.

Speaking of Spring Break, I was selected to represent The Avion Newspaper at this years CMA conference in New York City. The College Media Association (CMA) is an organization that offers resources for news organizations on college campus nationally, and every year, they host a media conference where students from different colleges can meet and get feedback on their material.

Even though I’ve been to New York City many times, I am still excited for the trip. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a vacation and I’m looking forward to meeting people across the nation to gain insight and knowledge that would help benefit the newspaper.

Cue the CSI Miami music.

Cue the CSI Miami music.

It snowed in Daytona Beach.

It snowed in Daytona Beach.

In other news, Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB) recently held their tri-annual safety drill. The drill, which involved the FAA, FBI, DHS, and the Red Cross, simulated an aircraft that over-ran the runway. It was nice that DAB had a reserved section for Riddle students to view the training exercise.

Ah, the new residence hall.

Ah, the new residence hall.

That’s pretty much it for now so I’ll see you all in another two weeks!

Monday’s Update

Hello everyone! I hope your week is going good so far! It’s a crazy week coming up since spring break is right around the corner. Just an update from my side, things have been going really well. Except for the fact that I am extremely tired, I am happy with where I am at.

I recently received an email from NASA regarding the Solar System Ambassador position, the teleconferences are really picking up and I have opportunities to work with STEM education as well so today I resigned as my position as President of Society 4 S.P.A.C.E. My Vice President, Neysha, is taking my place until an official election takes place. I am happy with the half-term I served and I am hopeful for where the club is headed in the future. However, this NASA position is something I cannot turn down. I am really excited to move forward working as an SSA and possible STEM educator.

On other hands, my MOOC for Human Factors in Aviation starts up at the end of the month on March 21, 2016. I am really excited because it is my first MOOC class of the year. I plan to sign up for all of them that are happening this year. MOOC classes are Massive Online Open Classes that are run through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide. They range in topics but it only requires 2-3 hours of work during the week and although they are not for college credit, you receive a certificate. It is good to expand your knowledge and put it on your resume. I am super excited for the opportunity.

In the world of “Astro Skye,” I am just about at 5,000 followers on Instagram. I am really excited because I am going to start a giveaway/sweepstakes where a person can win a space care package with some goodies! Some include a photo signed by astronauts, space items, and a couple signed items from me. Astro Skye has really taken off and I can only thank ERAU for educating me on topics that I can include in my other life. I almost feel like Hannah Montana here!

Other than that it is just academics and space. No better combination! I hope you all have a great week and keep chugging along! Spring break is almost here!

Have a great night!

Flying All Over America – Part 2

I hope you guys enjoyed Part 1 of my long trip across the United States. In the second part, I will cover the rest of the trip from San Francisco to Orlando with a connecting stop in Minneapolis.

Due to our long delay back in Atlanta, we had less time to spend at San Francisco International Airport than expected. We used our time wisely to walk around the terminal/concourse. Below is a gallery of the pictures of some of the planes we saw:

After our quick tour, we boarded the plane for Minneapolis. Shortly after takeoff, we were served complimentary beverages and snacks, and I ordered the new Luvo chicken wrap the airline made available at 30,00 feet in the past few weeks. It was very good! For the remaining duration of the flight, I worked on homework while listening to music. I also took pictures of the outside sceneries over Utah and Wyoming.

Ski station over the state of Wyoming

A ski station over the state of Wyoming.

Somewhere over Wyoming!

Somewhere over Wyoming!

Arrived in MSP, I thought it felt like when I arrive in Montreal! It is cold and there is snow. Ironically, it was colder in Atlanta than in Minneapolis. Jack showed me a cool place in Concourse D. We went up in an observatory over the terminal where we can see the airline’s ramp operations. Our plane from California landed about half an hour earlier so we were fortunate to have more time to explore the airport of Minneapolis. It was my first time at MSP so my friend showed me around (close to the whole airport). It was night by the time we landed so I couldn’t take any photos due to the reflection in the windows.

Last leg of the day: MSP to MCO.

Last leg of the day: MSP to MCO.

For the last leg of the trip to the Sunshine State, we both got upgraded to First Class. The plane was quite empty where there were even 2 front seats that were unoccupied and all most of the Comfort+ seats empty. It is the first time of the day that I started to get tired after a long day. I was happy to have made through the whole day. I actually thought I would be tired after the long transcontinental flight from ATL to SFO, but I wasn’t.

Upgraded to First Class on our flight between MSP and MCO. For dinner was a tomato basil soup, followed by a salmon with basmati rice, and a toffee almond cookie for dessert.

Upgraded to First Class on our flight between MSP and MCO. For dinner was a tomato basil soup, followed by salmon with basmati rice, and a toffee almond cookie for dessert.

Since 6:00AM of that morning flight, I have kept most of the complimentary snacks the flight attendants passed around. I had quite a large collection by the last flight!

I accumulated many snacks over the day!

I accumulated many snacks over the day!

Overall, we had flown 5,500 miles while sitting around 17 hours on an aircraft during a timespan of 18 hours. That is a lot of flying! We calculated that we paid less than 30 cents per minute (~$17 per hour) to fly around the country in one day! It was definitely worth it! I hope I will fly again this year on a crazier trip than this one if possible!

On our way back to Florida after a long day of flying!

On our way back to Florida after a long day of flying!

Until next time!

Nicolas


Contact the author at berniern@my.erau.edu

Life At The Airport

Hello there!

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far! I am new on the blog team so I will start by introducing myself. My name is Nicolas Bernier and I just completed my first year at Embry-Riddle. I am studying in Aviation Business Administration and I fly as a minor to obtain my instrument rating. I live in Montreal, Canada, the Great White North!

For my first blog, I will talk about my new summer job. I am happy because it is in a field that I am currently studying at ERAU. About two weeks ago, I started to work in the Finance Department at Montréal-Trudeau Intl. Airport (YUL).

Aéroports de Montréal logo.

Aéroports de Montréal logo.

My supervisor makes me do a lot of different things and I love it! During the first few days, I gathered all the flight schedules of all the carriers flying in and out of the airport for the next winter season. For example, Qatar Airways plans to operate three weekly flights to Doha on a 77W aircraft, commonly known as the Boeing 777-300ER. From the Excel table I have, I can determine if a carrier reduced or increased its number of flights to the airport for this winter compared to last winter. I am also able to see new routes or if a service to a destination got cancelled.

Aéroports de Montréal, the company I work for, manages both the international airport and the Montréal-Mirabel Intl. Airport (YMX), the latter one only being use for cargo flights. Last week, I compiled the number of kilograms of the inbound and outbound cargo of each air carrier for both airports. I made the calculation per month for 2014 and for the first quarter of 2015.

I am happy to have taken the Advanced Computer Based Systems class last semester because knowing how to use Excel and Access helps me a lot and saves time. But if I do not remember how to do everything, I can just ask for help and the people I work with will be glad to help me. Most of the times I ask Google though.

One of the thing I like the most about my job is that I am surrounded by airplanes taking off and landing and also by people who love aviation, just like at Embry-Riddle. Aéroports de Montréal’s administrative office is located on the last floor of a 10-story Marriott hotel facing the US bound concourse. During break, I often like to go eat lunch somewhere in the terminal. I am only limited to the stores and restaurants in the public area; I do not have the pass which would give me access to the boarding area on the other side of the security.

The last two floors of the Marriott hotel are used as administrative offices for Aéroports de Montréal.

The last two floors of the Marriott hotel are used as administrative offices for Aéroports de Montréal.

View of the Transborder Concourse from the 10th floor.

View of the Transborder Concourse from the 10th floor.

This wraps up my first post. I am really excited about this job and cannot wait to discover and learn new stuff. On my next blog, I will share more experiences about my job. Stay tuned!

Until next time!

Nicolas

The Future is Very Bright

With Winter Break behind us all, it’s time for us to continue what we started last semester. I was pleased, well moderately satisfied, with where I stood last semester but there was definitely room for improvement. This semester I’m attempting to push myself harder and, thanks to my schedule, I might make my goal a reality.

With only 4 classes this semester, I have plenty of time for school and the clubs I’m involved in. It’s nice not feeling constrained by your course load, but also it feels good to have something to do. Whether it’s doing my EGR120 homework (Graphical Communications) or a photography assignment for the Avion, I’m always doing something.

Aside from school and clubs, I’m starting to get back into photography and, more recently, RC planes. I just got a mini-quadcopter and I love it! Of course that was until after 2 minutes of me flying it for the first time, I got it stuck in a palm tree. With the enlisted help of 4-5 of my hall-mates, and the loss of my two flip flops,  we got it back and it still works! This basically means I need to practice in the simulator more and/or not fly by trees.

Since it’s only been 3 weeks into the semester, nothing much really has happened. I’m sure things will change in the next couple of days. So, until then, “Till all are one!”

I also would like to take the time to thank my friend Rachel Weeks for proof reading my posts since I have the grammar mechanics of a 5-year-old.