October 14, 2012

Well I’ve got to say, things are going really well here at school. It’s amazing how quickly the weeks fly by, especially the weekends! It’s weird because I’m used to living up north where by this time of year the trees would be turning color and the days would be getting shorter and it would be getting much colder outside. But no, not here! Feels the same yesterday as it did when I walked off the plane on August 20th! It’s nice though because the humidity has started to die down which makes it feel much cooler.

We had our homecoming last week. And no, it’s not anything like your high school homecoming. Instead of having a dance, we had a week full of activities. The band “We the Kings” played a live concert, comedian Jim Gaffigan entertained for an hour and we had a carnival (with rides) complete with a corn dog stand, just to name a few of the events the school put on.

Photo: We the Kings play live at Embry-Riddle.

 Now that homecoming is over I’m back to studying for mid-terms which are this upcoming week. Fortunately I’m not swamped by a bunch of tests like some of my friends are, but regardless I want to make sure I do well. The good thing is that after mid-terms we have our fall break, which is a four day weekend. We get Friday and Monday off. It will be nice to relax and not have to think about school for more than 24 hours. In addition my dad and brother are coming to Daytona to visit for a couple of days. I’m really looking forward to seeing them; it’s already been two months since I left for college!

This weekend has been big for the school. The Wings and Waves Airshow was in town and how fitting is it that Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University hosts it? The show features a variety of military and civil aircraft. The US Air Force Thunderbirds, Canadian Snowbirds and an F-18 demonstration, are just a few of the many performers in this show.

Photo: The Thunderbirds fly in formation at the Wings and Waves Airshow.Speaking of Air Force, ROTC has been going really well. This past week I had the opportunity to take a tour of the Air Force Planes that are here for the airshow. We got to see the F-18 and the KC-135. Everybody loves the F-18 but I was more impressed with the KC-135, I hope to fly that plane one day.


Photos: Posing for a quick picture with the Boeing KC-135 (left )and the F-18 Super Hornet (bottom right), KC 135 (top right).

As far as my flying is going, it has been going very well. My instructor and I have been very busy and have been flying quite often. We have been doubling up on activities and are working through the Private Pilot course fairly quickly. I have about 4 more flights before my Pre-Solo check ride which I have heard can be tough so I am working hard to make sure I pass. One of the things you will learn is that you do not want to have to repeat any flights. It can be expensive if you start having to repeat lots of flights. My goal is to not repeat any flights so I can save as much money as possible. In order to do so, you have to put in the time outside of training. The school provides you with all the tools you need in order to be successful. There is a Redbird Simulator lab that is absolutely free for students to use. There is about 10 Cessna 172 Simulators that are complete with a yoke and rudder pedals. They are equipped with the Garmin G1000 set up which is exactly the same as the planes I fly so it’s great to practice on.

Photo: Daytona Beach from above.

That’s about all I have time for. Next time, you will get a review on how fall break went. How ROTC is going. What the weather is doing here. How flying is going (of course) and anything else that comes to mind.

Also, email me at johnsd66@my.erau.edu with any questions, comments and/or concerns.

Thanks for reading!