Friends & February

Happy February folks! Recently I’ve had the amazing opportunity to take a weekend to travel to Savannah, Georgia, in between classes and training and working, and it was a well needed break.

February is a very busy month at Embry Riddle, most organizations are doing a lot of volunteer work, there are a lot of car races happening at the Daytona International Speedway, a lot of people are touring the campus, and tons of people are visiting Daytona Beach as the weather warms up, so things can get a little hectic. The atmosphere is a definitely busy, and everyone seems exhausted and highly caffeinated. So, naturally I figured it would be a great time to take some me time and get away to clear my head and reset before diving back into reality.

Thankfully, before the chaos of all this began I had a great opportunity to travel north! I took a Greyhound bus Friday night up to Savannah, Georgia and arrived early Saturday morning, before returning on Sunday. I got the chance to stay overnight with my best friend, tour the downtown historic district a little, go by the river, do some yoga, and stop by my newly acquired favorite shops and restaurants from my visit to the city with my family over Thanksgiving break.

First on my list of things to experience was of course The Coffee Fox coffee shop, where I escaped the cold 50 degree weather and wind to indulge in some coffee and cozy up in a corner doing my Differential Equations homework. To my dismay, although it’s fun to travel, I can never seem to escape the homework.

Next I ducked out of the cold and grabbed breakfast at the Maple Street Biscuit Company where I ordered a dish called the Iron Goat, consisting of a homemade biscuit with sautéed spinach and goat cheese, along with a side of fried green tomatoes, which were absolutely delicious. One of my favorite parts about going to new places and different cities is the food. I don’t have the opportunity to get good homemade cooked food a lot at school, because I’m usually very busy, which made every bite of fresh breakfast all the more satisfying. 

Breakfast from one of the most amazing biscuit places in Savannah, Georgia!

This semester has been extremely stressful and sometimes it’s hard to de-stress living at school, where I study, work, go to class, sleep, workout, and then repeat. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have the opportunities that I have earned and, along with that, some of the few people who keep me sane through the chaos and are my friends. Most of my friends at Embry Riddle are in AFROTC, because we naturally spend A LOT of time together, in and out of training, but another one of my good friends is a resident advisor in the same hall that I live in, and one of my best friends I got to meet up with over the weekend while I visited Georgia!

Will report back soon. I have some Aerospace Flight Vehicles homework I need to tend to. Spring break is around the corner. Keep on keeping on!

A Week in the West

A couple of weeks ago I had the ability to travel on my last Admissions trip. I traveled to Denver, Seattle, and Los Angeles with the ERAU Admissions team. I was excited to be able to go to Seattle again, since it is where I’m from. These trips are always something I look forward to because we have a lot of fun, while working, of course!

Our first stop was Denver, Colorado. We actually headed out there a day early to take some vacation time in the Centennial State. I had been there once before, but only for about half a day. We were able to spend some time sightseeing in downtown Denver, trying some of the best restaurants, and driving up the mountainside to a lookout. I think we all really appreciated the scenic mountain views, and enjoyed being in a cooler climate for a few days.

17626511_1454448321273766_8088909438209499631_n

View of downtown Denver from our hotel room

 

Famous bear peaking into the Convention Center

Famous bear peaking into the Convention Center

View from Lookout-overlooking Golden, CO

View from Lookout-overlooking Golden, CO

Little Man Ice Cream (SO good!)

Little Man Ice Cream (SO good!)

After our event in Denver, we headed out to my home state, Washington. We were grateful to have two days in Seattle to explore. I was also able to visit with my parents for a bit, which was really nice.

Our group loves coffee, so we went to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Capitol Hill. It is one of the places in Seattle I had never been before, so it was fun to have a new experience in my home city. After tasting a flight of different coffees, I was ready to get back to my favorite order at Starbucks, an Iced Vanilla Latte. Although, it was pretty cool to learn a lot more about the coffee roasting process.

Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA

Starbucks Roastery

Starbucks Roastery and Tasting Room

The next day, we were lucky and we got to see some sunshine in Seattle, which is rare in the winter! We took advantage of the nice weather after our event and went out to Olympic Park, which is about 30 minutes outside of Seattle. It’s a beautiful park with tons of evergreen trees, mountain views, and Puget Sound beachfront. We also went to Kerry Park, which boasts the best views of the Seattle skyline, in my opinion.

Kerry Park in Seattle

Kerry Park in Seattle

We took an evening flight out of Seattle and arrived in Los Angeles around 11pm. Once we arrived in LA, we ended up taking an Uber to our hotel downtown. Let me tell you, there is never a dull moment with the Admissions team… We had some issues getting an Uber driver, and ended up laughing about the whole fiasco the rest of the trip.

We had a short time in LA, so we woke up and hosted the lunch event at a steakhouse downtown. As always, it was a great event! After the event, we quickly changed and headed out to Venice Beach. It is definitely a different vibe in Venice Beach versus Daytona Beach, but we walked around the eclectic beach town and all along the beach during sunset. We ended up going back to the hotel a few hours before our red-eye flight, and watched the planes land and takeoff at LAX while eating some appetizers in the lounge. We had a competition of who could name the type of aircraft the fastest, just like typical Riddle students.

Pablo and I presenting in Los Angeles

Pablo and I presenting in Los Angeles

Pablo and I on bikes in Venice Beach

Pablo and I on bikes in Venice Beach

At last, my final Admissions trip had come to an end. These trips were one of my favorite parts of being a Riddle student because I was able to interact with prospective students, and share my passion for ERAU with them and their families. I will definitely look back on these trips with great memories.

Until next time,

Lindsey

Spring Break Road Trip

For my last Spring Break, I decided to go somewhere I’d never been before. My sister, boyfriend, and I drove to Charleston, South Carolina for a few days. On the way up to Charleston, we stopped in Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head Island, Georgia. It was an amazing trip despite the cold weather that swept across the East Coast.

On our first segment of the trip, we stopped at St. Simons Island, Georgia, which is home to some of the best BBQ in the United States. We normally fly up to St. Simons whenever we go, so it was cool to drive around the island and see all that it had to offer. There were gorgeous houses and buildings scattered all around.

We arrived in Savannah in the evening-just in time to grab some dinner. We were there a few days before St. Patrick’s Day, so there were decorations everywhere and people were dressed in green (Savannah has one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the nation). We ended up getting dinner down by the river and were surprised by the huge cargo ships going in and out of the port. The next day, we walked around the historic squares in Savannah, which are supposedly haunted. We even got to sit in the spot where Tom Hanks spoke those famous words, “Life is like a box of chocolates”.

Sitting where Forrest Gump was filmed in Chippewa Square

Sitting where Forrest Gump was filmed in Chippewa Square

Jones Street, Savannah, GA

Jones Street, Savannah, GA

After exploring Savannah, we hit the road and arrived in Hilton Head Island a couple of hours later. It was raining and gloomy, but I can definitely imagine how beautiful the island would be in the summer. We went out to the famous Salty Dog Cafe, and walked around some souvenir stores. There were tons of resorts and golf courses that would make anyone dream of coming to Hilton Head.

We spent a few hours in Hilton Head, and then drove the last stretch to Charleston, South Carolina. I had wanted to go to Charleston for a long time, and I was so excited to be able to finally go! It was so much more than I imagined. I fell in love with the historic homes and the southern charm.

The Pink Door, Charleston, SC

The Pink Door, Charleston, SC

Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten was in Charleston… seriously! My inner foodie was so happy, but my wallet definitely was not. Of course, in addition to eating well, we spent a lot of time exploring.

We walked around the Battery, walked down Rainbow Row, and went to tour the USS Yorktowne. On our last day in town, we went to Boone Hall Plantation, which is the plantation that was used in the popular movie, The Notebook. The architecture and the grounds were incredible, and I really appreciated all the work they are doing to keep it looking beautiful.

Rainbow Row

Rainbow Row

The entry into Boone Hall Plantation

The entry into Boone Hall Plantation

Boone Hall Plantation Home

Boone Hall Plantation Home

Charleston is definitely a city that I want to go back to again and again. I’m glad I was able to spend my last Spring Break exploring one of the gems of the South.

Until next time,

Lindsey

The Wings Club Gala in NYC

This September, I found out some of the most exciting news of my life, so far. At the beginning of the month, I applied for The Wings Club Scholarship through the ERAU Financial Aid office. A few days after I applied, I received an email saying I was chosen as the recipient of the scholarship. When I read the email, I was grinning from ear to ear. The Wings Club Scholarship is a $30,000 scholarship, and I could not believe that I was the one who had been chosen to receive it!

In addition to the scholarship funds, The Wings Club pays for their winners to attend the Annual Awards Gala in New York City. For those of you who may not be familiar with The Wings Club, I encourage you to check out their website to find more information about the club. It is made up of a large group of aviation executives and professionals from all over the world. When I heard that I was going to be receiving my scholarship in front of 1,200 aviation executives, I was slightly intimidated! Although I was intimidated at first, it quickly turned into excitement. After ordering my dress, booking flights, and researching the event, I could not wait to get to New York!

Luckily, the Gala fell during ERAU’s Fall Break, which allowed me to extend my stay in New York a few extra days. I was able to bring a guest with me, and we had a lot of fun exploring New York City both before and after the Gala.

The Gala was on Friday night, and was at the famous Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in downtown Manhattan. Another student from the Prescott campus also won a scholarship, so we both attended the Gala together. Before the event, we all walked over to the hotel for a pre-Gala silent auction. Once we got to the hotel, we ended up walking into the invite-only Boeing Pre-Party. Everyone was dressed to the nines, and was having a great time. It was incredible to be in the room with the executives of Boeing, all the major airlines, leasing companies, aviation insurance companies, suppliers, and maintenance companies. Needless to say, I was in awe.

After we realized we weren’t really supposed to be at the Pre-Party, we took a look at the silent auction. While we were mingling, I had the chance to meet several ERAU Alumni, who are now major players in the aviation finance industry. I was amazed at how relatable they were, their passion for ERAU, and their success within the industry.

Eventually, we were all escorted into the main ballroom, where we took our seats. I had the pleasure of sitting with other scholarship winners during the event. CNN Aviation Correspondent, Richard Quest, was the MC for the evening. He was hilarious, and welcomed the scholarship winners up on stage early during the event. I was pretty nervous to walk on stage to receive my scholarship, but it was an incredible feeling of accomplishment once I was on stage with the award in my hand.

Lorenzo (Prescott) and I before the event

Lorenzo (Prescott) and I before the event

View of the floor from our seats

View of the floor from our seats

After the scholarships were given out, the Beach Boys surprised everyone with a half an hour concert! It was awesome. It was also cool to see a room full of aviation leaders dancing and singing to the Beach Boys. Once the excitement from the Beach Boys was over, it was time for the main event of the night. Each year The Wings Club chooses someone to receive their Distinguished Achievement Award. This year, retired Boeing President and CEO, Jim McNerney, was the recipient. I loved watching the video about McNerney, as well as hearing about all of his accomplishments. It was an honor to be in the same room with him, and shake his hand after the event was over.

David and I

David and I

Scholarship recipients on stage

Scholarship recipients on stage

Once the event officially ended, we walked around the room and talked with more ERAU Alumni. I was able to talk with several CEOs, an NTSB Board Member, Executive Chairmen, and many more. I was so inspired by their success, but also by their great knowledge of the industry. I was proud to tell them that I attend Embry-Riddle, as it is an institution that is highly regarded in the industry. After we finished mingling around the ballroom, we attended the Airbus After Party. It was fun to see people who are fierce competitors in the aviation world, all having a good time together after the event.

ERAU scholarship recipients with our checks

ERAU scholarship recipients with our checks

Lorenzo and I

Lorenzo and I

I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend the Gala, and am honored to have been chosen as The Wings Club scholarship recipient this year. I am more inspired than ever before, and am excited to enter into a career in aviation.

I encourage you to apply for scholarships through Embry-Riddle, as well as from external donors. You never know what experiences you will be able to have, and how the scholarship will impact your life!

Until next time,

Lindsey

First Trip of the Semester

Two weekends ago, I traveled to Washington D.C. and New York City with the Admissions team. We were hosting presentations for prospective students in both cities. These events are what I look forward to the most during the semester. They’re an opportunity to speak to students and families that are interested in Embry-Riddle, which is something that I love to do. The Prescott, Arizona Admissions team travels with us, as well in the spring. It’s always nice to spend time with our counterparts across the country!

Our first stop of the weekend was Washington D.C., which is probably my favorite city. I love the history, old buildings, and hustle and bustle of the city. It’s crazy to think about all the major decisions that have been made in that city. We spent our first day touring around D.C. I had never seen the Constitution, Bill of Rights, or Declaration of Independence before, so we went to see those first. I was blown away by the documents, and how much history that lies within them. Next, we walked through the National Mall to the Capitol Building. We walked around inside and saw both the House and the Senate, although they were not in session. Lastly, we went to the Air and Space Museum. Another thing that’s great about D.C. is that all the museums are free.

The United States Capitol building

The United States Capitol building

Saturday, we hosted our event for the prospective students. It was very successful, and I got to speak with a lot of students who were very excited about what ERAU had to offer. After our event, we took the train to New York. It was a gorgeous train ride up the East Coast. We finally arrived in New York around 9pm, and headed to dinner at a famous pizza place. The pizza was probably the best I’d ever had. All of us ate our own 12 inch pizza!

After dinner, we headed out to do some sight-seeing. We went to Times Square to look at all the billboards, and go into the huge H&M store. After we had shopped for a while, we headed back towards our hotel, and stopped by Rockefeller Plaza to see the ice rink. While we were watching the skaters, a magician came up behind us and started doing magic tricks. We ended up getting roped into watching him perform for half an hour. By the time he was finished, it was almost 1AM!

We woke up early the next morning to take a walk through Central Park. None of us had ever been there before, so it was a new experience for all of us. I didn’t realize just how big Central Park is. We walked for at least an hour, and only made it halfway. Our mission for the morning was to make it to this famous bakery to get “the best chocolate chip cookie in New York City”. Trust me, it was one of the best cookies I have ever eaten! Once we were finished devouring our cookies, we realized it was probably time to go to our presentation. We rushed back to get ready and get setup for the event.

The Plaza Hotel from Central Park

The Plaza Hotel from Central Park

Once again, the event went well, and we had a lot of families who came to hear all about ERAU. After the event, we grabbed a quick lunch and went out to do some more sightseeing. It would’ve been a long walk, so we decided to take the subway, which was an experience. It took us awhile to figure out which train to get on. We went to the 9/11 Memorial, which was an amazing sight. I think it is something that everyone should see at least once. Next we headed to Battery Park to watch the sunset over the Statue of Liberty. After our adventure on the subway, we were very hungry, so we went to Little Italy to grab a nice dinner. I had an amazing Gnocchi Pesto dish, that I would eat for dinner every day if I could. With that, our weekend was over.

9/11 Memorial Pool

9/11 Memorial Pool

I am so grateful that I get to travel with Admissions to these events. I enjoy speaking with students, and telling them why ERAU is such a great University. If you are a prospective student, I encourage you to come visit campus, or check out any Admissions events in your area!

Until next time,

Lindsey

First Hurricane Experience

Hi everyone!

I apologize for the leave of absence from the blog! Life has been very crazy for me; somewhat of a whirlwind. I’m excited to be back blogging!

As you may have seen, there was just a hurricane that hit Florida. Being from Seattle, I had no idea of what experiencing a hurricane was actually like. I was hearing a lot of different things from the news, friends, and native Floridians about what to do. Of course, my parents and friends back home in Seattle were very worried about me, but I managed to make it through!

I evacuated down to Fort Myers, FL, which is an hour south of Tampa. We left on Wednesday night, since classes were cancelled Thursday and Friday. I was concerned about my dorm room in McKay being damaged by winds or rain, so I took my valuables with me. Traffic wasn’t horrible heading down to Fort Myers, since we were traveling in the opposite direction of most people who were evacuating. We certainly had it much easier than some of my friends who were on the road for more than 10 hours!

It is hard to describe the vibe on campus on Wednesday. Students were very worried about what to do and where to go. In addition, the Career Expo was scheduled for Thursday, with Homecoming on the weekend. It was definitely one of the worst weeks for a hurricane to hit, since all of the major events on campus were that week, as well as a lot of midterm exams. It seemed as though most people in the area weren’t taking the hurricane seriously until Wednesday morning. That is when the panic set in. Every conversation you overheard was about the hurricane. People were frantically trying to book hotel rooms, find gas, and purchase sand bags. Once the University announced classes and the Career Expo were cancelled, most students evacuated from Daytona Beach. It actually was quite beautiful to see the campus community come together to help each other out. People were offering up their hotel rooms, homes, and cars to help others find a safe place to evacuate to. I was receiving texts all day from people, some who were just acquaintances, making sure I had a safe place to go.

We were all very blessed that we were able to evacuate safely. Most of us kept our families and friends updated via Facebook. Many of us were worried that we wouldn’t have homes to go back to in Daytona. There was a lot of uncertainty about the force and direction of the storm. Throughout the storm, we all continued to check-in to make sure everyone had electricity, gas, and a roof over their head.

Down in Fort Myers, we did not experience hardly any bad weather. It was windy on Thursday, and there were a few rain bands, although nothing major. We were glued to the Weather Channel all day Thursday and Friday, watching and praying that Matthew wouldn’t completely devastate Daytona Beach.

Our prayers were answered. Daytona Beach was lucky, and did not get directly hit, like was originally projected. Hurricane Matthew was also a Category 3 when it passed Daytona, as compared to the projected Category 4. Of course, a hurricane always causes damage, but we were blessed to not have a lot of severe damage to buildings all over the city. The beachfront and riverfront areas had a lot of flooding and damage, though.

I took a drive down the A1A on Sunday evening, and got very emotional when I saw the damage to the beachfront residences and businesses. In addition, power was out in a lot of places. Traffic lights were not working, street signs were missing, trees were all over, and there was debris all over the road.

We are very thankful for the servicemen and women who helped, and are continuing to help, us to recover from the storm. In addition, Embry-Riddle faculty and staff worked very hard to make sure the students were safe during the storm. Facilities and Maintenance workers have been busy cleaning up trees, restoring power, and fixing buildings, and we are very grateful for that.  Power crews came from all over the United States to help restore power to the area. It is in times like these when you really see a city, community, and country come together to help each other out.

Until next time,

Lindsey

Countdown to Spring Break

Happy Saturday everyone! It has been a crazy few weeks on my side so I do apologize for not writing a blog in a bit. However, I am back…and so are the bikes! The 75th Bike Week is here. Starting yesterday, bikes from all around the country have come down to Daytona Beach for Bike Week 2016. Fun for them, but the traffic is a little bit of a bother.

On the Space side of things, SpaceX finally launched their Falcon 9 with SES-9 yesterday at 18:35:00 on the dot! The original days of launch, last Wednesday and Thursday, I was actually at Kennedy Space Center on restricted ground about 2.8-3.0 miles away from the launch pad. She was sure a beauty! It was really cold there. Even though the rocket never lit, it was still a nice experience seeing a rocket up close. SpaceX then rescheduled for this past Sunday but at less than T-5 seconds and counting, the engines ignited but did not have enough trust to the launch was aborted. After all that mumbo jumbo, she finally launched last night and it was beautiful. I was in Port Orange at that time but seeing the light in the sky fade into a nice parabola into a geotransfer orbit was the best part of my day. I did find out that the satellite deployed nominally. Congratulations for another successful launch and deployment SpaceX!

Keeping on the subject of Space, I am really starting to get involved as a NASA Solar System Ambassador! I have been getting updated on teleconferences up the wazoo, as well as, starting to plan my events for SSA. It is going really well. I will soon have a lot more time on my hands, another story for another time, so I can focus more on SSA. I am excited for the future!

I also registered for Fall classes on Friday. I am super excited to be taking

  • Physics II for Engineers
  • Statics
  • Business Statistics
  • Technical Report Writing
  • Spacecraft Payloads
  • Human Factors in Space

Yep, that is 18 credits but I am up for the challenge!

This semester is certainly going by fast! I have a calculus test on Tuesday so I have been studying all day for that one. I will be taking a break later tonight for Dinner and a Tribute to Bon Jovi concert for the Family Fun Days in Port Orange. Other than that I have a paper due next week but nothing super heavy. I am really excited for Spring Break! On Friday, Josh (boyfriend) and I are leaving for Chicago. We are staying there until the following Tuesday. On that same week, we are going on a cruise Thursday-Sunday for my parent’s 20th wedding anniversary. Super excited for that! I am going to try and not gain 200 pounds from the all you can eat buffet! I will be sure to get my workout on!

That is what has been happening and what is about to happen in the life of Skye right now! The Countdown to Spring Break is definitely on!

Have a great one!

5th Week Update

Happy Monday everyone! Or should I say one of the busiest Mondays ever! I hope your weekend was great! Congratulations to the Denver Broncos on their Super Bowl 50 win! It was really an amazing game. Defensive and offensive. I don’t really follow football, but I did go for the Carolina Panthers solely because I liked the color blue on their uniforms. Anyway, it’s the 5th week of school! One of the craziest weeks scheduled so far! As for today, I had class from 8:00a – 12:00p. I lucked out and did not have a quiz in Physics today. Everyone was exhausted and I am assuming the teacher was too. From 12:00p – 5:00p it was studying after studying for my calculus exam tomorrow. 5:00p – 7:00p was an officers meeting for Society 4 S.P.A.C.E. We got a lot accomplished! We decided on our trip to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the website, and also decided to host a fundraiser next Tuesday! Progress!

Unfortunately this is not the end of my day. 7:30p – 8:00p dinner, 8:00p – 9:00p studying for calculus, again, 9:00p – odd hours of the night studying calculus with a friend – whenever I sleep is humanities homework. So a very packed and crazy Monday/Tuesday. However, I really am excited for this week because I have my first NASA Solar System Ambassador (SSA) telecom with NASA! Super exciting! I have to complete my Orientation and Training tomorrow along with my other homework. At this rate, this week may never end!

BUT it is a holiday week! A double header…almost! Valentine’s Day is on Sunday! A time for love and love and more love. I am a very crafty person and have a lot of fun creative gifts for my boyfriend. I also plan on making cupcakes for my friends. For all of you Valentine’s Day celebraters, have fun! Love and give someone a hug! Or a cupcake! President’s Day is on Monday and we do not have school. Yay break!

Almost a break for me, I have a research meeting, lunch meeting, fundraising meeting, and officer meeting on Monday so looks like more going and going. I will tell you this, one thing about Riddle that I love is that it doesn’t matter if it is the classes, or the clubs, you will ALWAYS be busy. For a person like me, who loves being busy, I absolutely love it. If I am not busy, I will find something to do whether that is to finally start my Russian Rosetta Stone, read, or watch Netflix. When I am busy, I feel like I am creating the best out of life. I am in college, this is the time to work your butt off for the career you want, and I feel like I am fulfilling that to the max! It makes me happy.

Speaking about college and career, registration for summer classes is on Wednesday! For the crazy people like me, I will be attending Summer A and B. However, for those of you on the fence about summer classes, here is some advice from someone who took summer classes last semester, me. I personally LOVE summer classes. It is tough and condensed, but you get the chance to get ahead and leave the “not so fun classes” for the summer, therefore you knock them out a lot quicker. It gives you a quicker graduation date, which means starting your career quicker. Think about it.

Anyway, it’s off to dinner and more studying/homework for me. Have a great week everyone and study hard!

Welcome to the New Semester

Hello everyone! Welcome to the Spring 2016 semester! Sorry it has taken me a while to write a blog, I have been super sick for the past week, but I am getting better. This semester is exciting for me. I am taking five classes: Speech, Physics, Calculus, Humanities and Commercial Space Ops Seminar. On Monday’s and Friday’s I am 8:00a to 12:00p, which is really awesome because it gives me a chance to go home and get homework done and more time to relax at night. On Tuesday’s I have once class from 9:45a to 11:00a and Wednesday’s 8:00a – 12:00p and 1:00p – 2:00p. Luckily, I have Thursday’s off so I really am enjoying this semester. In particular, I really am enjoying my Humanities class. It is HU145 for McKee. The theme is music, which is really awesome considering that it’s not literature or hard core history. We get to read a couple books on music and actually listen to old time music.

On the other hand, I am currently a Mechanical Engineering and Human Factors Psychology major…I am most likely going to be switching my HF major to Commercial Space Operations. That is why I am taking the CSO 101 seminar class to see what it is all about. I am taking it with Lance Erickson, the man who wrote the program. He is retiring after this semester so I lucked out with that. I really am enjoying the class. There are a lot of interesting jobs that really interest me. Plus, it is about space and space is my life.

Speaking about space, I was recently named a NASA Solar System Ambassador (SSA) for 2016. I get to do four giant speeches a year! It is totally awesome. I get my own name badge and everything! Once I know more information on it I will be sure to write about it.

As for the new semester, a lot awaits. New classes, new starts, new teachers, and new chances. Most importantly there are new opportunities. Personally for me, I am excited for the new opportunities: NASA SSA, classes, and possible connections. There is an endless number of things that can happen in someone’s life and a new year and new semester sets a perfect tone for that.

Have a great semester everyone!

NBAA 2015

LAS VEGAS, NV – Last week, a group composed of about 50 Embry-Riddle students and faculty from the Daytona Beach campus attended the 2015 NBAA Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Las Vegas. This three-day event brought together 26,000 key aviation contacts from all around the globe, including current and prospective business aircraft owners, manufacturers, and customers. This year, the convention welcomed 1,000 exhibitors and more than 100 aircraft on the static display.

View of the many Bombardier Business Aircraft on the Static Display.

View of the many Bombardier Business Aircraft on the static display at Henderson Executive Airport.

Most of our group traveled from Florida to Nevada on Monday, the day before the convention. Since NBAA 2015 is a large event with much to cover, each student made their own schedule. The exhibitors were divided in two concourses at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The static display of aircraft was located at the Henderson Executive Airport which was a 30 minute bus drive from the convention. NBAA  also offers many general information sessions, educational sessions for students, and social events.

I did not attend many of the information sessions I planned to go to because I did not have time. I wish I could have attended  “Engaging Airport Management on Key Issues” and “The Future of Planes and Flying.” I was an intern at the Montreal Airport last summer so I thought the session would be interesting. Knowing what aviation will look liken the future  is intriguing.

I spent most of the time walking between the many exhibitors present. This convention was a great opportunity for students to connect with people of the industry and exchange business cards. My friend and I had the chance to talk with the Manager of Customer Service Communications at Dassault Falcon. We discussed the new Falcon 8X product which is currently in development. We also went over the FalconResponse program, which was launched in May 2015. It is designed to support the AOG (Aircraft on Ground) more rapidly. The manufacturer has 2 Falcon 900 available 24/7 to carry technicians, parts, and tools needed to return an aircraft back in the air.

The province of Quebec (the province where I come from) had a booth which reunited many aerospace companies based in Montreal. I was surprised to learn that that the Government of Quebec had an office in Atlanta, GA.

My favorite general session was during the second day of NBAA. Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, known as the hero of the “Miracle on the Hudson,” spoke to the audience about his experience on US Airways flight 1549. It was very interesting to know about  how he felt during the eventful flight. Even though the crew was stressed and obviously not calm, he told us that discipline helped him get through the flight. He knew he did not have time to do all the checklists, but he decided to perform very well the items with the highest priorities. At the end of his speech he said that it is important to be professional: “remember why we are doing this: because our passengers deserve it, our colleagues expect it, and our profession demands it.”

Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, hero of the "Miracle on the Hudson" shared his experience with the audience on the Second Day General Session of NBAA.

Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, hero of the “Miracle on the Hudson” shared his experience with the audience on the Second Day General Session of NBAA.

It was my second time in Las Vegas, but the last time I visited was ten years ago so it has been a long time. The first thing I felt as I exited the aircraft after landing was the cold temperature of the desert. When I made my way to the terminal and to the baggage claim carrousel I noticed that there were slot machines at the boarding area and at the arrivals level. There are casinos almost everywhere you are at the airport!

We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for the week. We did not really have much time to visit because the convention ended late on some days and we were really tired. At around 3:00pm I was already exhausted and wanted to go to bed! During my last night in the Sin City, I went out with some friends to explore the city. We went to the famous Las Vegas Strip where all the action happens. For me, it felt like Times Square on a smaller scale. There were many outdoors screens and lights everywhere. We visited the Paris Las Vegas hotel and it was actually fascinating. Inside, it is like an indoor city with numerous restaurants and boutiques. We ate dinner at BurGR, a restaurant for burger lovers that I recommend you stop by if you plan to visit Las Vegas.

View of the "Las Vegas Strip" from our hotel.

View of the “Las Vegas Strip” from our hotel.

The Bellagio Hotel and Casino and its exceptional front water fountains.

The Bellagio Hotel and Casino and its exceptional front water fountains.

NBAA 2015 was a great experience and I already look forward to NBAA 2016 in Orlando! For now, I need to get back to work since I missed an entire week of school. I have many projects and presentations that are due before and after Thanksgiving break.

Until next time!

Nicolas