Flight Team!

Hello, readers!

I’ve probably bored you with my endless talk about Gulfstream and Human Factors and living the life of an intern, so what about something else from Riddle?

Besides studying Human Factors at ERAU, I’m also a member of the Eagles Flight Team. The Eagles Flight Team is a part of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA). We compete at a Regional and National level against some of the best flight teams in the Nation.

It’s very important that as a student at ERAU, that you find something to be a part of that is outside of your degree program. It gives you a more well-rounded college experience. You meet people from different degrees that you wouldn’t normally meet and it gives you something else to do other than homework. You feel like you can be a part of something bigger than yourself. Plus you never know when you might be able to represent your university on a regional or National level!

On the Flight Team, we compete in both ground and flight events. For our ground events, we have what we call the Big Three. They’re named this because we can send 5 competitors for these eventsi n competition – no other ground events can have 5 people compete! They are Aircraft Recognition (Rec), Simulated Comprehensive Aircraft Navigation (SCAN), and Computer Accuracy (COMPACC). Rec is just as it sounds; we identify aircraft by manufacturer, number, and model name (e.g. Cessna 172 Skyhawk, Douglas DC-3 None, Grumman F-14 Tomcat). We’ve won First Place at Nationals for the past 7 years, so you can say that we’re pretty good at what we do. SCAN is basically like mock-cross country flight planning. You must answer 40 questions regarding a flight plan within 60 minutes. The test includes, performance, weight and balance calculations, weather knowledge, FAR/AIM knowledge, and much more. COMPACC is a math-based event, focusing on answering performance questions by using a CR-3, a flight computer. I myself am a Reccer (as we call ourselves) and a SCANimal. I absolutely love these events; what I learn from flight team in these events has truly helped my overall abilities as a pilot.

We have several other ground events that you can participate after one semester on the team. We have preflight, ground trainer, IFR sim, and CRM/LOFT that you may participate in.

Besides ground events, we also have our flight events! These include Power-On and Power-Off Landings, Navigation, and Message Drop. The goal of Power-On and Power-Off landings is to land as close to the Zero Line as possible. The lower the points, the higher you place. Navigation is about flying the perfect cross-country based upon the flight plan you plan. Message Drop is a really fun event: you drop “message bombs” (they’re just Styrofoam pieces) out of the airplane and try to get them to land on a target. It’s a lot like flour bombing, like pilots used to do back in the old days.

In my three years at Riddle, I’ve served as the Public Relations Officer and the Captain of the team. I absolutely love being with this team, practicing and competing.

I’ll post more about how you get on the team and what that entails in a later post! Just wanted to spark your interest of the amazing things you can do as an ERAU student.

Until next time….. Blue Skies!


Isn’t this summer “Phenom” – inal???

Nothing like starting off the post with a funny airplane pun, huh?

Throughout my very boring and relaxing weekend (which I am very grateful for – haven’t had one of those in what feels like years), I mulled over how awesome this summer has been. It’s not very often anyone can say that they’ve been able to compete in 2 National Flight competitions, placed in Top 10 in one and won the other competition AND intern at one of the greatest and most influential Business/Private Jet design and manufacturing companies in the world.

I’m in the process of creating my final internship presentation to present in front of other interns, my boss, my supervisor, and the head of the overseeing department that includes my human factors department. Trust me, after all of the presentations that I’ve given over the last 3 years at Riddle, especially this past spring semester, this is going to be a piece of cake. But in writing this presentation, I can’t help but be in total awe of the opportunities that ERAU has given me over just these past 3 years. I’ve been able to compete in 3 National Intercollegiate Flying Association Safety and Flight Evaluation Conferences (otherwise known as NIFA National SAFECONs), 2 going on 3 Regional SAFECON competitions, 2 Air Race Classic races, and interned at a leading aerospace company. I have been one busy girl, but I am incredibly thankful for those at ERAU who have helped me along the way.

People often look at a university for what some pretty obvious factors, like a football team, majors (of course), family history maybe, in-state vs. out-of-state, retention rate, money ($$$), and a few others. What I wish I had done, but what luckily worked out for me, were the hidden programs within the university. Other opportunities besides the obvious and marketed aspects. Of course, Riddle has an amazing flight program which I absolutely love, and great students and faculty, and amazing sports and flying opportunities. All of that is absolutely true, but what is often overlooked my incoming freshman are the countless careers paths and opportunities only offered to ERAU students. Of course, we all know about the cadet programs and gateway programs for the pilots, which I have considered over the years, but what about us engineers and specialists? It’s amazing how just mentioning your involvement with ERAU can put you leaps and bounds ahead of other students. I have at least 5 co-workers that are ERAU alum in one way or another and it’s fantastic networking. We share stories, gather advice, and share our love of Riddle. Many companies offer special scholarships to ERAU-only students, which I have been lucky enough to have received one this summer from Gulfstream. Aerospace companies and ERAU take pride in their connections, whether it’s students, employees, activities, Greek life, sports, anything and everything. People in industry are amazed at what Riddle has done for myself and its students.

I’m definitely proud to have been able to represent ERAU and be an Eagle thus far in my college career and I’m so looking forward to continue representing this amazing university for one final semester this fall.

I think you’ve heard enough of my early week ranting, so enjoy your week and get excited for more (hopefully more hysterical) posts from me.

Blue skies,


(For those of you unfamiliar with what a Phenom is, Phenoms are a series of business jets developed by Embraer out of Brazil. They’re very popular aircraft in the United States and around the world. They’re definitely one of my favorite series. I think I may like the Phenom 300 a little bit more than the Phenom 100, only because it’s a slightly bigger aircraft. They’re definitely on my flying-bucket-list!)