20 going FL200


San Diego, CA

So, it’s official… 20 going 20,000. Or FL200. I’ll let you take your pick.

It’s Christmas break now, my birthday was on the 16th, sorry I didn’t post earlier! I am now back from Embry-Riddle in beautiful Southern California where I was greeted off the airplane with an English bulldog puppy and an email stating I made the Honor Roll. (Go Eagles) It feels awesome to be finished with another great semester!

The year is almost over and I cannot fathom to this day, even, the beauty of where life has been taking me throughout college. Over-enthusiastic? Perhaps. Overly-passionate? Maybe.  But whatever it is that is strolling me along for this roller coaster of a journey- I am sure keeping all hands, feet, and arms inside at all times. I definitely don’t want to get off this ride.

Like 19 going 1,900 feet, I thought 20 going 2,000 would be too mediocre. FL200 was the perfect altitude, increasing from 1900 this past year because I think this past year I have grown more as a human than I have in all my 20 years. I’ve been blessed, lucky, fortuitous, whatever in the thesaurus compares.

This past year, everything has come on a tiptoe, silently working and becoming the colossal changes of my whole life. I had always known of what it meant to follow a dream, but I didn’t realize how narrow minded I had become in order to follow it- I thought I had to follow it by the path. And once I realized there was no strict, simple path (the Type A personality in me could not grasp) I stopped and let my heart talk back to me. This was when I truly knew what I wanted. I finally found the meaning of PASSION. It’s not an easy thing to face, nor it is truly an appealing phenomenon. Why? It’s hard work. It’s actually the most overused and the most under-served word today. But if you allow your passion to grow you, mold you, and surround you – your options are boundless.

Since the new year is coming up, consider your interests and an open mind in letting your passion do its thing. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand. You won’t see results until you start working. Passion is the prerogative of the brave because the path that is worth treading is the path where the fewest have trekked. Hence why the word is so under-served. Find comfort in the uncomfortable. It may take a few seconds of bravery, but those miniscule moments will play a big role in your limits. Soon you’ll find it’s hard to reach a top speed.

Here’s to 20 going FL200 and to 2014.

Blue Skies (and White Skies for those who find themselves in colder temperatures)

Machin’ through Maximum Operating Altitude.

Modeling for sponsor Scheyden Precision Eyewear
Ayrton Senna said it perfectly: “On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, ‘Okay, this is the limit’. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.”

What a few weeks it’s been! Classes have been the usual, various club meetings taking place, and I am progressing through my Commercial over at ATP. This past weekend was Fall Break and my mom came to Orlando to visit. It was nice to have San Diego come to me for a few days. 🙂 This upcoming week is Homecoming and you know what that means! The Annual Sigma Sigma Sigma Halloween Fashion Show! This Wednesday, Oct 30 at 8pm in the Student Center. Be sure to get your ticket early!

First off, what is Maximum Operating Altitude? It’s the highest altitude an airplane can reach for structural or pressurization reasons. An airplane could go higher toward ‘absolute altitude,’ however, the equipment will not allow it. After hearing this quote from Senna this past week, I was reminded of the limitations I even continue to place on myself. We all have these ‘maximum operating altitudes’ we place on ourselves and most of us don’t even know it. And those limits are present in our everyday thoughts: “That’s too hard.” “I’m too lazy.” “I can’t do this.” “I can’t do that.” But, once you put yourself in a constant pattern of limitation, you place yourself in a fixed state of being. You can’t grow. Limits are these evil things that we all fear because we are too afraid, too lazy, too comfortable to break them. The reality of it is the fact that these limits are self-imposed. The only limits you have are the ones you set yourself. No one else has the power to give you limits- but you. You choose them. You have the ability to make a choice and say, “this is my maximum operating altitude, I’m done” OR you can equip yourself with the determination to go a little further.

  Courtesy of Scheyden Precision Eyewear
Most of us think we have reached our limit when we fail to realize a simple extra push is all it takes to break that barrier. An airplane has to be equipped properly or else it physically cannot push through its maximum operating altitude. You have the potential to break through your limits if you allow yourself to be equipped with determination, passion, perseverance and most importantly: belief. A limit is not a limit until you give it the power to be one. You can let your maximum operating altitude defeat you, or you can choose to overcome it. Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it. What’s keeping your throttle at idle?
And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/ayrtonsenn348838.html#SWHjPf6isLgih0u2.99
And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/ayrtonsenn348838.html#SWHjPf6isLgih0u2.99

Summertime Slipstream.

Sporting Plus One Flyers

This summer has been an awesome one so far. Catching up on sun rays, getting some flying in and working has been on the schedule lately… but mostly flying! I’ve been flying the C172/180hp and the Citabria 7GCAA and 7ECA. I think I’m addicted to tailwheels, but I’m completely OK with that. The airport has been quiet lately! Weather has not been CAVU (Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited), but luckily it’s been staying pretty warm here in San Diego.

Another side note to me.. in case some of you didn’t know, modeling is my other life. I started modeling when I was about 15 and have been doing it ever since. I can’t do as much when I am away at school, so during breaks it’s all I am doing. It’s definitely a fresh of breath air away from the college life. I get to work with all different kinds of incredible people, do awesome things, go to unique places (kind of like aviation, huh?)… and well, I love every part of it.

Modeling for my sponsor Scheyden Precision Eyewear

So, what’s going on this week?

Well, besides yoga and getting some sun, I’ll be up in Los Angeles for a few photo shoots and will be flying later on in the week. I’m loving this flying club and all it’s benefits, so if you’re already a pilot and not sure whether or not you should go to your local flight school as apposed to a flying club- join a club. The benefits and privileges outweigh any local flight school. For real. It took me about three and a half years to realize that. If you want to learn more, you can email me at GIANNOTW@MY.ERAU.EDU. I’m loving this huge airplane selection I now have! Especially, well, when I can get my hands on a few tailwheels.. you could say I am a bit spoiled. 🙂

Scheyden flight luggage in front of the Cub with Ben, a fellow ERAU graduate!

Short but sweet today, I have a huge week ahead of me.

 Keep squawking the blog!

Blue Skies


True vs. Magnetic North

Woah. Where has the year gone? I’m officially done with my freshman year of college. So much has happened in one year. I left home with two suitcases (to have one actually stolen when landing at MCO) and a vision in mind; I made friends, acquaintances, a networking web, a new life for myself. I’m amazed at how fast it has all gone- how fast life is going. It’s incredible, really. I would not be where I am today if I had never attended Embry-Riddle. It’s made me grow into the woman and the pilot I am today.

There is a saying that goes, “Don’t get so busy trying to make a living that you forget to make a life.” What I’ve learned this year? You’ve got to commit yourself to making mistakes – they teach you lessons. You have to find hard work you love doing. You also have to accept and embrace change. And unless you’re trying to make a good impression while interviewing for a job,  you don’t have the time to care what others think about you. What is important is how you feel about yourself. You’ve got to ask questions. Most importantly- do what moves you, what shakes you to the bone. Refuse to recite the following: “How the heck am I going to do this for the next 30 years?”


See, there is this magnetic north that we think we have to follow. We have to keep our compass lined up or else we will feel as if we are lacking. Society tells us that if we don’t stay up to par on a materialistic, fake course then we are not successful. What is being successful? You can sort that out yourself. For me, it’s working hard and loving every minute of what I do. My love for aviation gets stronger by the day, the minute.. and it’s led me to other passions and interests that I didn’t even think I had. The qualities aviation has given me have branched out into other spectrums that I didn’t believe to be a reality until I followed them. Life gets more interesting by the minute- if you allow it. But if you follow this drawn out course your society, your peers tell you to follow- you will lose sight of your true north. Refuse to get so off course to where you don’t know how to get back again, because the farther an aircraft gets off course, the longer the time and the bigger the angle it takes to intercept back. Do not get so busy trying to make a living that you forget to make a life.

Warning: Don’t stand too close to the prop! But it needs loving too 🙂

I am now back in San Diego for a four month long summer. A possible internship here in San Diego is on the horizon (good thing I went to Sun N Fun) and I plan on learning some more aerobatics. Proposed: I may be going to Greece in August. I’m keeping the summer a fun and relaxing one..you know, before I have to start doing ‘big people’ stuff.

 I recently shot for my sponsor Scheyden Precision Eyewear. Here are some behind the scene photos 🙂


Blue Skies and Endless Horizons