End of the Semester Review

Hello again! I’m so sorry about the long period of radio silence. Things here have been a bit hectic, but I have so many things to talk about so hopefully this might make up for the lack of blog posts. I guess I’ll have to start back way, way back in March right before Spring Break.

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Shortly before flying back home to New Jersey to start what would be a moderately eventful Spring Break, I bought myself a DJI Mavic Pro! Eagle eyed readers might remember that I bought a drone my freshmen year, and they would be correct. Ultimately I regret to admit that that drone was a waste of money, but the lessons I’ve learned about drone operation and aerial imagery have long stuck with me.

Once I got home to New Jersey, I spent most of my Spring Break helping my parents out at their nail salon, mostly working as a receptionist and interpreter/translator. Whenever I had some down time, I’d fly my drone at the park by my house. It was really fun to get back into the hobby of aerial photography, but I just wish it wasn’t so cold during break.

I love the snow and it was one of the many reasons why I was super excited to fly back home, but I realized that it takes a lot of time, energy, and planning to fly out in the cold. Not to mention, you’re kinda at the mercy of the weather. Thanks to “Winter Storm Stella,” which turned out to be a bust by the way, the weather was pretty lame since it rained and sleeted a lot. Oh well I guess.

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It wasn’t until towards the end of the week that the weather got better so on Friday I spent a day in New York City and spent Saturday packing up my things for my flight back to Orlando on Sunday. And just like that, on that cold Sunday afternoon, I found myself on a train headed back to Newark International Airport so I could start class the next day.

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School for the most part has been pretty challenging as always. I think on the week I came back, or the next week, I had three tests scheduled in a row. Definitely not super ideal, but at this point, this has happened about two times so far this semester so I was kinda used to it. I did ok on one of the tests, while I did a lot better on the other two. However, I didn’t have time to contemplate my test scores because the following Sunday I had to shoot a wedding.

I’ve never done wedding photography before and wedding videography is a whole different animal. I will admit I was super nervous because with weddings, you only get one shot so if you blow it, well you’re out of luck. If I had to do it all over again, I’d definitely hire someone else to shoot video with me because one camera man is definitely not enough to cover everything.

Once I recovered from the wedding, I was handed another project: Completely rebuild the Digital Studio website in four-five days. Thankfully, the time-frame was extended for a total time of about two weeks. Now, before starting this huge undertaking, I was pretty good with WordPress and HTML coding. But, the more time I spent working on the website and trying out different design methods, I felt a lot better about my coding background and attitude towards coding.

A lot of people, like myself, complained that ERG115, the class where you first learn how to code in MATLAB, basically made them hate coding. I totally understand where everyone is coming from, but as I started branching out into other programs and coding languages, I rediscovered my love for coding and problem solving. I guess I needed some time off after doing fprintf(‘Hello world.’); so many times.

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Somewhere along the way, I was invited by my friend to join him at Sun ‘n’ Fun. For those of you who don’t know, Sun ‘n’ Fun is this huge airshow out in Lakeland, Florida. Many people have compared it to Oshkosh, but I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration, it’s much smaller. Regardless though, I had a lot of fun, but I do wish I’d gone earlier. I went on Sunday with my friend which was the last day of the week-long event, and a majority of the static aircraft, mostly military aircraft, and airshow performers had left. That was ok because I got to see the Blue Angels perform for the first time in my life. After seeing the Thunderbirds perform for three years, this was definitely a welcomed change.

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I also got to go to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for the first time. I’ve been to Kennedy Space Center and the launch pads, but surprisingly never actually went to the Visitor Complex.

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With my sixth, wow has it really been six?, semester now coming to a close, I’m definitely looking forward to going home for the summer for some R&R. I look forward to taking Thermodynamics at Rutgers and flying my drone a lot more since New Jersey’s airspace isn’t as dense as Daytona Beach’s. I look forward to working either with my family or at a supermarket since I was already offered a job starting when I come home. But, most importantly, I look forward to summer and what it has to offer. Four months is a long time and I look forward to sharing everything when I see you all in August.

For now, good luck, and if you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading.

Say Hello to Summer

 It’s summer time and the living is easy! 

The end of the semester and the start of summer definitely felt like a whirlwind! The last few days of the spring semester flew by and before I knew it I was sitting in my first classes of the Summer A semester!

Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expo, Lakeland, Florida:

This was my first year attending the Sun’ n Fun airshow in Lakeland, Florida and boy was it fun! A large group of my friends and I made the drive down and spent the day surrounded by hundreds of different types of aircraft. My favorite planes to see were definitely the different types of war aircraft that they had displayed. I am a pretty big history buff, so these types of things fascinate me! We also spent time looking and talking to all the different vendors. I learned a lot about different aviation companies and we also sat in on an presentation about an aircraft accident given by AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association). My favorite part of the day was definitely watching the Thunderbirds fly in. They were not performing that day but gave us a mini show as they arrived in Lakeland which was exhilarating. I can remember as a little girl going to different airshows on the Navy bases that we were stationed at and nothing beats the sounds of the jets flying by. Now, every time I hear those noises I get chills and it takes me back to some wonderful memories.

 

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The group of us at Sun ‘n Fun!

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Loved learning all about the war planes

Great American Mud Race

One of the best things I have done so far this summer was complete the Great American Mud Race!! This was a mud filled run full of obstacles that were certainly challenging.  One of my sorority sisters and I decided to take on the challenge and I must say, I don’t think I have ever been so muddy in my life. This was a great start to summer and I would definitely recommend this type of race for anyone up for getting a little dirty! I have set a goal for myself to complete a racing series throughout the summer and the fall and I thought this would be a fun way to kick off my training! My plan is to run a 10k in June, a 15k in September, and lastly a Half Marathon in mid October!

 

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Crawling in the mud under barbed wire!

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Excited as we are about to finish one of the last obstacles

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Why not live life a little muddy?

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Graduation

To truly wrap up the Spring Semester, It was time for graduation! I had lots of friends graduating this semester so it was lots of fun to go support and congratulate all of them! It’s crazy to think that in just a year or so this will be me! College has really flown by and it feels like so long ago that I was attending my own high school graduation. College has been some of the best years of my life so far; the independence that I have gained has been truly amazing. I have learned so much about myself and definitely pushed myself harder than I ever thought possible.

 

Graduation

 

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Sigmas at Graduation!

I feel like I just finished the Spring semester and summer is already in full swing! Check out my next blog post all about the DOW (Doppler on Wheels) field experiment that I will be participating in chasing storms in Florida!

Until Next Time!

-Kealey

 

Sun ‘n a whole lotta Fun.

P-51D Mustang “Crazy Horse”

POSITION: KLAL (Lakeland Regional Airport, FL)

This past week I went to Sun ‘n Fun, the second largest airshow in the nation! It was a ton of fun and I definitely went back to my dorm with a not-so-fun sunburn. I met a ton of interesting pilots, saw unique aircraft I have never seen before and I was exposed to so many different sides of aviation all at once. THIS was aviator heaven- and a definite perk of going to school on the East Coast. Enjoy the photos!

P-51 Mustang

AOPA Tent

Cessna Booth

Cessna Caravan cockpit

Titan T-51 (3/4 scale P-51)

As you can see, I definitely enjoyed the airshow. This week is my last week of the semester here at Embry-Riddle. I have two papers due and six tests on the clock. Not to mention, packing up my stuff and shipping some back to California! I’ve got a fun summer planned ahead- full of aerobatic flying, working with my sponsor Scheyden Precision Eyewear, and a possible internship opportunity back home in San Diego! I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

More on the horizon!
Blue Skies

Hunks o’ Horsepower.

(KEVB) @ New Smyrna Balloon and Sky Festival

UPDATE: This past week has been chock-full of homework, Greek Week extravaganzas for ΣΣΣ , studying for the Commercial Pilot written and oh yeah, vintage aircraft! After quite a few chilly weeks here (yes, it gets cold in Florida), it’s finally starting to warm up and some nice CAVU weather is on the way! This week is also Sun ‘n Fun and I am so excited to attend! It is the 2nd largest airshow in the nation aside from Oshkosh and I am finally on the east coast to see it. Expect loads and loads of photos and me talking (and writing) my head off about it. So, if you see me around school this week, stay away! 😛
 

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The most beautiful airplane ever made.                P-51 Mustang

T-6 Texan; this airplane will forever hold a place in my heart

Patty Wagstaff

Aerial torpedoes in the belly of a B-25

Checking out those airplane guts

Ever Forward ΣΣΣ

We had our new member initiation today! We gained four new beautiful Sigma sisters 🙂

Something I realized after reflecting back on this past busy week: We all have these alarm clocks that we tend to worry about as we go throughout our days. Getting this done, having to do that, wanting to do this, hoping to do that. Living life like a checklist. Working hard so we can get to our play faster. Normally, when we hear an alarm go off, it brings negative reminders of things we have to get done that day. But what if for once, you lived in the now and saw each alarm as another chance to be the best version of yourself? If you allow yourself to see every day as a new chance, a new horizon, your alarm clock is no longer a dreaded sound- but rather a beckoning call to be the most alive, passionate, extraordinary you. You’re either in full HP or you’re not. After all, who wants to go through life with a coughing, dull engine? Get up tomorrow, today, or whenever you read this and take it as an opportunity to be alive.The start is now.

See you at Sun ‘n Fun

Spring Break has come and gone. Now for the home stretch!

Spring Break is now over, and we are down to the last month of school before finals and summer break.  I can’t believe just how quickly time has flown over this past year and I am weeks away from completing my freshman year of college.  If I went to another school, I don’t think I would have learned as much about flying airplanes, meeting airshow performers, or sharing the passion of flight with all my friends.

During spring break, I went home and enjoyed a week of home cooking and relaxation.  I spent most of the week in the workshop getting my new Control-line contest plane polished and ready to fly.  The weather was too cold to run the engine, but I’ll be able to do that in a couple of weeks when summer break comes around.

Since spring break has ended, I have been out flying my CarbonZ Yak54 with the RC club on campus a couple times a week.  Now that it doesn’t get dark until 8pm, I’m able to get a few flights out of it before the darkness of nighttime sets in.  I have now learned how to fly rolling circles and rolling loops with it.

On the full size flight training side, I needed a couple refresher flights to shake the rust off from spring break, and now am hoping to get signed off for my check-ride by next weekend.  I grounded myself because I’m currently battling a cold.  I learned my lesson the hard way of why not to fly when you have any sort of congestion.  On my solo cross country to Melbourne, I had a very mild cold, and even then, I felt like my head was going to explode when I was on descent.

The next two weekends I am planning on traveling to West Palm Beach for the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction, New Smyrna Balloon and skyfest, and Sun ‘N Fun. I am looking forward to attending these events and will hit on the highlights for the next entry.

‘Till next time, fair skies and light winds.