“This Isn’t ‘Goodbye,’ It’s Only ‘See You Later.'”

Hello there!

I’ll assume that if you’re reading this, you’ll have no idea who I am: which is good because I have a few lines to make a good first impression!

In addition to living in NJ, I also work in New York City!

My name is Billy Nguyen and I’m from Eatontown, NJ. For starters, no NJ is nothing like the TV show “Jersey Shore.” Actually, it’s quite far from it and I highly recommend coming down in the summer since the beaches and night life is pretty cool around here, or you can go to California: I won’t judge you. Growing up, I didn’t have that many opportunities to pursue my interest in engineering or really anything aerospace related. What I did to get by was take the engineering courses offered at my high-school and spend countless hours flying in Flight Simulator X. Still to this day, I fly regularly in that game.

Oh so artsy.

On the side I started doing photography, videography, music, acting, graphic design, drawing, and computer work; a mouthful right? While my hobbies weren’t directly related to my major of Aerospace Engineering, I was able to find some outlets for my hobbies to keep myself engaged and active during my first semester here at Embry-Riddle. Thanks to my ingenuity, I’m now a general member of the Avion newspaper and I regularly cover campus events as a photographer. I wish I had time to join the Acafellas and Riddle Players, but maybe someday I’ll tryout. (You have been warned.)

Adjusting to life at Riddle was extremely challenging: definitely a step-up from high-school for sure. As we near the end of the first semester I can really start to grasp how much I’ve learned and changed these past few weeks and it’s really amazing. I think I’ve changed for the better; I’m now more aware of how important time management is (note how I didn’t say I got better at time management,)  and I’m starting to learn how to navigate the world on my own. It’s a life changing experience and my curiosity and passion for learning is what will ultimately carry me through all of this.

As my high-school’s cheerleading manager of 3 years, the quote in the title was

adjust is to get involved. If you have a passion for

tossed around a lot towards the end of each season and it makes me think about all the things that could happen in the 4-5 years when you’re away at college; only time can tell how things will turn out for me. For now, hopefully I come home for Winter Break I can impress my friends with the MATLAB programs I can write.

My advice for anyone still trying to adjust is to get involved. If you have a passion for something, chances are there is a club for you; you don’t even have to join a

Wings & Waves was my first ever airshow and I was amazed.

Wings & Waves was my first ever airshow and I was amazed.

club on campus per-say. There’s plenty of opportunities in the Daytona area. There is literally so much you can do at Embry-Riddle but you have to take that first step. Also, keep in touch with your friends and family. I like to send letters to my friends and I think I’m one of the few people still keeping the post office running.

So on that bombshell, “Allons-y!”
Billy N.™

October 17, 2010

It had arrived, the most exciting weekend event so far in my books. That is the Wings & Waves Air Show, here in Daytona Beach. It has been five years since Daytona has seen a huge air show to this extravagance. The whole city was talking about it and the university was very prepared, especially since Embry-Riddle was a major sponsor of the event. Several days before the air show, the planes and jets began arriving. The first group to arrive was the F-16s.

It was amazing! They made several loops around campus while they were approaching Daytona Airport. I live in Mckay and all I can say is that they were low enough that the windows were rattling and I ran from my desk, flew out the door and stared up in the sky, watching. Once they finished one loop, I looked around to see, practically the whole dorm, running out, staring up, amazed. It was one of the funniest sights. You know you go to Riddle when nearly everyone runs out from their dorms or classes (that’s if the teacher lets you), and stares up. After the F-16s landed, things calmed down.

The Canadian Snowbirds arrived late that night. One of the best sights the following day was when I was flying. My instructor and I were coming from a southern practice area and we listen to ATIS, which is a broadcast of the weather at the airport, then Approach, which are controllers who handle people that are approaching the airport. We then hear one of the controllers clear a plane for some sort of vertical takeoff. We look at each other and then stare out the window. Over on the left we see a plane takeoff, then shoot straight up, completely vertical, and accelerate into the sky, it was breathtaking. I landed the airplane, taxied to the Riddle ramp, shut down, secured, and all the other necessary procedures. Once walking back to the dorm, I hear another noise. I drop my bag, run out to the lawn and see it, the F-22, two of them. I was in complete awe because they were so low yet going so fast. Then once they did their first loop, they came back around, for a second one. You could NOT hear them at all. They were going so slow and quiet. I thought they were going to stall and fall to the ground, but no. All the other aircraft arrived later that day, but the climax was the following day, the actual air show.

There were free shuttle buses that ran from campus to the beach every half-hour, starting a couple hours before the air show started, to an hour after it ended. I am so happy that Riddle provided transportation because traffic was literally chaos. A couple of my friends and I actually drove to the air show and took the shuttle back. Instead of taking the 10 minutes to the beach as usual, it took us nearly 30-45 minutes and that was using back roads. Once at the air show, we had the times of our lives. The beach was packed but there were surprisingly spots right around the center of the air show. There were a lot of performers, including the Snowbirds, F-22s, F-16s, P-51, Julie Clark, and many more. It was an amazing sight and I happily included some of the amazing pictures I captured during the event. Now before the show and even coming to Riddle, I wasn’t very good at recognizing military jets, unlike many of my friends. All I knew was that the F-22 was the same plane that flies in the Transformers movies as Starscream, a Decepticon. After the show, I feel like I am able to distinguish many more of the planes. It was amazing to see them perform. From going completely vertical, screaming by the beach, nearly breaking the sound barrier, it was astonishing. Overall it was an amazing experience. Only downside was being sunburned from being in the sun for nearly six hours. Thanks to my genes though, after I burn and turn into a red tomato, I become nice and tan. Later this week is fall break, from October 22 to October 25, basically just a long vacation but long enough for me to fly home and visit my friends and family.

October 14, 2010

On Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010 a few friends and I from the school went to the Wings and Waves Air show, an experience that everyone should partake in. The beachside was packed with locals and tourists alike with everyone’s eyes were glued to the sky anticipating the arrival of planes and the different acts they would perform. From: F-22 demonstrations, Skytypers (Gieco), P-51 Mustang, F-22 Raptor and the F-16 Viper (Heritage flight), and even the Snowbirds from Canada. The show in its entirety was nothing short of exciting and intriguing.

I left with a sense of wonder and curiosity about this flight that captivated the pilots at my school. I loved watching the Heritage flight that showed the history (briefly) of fighter planes in the USAF (United States Air Force). So many of the performances were directly dedicated to the military services (current, past, and future even) and the family members of them as well. It meant a lot hearing and seeing the dedications considering I have a brother currently serving in the USN (United States Navy). Being in the show put a lot of things into perspective for me though and it made me have a new sense of pride in the country I was born and raised in for all of my life. I knew that there was a big world out there that I still wanted and had yet to see but I also knew that I wanted to defend my country and the beautiful freedom we have here. Wings and Waves show, which previously was a semi-annual tradition, will hopefully continue on for many more years to come (they just began the program again this year). I can’t wait to experience my next show and maybe this next time I can be up high shooting pictures of the flyers. Or maybe, just maybe I’d be active in a branch of the military. Like many things in life, I assume, I’d just have to wait and see for myself what would the future bring out into the open.