From Cabin to Cockpit – My Adventures in Flight Training #7

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Hello everyone!! I am currently ONE WEEK away from my instrument checkride!!! Time is flying by, and I have been keeping myself busy! The last month has included a lot of flying, ground school, and passing my instrument and instructor instrument exams! I do not even know where to begin with this update!

After completing my private pilot checkride, I moved straight into instrument flying. I almost feel as if I am learning how to fly again. Instrument flying is so different from VFR flight rules. I now have to wear “foggles” to make sure I can only look at my flight instruments when I fly….so that means no more looking outside! I also am able to fly in the child’s, which has been a blast. I had to complete twenty hours of instrument time build before starting my instrument training. The time build was a lot of fun! I flew from DuPage to Oshkosh, WI which was somewhere I have always wanted to fly; now I just have to fly in for the air show! I also flew over part of Lake Michigan when I went from DuPage to Lansing, MI for another cross country flight. In my time build I learned how to pick up IFR clearances, how to fly solely on the flight instruments, and how to land using various instrument approaches. It is A LOT to think about while still flying an airplane.

 

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Once I was finished with my time build, I then completed numerous flight simulator lessons. These consisted of flying different approaches, departure and arrival procedures, holding patterns, DME ARCS, and more unusual attitude flying. After completing the simulator time, I then went out for my flights where I practiced everything I learned in the simulator now in the airplane. Instrument flying is a lot of fun, but it sure is different. There is so much more to think about, and everything happens so fast! I am becoming a lot more comfortable with multitasking, and am getting better with reading approach plates while communicating with air traffic control while still trying to fly the plane.

 

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Somewhere between all of my flying and ground school I also passed my instrument and flight instructor written exams! These two tests were extremely difficult because of the amount of questions there were to study. The exam is only sixty questions, but then there are over 1,200 questions to study from. It is a huge relief to have these exams finished! Next week will continue to be extremely busy as I prepare for my checkride. I am continuing to work hard, and am over a month ahead in my program. I am looking forward to telling you all about my instrument checkride, and what will be up next in my ATP program!!

From Cabin to Cockpit – My Adventures in Flight Training #6

I AM OFFICIALLY A PRIVATE PILOT!!!!  After days and hours of studying, I earned my private pilot license on August 15th!

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I was extremely busy between my solo flight and my private pilot check ride.  After completing my solo flight, I went on to complete solo cross country flights.  I flew from DuPage, IL to Janesville, WI to Whiteside, IL and then back to DuPage.  I flew this route two times for my cross country solos.  Because the DuPage airport is located so close to O’Hare, I was flying underneath the jets that were going in to land at ORD.  The solo cross country flights were a blast, and I even was able to hear ExpressJet on the radio frequencies!  Once I completed these flights, I then moved onto my check ride preparations.  I worked on flying fundamentals such as steep turns, slow flight, stalls, emergency procedures, There were quite a few days I would arrive at the training center early in the morning and stay as late as ten o’clock at night to make sure I knew everything there was to know about the airplane’s systems, the types of airspace, weather, and anything else I could have been asked on my test.

 

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To say I was nervous for my check ride was a huge understatement.  My check ride was completed in Gary, Indiana.  I arrived to DuPage early in the morning to prepare a few last minute things such as getting the weather for my flight, and asking other students many last minute questions before CFI Paul Zapotoczny and I flew out for my check ride to Gary.  Once we arrived, we met my examiner (DPE) and began with the oral portion of the exam.  I thought I was prepared, but I did not realize just how much information I knew!  It was such a great feeling to know I was so well prepared for this big day. After passing the oral, I then went for the flying portion of the exam, and completed a cross country flight, stalls, steep turns, emergency procedures, and then finished with a few landings at Gary.  It was probably by far the most nervous I have ever been flying, and my legs would not stop shaking the entire flight, but I passed, and did very well!  The flight back to DuPage was much more relaxing and enjoyable as I was not nearly as nervous and much more excited!  The great day ended with a big celebration with my family.  It will be a day I remember forever!

Since earning my pilot’s license, I have been checked out to rent a plane.  My mother was the first person other than an instructor to fly with me!  I took my mom flying to Rochelle, IL for her birthday, where we had dinner and watched skydivers for the evening.  It was a lot of fun to show my mom just how much I have learned in such a short amount of time!  I can not wait to be able to take the rest of my family flying in the near future!

 

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I still can not believe how quickly I am completing the ATP program.  I earned my private pilot’s license in two months and about a week!  I have a lot more great news to share with all of you in my upcoming blogs.  Thank you again to everyone that has been following along, and especially my family and instructors at ATP for all of your support!

My training does not stop at my private, it is now time to learn how to fly in the clouds!!

From Cabin to Cockpit – My Adventures in Flight Training #5

Eight weeks and fifty three flight hours later, I DID IT!!! I completed my first solo flight! I am so excited to share my first solo experience with all of you!

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I completed my solo evaluation flight Monday, and was able to fly my first solo flight the following day.  I woke up around three in the morning for my first solo.  The winds had to be perfect; no more than ten knots of wind and no more than a five knot crosswind.

Before sending me off, my instructor Maks Surowka, and I performed three take offs and landings in the traffic pattern to make sure I was ready.  I then dropped him off, and went on my way as a student pilot first solo flight in the traffic pattern!  I do not think I have ever had more emotions going through my mind until I was lined up on the runway by myself.  I was ready to go, excited, nervous, and knew there was no going back once I took off!  Once airborne, I was not as nervous until it came time to land.  I knew I was ready for my solo flight, and was very confident in myself.  My landings were probably the best I have ever done, mainly because I knew my CFI would not be there to save them!

 

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I was soloing in the traffic pattern for about one hour.  Once I was finished,  returned back to our parking and we were all ready to celebrate!  Later in the day, Maks cut the back of my shirt. For those unfamiliar with the ritual, the instructor cuts the back of the pilot’s shirt into a rectangle and the pilot writes their solo dates and plane number on the back.  It means you’re “free” from your instructor and on your own!  It was a very memorable day, and I am extremely proud of myself!

 

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My week did not end there, I finished my required four hours of solo flights in the traffic pattern, and completed another cross country flight.  I now am preparing for my two solo cross country flights which I am hoping to finish in the next week.  My private pilot check ride is also quickly approaching, so I have been very busy studying and having a lot of ground school to prepare me for the big day! I am hoping to be a private pilot by mid August!

Once again, thank you to everyone for all of your positive feedback and support! I am continuing to work hard, and am rapidly making my way through my ATP program.  I am hoping my next blog entry will include my first solo cross country flight!

Stay tuned for my next adventures!!

AP3 Summer Camp Recap

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Our Airline Pilot Pathway Program (AP3) Camp has officially concluded today! The inaugural camp was developed as an effort to continue to educate, engage and empower future aviators across the country during the summer months when school is out of session. This aviation summer camp was tailored to students within our AP3 program that were senior level students or certified flight instructors.

Students applied by submitting an application, resume and letter of reference, and were chosen for a spot in the all-expenses-paid, three-day camp. AP3 Camp provided an opportunity for student pilots to explore, grow, develop new skills and form lasting relationships in a friendly, career-focused environment.

We hosted multiple sessions in both our Atlanta and Houston facilities in June, July and August. In total we had 42 students join us from 21 flight schools and universities across the country. Students attended from the following schools:

  • Aerosim Flight Academy
  • Auburn University
  • Aviator College
  • Bridgewater State University
  • Central Washington University
  • Delaware State University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Falcon Aviation Academy
  • Henderson State University
  • Jacksonville University
  • Kansas State University , Salina
  • Kent State University
  • Liberty University
  • Louisiana Tech University
  • Middle Georgia State University
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Oklahoma State University
  • Utah Valley University
  • University of Dubuque
  • University of North Dakota
  • Western Michigan University

Campers participated in a number of fun and nurturing activities. Here are a few of the camp activities they got to participate in:

  • Behind-the-scenes tour of ExpressJet’s facilities including our airport crew lounge, Flight Ops training center, maintenance hangar and Operation Support Center (Atlanta)
  • Tour of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  • Attend Delta Flight Museum (Atlanta) and 1940 Air Terminal Museum (Houston)
  • Meet with ExpressJet leadership
  • Sessions in our flight simulators
  • Pilot shadow experience
  • Professional development opportunities (headshots, mock interviews, resume critiques)
  • Aviation Think Tank (campers present ideas to solve industry concerns)
  • Bonding activities including Keemah Boardwalk, Painted Pin and Top Golf
  • First officer interviews for eligible candidates

Check out some of the amazing moments from the camp below.

AP3 Camp 7 AP3 Camp 6 AP3 Camp 5 AP3 Camp 4 AP3 Camp 3 AP3 Camp 2 AP3 Camp 1 AP3 Camp 8

 

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Meet Our Summer Interns

Three times a year we open our doors to invite students from across the country to experience all that ExpressJet has to offer. Fortunately for us, we consistently have the privilege to host the best and brightest individuals who have a passion for aviation. During this summer session we have four new interns joining our team for the next few months.

Meet our new interns:

Meet Stacy Gonzalez, Flight Operations Safety

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Stacy attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Psychology and Safety in May 2016. Immediately after graduating she joined the ExpressJet team as an intern. Thus far, her favorite part of the experience has been the flexibility she receives to work in various safety related departments allowing her a panoramic view of the daily functions of one of the largest departments at ExpressJet. Her goal for the internship is to continue to work alongside various safety groups and to establish a foundation of knowledge that will be beneficial toward her career goals.

Meet Terrence Braddock, Flight Operations Safety

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Terrence is an involved senior-level student at Middle Tennessee State University where he is majoring in Aerospace with a Professional Pilot concentration and a Flight Dispatch add-on. The highlight of his experience thus far has been the welcoming personalities and gestures made by the ExpressJet team as a whole. Many of our employees mention how they feel welcomed and a part of the team on day one. He hopes to learn more about 121 operations and the airline industry in general. His goal is to one day become a check airman for a respected airline.

Meet Brian Reedy, Flight Operations

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Brian attends Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona where he is a double major in Aviation Business Administration and Aeronautical Science. Similar to his peers, his favorite part of the internship experience has been the friendly and uplifting environment at ExpressJet. From this experience he hopes to learn how an airline develops company culture. Many professionals in the industry consider ExpressJet to be highly recognized and respected. At some point during his experience he hopes to see what different departments are doing to ensure that the culture is held to such a high standard and held constant when the company is spread out over the entire eastern half of the United States. Long term, it is Brian’s goal to end up in a management position at an airline after serving as a pilot for at least a decade.

Meet Ryan Adler, Flight Operations

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Ryan Adler is a student at the University of North Dakota majoring in Commercial Aviation and Aviation Management. Thus far, his program highlight has been the autonomy in fulfilling assignments and the workplace respect he has received from the pilot recruiters that he works alongside. Being immersed in the internal operations of an airline is a priceless experience that most people won’t receive until they are a full-time employee. There are so many opportunities to contribute within the airline other than being a pilot, and Ryan knows he wants to be more involved than flying the line one day as a full -time employee. Similar to most young aviators, he hopes to fly for a major airline one day. However at some point he hopes to transition into a management position at an airline.

 

You too can become an ExpressJet intern. For more information please visit, http://blog.expressjet.com/intern/.

 

 

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