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.

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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/.

 

 

#AP3SummerFun video contest offers $1,000 grand prize

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Deadline extended to July 31!

This summer we’re inviting flight students to get creative to earn $1,000 for their organization or school with our #AP3SummerFun Video Challenge. Gather your flight team, aviation student organization (OBAP, WAI, Alpha Eta Rho chapter, etc.) or flight school friends to create a video about why you love aviation, your school and AP3. To enter, post your video on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #AP3SummerFun between June 1 and July 31

Who can enter?
The contest is open to all Airline Pilot Pathway Program (AP3) members age 18 and older. Students are encouraged to participate as a group (think flight team, aviation student organization, Alpha Eta Rho chapter, etc.). Each team must designate one person as their representative to post the entry and to accept the prize on behalf of the team. This will be the person contacted if your video is deemed the winner.

How do I make the video?
Use any device to capture your video, and any style, format, theme and idea you’d like. The more creative the better! We do have a few guidelines:

  • Do not use footage that was obtained by breaking FAA rules or any other laws (e.g. filming in the flight deck while in flight)
  • Include why you love aviation, your school and AP3
  • Bonus points for a shout-out to your EPIC Ambassador(s)
  • If you need music for your video, we encourage you to create your own or use a legally purchased (or free!) track (here are two good websites for copyright-free music: freestockmusic.com, audiojungle.net)

How do I submit the video?
All videos must be posted on a personal or organization Facebook or Instagram page between June 1 and July 13 with the hashtag #AP3SummerFun. You may submit as many videos as you’d like during that timeframe to up your chances of earning $1,000 for your organization or school. Only videos posted to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #AP3SummerFun will be considered.

What are the prizes?
The first place team will win a $1,000 grant to their organization or school, ExpressJet-branded gear, free simulator sessions in Atlanta or Houston, and a dinner with ExpressJet. Runners up will receive ExpressJet-branded gear.

The $1,000 grand prize will be made out to the organization it was submitted under. For example, if John Doe submitted the winning video on behalf of the College Flight Team, the check will be made out to College Flight Team. If the winning video is submitted by an individual, non-affiliated group or an organization without a formal governing authority, the grant will be made out to the winners’ flight school.

Other prizes will be given to/coordinated with the person who submitted the winning submission. The selection committee will not be involved in dividing up the prize among teams or otherwise, nor will the committee be involved in any disputes among teams or collaborators.

What are the judging criteria?
A review committee of pilot recruiters will judge each video on the following criteria. Each criterion will be judged on a 1-5 point scale, and weighted as described below:

  • Followed all guidelines – 20%
  • Creativity – 50%
  • Demonstrated a passion for aviation – 10%
  • Showed school pride – 10%
  • Included AP3 – 10%
  • EPIC Ambassador Shout-out – Bonus 10%

How will winners be notified?
The selection committee will notify the winner using the social media platform the video was submitted through. We expect to name a winner on July 15, 2016. You must respond to this notification within three days. As a condition of receiving your prize, you (and members of your team, if applicable) must sign an affidavit confirming that you followed all rules and are otherwise eligible to receive the prize (including having secured all necessary permissions to incorporate third party content in your video).

 The Rules

  • You must enter your submission online during the entry period by posting the video on your personal social media platforms with the designated hashtag. Submissions without the hashtag will not be considered or judged.
  • Video must be less than three minutes in length (including opening and closing credits).
  • Video must be narrated in the English language.
  • Video must not infringe any third party copyright or trademark, or violate the rights of any person or entity, unless written consent is received. Only use content in your video that you are authorized to use, including, but not limited to music, images, film clips and other intellectual property.
  • To be eligible for the prizes, you (and/or your team) must be the copyright owners of the video and all of its component parts, or you must have express permission via a license or otherwise to use and incorporate all material authored or owned by third parties into the video. Note that this provision is not intended to preclude you from incorporating public domain content into your video.
  • Video may not contain images or likenesses of any individuals who have not provided their authorization to have their images or likenesses used for the purposes contemplated herein.
  • Video may not contain material that is obscene, defamatory, libellous, threatening, pornographic, offensive, or encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, gives rise to civil liability, or violates any law (including, without limitation, the privacy or publicity rights of any individual whose likeness appears in the video).

Privacy
By entering into this contest, you consent to the use of your name and other personal information submitted through your entry (including, but not limited to your social media handle and school affiliation) in promotions and other publications.

 Remember to use the #AP3SUMMERFUN hashtag when posting your videos online. Good luck!

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