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 – #3

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The quote from Theodore Roosevelt, “Nothing worth having comes easy” is the perfect way to describe my last week and a half of flight school. I have been very, very busy these last few days. I completed and passed my takeoff and landing evaluation, completed my first cross country flight and I passed my private pilot written exam!!!!

I was very fortunate to be able to complete my takeoff and landing evaluation last Saturday with my CFI, Mike Roubik. It was a pretty big day for the both of us, as it was my evaluation flight over my takeoffs and landings and his last flight as an instructor before heading off to his first career as a pilot. Chicago’s crazy crosswinds were putting up a challenge, but I am very proud of myself for being able to land the plane up to standards and was able to pass the evaluation! It is a great feeling knowing I am one step closer to my first solo flight and also earning my private pilot license.

I now have a new flight instructor and we have been very busy! I completed my first cross country flight this past weekend, and it was a blast! Each cross country flight is about three hours long. My instructor and I have reviewed how to use ground reference points (railroad tracks, cities, rivers) to guide me to my destinations. We also use the ForeFlight program on our iPads and the navigation systems in the airplane to direct us where to go. The downside to this stage of flying is the weather has to be perfect. As a VFR pilot, there are cloud and visibility requirements I have to follow, and Chicago’s weather has been very uncooperative the last few days. I am hoping to be able to complete my next cross country flight later this week when the weather gets better.

My former CFI, Mike Roubik, and me
My former CFI, Mike Roubik, and me

While waiting for the weather to clear, my instructor took me and a few other students up to the air traffic control tower at our airport (KDPA). It was pretty awesome, and made me a lot more comfortable being able to put a voice and face together for when communicating with ATC. Being able to see everything they do in the tower and understanding how pilots and ATC works together was very cool and an awesome learning experience!

This past week I have also completed and PASSED my private pilot written exam!!! I am extremely proud of myself, and this is a huge weight off my shoulders. I am now preparing for my private pilot oral exam and check ride, which will be coming up very quickly! I am hoping the weather will clear, and I will be able to finish my cross country and night flight this week. If everything continues to go as planned, I will be a private pilot in no time!

Thank you again to everyone who has been following my blog. I greatly appreciate all of your positive feedback! I have had flight attendants reach out to me about attending flight school and it makes me even more motivated to keep working hard and following my dream to be a commercial pilot! These next few days are going to be pretty busy so stay tuned, and I can not wait to share more of my adventures with you!!

ExpressJet Airlines and Falcon Aviation partnership is ‘cleared’ for takeoff

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Last week, ExpressJet Airlines and Falcon Aviation Academy celebrated the launch of our new pilot training partnership, the Cleared Career Pathway Program.

Cleared is a 22-24 month fast-track path that will allow pilots to go from zero flight time to an ExpressJet First Officer in training, while also gaining exposure to real airline training and operations before they’re ready to apply.

We had a great turnout at Falcon’s Newnan, Georgia location for a fun-filled event with snow cones, rides in a Diamond DA-20 basic training aircraft, and a chance to speak with real ExpressJet Airlines pilots aboard a Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft, which was flown in by ExpressJet Atlanta Chief Pilots Jack Imperiale and Chris Polizzi.

Several ExpressJet pilots and recruiters were also on hand to answer questions about Cleared, as well as talk about what it’s like to be an airline pilot, work in the regional industry and live the flight crew life.

Not only did we speak with many career changers looking to make the jump into the flight deck, but several others showed interest in Falcon Aviation’s Aircraft Dispatcher program, of which ExpressJet has hired many graduates.

Thanks to all who attended Cleared’s launch event! Through our new partnership, both ExpressJet and Falcon remain dedicated to educating people on the many possibilities of an airline career, while also providing a clear path on how to get started as aviation professionals.

Learn more about Cleared at www.expressjet.com/cleared or at faa-air.com.

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From Cabin to Cockpit: My Adventures in Flight Training – #2

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What. A. Week! Thank everyone for all of your support of my first blog entry! I am so excited to go through this journey with all of you!

I am just finishing week four. Time is going by so fast, and a lot has happened the last few days. I can officially land a plane, complete my maneuvers almost to standards and am starting navigation logs so I can begin cross-country flying! I am also very busy studying for my written test and have started reviewing material for my oral. On average, I am spending about eleven hours a day at the training center studying. This is A LOT of work!

Ground school has taught me a lot about myself. I started flight school knowing there was more to flying a plane than landing and taking off, but I was not expecting to take at least four hours to complete a navigation log for a flight that may take only thirty minutes. There is so much involved in flight planning, and I still have a lot to learn. I have also learned to be more patient with myself, as math is not one of my strengths and flying airplanes requires a lot of it. I have been spending a lot of time practicing problems such as finding airspeeds, flying distances and density altitudes on the E6B Flight Computer. I now understand why some pilots call it the “Whiz Wheel” as for a while, I was whizzing past all of the correct answers! Repetition, asking questions and knowing my goal of being a commercial pilot have been keeping me focused on working hard and continuing to do well. I am very proud of how far I have come with my training and can not wait to see how much I will improve these next coming weeks!

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My flying has greatly improved. I have been told by my CFI I am flying like a pilot. My instructor is also using the words “Linnea” and “solo” in the same sentence…I am getting closer and closer to my first solo flight! I will be evaluated on my takeoffs and landings this weekend. My landings are no longer making my CFI shorter, and I am getting a better idea of how to land and take off in Chicago’s crazy crosswinds! Maneuvers have been a blast, and I am becoming a lot more comfortable with flying and also understanding how important it is to think ahead of the plane.

While this past week was a busy one, I am so proud of myself for how hard I am working and how far I have come. I am right on track with my flying, I am understanding “flying math” more and I am living my dream of becoming a commercial pilot. Thank you again for reading and following along! Maybe next week I will be able to tell you all about my first solo flight!

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