Why I always end my blog with “Adventure is out there!”

School is finally out, and no more final exams! Wohoo! Also, some big congratulations to the class of 2017 at both the high school and college level, I wish you all the best of luck in the next chapter of your lives. With this being my last blog post for the school year, I thought I’d make this a fun one by discussing why I always end my post with the famous saying form one of Pixar’s most beloved films “Up” “Adventure is out there” and why I find this quote to be so inspiring as well as why it applies to the world of aviation.

When I first saw the movie “Up” the story line touched me, just like most of you probably are if you’ve seen the movie. I love the various aspects and events that occur in pretty much everyone’s life whether if it’s getting married, wanting to have kids, receiving bad news, or even losing a loved one it just shows the good and the bad in everyday life. But the biggest thing that I loved about the movie was the quote “Adventure is out there” because all our lives are truly an adventure that we must encounter. I even love the quote so much that one day, I want to have the quote tattooed on my back with of course balloons around it (yes mom I know it will hurt, but it will be worth it).

So why do I believe this quote applies so well to the aviation world? Well, for starters it’s sort of ironic that the quote comes from Charles F. Muntz (who was the guy in the movie searching for the exotic bird in the movie) who ironically flew a blimp, so in a weird sort of way it does relate back to aviation. But the primary reason that I believe this quote applies to all pilots, is the fact that every flight is a new opportunity to go out on a new adventure and explore the world. Just like in the movie there are some flight that we will always remember, and of course there are some flights we wish to forget, but that’s the beauty about flying you never know what new adventures await on your next flight whether if you are a student pilot in training or the captain of a commercial airline pilot.

If you are like me, my friends always ask me “why did you decide to become a pilot?” and most of the time I just smile and laugh at them, look up to the sky and tell them that “because it’s an indescribable feeling looking down at the earth thousands of feet up in the air, and that there’s always a new adventure out there, waiting to be discovered. That’s why I decided to become a pilot.”

Well guys that’s it for this school year blogging, and I wish you all a safe and fun filled summer. Also, make sure to check out https://blog.globalair.com/  for other great blogs and featured stories on other pilot stories as well as other reviews on aviation related articles. As always guys remember, well I think most of you know what I’ll sign off with.

 

 

My time as a blogger & why you should apply for the 2017-2018 Calvin L. Carrithers Aviation Scholarship

Happy end of the semester everyone, and may the odds be ever in your favor on all your finals. Also, some big congratulations to those of you who are about to graduate, I’m sure that it’s an exciting time for you and your family, and I wish you all the best of luck on the next chapter in your life. With the semester ending, that also means that my time for blogging will end, and for this week’s post I would like to share with you all why if you’re a college student (or a senior about to start their college career) I want to encourage you all to apply for the 2017-2018 Calvin L. Carrithers Aviation Scholarship, as well as looking back on some of my blogs from this past year.

Now it’s no surprise to anyone that college is expensive! Especially being an aviation major. Around this time last year, I was looking all over the internet for scholarships, and other opportunities to help pay for my college expenses and flight fees for the 2016-2017 school year, and that’s when I found out about the Calvin L. Carrithers Scholarship and decided to go ahead and apply for it. Once I got my essay, and letter of recommendation; I applied for the scholarship. Luckily for me I had applied for a few other scholarships, and if there’s one thing I will recommend is to create a personal folder on your laptop because for the most part aviation scholarships will have the same or close to the same topic (examples include what are some short and long term goals, why did you choose aviation as your major, what got you interested in flying) so keep that folder instead of having to retype the same essay over and over.

A few months had passed and I had received a lot of email that I think we are all too familiar with saying “thank you for applying, but we didn’t select you as a recipient, or we encourage you to reapply next year” and believe me I got plenty of those. Then one day I received an email from Lydia Wiff (the scholarship curator) saying that I was selected as one of the recipients for the 2016-2017 Scholarship, and I was elated to finally receive some good news.

Looking back at all my blog post, I’m glad I decided to and was given the opportunity to share with you all my aviation experience over the course of this past school year. From learning advanced maneuvers, flying with the OU flight team and competing with them, to learning basic IFR flying, and attending my end of the year department banquet, I’ve come to realize just how much I’ve achieved and accomplished this past school year in my flying career. Not only that, but my blogging has also allowed for the University of Oklahoma aviation department to use my blogging as a way of promoting our program and to get students who are thinking about a career in aviation to visit our program.

Now I know what you all are thinking, “the scholarship committee will only choose four winners and there will probably be hundreds of applications, there’s no way they will choose me”, and truthfully, I felt the same way; but here’s the thing you don’t know unless you apply. In all honesty, I had completely forgot that I had applied for Calvin L. Carritehers Scholarship, until I received the email from Lydia. Here’s also possibly something that you are telling yourself, “It’s just 1,000 dollars that will only help somewhat with my expenses, and believe it or not that 1,000 dollars can actually do wonders for you. First off, it’s free money!!(who doesn’t love that) next that money could be used for a lot of things. For me personally 1,000 dollars can do a lot like paying for some of my flight fees, rent, food, tuition, books; basically, there’s a lot of things you can do with that amount of money so don’t waist the opportunity.

As far as my best advice when it comes to the application, by biggest thing is to try to be unique and different when it comes to your essays. A lot of times scholarship committees will hear the same story repeatedly, so try to set yourself apart from everyone else. For example, I always tell the story of I was inspired by a commercial pilot to peruse a career in aviation, or how I was a drum major and newspaper editor during my high school career. Again, things that will stand out to the scholarship committee. Take your time on the essay, there’s no need to rush and make sure you read over it a few times before submitting it in. Believe me I caught a few mistakes on my essay. Finally, get a good letter of recommendation, find someone who knows you well and can say good things about you, since it could be the difference between you receiving this scholarship, or any for that matter. And finally, be yourself; don’t try to be someone you’re not, let the scholarship committee see the real you and why desire a career in aviation.

As my time for blogging is ending there a few people I want to thank. First off thank you to GlobalAir.Com and the Carrithers family for selecting me as one of the recipients for the 2016-2017 school year. Thank you to my fellow peers and readers for the great advice on aviation subjects and sharing them on social media. And finally, a big thank you to Lydia Wiff for the guidance and advice when it came to blogging, and I wish her the best of luck as she is about to graduate from college in the upcoming week.

Well guys that’s it for this week’s blog, Also, make sure to check out https://blog.globalair.com/  for other great blogs and featured stories on other pilot stories as well as other reviews on aviation related articles. As always guys remember that “adventure is out there!”

Spring time is better, but brings more Active Weather

When it comes to flying, there are many hazards and warnings you should consider before each flight. One major factor that every pilot should consider before each flight is the weather, especially when it comes to thunderstorms. Thunderstorms are no laughing matter and as pilots we must take them seriously, and execute the safest plan for ourselves, flight crew, and passengers. So, for this week’s blog I want to discuss the dangers of thunderstorms when it comes to flying and what action you should take when dealing with a possible thunderstorm.

Thunderstorm Stages and development

For me personally, I’ve lived here in Oklahoma for the past twelve years, and I’ve seen my fair share of severe thunderstorms during the spring time, and especially since I live in the heart of tornado alley. So how does a thunderstorm develop. The three main ingredients that you need for the development of a thunderstorm are an unstable atmosphere, a lifting force, and moisture in the atmosphere. Typically, thunderstorms will most of the time develop along some form of a frontal system like a cold front, or a dryline; however, that’s not always the case, but you do see it happen quite often.

Now how can you tell if a storm is strengthening or weakening? Well once again thunderstorms have three life cycles, the first being the cumulus stage which is mainly classified my continuous updrafts. This is when you are looking at the clouds and they look like they are getting bigger and going much higher into the atmosphere. The next stage is the mature stage, and this is the stage when you begin to see visible precipitation starting to fall. And finally, you have the dissipating stage, which is when the storm is starting to weaken and is classified by continuous down drafts.

photo credits to the National Weather service station

Dangers Associated with flight

Now when it comes to flying, it is never safe to fly through a thunderstorm since there are many hazards and risk when it comes to a thunderstorm. The first major risk a thunderstorm imposes on flying is the increase and sudden changes of winds. When a thunderstorm is passing, the storm will often bring strong to severe winds, that can change in any direction. In fact, two major hazard that the winds and rain of a thunderstorm brings is wind shear and microburst, which can cost nearly any aircraft to be flipped over or thrown off the runway if they are in the takeoff or landing stage. Another major hazard, is the fact that thunderstorms will bring severe downdrafts. This can cause for an airplane to stall even when the pilots put in full power, because of how strong the downdrafts are the pilots may have a hard time getting the aircraft out of a stall. Hail & icing is another major factor in a thunderstorm, because if you are flying and having hail stones or even rain droplets hitting your aircraft, and you are in a layer of freezing temperatures; it can cause for you angle of attack to increase as well as increasing the weight of your aircraft. And finally, with any thunderstorm a hazard that any of us should consider is lightning, because that can be the key sign of whether a storm is severe, or strengthening.

How to avoid flying into a storm

So, what should you do if your deciding whether if it’s safe to fly or not; or what happens if you encounter a storm during your flight? Well hopefully before each flight, you all do what I do and check the latest weather reports, and make sure everything lines up together. Check the latest METAR’s, TAF reports, area forecast, Prog charts, and even pilot reports to see what everyone is reporting as far as flying. If it doesn’t look promising, don’t be stupid and go, just wait it out or make a no-go decision. Now let’s say you are in flight and you see a line of storms that you hadn’t predicted you would encounter. Well first off, try getting in contact with the latest flight service station to see if you can get an update on the weather or line of storms near you. If they deem it as being severe, let ATC know that you need to divert to an airport and stay away from those storms. But for some of you all who fly bigger and faster aircrafts, you may decide to divert around the storms and not fly through them. If this is the case again let ATC know and use a rule of thumb to avoid the thunderstorms by at least 20 miles because you can still feel some of the storms effects even when you are still a few miles away from them. In conclusion, just use the see and avoid rule as I’ve always been taught.

 Well guys that’s it for this week’s blog, Also, make sure to check out https://blog.globalair.com/  for other great blogs and featured stories on other pilot stories as well as other reviews on aviation related articles. As always guys remember that “adventure is out there!”

Oh and here is a link to the photos I told you all about last week form our aviation banquet, I figured it would be easier to use this rather than uploading a ton.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/r84ukittbbr7afr/AAA7VqwJyeJxLeIrdV_WMZw4a?dl=0

Also, I want to highly encourage you all to consider applying for the 2017-2018 Calvin L Carrithers scholarship, believe me I thought I wouldn’t be selected as a recipient, but it’s been a true honor and privilege of being selected for this past year and I’ve really enjoyed sharing my experiences of blogging them and I look to keep blogging for the next few years. So, if you’re looking for some scholarship money to cover aviation expenses I encourage you to apply!!

The 17th annual University of Oklahoma Spring Banquet

First off I want to apologize for not posting in a while I’ve been battling a rare and weird illness along with Easter and having a bunch of test doesn’t leave a lot of free time. With the end of the year quickly approaching, this past week here at the University of Oklahoma the department of Aviation got to celebrate our year, with our 17th annual Aviation Banquet at the Memorial Union on campus Thursday April 20th. So, I thought I would share with you all our successes from this past year as well as some of mine.

Every year our department has a contest where students get to submit a theme for the banquet, and I decided to submit my idea “Adventure is OUt there” since I love the movie up, and it has OU in the theme. After the department faculty voted, I received good news that my idea was selected as this year’s theme which was extremely exciting.

(Photo credit to the OU aviation Department)

After our director of the department welcomed everyone to the banquet, and ate dinner we then moved on to our guest speaker Dr. Melchor J. Antunano who is the director of the FAA Civil Aerospace Medical Institute here in Oklahoma City, and who has won numerous awards and recognition form countries all over the world for his work in the aviation industry . During his speech, Dr. Antunano talked about how airplane companies like Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, and many other companies have evolved the design of their aircraft over the past few decades and what we are to expect from them in the years to come as far as their design process. Another unique topic that he discussed in his speech was how safety has vastly improved over the past few years. For example, Dr. Antunano talked about how the Airbus A380 had to pass the emergency evacuation test for it to become certified for flight by the FAA. He stated and even showed us the video of an airbus A380 filled with passengers (782 people) and they had to evacuate the aircraft in 90 seconds or less. As we watched the video it was like watching a scene out of a movie where people were just evacuating the aircraft at record speed and in-fact they finished the evacuation in 80 seconds, so it was awesome to see how the A380 is evacuated during an emergency and being certified by the FAA.

Dr. Melchor J. Antunano

(Photo credit to the FAA)

Finally, we then moved on to our award portion of the banquet where we recognized our soon to be graduating seniors, our spring 2017 scholarship winners, and recognizing our student organizations. As we recognized our graduating seniors, the biggest thing that stood out to everyone was the fact that over the past year we had lost nine of our flight instructors, and assistant chief flight instructors to the airlines, and military services; in addition, we will soon be losing few, but still big congratulations to the class of 2017! Next, we moved on to our scholarship recipients where I was fortunate enough to receive the Christiansen Aviation scholarship from the department to help with flight fees, and it was also awesome to see my fellow peers win a few scholarship awards as well. Finally, to finish off the night by recognizing all the student organizations in the aviation department. From the air traffic control club, the Sooner Aviation Club, the Women in aviation club, our AAAE organization, and even recognizing this past year’s flight team, overall it was a very successful year for each organization and an outstanding year in general. In fact, I also found out that I was elected Treasurer for the Sooner Aviation Club for next year, which I’m looking forward too.

In the end, it was a night filled with recognizing another successful year here at the University of Oklahoma aviation department and I certainly hope that next year will be even more successful then this year. In addition, it also was a night to remember since I got to see how active I’ve been in the department, as well as being with my fellow peers and seeing how much they’ve succeeded over the past school year. Also, I’ll post a few more pictures from the banquet in next weeks blog since I’m having trouble uploading the ones I took on my phone.

Well guys that’s it for this week’s blog, Also, make sure to check out https://blog.globalair.com/  for other great blogs and featured stories on other pilot stories as well as other reviews on aviation related articles. As always guys remember that “adventure is out there!”

Also, I want to highly encourage you all to consider applying for the 2017-2018 Calvin L Carrithers scholarship, believe me I thought I wouldn’t be selected as a recipient, but it’s been a true honor and privilege of being selected for this past year and I’ve really enjoyed sharing my experiences of blogging them and I look to keep blogging for the next few years. So, if you’re looking for some scholarship money to cover aviation expenses I encourage you to apply!!

My longest Cross Country flight of my flying career

Holy cow it’s already April, and I don’t know how you guys feel but this semester is zooming by very quickly. This past week here at the University of Oklahoma the weather has been a huge pain in the neck with all the rain, and storm systems that keep sweeping the area. In fact, Tuesday night we picked up four inches of rain in the Norman area alone, so I’m sure you all can imagine trying to fly this past week has been nearly impossible. While the weather has been uncooperative for flying, I was able to go on my longest cross country flight from Norman to Amarillo Texas, and I wanted to share with you all my experience from being on a five-hour solo cross country.

Monday morning, I woke up to low hanging clouds which concerned me because I knew if they didn’t clear up by noon, I would not be going. Luckily the clouds did begin to taper off for perfectly clear weather all the way to Amarillo. After filing my flight plan and getting the aircraft signed out, I started up the aircraft and took off out of Norman shortly after the 2:30 pm (14:30) heading to Amarillo. The great thing about this flight is that there is a major highway (I-44) that runs directly from Oklahoma City to Amarillo, so if my GPS, or foreflight failed on me I could use that as a VFR waypoint to get to Amarillo.

Another unique feature that I realized on my way to Amarillo was the drastic change in elevation as I got closer to Amarillo. In my flight plan I filed to fly at 6,500, and in Norman the airport elevation is 1,182msl so I was really flying around 5,000 ft above the ground. Yet, as I started getting further out west I went, the higher the elevation got and the closer I was getting to the ground. In fact, when I was beginning to arrive into Amarillo the airport elevation there is around 3,450 msl; so, I was only about 3,000 ft above the ground when I began descending into Amarillo.

(Photo Credits to Amarillo International website)

I landed in Amarillo a little after 5:00 pm (17:00) and only had time to make a fuel stop at the local FBO before I had to be on my way back to Norman. I’m sure as you all can imagine Amarillo is not a big airport with a lot of planes that come and go, but it was really cool to be so close to the few that were there and to imagine that maybe one day I’ll be the pilot of one of those aircrafts stopping in Amarillo, Texas. Once I filed for my flight back to Norman, and the Aircraft was all fueled up, I started up the aircraft and was on my way back to Norman. As I was rolling out to the runway, I was following behind a Southwest Airline Boeing 737, and had an Envoy CRJ 700 following behind me, so I was sandwiched between two airline aircrafts.

Once the Southwest Airline took off it was my turn to takeoff and I was notified by ATC to try and make a clearing turn once I was up in the air so that I could get out of the way of the CRJ 700, which was extremely exciting to see how fast it got up into the air and was right behind me during the departure out of Amarillo. As for the next two and a half hours of flight it was just me and the aircraft heading back to Norman trying to race against the sun before it fully set, so it was sort of different going from day cross country flying into night cross country. Finally, at around 8:00 pm (20:00) I made my final descent into Norman completing the five-hour cross country, the longest flight and cross country that I’ve ever flown.

Overall, I did enjoy the flight, but if there’s one thing I do hate about doing these long cross countries is that it can get very boring and lonely. Like I said I had to do this as a solo cross country, and since I had no one else to talk to but myself, you easily get bored with just talking to yourself (especially when it’s 5hrs of just yourself), and it was sort of boring just watching windmill farm after windmill farm pass by, but again I enjoyed some of the unique features of western Oklahoma and the panhandle of Texas.

Well guys that’s it for this week’s blog, Also, make sure to check out https://blog.globalair.com/  for other great blogs and featured stories on other pilot stories as well as other reviews on aviation related articles. As always guys remember that “adventure is out there!”

 

Approach & Departure Charts

When it comes to instrument flying and training, you get introduced to a lot of new material which can be a mouthful to learn and getting adopted too.  One of the biggest (and probably most challenging) thing about learning instrument flying is reading and understanding approach and departure procedures. Over the course of this semester, I’ve had to adapt to getting use to reading those charts and thought it would be cool to give a basic introduction of how to read these procedures (keep in my mind I will only do a basic introduction since there’s a lot of information.

Departure Procedures

As the name implies, the departure procedure is used for all aircrafts that are leaving an airport to its next destination. Before you can begin the departure procedure, you first must pick up your IFR clearance from clearance delivery to your next destination. When you call for your IFR clearance, you will receive a lot of information to read back, so here’s a basic acronym that my ground instructor has taught me so that I know what to expect from clearance delivery; and that acronym is CRAFT and here’s what each word stands for

C- clearance- The first thing you will here is the clearance to your destination, so let’s so were flying to Oklahoma City you would here “cleared to Will Rogers World Airport (KOKC)

R- route of flight- When it comes to the rout of flight you will typically hear what you will be flying whether if it’s tracking VOR’s, Waypoints, Departure routes and a lot more.

A-Altitude- You then will be given an assigned altitude to climb to once you’ve departed and then another altitude for a later time. Example “fly runway heading climb and maintain 6,000 and expect 14,000 10 minutes after departure.

F- Frequency- Next, will be the frequencies you will be talking too once you’re on the departure leg of your flight. Example “departure frequency is 124.2”

T-Transponder- and finally you will be given a transponder code so that ATC can identify you and your route of flight. Example “squawk 7642”.

Now let’s look at an actual departure procedure in the chart form which pretty much all pilots use especially with the Foreflight App.

Here we have the Leona One departure out of Houston Hobby airport. As you can see you can identify the VOR’s, frequencies, flight levels and how far these legs are from one another. So, for example when we are ready for takeoff out of Hobby, we will take to tower on 118.7, then switch to departure on 132.25. As you can see once we hit Humble we then go to Willis, and then Leona. Depending on which direction we are going we will then go to Cedar Creek or Doley. You can also see the altitudes we are flying by identifying the number over the route of flight like where you 10,000 and Fl 180 (18,000 ft.). The great thing about these altitudes is that you do not have to wait for ATC to dive you these assigned altitudes; in fact, you are required to follow these departure assignments as stated by the FAA, the only way you can deviate from these instructions is if you are in an emergency or cause you to violate an FAA regulation.

Arrival Procedure

Again, as the name implies, the arrival procedure is used for aircrafts that are approaching and landing at their destination. As you will see here in a second the arrival procedure looks almost exactly like a departure procedure, yet the arrival focuses on getting to the airport rather than getting away from it. So, let’s look at an arrival procedure in the chart form.

Again, you see that the arrival procedure looks at exactly like the departure procedure, but you will see more procedures like holding patterns, radial tracking and assigned altitudes; in fact speaking of altitudes I’m sure some of you have noticed lines above, below or in between the altitudes and all those basically say if the line is under the altitude it basically means be at or above, if it’s below like at PETER it means be at or below, and finally between like at LOVES means be at the assigned altitude. And just like the departure procedure, you also see the frequencies you can expect and who you will most likely talking to once you are arriving at your destination.

Once you’re nearing your airport you then will go to the specified arrival for the runway which will be either a ILS, Localizer, or an RNAV approach into whatever airport you are arriving in. For example below is the ILS approach into runway 4 at Houston Hobby Airport.

The top third of the chart you can see multiple things like the frequencies for the tower, weather information, ground control, airport elevation, course approach and much more. The next third shows the actual course approach and what points you will fly over before reaching the runway. And then right below you see sort of the step-down view of the approach and the altitudes you will fly at before you begin the final descent into the airport. The final feature I want to point out on this chart is the missed approach procedures if you must declare one. If you notice just below the step-down portion you will see 1,600 feet and RAYCI. This means that if you have to declare a missed approach you will climb and maintain 1,600 feet, fly runway heading and proceed to RAYCI and hold as published and wait for further instructions from ATC.

As you can see, it’s certainly a lot to learn, and it can get confusing quickly, but just like any other skill that you learn the more practice you get the better you become at it. Like I said in this is only a basic introduction into approach and arrival charts and believe me there’s a lot more features and terminology in these charts.

Well guys that’s it for this week’s blog, Also, make sure to check out https://blog.globalair.com/  for other great blogs and featured stories on other pilot stories as well as other reviews on aviation related articles. As always guys remember that “adventure is out there!”

 

 

My personal Favorite Aircraft.

First off I hope everyone enjoyed the much-needed spring break, but of course it’s time to get back into the grind of things and finish the last half of the semester. For this week’s post, I thought I would do a simple, and very popular topic that nearly every pilot talks about; my favorite type of aircraft. While a lot of people argue why one particular aircraft is far more superior than every other aircraft; the one aircraft I have always appreciated (and that has been by far my favorite) is the Boeing 757 aircraft.

So why is the Boeing 757 my favorite aircraft of all time? Well here’s exactly why.

The Design

In today’s society, it seems like every aircraft company (mainly Boeing and Airbus) are trying to outdo each other by creating aircraft’s with larger bodies, more seating, advanced cockpits, more power to the engines; the Boeing 757 has kept it’s original, classic look ever since it was created by Boeing in the 1980’s. Another feature I love about the Boeing 757 is the long narrow body of the aircraft. While aircraft like the 767 and 777 are incredible aircraft’s, I’ve always thought that from a pilot’s perspective both aircraft’s look like they have more difficulty getting off the ground compared to the 757. Now I know the 767/777 are meant to carry more passengers and are much heavier, but it still looks like pilots struggle to get them off the ground because of how large the two aircraft’s are. Finally, when I’ve always appreciated the fact that the engines and wings seem equally proportional. Again, in a society where industries are creating longer wings and bigger engines, the 757 has two twin engine jets, and a wing span of only 125 feet which in my mind gives it a nice equally proportion of engine size and wing span.

The Cockpit

By far my favorite feature of the 757 would honestly have to be the cockpit. The Boeing 757 uses six Rockwell Collins CRT screens to display flight instrumentation, as well as an electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) and an engine indication and crew alerting system (EICAS). The great thing about the cockpit of the 757 is that it is neither over the top, or a complicated cockpit like other aircraft’s, yet it is also not out of date or ancient like some of the older aircraft’s used in first few years of commercial flying. In addition, the 757 includes all the basic warning horns and alerts that most pilots are familiar with and have trained on throughout most of their career. In fact, a lot of today’s commercial airline pilots prefer to fly the 757 over most other aircraft’s because of the cockpit and aircraft performance.

The Performance

As far as performance goes, one feature that I’ve always appreciated about the 757 from a passenger stand point, is that the engines are much quitter as compared to other jet engines. If you’re a frequent flyer, like I am, you tend to hear that annoying whining sound that the engines make and to me it’s very annoying. Yet, the 757 engines tend to make a quieter humming sound which sounds a lot more soothing. For a lot of commercial airliners, they tend to like using the 757 because it can be used for long domestic flights (example Los Angeles to New York) or short overseas international flights (example Boston to Iceland) so it’s almost like getting a two for one deal. Also, airline pilots tend to prefer the Boeing 757 performance over other aircraft’s because of how quickly they can climb out and get off the ground. Since the landing gear is a lot higher compared to other aircrafts, this gives the 757 the ability to climb out quicker, as well as allowing for a slightly greater angel of attack compared to other aircraft’s. It also helps relieve some stress for pilots, since they don’t have to worry about a tail strike on takeoff or landing in the Boeing 757.

In the end, I think the main reason I love the 757 so much is that it fits my personality, it’s a very classic aircraft, and I consider myself a classic guy. It’s neither an aircraft that is over the top yet not old or ancient like some others, and I hope the 757 never loses its classic look or features for as long as it is in service.

Well guys that’s it for this week’s blog, Also, make sure to check out https://blog.globalair.com/  for other great blogs and featured stories on other pilot stories as well as other reviews on aviation related articles. As always guys remember that “adventure is out there!”

Resources

Photo credits and research goes to Boeing, American Airlines, and Delta Airlines.

What is an instrument rating?

Okay, so I don’t how you all feel; but I find it hard to believe it’s already March and that Spring Break is less than a week away, which is good because I need a break from all these midterms and that means it’s almost my birthday (March 16th to be exact). Over the course of the semester, I’ve told you all and my friends that I’m currently working towards my instrument rating and the question my friends always seem to ask me is “what’s an instrument rating, and why is it so important?” so for this week’s post I will answer some of the questions about what exactly an instrument rating is and why it’s so important to have in your flying career.

What is an Instrument rating?

An instrument rating in the flying world is just basically saying that “you as pilot in command of an aircraft have properly demonstrated the safe and control ability to fly an airplane based on the sole use of instruments” in other words you can safely fly the plane when your outside visibility is taken away from you 99.9% of the time due to weather conditions (examples- rain, clouds, fog, thunderstorms, snowstorms).

What does my instrument rating allow me to do?

While receiving your private pilot’s, license is a huge first step in your flying career, you do have a few restrictions that may prevent you from flying into a few things; yet, your instrument rating allows you to take off those restrictions. So here is what your instrument rating allows you to do:

  1. Fly into class Alpha (A) airspace which begins at 18,000 mean sea level (MSL)
  2. File an IFR flight plan (aka ATC airspace)
  3. Fly in weather conditions less that VFR and clouds
  4. Fly in special VFR at night

So, as you can see your instrument rating is a key rating to have.

How do I obtain an instrument rating?

Before you can get your instrument rating, there are a few requirements you must meet to obtain your instrument rating. The first thing you will need to have is either your private pilot or commercial rating. Next, you will need to have at least 50 hours of cross country flying of being pilot in command as well as 40 hours of simulated or actual instrument conditions. Finally, you will need to have done six instrument approaches, 1 holding pattern, and tracked and intercepted courses within six calendar months; this also helps you to stay instrument current or meet the requirements.

Why is an instrument rating so important?

Ask any commercial airliner “what is the most important rating, besides your ATP?”(Airline Transport Pilots License) and they will most probably tell you that your instrument rating is by far the most important. If you are like me and you are one day wanting to work for the airliners or a corporate company, you absolutely must have an instrument rating to fly for these companies, because you will be flying to major cities and airport, as well as the fact that you will be doing Instrument approaches and arrivals (ILS appraoches, RNAV Approach, Texon 3 departure, ect.) out of and into these airports. You must also be able to do what ATC tells you to do because they are trying to get your aircraft into your destination, or have you on your way to your destination. As I stated earlier your instrument rating allows you to fly into class A airspace at 18,000 MSL and I’m sure you want to be flying where all the other jet liners are, so you can reach your destination ASAP. Not only is your instrument rating crucial for your future career as a pilot, but it also is beneficial to have during your training period. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had my flight cancelled due to low hanging clouds, and most of the times these clouds are not producing any form of rain or snow. Yet, since I don’t have my instrument rating now, I’m not legal to fly in these clouds just yet. However, when I do get my instrument rating, I can legally fly into these clouds on cloudy and continue with my training rather than being grounded. So, believe me getting your instrument rating is important during your training days and future career as a pilot.

(Here’s a good example of a situation where you 100% need your instrument rating to land the airplane photo credits to Langley flying school)

Also here’s a video on youtube of why an instrument rating is so important

Well guys that’s it for this week’s blog, Also, make sure to check out https://blog.globalair.com/  for other great blogs and featured stories on other pilot stories as well as other reviews on aviation related articles. As always guys remember that “adventure is out there!”

Know when to go around,avoiding hard landings

By now I’m sure most of you all have heard and seen the video out of Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport, where a small passenger plane had it’s right main landing gear collapse due to severe winds causing the aircraft to make a hard landing and the gear to collapse. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt or injured, this brings up a major issue that pilots both in the training and professional world face; hard forced landings.

For those of you who haven’t heard about the small incident at Amsterdam, FlyBe (a small regional airliner) flight 1284 was bound from Edinburgh, England to Amsterdam on February 23rd during Storm Doris. The flight had already been delayed due to the storm, which at some airports were recoding winds of up to 90MPH. The flight took off from Edinburgh shortly after noon, bound for Amsterdam and would soon face the brutal challenges of the severe weather. Upon approach into Amsterdam, the Bombardier Q400 faced winds gusts of up to 40-50 MPH and when it landed and right main landing gears collapsed upon impact.

Here’s the video of the impact

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4253390/FlyBe-plane-crash-lands-runway-Amsterdam-airport.html

As you can see, it’s a pretty hard landing (considering the right landing gear collapsed) but it brings up an issue that we pilots need to consider when it comes to landing, and that is forcing a landing. Now look I’m not judging this pilots career or how he flies, but I do wonder what lead to his decision to landing rather than going around? My main reason that I’ve concluded that the pilot wanted to get down to the ground due to severe delays, not wanting to have to declare a missed approach, and probably fatigue.

Again, I’m not judging this pilot, but this is a good case of letting pilot desire get in the way of safety since the outcome could’ve been more serious then what it was. Believe me I’ve had a few landings of my own where I forced the plane to the ground because I was tired or I just wanted to get on the ground because I was feeling nauseous or sick of flying, but I’ve come to realize that it’s never good to force the aircraft onto the ground. In fact, the first flight instructor that I had hear at the University of Oklahoma told me that “when it comes to the professional world (especially the airline world) you can apologize for the delay, but you don’t have to apologize for keeping your aircraft and passengers safe”.

Over the course of the past year that quote that my first instructor told me has stuck with me, and every time that I feel that the winds are throwing me off the center line of the runway or that I’m not in a stable position to land, I call a go around or a missed approach. Now I’m probably like most of you when I say I hate calling a go around or especially a missed approach since that means I have to wait for ATC to get me back onto the instrument approach system (ILS), but it beats a hard forced landing any day of the week, plus I’m sure we would rather declare a go around rather than facing the consequences of a hard landing which could lead to significant damage on the aircraft, and the question we would all hate to answer, “why didn’t you go around?!”.

Now I know that this pilot was carrying passengers who probably wanted to get to their destination ASAP, and that the pilot wanted to continue on with his day, but it comes to show us that whether if you’re flying small aircrafts (since most of us do our training in Cessna’s or Piper Warriors like I do) or are a captain of a major airliner, a go around or missed approach is much better than forcing your aircraft onto the runway, resulting in a hard landing. Again, you can apologize for the delay, but never the safety of your passengers, crew and aircraft.

Well guys that’s it for this week’s blog, Also, make sure to check out https://blog.globalair.com/  for other great blogs and featured stories on other pilot stories as well as other reviews on aviation related articles. As always guys remember that “adventure is out there!”