Annual Aviation Open House Weekend Festival

When it comes to the weekend for many college students, we look forward to a variety of events such as college football, sleeping in, not having to go to classes, hanging out with friends and a whole lot more. This upcoming weekend is a very special weekend for me as well as everyone in the entire aviation department here at the University of Oklahoma since we are hosting our 10th annual aviation open house weekend to the general public. It’s so exciting for us since we not only get to show off our department, but also since we show off some awesome airplanes, let people get to go up into the tower, take pictures with friends and family; and every year the general public just love the fact they can bring their whole family and just enjoy all the hands on activities that the open house offers.

I actually remember the first time I attended the open house back in 2014 when I was a senior in High School, and I remember getting to meet the entire faculty and staff, as well as asking them questions about the aviation department since I was still undecided of where I wanted to go for college. After spending that afternoon at the open house I felt that I had pretty much made up my mind that the University of Oklahoma was where I wanted to learn to become a pilot and call Norman my new home for the next four years.

As I began my first semester of college last year, I looked forward to the open house weekend once again; except this time I wouldn’t be a spectator, but I would be one of the students helping out with the event. Getting to help was one of the most rewarding and joyful experiences I had from last year, especially when little kids would come up to me and ask questions about the different planes we had, they especially loved it when they got to go into the cockpit and pretend to be pilots. I even recall one little boy telling me that “one day I’m going to be a pilot flying the big airplanes” and I told him that he better save me a seat on his first flight since I wanted to be one of his passengers. Seeing these little kids get so excited about airplanes really helped to remind me why I was studying to become a pilot because I remember when I was that six year old kid pretending to be the pilot of my own aircraft and how I wanted to be commercial pilot in the future, so these little kids helped continue to spark my love for flying.

So if you live in the Norman or Oklahoma City area, I encourage you to come to our open house this weekend on October 1st at Max Westheimer Airport and invite your whole family for a great afternoon of fun filled activities that the whole family will love.

Well that’s it for this weeks post guys and I’ll be posting more pictures and my experience with this years open house in next weeks blog and remember to check out other people’s blog at Until next time remember “Adventure is out there”.

Photo credits to the University of Oklahoma aviation department


Top 5 most common mistakes among pilots in training

I want to first off begin this post by saying that I highly encourage everyone to go see the movie Sully now playing in theaters. In fact, this past weekend I went with the Sooner Aviation Club to see the movie at the Warren Movie Theater in Moore, Oklahoma. Here’s a group picture that we took right before we went and saw the movie.

Photo credits to Sooner Aviation Club & the University of Oklahoma Aviation Department

Now onto more important things. With the semester in full swing and everyone trying to survive there first major exams and essay, I’ve also noticed that a lot of private pilots are taking a major step in their aviation career by soloing for the first time. I will never forget the first time I soloed back of October 13th 2015, and it’s a day that sticks with you for the rest of your life. As these students begin to work on the cross county portion of their private pilot’s license, I want to share my top 5 most common mistakes that students, and even myself, have made and continuously make.

#1- Forgetting the Checklist- By now I’m sure everyone has heard their flight instructor repeat this phrase multiple times “Are you forgetting to do something?” and 99% of the time they are referring to a checklist. Believe me I’ve heard this multiple times when it comes to flying and it’s definitely something that is easy to forget; however, it’s there for a reason and that is for the safety of yourself, your passengers, and the aircraft so if you are constantly forgetting a checklist this is a habit you need to break ASAP especially when it comes to a check ride.

#2- Landing too fast or to slow-  When it comes to landing on final it’s all about your airspeed and making sure you are keeping it constant which means you absolutely need to be working the throttle constantly; however, never add too much power or pull it out when you are on final. This can lead to floating down the runway for a long time, or in the case of taking too much power out, you risk the chance of stalling the aircraft. In any case you feel like it’s going to be a bad landing it’s okay to call a go around, in fact it’s the best option. Remember you aren’t forced to land the aircraft on your first try if it looks like it’s going to be an unsafe landing.

#3- not flaring or over flaring- Along with the speed of the aircraft, a lot of people forget to flare the aircraft before hitting the runway which can lead to a hard landing, bouncing down the runway and even possible damage to the aircraft. Believe me if you don’t flare you could possibly damage the front of the aircraft or worse the propeller, so make sure you add that flare once you are over the runway to ensure not damaging the front. Equally as important is not to over flare since it could lead to a tail strike damaging the back of the aircraft and damaging the landing gear. The biggest thing I’ve noted when it comes to flaring is to just add small amounts of back pressure as I get closer to the ground preventing me from damaging the front or the back of the aircraft

#4- wind corrections- So this is by far the biggest thing I always get harped on, not going to lie. Remember as pilot in command you are responsible for adding any wind correction because at any time a sudden burst of wind can hit your aircraft and possibly cause for you to flip over. It’s also important you add wind correction during takeoff and landing for the exact same reason, you don’t want to end up upside down like this aircraft.



Photo by-

#5- Situational Awareness- When it comes to flying it’s very easy to get fixated on your instrument especially during a maneuver. For example, when I use to do steep turns I would always focus on my turn coordinator to make sure I rolled on the proper heading. Next thing I knew the nose of the airplane was facing down and I was losing 500ft per minute and it took me a while to break that habit. While your instruments are a great resource, guess what? Your eyes are a better resource and you should always be aware of what’s going on around you. For all you know there could be another aircraft in your area, you could have a bird strike, or in my case you could be losing altitude so always be looking out outside to make sure you are aware of your surroundings.

Well that’s it for this week and if you want to look at some cool aircraft’s, or if your even wanting to know how much a particular aircraft cost visit . As always everyone remember that “adventure is out there!”

The lessons we all can learn from the movie Sully

By now I’m pretty sure that everyone has seen the previews or have already seen  the latest aviation movie Sully the true story based on U.S. Airways flight 1549 landing in the Hudson (The miracle on the Hudson). Tom Hanks stars as captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenburg the captain of U.S. Airways flight 1549 on January 15th, 2009 departing from New York Laguardia Airport bound for Charlotte, North Carolina with 155 passengers and crew on board an Airbus A320. just about two minutes after takeoff the plane runs into a flock of geese causing for both engines to fail. Declaring an emergency, the aircraft tries to see if it can make it back to Laguardia airport or another nearby airport; however, Captain Sullenburg realizes that they can’t make it back and declares a water landing in the Hudson River. A few minutes later flight 1549 lands in the Hudson River and all 155 passengers and crew survive the incident becoming known as the Miracle on the Hudson.

While the movie tells and portrays the events that happened on board the aircraft, there are lessons that both pilots and passengers need to take with us next time were flying or on board a commercial aircraft. First, as pilots we are trained to handle emergencies in a calm and professional attitude. I know for sure I never want to be face a real life incident where I’m actually having to declare an emergency, but if I ever do face that kind of situation, I want to handle it just like captain Sullenburg did. Whenever you listen to the radio recordings of air traffic controller and flight 1549, you can hear how calm and relax the pilots sound and how  confident they are. Captain Sullenburg wasted no time in declaring that they were going to end up in the Hudson and even though the air traffic controller kept throwing out airports that they could’ve possible landed at, guess what? they ignored pretty much everything he said because as pilots your number one job is to fly that airplane because you are responsible for everyone on board your aircraft whether if it’s one soul, or 350 souls or in this case 155 souls, your main priority is to fly that airplane to safety and that’s exactly what Captain Sullenburg and first officer Jeffery  Skiles did.

In addition to the pilots learning a few lessons, it’s also important that passengers take away a few lessons from the movie. Believe me I’m a frequent flyer and I’m just like many of you when it comes to the safety briefing that it’s probably one of the most boring things to listen to, and unfortunately it’s something that I really don’t listen to. But here’s the truth, it is very unlikely that the flight you are on is going to be involved in some sort of accident; however, there is one problem in that last sentence and that is an accident is “unlikely to happen”. There is still that slight risk that an accident or something will happen during your flight. So here’s the question I keep asking myself and maybe you should think about it to, if the flight you are on is suddenly in some sort of accident or emergency situation would I know how to handle it? would I panic or stay calm? or would I be wishing that I had payed attention to the safety briefing earlier? Look the whole goal is to make sure everyone gets out safely. So trust me I will be paying attention to the safety briefing before each flight from now on and I encourage everyone to do the same because it really can be the difference between a few surviving to everyone surviving.

Well that’s all for now and please I encourage everyone to go see the movie Sully now playing in theaters and also checkout what others have to say about the movie at or just read other people’s blogs. Until next time remember “Adventure is out there”

Accelerated stalls, chandells, steep spirals, and a new airplane.. oh my!

This past week I’ve been reviewing a lot of the basic maneuvers, takeoffs and landings that I learned in private pilot. While it’s been great to review everything I’ve learned in private pilot, now that I’m in advanced flying I’ve been introduced to some new maneuvers and even got to fly in a brand new aircraft. So let me give you a basic run down and some information about each maneuver, as well as my experience flying a Cessna 152.

Accelerated stall- So here’s a basic fact whether you are an aviation person or not, a plane can stall in any configuration. In an accelerated stall the goal is basically to get the aircraft back into a cruise state or to increase the airspeed. For example let’s say you are flying and you begin a turn and you look out the window and you get distracted by something, little do you know you begin to add back pressure on the yoke and the aircraft begins to stall. In order to recover from the stall you add full power and get the wings leveled so that way you can increase your speed and get out of the stall since you run the possibility of going into a spin.

Chandells- This is by far the most fun maneuver that I’ve learned in my aviation career. Pretend that you are in a city that is situated between mountains and you are trying to take off from the local airport, but realize that you have to climb over these mountains but no matter which way you look there are mountains everywhere. This is where chandells can help you. A chandelle is basically a 180 degree turn with climb, so here’s how you execute a chandelle in a situation. You take off from the airport and start climbing, for the chandelle you want to turn into the wind so for example if the winds are out of the south(180) you want to fly west(270) bound and then your first turn will always be to the left. As you begin to turn start adding back pressure to climb since we want to get over those mountains. Your turn should be around 30 degrees for the first 90 degrees and then shallow it out in the last 90 degrees. As you role out to a east (090) you will notice that your airspeed is really close or at stalling speed. To fix this all you do is level off let the airspeed increase and then do another chandelle except this time to the right, and you keep doing this until you’ve cleared those mountains.

Steep spirals- So just like turns around a point where you make a 360 degree circle around a point (usually a 4 way intersection on the ground) and make wind corrections (for example when you are in the 180 degree half where you battle the winds your turn will be steeper and when you are with the wind in the other 180 it’s more shallow) but for spirals you are losing altitude rather than maintaining altitude. Most of the time this maneuver is executed with power to near or at idle (no power) in order to keep a constant airspeed as well as maintaining a constant descent with each spiral usually about a 1,000 feet per spiral. The goal of this maneuver is to keep a constant 360 turn around the point you’ve selected while keeping constant airspeed and descent.

In addition to learning these new maneuvers, I also got to fly a Cessna 152 for the first time ever in my flying career, and to be honest it was a different experience. Over the past year I’ve only flown in a Piper Warrior and going to Cessna 152 really put me in a uncomfortable and unique feeling since the wings were above me and much longer than that of a Warrior as well as having a much larger Empennage. I also found it a little uncomfortable since all the controls and buttons were in different places than that of a Warrior so it was certainly a little bit of a challenge. But some things that I loved about the Cessna was that it took off much quicker and easier than the warrior does. In addition the landings were a lot as much of a challenge than that of a Warrior and it felt a lot easier to handle the flare of the Cessna compared to the Warrior. In all it was again a unique and different experience.

Well everyone as you can see it’s been a very busy past few days for me and if you want to learn more about other pilots and there different experiences or just want to read other people’s blogs check out ( for some great stories from other pilots and aviation people from all over the world. Remember guys “Adventure is out there”.

Ready, set, NIFA!!

First off I’m thrilled to finally start another semester here at the University of Oklahoma, and finally getting back to flying. Over the past two weeks I’ve been extremely busy with getting my class schedule set, completing class assignments, getting my flights complete, and also making sure that I’m getting involved in both campus and aviation activities. One organization that I’m looking forward to the most this semester is getting to practice with the University of Oklahoma NIFA team!

For those of you who may not be familiar with, or exactly know what NIFA is, NIFA stands for the National Intercollegiate Flight Association an organization that provides flight competition for aviation students across the country ( So basically it’s a competition where aviation universities compete against one another; for example, the University of Oklahoma is in region 6 and will compete against other universities and institutions in region 6. The top scoring schools from each region all across the country gets to go and compete in the national NIFA event in Ohio in order to be the top team in the entire country later on in the school year. Here’s the catch about this competition, it’s not all about flying; in fact typically there are three to four flight and ground event during a competition (you can look up these events on NIFA’s website to see the rules and requirements for these events). At the end all the points earned by a university is added up to a total score and the results are announced.

This year the University of Oklahoma will not only be competing in the region 6 NIFA competition; but, we will also be hosting the region 6 competition in the middle of October here at Max Westheimer Airport (KOUN) in Norman, Oklahoma. So I’m sure as you can imagine we have a lot to do in a short period of time along with practice and other events before the big week. So this past Tuesday me and a bunch of other aviation students gathered for our very first meeting at Max Westheimer airport to go over the rules and what events we would be interested in competing, along with what all needs to get done in order to make sure we are excellent host.

After hearing all the events and the rules for each one, I’ve decided that I’m really interested in three events, the preflight inspection, the message drop event, and the E6B calculation event (again all these events are on NIFA’s website and I’ll explain them a little more in a later blog). So as you can see it’s going to be a long, and busy next few weeks, but I’m really excited and hopeful that I will get to represent the University of Oklahoma in this years competition, and I will certainly keep you informed on our progress as well as feedback and results when the big week arrives. Until then everyone remember that “Adventure is out there!!” and I look forward to blogging about my many other aviation adventures over the school year.

  • Hey guys if you want to find out some great information about Max Westheimer Airport or any other airport across the country go to ( to check out any information you’d like to know.
  • Also I’m very honored to have been a recipient of the Calvin L. Carritehers scholarship for the 2016-2017 school year. I encourage you to read other people’s blog and I would love to hear feedback, questions, or blogs that you’d like for me to blog about this year!