It’s The most Busiest Time of the Year

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, as well as taking advantage of those black Friday deals across multiple retail stores (I know I did). With holiday season in full swing millions of people will travel across the country to visit friends and families, as well as millions of packages and online items to be shipped for delivers. So, I’m sure as you can guess the holidays is the busiest times for airliners and cargo aircrafts, but just how crazy is this holiday season going to be? Well I figured for this week’s post I would have some fun by making it a question and answer situation where I ask you all some traveling questions and see what all goes on during the holiday season. So, grab a piece of paper and pencil and let’s see how well you do with these five questions.

Question #1- How many people traveled somewhere for Thanksgiving?

No surprise that 2016 was a record setting year for people traveling during the Thanksgiving break. According to AAA.com, they estimated a 4% increase in travel by Americans across the country, and of course airline travel was by far the most popular choice for people, but traveling by car comes in a close second due to gas prices being at its lowest since 2009.  AAA.com also projects Christmas to be the busiest travel holiday in U.S. history.

Hint- the amount of people is somewhere between 50- 125 million people.

Question #2- What is the most popular destination for the Thanksgiving and Christmas?

Okay, so I was completely surprised when I saw the answer to this, and to be honest this would be the last place I expected people to be traveling to. According to Expedia.com this place has the most bookings for hotels, flights, and rental cars during the holiday season. While millions of people are planning to go to Disney World for Christmas with their families, or fly in to New York City to celebrate 2017 on Times Square; these places are not the top destination for the Holiday season. In fact, it seems like more people are trying to stay away from these places, even though these places are still in the top ten destinations for the holiday season. Funny thing is that this place seems to be an escape route for adults only.

Hint- This place is very close to the West Coast. (Key word ALMOST).

Question #3- What airport are you most likely to experience delays or cancelation during the holiday season?

By far I’m we can all agree when it comes to traveling, no one want to hear that their flight has been delayed, or even worst cancelled. I’m sure millions of people hate the fact that when either of these happen, they hate the fact that they must spend part of their holidays stuck in an airport waiting to get to their destination. In fact, during the holiday season flights are at an almost 30% increase of being either delayed. Of course, the leading causes for these delays is due to weather, since during the holiday season much of the United States experiences snow or ice storms causing major travel problems throughout the entire country. So, which airport are you most likely to experience possible delays or cancellations? Well, I will say it’s in a region where multiple major airports are located.

Hint- Chicago O’Hare is a pain to travel through, but it comes in a very close second compared to this airport

Question #4-  According to UPS, how many packages do they estimate to deliver during the holiday season for 2016?

It’s no surprise that most people have resorted to online shopping, rather than battling the crowds in stores across the country, which means millions of packages and items will be shipped across the county. UPS is one of the leading delivery companies in the country, so it’s no surprise that they are gearing up for the holiday rush. UPS is expecting to have a record setting holiday season, and hopes to keep up with such high delivery demands while having few mistakes as possible. Another major issue they face this year is trying to stay ahead of its competitors, like FedEx, which is why UPS is expecting to hire more people to help with the holiday season and demand.

Hint- In 2014 UPS delivered over 630 million packages across the country, for 2016 they expect that number to increase

Question #5- Which airliner are you most likely to experience delays?

Of course, I’m sure everyone would argue why they like a certain airline and hate another. From free snacks to more on time arrivals and departures the airliners are trying to make sure you fly with them this holiday season. Out of all the major and regional airliners in the nation, there is one that has the most problems during the holiday season. This airliner has been one of the worst airliners to travel with for the past three years. In fact, you have a one-in-three chance of being either delayed or cancelled when traveling with this airliner for the holidays. Another major issue with this airliner that causes so many problems for them, is that they are currently battling shortages of employees in multiple areas from pilots, stewardess, sales representatives, and so much more no wonder they can’t keep up with other companies.

Hint- Surprisingly it’s not a major airline carrier, it’s a regional airliner.

Got your answers down? Good, now here are the actual answers to the five questions I asked you all.

Answers

#1- 98.6 million people traveled for Thanksgiving

#2- Las Vegas, Nevada

#3- Newark International Airport

#4- 700-750 million packages

#5- Allegiant Airlines

 

So, guys how did you all do? Like I said guys the holiday is certainly the busiest time of the year, but I always love this time of the year getting to see friends and family, playing out in the snow (that’s if we get any here in Oklahoma) and being done with semester finals. I hope you all have a great holiday season, and please be safe especially if you plan on traveling over the next few weeks. Also don’t forget to check out https://www.globalair.com/directories/Aviation-Colleges-Universities-38.html for the latest news from aviation colleges across the country. As always guys remember “adventure is out there!” and have a great holiday season.

Here are the sources that I used for this week’s article, feel free to read any of them.

Sources

https://smartasset.com/insights/holiday-connections-the-best-and-worst-airports-to-fly-through

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/23/how-ups-plans-to-meet-the-2016-holiday-gift-delivery-rush.html

http://newsroom.aaa.com/2014/12/aaa-98-6-million-americans-traveling-holiday-season-four-percent-last-year/

https://www.airhelp.com/en/blog/be-thankful-to-not-fly-with-these-airlines-next-week

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When the weather doesn’t want to you to fly

Okay so I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m so glad that it’s finally feeling like fall weather, and especially the fact that next week is Thanksgiving weekend. It’s hard to believe that it’s almost the end of the semester and I’m sure that a lot of college students (including me) are ready for the holiday break; however, are not looking forward to finals week. While fall and winter bring in cooler temperatures, major holidays, gathering with friends and family, and bringing out the ugly Christmas sweaters; these two seasons also bring a major problem for us aviation majors, and that is poor weather conditions for a long period.

Now don’t get me wrong I absolutely love cooler temperatures, drinking hot chocolate next to the fire place, and playing out in the snow; but it drives me insane when I want to go fly and when I look outside all I see in low hanging clouds with either sleet or snow falling, as well as the winds just howling out of every direction. The worst part is that this weather pattern could last for days, or even weeks. Hopefully you are just like me when you think of these weather conditions and all you do is just shutter since there is nothing you can do about it and that you know that it’s unsafe to fly in these conditions.

While winter can bring some unwanted weather conditions, and may prevent you from flying for long periods of time; bad weather should not significantly affect your flying skills. In fact, bad weather should help improve your flying and knowledge skills which is a key area that we pilots tend to forget to focus on. So, when bad weather hits your area causing you to be grounded, here are my five biggest tips to help stay on top of your flying skills as well as improving your knowledge portion of flying.

 

Tips to staying on top of flying during poor weather

#1Chair fly- By far the number one biggest advice that I can give to you, as well as your instructors would give to you, is that when bad weather strikes you need to chair fly. Now I know this seems kind of ridiculous, and your friends and family might be wondering what is wrong with you, but chair flying helps you stay on top of your flying skills. When it comes to chair flying you want to focus on executing maneuvers properly just like you would do in the aircraft. Also, chair flying helps you to remember where everything is and what order to do them in, like when to pull pack on the throttle, put down the landing gear. Or when to throw in the flaps. Chair flying really helps you stay on top of your flying skills when bad weather keeps you grounded.

#2- Study oral- So if you’re like me, you tend to forget to go over oral question that could be asked on your stage checks and check rides since you focus so much time on flying and other school work. However, during times of bad weather it is a perfect time to review oral exam questions that could be asked on your next stage or check ride. For example, I typically will go online and visit other sites that have oral questions and try to answer them correctly, or I will also use my exam books from previous aviation courses since examiners can bring up questions from past check rides. Again, it’s always important to review all possible questions, even previous courses that you have already completed.

#3- Review charts and graphs- Again, when it comes to your stage checks and check rides, examiners will also ask questions about items on your sectional charts. Typically, they will ask you questions like what airspaces, towered airports, where transition areas are, and much more about the sectional chart, and believe me it’s embarrassing when you just stare at the chart and you blank so hard since you forgot how many things are on a sectional chart, so it’s important to keep reviewing items on a sectional chart. In addition, during plenty of my stage checks and check rides, the examiner will ask me questions about the various charts in my POH. Most of the time the examiner will ask me how I got my true airspeed, top of climb, density altitude, and so many other chart questions. My biggest tip is that you review and know how to do those charts and graphs properly because these questions will be asked on every major flight that you do for the rest of your flying career.

#4- go over checklist- If there is one thing that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has gotten on to pilots about is the lack of checklist awareness. Not only that, but when it comes time for you to take a check ride and you forget to do one of the checklist, that is an automatic failure since it’s required for every phase of flight. So, when bad weather hits I recommend going over your checklist as many times as possible so that you don’t fail a check ride due to a checklist. my biggest recommendation is that you go over very checklist so that you gain proficiency and it becomes a habit that you never forget to do a checklist. I even recommend memorizing every checklist, but still use it so that you don’t forget one of the items during flight.

#5 Flight Simulator- So this tip is kind of a more personal tip, but I still find it very helpful, and that is to fly o flight simulator. Hopefully you all have flight simulator like I do, and if you don’t it may be something you should ask Santa Clause bring you for Christmas. Playing on flight simulator has really helped me stay on top of flying since I can set up using the same aircraft that i fly in, the same airport, and the good weather conditions. Flight simulator has also helping in my execution of maneuvers since I can put the aircraft into a steep turn, or power on/off stall or any maneuver for that matter. by doing this on flight simulator, it has also helped me with my execution during actual flight to do every step to a maneuver perfectly. Finally, flight simulator has helped me memorize where all my instruments are. Since flight simulator had the same aircraft that I train in, the cockpit is in the exact same format. So now i’m not lost looking for a specific instrument or gauge since flight simulator has helped me become more familiar with the aircraft’s cockpit. So if you don’t have flight simulator, I highly recommend getting it for Christmas this year.

Well guys that’s it for this week’s post and I hope all of you have an amazing Thanksgiving filled with lots of food and football. Also with the holiday break coming up please visit https://blog.globalair.com/ for other great blogs from across the county, as well as what they have to say about the upcoming travel season since I’m sure many of you will be traveling over the holiday break. As always guys remember “Adventure is out there”.

Attending my First Aviation Career Fair

I want to start this week’s blog by saying Happy Veterans Day and thank you to all the men and women who have served this country. I also hope everyone went out and voted this past Tuesday in what will most probably go down as one of the craziest, nail biting election in U.S. history (If you ask me this election had more drama than any other sporting event).

Image result for veterans day

For this week’s post, I want to talk about an event our aviation program held for the first time here at the University of Oklahoma. Thanks to our incredible director Mr. Ken Carson, as well as our academic advisers, last Wednesday (November 2nd) they put on the first ever aviation career fair for us aviation majors. Just like any career fair, we had multiple airliners, groups, and companies come be a part of our career fair. Some of the biggest, and most recognizable companies that were present at the career fair included Southwest airlines, Envoy airlines, USAF Reserve, Textron Aviation, Compass Airlines, and so many more. It was incredible to have all these outstanding companies take time to come visit with us, as well as providing us career opportunities for our aviation careers. So now I want to talk about my personal experience at the career fair, and provide my personal advice to you all in case a career fair, or an aviation company is recruiting near you, and how you can stand out and impress them compared to everyone else.

Tips to success at a Career Fair

#1. Know who’s attending- It’s very important to know who is attending your career fair. While it’s great to see companies that you are familiar with, you also want to see companies that you may have never heard of and what they have to offer. Like that old saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, well this quote applies to this situation. Make sure to visit as many companies and organizations that attend the career fair.

#2. Learn a Little History- Okay so this might seem a little pointless, especially if you have multiple companies attending the career fair, but it doesn’t hurt to know a little history of the companies you are interested in. The biggest areas I usually concentrate on are things like where are they based out of, where do they fly to, how did the company get established, how many employees have they hired over the past few years. These are just little things to know so that you aren’t completely lost or confused when you are talking to recruiters and representatives of that company. Plus, you might impress them a little with knowing a little bit about their company.

#3 Dress to Impress- This should be no surprise, but when it comes to any career fair, or job opportunity, you need to dress to impress. Now you don’t need to go overboard with the way you look; but, you want to look professional for these companies, especially since they took the time to come and visit your school or area. You typically want to dress business casual for a career fair.

#4. Have a Resume- Just like any other career fair, it is in your best interest to bring a resume! By creating a resume this helps the company get to know you more in the short amount of time that get to talk to them. Also, it’s never too late get your name out there to these companies since the sooner they get to know you the more likely they will be interested in hiring you in the future. For example, I’m only a sophomore here at the University of Oklahoma and I only have my private pilot’s license. That still didn’t stop me from attending the career fair, and at least show that I was interested in these companies; even when they looked at my resume, they were still impressed with what I has so far accomplished. Also, having a resume helps recruiters get to know you on a personal level. When I visited, and talked with Envoy airlines I noticed one of the recruiters was someone I had met last year, and his name was Daniel. You see last year I got to go visit the American Airlines training center in Dallas, Texas. There I got to meet some incredible people, and one of those recruiters was Daniel, so when I saw him at the career fair he instantly remembered me from last year. I got to talk with him about what Envoy was looking for in a pilot, as well as how the company differed from everyone else, and at the end I handed him my resume and he smiled and said “you are exactly what we are looking for in a pilot, we’ll be in touch with you real soon”. Like I said before it’s never too early to get your name out there since the people who you talk to now, could be the ones hiring you in the future.

#5. Have a short presentation ready- Just like in a T.V. advertisement you should have a short presentation to sell yourself to these companies. You want to make sure that you hit the key important topics like where you from, what is your major, why you are interested in the company, your personal traits, and why you chose the field of study you are in. Make sure that your presentation is short and sweet, but as I said before hit the major points. My best advice is that you practice your presentation multiple times a few days before the career fair, that way you can make any changes that you feel is necessary. By doing this you also gain confidence which is a key factor when it comes to presenting yourself. I also suggest that you practice your speech in front of your friends and peers so they can give you some critical advice and any changes they feel is necessary in your presentation.

#6 Ask questions- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember these companies are here for you and to answer any questions or anything that you may not be familiar with the company. The biggest thing you do want to avoid though is not to ask a million questions so that you are not wasting so much time with one company as well as not wasting the companies time since they want to talk to other people. My best advice is to have a few set question when you talk to recruiters. Some of the question that I typically ask include

  • What are you looking for in a pilot?
  • Do you offer any pipeline or cadet programs for your company?
  • What type of training do you offer?
  • How can I as an individual stand out so that you may hire me in the future?

Again, these are just some of my personal questions that I ask.

#7 Thank them for their time- After meeting with the recruiters and company thank them for their time as well as coming out to the event. Always shake their hands and take any business cards, flyers, and anything that they offer.

 

Well guys that’s it for this week and again thank you to all our service men and women who have served this great nation. Also, don’t forget to also check out https://blog.globalair.com/ for other great blogs from aviation experts across the country. As always guys remember “Adventure is out there”.

Experiencing Spatial Disorientation and Hypoxia

When it comes to flying, every pilot knows that anything can go wrong during flight that can lead to a serious accident, incident or even death. Two of the leading factors that can cause a serious problem for pilots include spatial disorientation and hypoxia.

Terms and situations

Spatial disorientation- unawareness in the inability of a person to correctly determine his/her body position in space. Spatial disorientation usually occurs when a pilot is flying through clouds or is unaware of their location in relationship to the ground. For example, let’s say you are flying through thick clouds and you are in a 50-degree right hand turn. Once you roll out to your desired heading you may feel like you are still in a right hand turn when yet your instruments say you are in a straight and level flight. That right turn feeling is spatial disorientation.

Hypoxia- efficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues. Hypoxia is extremely dangerous and deadly to pilots, almost as deadly as carbon monoxide. There are four types of hypoxia which are hypoxemic, anemic, stagnant, and histotoxic. Hypoxia typically occurs when an aircraft goes above 10,000 feet and does not have the proper oxygen equipment (or the equipment is not checked before flight) needed to keep oxygen flowing throughout the entire cabin during flight.

My experience

One of the great things about attending the University of Oklahoma is that we are only 25 miles from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and every semester we try to do some form of an activity or training that they provide. This semester we decided to sign up to do both the spatial disorientation training as well as the high-altitude chamber to experience hypoxia symptoms. So, early Tuesday morning we got up early that morning for a long and exciting day. When we got to the building a group of trainers welcomed us and described to us all the different activities we were going to experience that day; but before we began the training activities, we first learned about what exactly causes both spatial disorientation and hypoxia, as well as looking at FAA accident reports that involved either spatial disorientation or hypoxia as the leading cause for the event.

After learning more about these two leading causes for pilot accidents, we then began the training activities, first dealing with spatial disorientation. Of course, the one that I’m sure all of you have done, is where you are strapped to a chair, close your eyes, put your head down and have someone spin you for about a minute. After you stop spinning you lift your head and open your eyes while trying to focus on a certain point like a person or a picture on the wall. While you try to focus on that object you notice that you feel like everything is still spinning, or that you are leaning towards one side. After a few seconds, everything is back to normal.

The next activity that we did for spatial disorientation was almost the exact same things as the spinning chair, except this time we were put into a flight simulator while flying an aircraft. When we got into the simulator, the trainers took out all our lights, except for the lights on for the instrument panels to make it feel like we were flying through thick clouds at night. After a short time, the trainers would slowly begin to spin the simulator while also asking you to turn to specific heading. The biggest thing that I noticed was that as the simulator began to spin, I felt like I was only in a minor bank turn, until I looked down at my instruments and noticed that I was in a 60-degree bank turn while also losing altitude since I was in a nose down configuration. What made it worst was when they stopped the spinning and you would feel like you’re in a hard bank turn, when yet your instruments were reading that you were in straight and level flight. It was by far the most uncomfortable feeling I’ve ever felt.

High Altitude Chamber

After a quick lunch break, we got to go into the high-altitude chamber and experience our hypoxic symptoms. When it comes to Hypoxia there are multiple symptoms which include headache, hot/cold feelings, air hunger, slurred speech, and much more and each person experiences hypoxia differently. Once we were all settled in, we began our accent up to 25,000 feet. Once the chamber was pressurized to match our altitude we then were given a worksheet where during a 5-minute time span one side of the chamber would work with on the worksheet with their mask off, while the other side would absorb our neighbor while wearing the oxygen mask. After the 5 minutes were up, we would then switch side. Between me and my partner, I went fist when it came to working on the worksheet without my mask. For the first minute, I felt fine and was doing well on the worksheet, but by the second minute, that’s when I started feeling my hypoxic symptoms. I felt hot around my face, and I could feel a minor headache starting to come on. After 3-4 minutes that’s when I noticed that my heart rate was slowing don rapidly and I became very air hungry, and taking much longer and deeper breaths. I lasted the full 5 minutes, which I was sort of proud of, but I was extremely happy to get my oxygen mask on.

Then my partner went and I noticed that he also had the same experience that I did, but he also had different symptoms. The biggest difference I saw in him was that at about the 3-minute point, his smile got big, and he also told me that his skin felt like he had little bubbles popping out, along with feeling very warm around the face. As I said before everyone experiences hypoxia differently.

My advice

In conclusion, this was an amazing experience getting to experience both spatial disorientation and find out what my hypoxic symptoms are. I encourage all of you that if the opportunity if offered to go to a high-altitude chamber, that you do it so that you can figure out what your hypoxic symptoms are as well. If you are in the military or are thinking about joining it, you are required to do a high-altitude chamber course; but, I also encourage all of you who are training to become corporate, and commercial pilots to do this training course because hypoxia can happen to any pilot, and it’s important to know what causes it as well as identifying your own symptoms since hypoxia is just as deadly as carbon monoxide. I also encourage you to take a spatial disorientation training. Again, this can happen to any pilot and it’s important to know how it feels to be in an uncomfortable situation. In addition, this course also helps you to rely on your instruments since that is how you overcome spatial disorientation.

Well guys I hope you’ve all learned some valuable lessons when it comes to flying and again I highly recommend taking any one of these two forms of training. Don’t forget to also check out https://blog.globalair.com/ for other great blogs from aviation experts across the country. As always guys remember “Adventure is out there”.

Also, here is a link to the video that my partner filmed of me in the high-altitude chamber. It’s a little long but you will definitely see my hypoxic symptoms and yes you laugh at me https://www.facebook.com/cameron.morgan.71619