I have an Interview With Envoy Airlines!

So, I’m sure most of you can tell what I’ll be talking about for this week’s blog, but yes, I’m very excited to say that later this week I’ll be having an interview with Envoy Airlines (the regional airline for American Airlines). I can’t tell you all how excited I am to get to talk with recruiters from Envoy since they are one of my top choices for a career in the commercial airline world. So, for this week’s post, I thought it would be great to share with you all how I’m getting prepared, why I decided to interview for Envoy, and my tips of how to get ready for an upcoming interview or ones that you will have later in your career.

Why Envoy Airlines?

If you haven’t already done so, I highly encourage you all to read one of my earlier post (Why decided the University of Oklahoma) it sort of explains why I’m interviewing for Envoy, but for those of you who don’t know one of the great things about the University of Oklahoma is how close we are to Dallas Fort Worth area, and I’m sure as many of you know that’s where both Southwest and American Airlines are headquartered. Throughout much of the school year we typically try to go visit one of these airliners, but also a lot of times representatives from the airliners will come visit and talk with us, and this year they are doing interviews with students. For example, I’m interviewing for the Cadet Envoy program which basically says “hey I’m interested in your airline or to have a career in your industry in the next few year”. But there are other programs where some of our flight instructors are looking to be offered a pipeline program with the Envoy Airline and basically have a job once they graduate and complete a certain amount of flight hours.

Now I know what most of you all are thinking “Cameron, aren’t you only a sophomore with a private pilot’s license, and why interview when you won’t get hired for anything?” Well everyone you are correct that I won’t get hired, but my main goal is to get my name out to Envoy and show that I’m very much interested in becoming a pilot for them, so it never hurts to get your name out to these industries. Trust me the more times you can talk with recruiters and show more interest in them, the better chances you have of getting hired by these companies. Plus, you never know who could be the one hiring you since you may be someone you met or talked to during your time in college. Again, it’s all about selling yourself to these people

How am I preparing?

Just like any other interview there are a few steps to take to prepare for the interview so here’s what I’m doing to prepare for my interview. Obviously my first step is to make sure I have all my documents and paper work ready to present. Typically, this includes things like your medical, driver’s license, certificates, resume, and our log book and maybe a few other things depending on what they ask for. Next, is getting my outfit ready for the interview. As they always say “dress to impress” and believe me I’m making sure every wrinkle, cress and hair is off my dress clothes. Just like any other interview, a lot of the times people get nervous on the day of it, so what I like to do is to have a song to listen to about 10-15 minutes before the interview to help calm me down and do a little bit of breathing exercises.  Finally, I’m preparing myself by going through possible questions that these recruiters could ask during the interview, which typically include question like “why did you decide to become a pilot? Why are you so interested in Envoy? Describe some of your strengths and weaknesses? How would you described yourself or hoe do other people describe you?”. By giving myself a mock interview, it helps me be quick and confident in my answers which if you can do that during an interview, they will certainly be impressed by it.

My advice

So now that I’ve shared with you all how I’m getting ready for my interview I want to share a few of my tips in case any of you have an upcoming interview or later in your career. Obviously the first one is to be prepared, come to the interview with all your documents, and of course dress to impress. Don’t be a robot, be different; what I mean by this, is don’t give the same answer that they’ve already heard, be unique and different from everyone else, make sure you stand out compared to everyone else because it will help them remember who you are. Finally, take this tip that I learned in my public speaking class last year when it comes to an interview. Avoid using these words and phrases “like, umm…, you know, so”, what my public speaking teacher told us is that when you continuously use these words, your audience tends to lose interest and credibility of what you’re talking about. If you go into the interview and avoid these words and be confident in what you’re talking about, you stand out to everyone else and give yourself more credibility as well. That’s why I think it’s important to give yourself a few mock interviews before the actual one.

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!”

Syllabus week & flying in Simulated Instrument conditions

I’m sure just like many of you, this past week was the first week of the semester, and despite being on a nice relaxing winter break, I’m relieved that the spring 2017 semester has finally started since I get back into flying (granted I miss sleeping in, but oh well). Like any first week of a semester, this week was mainly geared towards the thing that answers almost every question that a student has about the class; Syllabus week! Yes, that wonderful little stack of paper that determines whether you’ll muscle through or drop a class based on the course outlook, so I can say that nothing too exciting or surprising happened this first week of school.

As far as my flying goes I got to go one cross country flight in, but this cross-country flight had a little twist to it since it was my first time getting to fly in simulated instrument flight (aka flying under the hood) so I thought it would be great to talk about my first time experiencing Instrument flying for this week’s post.

The great thing about this semester as far as my flying goes, is that the course I’m in has a lot of cross country flights since you need a certain amount of cross country flying in order to obtain your instrument rating (which is what I’m working towards), as well as giving me a basic introduction to instrument flying. So, during this past Friday, my instructor and I did a cross country flight from Norman (KOUN) to Clinton-Sherman (KCSM), Stillwater (KSWO) and back to Norman.

During the second leg of the flight (Clinton to Stillwater which was about 120 nautical miles) my instructor told me that I would fly for 30 minutes in instrument simulated conditions. Once I got the hood on, I’m not going to lie when I say it felt weird and uncomfortable since I just had to rely on my instruments, and taking away my visual reference points. My instructor then entered the airport code on our GPS which gave us a desired heading towards Stillwater, so he told me to track and stay on that desired heading as best as I could.

For the first couple of minutes I had a hard time staying on that desired course and maintaining control of the aircraft, since I kept focusing on the GPS and not any of my other instruments. There were also times where I felt a little space disorientated. Since I focused on the GPS I wasn’t looking at instruments like my attitude indicator or my turn coordinator; so, at times when I felt the plane was at straight and level flight, the plane was turning a little towards the left and I would drift off course my about 10-15 degrees from my desired course. Yet, when I felt the plane was turning slightly towards one direction, it was in straight in level flight.

After about 5-10 minutes I slowly started getting better at maintaining the desired heading since I began to continuously scan each instrument to make sure I was maintaining altitude, keep on the desired course, and make sure the plane was in straight and level flight. After about 15-20 minutes I really got the hang of it and my instructor was quite impressed with how well I did while I was under the hood and before we knew it we were approaching the Stillwater airport.

The moral of this post is that if you’re like me, your first time flying in simulated instrument conditions can be quite the learning experience because yes you will become fixated on one instrument which you quickly learn not to do, as well as feeling a little disorientated since you don’t know what’s going on outside of your aircraft. But, no matter how you feel about flying in either simulated or actual instrument conditions, you’ve got to trust your instruments no matter what happens, your instruments are there to make sure you are not putting yourself in danger and they are a valuable resource when it comes to flying in general. So, over the courses of this semester there will be a lot of other flights where I will be put in simulated Instrument conditions and I hope to improve my instrument flying skills over the course of this semester, but I’m glad I got to experience it for the first time this past 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 aviation related topics. As always guys remember that “adventure is out there!”

Why I Decided to attend the University of Oklahoma

Every time that I talk to my friends or meet new people, they always seem to ask me this question, why did you decide to attend the University of Oklahoma? Why not join either the Navy or Air Force? I always chuckle when I get asked this question because most of my friends think that I chose the University of Oklahoma because I’m a die-hard Sooner fan (Boomer Sooner!), and while I have great respect for our armed forces and those that serve our great country, I knew deep down that the University of Oklahoma was the right school for me. So, for this week’s post I’m going to talk about why I chose to study aviation & professional piloting at OU, as well as promoting this great university and for those of you looking at possible college choices to begin your training into the aviation world.

Like I said before, a lot of people wonder why I didn’t go into the armed forces like the Air Force or Navy, and while I respect for both branches of military, I personally didn’t feel a calling to go the military route; it just wasn’t for me. In addition, when you join these two branches you must be in commitment with them for certain amount of years. Finally, and most probably the biggest thing for me is that I wanted to get the full college experience and just learn to become a commercial airline pilot, I really wasn’t interested in flying military aircraft’s so I immediately crossed off the military route when it came to choosing which route I wanted to take to become a commercial airline pilot.

So, one great thing about living here in Oklahoma is that you have a lot of outstanding universities that offer various forms of aviation degrees. Some of these universities include The University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State at Salina, and Southeastern Oklahoma State. While I visited these schools, in the end I decided to attend the University of Oklahoma since it stood compared to other universities.

The first thing stood out to me about OU is that the university allowed me to be both a student and a pilot in training. The biggest problem that I noticed with other universities is that all you focused on was aviation; if you weren’t flying, you were studying aviation in some way. Don’t get me wrong I love aviation (that’s why of course I’m studying it), but I’m sure you all have had that feeling of being burnt out with flying or studying. The great thing about OU is that you can balance flying while getting the full college experience like meeting new people, attending sporting events, and enjoying the great city of Norman, Oklahoma.

The next major factor that made choose OU, was the airport facility and how well organized it was. Max Westheimer Airport (KOUN) is the airport located in Norman, Oklahoma and is just minutes from campus, but the University does own the airport which in mind is great because it’s a short commute from campus to the airport, and the university can do what they want with airport where at universities the city owns the airport which can cause major problems. The department of aviation at OU also includes a fleet of Piper Cherokee Warriors, which are low wing aircraft’s. To me this is a huge advantage especially if you are training to become a commercial airline pilot since you will be flying mostly low winged aircraft, rather than training in Cessna’s like at other universities. Finally, when it comes to your academic career in college, our advisers, instructors, and especially our department director, Mr. Ken Carson are our biggest supporters. Over the past year-and-half here at OU, I’ve gotten to know these people and they support me no matter what, so it’s great knowing that you have people that care about your training and your future.

Finally, and probably the most important factor when it came to my decision of choosing to attend OU, were the amounts of opportunities I had for both my college and flying career. Now I know when you visit colleges every single of them talk about how they offer better opportunities then other place, but I can certainly tell you OU has opportunities that no other colleges have. When it comes to earning your ratings here at OU you can earn almost every rating (the only one you can’t get is your Air Transportation ATP)). This was a major factor in my decision process because at other programs they would only offer up to your commercial rating, which again if your trying to become a corporate or commercial airline pilot you need more ratings. Next is the amount of opportunities you must get involved in aviation related activities here at OU. Personally, I’m currently a member of the Sooner Aviation Club where various students in the department come together and do various activities or listen to guess speakers who work in various parts of the aviation world, and this past semester I competed with the Sooner Flight Team in the region 6 NIFA competition which was an amazing experience, especially with it being my first year on the team. Another great opportunity that we have here at OU, is since we are close to both Oklahoma City and Dallas, we tend to visit both the Federal Aviation Association, or go and visit either the American or Southwest training centers and getting to meet airline recruiters, get personalized tours, and even getting to fly in one of their simulators! (trust me no other colleges can say that they can visit both the FAA and Airline training centers in the same year). Finally, with the airline companies needing pilots ready to fly within the upcoming years, many airline companies have extended pipeline programs, and internships through the University of Oklahoma, since they know that the aviation department is preparing us to be the next generation of pilots, so believe me if feels great knowing that airline companies are interested in me and my fellow peers, as well as basically offering a job once we graduate and reach all the needed requirements.

Like I said before, if you are considering a degree in any field of aviation, I highly recommend you consider the University of Oklahoma since we have such a great aviation program, but I also know that there are other outstanding universities out there that would love to have you so which ever one makes you feel right at home or is right for you.

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 universities across the country. As always guys remember that “adventure is out there!”

Is ForeFlight really worth it?

When it comes to flying, aviation experts are always looking for new ways to enhance safety and the overall performance of pilots. By now I’m sure many of you have heard of (and are using) one of the newest apps created in Foreflight for your flying. In Fact, over the holiday break my parents got me a new iPad with Foreflight on it! (thanks mom and dad). Over the past few days I’ve been learning all the neat features and how Foreflight works, and I must say this app is incredible; yet, there are some cons with the app that drive me crazy. So, for this week’s post, I’ll be talking about the pros and cons of Foreflight and whether I think it’s worth downloading, especially if you are considering using it for flight.

Pros

Okay, so the biggest pro with foreflight, is not having to worry about keeping a large stack of papers in your hands during flight. I’m sure most of you remember in private pilot when you had or still have to plan a cross country by hand, which took a lot of time as well as a lot of papers. Then when you go on your cross-country flight you had to keep up with all those papers while trying to fly. The great thing about foreflight is that it’s all on your device and helps keep your cockpit area clear. Another major advantage of foreflight is that you don’t have to keep buying sectional charts or airport directories since they expire after a certain amount of days, which can add up to a lot of money very quickly. With foreflight all you have to do is update the app, and you instantly get the newest charts, airport updates, any new changes, and so much more. Next, is the fact the foreflight can be used for either VFR or IFR flight. Again, going back to private pilot training, you could only fly when conditions were VFR and you had your flight completed by hand, but foreflight can be used for either one so it doesn’t matter whether if you are flying in either one (if you have the appropriate ratings). Finally, when it comes to foreflight, most commercial and corporate pilots use the app, so using foreflight now helps you get ahead somewhat in the future, in addition knowing how to use the app.

Cons

Like any great app, while there are a lot of advantages with foreflight, there are some major disadvantages as well. The first major problem, is that the app is expensive, since you pay for a complete full year use and then pay again so it’s certainly not cheap. Next, is that you must update the app quite often to keep your files up to date. This can be a major headache since we all know that updates can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. When it comes to flying, one of my friends in the aviation department who uses foreflight told me that sometimes the app can have a hard time updating information, or where exactly you are. He told me that he often experiences a lack of the latest weather update as well as sometimes losing his location due to cellular communication. Foreflight has also been a major issue when it comes to check rides since it can be an automatic fail if you use the app. Depending on the check ride some pilots have complained that they failed right away for using the app, so make sure and ask if you can use it on your next check ride. Finally, a major issue that flight instructors have had with foreflight, is that students have become too reliable on the app. Again, during private pilot training you are taught to plan a cross country by hand; yet, some students have just been using foreflight rather than learning by hand, which has caused major concern for instructors, especially since we live in a world with huge technological advantages.

My thoughts

So, what do I think of Foreflight and would I recommend it to you all? Absolutely! Like I said before it’s a great app and saves you a lot of time and helps you stay more organized, so if you can afford it and have the proper device, I would highly recommend you get it. While I think it’s a great app, my only thing is just don’t become heavily reliable on that one app. As pilots, we are trained to fly using various ways whether if it’s by hand or using a mobile app. In addition, you should keep up with how to do everything rather than becoming reliable on just one method

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 foreflight. As always guys remember that “adventure is out there!”