Learning Holds & flying in IFR conditions

Happy late Valentine’s Day everyone! Hope you all spent some time with that special someone, or if you’re like me you went out and treated yourself the day after Valentine’s Day by getting chocolate at ridiculously low prices (singles life, what can I do). Even though I may not have that special someone in my life just yet, I did spend my week doing something that I truly love; yep you guessed it flying! And this I got to do two different instrument procedures since I’m working towards my instrument rating, by doing holds and flying in Instrument meteorological conditions(IMC) or commonly known as IFR flying.

Holds

So, what exactly is a hold or commonly known as holding. Well typically a hold is a fixed point typically   a radio beacon such as a non-directional beacon (NDB) or VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) which is shaped like an oval (or a race track) that is published on IFR charts. Typically, when you are in a hold this may be due to bad weather in the area, spacing of aircraft, or you calling a missed approach and you need to circle back around for another landing; again, there are multiple situation that you could be put into a hold, and a lot of pilots don’t like being put in a hold.

(This is what a hold typically looks like on a holding chart) Photo Credits to Emerald Air VA

So, on Wednesday and Thursday my instructor and I went up and did two different types of holds on each day. On Wednesday, we did a GPS hold in various spots throughout the practice area. The great thing that I liked about GPS holds was that when I dialed a certain hold (example Boulbi) the GPS already had the hold pattern already in the system, so when I entered it in, the GPS would tell me to fly a certain heading (example 360) for a certain amount of time and then fly the reciprocal heading (so 180) and I would be established in the hold.

Then on Thursday, my instructor went back up and did a VOR hold in the practice area. Because the University of Oklahoma is only about 20 miles to the south of Will Rogers World Airport (KOKC) we decided to use the Rogers VOR (IRW) to do the hold. To do this type of hold you must track and intercept a certain radial off the VOR your using and be a certain number of miles away from it, for instance we used the 155-degree radial and we made sure we were 17 nautical miles away from the VOR. My instructor told me that timing is everything during this type of hold because you wanted each leg of the hold to be exactly one minute, if not you had to add or subtract however many seconds you were early or late to the next leg, which was very confusing at first and can be when you first learn it. After a few times in the hold, on my final attempt I was able to get the hold within two seconds of the desired time of a minute.

 

Flying in IFR conditions

The other cool thing, and another first to my introduction to instrument flying was flying in IMC weather conditions. One of my dad’s business partners owns a Meridian Malibu aircraft (It’s the plane that I took my senior pictures with back in High School) and was taking a short trip from Oklahoma City to Tulsa and back, and asked if I would like to go with him. Of course, I didn’t pass up the opportunity to go flying with him and I also wanted to experience flying in IFR conditions for the first time.

(This is the plane that my dad’s business partner owns and the one I flew in yesterday as well as took my senior pictures with in 2015. Photo credits to Randy Coleman, which thanks again for amazing senior photos Randy!)

So yesterday (Saturday) morning I got up and met him at Wiley Post airport in Oklahoma City. We departed shortly after 10 a.m. while there still was a thick layer of cloud cover only about 1500 feet above the airport. Once we got into the clouds we hit some pretty severe turbulence, but once we got up to about 4,000 feet we busted through the clouds which every pilot talks about being one of the best feelings ever and it sure felt incredible. During the short flight, we climbed to 15,000 feet (the highest I’ve ever gone while being in the cockpit) and my dad’s business partner gave me some tips on instrument flying like how to read approach charts, how to set up both RNAV and ILS approaches, victor airways, and so much more; most of which I barely knew since I’m still learning the basics of instrument flying.

As we began our decent into Tulsa, he told me that for this landing we would do an RNAV approach into Tulsa Riverside Airport. We then entered the thick cloud layer and we were in it for quite a while, to the point where once we got out of it we were literally right over the Tulsa skyline only about 1,200 feet above the buildings. After our short visit in Tulsa we flew back to Oklahoma City under pretty much VFR conditions (only time it was IFR was when we left Tulsa) and on the way back we decided to do an ILS approach back into Wiley Post. I had never done an ILS approach before, so my dad’s business partner decided to have some fun with me and told me to not look outside, simulating that visibility was less than a mile and told me not to look up until we reached 1,290 feet (which is the decision height when landing at Wiley Post) and told me if you don’t see the airport we go missed approach. Once we got to 1,290 feet, I looked up and I could clearly see the runway, but it surprised me how close were to the runway since we literally touched downed a few second later.

I  the end I’m glad that I went and got to experience a little bit of actual IFR flying conditions as well as being showed how to set up RNAV and ILS approaches, even though most of the stuff I don’t know how to do just yet, but hey I’m still learning!

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!”

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I’ve been accepted into the Envoy Cadet Program!!

 

I’m sure you all don’t have to guess what I will be talking about for this week’s blog, but yes; I’m very excited and thrilled to say that I’ve been selected as part of the Cadet program for Envoy Airlines. For those of you who didn’t know, two weeks ago, I announced that I would be interviewing with recruiters from Envoy Airlines at the University of Oklahoma Aviation department in hopes of getting into the cadet program.

What is the cadet program for Envoy Airlines? The cadet program for Envoy is a way for pilots who have at least a private pilots rating to do the technical portion of the interview process, where you basically interview with a recruiter and they ask you basic questions like, why did you choose aviation as your major, what are some activities that you are involved in with aviation, what are your strengths and weaknesses, why should Envoy hire you; basically questions that they would ask you in any other job interview. So, on Monday January 30th I went in and interviewed with Envoy.

How did the interview go? Overall, I thought that the interview went great. Before I was even asked a question, I knew it was going to be a great interview, because the recruiter was a former alumnus of the University of Oklahoma aviation department and he also did the Envoy pipeline program when he was a student, and is now working for Envoy. The recruiters name was Josh, and it was great getting to know him and him talking about his college experience of what it was like here at OU as well as his experience with Envoy so far. As we began the interview, I made sure that I was answering the questions as crisp and clear as I had planned before, but I also wanted to make sure that I stood out compared to other people. For example, one of the questions was “What do you want to improve on over the next few years?’’ Immediately I responded with “that I want to improve my oral skills when it comes to the oral portion of a check ride since I have a bad habit of overthinking too much, because that’s exactly what I did on my private pilot check ride”.

When it comes to interviews, if there is any major advice I would give to you all is to try to stand out and be different from everyone else, so that the people who interview you can remember you for a long time and make an impression on them, because that was my goal with Josh is that I wanted him to remember me. I would also suggest, don’t be afraid to explain what some of your weaknesses are. During the interview, I told Josh about a few of my other weaknesses, as well as mistakes that I’ve made over the past few years that I’m not necessarily proud of, yet I’ve learned for them and I know I’m going to make more mistakes, it’s all part of the learning process in flying; I’m not a perfect pilot. When the interview was over, Josh told me that he was extremely impressed with my interview presentation and told me it would be a few days before I heard if I got into the cadet program. And sure enough, on Friday February 3rd, I got a confirmation email form Josh and the Envoy Airlines headquarters!

Now I’m sure most of you are wondering “what exactly does this mean for me as far as my piloting career for Envoy and why is this so important? Well even though this was only the technical portion of the interview, it’s still a big deal since this is the first major step to a career in the commercial airline world, especially with Envoy Airlines. It also means that as far as the interview portion of applying with Envoy, I’ve completed the first half of the interview portion; all that I have left to do is the knowledge portion of the interview (which I won’t be able to do for a few more years, but I’m in no big rush). But by far the biggest benefit about being accepted into the cadet program, is that now that Envoy knows I’m interested in a career with them in a few years, they have my records and will keep a close track on my progress through the aviation program here at the University of Oklahoma. Josh even told me that once they will check back in with me over the next few years as far as how I’m doing with my training, and once I get my instrument, commercial and multi-engine rating I can go ahead and complete the rest of the interview process and even the pipeline program that Envoy has with the University. So, it really was important doing that interview.

I’m sure you all can imagine I’m thrilled that I got into the cadet program, yet I still have a lot of training ahead of me, yet it feels great that I took my first major step into my flying career; and I hope you all do the same at your flying institutions and Universities, because you never know when another opportunity will present itself

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!”

The Ultimate Spring Break Getaway!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday everyone! I hope you all are gearing up for the big game tonight, (or to just watch the best commercials of the year Hopefully they are better than last years) by stuffing your face with so much food and watching it with good friends and family. Now I don’t know about how you all feel right now, but I’m to the point in the semester where I think to myself, “I’m so ready for spring break! When will it get here?”. Of course the great thing about spring break is that not only is it my Birthday (March 16th), but it also typically means Vacation time! And if I could go anywhere in the world for an amazing spring break it would be a week’s vacation in the Caribbean.

A few years ago, my family and I took a cruise across the Caribbean visiting Aruba, Curacao, The Dominican Republic, and Turks and Cacaos Islands and I absolutely want to go back very soon, especially during spring break. To me it really doesn’t matter which island I visit because the great thing about each of them is that they are unique and special in their own way, but you could also visit multiple islands during your vacation. But if you asked me to stay at one island, I would go back to Curacao in a heart-beat because that’s where I celebrated my 19th birthday at.

The great features about Curacao is that the Island looks incredible. I loved the various housing features, and how the buildings were structured along the island because since the Island is part of the Netherlands it sort of had this European design with a little Caribbean twist. And of course, you couldn’t help but fall in love with the miles and miles of beaches and the coast line along the Island. The next great thing about Curacao was how friendly and welcoming the people were. During my day, there I met so many people from Europe who were so incredibly nice and friendly, while also helping me celebrate my birthday even though they didn’t know me. Even the locals were amazing for celebrating with me, but it was also great to hear how they lived on the island, and knowing almost six different languages.

But by far the greatest feature about Curacao was the amount of activities that they had to do there. For example, one of the very first things that they had to do, was that you could take a little sea plane and get a tour of the island from the air. Throughout the day, we would see the planes fly around our ship and it looked like a lot of fun. You could also go on little safari tours where you drive little dune buggies around forest areas while also getting to see the local wildlife that live on the island. But of course, you always had the option to just lounge away on the beaches, and enjoy a good old fashion beach day. I remember I lucked up, by getting a hammock between two palm trees and getting an incredible view of the ocean. Not only that but, I also got to play volleyball with a few people, go play on an obstacle course, and just not worry about anything, except for just having fun.

So how would I get there and where would I stay you ask? Well of course I would fly there by commercial airliner, because there are two great combinations about the Caribbean Islands that I love, and that is an airport right next to a beach. I’m sure we’ve all seen videos of planes taking off and landing at Caribbean Islands like St. Marteen where people stand right under the airplane as it lands or try to hold on to the rail as a jet takes off a few feet in front of them. As far as hotels go, there was a group of hotels along the east side of the island where you can meet people from various parts of the world, while also being close to a lot of restaurants and shops during your stay, so I would want to stay over in that part of the Island.

Even though I would love to go back to Curacao one day, right now I can’t afford it (of course), but like I said before I think that a spring break vacation to any of the Caribbean Islands would be just what the doctor ordered.

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!”

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!”

When Jack Frost is nipping at your Aircraft

When it comes to the winter season, there are two kinds of people; those who love the cold weather and those who can’t stand the cold. Personally, I love the cold weather since you can play in snow, go sledding, drink hot chocolate, and cuddle up next to your friends and families (or that special someone) to stay warm. However, when it comes to flying cold weather and freezing temperatures are not a pilot’s best friend, since it can cause produce a hazard when it comes to flying; ICE! And believe me you don’t want ice to start forming on your aircraft during flight. Now I know what some of you are thinking, a little bit of ice can’t cause a lot of problems, especially to an airplane? Well I can certainly say you are wrong because even a small portion of ice can cause a lot of problems for a pilot and his aircraft. So, for this week’s blog, I’m going to discuss how ice can impact your flight as well as ways to avoid ice when Jack Frost is nipping at your aircraft.

Where can ice form?

Okay so this is an easy answer and one that we all know, but just as a refresher, always remember that Ice can form when temperatures are below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degree Celsius in the presence of moisture (aka water molecules, or water vapor). One thing that a lot of people do tend to forget when it comes to ice and flying, is that freezing can happen at any altitude, place, or time if temperatures are below freezing and there is moisture. As pilots, we must always remember that the temperature decreases with height. So, yes that means you could have ice forming at both the surface or even when you are 40,000 feet in the air.

 

A little ice won’t hurt right?

As I stated before, Ice is a major hazard when it comes to flight so yes even a little bit of ice can cause major problems for an aircraft. The first major effect that Ice has on an aircraft is adding extra weight on to your aircraft. As more Ice accumulates on your aircraft, the weight of the plane gets heavier and heavier, which can cause you to stall at a higher airspeed and at a lower angle of attack then what is stated in your Pilot Operating Handbook (POH). In addition, as Ice begins to form the airflow over your wings begins to get disrupted. Remember to create lift, you need a nice smooth airflow over the wings to create lift, yet ice will disrupt the airflow creating less lift which can result in longer take off distance then what you calculated.

The next major hazard that ice can impose on an aircraft is major malfunction of important instruments. When ice begins to build along the wings, it can disrupt the function of both the ailerons and flaps since they can freeze over. This is critical especially when it comes to landing since you need flaps to increase your decent rate without increasing your airspeed. Ice can also begin to cause your pitot tubes to freeze up and become inactive. For those of you who don’t know, pitot tube indicates airspeed based on impact pressure hitting the aircraft. If these tubes become blocked due to ice, then the aircraft will read indicate no airspeed. Ice can also cause for the pitot static system to become inoperable which will effect altimeter, airspeed indicator, and vertical airspeed indicator, which again are important instruments and gauges needed for flight.

For example, I’m sure many of you all remember a few years ago, when Air France flight 447 on its way from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil bound for Paris, France crashed in the Atlantic Ocean killing all passengers and crew on board the flight. After years of investigation and finally recovering the black boxes, investigators discovered that the crash was due to both pilot error and Instruments becoming inoperative due to ice. Now I know what you are thinking, Wasn’t this flight over warm bodies of water? And yes, you are right, but remember ice can form anywhere, and any time in the presence of moisture and freezing temperatures. In the case of Air France flight 447 since they were flying near thunderstorms, 40,000 feet in the air, Ice froze over the pitot tubes and pitot static system causing multiple problems for the pilots.

Here’s a video on the investigation into Air France flight 447 which explains the cause of the accident https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJzg6W2f7Ng

Finally, Ice can cause for fuel starvation of your aircraft. Ice can cause for fuel pumps and vents to become blocked if the ingredients are there for ice to form. As time goes on fuel can become blocked and cause for your engine to starve for fuel. And of course, if your engine doesn’t have fuel it won’t operate, which is certainly not good especially during flight.

What should I do to avoid ice?

So, what happens if you think that ice is starting to form on your airplane or you want to avoid flying in freezing conditions. Well my first advice is don’t fly. If you know that temperatures are going to be right at or close to freezing, then don’t risk it, and call a no-fly due to possible icing conditions. Always remember if anything interferes with the safety of yourself and aircraft then don’t fly! If you notice ice beginning to form while you are flying, then get out of it by descending to warmer temperatures or landing at the nearest airport ASAP! Again, the more time you are in freezing conditions and moisture the more ice forms on your airplane.

Well guys that’s it for this week’s blog, also I hope you all are ready to ring in 2017 this weekend (Believe me I think 2016 has been an awful year for everyone with all the issues around the world). Also, I wanted to give you all some exciting news for 2017, because this upcoming semester, the University of Oklahoma Sooner Aviation Club is looking to go to the American Airlines training center in Dallas, Texas so I will let everyone know when we are planning to do that as well as post about our visit to American Airlines. Also, make sure to check out https://blog.globalair.com/  for other great blogs and featured stories on other pilot stories. As always guys remember that “adventure is out there!”

Why I decided to become a pilot

Merry early Christmas everyone, and I hope you are all looking forward to 2017, also I hope everyone did well during finals week or just surviving them for that matter (lol!). In addition, I hope that if you are traveling within the upcoming days that you have safe travels and enjoy being with your friends and family this holiday season. For this week’s post, I want to share with you all a very special moment in my life, even to the point where it influenced my aviation career; and that is the moment I decided that I wanted to become an airline pilot.

My friends always ask me, why did you want to become a pilot? And I always tell them because I’ve wanted to be a pilot since I was a little boy and there’s no better job in the world. Growing up I would spend countless hours playing with either my Thomas the tank engine set or my Lego airplane set, so I knew from a very young age I would have a career in transportation. I especially loved it when we traveled by airplane since I thought airplanes were the coolest things on earth. My parents even told me that I would spend countless hours watching airplanes takeoff, and land that they could’ve left me at the airport and I would not have noticed they left. My love for planes continued to grow as I got older, and during the spring break of 2003 would be a moment that would change my life.

In 2003 my family and I were on our way to Canada, Ottawa for spring break. I had just turned six years old a few days before our trip and I was thrilled to be traveling to Canada since I had never been there. As part of our trip, we had to catch a connecting flight at Chicago O’Hare international airport; but of course, our flight had been delayed due to severe weather in the area. For me that meant more time watching airplanes, so I didn’t mind the delay one bit. During the delay, I was running around the gate area pretending to be a plane myself, until I bumped into a man; and that’s when my life was changed forever. The man looked down at me, smiled and said “so you like airplanes, don’t you young man?” Being my little six-year-old self I responded “Yea!” and told him I was waiting for my plane to go to Canada. Little did I know that the man that I had bumped into would change my life forever.

When our flight finally took off for Ottawa, my family and I were sitting in the back of the aircraft. During the flight one of the flight attendants brought me a first-class meal. My parents looked at the attendant and told her that they didn’t order it, but the she told us that “this is for this young man from the pilot. He also wants to see this young man when we land”. My parents looked at me like I had done something wrong, and even I was surprised that the pilot wanted to see me especially since I didn’t know this person. When we landed, we waited for the pilot to come get me, and when he finally came, I noticed that this was the man that I bumped into back in Chicago. He then brought me into the cockpit and let me sit in his lap at the front of the cockpit which was the most amazing experience I ever had. During that time, he showed me all the controls and buttons, even letting me pretend to be the pilot for a while. When it was over he gave me a pair of pilot wings and told he told me to promise him that one day I would become a pilot. I pinky promised him and since that day my life has been forever change to become a pilot; I even still have the pair of wings that pilot gave to me all those years ago.

Ever since that day, I’ve kept my promise to that pilot and I can’t thank him enough to opening my imagination and inspiring me to become a pilot. Over the course of the past year-and half I’ve made some huge accomplishments from my first solo, cross country flying, and earning my private pilot’s license; yet I’ve also had those moments that I wish to forget, but it’s all part of the learning curve to becoming a commercial airline pilot. I hope in my future career as pilot, that I can repay a simple act of kindness by opening a young person’s mind to becoming a pilot and inspiring them to become one, since I believe that it’s important to pay it forward to someone else. So, I now you all know why I want to become a pilot and I hope that someone or something has inspired you all in your careers whether if it’s to become a commercial pilot, aviation mechanic, flight attendant or any careers in aviation.

Well guys that’s it for this week’s blog, and I hope everyone has a safe and amazing Christmas with your loved ones. Also, make sure to check out https://blog.globalair.com/ for other great blogs and featured stories on other pilot stories. As always guys remember that “adventure is out there!”