I have had an extremely exciting last few days! I don’t even know where to begin! Last Monday, March 16, 2015 I was able to complete my first solo cross-country for EKU. I had only completed one solo XC before that to Braxton County (k48I) when I used to fly in West Virginia. So, it had been a while since my last solo cross-country and my nerves were a little tense before the flight. I found myself writing out every single detail from memory that I could think of for what I needed to do during the flight. Dalton, my flight instructor, kind of laughed at me because of course I had to put for my very last detail, “Cross-country complete” with a HUGE smiley face. It may have looked dumb, but I knew that was going to be the feeling I would have after completing my flight. Of course, I was smiling from ear to ear after my flight and I knew that was going to be the very last detail so I just had to write it down! J I didn’t quit smiling until after I started to eat some lunch after I arrived back on campus… I chose to fly to the airport I felt most comfortable with which was of course, Wayne Co (KEKQ) since I have been there multiple times this year. I love flying south from the airport (I39) because you are able to see Lake Cumberland from above after you get so far. My overall first solo cross-country was absolutely wonderful and I couldn’t have asked for a better day. In between check points I couldn’t help but to think about my old friend Larry. I made sure I sent him a prayer thanking him and to let him know that I was thinking about him. I know he is watching over me and my nerves the rest of the flight were absolutely fine… Happy spring flying my friends!
This past Monday I passed my stage two check ride! Due to weather, we just had the two hour ground portion of it on Friday and then rescheduled the flight for the following Monday. I had Sarah Boots who conducted my stage check. On Friday we talked about my flight plan and performance calculations, weight and balance, takeoff and landing distances, weather, airspace, and the VFR sectional. Then on the actual flight we flew to my first two checkpoints without the GPS which went pretty smooth. It’s pretty easy when you have I-75 in sight. She made me perform a couple lost procedures where I did some dead reckoning and then found myself by tuning in the VOR. We also performed power on and off stalls, and then talked about short field and soft field take-offs and landings. I found my way back to the airport without the GPS and performed a short field landing. The landing was not one of my best… I didn’t add enough power right before touching down since it was a short field landing and it was a little harder then planned. I was really aggravated with myself because I love landing airplanes! It’s the greatest feeling when you barely touch down and perform a perfect landing. A lot of people stress performing landings, but I absolutely love setting an airplane up for them and perfecting it. I kind of growled in a way because I knew it wasn’t great, but Sarah told me that it was fine and we were done for the day. Once I cleared the runway she said, “You passed!” I was so relieved… I was relieved because a weight was lifted off of my shoulders that has been there forever due to weather cancellations. It finally feels like I am able to move forward now. I’ll have to do three more solo cross-country requirements for EKU and then I am in stage 3 polishing things up for my final check ride. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little nervous for my solo cross country flights but I also feel ready to do this because I know I can and achieving my private pilot’s license has been my goal for a long time now. I am READY!
This past Wednesday I was able to work in a night cross-country with my instructor Dalton. We flew direct to Lexington (LEX) then on over to Bardstown (BRY) and then back to Richmond Madison. (I39) The flight was awesome! I love flying around sunset and nighttime. We had quite the time before our flight though. Somebody else checked out the airplane we originally had reserved and they were way off schedule. My flight time reservation was for seven o’clock and we waited at least twenty minutes for them to arrive back and they still were a no show. So, we ended up checking out another airplane (N53720) and corrected our flight plan. After we got that situation under control we taxied on over to the gas pumps for some fuel and encountered another problem with the pumps and could not get them to pump gas for us. Next thing I knew we had four different guys helping us trying to figure out what was wrong. Long story short the actual “preflight” took way longer than expected, but we finally got off the ground with full tanks. My actual flight went really well. First leg down to Lexington was a little rough considering I hadn’t had practice or talked with flight following in a while. Right after we departed Lexington I felt much better and more confident when it came to the radios. I felt I finally had the “script” pretty much memorized and I was more prepared when it came to expecting what they were going to ask. The overall experience was a great one and my next flight and step towards my license is to pass my stage two check with EKU flight instructor Sarah. I’ll be reviewing flight planning and calculations, weather, airspace, emergency procedures, stalls, and reading sectional charts. Wish me luck!
My heart feels very heavy today as I found out my past flight instructor, Larry Ferren, passed away this morning. I don’t know how to put into words how great of a man Larry was. He made such an impact on my life and I am so blessed for that. I am so blessed to have ever known him let alone have him as an instructor, and a good friend. Larry taught me all of the basics of flying and inspired me to choose aviation as a career and something to pursue for the rest of my life. He was the kind of man who was extremely down to earth and chose to do things the way he believed was the right thing to do (He didn’t take crap from anyone) and I loved that about him. He believed in me even when I wasn’t sure if I believed in myself and helped me to accomplish things that I never imagined achieving before. The first time I mentioned flight lessons to my mother she remembered Larry who she used to fly with when she worked as a flight attendant. So, we drove out to his house sat on his back porch and talked about how flight lessons would work and what I was really getting myself into. He told me he would take me in his ErCoupe to see if I liked it and then I could decide if I wanted to pursue lessons. Of course I came back smiling ear to ear after my first flight and he knew what my answer was… It was a decision for Larry to make as well considering he was in his seventies, but still flying! He surely didn’t have to say yes and take me on as a student, but he did and I will be forever grateful. Larry recently won the Wright Brothers Aviation Achievement Award that recognizes pilots who have demonstrated professionalism, skill and aviation expertise by maintaining safe operations for 50 or more years. I am so glad this award finally came through and is something that will always honor Larry. I will never forget all of the memories, stories, laughs, and adventures with you and our friend Skip. I will never forget you old man. Thank you for everything you taught me that will continue with me for the rest of my life. Until we meet again, fly high and soar with the angels my forever friend…
Love You Larry
Monday, February 23, 2015
These last few days on campus have been pretty laid back. We have had two snow days in a row and I just found out that all classes before noon tomorrow are cancelled as well. I’d say we have around ten inches of snow here in Richmond and are expecting to get hit with more tonight! My instructor, Dalton, texted me late Sunday night and said, “Guy on the news is saying we’re going to get the most snow of the past fifteen years. Probably goes without saying we won’t be flying tomorrow. Stay safe.” I simply replied with, “Oh great. Haha thanks” I have had the worst of luck trying to get flight time. It’s actually quite hilarious at times. Like, “the most snow in fifteen years.” Last week, I had a lesson cancelled due to a new engine… Our lesson was working on reviewing short field and soft field takeoffs and landings in N92LC and they listed on flight schedule pro, No maneuvers/ Touch and Go. I guess they wanted to break the engine in. Dalton texted me and apologized considering it was a pretty day and all other aircraft were checked out so we weren’t able to fly. I have had some pretty bad luck, and It stinks because I feel so close to finishing… This weather has made me super anxious for summer! I do realize this weather is uncontrollable, and crazy at times here. We just had a beautiful sunny day not too long ago! On the bright side, all of this bad weather has helped me to get ahead on my homework and work on ground school. I am not complaining at all on having a few days off! It is nice to relax sometimes. I also attached a picture of my poor little mini cooper buried in the snow here in Richmond. Just wanted to give everyone an idea of how bad it is… I think President Benson made a good call.
This past Saturday I attended my second ninety-nines meeting and found out that I am officially a member! I have quickly found out that all of the ladies there are very supportive and are very interesting to speak to. Best of all everyone loves to fly! They talk about what they want to do and they make it happen! The agenda was all about scheduling and organizing for our Girl Scout Aviation day on March 21st at Bowman Field in Louisville. My friend Tori and I volunteered to have our own booth to talk about Private Pilot training. Tori participated in it last year and asked me to join and help her present this year! So I am super excited to volunteer and help as a new member of the ninety-nines. ☺ After the meeting everyone went to grab some pizza down the road. We had a nice lunch and continued to talk about our exciting ideas. The best part of lunch came later when everyone went around the room and shared what all aviation adventures they’ve had in the last month. I shared how I have only completed one cross-country due to cancellations, but on the bright side I had received and email that I was an official member of the 99’s! So everyone was very supportive and excited for me. After everyone shared, all members voted whom they would like to see win the “rotating aviation award.” The award is a fancy looking airplane trophy that gets passed around each month to whoever the chapter votes for. They chose me!!! I was extremely shocked and honored to take it home for the month! I now have it sitting right dead center on my desk. I am proud to be apart of this tradition and I can’t wait to see whom I’ll be able to pass it onto next month. ☺ It feels great to have so much support from such wonderful ladies who also love aviation.
Hello bloggers. I’m sorry it’s been a while since I posted last. I am finally getting used to my new routine. Since the last time I posted I was hoping to get another cross-country in. The weather FINALLY allowed me to go! We flew to Monticello, Wayne Co. again KEKQ just because it’s my favorite airport to fly too that is just over fifty-three nautical miles away. We always fly just over fifty-three nautical miles to allow my flight instructor, Dalton, to get back for his next lesson. It felt great getting back on the controls! It had been so LONG since the last time we were able to fly together. Everything was fine until we were arriving at KEKQ and the airplane got ahead of me a little bit because I was late on getting the descent checklist done in time and everything prepared for our landing. Therefore, I was rushing a bit in the end, which is NOT something you should do. I will admit, that is the biggest thing EKU has taught me is how to prepare and be more of a professional pilot. I have had to discipline myself more in order to be a better pilot for EKU and myself. It will definitely benefit me in the long run. I am still working to make myself better everyday. After our last flight I was scheduled to fly again that following Friday and had to cancel due to the weather. It has really been a struggle and I cannot wait for summer to come around. It would really help our lessons keep on track. It has been really bothering me having to keep picking up where we left off every two weeks or more and getting the feel for things again. I just want to get my license! It feels like I have been training forever… Although this cold weather stinks and is setting me back, I know summer is just around the corner and I am keeping a positive mind knowing that one day Ill be able to hold my own license.