Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Last of my Training at Regalair

Paine Field
Cessna 152
April 7, 2013 1.2 |April 24, 2013 1.7
May 2, 2013 1.2|May 10,2013 .9
June 8, 2013 1.9

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All good things must come to an end. So, this blog post will wrap up my lessons at my flight school Regalair. I’ll always hold that place close to my heart. To this day I still remember my first time walking in there with my father and brother- I remember the weather being too bad to fly- but we still received a tour of the school. I remember my second time being there and thinking about how small the plane was and being terrified upon takeoff. We soared over the Puget Sound and I was in awe, I knew this was where I was meant to be. But, throughout my lessons there I struggled and struggled. I felt like a horrible flight student and not being able to compare my training to anyone else’s I thought I wasn’t getting anywhere. Yet, no matter how I walked away from my lessons, I kept returning. I never gave up because it wasn’t my pride I cared about, it was the wonderful feeling of moving through the air, that feeling you get right as you begin to rotate on takeoff. I kept going for my love of flight. In my two and a half years at Regalair I only wracked up 44.5 hours. About 20 hours a year, looking back I understand why I had so much frustration with my training. It is completely true what they say- you need to fly consistently, otherwise instead of simply walking up a hill or two its like walking up one mountain after another. I’m not saying it cant be done- I’m just saying its difficult to do.

So how did my training at Regalair end? Quite nice actually. I finally got my area solo in! I was absolutely terrified and my heart was pounding the whole way. I played it safe, went to the same practice area my CFI and I had gone to repeativley. I had my Ipad with Foreflight being my GPS so I knew where I was at all time, though looking back I hardly even used it. I stuck around long enough to do a stall or two and some steep turns. After that I immediately headed back, called up tower and asked for a full stop. I had some oddly rough turbulence as I entered the downwind, but other than that nothing interesting happened. I was a little high on landing, but I made it work.Once I taxied back and tied the plane up I felt as though a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I had left the pattern on my own, and had little to no issues. I began to feel more confident in my ability to safely fly the aircraft and not let it fly me.

The rest of my time at Regal consisted of a mock cross-country flight during bad weather, a night flight that was at first disorientating and two relatively normal flights. Before I left for Florida I made sure to complete my written- which I passed on my first go. And I spent the rest of the money in my flight account on a new knee board, some books for my future training and a bunch of little item needed for flight training.

This is my goodbye to the wonderful staff there. All of them contributed to my wonderful experience there and I look forward to returning there this winter with my license and renting an aircraft to fly for myself! If anyone in the Seattle area happens to read this- I highly recommend this flight school.

Safe flying!

Total amount invested thus far: $9247.15
Total hours: 44.5

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Something Gained Something Lost

Paine Field
Cessna 152
January 24, 2012 1.2 hours
February 13, 2012 0.7 hours
March 7, 2012 1.1 hours
March 28, 2012 1.1 hours

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(Moses Lake, Washington)
The last two months have gone by in the blink of an eye. Can you believe its April already?! A lot has happened since then. Perhaps the most important of which has been that I have officially finished my two year degree. I have from now until the end of August to relax and enjoy my break. I usually don’t take summers off from classes, so it’s been a good two years since I’ve had more than a few weeks off. As of right now, the countdown has begun for leaving for Embry-Riddle. It’s been decided that I will be traveling down there by car. From Seattle Washington to Daytona Beach Florida, such a long drive! Why must I drive? Well, I’ll be living down there, most likely in an apartment. Therefore, I’ll be taking all my things with me, I’ll really be leaving home- for a long time. Sure, I’ll be visiting for Christmas and such, but it won’t ever be home to me as it is right now.

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(Spokane, Washington: OCS Prep)
You can’t always expect everything in life to happen as planned though. I wasn’t able to sign my contract with the Marines because I still hadn’t made weight. It wont be gaining fat that will help me hold the weight (with all the running I do) so it’ll have to be muscles that I gain. I guess that’s disappointing, but overall I think it’s the right thing because honestly OCS Prep kicked my ass. I realized then and there that I wasn’t strong enough; it made me realize why they wanted me to weigh more. I’ll need that extra weight for all the training I’ll be put though. This doesn’t mean that I give up, I still plan to “try out” so to speak. After I complete my 4-year degree I’ll shoot for it again. Once again aiming for something out of my reach. Will I ever be able to call myself a Marine? Or will I forever see nothing more than a candidate in the mirror? I suppose only time will tell. And when it comes down to it, do I have to be a Marine? No. I could settle for another branch. What’s most important to me is having a flying career in the military. I guess it doesn’t matter what branch. Though if I had my choice, if I could gain the weight, if I could get strong enough, and if I could make it through the training, then I’d want to be a Marine.

I also finally got in my second supervised solo, so I’m happy to say I’m officially able to move on with my training! In fact this last time we went up I finally got worn out- which to me means I received a damn good lesson. We did a lot of hood time, and even some VOR. I had tried to understand VOR’s before, but couldn’t quite get it to click. Once I sat down in the plane and actually practiced it- it made much more sense. VOR’s aren’t that bad, they’re even kind of fun.

Total amount invested thus far: $7953.50

Monday, February 4, 2013

If Only the Weather Could Apologize

Paine Field
Cessna 152

November 9, 2012: 1.2 hours 4 landings
November 11, 2012: 1.1 hours 5 landings
December 14,2012: 1.5 hours 8 landings
January 3, 20121.1 hours 11 landings
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(My beautiful city)
If only the weather could apologize, then maybe I wouldn't dislike it as much as I do now! I just want to do my second supervised solo so I can move on with my training, is that so much to ask for? Well, in the Pacific Northwest, I guess it is (who am I kidding, I love our weather).

Being in college (nonflight) and taking flight lessons along with trying to become a Marine Office is time consuming. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t find the time to continuously keep my blog updated. So I supposed you’ll forever get everything in chunks. Whoever is out there reading these things anyways.

My flight training, the one thing in my life that constantly is like a game of tug of war. One minute I’m flying, the next I’m not, the next I am, and once again I am not. I did start my training back up. When I got back to it Novermber 9th, my instructor said as I had expected- time to get me back up to solo. So that’s exactly what we’ve been working on. 

November 11th there were some crosswinds, which for some reason I prefer when it comes to landings, so long as its light. I’m not sure why but I feel like I do better with some crosswind in there. Maybe I’ve just been lucky. 

I had another flight on December 14 (4 lessons were canceled in a row before this due to bad weather- I had one ground lessons in there about soft and short field landings) where I did a pretty amazing emergency simulated landing. I mean, after about 7 months of not flying and not reading up on it, I’d like to think I rocked it. 

And finally, my lesson on the 3rd. Stuck strictly to the pattern as it was way too damn early and I had been spacey. The landings weren't too bad, off center line a couple of times for over correction of the slight crosswind we had. But other than that, pretty good. At one point I did a go-around and messed the procedures up for that. At 30 something hours I’m still making idiot mistakes. When we landed though, my instructor said I was finally ready for my supervised second solo! Unfortunately, the weather has been grounding me.

Total amount invested thus far: $7116.66
Total hours: 33.5;Total landings: 145

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Time Doesn’t Stand Still For Anyone

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Another year has come and gone and I can’t help but look back on 2012 and everything I have accomplished. I’ve worked hard and finally, some of that hard work is beginning to pay off. In 3 months  I’ll have my Associates degree. I just have to make it through this last quarter! I can’t tell you how much I’ve gone through to get this degree. Then, I’ll be off to ERAU to finish my 4-year where I recently (about 3 months ago) got accepted into. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it previously or not-  but my major is going to be in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (I haven’t figured out a minor just yet).

Needless to say, 2013 is looking quite promising. Bring it, new year!

Moving onto what’s been going on with me and my Officer candidacy.  I’m feeling extremely unprepared with OCS prep coming up this weekend. I’m in a race against time and I feel I’ll never win. There's this little voice in the back of my mind that keeps telling me I could easily just run away from this. Stick to my cozy little life. Maybe go be a normal pilot for the airlines or something. But for some crazy reason, which I can’t explain no matter how many times I try- I want to go through this. I want to see if I have what it takes. I want to go through hell and back, just to know I can handle it, or maybe know that I cannot, and even if I couldn't I wouldn't be ashamed. The reason being, I tried. Would you be able to say the same? Not many Americans even think about going into the military, and even fewer consider the Marine Corps. So, do I have what it takes? How should I know. If you were in my situation doing what I was doing, would you be able to answer that question?