And now, may we present Alyssa Mae's Essay:
Greetings! September has been quite an interesting month for me in terms of aviation. Looking back just a couple months, I would have never thought I would be this far in starting flying lessons. I hadn’t actually planned to do so until I was closer to 17 (about 8 months from now). This scholarship has truly gave me a push, and helped me to begin my flying endeavors.
As noted in my blog post, I scheduled my medical exam for September 21st. Good news – I passed! I obtained a Class III certificate. I now safely keep my little paper in a pocket near my logbook. I have also gathered all of my books together for studying the ground school portion. I'm still working on my Sporty's course, just started reading the FAA Flying handbook, and have been working on the ASA Test Prep book. AOPA's "Flight Training" magazine is quite useful as well!
Also noted in my last blog post, I had scheduled to have an Intro Flight with an instructor at a local airport. Well little did I expect, what a process it would be trying to find a flight school with decent rates, a decent plane, a decent location, decent hours, and a decent instructor. (I am not a picky person by any means!) I tried one flight school, and it did not mix with me well. Some of the factors it presented did not fit with what I needed or was looking for. So then I went to another flight school, at a different airport. Again, there were obstacles there as well. Each time I went to a flight school, I was thinking “This will be the one!” but it turns out it always had something that wasn’t right for me.
Another obstacle I came across was the issue of switching from learning in a tiny Cessna 162 SkyCatcher (an LSA) to possibly something totally different, and more complex – like a Piper Warrior or Archer! (Maybe those are basic planes to you – but they are like the DaVinci code to me.) A couple weeks ago was the first time I had been in a Piper at all, and I was like “Whoa!” It would require a lot harder work for me I think, but I would definitely be willing to do it.
So instead of being discouraged by these dilemmas – what keeps me going is that I know I have this scholarship to work for! This scholarship reminds me that some people must have had faith in me, and that I should not give up. So I won’t! My mentor Mr. Socolosky has helped me tremendously. He recommended a flight school, which then recommended a flight instructor to me. And now, I am going to meet with them in approximately two days. This flight school not only has Cessnas but also LSA’s for training as well! I truly hope this one works out because I would like to (a) be able to use this scholarship and (b) not throw away the 9 hours of flight time I received this summer!
"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” - Henry Ford
Even though I may have encountered some bumps in finding a place for flight training – I encounter no bumps when getting others interested in aviation! Since I truly love it so much, I find it easy to talk about and I find it easy to pass my excitement onto others. So that is what I do! Recently, I went to a Young Eagles day to talk to some kids about aviation. There, I not only recruited a future Air Academy camper; but I received an invitation to speak at an all girls’ school to get some of them interested in flying! I can not wait to work with them. I also heard that some people at my school are interested in flying for the military, and I have sought them out to talk as well! I even continue to encourage some of the campers I worked with at Air Academy. I talk to a lot of them on Facebook about flying and such. Most people I meet think flying is a pretty neat passion to have, and if anyone I know would like more information; I’m happy to help!
I always tell prospective aviators (or aviatrixes) to follow me on social media websites to get in touch with me. I keep an aviation related Facebook “AlyssaMaeAviatrix”, an aviation Twitter @AMAviatrix, and a blog in progress AlyssaMaeAviatrix.Wordpress.com. I truly enjoy connecting with people and I have a small background of marketing. At my school, I’m working on a little project to get more women (or maybe even anyone in general) interested in aviation. This project is in its initial stages and needs much development – but I hope to make it work someday.
I have many goals in life, of reaching success, of flying, and who knows what else. But I would really love to be able to make a difference in a future pilot’s life. I would like to make other people’s dreams come true, just as so many kind people (like GWW!) have done for me! Thanks again for supporting me! Blue skies!