Thursday, November 01, 2012

Alyssa Mae's Final "Dreams Take Flight" GWW Scholarship Essay

I give to you the third and final essay from Alyssa Mae, the recipient of our 2012 Summer Dreams Take Flight Scholarship. The Girls With Wings Scholarship Program provides funds for flight training to selected individuals with a willingness to be superlative GWW role models. Winners show potential to continue her interaction with the GWW organization, via the website and events, so she can assist GWW in encouraging more young girls to have an interest in aviation. Part of the obligation for being awarded the scholarship is to submit at least one picture and an associated journal entry once a month for three months to the Girls With Wings blog to share with others her training, as well as email a final essay summarizing how the scholarship helped her, what she learned and her intent to continue her work as a role model and volunteer for the Girls With Wings, Inc., organization.

We will announce the details of our 2013 Scholarship program next January. We are ALWAYS in need of donations to continue these scholarships. Please click on our PayPal link to submit your donation (any amount is appreciated!). 

And now, may we present Alyssa Mae's Essay:


As this is my final essay, I would just like to say what a huge impact this scholarship has made on my pathway to earning my pilot's license. The support from GWW has inspired me to get moving on the things I have always dreamed of doing. This scholarship has pushed me to obtain my medical, find a flight school, pursue my flight training. Who could ask for anything more? I really hope I am able to continue on from this amazing start.

October started off a bit rocky in terms of aviation, but it has culminated wonderfully! In my last essay, I had left off where I was going to meet a flight instructor at a flight school. It went great! My family, Mr. Soco, and I met with the director who gave me some good advice and then he introduced me to one of their instructors, Tim. We went to look at their fleet of planes, the ground school classroom, and toured around a bit. Everyone there at Premier Flight school is extremely nice and knowledgeable. I felt like they truly cared about their students and made sure they had only the best to offer them! I liked it there so much, that I booked a flying lesson right away!

Premier Flight School had so many planes to choose from! I decided to try out the Flight Design CTLS because (a) it was the cheapest plane to fly and (b) it is very similar to the SkyCatcher that I flew this summer! According to my mother, "It's so adorable!" I agree. It looks tiny from the outside but is actually quite roomy on the inside! The CTLS is a really neat little plane. It’s an LSA. Some features are that it has dual glass cockpit screens, electric flaps, a window on the top, a parachute, and even seat inflation to make your behind comfortable! (However I still need a cushion to see...)

On October 26, I went for my first flying lesson in the CTLS at Brainard Airport, with my instructor Tim. Tim is a fantastic instructor! Before I even set foot into the plane, he really educated me about every aspect of it- from the brake pads to the BRS parachute! He's very patient and it doesn't seem to bother him when I ask my 800 questions either. ;) At my second flying lesson we began by taking the cowling off of the engine to see how it works and what’s inside. I had no idea what anything was at first, but now I bet I can name some of it - from the battery to the liquid cooling system! After that we went flying, and it was my first time flying at night! The lights from the city and the airport were such a spectacular sight. I knew flight training would be fun, but the training I’ve had so far has exceeded my expectations! I’ve had a blast flying in the CTLS! I love all of the massive windows and especially the electric flaps as my right arm is not the strongest.

It's a bit of an adjustment from flying the SkyCatcher but not as far of a stretch as it would have been to train in a Piper (aka the DaVinci code)! For example, in the CTLS, the stall warning is not a horn; it’s a buzzer in your headset. It just sounds like radio static! Another interesting aspect is that when you check the oil, you have to turn the propeller until you “hear the toilet flush”, which is actually the oil going through! The flaps are also huge on the CTLS and it’s a little more sensitive than the SkyCatcher. I really like that CTLS though and I am eager to learn more about it. I think LSA are some of the most fun planes to fly in, and my quote about flying LSA is that I feel like I am one with the air, rather than one with the plane!

In total I have had 3 flying lessons so far (excluding my time in OSH). I had 1 intro flight and 2 lessons. Mainly, it has been getting used to the new plane and a review of maneuvers I haven't done since the summer. I think I've gotten much better at talking on the radio and taxiing which were two of the hardest things for me! So far in the CTLS, we've done steep turns, slow flight, and my favorite - stalls! I'm really looking forward to flying again! At the moment, I've been applying for jobs as well as keeping small side jobs, to continue to pay for my training.

And on another note, I continue to share my passion for flying each day. I’ve connected with other women pilots or girls who want to become pilots. It’s nice to know the population of them seems to be growing! I hope that one day I will be able to inspire other kids as people have inspired me to pursue my dreams in aviation. Instead of me getting a Young Eagles flight, I would love to give them! The most I can do right now to help others is talk with them and give them resources, so that's what I plan to do! I love connecting with people on my Twitter, my Facebook, or even my blog in progress. I am really motivated to help others as I see how much GWW and other people have helped me.

“Hold fast to your dreams, for without them life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” -Langston Hughes

This scholarship has been such a tremendous blessing. It has truly pushed me forward to begin flight training and has made me one step closer toward achieving my dreams. It's such a great honor to have been chosen, and I thank GWW and all of the people with big hearts who supported this scholarship. I would also like to thank my parents, Mr. Soco, Chuck and Eileen for always supporting me. It's amazing what people will do to help someone achieve their life long goals, and it is only right that I continue their efforts by helping others. I definitely plan to continue flying as long as I live! Thanks again to everyone who supported me, blue skies!

PS I made a video.

Here's the link:

Alyssa Mae, you've come a long way in a short time. We know you're busy and have had some difficult logistical challenges - but you persevered!  We wish you the very best making your "Dreams Take Flight" and hope to continue to hear from you in the future.

Lynda Meeks, Founder and Executive Director, Girls With Wings, Inc.,
and the entire volunteer staff.

1 comment:

  1. Flying is very beautiful experience. I think everyone should flying once……..