Sunday, September 15, 2013

Diana's First Post as the Girls With Wings Dreams Take Flight Scholarship Winner!

Congratulations to Diana, who has since soloed! Her flying lessons have been funded in part by the generous donations that people have made to Girls With Wings. The Dreams Take Flight Dreams Take Flight Scholarship is designed to introduce the world of aviation to someone who would benefit from experiencing the joy of flight. The award of this scholarship is intended to fund introductory flight training to encourage achievement of a stated goal, whether in aviation or in another field of study.  There is no prerequisite flight training required for this scholarship, just enthusiasm and the desire to learn. The Dreams Take Flight Scholarship is an award in the amount of $500.00. Read more about our scholarship program.

Diana and Instructor Joe
Diana LeSueur Journal Entry September 2013

My flight training has been an amazing experience so far! I have learned so much. But, with all that learning, I have realized how much more there is to learn! Some people think I am crazy learning to fly during the summer in Arizona, and I probably am a little. As a teacher, the summer was the time that would work best for my schedule, so I made the best of it by flying as early in the morning as possible. 

My first milestone was passing the written exam. That was quite an experience. I had just begun my flight training. I needed to pass the written exam to apply for a particular scholarship and I only had a few weeks to accomplish this by the due date. I studied my on-line ground school course intensely for those few weeks, determined to achieve this goal. When it came time to take the test, I was so nervous. I would have given myself a little more time to prepare if I did not have the deadline to meet, but I did feel confident that I could pass the test. I took my time to go through each question carefully and look for information on one question that might help me on another. I did get very nervous half way through the test because it seemed as though the materials that I knew very well, there were very few, if any, questions on those topics. Example: I learned my E6B so well that I felt I could answer any question that required me to use it. Can you believe, my test did not ask one question that I needed to use it!! And of course, there were more questions than I expected on one of the topics that I was not as confident about! I did pass the test and boy was I relieved!! I completely forgot to take a picture of this day!! Darn it! 

My solo day was awesome! July 22, 2013. Now leading up to that day was getting somewhat frustrating. It was taking me longer than I had hoped for but it all worked out and the day I actually soloed was a perfect day. I knew that it was going to be any day that my instructor was going to have me solo. I was getting very anxious and my landings started to show it, then the weather was not cooperating and one morning it was just too crazy busy at the airport. But finally, on the morning we went up, my instructor said, “Don’t expect to solo today”. He was trying to get me to not think about it. The practices were going great! The landings felt really good. He then had me taxi back to our ramp and said, “Unfortunately I can’t just jump out and say ‘It’s all yours!’ because I need to have you get out and open the door for me!” His door was not working from the inside, so I had to go open his door from the outside! I was nervous but feeling confident and excited. The tower was really testing me that day. Although I had told them that I was a student solo pilot, they had me switching runways for each landing! My second landing was a go-around, but all others went very well. I celebrated by going to lunch with my friend/colleague, her little boy, one of my Air National Guard friends and his son. 

I’m working on my cross country flights. I should be ready for that solo very soon. I really like the cross country flights. You get to climb to a higher altitude where the weather is cooler. Right now in Arizona, that’s huge! 

I’m soaking it all in and enjoying every lesson, even if it is taking more hours than I thought! I am looking forward to the day that I earn my private pilot certificate! 

Congratulations, Diana! We look forward to hearing about your future accomplishments.

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