Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Another update from Lisa, GWW Private Pilot Scholarship Winner!

This is the second journal entry provided to us by Lisa Kienholz, who was selected for a  Private Pilot Scholarship from Girls With Wings. The Girls With Wings 2014 Scholarship Program includes the Private Pilot Scholarship, to help defray the cost of flight training lessons in pursuit of a private pilot certificate. This scholarship targets those individuals who have soloed but have not completed the Private Pilot Course.  The Private Pilot Scholarship is in the amount of $1000.00, funded by the generous donations from supporters of Girls With Wings, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Lisa's application essay is published here and her second essay here.
This past month of flight lessons has been an interesting ride. I am in my final stages of preparing for my checkride, reviewing the books over, and over, and fine tuning the maneuvers with my instructors in the plane. I can see light at the end of the tunnel and yet, at times, the light continues to flicker. Most of the time I feel like “I can do this” but one day the wind might be blowing and the landings aren’t as good as I’d like and the nagging self-doubt attempts to surface, “Am I really ready?” One day I think perhaps I’m not yet ready and then I wonder if I’ve just got checkride-itis and I’m making it out to be more difficult that it needs to be. Of course I can do this and of course I will. It’s just been a long time since I’ve worked so hard to reach a new, challenging goal. I’m unfamiliar with the struggle to meet my own expectations and with the roller coaster like highs and lows I’m experiencing. I have spent the last number of decades as a fiercely independent woman and letting it be okay to be dependent on others was a big leap for me. Learning to fly has taught me how to ask for help and how to graciously accept the kindness of other aviators. As an owner of an antique airplane that I don’t yet know how to fly, I found myself in the position of having to ask other’s to be my PIC to get her up in the air. Plus, I have an ongoing long list of questions. I feel so fortunate to have new friends that are so willing to offer their time and expertise. I have learned to push myself past my comfort zone, to allow myself to be the beginner that I currently am. I have learned so much about how I learn, my learning style. I am intrigued by how people learn: some are visual learners, some verbal and others really need to learn by doing. I admire flight instructors, in order to succeed with each student pilot they need to figure out what the student needs before the student knows themselves. 

There have been moments when I forgot that the reason I’m flying is because it is fun. But it is fun, so much fun! When I find myself stressing about being ready for the test I try to remind myself to breathe deep and enjoy the flight. With every take off I get the rush of “I’m flying”. Every steep turn, every slow flight, every stall is fun. Sometimes I’m up there in the sky and I feel like I’ve got to pinch myself to believe that I am indeed flying this little airplane, I am a pilot. Yes, still a student pilot but a pilot nonetheless. Every flight puts a big smile on my face. 

I am continuing my lessons in CP Aviation’s Cessna 150s because I am close to the checkride but I have now begun lessons in my Luscombe 8E as well. Perhaps this is adding to my challenge but I just can’t leave her in the hangar all of the time! I look forward to getting my PPL soon. It will be a relief to take the weight off of my shoulders and then I will be able to concentrate on my tailwheel endorsement in the Luscombe and mastering the fine art of the tailwheel flying. 

Essays about flight training from the other awardees will be published here as they are received.

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