Thursday, July 31, 2014

Another awesome update from Natalia, A Private Pilot / Rick Dahl Scholarship Winner!

This is the third journal entry provided to us by Natalia Dzyndra, who was selected for a Private Pilot Scholarship from Girls With Wings / Rick Dahl. 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.  This special Private Pilot Scholarship, established to remember Rick Dahl, is in the amount of $2500.00, funded by the generous donation of Jennifer Jordan, a huge supporter of Girls With Wings, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Natalia's application essay is published here, her first update here and her second here.

July has been quite the adventure for me. I had been studying for hours on hours for the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Exam. Although I was receiving pretty good scores on my practice exams, I wanted to keep studying until I knew every question in the book. In the meantime, I was still trying to master radio communications in Class C airspace. Although I was getting pretty good at it, every time I flew in, there was always something new thrown at me. For example, “line up and wait”. I had never heard that so you could imagine the perplexed look I gave my instructor, especially knowing there was a Southwest Boeing on final approach. (For those who don’t know, “line up and wait” simply means....line up and wait. This is said when you’re ready to take off and the tower wants you line up on the runway and wait for the clearance from tower to take off. Normally, you just wait on the taxiway before the runway and then you get your clearance to take off). Although there is still much to learn, I am feeling much more confident in entering Class C airspace, but I still prefer non-towered airports. 

One thing that was very exciting was finally convincing my mom to come ride along. She was a bit apprehensive about it, but I assured her everything would be fine. I even gave her a crash course on how to fly an airplane, just in case something happened. I think knowing how the controls work, what the main instruments are used for, and teaching her how to talk on a radio gave her a little more confidence in the airplane and the pilots (my instructor and I). The take off was smooth and she was loving the view from the sky. We took this chance to practice some more hoodwork since I didn’t want to do stalls or anything that might scare my mom. It was all going well until we tried to get some better angles for the pictures my mom was taking and that made her a bit dizzy so we headed back to the airport. I promised her that next time, we’ll keep her head up when we do any turning. 

The next day was even bigger for me. I finally took my exam! Although I knew every question in the book, there were a few thrown at me that I had never seen before or worded differently that I just didn’t know the answer to. So I missed three questions, but I passed with a 95%. That was a big relief to finally get that over with, but it made me mad that I didn’t get the 100% I was aiming for. Oh goes on. Then the day after I did my Stage 2 checkride with another instructor. I passed that as well. And that meant I was finally able to go on my cross country solo! Last month I wasn’t all too thrilled about going alone, but now, it was no biggie. I had no issues whatsoever. My flight planning was great, and I saw every checkpoint and airport I was looking for. The timing was off about 1-2 minutes because the winds ended up being stronger than forecasted, but I was quite satisfied with the entire trip. I actually wanted to keep flying just because I was doing so great, but I remembered that money was running out and this was probably going to be my last flight for a while. And I was right as I haven’t flown since. I’ve been trying to work and save up since my next cross country is going to need to be longer. But being grounded isn’t all that bad (actually it is). I’ve been about to catch up on my Flight Training magazines that I haven’t had time to read since I had been studying for the exam. 
Well, my next big step is prepping for the checkride, once I have enough money. As my instructor Jen says, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” But I know for sure I definitely wouldn’t have ever gotten this far if it wasn’t for Girls With Wings. The scholarship has helped me in more ways than just being able to fly. I feel more confident and determined to continue following my dreams and not give up. One thing I want to do after I get my license is to take children up, especially girls, on a discovery flight so they can see how enjoyable flying can be and that it doesn’t take a genius to fly a airplane. By doing this I hope it’ll inspire them to dream big and to pursue those dreams. I think it’s more important for girls because they tend to get put down more than boys do and they usually don’t see their full potential. Thank you to Lynda Meeks for her time and dedication to Girls With Wings, and to Jennifer Jordan for the contribution she made to the scholarship that made my flight training possible! I do hope I can help spread the Girls With Wings mission and message. Please let me know how I can be of help. Thanks again!

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