Friday, August 01, 2014

Another update from Willow, GWW Private Pilot Scholarship Winner!

This is the third journal entry provided to us by Willow Seward, 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. Willow's application essay is published here first essay here and her second here.

Willow Seward 
GWW Entry #3 
July 31, 2014 

I still pinch myself when I think of everything that I have achieved. Graduation from High School and obtaining my Private Pilot License two months ago is still overwhelming. My friends find it hard to believe, my family is supportive of my decisions, and I am on the path to achieving my dreams! It is almost beyond words how I feel about what I have done and what life has in store for me. 

My next big adventure is about to start. College! August 20 is move in day! (I think I am more nervous about this than I was soloing.) I am going to begin flying at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ. I am very fortunate to be able to attend such a prestigious flight school. Instrument is next on my check list. My goal is to graduate with a BS in Aviation Management, Minor in Unmanned Aircraft Systems and obtain my Commercial Pilot Certification. I am ready for the challenge to become the best pilot that I can be! 

 I am so thankful for organizations like Girls With Wings that help educate young girls about the experience of flight. Over the past few months, I have been able to share my experience with so many people. In fact, it is actually quite a thrill to be able to share my passion and desire for flight with not only my friends and family, but with complete strangers. I feel like I am developing a new family of friends that share my same passion. The rewarding feeling of just bringing light to the world of aviation is priceless. I look forward to continuing my skill development and the opportunity to one day become a mentor to another young girl who is eager to see what the world looks like through the clouds. 

Thank You again Girls With Wings! 
Willow Seward

Another update from Erin, GWW Advanced Training Scholarship Winner!

This is the third journal entry provided to us by Erin DeYoung, who was selected for an Advanced Training Scholarship within The Girls With Wings 2014 Scholarship Program to help defray the cost of flight training lessons in pursuit of an Advanced Rating or Certificate such as instrument rating, commercial pilot certificate, flight instructor certificate, instrument flight instructor certificate, multi-engine rating or multi-engine flight instructor certificate. This new scholarship award is in the amount of $1000, funded by the generous donations from supporters of Girls With Wings, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Erin's application essay is published here her first update here and her second update here.

Girls With Wings Blog #3 

Clouds are amazing! They are also very dangerous and slightly terrifying, but they are exhilarating. Earlier this month I had the opportunity to shoot my first set of approaches in actual IMC (instrument meteorological conditions—a.k.a clouds). This means instead of being under the foggles simulating IMC, I would actually be in the clouds. Pilots learn about the dangers of flying unprepared into IMC from the very beginning of their training (flying untrained into IMC is one of the most perilous situations for any pilot), and, because of this, it is also a necessary part of Instrument training. 

I’d flown in the clouds on a few other occasions, but we always kept the maneuvers basic—track a radial, gentle climbs and descents, etc. This time I would be taking on some of the most precise flying I’m asked to do (approaches, holds, etc.) and putting them in the clouds. Also, just in case I wasn’t making things difficult enough, I’d decided to take one of the PA-28s that doesn’t have a GPS. Lately, I’ve discovered I have a tendency to rely on my Garmin 530; it’s a beautiful piece of equipment, but I’ve always prided myself on my ability to navigate without a GPS. However, I have fallen into the trap of becoming a “magenta line pilot” simply because it is so easy. When I’m feeling overloaded briefing approaches, finding my holding fix, running the 5T’s, and communicating—I can just look over at the magenta line and know how to get back on course. That said, just because something is easy that doesn’t mean that’s how it should be done. So, I’ve spent the last several weeks refusing to use it for anything other than an RNAV approach. When I went up in the clouds it was another attempt in forcing myself to use all the other navigational aids at my disposal, and it was beautiful. 

I didn’t necessarily fly as well as I would have liked, and there’s definitely some room for improvement, but I didn’t miss my GPS. I’ve tried to attach a video from one of my approaches—an ILS into Dover AFB. One of my favorite things about flying an approach to Dover is the low minimums (200 ft)! The downside: you can only land if you fly an approved airplane—otherwise you have to go missed. I was flying in an airplane from a different flying school, so I hit 200 ft and went missed. You can see that I sit left of course, and I don’t do too much to fix it (one of the things I need to work on). You can also see the ceiling is about 700 ft (although I prided myself on not searching for the field until I hit minimums). I shot this particular ILS twice, and then I flew a VOR approach back home. On the whole, it was a fantastic experience. I really can’t wait to log some more actual time—I think I might be the only pilot at the flight school hoping for “bad” weather! 

A few more updates: Two weeks of my aviation summer camp are done! I’ve only had a handful of girls (3 to be exact), but I think the boys are really benefiting from seeing a female both as their camp leader and as a pilot. It takes them a few days to figure out I really do know what I’m doing, but the looks on their faces make it worthwhile. I know I’m having a great time encouraging all these kids to keep working towards becoming pilots (or getting active in aviation). I absolutely love being able to pay it forward. 

Lastly, I’m in the last phase of my Instrument training! I have two cross countries, an end of course check, and then it’s my checkride! I can’t believe I’m almost at the end already; however, it’s been an absolutely beautiful summer full of flying.