Jazz Concert & More

Had a great time this week at the NJW Jazz Camp which concluded today with ensemble performances.  Our ensemble’s instructor was Roy Agee, a fantastic trombone player from Nashville who has toured with many greats, including Prince!

I was also excited to receive an email from Jay Mason an FMA member, fellow Bari player, and member of Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band. He was in Prague when he reached out. I am a huge fan of the Phat Band.  If you have never heard them play, you should check them out. Very cool.

I started the Sporty’s online course this week and hope to start my lessons at Murfreesboro Aviation after the holiday.  I also start taking a summer college class at MTSU on July 10.

Happy 4th everybody!

Nashville Jazz Workshop & Help Needed

This week I switched gears from flying to playing. I’m playing bari sax at the NJW Jazz Camp at Vanderbilt Blair School of Music. We are learning about different jazz forms and chord structures and learning several new head charts, which we will perform Friday night. I also made contact with with Blake Tumbleson at Murfreesboro Aviation to thank him for their support of FMA and the generous donation of flight training time.  I plan to start next week. I’m really looking forward to it.

Also, Aaron, William, Courtney and I have decided to come up with a song we can all learn and record via YouTube and in person if we have a chance to meet in person one day.  We welcome any suggestions for violin or electric violin, clarinet, sax, and guitar or trumpet.





Dual Instruction Continues!

Hi All,

Here is a picture of the Skyhawk I am learning in, and of course, my ugly self blocking the view 😉 I’m LOVING this FMA bag for all my dual instruction stuff! Real handy! 🙂 I also have been wearing the AOPA pilot in command shirt for every lesson. My goal to maybe subliminally force an idea into my instructors head, but more realistically to jokingly nag him for every lesson 🙂 One day, that tail will be cut loose!

I completed my second lesson in the air yesterday, and it went very well! I’m trying my best to absorb everything he throws at me like a sponge. There is indeed a lot coming at me in a short period of time, so I think I am going to start writing down what he is throwing at me after the lessons in hopes that I don’t forget all the little things. Well, we tried to get up in the air on Tuesday, but Mother Nature said no in the form of a vast black wall to the North East that would swallow up and laugh at a little 172… We ended up doing a burning lap down the runway and aborting the takeoff. He still managed to make it eventful, however, by announcing the child on the runway (simulation of course).

Well, I shared that scenario because it played a roll in a miscommunication in the next lesson with my instructor. So, thursday comes, and I rush home from the airport all dirty from working, shower, change clothes, grab a pb+j and my flight bag and head right back to start the preflight. I get done with that, and we then proceed with a half an hour lecture on longitudinal static stability. After that, we taxi out to the threshold, run up, and announce our take off. He tells me to pull out and center and stop, which I do. He then gives me the IFR goggles to put on, “take off with nothing but my voice and instruments. The key is your heading  and airspeed indicators” I quickly tune the heading indicator, and let it sink in that I am literally flying blind! The only part that freaked me out was seeing the millimeter gap between the goggle’s barrier and cockpit, which displayed part of the runway rushing by. He kept saying, “MORE RIGHT RUDDER! YOU’RE DRIFTING! MORE! MORE!” I stuck with my heading indicator and was waiting until at least 65 knots to try and lift off.

Now keep in mind here that my mind is rushing, so don’t judge 😉 At about 62 he says in a seemingly disappointed tone, “alright pull back come on.” Now, with that last scene of a child on the runway still fresh in my mind (don’t worry, there was not actually a kid), I quickly reacted by grabbing the throttle, pulling back to idle, and hitting the brakes to come to a stop and abort the takeoff. Once I crossed the threshold, he asked, “why did we abort the takeoff?” I responded at first with maybe I wasn’t centered enough. He said, “not centered? When you pulled the throttle back you were in the dead center!” Suprised and clueless, I asked why he did call me off then. “I didn’t! I mean pull back to lift off.”

Hehe… instantly I turned red and felt a little stupid 🙂 He acknowledged and appreciated the fact that I wasn’t indecisive and did exactly what I thought he meant, and did it right. However, I still felt a little idiotic for misunderstanding something as simple as pull back…

Anyway, besides that hiccup it went great! We taxied back and I got a redemption on the goggled takeoff, which went great the second time. We did about a half hour of goggled flying, then we did disoriented corrections, in which I would close my eyes and look down while he angled the play in a strange manner. He would then say Go, and I would take the controls and reconfigure the airplane in a smooth manner. We also did slow flight, and demonstrated longitudinal static stability while in the air, and the effects of it.

He made my heart pump again by pulling the throttle back, and not letting me touch it. I asked if this is an engine out simulation. His only response I could get is “if it was an engine out, who is going to tell you that?” I then continued with the steps on an engine failure, announcing them out loud so he knew I knew what to do. That went very well, since luckily a beautiful hay field was practically laying on our laps, and I studied the emergency procedures very carefully since I knew it would come eventually in the dual instruction, however sooner than I thought. We also ended the day with two landings.




First Dual Instruction Hour


Hi All,

I survived my first hour of dual instruction! It was a bit more nerve racking than I anticipated. I have had past experience flying the airplane from the right seat with family members, growing up with a family chuckfulla aviators. The cockpit is a familiar environment for me. People often are confused in the cockpit at first from all the stimuli whirling around you and cramming through all your senses. That wasn’t what was so nerve racking to me, since I understood what was going  on, and it was just the usual. What made me so fidgety was the fact that I am going through a more intense version of drivers training again. We all remember the first time taking the reigns of a car for the first time, whether it be at 15 or at 6 years of age 😉 and the nerves that come with it, especially when there is somebody next to you correcting your bad technique, which there were plenty of at the time. You all know a version of the feeling that somebody is watching for errors, and how it makes you second guess everything. For example, when he says set your heading to 270, I suddenly can’t find the  hiding in plain sight heading indicator. By the end of the hour I was perfectly fine however (composure wise).

My instructor is a very friendly, and what you might call, an ol’ timer, which I respect him for. I noticed very quickly that he has a fantastic reservoir of knowledge that he is more than willing to share, especially if you ask 😉

Unfortunately, we were dodging storms, so I didn’t have time to take a nice cheesy picture of my first dual instruction with an excessive, perhaps overexcited grin… Instead, I posted a picture with my slick new FMA shirt, which makes up for my ugly face 😉 next to my newly built 1/2 Volkswagen Ultralight engine. I know, unrelated, but I had to share it since I spent the last year building it from scratch, and tend to be quite a bit proud of the ol’ girl. If you are wondering, “what do you mean 1/2?!” Just look it up, it is half of a 4 cylinder (now 2) aircooled volkswagen engine converted for ultralight aircraft. It will be running soon, so if anyone would like to see a video of that, I suppose I can figure out how to post that somehow…

MTSU Aviation Camp – Isaac Hill

I look forward to starting my flight training at Murfreesboro Aviation soon, but before I do, I am attending Aviation Camp at Middle Tennessee State University. Yesterday, was my first day and I met three marching band students from two high schools.  Today we will try out MTSU’s 360 degree air traffic control simulator and begin designing and building an airplane out of balsa wood. Tomorrow, we fly!  I will be sure to tell everyone about the FMA.

Sponsor Swag


Hello all,

Now that my blog is up and running, I can finally say my thank you’s to all the sponsors of the 2017 FMA Solo Program! A couple weeks ago, I knew right away it was sponsor swag when I saw the mail man come up to my house with a big ol’ box. I was so excited that I just had to take this picture right away! I am so happy to represent all of these amazing companies and the Flying Musicians Association in my journey to my solo and further!  It is such an honor to have been chosen as a winner for the Program, let alone be the first international winner, and I am so blessed to have already been shown such great support in this community of aviation and music lovers. I look forward to helping spread the name of FMA across Canada!

Thank you again to all sponsors and everyone involved in the FMA Solo Program!