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 simulating a child on the runway, freaking out and yelling “child on the runway! You are gonna hit him!”

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.




So Close!

I am so close to being ready to solo- I can feel it! However, the wind just won’t let up! In recent lessons, my instructor and I have fought strong winds on landings and cross-country flights. Landing with a cross wind has been a big struggle for me since I tend to overthink landings. Although, in my most recent lesson, the winds were very calm and I was able to make a few good landings by myself! Next lesson, my instructor an I will start working on stalls in take-off and in the pattern as well as soft field and short field landings.

Over the holidays, the Tullahoma band and I performed our annual Christmas concert, below there is a link to check it out! This semester, the band and I are very excitingly working to prepare for our upcoming performance on the USS Arizona Memorial in Hawaii. I hope everyone has a great New Year!

Busy Fall Break

This year, I did not get a Fall Break. Last week, the Beechcraft Heritage Museum hosted its annual Beech Party Fly-In here at the Tullahoma Regional Airport. It was amazing! As a lineman at Tullahoma Airport, I was able to fuel and interact with many different types of planes and pilots from across the country. Some of my favorite planes that came in were the Staggerwings, B-18, and the Starship 2000.

The week before, The Tullahoma High School Band marched in the Oneonta Covered Bridge Marching Contest. My band was given the highest marks in categories such as color guard, percussion, band, and my favorite, Field Commander. The band also took home best field commander and band at the competition. I could not be more proud of my band’s performance; it was an amazing way to finish the 2016 marching season and my marching experience with the band. img_9637img_9696img_9693img_9710


Ground Training with Sporty’s

Hello again,
With the beginning of school and the start of the marching band season, it has been extremely hard for Chris, my instructor, and I to find a time to fly. However, with the time out of the plane, I have had ample time to use the Sporty’s Learn to Fly course. One thing I really like about Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course is how easy it is to carry what you learn online to your experience in the plane. The videos are very easy to understand and work very well for me specifically since they introduce new topics slowly and thoroughly without leaving room for confusion. I am excited to fly again soon, and use the information that I have learned on the Learn to Fly Course in the air!

My First Hours

Hello again,

Recently, I have completed a few of my first lessons on my way to completing my solo and receiving my privet pilot rating. So far, my instructor, Chris Pickerell, and I have gone over some basic flight maneuvers to introduce me to the air plane and to get accustomed to flying. I am flying in a Piper-28-140, Piper Cherokee (pictured below). The Cherokee is very easy to learn-on and maneuver which allows for a sigh of relief for me. My first few hours in the air have ignited my love for aviation further. I have watched videos, studied, and talked with other pilots about flying, but nothing compares to actually being in the plane and learning hands-on. I cannot wait to continue my training and to become a better pilot. Piper Cherokee N1865T IMG_8793

Ready To Begin!


I am very excited to announce that this Saturday I will begin my flight training with my instructor, Chris Pickerell! After finalizing details on Monday, Mr. Pickerell and I are ready to begin the extensive journey for me to get my privet pilot rating. Since my Summer has been very busy, all my nerves and excitement about getting my privet rating have somewhat taken a back seat, but not anymore. I cannot wait to begin flying!

I’d like to thank all the sponsors who have donated their money and their resources to help me, and others, learn to fly. I would like to thank Sporty’s pilot shop for donating their Learn To Fly online ground school course. This course has already taught me so much, even before my first lesson! This course is easy to use, and extensively covers the topics needed to learn to fly. Additionally, I would like to thank My GoFlight for sending me an amazing, customized flight bag that I will use for years to come. Again I would like to thank everyone and every business that has contributed to make this scholarship possible. Because of these donations and the help from FMA,  I am able to pursue my dreams which I never thought possible.

Excited for next marching season and to begin lessons!


It has been awhile since I have last talked to you all, so let me catch you up on everything that has happened.

On May 15, I and the Tullahoma Band performed our second annual “Pops Concert.” The concert consisted of popular marches and one very recognizable piece that us band nerds can truly appreciate. Undeniably, the crowd favorite was “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” And as a horn player, it was my favorite too. After our concert, the band immediately shifted to preparing for the fall marching season. This consisted of cleaning the dust off of marching horns, and selecting individuals to be apart of “Leadership.” The Tullahoma Band has a unique leadership system which starts with acting as a role model and spans to teaching and instructing your section (instrument family). This gives the upperclassmen a majority of the responsibility for teaching and instructing the band’s new members, and gives the underclassmen the chance to learn, observe, and help the band in any way possible. This year I have the amazing opportunity to be both the band’s main Field Commander and Band Captain. As Band Captain, I am excited to start the next marching season, and working with all the band’s members.

I have recently talked to my flight instructor, Chris Pickerell, and I will begin flight lessons soon!