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Category: Courtney Taylor
My name is Courtney Taylor and I am a Canadian aviation enthusiast as well as a musician. I was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick but grew up most of my life in a small city in northern Manitoba called Thompson. Being introduced into music and aviation from a young age my passions for both have only grown stronger with time. My father is a pilot and likes to jam on his bass while my mother loves to sing, and play piano and guitar. I have played clarinet since I was 9 years old and at 17 I am still in love with it. When I did a flying lesson for my 16th birthday, it made me realize that aviation is a passion of mine that will never fade!
Well Ladies and gents, the day has come. I flew solo for the very first time on the 27th of September 2017. I am so proud of myself because this is something I never ever thought I would have the courage to do but here I am.
This is completely and utterly all thanks to FMA Solo Program and all of its sponsors! I couldn’t be more thankful for everybody involved in my journey to becoming a pilot.
The person I need to mention is my former band teacher Mr. Lewis. I’m not sure if you read these posts Mr. Lewis but regardless, I need to address the fact that you are the sole reason I knew of this scholarship and, therefore, a huge part of the reason I could pursue my dream. Thank you for believing in me and helping me obtain the scholarship. I will never forget all that you have done for me.
Now that my thank you’s are addressed, I’ll tell all about my first Solo!
To be completely honest, it wasn’t eventful at all. Nothing scary happened, nor was there a lot of traffic in the circuit but nonetheless it was exhilarating! The feeling of being free in the open blue sky, making your own decisions and being completely alone in your trusty plane is utterly fascinating to me.
To break it down, I first started off a normal flight with my instructor doing regular circuits one morning. We did about four or five when suddenly he orders a full stop. I was confused because we had only flown about a half hour. As we were taxiing back to the school he says “ready to Solo??” My. Heart. Stopped. I told him a shy “umm.. I dunno…” and he told me straight up “you’re ready. I don’t want to wait any longer.” about 10 minutes later I’m sitting at the runway 18 hold short line thinking to myself “what in blue blazes am I about to do?” I made the call to tower and was cleared for takeoff and soon enough I’m climbing through the sky laughing to myself. I didn’t stop smiling the entire time. I did one circuit, landed then taxied to the school. St. Andrews Tower congratulated me on my first solo and I felt even more happy!
So, there’s my story. my first ever solo. I have flown solo twice since then and I’m definitely more comfortable with it now. I will continue to blog my progress towards my license. Once again, thank you so much to all FMA members and every single sponsor, I am so grateful for everybody in support of myself and the other three scholarship winners!
**Videos were taken in calm wind conditions only when safe to do so**
Thought I’d create a post to fill you all in on my first few lessons. I have been flying every morning for about 2 weeks now and I have come a long way since these lessons.
The first few lessons were definitely the most challenging. learning everything from stalls, spins, and spiral dives to climbing, descending, and endurance. A wide variety of topics with something new every flight!
My second lesson was an eventful one that’s for dang sure. There had been weather rolling in but our practice area is only a couple miles from the airport so we decided to fly for a bit anyway. we had a great lesson and we decided to head back before the weather caught us. well, had we left any later than we did, we definitely would have been in a pile of trouble. We safely landed but as we were taxiing to our apron, it started POURING rain and extremely high winds. We were very lucky to have touched down before then.
On my third flight my instructor started handing me the control of the radio calls to Ground and Tower as well as to the Practice Area Traffic. it was daunting at first but the guys in the tower are very accustomed to having new students on the radio so even if you mess up, it’s not the end of the world.
Speaking of the Air Traffic Controllers, my instructor, Dane, brought me up to the tower to meet the guys over the weekend. It is definitely nice to put faces to voices and to know who you’re talking to. The technology is astonishing up there!
So, currently, I am on my second day in the circuit. Practicing landings and take offs. I will post more in depth about my circuit experience so far in a separate blog post tomorrow. I need to get back to studying for my PSTAR exam!
I am FINALLY flying!! So excited and very happy. I have delayed in posting for about a week because I have moved in and been coping with living by myself for the first time. I am currently living in a trailer style house with a couple other students right at my school! it’s so awesome o just be able to walk out my front door in the morning and head out for a flight.
Speaking of flights, my first one was on September 2nd and it went extremely well. I have flown almost every day since but over the course of a few days I will write separate posts about some of the lessons.
So, the first lesson went amazingly well. it was mostly familiarization with how things work at the school and how they get things done. My instructor is amazing, very patient and an extremely good teacher. The first day was really scary but I have been slowly making acquaintances.
To keep the semi-short, I will be sure to write another post tomorrow about my first couple lessons. Until then, Safe skies and happy flying!!
As some of you may know, I live in a small, very secluded town where the nearest flight school is an 8 hour drive away. Well, I have just visited them to make arrangements for my accommodations and get more of a feel for the school. I have been there before when I took part in a Discovery Flight, but I didn’t get a full tour of the school.
Harv’s Air Service is a small, family owned school at a controlled airport. it’s a small airport but has a lot of traffic, especially student aircraft. At the school, there is a small dormitory and two trailer style houses for accommodations for their students. I will have the opportunity to live right at the airport! One of the houses actually leads right to the tarmac. It will be scary living on my own, but I am super excited to be out and a full time student!
I will likely be flying twice a day for an hour each 5 to 6 days a week (if weather permits). When I’m not flying, I will be studying. I have been studying my From the Ground Up book and will be starting online ground school straight away provided by Harv’s Air. I aim to be as prepared as possible in September when I move in and start flying!
Anyways, I thought I’d check in and tell all about my school and how my experience will be a little different than the other SOLO winners due to my location. I will check in on my first day of flying, until then, happy skies and safe flying everyone!
So far this summer has consisted of 0 flying. Unlike the others, I will be starting my flight training in the fall but I have been keeping busy in other ways. We are currently renovating our house so I have had to do a lot of that but I also have three horses that need tons of attention! I am doing my flight training in a city that is 739 kilometers (459 miles for all you Americans) away from my home so I am trying to spend as much time with my horses as possible!
Soon I will be starting my flight training which is super exciting but in the mean time I will be keeping myself even more busy with the Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course that way I will be more than prepared for ground school!
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!