Back in the Air, Back to School, and College Applications!

I was back in the air on Monday at Murfreesboro Aviation!  My instructor, Tanner Quigley, and I flew from MBT to SYI (Shelbyville), where I practiced touch & go’s.  It’s really cool to fly over all the places you drive on a daily basis.  I’ve learned a lot about driving in Murfreesboro just by flying over it and better understanding the layout of the city and the major landmarks. I also completed the IACRA registration so I can get my student pilot certificate.  I have another lesson today at 1:00 p.m. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I am also back in school – 2 schools in fact!  On Friday, I started my Senior year of High School at Eagleville.  I’m taking 2 classes at EHS: choir and band.  The rest of my courses will be at Middle Tennessee State University where I am a dual enrollment college student.  At MTSU, I’m taking Calculus, English, and Intro to Aerospace.

It’s also time to apply to college!  I’ve been working on my applications and college essays. I’m looking at aerospace engineering programs at the University of Tennessee, University of Alabama, University of Alabama Huntsville, Georgia Tech, and University of Colorado Boulder.

With marching band, mid-state choir auditions, high school courses, colleges courses, ACT prep, flying lessons, and college applications, I have a very busy fall ahead!


Ground school today

Back at Murfreesboro Aviation today for ground school training with Tanner Quigley.  It was great to be back after a break for band camp and a summer class at MTSU.

Today, we covered weight and balance, center of gravity, different engine types, and engine components. I found the different fuel delivery systems very interesting.  My next scheduled lesson is Saturday.  More later!


Ultralight build: 1/2 VW progress

Well here is that video of the ultralight engine I built that I promised to show a long time ago… My pride took over and I did some tuning before I posted a video of my work to the world, and ended up tearing the head and cylinder off the left side to chase down an oil leak, which is why it took so long… As of right now, she has about 2 hours on her, is bone dry (although I didn’t risk getting doused again and ruining clothes by wearing all black 🙂 ), and runs great! The idle could still use some work as I was focusing on tuning the top end. If you notice in the video, its pulling the test stand across the ground a little with me on the back! And yes, that is a snowmobile oil reservoir luxuriously ratchet strapped to the top for a gas tank and custom fitted for a gas line, the fitting and idea courtesy of my instructor and boss. AND YES! I know it rotates ‘the wrong way’! Blame the disoriented Germans for that 😉

Starting to Come Together

Hello everyone,

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!


Vacation minus peace and quiet (Oshkosh)

If your idea of vacation is out in the wilderness where there is no pavement, and no sounds to dampen the calls of the birds, count me in! However, as lovely as that sounds, I would strongly urge you NOT to come along to my recent vacation if that is what you are seeking… aaaaannnnddd for those of you who have experienced Airventure know exactly what I mean. And for those that haven’t? Well…. one high decibel Oskhosh day in the future, you will think back to this life changing post you read a long while back and that cobweb covered light bulb will come on 😉

Well, let me tell you, it was a strange feeling to not have to work, fly, wake up early, or rush anywhere for an entire week! A fairly large sum of my family and friends camped under the wing at Oshkosh last week. It was a great time, and I learned a lot of things during the week.

I participated in the EAA airventure band, and we had a great time as usual! On that note, the EAA band is very impressive considering the circumstances. First off, they are all flying musicians, whether part of the association or not 😉 Second, none of us are professional musicians (at least none that I met, so don’t quote me on that 😉 ), which means that odds are that most people in the band don’t have the luxury to practice everyday. That considered, it is extremely impressive what the EAA band accomplishes in a few hours of noisy and distracted via airplane rehearsal!

I also slipped into the Open mic night the FMA put on in the ultralight section. That was a good time, and I think went very well! I got to meet a few people from the FMA, and really enjoyed talking to them!

If you are wondering about my progress on flying, I haven’t flown since Oshkosh. My schedule was chuck full earlier this week, and weather is marginal for the next few days, so I am a bit uncertain to when I will be flying again. Soon, I am sure, in which I will keep ya’ll updated when the Man Upstairs gives the homesick angel a window 😉

More to come,


Been Keepin’ Busy

My goodness have I had my hands full this summer!

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!

One of my three horses. Her name is Jesse!

Courtney Taylor


Fifth Lesson

Unfortunately during our lesson time on July 24th, a cold front was passing through Lock Haven. I preflighted the plane, but as I was doing so, the wind was gusting wildly in different directions, I was seeing storms in every direction, and the ceiling and conditions were definitely not good enough to practice stalls as we had planned.

So, we did more ground instruction on weather, as it was appropriate for the situation, and then we went over the operating specs of the Rotax 912 engine. I actually did not know that much about engines, so learning about my engine was a lot of information to take in. I also learned a lot about how the operating fluids work, and now I actually know what “10 W 40” means on my car’s engine oil.

After we finished ground instruction, we looked outside and at the weather history and realized that shortly after we decided not to fly, the weather had totally cleared up, and we could have done our planned flight lesson, but we concluded that it was in fact worth the ground instruction and practicing prudence in weather decision making.

Fourth Lesson

After beginning to recover, I felt well enough to fly at the end of the week. I was still feeling a little bit under the weather, but I felt as though I could handle it, and I had the added security of having a CFI in the right seat, so I was all good to fly.

We started with some ground instruction, going over all of the different climb rates and some navigation and communication procedures.

When we got up into the air, we practiced the climb rates that we had previously discussed, with an emphasis on memorizing the sight pictures. My instructor really emphasizes not relying on the instruments to fly, which is certainly different from how I first learned when I actually could not see over the instrument panel.

When we entered the pattern, we had a twin Cessna behind us, so we had to do a tight pattern, as we were in a light sport aircraft traveling much slower than the Cessna. Even so, we just got clear of the runway in time.

From Flying to Marching

The last two weeks have been dedicated to marching band camp.  Everyone has been working hard and I can’t wait to put our show on the field.  I’ll be back in the air next week at Murfreesboro Aviation to continue my lessons.

Tomorrow morning I plan to join FMA Ambassador Gary Piper at the EAA  Chapter 863 Saturday breakfast in Lebanon, TN.  I’m looking forward to it!

Have a great weekend!