Sunday, June 01, 2014

An update from Ema, An Advanced Rating Scholarship Winner!

This is the first journal entry provided to us by Ema Marter, 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. Ema's application essay is published here.

Winning the advanced training scholarship has been such an honor! I won it just in time for the cross-country phase of my flight training, the third (and last) stage in the syllabus my flight school uses, and the one with much lengthier (i.e. more expensive!) flights. The objective is to introduce me to cross-country procedures specific to IFR, and to increase my proficiency to the level required for the upcoming check ride (according to the FAA’s practical test standards). 
Before I started the instrument segment of training, many aviators warned me that it would be the hardest. Very experienced pilots admitted that they had the toughest time with instrument; meanwhile they are now flying G650s and other large jets. Fellow students mentioned that there were days they did not want to go to the airport, and these were people just like me. Naturally, I was a little apprehensive at first. 

Stage one taught me how to control the airplane by instrument reference only (instrument cross-check, instrument interpretation, and aircraft control), many times with partial panel. We also utilized VOR, GPS, and localizer navigation. Stage two introduced holding patterns and instrument approaches. This is when things became frustrating; there is a lot going on during the approach phase of flight! What I began to realize though, is that it is all very doable. Do not be discouraged by others! 
Soon I will be taking the instrument written test. My college classes have already ended, but here I am studying and taking practice tests! I have become very familiar with the test’s figure booklet, ensuring that I am able to interpret each one. 

While my head has been in a book the past few weeks, I did go out for fun recently! There was an airshow over Jones Beach on Memorial Day weekend, which I was happy to drive down to (even if flying would’ve been better!) with a fellow member of the Hudson Valley Aviation Club. We watched the U.S. Army’s parachute team, the Golden Knights. We saw a V-22 Osprey! The “Screamin’ Sasquatch,” a jet-powered aerobatic biplane, was probably the biggest surprise of the day. That thing was loud! I also experienced the Blue Angels for the first time, which was more impressive than I even imagined. “Fat Albert,” their C-130, was big and beautiful; the only disappointment was that it didn’t perform its Jet Assisted Take Off (JATO). 

Essays about flight training from the other awardees will be published here as they are received

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