Friday, August 05, 2016


POSITION: CRQ
331' MSL

Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.

-Rumi
 

Saturday, June 18, 2016



Who are you? Night of the seas, tell me
                     whether your heights of hair cover
all solitude, whether it is infinite
this space of blood and prairies.


Tell me who you are, full of boats,
full of moons the wind crushes,
mistress of all metals, rose
of the depths, rose drenched
by the harsh weather of naked love.


Earth’s tunic, green statue,
grant me a wave like a bell,
grant me a wave of furious orange blossom,
the crowd of bonfires, the boats
of the sky’s capital, the water where I sail
the crowds of celestial fire. I want one
moment of expansiveness, and more than
all dreams, your remoteness:
all the purples you measure, your grave
pensive, constellated system:
all your hair touched
by darkness, and the dawn you prepare.


I want to contain your simultaneous brow,
unfurling it within me, to be born
on all your shores, to go now
with all the secrets breathed,
with your shadow lines kept safe
in me like blood or flags,
carrying these secret measures
to the sea of every day, to the battles
in every gateway – loves and threats –
that live slumbering.



But then

I will enter the city with as many eyes
as you, and I will bear the garment
with which you invested me, and may I be moved
to the furthest reaches of measureless water:
by purity and rage against every deathliness,
remoteness that cannot be exhausted, music
for those who slumber and those who wake.


P. Neruda

Sunday, March 13, 2016


Entangled, butterflies in my stomach...
Surely this has been my lover all along... 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


POSITION: CRQ 331' MSL

"You can see the kind of trap I'm caught in. I can't do the simplest work at the airport (oh, port of the air, haven of the little arks that sail the skies), I can't just step into the airplane and start the darn engine without all the world roaring out in great golden glory-streaks and trumpets sounding in the heavens...




...and angels flapping around the clouds and singing Alleluia in chorus twenty-thousand strong, man-angels with low voices and woman-angels with high voices and all so grand and magnificent that there are tears in my eyes and I'm all melted in joy and praise for the Mind of the universe and I haven't even touched the starter yet."


- Richard Bach

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tango Bravo Tango.

Last summer 2014 I was in Normandy, France for the 70th anniversary of D-Day. It's not every day you see bombers flying over at 500 ft!



POSITION: Sword Beach




mhm, I was the super obnoxious American with the go pro selfie stick. ;)


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Vulnerability For Real (VFR).



I have always struggled with vulnerability. I used to be ashamed of showing 'weakness' and would keep others at a distance so I wouldn't risk being exposed. I do not like being vulnerable. Why? Because, as a pilot, I like control. No, no, I don't just like it - I love it. I like to feel secure, and vulnerability? Hit the victor airways; you are not messing this one up for me.

When you're vulnerable, you're essentially giving away the most sacred thing - your heart. You put yourself in a position of being hurt and people hurt people, hence why I was so quick to make the choice that vulnerability was not for me and can stay as far off my radar as long as it possibly can. My strength defined me. But the truth, is that strength is not at combat with vulnerability in any way. In my rush to not be vulnerable, I have lived in fear. I have denied myself as a human and the basic thing that makes me human - the capability of love. I thought vulnerability was the weaker position. When actually, it is the stronger. When you throw your heart, the inner most parts of you - the good and the bad, and you give it away, you leave the option with someone else to either keep or break it - there is no truer strength.

I may get hurt again, I may face brokenness again, but I'm not sure if my heart is any better off. Loving anything comes with hurt, but my attempt to not let anyone else get close to me has left me with a different kind of pain and weakness - sprinkled with "what-ifs" and regret. The more I try to shut out vulnerability, the more I shut off my other capabilities. You cannot selectively numb bad emotions or vulnerability, and as you do, you unknowingly numb everything else - even all the good. And this is how shells are made. Vulnerability is not comfortable, it's not excruciating, but it is necessary. Tasting the salt from your tears is vital.

It's a shame that society is so quick to ingrain in our minds that vulnerability is WEAK. And I understand how easy it is to believe that, because no one likes uncertainty. But let me tell you, doubt de-salts you. It brings loneliness and still brings pain. But unlike the soldier that society is trying to make you into, you have to take off your armor. You have to be willing to be slain. And that - is where your greatest strength will come from.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

"Ask me and I will show you remarkable secrets..." (Jer 3. 33)

1500' MSL over So Cal in hazy weather

Notice that this verse says "show." Not tell. But show. Aviation, my greatest weakness, has revealed to me some of those secrets that lie in places many do not find. True solidarity, true freedom and true satisfaction.  

Can you say your thirst is truly quenched? Many wander from room to room hunting for the diamond necklace that is already around their necks (Rumi knows it best). We feel our souls longing, but for what? A better job, a better house, a better relationship, a better - anything? As humans, we all worship something, naturally. Money, titles, love, even others. So why don't these things satisfy? It's all around us - "you have to be this type of person, you need to say these types of things, you need, you need, you need." But is that really what we want? 


Why is it that we constantly look to feed our bodies, every single day, but to our souls we tell to "standby"? (the pilot in me.) Can we truly say that physical desires satisfy the soul? 

Like musk deer, society runs through the endless maze of sense objects - building, earning, spending, acquiring, losing, wasting and striving for more to only end up exhausted. It dries up from its own exhaustion, without getting the joy and satisfaction it is seeking.  I was once told that without internal clarity, no outside source can prove itself to be a fitting substitute. But it wasn't until I realized it for myself that I knew this to be true. Time is not worth wasting.

 Every now and then, maybe more than you'd like, you feel a throbbing in your soul; bees buzzing around your heart; a whisper. If you should ever listen to something, it is this. The part of you that is apart from your skin and bones. The core of you. The more you fight its call, the more you cover it up - the more your body will fight you back. And, tell me, what are you left with? 

But when you do respond and you let it have you, don't be startled if you begin to hear music you've never heard and you learn to waltz as never before. It's your choice to make, but know this: many have died a hundred times trying to ignore it. 

It's hard to bear looking outside with my wing in frame and not wonder who is the true lover and laborer of my soul. By biting into a sunbeam, I have tasted and seen the sweetest of loves. And it's quite delicious.

What feeds you? 
 

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Blessed.

Position: CRQ
331 ft MSL

“We swung over the hills and over the town and back again, and I saw how a man can be master of a craft, and how a craft can be master of an element. I saw the alchemy of perspective reduce my world, and all my other life, to grains in a cup. I learned to watch, to put my trust in other hands than mine. And I learned to wander. I learned what every dreaming child needs to know - that no horizon is so far that you cannot get above it or beyond it.”

Monday, September 21, 2015

Vectors to CRQ.

It certainly feels amazing flying back at CRQ again! I'm due for my biennial flight review this week. Have you seen the new FAR/AIM? Let's just say I'm like a little girl in a candy store - and with a FAR/AIM? Who would've thought. Anyway! I'm getting back onto my blog - I'll try to post once a week from now on. I'm finishing up my Senior year at Embry-Riddle and I'll be graduating with a degree in Homeland Security, minors in Terrorism Studies and International Relations. I'll be posting more of my flight experiences from now on. I could use being busy as an excuse, but not anymore. I'm getting back to my roots.

I've been off social media for a year due to privacy concerns (except Twitter), but I can still be contacted through my blog, email and phone so don't be shy - and for all San Diego pilots out there, I'm looking for someone to split some time with and do some fun flying! By the way, who's going to the MCAS Miramar Air Show next weekend?
I'll be there!


As I'm finishing up school, I'm on the hunt for an internship. It needs to be within the realm of security and even though I know where I want to be, God has His plan for right now. The search continues.

College has been such an incredible experience, and I can't believe I'm already a senior. It seems like yesterday I was just getting my pilot's license my senior year in high school. Can you believe it's been 4 years? And now I'm 21 on the brink of graduating and starting the journey toward the career of my dreams. If I could tell you one thing about this ride, it's the quote below:

 
I loved this quote so much I had to make it into a photo and the airplane is so suiting. I feel like nowadays with such a fast-paced society and desire to have everything instant (cough *insta*gram) is making people give themselves to half-hearted things. People don't really want to grow or invest in anything that lasts anymore - and this can be in friendships, jobs, relationships, endeavors, etc. because they're afraid of being hurt or they don't want to put the work in. It tells you a lot about how people value their time. Life's so fragile and the storms come, but if you spend your time investing in half-hearts, you're going to watch the sand underneath you be swept away by the waves. I don't know about you, but I'm done building sandcastles. If flying has taught me anything (as if it hasn't enough) it's that it is vital to give myself wholeheartedly to my passions; to have no intentions of loving anything by halves. It's time to build on solid foundation. And if you could make that into an investment, I'm sold.

Blue Skies 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Secrets to Staying #ERAUFit: How to Stay on TOP of Your College Life.

ERAUfit2
"Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do." - Rumi
POSITION: ERAU
When I first came to college, there were a ton of various activities going on. Freshman year was so exciting yet so overwhelming because I was so thrilled about classes, flight, events, joining clubs & organizations, you name it! It wasn’t actually until my sophomore year until I realized things were buckling down; I had to prioritize. So what is the first step toward college success? Confidence. You can’t expect to succeed if you aren’t feeling determined!
TIME Magazine asked several students on what their secrets were to success in college- it’s probably not what you’d think! Leading off the confidence note, college is here to inspire you, to nurture you and to grow you. It’s up to you on determining your college experience. Let that soak in!
In that case, it’s important to pursue passion, not A’s. Wherever your passion takes you, you’re sure to succeed. If you go into a class with the wrong mindset, it can truthfully determine your success in that class. Ambition and innovation secede grades every time. Go into a class with curiosity, interest and attraction- not just a simple willpower to pass or make a good test grade. There is no substitute for the joy of doing something you enjoy and doing it well.
Get comfortable with failing. Sometimes, you’re going to have a bad test score, that’s ok. Actually, sometimes failing can be the best educator. You learn from mistakes and move on.
Set goals and make them real. If you really want to manage your time wisely, set realistic short term and long term goals, and give them a deadline. This will motivate you to work toward your goals without excuses. It will also help you develop a crystalized vision.
Make a personal connection to your studies. Leading off the growth aspect, it’s important to view your studies as something that is going to benefit and cultivate you as a young professional. College is a time to develop into you and who you want to be. Learning is about you. If you look at it this way, you’ll be sure to work harder and gain much more than just facts and concrete information; you’ll be able to see things in other perspectives and all different types of angles and be able to apply it to your everyday life.
Be active. This doesn’t mean just physically, but mentally as well. It’s important to indulge yourself in all the facilities and amenities your college offers such as a physical fitness center, tutor labs, study groups, clubs & organizations, etc. Expand your web network through Alumni associations (www.ERAUAlumni.org) or clubs on campus. Utilize tutor labs when you are unsure of a topic in class. Stay active at the fitness center (http://bit.ly/1sjI1UY) or join an intermural team and choose healthy options in the dining areas (www.eraudining.com). I couldn't stress enough how much this flourishes you in your college career!
Find a way to contribute. Whether it be through an eco-club, a job, or even helping out a fellow classmate, find a way to give back to your university. Not only does this help you get out of your comfort zone, but it allows you appreciate the community around you and it grows your networking web. Try it!
Manage your time. I really stress this one because when I was a freshman, I wanted to join everything. First semester can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you’re coming from across the country like I did. Let your first semester be a trial phase on what you are truly interested in. Be picky about which clubs/organizations and activities you would like to partake in. Unfortunately, I wasn’t too selective with my time, and I ended up being slumped by spring semester (side note: Sophomore slump is a real thing, google it!). So choose activities that truly interest you and will benefit you. Also, take time to plan out your schedule around your classes e.g. when you will be studying, working out, eating dinner, hanging out with friends, etc. and stick to it! The earlier you learn these tactics the better off you’ll be in the long run. Form good habits now!
Go after what you love. You’ve already decided you want to go to college, now what could stop you? Sometimes, between the general education requirements and prerequisites, a must-do for any major, it’s easy to get caught up in the routine of everything and lose sight of your intellectual interests and gifts. If you see this happening, try to take at least one class that really sparks your interest every semester. Ever since I started college at Embry-Riddle, I’ve always had at least one class each semester that has made me super excited to learn more! Don’t forget why you’re at college in the first place- to find, learn, and ripen the thing(s) you are so passionate about. If you have the passion, use it. That’s how dreams are achieved.
photo
(For more tips, email: giannotw@my.erau.edu)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

20 going FL200.

 
POSITION: Home!
San Diego, CA

So, it's official... 20 going 2000.

It's Christmas break now, my birthday was on the 16th, sorry I didn't post earlier! I am now back from Embry-Riddle in beautiful Southern California where I was greeted off the airplane with an English bulldog puppy and an email stating I made the Honor Roll. (Go Eagles) It feels awesome to be finished with another great semester!


The year is almost over and I cannot fathom to this day, even, the beauty of where life has been taking me. Over-enthusiastic? Perhaps. Overly-passionate? Maybe. But whatever it is that is strolling me along for this roller coaster of a journey- I am sure keeping all hands, feet, and arms inside at all times. I definitely don't want to get off this ride.





This past year, everything has come on a tiptoe, silently working and becoming the colossal changes of my whole life. I had always known of what it meant to follow a dream, but I didn't realize how narrow minded I had become in order to follow it- I thought I had to follow it by the path. And once I realized there was no strict, simple path (the Type A personality in me could not grasp) I stopped and let my heart talk back to me. This was when I truly knew what I wanted. I finally found the meaning of PASSION. It's not an easy thing to face, nor it is truly an appealing phenomenon. Why? It's hard work. It's actually the most overrused and the most under-served word today. But if you allow your passion to grow you, mold you, and surround you - your options are boundless.



Since the new year is coming up, consider your interests and an open mind in letting your passion do its thing. Passion and satisfaction go hand in hand. You won't see results until you start working. Passion is the prerogative of the brave because the path worth treading is the path where the fewest have trekked. Hence why the word is so under-served. Find comfort in the uncomfortable. Find a speed you're not used to. It may take a few seconds of bravery, but those miniscule moments will play a big role in your limits. Soon you'll find it's hard to reach a top speed.


Where life is taking me it's almost commonplace for me to keep most of my life private now. Hence, the reason why I've been mostly MIA lately...aside from school that's been keeping me insanely busy.

Here's to 20 going 2000 and to 2014.
Blue Skies (and White Skies for those who find themselves in colder temperatures)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Machin' through Maximum Operating Altitude.

Ayrton Senna said it perfectly: “On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, 'Okay, this is the limit'. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.”

First off, what is Maximum Operating Altitude? It's the highest altitude an airplane can reach for structural or pressurization reasons. An airplane could go higher toward 'absolute altitude,' however, the equipment will not allow it. After hearing this quote from Senna this past week, I was reminded of the limitations I even continue to place on myself. We all have these 'maximum operating altitudes' we place on ourselves and most of us don't even know it. And those limits are present in our everyday thoughts: "That's too hard." "I'm too lazy." "I can't do this." "I can't do that." But, once you put yourself in a constant pattern of limitation, you place yourself in a fixed state of being. You can't grow. Limits are these evil things that we all fear because we are too afraid, too lazy, too comfortable to break them. The reality of it is the fact that these limits are self-imposed. The only limits you have are the ones you set yourself. No one else has the power to give you limits- but you. You choose them. You have the ability to make a choice and say, "this is my maximum operating altitude, I'm done" OR you can equip yourself with the determination to go a little further.
  Courtesy of Scheyden Precision Eyewear
Most of us think we have reached our limit when we fail to realize a simple extra push is all it takes to break that barrier. An airplane has to be equipped properly or else it physically cannot push through its maximum operating altitude. You have the potential to break through your limits if you allow yourself to be equipped with determination, passion, perseverance and most importantly: belief. A limit is not a limit until you give it the power to be one. You can let your maximum operating altitude defeat you, or you can choose to overcome it. Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it. What's keeping your throttle at idle?

And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/ayrtonsenn348838.html#SWHjPf6isLgih0u2.99
And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/ayrtonsenn348838.html#SWHjPf6isLgih0u2.99
And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/ayrtonsenn348838.html#SWHjPf6isLgih0u2.99
And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.
Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/ayrtonsenn348838.html#SWHjPf6isLgih0u2.99

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Gulfstream Grandeur.

POSTION: Embry-Riddle

For those of you who don't know, a Gulfstream III was recently donated to Embry-Riddle's Aviation Maintenance Science Program! And if you didn't know, a Gulfstream is my favorite type of (modern day) aircraft. We got the amazing opportunity to check it out today. Needless to say, I was a kid in a candy store!

Near the Embry-Riddle Maintenance Hangar, GIII


Getting my Gulfstream loving!

GIII

I was in a state of pure happiness. It's moments like this that make all the hard work pay off - especially after having three tests! Sometimes it's important to cherish the little things in life; details can be the most important things. The details that make you see how intricate life truly is. It's important to realize how blessed we are in the midst of living a busy life. I ran out of the College of Aviation this afternoon completely stressing out over an upcoming test and saw this beautiful Gulfstream staring me in the face. Then it hit me.

GIII cockpit 

 We all get caught up in the 'doing' of life that we forget the importance of 'being.' This causes us to get caught up in the ugly part of life and forget the beauty. We worry, we stress, we overanalyze, we overwork ourselves because we feel we have to live up to this "status quo," yet we don't realize that we are forgetting to actually live. It's not that a Gulfstream taught me this, the concept has been there all along. But the Gulfstream was definitely a reminder for me to stop and smell the flowers. Sometimes if we stop for a moment in the midst of all our rushing, we see the things that bring us those rays of sunshine we often miss. Yes, I was worried about a test, but I was discreetly reminded of why I am doing what I do in the first place. Fear defeated by pure faith. Those are the moments you don't want to miss.


Me and Sojung under the GIII wing!

 Life is such a gorgeous thing and in this case, it was complimented by a gorgeous airplane. Next time you find yourself anxious, worried, or unsure- just know that from those situations stem the greatest circumstances. Stop and smell the flowers every once in awhile. 
It's a beautiful life. Do it justice.

Blue Skies 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Control Lock Removed.

POSITION: Embry-Riddle

Back for another year! It's taken a little for me to get back into the swing of things, but I'm enjoying the excitement of it all. I am so excited to let you all in on what I am doing this year. I switched my major to Homeland Security with a minor in International Relations and Terrorism Studies. Yes, I will of course still be flying! However, I am now taking a different approach toward my studies and I am so excited to be able to fuel a bigger passion that I have had all my life. Stay tuned! This week is going to be the busiest out of the whole year, so I will fill everyone in next week on what has been going on. So many amazing things are on the horizon!

Before flight, us pilots have to remove the control lock from the yoke in order to actually turn the yoke. When the airplane is not being operated, the control lock basically locks the ailerons in place so that the wings are stable when rough winds are present. It's crucial during large storms because this can be damaging to the aircraft's wings. 
As I was preparing for a flight the other day, I stared at the control lock and thought, "what would happen if I didn't put the control lock in place after flight? What if I, figuratively, let the plane go through a storm without a control lock?" Bear with me. For example, when stormy events happen in our lives, we tend to run away. It's only human nature. We throw on our control locks, become detached and abandon our aircraft. Most of the time, we fail to see what incredible growth such storms can create. I obviously don't mean this literally, but what would you do if you could hold the reins in a certain situation?

 See, we all have this control lock that makes us feel safe. We feel as if it will protect us from any danger, when in reality, sometimes it's crucial we throw our control locks out the window. We can't grow if we are constantly locking our 'steering wheel' throughout life. It's easy to stay in a comfortable situation because it appears safe, however it's probably more dangerous to assume that you will still grow as a person if you stay in the same place. This couldn't be more wrong. It locks your steering wheel.

I'm telling you to forget about those thoughts of staying comfortable because it's "safe." Explore your limits, set your standards, and allow yourself to grow. Sure, control locks are great when you are faced with stormy, or unsafe, situations - but you will never know how to steer your yoke if it is constantly locked. You can't move from Point A expecting to get to Point B when you have no control over your momentum. But here's the thing: you are completely capable of taking the steering wheel of your own life, and moving the yoke in any direction you please. The only thing that's stopping you, is the illusion that the control lock is what's going to make you stay in a safe place. To stay safe is to move. When will you remove it?
Blue Skies 
and broken control locks
 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sail.


 LOCATION: San Diego, CA

Summer is over! My internship is done, bags are packed (kinda) and in less than 48 hours, I will be hopping on a plane back for another semester at the college of my dreams. Overall, my summer was pretty amazing. Flying and working at King Flight Schools has been nothing short of a blessing. As a side note, I'll be the first to say, although I didn’t use King Flight Schools’ courses for my Private and Instrument training, I am currently using their program for my Commercial practical test (oral and flight). In all the years I have been flight training, I have never experienced a more interactive and engaging educational atmosphere aside from being in a classroom at Embry-Riddle. The material is very straight forward and easy to comprehend. I would suggest to any prospective student pilot to browse through the King Flight Schools material in order to grasp a foundational knowledge of flying. It is guaranteed to make you a better pilot!

This last week in San Diego has been way too bittersweet, but it's actually been eye opening. From one coast to another, I'm forced with choices that promote and bring about change. Is it weird that I actually LOVE it? Every day, we are given the opportunity to live up to our fullest potential. Some people say "why?" Some people say "why not?" It could go like this: I could go to Florida, get off the plane and drag my suitcases to the nearest taxi with complete detachment from everything around me sulking into another semester. But, that's not me. Why? Because being pushed out of my comfort zone has been the most rewarding process I could ever experience. And if I had abided by the walls, the resistance, the voice inside my head that tells me "stop!" before I'm about to do something great- I wouldn't be where I am.

So instead of seeing your fear as a stop sign, see it as a green light. You are far more capable than you imagine yourself to be. If you are afraid, maybe you are doing something right. Don't set self-imposed limits upon yourself. Why not? Because truly, they don't exist. Yes, disregarding fear might preserve a perfect, failure-free life. But perfection can never be as respected as a steadfast attempt at doing something remarkable. So if you don't steer your own ship, you risk staying in port. Which is even more dangerous because you aren't allowing yourself to live up to your fullest potential.


Entangled in the cancerous discipline of security, I flung my life beneath the wheels of routine and before I knew it my life was gone.  I always wanted to sail the seven seas but I couldn’t afford it.  What I really couldn’t afford was not to go.” - Unknown


 Whatever you are doing: going off to college, traveling the world, even exploring your own neighborhood - it is the way you sail that will bring you to the current you want to be in. There are far more ships on our horizons than meets the eye. And there are reasons as to why we can't see past such horizons - simply because there is more meant to be discovered. That reason fuels my ship alone.

I'm so excited for a great semester with new roommates, VFR weather, enticing new class work, awesome events and unforgettable moments with my Sigma sisters. What else will it bring?

See you on the flip side. 
Embry-Riddle bound.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Scud Running vs.
A Fear of Scud Running


POSITION: CRQ

As the end of summer is approaching, lots of excitement has been stirring up for this upcoming year at Embry-Riddle. I'm getting anxious for another great semester full of awesome events and neat classes. Coming to the closing of summer I'm realizing that soon I will be done with my internship, stuffing a suitcase and hopping on a plane back to Florida. There's this really cool quote I spotted the other day:


 and it struck me. Exactly a year ago from this very moment in time, I was fearful of leaving my home for the other side of the country.. a venture that didn't necessarily look promising, but yet it was so alluring, so full of wonder. Following a dream can sometimes be tricky- you have to take risks. But what I realized is that it doesn't matter if you are kicking and screaming along the way- the point is that you have still chosen to fight that fear. Risks are scary things, but would you rather be safe in shallow waters or push yourself into the deep end to discover the unfamiliar? We as human beings are floating in these tides which eventually lead to delicious quenches of adventure and abundance... but if the opportunity is omitted, we live our lives in shallows and miseries. Although we still float, we have to take the current when it serves us- or we will lose our ventures.

Out of every quote I've heard, this is the one I want to base a life off of. You are faced with two simple decisions when dealing with a risk. First, you have to ask yourself if it's worth it. Second, you have to decide whether or not you want it more than your fear of it. It's a simple Yes or No. How you go about it is up to you, but if I let an opportunity slip me by when I knew I wanted it more than the fearful impact it had on me, I would regret it, wouldn't you? Because fear is a temporary feeling until you overcome it. Then when you fight against your fear, it gets easier until it's gone permanently. To me, that's worth the risk.


How do you feel when you're in a risky situation with adrenaline rushing through your veins while you hold your own world in your hands? That's like me when I'm in an airplane. You know something could go wrong, but you want the sky more than you are afraid of that magneto failing or your engine quitting. You decide that the period of time you are poised in between the earth and its atmosphere that you are going live in the moment and make a choice to grasp the enticing experience of what it means to choose faith over fear.


 But I'm not here in life to play in traffic patterns and do touch n goes. I'm here to go scud running along the mountains, breeze by the beach 20 feet off the coastal waters; flip an airplane on its back with an ocean in the sky. Because once you finally taste a glimpse of what it means to overcome what you are afraid of, it's like you can fly the plane without the machine. And you never want go back.

So hello there, August... I have a feeling you are going to be so good to me.
Blue Skies


Student Journal. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pilot's Bag of Luck.

POSITION: CRQ
ALTIMETER: 29.92

What an amazing summer it's been- and I can't believe it's almost over. One month left until I'm back underneath the Florida sun. As for this pilot, summer has been nothing short of awesome. Not only have I been enjoying my old friends, my family and these California sunsets- but I've been appreciating the ability to sit back, relax and get my fingers further in the aviation industry. Recently, I started my new job at King Flight Schools and it's been such a blessing to be able to experience a different and refreshing work environment and be surrounded by others who share the same appetite for aviation. I never truly realized how much WORK goes into an aviation education program until I got to be behind the scenes of it all. Wow.. and I'm learning more and more every day. I'm barely a sophomore in college and I get to experience THIS! Well, in aviation, they say you start off with a full bag of luck and end with a full bag of experience.

Yes, all these things somehow ended up in my flight bag today. Thanks AOPA for the cool sticker! This photo sums up my summer flying: breezy and relaxing. I've still been up in the Citabria enjoying the So Cal scenery - we had some great IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) here in San Diego last week. Now it's sunny- I but can't complain!

So far, I'm loving my new job. When you're in an environment that's filled with gems and treasures you are so passionate about, it's hard to keep focus! If you haven't tried out King Flight Schools program- give it a look. Their program has great training guides for any certificate/rating you are going after.

So, you get the point- my summer is going great. I'm so busy, but honestly it's worth it. For prospective students, when you attend college, make sure you are using your summers. I cannot stress it enough. Travel, learn, educate, just do. I never knew my summer would be so crazy working two jobs that I love, flying, volunteering, traveling and even prepping for the upcoming semester. Use your time wisely and network all you can- opportunities will come to you. In the aviation field, we have to start out with a bag of luck or unfortunately, the experience would never come. I can't stress it enough how important it is to be fearless and pursue whatever drives you. It's your bag to fill, not your parents, not your peers- it's yours. Whether you are filling your bag day by day or filling it along the course of these next few years, fill it with things that will FULfill who you are. Otherwise it's just going to sit. Empty. I don't know about you, but when I look back in a few years I want to have a bag full of adventure and unforgettable endeavors where I wasn't afraid to take a chance in order to truly fulfill who I was. So build up; plan an amazing summer, prepare for an even better semester. Keep adding to your bag. Luck now equals experience then. You just have to ask yourself if it's worth taking.

What's in your bag today?

Blue Skies

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Ground Effect Glow.

POSITION: CRQ 

Let's talk about ground effect. What is it? Glad you asked. When an aircraft is within wing distance from the ground, an increase in lift is generated in reference to the surface of the earth and airflow patterns about the airplane. This is called ground effect. It's sort of like a cushion. 

Personally, I love ground effect. An airplane flies better when in this phenomenon. However, there are two problems when it comes to ground effect. 1. The airplane may become airborne before reaching recommended takeoff speed. 2. Induced drag decreases in ground effect, so excess speed may cause floating upon landing.

So don't get me wrong, this 'cushion' is a wonderful mechanism, but it can sometimes be unsafe. Sometimes ground effect can be a relief because the airplane wants to fly better, but what about this ground effect that makes us feel so secure? I think in a sense, we all have our own ground effect- a place that makes us feel safe and gives us comfort. An airplane cannot fly unless it leaves its ground effect and breaks free of the earths surface. If not, there is no such thing as pure flight. Adventure begins at the end of your comfort zone. We cease to do so much when we are afraid to get out of our ground effect- it's like we never take off. We never get airborne. Although it may seem appealing to stay in a comfortable place, it's probably the most unsafe place you could be because you aren't growing. We need to remember that getting out of our comfort zones is where the deliciousness is.

When you allow yourself to step out of your comfort zone, you open yourself up to a richer, more fulfilling life. You see and hear things that others miss and you are faced with opportunities that most aren't. Determine one thing in your life that makes you uncomfortable, but would help you grow if you embraced it. There is a reason we have to go through ground effect before we can put our wings to use.  

✈ I was so excited when I got this drink at Starbucks. It's an instrument approach drink! Finally Starbucks is starting to recognize their pilot clientele ;) If you didn't know, VOR stands for VHF (very high frequency) Omnidirectional Range which is a means of radio navigation that enables an aircraft to determine its position and stay on course (that was the best 'non-pilot' explanation I could give). Haha.


The other day after my flight I looked up and found a Piper Arrow in my rearview mirror with my Embry-Riddle decal in frame. It was one of those moments. Another moment of leaving ground effect. Aside from working and flying, I've been helping out at an aviation summer camp! Photos to come.


So, last thing's last. Are you living in your ground effect, or are you rising above it?  It's your call. When are you going to take it?


Blue Skies 

(My heart goes out to the passengers, crew and families who were involved in the Boeing 777 Asiana Airlines flight yesterday at San Francisco International Airport.) 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What's up, Waviator? #3

POSITION: CRQ
N5472R C172 180 hp
Hello from California again! What a couple weeks it's been. Flying around Southern California sure beats the terrain-less view in Florida (sorry FL friends, but it's true!). What's in the airwaves for me: well, I got the internship I applied for, so that's cool. I've been enjoying my summer break, still working, but managing to get some time in for this blog- so I guess it means I'm not that busy! ;)  I've been in for a treat with this CA weather, although I am starting (early) to prepare myself for the next year at Embry-Riddle. I can't believe I'll be a sophomore. Freshman year FLEW by. So, if you're a prospective student reading this, grasp your college years. Seriously. You won't realize how fast these years fly by until you get a chance to catch your breath and look back on them. Make college worthwhile. I feel so blessed just to be an eagle.

My reflection in the VSI 

Another airwave: did you know I'm an alternate pilot for the Embry-Riddle Team competing in the Women's Air Race Classic this year? Did you also know that this week we placed FIRST in collegiate and THIRD place overall?! I couldn't be more proud to be an eagle. Our pilots Danielle Erlichman and Valdeta Mehanja flew 2,449 nautical miles from Pasco, WA to Fayetteville, AR competing against 47 other teams this past week and managed to make it through some crazy weather and a few mechanical adversities. Needless to say, they are amazing pilots and also incredible women! The congratulations goes all to them.

Here's a photo of N405ER while Danielle and Val were waiting for the rain to stop on the way to Pasco, WA for the race

Aside from aviation, my life has been unfolding in other ventures. I don't write about it on my blog often, but aside from flying I am pursuing a hopeful career in the intelligence field, whether it be through unmanned aircraft systems or my minors in Terrorism Studies as well as International Relations. College has taken me to some pretty cool places. I'm loving it. So, on the side, I am currently taking some Self-Study Courses through the Homeland Defense and Security program and I'm finding it extremely intriguing.

It feels good getting back to round dials- they're like my California roots. Being back home for the summer allows me to reflect on this past year at Embry-Riddle. My freshman year was nothing short of what I had imagined. It was incredible and I don't think there was any downside, honestly! Even being on the other side of the country, it was everything I had wanted and more. Now, I'm excited as I look forward to my sophomore year upbringings. The other day I heard a man say this quote, "Faith is not about filling up, but letting go." That struck me. Taking on new experiences isn't about preparing yourself over and over again because you never know what the outcome will be. Rather it's about letting yourself go, letting your fears go and just being you. It's about letting go of all the negative things in your life and learning to embrace the "now". I can't wait to see what the rest of the summer has in store.
  
PS... My sponsor, Scheyden Precision Eyewear just got their banners in! Perfect for EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2013 :)


Keep squawking the blog.
Blue Skies