This last week of my senior project was really fun and sad at the same time. I spent this week working on a lot of the fine-tuning skills that Frankie thought I should need to know. This week was different than a few of the other ones. In the past weeks I would be at the airport in the afternoon and into the evening, occasionally going in as early 10:00AM, but this weeks I started waking up at 4:00AM, and going to the airport as early as 5:00AM. The photo I included is of a flight with Frankie at 6:00, and even after a cup of McDonald's Coffee my eyes are still sleepy (but both Frankie and I were awake and alert once we were on our way).
Along with doing our every day items Frankie was able to get me up in the air and practice all of the maneuvers that we had worked on, but this time he tested me within the test standards. We worked on many of our other skills including what to do in the event of an airplane crash. Luckily there are many checklists that pilots refer to for most emergency situations, some checklists are memorized, and some are written and kept on a pad that we can default to when the memorized lists don't work. Sometimes when we were in the air Frankie would cut the power and then I would have to practice what I would do to get the engine restarted or what emergency radio calls I have to make and how to brief my passengers for an emergency landing. All of these skills that I learned from shadowing Frankie were invaluable and will hopefully come in very handing when I continue my flight training.
To sum up my whole experience at Hillsboro Aviation I think that shadowing Frankie was a really good way for me not only to get up in the air, but also to learn a lot about what the life of a pilot, and more specifically, a flight instructor is like. I was able to learn about all of the glamor and hardships. One of the most important lessons that I learned over the course of the project was that being a pilot is a job that people do for money, but for the love of the activity and all that comes with it.