Friday, December 28, 2012

My First Flight Lesson

Today was really a turning point in my life. I took my first flight lesson today, being fortunate enough to have the experience of piloting a Tecnam Sierra around my city for an hour. It was the first time I have really piloted an aircraft. It was an amazing feeling for me, I would encourage anyone interested to go out for an intro flight at your local flight school. Personally, I can’t wait to get started on my PPL!

Flying in a commercial plane as a passenger is one thing, but being in control of the aircraft feels so much more special. It has become such commonplace for people to fly off to destinations around the world. Sitting in that little Sierra, I thought about what people would have given 110+ years ago to have this chance. Flying only a few thousand feet above the ground doesn’t seem like much by our standards today. Obviously to people long ago, it would’ve been life changing. I felt so calm being up there, and cherished every moment of it. My favorite part was definitely learning how to do 90 degree banking turns. Today we went over climbing+descending with a specific speed and set altitude, turning to a heading accurately, level turns, and steep turns without loosing/gaining altitude. The instructor told me towards the end that I was the PIC for over 90% of the time. He really only did the takeoff and landing. 

Today, I affirmed my passion for aviation and am proud to say that I can’t wait to make my own path and become a pilot. I think that this career path could be my niche, I am ready to go for it! For now though, I'll be just concentrating on getting my Private License. 

Many people I know, that go to my private school, end up becoming lawyers, doctors, businessmen, etc (all noble professions). Many end up staying in our home city for the majority of their lives; there is nothing wrong with that. I just can’t live that way. I love traveling, moving around, exploring, meeting new people, and seeing different parts of the world.  

A family friend of mine (who flies a Gulfstream IV) predicted that after I took my first lesson that: "I would be hooked and it would all be over" (in the sense that I would go after becoming a pilot as a career, no turning back). I can’t deny that this very thing happened to me today. In general I try my hardest to live my life without regrets. I know for a fact that if I do not at least give a flying career a shot, I WILL regret it forever. 

I have such supportive parents and friends, which makes beginning this process so much easier! After having had such a great experience today, I would encourage any of you to go out and take your passion to the next level. You will only regret the chances you didn't take! 

If you have ever had an interest in flying--I highly recommend that you go out and spend the $50-$100 necessary to take an intro flight. It’ll be worth the time and money. You will not regret it! 

Thanks to HOVA Flight Services for my first lesson! 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Alaskan Glacier Flight

Part of this blog is to highlight experiences which really got me into aviation, both recently, and as a child. In a day or two, I will be taking my first flight lesson. I will be writing a thorough response to how that went... but in the meantime, here is something that really got me into aviation when I was younger. 

A few years ago, in 2008, I had a really great and inspiring experience in Alaska. My family and I were on a Royal Caribbean Cruise to Alaska, which departed from Seattle. It stopped in Skagway, Juneau, and Prince Rupert, British Colombia. 

DeHavilland Otter

After having stopped in Skagway Alaska, the ship travelled down the fjords to Juneau. My Aunt and Mom surprised my brother and I with a very special excursion. They took us on a floatplane tour of some glaciers near Juneau. 

sorry... had to black out the face (family member)

We flew out of Juneau on a DeHavilland Otter (floatplane). Upon boarding the plane, the pilot offered for me to sit co-pilot to himself. Of course, I thought this was really cool. I just wish I could remember more of it from 5 years ago. 

We flew East, over the mountains surrounding Juneau and flew over some really incredible, massive glaciers. Those pilots have such a great job, just think about it. They get to fly planes in some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet (and get paid for it!!!). 

If any of you are in Juneau any time in the future... you have got to do a floatplane tour. This was one of the most memorable experiences with flight I had as a child. All of these memories built me up into being so excited about aviation today. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I hope you have all had a great Christmas and got to spend time with your families.

This year, I asked for one thing. That was to begin my flight training. It's pretty expensive to undertake flight training, so that's all I asked for from my parents (I also have to pay for a substantial portion of it). Later this week, Friday or Saturday, I will be taking my first flight lesson. I think it will be a great experience and get me even more motivated to get started towards my PPL.

A close family friend, a Gulfstream IV pilot, predicted this: "Once he (me) has his first flight lesson, it will be all over. There won't be any turning back. Just watch, he will go head first into becoming a pilot."

^Lets see if that happens, I sure hope so!

Hope you enjoyed your Christmas holiday, and ended up better than Santa:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Ambitions

My name is Swayne Martin; I am a sophomore in High School. 

The goal of this blog is to show the steps which I will be taking over the next few years in my pursuit of a Professional Pilot career. I will show step by step my path towards this goal, beginning with my very first Flight Lesson. The goal of the "Share Your Story" section is to show aspiring pilots the diverse range of careers available to them. 

Ever since I was little I have been surrounded by aviation. Over the years, I developed a real passion for it, being fortunate enough to go to some pretty cool places around the world and really experience flight. I have flown many times commercially around the world to places like France, Alaska, Mexico, and all around the United States. In the fall of 2012, I decided to do something with my passion.  I am excited to begin learning how to actually pilot an aircraft. My ambitions are great, hopefully one day I will be in a position to turn flying into a career. Luckily, I have many years to decide for myself (although I feel pretty dead-set right now). 

Looking to the right column of this blog, you can see the current amount training I have received, which aircraft I have flown, and where I have been flying.

Getting one's pilot's license isn't an easy task and takes a lot of dedication. Luckily, I have the support of my friends and family and I am ready to take this challenge head on. I couldn’t be happier with how this has turned out, what the future might hold, and what I will hopefully gain from this experience. 

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
                                                                                                            --Leonardo da Vinci