Category Archives: Aviation

Calculus Class and Multi-Engine Flying

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 14 February 2015

I’ve been planning out my senior year class schedule since freshman year. My plan was to take the harder classes before my senior year to make my last year here a breeze. One thing I didn’t quite plan out was that all of those harder classes were going to be compiled all to this year.

One of the classes I have been putting off till this semester is calculus. The thing about calculus is I haven’t taken anything math-related since high school. Going into this semester I was pretty nervous and for some reason the word “derivative” scared me. As it turns out, the class isn’t all that bad and the worry and stress I gave myself dreading over this was for nothing. One of the big things that is helping me though the class is the Student Connect software (the access code that comes with textbook that no one enjoys buying). It gives step-by-step instructions on how to do everything we learn in class and I would look over it the day before. This gave me a lot of confidence and I ended up scoring one of the highest on the first exam!

My favorite course by far this semester is the Multi-Engine Airplane certification course which is my last flight course I will take before graduation. The plane we use for this class is a Baron 55. Comparably, other flight schools usually train in a Piper Seminole that only puts out 180 hp on a side. The Barron 55 is a monster and it puts out 300 hp each engine for a total of 600 hp! This plane actually puts you back in your seat on takeoff and it is a blast. I regularly break 200 mph and like I always say, the faster the better! This is definitely the capstone class for me and I can’t wait to jump back in it for next time.

Flying Experience as a Bobcat

Josh D'Urso

Josh D’Urso,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 3 February 2015

As an Aviation Flight major you go through many flight courses that help you attain different licenses and certificates. I am now in my final semester at Ohio University and taking my last flight course: Multi-Engine Flight. There are many major milestones throughout training as a pilot such as initial private pilots license, an instrument rating, or finally attaining your CFI (Certified Flight Instructor license). Multi-Engine Flight is the one flight course that I have been looking forward to completing since I began my flight courses.

During my time at Ohio University I’ve flown four different airplanes: Cessna 152, Cessna 172, Piper Warrior III, and a Piper Arrow. Of those four, the Piper Arrow was the fastest, most powerful, and most complex aircraft. It was 200 horsepower and would cruise around 130 mph. The Baron 55, which is the multi-engine plane, has 300 horsepower on each engine and cruises around 190 mph. It is a big jump in power and speed in any plane that I’ve ever flown. It also requires a lot more focus and attention than anything I’ve ever done. After an hour flight, I can feel more mentally and physically exhausted than any sports practice I’ve been through. This challenging course will help me get ready for the industry and the real world.

Preparing for the International Space University

Josh D'Urso

Josh D’Urso,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 22 November 2014

This week at Ohio University, some distinguished professors from the International Space University (ISU) visited to get their curriculum finalized for next summer. That’s when Ohio University will be hosting the ISU Space Studies Program.

I didn’t realize how big of a deal this was until I did a little research and saw that last year’s ISU was held in Montreal, Canada. Countries from around the world bid on this program and try and have it held in their country, state, or university and Ohio University won the 2015 bid. The program will be held on campus from June 8th to August 7th. Students from around the world apply to this program. Last year’s program attracted 122 participants representing 32 countries.

When I met some of the professors this week they were from all over the world including Germany, France, Canada, India and more. One of the members from the ISU team that I met was named John Connolly. John was a great individual with an even better background. He has 28 years of experience with NASA and he has been a member of ISU for 22 years leading the ISU’s Space Studies Program. John’s specialties include human and robotic space mission design, human spacecraft design, and space systems engineering.

I did not find out about the Space Studies Program being held at OU until this week and it has been in the works for two years now. I am so proud of my University and of the all the people who put in so much time and dedication into bringing such a big program to my school. This is great publicity for the University and I think its going to be a great experience for our school and faculty to work side by side with distinguished individuals from around the world.

Ultimate Frisbee

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 18 November 2014

Having a break from classes and studying is necessary to keep my sanity. Of course classes are important, but having those moments when you forget about that exam coming up keeps me going.

One of my favorite things to do anytime of the week is ultimate Frisbee. I started playing at Adams Hall at the end of last summer and have been going almost every week since. I love competition, and ultimate is a way for me to take any stress that I have and channel that toward scoring touchdowns! Almost every week is a good turn out and I meet someone new. The atmosphere is relaxed and it is a great way to spend the evening.

Ultimate is not the only thing out there to partake in. There are plenty of other activities and other sports to play, have fun, meet people, and feed the competitive side. Last fall I was on a sand volleyball team that I enjoyed a lot. When I was out there, college soaked in a little more. Getting out of class, then casually playing some volleyball on south beach–it was great. Sign ups are pretty often for the different sessions and only takes a few clicks by going to the intramural sports website and creating an account on imleauges.

It is starting to get cold outside and snow is starting to fall. Ultimate Frisbee season is dying down–Wrong! The coordinator of Adams Hall was able to set up a designated time in the new Walter Field House for us to continue to play throughout the winter. Last Sunday was my first time using the facility and it was pretty cool. We had the whole field to ourselves and played for a few hours. They also have a track on the perimeter of the field and I think I am going to start using the Field house more often. I can’t wait to play next Sunday night!

Autumn in Athens

Josh D'Urso

Josh D’Urso,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 19 October 2014

Everyone here at Ohio University has a favorite time of the year and I would say that the majority of the people choose Fall. The leaves start to change color and fall into the streets. Athens gets a new look that many people haven’t seen and it’s the most beautiful thing they have ever seen. Being an Aviation major I get an even better look at campus that not many people get.

I am a Certified Flight Instructor at OU so I get to fly over Albany and OU’s campus pretty often. OU’s campus is always a beautiful sight from the sky but during fall it is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Being the baby of four kids I’ve visited a lot of Universities and none compare to Ohio University.

The other side of fall that’s my favorite is hoodie and sweats weather. Although in the morning it can be a freezing 30 degrees and then 80 and sweaty when you walk home from class. Once it hits that perfect weather though its always the best to play some pick up football or basketball on a lazy Sunday.

What I look forward to most in the fall isn’t the view or the weather, it’s the big Halloween Block party that OU throws. I love going out that Saturday night to see how creative people can get with their interesting costumes. I’ve never seen so many people dressed up on such a small street in my life, there’s nothing like it.

Whether it’s the view, weather, or fun parties, OU is the most special experience I’ve ever been a part of. I love my school and everything I’m involved with and I have no regrets. OU is the place for me.

Events on Campus

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 13 October 2014

I always heard that there is always something to do on campus, but I didn’t know how much until now. I picked up a fall semester involvement pamphlet at Nelson the other day that has most of the University sponsored events. I was really surprised to see how many events there actually are.

The pamphlet was split into weeks and looking through it I found that there is a minimum of ten events every week which is pretty amazing. I already added a few events that caught my eye and a few comedy shows on there that I am looking forward to going to.

Aside from just pure fun, I started finding a few other events and seminars that were actually pretty interesting and beneficial. The other day I received an email about a seminar on job offers and negotiating your salary with employers. This caught my eye because who doesn’t want to make more money!? The seminar was great and I am looking forward to using those tips I have written down in my notebook. One thing cool about the seminar is that the speaker not only researches different techniques about salary negotiation but he had stories about how he has actually used those techniques in his career.

I can’t wait for the upcoming comedy events to get away from classes and who doesn’t enjoy a good laugh every once and a while?

Surviving My Busy Semester

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 19 September 2014

This is officially the busiest I’ve been in my life. Having classes and working a few jobs all at the same time. It’s a different feel than I am used to. I’m used to having a morning class, a five hour break of relaxation, then a class in the afternoon after a leisurely lunch. What I had before sounds like the best schedule ever but overall I always felt like I should have been doing something. So I thought I would try something new this year and have a few more obligations. I am now an RA, Engineering Ambassador, and Certified Flight Instructor. This is actually the first time in my life I have a working calendar and every day I have something new to do. I just need to work a little more at this managing time thing, but so far I like it.

One of my favorite things about this year so far is flight instructing. Not only am I doing something that I love, but it also helps me with experience toward my career. Building this time and experience now is going to help me with a better job out of college. I currently have a few students now and flying with them a few days a week is an awesome time. I love seeing how they are developing the skills they need to fly an airplane and seeing their excitement towards flying makes me want to do all I can for them to have the best training. This is going to be a great year!