Tag Archives: flying

Flight Competition

Gareth Bussa

Gareth Bussa,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 24 October 2017

Earlier this month, I spent a week and a half in Central Michigan. Ohio University’s Flying Bobcats were competing in Region III of NIFA SAFECON. SAFECON is a competition against 5 flight teams in the Midwest. We compete against Ohio State, Western Michigan, Kent State and Bowling Green. It’s a great week of friendly rivalries, trying to compete for the top 3 positions to go to nationals.

As a flight team, we compete in ground and flying events. For me, the flying events are a blast. With flying, we compete in landings, navigational runs and message drop. Ground events consist of E6b, SCAN and Aircraft Recognition, preflight, sim and safety.

As a small team, we knew it was going to be a challenge to compete against the larger teams. We practiced multiple times a week, trying our best to be prepared for the events. We left on a Friday morning, flying our four aircraft up.

I flew up an aircraft hoping to get as close to Michigan as I could since there was some inclement weather. The aircraft I fly is not capable of flying into clouds. So as I flew up towards Michigan, I stopped in Port Clinton, Ohio to fuel up and grab some lunch.

Flying long distances in a small aircraft can be very fun. You can stay low to the ground and see the view beneath you. We stopped and fueled up, grabbed a delicious meal at a small airport diner and departed heading for Battle Creek Michigan.

On the way, the weather became clear blue skies and unrestricted visibility. Passing over the farm fields of Michigan and seeing the small communities was amazing. One town had a corn maze that was shaped like a bunny eating a carrot. Others you can tell were prepping for their fall festivities.

Being able to see the world beneath you is unimaginable, especially flying at a lower altitude. If you fly lower, you can see more detail on the ground beneath you.

We arrived at Battle Creek, Michigan to begin the 10 days of working hard and preparing for the competition. We were supposed to practice flying the weekend we got there, but Michigan weather decided that it wasn’t the right thing to do. Rainfall that weekend broke the 2-day record in Battle Creek, Michigan for the most rain. 2.5 inches caused us to only practice ground events. We practiced at the hotel as well as the airport, hoping for a break in the weather so us fliers could get out and practice our navigation runs as well as landings.

Our biggest weakness was the ground events. With there only being 10 of us on the team, most of us had to do every single event. We practiced our e6b’s, plotting our routes and studied our FAR/AIM’s. Whenever the actual ground events started, we had all prepared as much as we could.

In each ground event, you have 5 people testing, giving you 24 other people to compete against. This was very challenging and stressful because you knew there were other competitors out there that only studied for that one ground event.

The best part arrived, flying events. Flying events are the most exciting event to do throughout the week. Pilot slots on a team are very tough to get. Each person on the team with his or her private pilot license may compete for a position on the team.

There are a total of 5 landers and 3 navigation pilots on a team. In the landing competitions, you try to land on a specific line. They judge you on how precise you are, if you’re using proper techniques and how long or short you are to that line. Landings can be very challenging depending on the winds on the ground and in the air.

During the competition, the winds on the ground were gusting over 25 miles and hour and the winds at 2,000 feet were blowing well over 50 miles an hour. This gave you a disadvantage on your pattern techniques as well as landing. Whenever you land with a lot of wind, you have to add more power to keep the airplane flying. This can be very challenging whenever you’re doing a flight when you have to pull all the power out and land with no power in; basically, you have to glide the airplane down to the runway.

Overall through the event, we had a great time together and competing against other teams. We all had personal bests throughout the event and it showed from last year’s competition in Bowling Green. We didn’t get the place we wanted at the end, but next year the team will be better.

Instrument Flight Rating Test

Becca Sedlak

Becca Sedlak,
Junior, Aviation Flight

Athens, OH 6 March 2017

Since August I have been in the Instrument Flight course here at OU. Getting your instrument rating is one of the hardest flight courses because you cannot see outside and have to focus on your instruments and trust them, ignoring your body sensations.

There have been times where I was in a sight-restricting device and my body was telling me I was in a turn while my instruments told me I was in straight-and-level flight. My instructor could see outside and confirmed that I was in a straight-and-level flight.

The most frustrating thing about being a flight student is when weather comes in and causes you to slow down in your progress. hat is what happened to me towards the end of last semester. After weather coming in stopping me from being able to take my Instrument Flight rating test, I was finally able to take it the Monday of Spring Break. This was one of the most stressful tests that I have ever taken. I had to be confident in my answers but also show that I knew how to fly with just my instruments.

Airplane

I could not be more proud of myself when I heard the test instructor tell me that I did very well and passed. It was the best way to start off Spring Break!

Precision Flight Team

Drago Cvijetinovic

Drago Cvijetinovic,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 12 October 2015

Seeing the faces of young and old alumni during Homecoming here at Ohio University struck me with one of the more eye-opening revelations than I’ve had before: how little time I have left to enjoy being a student! The weekend in its entirety flooded me with many good memories of my past here in Athens; in fact, the more I reminisced, the more it felt like I was still only getting started and four years ago sometimes still feels like yesterday, still finding my way around campus. It’s a strange reality to finally grasp the fact that this time next year – OU will be a thing of the past.

Recollecting some of that past, however, I can safely say that one of my best and most gratifying experiences I’ve had here would have to be participating as a member of the Ohio University Precision Flight Team. Consisting of not just flight majors, but any student interested in aviation, the flight team is an inspired group that utilize the knowledge they’ve gained in the course of their college career to compete against schools around the nation in a variety of events.

Flight team

In and through this team, I have met some truly amazing and unique individuals, who are not just a “team member,” but they’re part of the student body. It’s exciting to hear other folks’ stories on how they have gracefully fallen into aviation to the schools they’ve studied at and ultimately – all the places they plan on going!

It’s a little cliché, I know, but a quote that has always stuck with me in the aviation program is: “A mile of road will take you one mile, but a mile of runway will take you anywhere.” So despite how similar one student may compare to the other in where they are now, I’ve realized that everyone really does have their own twist and flair to their book of life–past and future.

As of right now, everything is looking good here at OU. Classes are in full swing and oddly enough it’s already at the halfway mark of the semester. Summer packed her bags and left for vacation while Fall arrived right on time.

Flying and Art

Drago Cvijetinovic

Drago Cvijetinovic,
Senior, Aviation

Athens, OH 14 September 2015

So it’s the start of week four of Fall Semester and everyone is still trying to get settled in here at OU. The streets and classrooms, bustling with students, radiate enthusiasm and excitement.

However, while everyone is just settling in, I’m going “full throttle” academically.

I decided to stay here in Athens over the summer to get ahead in my flight training. The start of the summer moved slowly by because of the rain, but once the sun came out, so did I. In the past 90 days, I’ve been able to log over 50 hours of flight time, 25 of which were solo flights. I spent most of my summer flying all over Ohio and her neighboring states.

Flying

My best flight had to be a solo flight to Smyrna, Tennessee, located approximately 10 miles southeast of Nashville. The whole flight took over 6 hours, but it challenged my aviation skills to the fullest extent.

Besides spending my time in the air, I spent a great amount of time on the ground working on small personal projects. I’ve always loved doodling, so I tried to branch out into the art scene. I studied some current artists and different styles. As a result, I did something that I wasn’t very familiar with: spray paint art.

The LeBron painting was the very first painting that I’ve ever done. I hand painted that about four years ago.

Lebron

The Yoda painting was the first full spray paint painting that I’ve done. That was this past summer.

Yoda Beats

I think that I mastered spraying on canvases, and I’m now considering painting the graffiti wall located on the top of the Richland Bridge.

This fall, I’m going to get an opportunity to fly a complex aircraft and complete my commercial license. Shortly after that, I’ll start my training to become a flight instructor here at OU and teach incoming aviators new skills that my past instructors once taught me.

Summer Aviation Plans

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 2 May 2015

Summer is here! I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I got all of my hard classes out of the way and next year is going to be a breeze.

Overall this semester wasn’t too difficult. I only had three finals and I have to admit they were challenging, but manageable. All I can think about now, though, is no finals, no midterms, no homework, and no more classes for 4 months. What am I going to do with all of this free time! Travel to every continent, see the world. Endless possibilities.

Actually, this summer I will be staying here in Athens flight instructing. I have to build those flight hours somehow! I am pretty excited, though, because I have 10 students. That’s like a full workload and I am going to enjoy every moment of it. I’m going to be out at the airport Monday through Saturday 8:30 am to 6:30 pm. It’s a lot of work, but this is what I signed up for and I’m really looking forward to it.

Another thing I’m really looking forward to this summer is I signed up to volunteer for OBAP’s (Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals) ACE Academy. The ACE Academy is a way for students from 14-18 to get a taste of aviation. During the time there, they learn leadership skills, the history of aviation, and even have a chance to fly an airplane for the first time. I love being part of people’s first experiences with airplanes. I love seeing how excited they get and it reminds me of my first time in a plane.

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.