Tag Archives: flying

Sharing Flying with Friends

Tim Napoli

Tim Napoli,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 19 October 2019

Today was a special day. I was able to take up a fellow ambassador flying and show them what I do on a daily basis. It was interesting to see how another individual who isn’t sharing the same major reacts to being up in the air. Their face when we were flying four, five, even six thousand feet in the air is priceless.

I was even able to allow them to fly in circles for a few minutes to get a feel for how a plane operates. They insisted on wanting to go back up and fly again and were bummed when we had to land.

I thought back to when I first started flying, and I remember having the same reaction. In fact, every time I can get up in the plane and fly, I am excited and ready to see something new. There’s nothing better than being able to fly.

Even though I was nervous about taking a non-pilot up in the air, since I’ve only ever flown with an instructor or myself, I would definitely do it again. I love being able to share my interests with others, and I hope that fellow students can get the chance to experience something as exciting as getting to fly.


Sarah Bailey

Sarah Bailey,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 17 March 2019

Last summer I was able to go to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the annual EAA Airventure Fly-In Convention. It is the world’s largest fly-in and for that week the Wittman Regional Airport becomes the busiest airport in the world.

There is something there for people interested in all branches of aviation, including military aircraft, seaplanes, amphibious planes, vintage aircraft, helicopters, unmanned aerial systems, and more. The event featured hundreds of exhibitions with everything from repurposed airplane parts to building your own engine. There were air shows several times a day and hundreds of airplanes to look at on the ground.

While I was there I volunteered with the Seaplane Pilots Association, a nonprofit organization that protects, promotes, and advocates for seaplane aviation. I have always been very interested in seaplanes. When I turned fifteen I got a seaplane ride for my birthday, and it is actually what inspired me to pursue a career in aviation.

Volunteering with the SPA was a great opportunity for me to learn more about the history of seaplane flying and to meet people in that community. I was also fortunate enough to win a scholarship to get my seaplane rating at Kenmore Air in Seattle, Washington! Becoming a seaplane pilot has been a dream of mine for years now so I’m very excited to do that at the end of spring semester.

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.


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.