Category Archives: Aviation

University of Illinois Students Take Classes at Parkland College

I will bet that most University of Illinois students are not aware of how many of their fellow students are taking courses at Parkland College while attending Illinois. The numbers might surprise you, because so many are taking our online courses; thus, they are almost in “stealth” mode.

In fact, about 400 Illinois students will take one or more Parkland College classes this spring. It is not unusual to see that number swell to around 2,000 Illinois students during the summer term.

The online course format allows students to complete their Parkland courses around Illinois classes, work schedules, and social activities; this is the most popular mode for taking our classes. Students who prefer the traditional course format take classes at our campus in the afternoon, late afternoon, and evening so they will fit in with their busy schedules.

Some Parkland courses traditionally have a significant number of Illinois students enrolled. Examples include online Physics 121 and 122 (the equivalent of Illinois’s PHYS 101 and 102) and basic general education courses like Psychology 101 (equivalent to PSYC 100) and History 105 (equivalent to HIST 172)—a nice choice to meet the Illinois Cultural Studies: Western/Comparative and Humanities and the Arts: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives requirements.

Of course, in order to enroll in any courses, you’ll need to complete some basic tasks. You can begin the process of applying to Parkland as a Course Enrollee (a person not working toward a degree or certificate at Parkland) online by going to http://www.parkland.edu/getStarted. As a current Illinois student, you would be considered a “concurrent enrollment” student at Parkland.

You can find procedures and forms for domestic students at the University of Illinois website, at http://provost.illinois.edu/programs/advising/Concurrent_Enrollment_domestic.pdf. Procedures and forms for international students are available at http://provost.illinois.edu/programs/advising/Concurrent_Enrollment_international.pdf. Please note the instructions very carefully. You must meet Parkland’s prerequisites for the courses and must verify this by bringing with you your Academic History from Illinois Student Self-Service.

If you are wondering how Parkland courses transfer to Illinois, check out the transfer course matrix at http://online.parkland.edu/transferpatterns/index.cfm.

So, if you are looking to squeeze in one more course or maybe looking for a different time or a format that you are unable to get  at Illinois, taking a class at Parkland College might just be for you. We would love to have you!

Parkland College is open until Dec. 23 to take your registrations.

Please note that all Parkland College transfer classes are freshman and sophomore level. For additional enrollment information, contact Parkland’s Office of Admissions.

John Sheahan
Director, Counseling and Advising Center

Learning to Fly

Jeremy Russow
My name is Jeremy Russow and I am pursuing my goal of becoming a pilot through Parkland College.

 

[A former Marine and a Parkland Aviation student, Jeremy Russow takes to the air and fulfills a goal he set for himself.]

*****

There are so many things we want to accomplish in our lifetimes, yet it seems as though many things are just too far outside of our reach.

I remember taking a family vacation to Florida as a young child and that first experience flying. I was glued to the window as we taxied and prepared for takeoff. I remember the feeling as the plane accelerated, pressing me back into my seat, and I watched people, cars, and buildings begin to shrink as we climbed higher into the sky. This moment sparked an interest in aviation.

My mom still has a paper I wrote in discussing my dreams for the future. My third-grade teacher had asked us to answer two  questions: “If you could be one age and stay like that forever, what would it be, and why?” To this day, I don’t recall if I chose the age of 28 for a reason or arbitrarily, but I landed on that number because at that age I would be a pilot and could fly my family and friends all around the world.

So here I am today at 28 and, although I have yet to find the fountain of youth, I am finally making good on that goal from years past.

I find it exciting to be a part of this family at the Parkland College Institute of Aviation. Day One was all about getting to know your fellow students and staff. Of course there is paperwork to be done (would you expect anything less when it comes to the government?), but the staff makes the process very streamlined. Ground school classes are put together in a way that goes hand in hand with your lessons in the air for that week, so this definitely helps to reinforce the material as you learn it from book to practical application. The instructors and staff create a professional and fun learning environment, whether in the classroom or in the cockpit.

My first flight with Mandy (my flight instructor) was a bit surreal. We walked through the process of how to pre-flight the plane, from documents to weather to inspecting the aircraft. She took gradual steps to acclimate me to the entire process, and before you knew it, we were making our way to the runway and into the air. Even on the first flight, I got to start operating the controls. It was an awesome experience I will not soon forget.

After several months of flight and ground school, it was time for me to do my first solo. Mandy kinda sprung it on me one afternoon while practicing touch and go’s at the airport. After we landed the last time and taxied to the ramp, she asked if I wanted to solo. I was caught off guard at the thought, but extremely excited about it at the same time. We went inside, prepared my log book, and went over any questions I had before sending me off to continue practicing touch and go’s in the pattern around the airport. As I began to taxi on my own, it really hit me, “This is all on me now.” Caught between nerves and excitement I successfully landed the Piper Archer nine times on my own before having to head to my ground school class. The feeling would be best described as that first time at 16 when you take the car out on your own after getting your license. No one is there to help you if you mess up, and it is an absolute feeling of freedom, although now I am traveling in the air rather than on four wheels.

I encourage anyone who has a passion to fly and who may be looking for a place to learn, to put some serious thought into enrolling at the Parkland College Institute of Aviation. They have a professional, caring, and fun staff that will meet your needs as a student pilot. I come from a military background having served six years on active duty in the Marine Corps. There is a military veteran community there among the staff and alumni as well.

If you are a fellow service member, Parkland College can help you  use your GI benefits to make your dream of flying a reality. I know growing up I could never afford the cost of flight training, but this way, whether a veteran or not, I can budget the program through the college, and they can guide me with all of the information I need. I am nearing completion of my first semester here with Parkland, and I’m looking forward to completing my first milestone, a private pilot’s license, come spring/summer 2015.

First-Time Flight Instructor, First-Time Flight

[Dylan Rickrode,  an Aviation Human Factors major at the University of Illinois, takes us on his first trip as a flight instructor. He now instructs part time with the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois.]

I officially gave flight instruction for the first time this fall, on Sept. 13. It was a perfect day to fly, with clear skies and barely any wind. It was also my student’s first flight, so we were both excited.

After some instruction on taxiing and how to takeoff, we departed to the north to go to the practice area. I knew by the smile on his face that he loved aviation. When we got out there, we began doing some basic turns, climbs, and descents. I have to say that I was impressed at my student’s natural talent. We came back to the airport flying right over campus and both agreed how breathtaking it was. Everything is so much cooler seeing it from the sky. I am excited for the semester and all of the fun experiences it is bringing.

Our second flight was on Sept. 16. There were scattered clouds, and we had to dodge them on our way out to the practice area. When we got there, we did some more straight and level flight, turns, climbs, and descents. I began to teach him about sectional chart use and how to properly identify where we were. It was fun finding things on the chart that we were flying over, like grain elevators and lakes. He thought it was really cool how detailed the charts were and picked up on our location for the remainder of the flight.

We were able to fly again on Sept. 18, and we reviewed many of the same things we had been working on previously. We also included flying at various airspeeds and flight configurations to demonstrate the ever-important relationship between pitch and power. Of course, use of trim was a main part of the lesson. Once again, my student caught on very quickly and was sharp to identify not only what we were doing, but also why we were doing it.

It was a big first step in training…for both of us.

First Week as a Flight Student

[The following was written by a current student at the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois.]

The first week was all about the paperwork and making sure that we, the new students, knew what was going to happen during the semester in case there were any last-minute doubts or questions. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) became much stricter about who can learn to fly in the United States since 9/11. This is the reason for a fair amount of the paperwork that I had to fill out.

After the paperwork came the online reading about the maneuvers we would learn throughout the semester and how to properly execute those. I am still working my way through the reading a second time as I get to each item in my flight time.

The first flight was learning basic hand-foot-eye coordination and figuring out which instruments to watch and how to use them properly. The coordination part was mostly figuring out what straight and level flight looks like on both the actual and artificial horizon. Once I got that part down, or at least I thought I had (turns out I wasn’t quite at the right speed so now I seem to always climb just a bit), I moved on to making climbs, descents, and turns. This part was simple and will be the building block for the rest of my training.

Flying has always been fun for me even though I still occasionally get motion sickness, and it is even more fun now that I am at the controls. Takeoff and landing are starting to become fluent, although the landings are still a bit flat, and I think I’m getting pretty good about hitting my mark. The radios are simple now that I have learned what to expect and how to reply properly dependent on the situation; eventually, the controllers won’t even know it’s a newbie talking to them.

Hopefully, soon, I will stop considering myself a newbie too, even though I know someone with about 12,000 hours. I have 14.

Introduction to Aviation

No, don’t worry; this isn’t a post filled with technical jargon on aviation. Since Parkland has taken over the Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois, and now launched this blog, I thought I might bring the world of pilot training a little closer to home for the Average Joe–or Jane. I’ll start with a bit of my background.

Sybil Phillips, Director and Chief Pilot of the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois
Sybil Phillips, Director and Chief Pilot of the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois

Why did I become a pilot? As a kid, I remember walking through the pasture on the farm where I grew up and when I heard an airplane fly overhead, I wondered about two things. What does the world look like from the pilot’s perspective? Where is that airplane going?

I thought that learning to be a pilot would require skills that were beyond my ability and would remain a dream. But then my sister took an aviation class and I thought, “if she can do it, so can I.”

Fast forward to college when I enrolled in Aviation 101 at the University of Illinois. I was hooked. I get to see the world from the pilot’s perspective now and it is really cool. I love the challenge of flying an airplane with precision and finesse because there’s always room for improvement.

I’ve learned lessons that not only apply to the flight environment but also translate to everyday life. Pilots develop self-confidence as a result of exercising judgment and making decisions in an environment which is sometimes tense. We learn to set priorities and communicate clearly under pressure. Aviators are disciplined and eager to assume responsibility. Deep down, we are all control freaks. But we have to be in order to operate safely.

Where did flying take me? I became a flight instructor and eventually became the Chief Pilot and every day I get to help others realize their dream of becoming a pilot. I work with great people and have gotten to know hundreds of pilots who fly all over the world. As corny as it sounds, I am living the dream.

What about you? Is aviation part of your dream? Visit our web page to learn more about our programs, and/or leave a comment below with questions you have about becoming a pilot.