Tag Archives: aviation

PANCAKE BREAKFAST WITH YOUNG EAGLES FLIGHT RALLY

 

487

Area young people ages 8 to 17 will have a chance to take to the skies on September 24, as Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 29 hosts a Young Eagles Flight Rally at Willard Airport in conjunction with a Pancake Breakfast hosted by the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College.

The rally is part of the EAA Young Eagles Program, created to interest young people in aviation.  Since the program was launched in 1992, Volunteer EAA pilots have flown more than 1.7 million young people who reside in more than 90 countries.

“Free airplane rides are just part of the Flight Rally,” said Dave Boyd, spokesman for the event.  “We hope to build one-to-one relationships between pilots and young people, giving a new generation a chance to learn more about the possibilities that exist in the world of aviation.”YE_logo_color-png

Pilots at the event will also explain more about their airplanes allowing young people to discover how airplanes work and how pilots ensure safety is the prime concern before every flight.

Following the flight, each young person will receive a certificate making them an official Young Eagle. Their name will then be entered into the “World’s Largest Logbook,” which is on permanent display at the EAA Air Adventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  The Logbook is also accessible on the Internet at www.youngeagles.org.

In addition to the certificate, the new Young Eagle will be given a logbook with an access code for a complete free online Flight Training course offered by Sporty’s Pilot Shop.

The Institute of Aviation at Parkland College (originally founded at the University of Illinois in 1946) offers flight training and an Associate of Science in Aviation that can easily be transferred to a four-year institution. Alumni fly for all major US airlines and for military, corporate, cargo, and charter organizations worldwide. More than 3,000 Institute of Aviation graduates have gone on to train other pilots as instructors.

Those attending the flight rally and breakfast on September 24 are asked come to Willard Airport in Savoy, Illinois, between 8 am and 2 pm to register for their free flight.  Flights will begin at 8 am, with registration closing at 2 pm. All Young Eagles will be required to provide a parental consent form which will be available at the event. Breakfast will conclude at noon ($10 for adults, $5 for  those 12 & under). Proceeds will go towards to supporting scholarships for Institute of Aviation students.

Additional information about EAA Chapter 29 and the Young Eagles Rally is available on Chapter 29’s website at www.29.eaachapter.org.  More information on the international Young Eagles program can be found at www.youngeagles.org. More information on the Institute of Aviation can be found at www.aviation.parkland.edu.

 

Women Aviator History: Film Viewing at Parkland

Beyond the Powder: The Legacy of the First Women’s Cross-Country Air Race is a documentary film about the first women’s cross-country air race in 1929 and the legacy of women’s air racing today. Parkland College will host a viewing of the film June 18 at 7 pm in Room C118 on Parkland’s main campus. Film commentary will be provided by Terry von Thaden, granddaughter of the first air race winner, Louise Thaden.

A002_C029_1125I6
1929 Women’s Air Derby pilots

The first Women’s Air Derby in 1929 was flown from Santa Monica to the finish line in Cleveland, kicking off the National Air Races. The eyes of the country watched as these brave women made history flying cross-country, breaking into a competition that was thought to be for men only. They encountered sabotage, death, and all the difficulties of flying at the dawn of aviation.

Today, the Powder Puff Derby continues as the Air Race Classic. The modern-day racers carry out the legacy of the original racers with their adventurous spirit. Showing that they were more than just their make-up, the original Derby contestants have inspired those flying today to push beyond the powder.

Beyond the Powder

This year the Air Race Classic celebrates its 40th anniversary and will include a stop at Willard Airport and the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College in Savoy, Illinois. The 2016 Air Race Classic runs June 21–24.

For more information about the film please visit Hemlock Films.

 

[Wendy Evans is the recruiter for Parkland’s Institute of Aviation.]

Community Day to help Parkland College Flying Team

Join the Institute of Aviation Flying Team for great pizza and to support a wonderful group of students Monday, May 9.

Supporters of the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College are invited to gather at Monical’s Pizza locations in either Champaign, Urbana or Mahomet for the Parkland College Flying Team “Community Day” fundraiser. “Community Day” is a perfect opportunity for you to support the team.

It’s simple: go online to www.monicals.com, click on fundraising, then “Community Day Calendar” and find this event. Print a flier for the event, and dine in or carry out.

Enjoy delicious pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches on Monday, May 9 and Monical’s will donate 20% of your check to the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College and the Flying Team. Just think, you will be supporting the team by simply going out to eat.

Since their start over 40 years ago, Monical’s Pizza has evolved into a community dining tradition for people in Central Illinois. Their continued dedication to the people and communities they serve enable groups like ours to succeed. For a flier or more information, please visit Monical’s website or email aviation@parkland.edu.

Campus Visit Day: Info, Tours, Free Swag, Oh My!

Seniors, still undecided on where to attend? Juniors, want to get a head start on your college planning? Here are our Top 10 reasons to attend Parkland’s Campus Visit Day on April 1.

Top 10 Reasons to Attend Parkland’s Campus Visit Day

1. Speak to students who are currently attending Parkland. Get an idea of campus life, student clubs and organizations, workload, and more.

2. Find out how to finance college through scholarships, grants, and loans. Seniors, fill out the FAFSA while you are here.

3. Tour campus! Get a better view of what Parkland College is all about through a general tour of campus. See our classrooms, cafeteria, bookstore, labs, art gallery, and more.

4. Interested in Parkland Pathway Program to Illinois? Come find out important dates, deadlines, and majors.

5. Interested in fixing cars or working on computers? Maybe helping patients is more your style? Learn about Parkland majors, including selective health professions programs.

6. Worried about the price of college? Find out how much it is going to cost you to attend Parkland as well as residency information.

7. Afraid of falling behind in class? We have you covered! Learn about support services on campus such as FREE tutoring, Writing Lab, and Presentation Lab.

8. Meet one-on-one with an Admissions advisor to get all of your specific questions answered!

9. Free swag! Come to visit day and get a free Parkland College water bottle and other goodies!

10. Apply to be a student. Visit our Application Station and complete an application on site!

Ready to visit? RSVP here.

 

[Sarah Hartman is an admissions advisor for Parkland College.]

Eat Pancakes, Support Flight Team

The Institute of Aviation at Parkland College is holding a pancake breakfast this Saturday, February 27, from 8 am to noon. Come join us for sausage and unlimited pancakes! Price is $10 for adults, $5 for kids 10 and under.

This event is a fundraiser to support the Institute of Aviation flight team when they compete in the National SAFECON at the Ohio State University May 9–14.

Fly in or drive in to the Institute, located at 1 Airport Road, Savoy.

We look forward to seeing you!

5 Observations from a College Recruiter

Life on the road can be fun (and exhausting) for a college recruiter.

My goal is to share the good word about the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College. Building a following takes time, and travel this fall has sent me in every direction in Illinois, and from Wisconsin and Missouri to Ohio and Indiana to Kentucky and back. I’ve put miles on my vehicle, passing the time singing to every Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift song I hear (yes, I admit I sing along, but it’s not my fault; they write catchy tunes).

I’ve noticed something interesting during these travels: While the venues change from day to day, the faces and questions remain similar. Wherever the road takes me, regardless of the state, I’ve come across homogeneity in prospective students and their families.

Based on my observations of these similarities, I’ll share five tips with you about college recruitment fairs (just in case you plan to attend one any time soon).

Observation 1: College fairs are a family affair

Dad with student, Mom picking up materials, grandparents along for the ride, and an older sibling explaining how it works: Let’s face it, college is a huge decision, and having the support of family plays an important role in a student’s college choice. I’ve seen overwhelming support from family members as they ask their student, “what do you want to do?” Refreshing, in my eyes.

Observation 2: Don’t be afraid

Without the push of family or friends, many students are afraid to talk to a recruiter. We don’t bite (well, at least not students)! Your first step to becoming independent is being able to speak for yourself, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. In fact, college will be a series of these types of interactions. Remember, I’m there to help you complete the picture you have painted in your mind about a school or program. I am real-life person standing in front of you—please come talk to me!

Observation 3: Do your homework

It’s not every day that you have 40, 50, or 300 schools all in one place and at your fingertips! Before accepting this great opportunity, then, you need to do a little homework. If your passion is aviation, then make sure you talk to all the aviation programs that are present. Prepare some standard questions you can readily ask each of them. This will give you a baseline for comparing programs and will help you make the most of your time while at the fair.

Observation 4: Don’t get stuck on the names

Students are stuck on the popularity of names. For example, they will spend several minutes waiting to talk to an institution’s rep just because they know them by name, even though they may have little to no interest attending in the school as a whole. “But it’s the flagship!” you might reply. Perhaps, but that is still no reason to attend a particular school; there has to be more intrinsic value for you than that.

Observation 5: Explore where you can thrive

I firmly believe you should throw rankings and popularity of names out the window and explore schools that will allow you to thrive not just as a student, but also as an individual. College is about coming into your own and becoming the best you can be. Find the school that can challenge you, allow you to be you, and reward you for your efforts. It is hard to describe, but there is a level of comfort you should feel when you step onto a campus or inside a department. School rankings can’t get you your dream career; while they may crack open a door for you, only YOU can walk through that door. Opportunity is everywhere, so find a place where you can thrive.

[Wendy Evans is the recruiter for Parkland’s Institute of Aviation.]

Dad, Daughter Learn to Fly at Parkland

Two generations of the McGuire family are experiencing the joys of flight training at the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois this semester. Dave, a Champaign  business owner and daughter Emily, a junior at the High School of St. Thomas More, share their impressions of what led them to flying–and what keeps them there.

***********

Dave and Emily McGuire appreciate their Parkland flight training.
Dave and Emily McGuire appreciate their Parkland flight training.

Emily McGuire:  I had never been all that into aviation as a young kid. I didn’t think it was the cool thing to do, but my dad convinced me to try an event sponsored by the airport, and I immediately fell in love with the whole aspect of flying. I love the feeling of being up in the air and leaving any troubles I have on the ground.

Flying is also empowering; it is unique that at such a young age I can ask my friends to go for a ride with me, and mean a plane ride! I think that if I can do it, then anyone else can if they put their mind to it. I never would have realized how much fun it actually is unless I had taken that chance.

I obtained my private pilot’s license a couple of months back. I took my AVI 101 class in the summer before my junior year of high school and juggled a summer job as well. When school started back up again, I was able to work with my principal and teachers as well as my amazing flight instructor to get a schedule that allowed me to make it to flight classes and get the essential classes for school. Parkland was very flexible and understood my needs!

Dave McGuire: I have held my private’s pilot license for 20 years, and I recently made a serious commitment to get my instrument rating. Everyone is busy, and with family activities, work schedules, etc., earlier attempts to get the rating took a back seat. I made the decision to enroll through Parkland because:

1) The staff in the Aviation department have confirmed their passionate and capable reputation.
2.) The structured environment allows for the focus I need to work on new skills and the re-learning of old skills neglected.

I was apprehensive about putting my 50-year-old brain in a classroom with smart, talented “young” students, but our ground school instructor, Bill Jones, provided the appropriate environment. (I can’t say enough good things about Bill’s experience and teaching style.) I was challenged and made new friends. Although not my goal, I continue to challenge my flight instructor, Don Talleur. He’s fantastically patient. My goal is to be a safe, competent IFR pilot. When Don says I’m ready, I’ll be confident that I am.

I look forward to next semester.

Come Fly with Us: Open House, DuPage Airport

Calling all Institute of Aviation prospective students and alumni! You are invited to attend the Institute of Aviation Open House at the DuPage Airport on Saturday, April 18 starting at 1 p.m. The Open House will be at the DuPage Flight Center, 2700 International Drive in West Chicago.

Free fun flights are available for the first 10 prospective students to RSVP to aviation@parkland.edu. Be sure to RSVP soon, because a parent or guardian will need to sign a consent form if the prospective student is less than 18 years old.

Students will learn about what the Institute of Aviation has to offer, with our four pathways to an aviation career. Alumni and friends will learn about what’s been happening as we transition to Parkland College from the University of Illinois.

Our focus will be on prospective students from 1-4 p.m., and then we greet, meet, and field questions from alumni and friends from 4-7 p.m.

Stop by to meet current students and flight instructors, maybe take a fun flight, and learn more about the possibilities at the Institute of Aviation at Parkland College.

High School Student Learns to Fly

[McKenzie Krutsinger, a Parkland dual credit student in Aviation, shares her thrill at learning to fly while still at Tolono’s Unity High School.]

Why Learn to Fly?
Learning to fly is extremely exhilarating. You get to be among the clouds and look down at all the towns, lakes, fields, cars, etc., and it’s so crazy. Every time I go up and look down on everything, it sort of brings the world into perspective, and I realize how big our world really is. You get an incredible amount of courage and sense of achievement when you’re on a cross country flight and you get to your destination right on time using only pilotage (the map and the compass). I truly think flying is something everyone should experience once in their lifetime.

How They Make It Work for Me
Since I’m in high school and play sports, I have to be taking enough classes to make me eligible. I need five classes. I had to ask my school board, IHSA, and Parkland College if I could take Aviation as a dual credit class. Thankfully, everyone approved.

I have a flight period scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon, so instead of two classes at my high school, I get to leave in the middle of the day and go fly. It’s amazing. Afterwards, I go back to school for three hours, then on Tuesdays and Thursdays I go back to the airport for ground school. Last semester, I had ground school during my break from school.

I am so thankful for everyone at the Institute of Aviation for working with my schedule and allowing me to do this. If you want to fly and earn your private pilot certificate while still in high school, they will make it work. Everyone is so understanding and willing to make it work for you.

Reaching Toward My Future
I would like to use my pilot certificate and continue earning all my other ratings and certificates. The ultimate goal is to be either a commercial or corporate pilot. Women only make up about 7% of commercial pilots. I want to be one of those 7%, and I hope to see that number grow. We have quite a few females at the Institute and I love it. It’s so easy to connect with them. We all know we are the underdogs and we have to prove ourselves to everyone out there.

Amelia Earhart and Softball
Sybil Phillips helped me find a scholarship through the Amelia Rose Earhart foundation. I applied for the scholarship, and they paid for a fun flight for me to go on. After that, I actually ended up winning. It was a great feeling, but I couldn’t have done it without Sybil’s help. I’m also very active in softball; I play at my high school and for a travel team from Chicago. Softball is basically year-round for me. I earned a scholarship to play at Florida Institute of Technology. That is where I will be finishing out my flight school.

I’m so thankful for Parkland getting me a head start on my flying career. I’m glad I got the chance to experience this opportunity in high school because it helped solidify that this was the path I wanted to take. By solidifying that, I could start looking for schools I wanted to go to. If flying interests you at all, I encourage you to take a fun flight. You get to experience what your flight training might be like. I could not be more thankful for the opportunity the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois has given me.

Why One International Student Flies

“Why do you want to be a pilot?” Many people ask me that question followed by whether my plane has a bathroom.  No, it does not. Normally I would answer, “you know, it’s cool to fly.” And shrug. But writing this piece made me think about the real reasons why I cannot give up flying.

More Friendliness
I am from Beijing, a city that has 21 million people. Everybody is in a hurry to get somewhere, and there are hardly any interpersonal relationships. Strangers never smile at strangers, and I don’t know my neighbors. The city looks heated but cold.

I always say this to people about flying: ”Think about it: If you are stuck in a 3 by 4 square-foot box for six hours, you need to be a nice person.” This is how I feel when I am at the Institute of Aviation. I don’t feel distant to anyone: the experienced check pilots, the 65-year-old student pilot, the “top-off, please” fuel guy, the Flightstar staff, or the air traffic controllers whom I have never met. There is one thing that connects us, aviation. But it is never dull because every one of us shines in his or her own way.

More Females
I will emphasize one of the pronouns I just used: his or HER. Everybody knows that aviation is a tough field for women. The female representation is tiny, and I just found out that out of the 1.4 billion people in my country, there are only 142 female airline pilots.

But at the Institute of Aviation, I am proud of our female representation. We have a female chief pilot whom we all look up to. We have girls trying to be pilots at the age of 16. This is a very special feeling for me, seeing the strong women empowerment at the institute. My family, which holds the Asian conservative value most dear, believes that I should have a life that a girl “should have,” that is, get a stable salary job and be a great mother. I am completely okay with this idea, but I am going to connect that job with flying airplanes. Even with all the pressure from my family, I never thought I would give up flying. Thanks to all the examples at the Institute of Aviation, I am more determined than ever.

More Freedom to Ask
Thinking in a second language is hard; now imagine flying using a second language. I never wanted to admit that this is an obstacle because I want my instructors to treat me the same as everybody else. But sometimes, it does take an extra question. My education until the day I entered college was “do as I am told.” If my teacher told me that a hexagon is a beehive, then it could never be anything else. This might be an exaggeration, but we were afraid to ask questions.

But when it comes to training to be a safe pilot, one of the most important reminders we receive here is “never be afraid to ask your controllers.” Now, according to Bill (my instrument rating instructor), I am his “I have a question” and “I completely understand” girl.

Aviation has reshaped my entire life. I transformed from the girl who almost settled to be an accountant for the rest of her life to a proud female pilot. The University of Illinois led me to the love of my life, and Parkland College saved it.

So you want to know why I want to fly airplanes? Well… you will have to experience it yourself.

 

[Fran Tao, a student from China, is taking flight training at the Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois.]

It’s not too late to fly!

While Parkland courses have started already, it’s not too late to take a flight course.

The 13-week AVI 101 course starts Monday, February 2. Deadline for registration is 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, January 27.

UIUC aerospace engineering students tell us that learning to fly is a great resume builder, and it sets them apart from the competition.
International students tell us that learning to fly while in the U.S. is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Learning to fly an airplane will increase your confidence and present a challenge that is truly rewarding. You might also find the path to a new career.

Ready to take flight? Give us a call right now and we’ll help you get started.

Parkland College Institute of Aviation at the University of Illinois
Natalie Health
Administrative Assistant
Willard Airport
217/353-2171
www.parkland.edu/aviation

View From Above

I thought some of you might like to see a few aerial shots of Parkland College I got the other day while flying with James Warren. We were shooting some flight footage to use for some videos we are doing for the Institute of Aviation, so we figured we should check out Parkland College while we were up in the air. (Note: It’s a little shaky now, but I’ll get that fixed in post-production).

Be sure to look for other Institute of Aviation videos coming in the very near future. One will take a look at a student’s first solo flight. Thanks to Sybil, Dave, and James for making all this happen.

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.