My Journey

I’m Back!!

…From an extended and unexpected break!!

For my followers that were around back in the spring, you may have noticed that I took about a half year break from blogging and writing. Unfortunately, when I started my job with the FAA back in June, I was advised to stop writing because of the potential conflict of interest… I was disheartened that I couldn’t keep up with my favorite hobby. But, it was also a blessing in disguise. I was able to really focus on my training at the FAA Air Traffic Academy and managed to graduate top of my training class. I’m now training to be an en route controller at Fort Worth ARTCC (air route traffic control center).

As of today, however, I have received clearance (pun intended) to start writing again!  I will likely stray away from topics directly related to my job, but I’ll still be writing on aviation topics that spark my interest.  I recently purchased a new DSLR camera & I live right by DFW airport – I’m certain that there will be some good plane-watching shots coming up soon. Standby for more!

I’m so excited to be back in the game…What should I write about first? What’s hot right now? Anything you want to know more about? Do you know of any up-in-coming publications that could use an aviation expert? What have I missed in my 7-month leave of absence?

I’m so happy to be back. Thanks to everyone that stuck around during my radio silence. I can’t wait to be back writing for you guys again very very soon!

Till next time!! xoxo,

Chrissi

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Embry-Riddle, Equality, My Journey, Women in Aviation

The 26th Annual WAI Conference

We’re down to just days until the 26th annual Women in Aviation Conference in Dallas, Texas. The conference will take place Thursday through Saturday March 5-7, 2015 at the Hilton Anatole. There will be hundreds of women and men gathering to share their experiences, network with industry leaders and expand their careers.

“Connect-Engage-Inspire” is the Conference motto, for good reasons.

Connect:

Attendees will be able to meet face-to-face with dream employers in the exhibit hall for internship, co-op, and job opportunities that are available. Additionally, networking opportunities will be available during the opening reception, luncheons, and the formal dinner on Saturday night. You never know who you will be sitting next to at dinner.

“It was possible to meet everyone,” said recent Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) MBA Graduate Holly Hewitt. She regarded her time at the 25th Annual Women in Aviation Conference as rewarding and added that the diversity of the attendees was impressive.

Many aviation and government organizations will be sending representatives to recruit new employees and even conduct interviews on-site. Chelsey, a recent ERAU graduate, received a job opportunity from last year’s WAI Conference. She was able to complete her initial interview on-site and was offered the position shortly thereafter.

Engage:

Those not actively seeking job or internship opportunities will be able to meet with representatives from organizations they are active in:  Aircraft Owners and Pilots AssociationProfessional Women Controllers, and The Ninety-Nines, Inc, just to name a few.

Bose, Pearls with a Purpose, and the Abingdon Company (as well as other companies) will also be on-site for product support and purchase. For these companies, opportunities to market to such a unique clientele only come a few times a year.

Attendees can take full advantage of two day’s worth of education sessions as well as  AOPA’s Rusty Pilot Seminar, two seminars featuring WWII WASP Pilots, and a panel discussion on the new medical reforms taking place.

Inspire:

This year speakers include: Amelia Rose Earhart – the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe in a single-engine aircraft, Heather “Lucky” Penney – Major, F-16 Captain ordered to take down Flight 93 on 9/11,  Colleen Barrett – President Emeritus of Southwest Airlines, as well as many others.

“The experience of being around so many successful, driven people is motivation in itself,” said recent Embry-Riddle graduate and last year Conference attendee Yreka Flores. “It really makes you feel like you can achieve something great,” she said.

Last year, jet dragster racer Elaine Larson inspired me to never be afraid to take that leap of faith, to step out of your comfort zone to do what you’re put on this earth to do. Eileen Collins, first female commander of a spacecraft, told me to follow my dreams and never let gender or typical gender stereotypes get in my way. And Deborah Hearsman, then NTSB chairman, put my education at ERAU into a real-world perspective and challenged me to help make change.

ERAU’s WAI Daytona Beach chapter will be sending 13 student members to Dallas this year. Last year they were able to send 18 members and many were pleased with their experience. “Seeing everyone make connections and some people getting interviews [was my favorite part],” said Janelle Walsh, former President of ERAU’s WAI Daytona Beach chapter. “It made me feel like all the efforts we put into getting everyone to conference [paid] off,” she said.

Personally, this will be my third year attending. I’m excited to volunteer in the Press Room on Thursday and hopefully meet many new contacts in my new-found love of journalism. I’m hoping to cover a few different stories while attending and help my fellow WAI chapter members achieve their personal goals.

Are you going to the WAI conference?

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Air and Space, Aviation, Commercial Aviation, Published Articles, Safety

Surprise!!!

So this morning I lounged around for a bit (as any college senior that doesn’t have to go to class would do…)… then finally got around to checking my emails. BOOM! The editor at Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine sent me an email.  He needed clarification on one measly thing on the most recent article I wrote and was waiting to hear back from me so he could PUBLISH IT. TODAY.  Now I’m so surprised because I had only sent this to him yesterday… and he only had 1 question?  That must mean that I’m getting better at this whole writing thing!

So I hopped on my computer, cleared up what he was confused about and send it back to him. Before I even had time for BREAKFAST it was published!

Go:NoGo

AND on top of all of that… I got my own link on AIr & Space! It’s where all the articles I’ve written for them will show up in one spot.

Tony (the editor) also assured me that the other story I’ve been working 2 months on (yes these things take time… and then some more time…) will be up sometime next week!  Three hits on Air & Space!! I think I may be on a roll.

If you had asked me a year ago that if I thought I would ever do ANYTHING with my communication minor I would’ve literally laughed in your face. But now… I read and write all the time and have found a real passion for all of this.  I thank everyone that follows this blog and encourages me on Facebook, IG, and Twitter. Y’all are really making me fall more and more in love with this hobby & I hope to one day make it part of my career.

Till next time… Blue Skies!!

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Flying, My Journey

Ride-Along to VRB

Tuesday Morning I headed out to Daytona Beach to join my friend Christopher (ha! Chrissi & Christopher!) on a short trip to Vero Beach. We took off from DAB and joined the coastline for about an hour. Christopher introduced me to the G1000 for the first time–and I think after the first moment of cluelessness I may have fallen in love! Photo Jan 19, 11 36 13 AM The trip was nice — and courtesy of Christopher you can join us on our trip with this video! Here are a few photos that I took during our trip that I thought turned out pretty good!

       Photo Jan 19, 10 19 47 AM     The mighty C172

Photo Jan 19, 10 19 38 AM Photo Jan 19, 10 39 17 AM

Crossing Runway 34-16 on our way to 7RPhoto Jan 19, 10 47 41 AM Photo Jan 19, 11 48 02 AM Photo Jan 19, 11 48 52 AM

The beautiful Florida Coastline

Photo Jan 19, 1 33 34 PM Kennedy Space Center from the air!

Photo Jan 19, 1 17 57 PM There are a LOT of airports along the coastline!Photo Jan 19, 1 58 07 PM

Coming back into DAB, joining in the pattern on the downwindPhoto Jan 19, 1 59 06 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 8.21.58 PMPhoto Jan 19, 2 00 15 PM

Landing 7R

We’re heading back to VRB next week to tour the Piper Headquarters — but unfortunately I won’t be able to take pictures while I’m there as they have a no photography rule 😦

Till next time… Blue Skies!! 

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Aviation, Flying, General Aviation

The Neighborhood Built Around a Runway

Friday night.. as most college students are “pre-gaming” for the frat party they’re planning to go to, my friend Taylor is doing something completely different.  She’s watching (& snapchatting) her weekly airshow in her backyard.

The Spruce Creek Fly-In is a residential community built around a 4000’ runway just a short hop from the Daytona International Speedway. Celebrities such as John Travolta, Teresa Earnhardt, and Tony Stewart have owned properties in the Creek. Roads and taxiways are one in the same & there’s always something to do!  The Creek is mainly retired pilots and folks that love aviation. Taylor is lucky enough to live there while she’s attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

I have some great friends in the Creek & even some that let me use their planes for photo shoots! Overall, this community is a fun place to visit & (I bet) an even “funner” place to live!

Photo Jan 16, 1 43 58 PM Photo Jan 16, 1 46 31 PM (1)

Till next time… Blue Skies!!

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Equality, My Journey

#WomenInSTEM

Today I headed to school to meet with a new professor to discuss how I was to finish my last 3 credit hours for my degree! I sent out a quick Tweet because I was excited about getting to work on a new research project! And the response I got was GREAT!

Shout out to @IHaveaLithp for such a great response to my tweet. Never had I thought about how I am a woman in STEM… I always knew I was a woman in the Aviation industry… but never had I thought about being part of such a large group of powerful women..of the women in STEM.

And now I get to work with a dedicated team of communication professors to help improve female experience on ERAU’s campus. I’m tasked with bringing professional female aviation organizations to campus to speak to female students and maybe even establish new professional women organization chapters on campus. Additionally, I will be assisting with focus groups to gather qualitative data on research into female retention on campus.

With this research, I may be able to make a small mark on bringing and keeping more females to the university I love and the industry I am so very proud of being apart of… As a #WomenInSTEM I’m proud to be doing research that will benefit my wonderful STEM field.

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