I attended Kent State University in Kent Ohio from August 2002-December 2006, in the Aeronautics Department majoring in Flight Technology. Yes, it's that Kent State.
KSU had a huge impact on my life. I made a lot of new friends and joined several clubs such as the Anime Club, the Flying Club, and the Precision Flight Team. I worked on campus as a Resnet Computer Consultant, and did an internship with American Airlines during the summer of 2006. After I graduated, I continued to work for the university as a Flight Instructor.
I often look back and miss the time I spent at Kent State. I wish I had more time back then to do everything I really wanted.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Aviation Day 09
Saturday was the biggest day of the year for the KSU Aeronautics Department. The “Aviation Heritage Fair” is the new name for Aviation Day, which technically they are not allowed to call it anymore. It’s a little airshow but has some great strengths and I try to go every year. I worked my schedule to fly up to Ohio to help out and see friends from my old flight instructor world.
Things sure are different now, as my former students are the ones running the show. It’s actually very cool and fulfilling to see them stepping into the role that I was in just two years ago. I got to see one of my private students who just got his own instructor certificate a week ago. Flight team members who had just joined when I left are now senior members and officers of the club. Even a good friend from Six Flags/Geauga Lake has started the program and joined the flight team. It’s great to see them continue to build on the success that we started back in 2005.
The weather is always a big factor in how well the airshow goes over, and the last two years have been pretty miserable. Despite a forecast of rain early in the week, the weather was actually very nice all day. I parked my car by Target and walked the parameter to the main entrance. As I walked over, there was a nice rainbow over the hangar and the Cessna fleet. The pic doesn’t do it justice. As I got to the airport, I met Even and Myles who were putting up the signs for airplane rides.
The rides are a big operation, almost a little airline in itself. You have the flight instructors piloting the aircraft; the new flight team members are marshaling airplanes around the ramp under the control of the airport line staff; the senior flight team members are taking reservations and money, assigning crews and passengers, and checking weight & balance under the main tent. The Chief instructors are in charge of us all, but they are so busy throughout the day that we really end up working on our own and being responsible for ourselves. We’re used to it though as the entire airport is pretty much run by the students. It’s always awesome to see the teamwork and everyone works together so well.
I didn’t have much of a plan for the day other than to hang out with people, but as the show started and people arrived for the airplane rides, I began to see a job opening in scheduling. They had done well in making a time slot board, but I made a good system to tell the difference between reservations and completed flights, ways to prioritize flights, etc.. Airplanes would come and go in different orders, but we kept up all day and were never more than 10 minutes off of a passenger’s reserved slot. Even smoother than an airline! We had our share if issues too with the weight and balance. Cessnas are mostly trainers and aren’t able to carry the weight of 4 big people. We had issues with seatbelts not being long enough and too much weight in the front of the airplane, but we were able to accommodate everyone who was willing to work with us. (Only one group stormed off in a hissy fit) I feel it was one of the best years for rides and we made a lot of important cash for the flight team to compete next month.
The displays were alright, the main attraction was a restored C-47. It’s a military version of the DC-3. Also notable were a T-6 Texan, Parker Hannifin’s Citation Sovereign, the Goodyear Blimp, an Extra 300, and many General Aviation aircraft of all types. Flyovers were performed by a C-130 Hercules and a KC-135 Aerial Refueler. Unfortunately, the C-130 showed up about an hour late. The airshow is free though, so take what you can get. Many props to those who organized everything.
I did take an airplane ride myself with my dad, and it was nice to fly a Cessna again. It’s a lot more sensitive than the ol’ ATR. I was a little all over the place, but that’s what you get when you fly one once a year now. I had a good time with my dad watching the flyovers and taking the ride. For the rest of the time I volunteered doing the ride scheduling, and then helped to clean up when it was all done. All in all, a pretty good year for Aviation Day. The airport is always an issue in the city of Stow, for noise and real estate concerns, and we need all the good publicity we can get.
The next day I went out to the airport again to help the flight team practice. They were running a message drop practice followed by landings. In three hours, I think they got 4 heats of message drop in. That is way too little! It’s wasting time and resources. The airplanes are sitting on the ground, not being used and no one is getting any useful practice in. I think I’m going to write up a better schedule and method for them. Don’t know what happened between my departure and now, but that was aggravating. Landings went better. With only a month between now and regionals at Battle Creek, they need to be more efficient to get good practice in and be ready by then.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds, and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless falls of air…
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor e’er eagle flew-
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high, untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
Found this on the KSU newspaper website, a nice video about KSU’s first place finish in october. The first guy interviewed was my student for about 6 months who I helped get his commercial certificate. The second is a student I flew some multi time with too. Both great guys and current instructors themselves now.
The maintenance people at the Ksu airport have taken it upon themselves to decide that the airport cat, Runway, is a “health hazard” and that he should be put to sleep (and of course I mean put to death) or at the very least taken by someone for adoption never to return. Completely ignoring the fact that Runway has co-existed with humans without being a danger for 10 years, how can they just decide to up and do whatever they want with a cat that belongs to everybody? I should also mention that these maintenance guys have been here for less than a year. More like months. It just pisses me off that they think they can just do whatever they want like this. I have to make a stand. I wrote a petition to put on the wall for people to sign to save Runway. I hope everyone else thinks like I do and that they don’t think I am too much of a loser for doing it. But in the end I don’t care. You have to fight for what you believe in, even the little stuff. And they have to listen to the students, right? That’s where the money comes from.
The plus minus system is designed to be a more accurate way to assess your abilities. If you got an A-, it’s because you did A- work. It is designed to separate the students abilities more accurately so not everyone graduates with honors.
A lot of students respond with “Why isn’t there an A+, if there is an A-? I will answer the question with another question. Why should there be? By getting the A-, you are only proving that you did not even do A quality work. Therefore, the +/- system rewards you by helping your gpa when you should have gotten a B.
Now take a look at some college where every student gets an A in every class simply for breathing. It looks like their college is so good at teaching, when in reality it just means that’s it’s ridiculously easy.
So when you go to get your next job in the near future, do you want your employer to say “Oh you went to kent state where everyone gets A’s just for breathing, maybe I should hire this Akron U. guy”, or do you want him/her to say “Oh wow, an honors student from KSU, he must work really hard”?