Fall Finals

Robert Chapin
2012-12-10T00:32:33+00:00
Rob standing in the fan duct of an A330 engine.

I like big fans.

Aviation Senior Seminar is coming to a close this week.  For future reference, all of my posts for the class are filed under AVT422.

Coming into this class, my career plans consisted of a few goals:  Graduation, entry-level pilot job, regional or corporate upgrades, and some day get to fly one of the Boeing 7×7 models.

Now I am making my plans more detailed, mostly with information presented in this class.  The most important changes pertain to the first officer qualifications starting 2013.  I think the full text of that FAA proposal should be required reading for all aviation students.  The qualifications will be very specific in terms of night flying experience and other résumé items that I had assumed would not be relevant to my selection of an entry level job.  As I see it now, those qualifications are everything to my career.

On the later topic of the pilot shortage, I was impressed by the need to consider international job opportunities and competition.  If there is any one topic that I might follow up with another blog post, it is that one.  Since writing that post in October, the topic has received enormous attention from the New York Times, NPR, and the guest speaker at our annual fraternity dinner, to name a few.  There is much more information to explore in that developing story.

Among the guest speakers at Seminar, the airline pilots and graduates of EMU were the most influential to me.  I admit, one of the highlights was asking a current Airbus captain for his opinions about the Air France flight 447 accident.  From his perspective, the changes in recurrent training and in the Airbus culture globally were profound.  From my perspective, that is an important aspect of system safety, and it is the part of the overall story that is always left out of the television documentary version.  The other highlights of the guest speakers’ presentations were the simple details of their career paths and the struggles and successes along the way.

My least favorite blog topic was the demise of Comair.  Maybe it was my unfamiliarity with the airline, or the open-ended topic starter, but I just couldn’t muster the enthusiasm that I put into other blog posts.  There were some Comair enthusiasts in the class, so I had to give them a fair chance at out-blogging me that week.

After graduation, I will be pursuing employment and probably finishing a CFII or MEI rating.  My philosophy for the future is that I will be always learning new things, taking exams, meeting new people, and exercising the highest level of safety humanly possible.  I will be involved in aviation for very many years to come.

9 Dec 2012

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  • Jason says:

    Hi Robert, I agree that hearing from professionals in the industry was most influential. Good luck with your flight instructor training!

  • Prof Wall says:

    It’s okay Robert – you didn’t have to have enthusiasm for ALL the blog topics ;-). I’m glad you enjoyed the Air France discussion. Yes, I think that pilot shortage topic is one that could be used next semester and remain “current”.

  • Brett W. Scott says:

    I think that your philosophy for the future is an important step to becoming a better pilot. Most people can become a competent pilot; not many can show true “airmanship.” A desire to continue to learn and grow is an important goal to keep. I hope you do well in your future endeavors.

  • Joe Moore says:

    Good point about the international possibilities. With GA in China expanding rapidly, CFIs are going to be needed. Not only GA, but there will be international commercial positions out there as well. Good luck with the career Rob!

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