Chapter 36

Hagerstown, Maryland

Andrew Russell

2021 Chapter 36 Ray Scholar:

Andrew Russell

April 2022:

Check Ride!
I am working on the oral part of the final exam! I will be taking my check ride on Friday May 6. Hopefully we can celebrate soon!
We toured Middle Tennessee, the planes there were newer and they were expecting an order of them to arrive in June with another batch to arrive in November. In the tour was a guy I knew from Civil Air Patrol, he is a year older and had taken off a year from school before starting college. One of the students came up to us during the tour and said that he was from Maryland and preceded to tell us what a great program it was. My cousins live in Nashville so we stayed with them. My cousin works for a small regional airline so I was able to spend two days with him talking to employees and touring the maintenance shop. We were able to see a plane that had all it’s skins off.
Next, we were off to Middle Georgia State. This was out in the middle of nowhere. They had the dorms right next to the airfield with all the aviation classes right there. The main campus is about 30-minute drive away where I would take all the rest of my classes. My mom really liked this campus but it was too far away from anything so this was not my favorite.
We toured Kent State on April 1. The planes there were all in the hanger because it was spring break and also a very windy day. They are in the process of putting a fence around the whole landing stripes due to the deer. The biggest maintenance issue they had were people hitting deer. So far, my favorites are North Dakota (although we haven’t toured it), Middle Tennessee, Jacksonville University, and Kent State.


March 2022:

In the Home Stretch!
I passed my first-class medical exam! Before receiving the scholarship, I went and had a third class medical exam but now the colleges are requiring a first class. This month I only got two lessons in and finished my foggles.
We toured Embry Riddle and Jacksonville University. Embry Riddle is right on the airstrip and near the car race track. It is a very busy campus with planes constantly going in and out. We had lunch on campus with all the rest of the students. Jacksonville university is not on the airfield and would require me to have a car to get to the airport. At Jacksonville I meet with the department head and a student from near where my parents are from. We were able to drill him on why he chose Jacksonville because he too toured all the colleges I am before making his decision. It is a beautiful and peaceful campus. I would mix in with students of all different majors, not just aviation like at Embry.
The car show had us park our car trailer on the taxi way. The volunteers there were retired guys that helped with Civil Air Patrol, so while my parents were checking on the antique car, one of the gentleman drove me over to the airport terminal where I hung out and watched the private jets fly in. The terminal was shaped like a Corsair plane. The history of the sight was that during WWII the pilots would come to Fernandina Beach,Florida to train on the Corsairs.
Also I signed up for a discovery flight at the Fernandina Airport. The instructor let me fly and land the plane. This was my best night landing ever! While up there I was able to get some great pictures of the area at night which are included in this article. The instructor was kind enough to drive me to the place my family was having dinner.
We are on our way to touring Middle Georgia and Middle Tennessee. This time my grandmother is coming with us and there isn’t a car show (that I know about). My cousin works for Contour Airlines, the regional airline brand of Contour Aviation, based in Smyrna, TN. On Friday April 1 (I know April Fool’s Day) we will be touring Kent State and then visiting my sister at Allegheny College, she has a dance performance. I’m sure I will have more to report on these colleges when we get back. There is a lot of choices and looking forward to exploring them all.


February 2022:

Night & Foggles!
This month we worked on basic instruments, unusual altitudes, steep turns, and stalls. I was able to complete my night flight requirements and the instrument flying using the foggles. I still have 0.3 hours left of instrument flying, then done with the requirements. Next step is to use some of my flight lessons to work on my oral and check ride. I currently have 59 flight hours. Then I will go in for my First-Class medical exam in March.

I have applied to nine colleges that are part of the Delta propel program, have heard back from all but one. The end of February we will be traveling down to Florida so my Mom can show her antique car. While there we will be touring Embry Riddle and Jacksonville University. The end of March we will be touring Middle Georgia and Middle Tennessee. My cousin works for Contour Airlines, the regional airline brand of Contour Aviation, based in Smyrna, TN.



January 2022:

After passing my written and having my wisdom teeth out, my flight instructor came down with Covid! Yep, ground for two more weeks! Finally on January 15 we were able to fly. I practiced for about half an hour on my day flying before it got dark to practice my night landings. I was able to successfully do twelve landings and take offs. Next lesson will be my night cross country flight. Then
hopefully finishing up soon.

Short term plans, to finish my flight lessons and take my oral and check ride before the end of February. Then I will go in for my First-Class medical exam in March.

I have applied to nine colleges that are part of the Delta propel program, have heard back from all but one. The end of February we will be traveling down to Florida so my Mom can show her antique car. While there we will be touring Embry Riddle and Jacksonville University. These schools are at the higher tuition cost but since we are there it doesn’t hurt to see what they offer.



December 2021:

I passed the written with a score of 83% with the help of Ray and Tobias! I took the test on December 23 before school (so my Mom got her Christmas present early). That night Tobias asked me to go night flying with him, this was my first experience night flying. Tobias reported to my parents, “We flew up to Harrisburg international (KMDT) and Andrew got to see UPS land in front of us and now understands why we land and takeoff “in the bowl” so we can avoid the wake turbulence from a much bigger plane.” The next morning I had my wisdom teeth removed, my Mom thought it was a good idea to get it done on Christmas eve.

Short term plans, to finish my flight lessons and take my oral and check ride before the end of February. Then I will go in for my First-Class medical exam in March.

Long term plans, to pick out a college that has a flight school. I have applied to nine colleges that are part of the Delta propel program. Delta offers a career path at fifteen universities. Successful candidates will be provided a Qualified Job Offer (QJO) detailing a defined path and an accelerated timeline to become a Delta pilot - and then helps achieve the necessary qualifications along the way. Pilots meeting the requirements of the Delta Propel program can progress through in 42 months or less. The program is open to Juniors and Seniors at one of our partner universities. Also, to help pay for college I would like to fly military aircraft for the Air National Guard or Reserves. Until next time, see you in the skies!



November 2021:

November has not been a good month. My instructor Anthony has taken a permanent position with an airline. I have been assigned a new instructor Luke and he and my parents have grounded me until I pass my written. I am currently at Fifty-Two hours of flight lessons. I am trying to take three written practice tests a day. We did take my Mom’s antique car down to Hilton Head. There was supposed to be an airplane show but due to the high winds and rain that was canceled. We did go over to the airport and the manager took us out in a golf cart to the planes that were there. Keep your fingers crossed that I pass my written exam. My Mom wants a copy of my passed written for her Christmas gift this year. Until next time, see you in
the skies!



October 2021:

Getting Closer!
October has been a month of studying for my written and flying. I am currently at Forty-Seven hours of flight lessons. I am scheduled for three times a week at three-hour lessons.

I flew my first and second cross country up to Lancaster, then four cross country to Martinsburg, and then my long cross country to Lancaster, Hagerstown, and back to Frederick. I also flew to Clearview Airport in Westminster MD with my instructor Anthony. Then I soloed to Lancaster on a Saturday and my Aunt Karen met me at the airport with a sign, candy, and lunch. That was one of the most exciting besides hearing Mr. Gary Keller on the radio and having Mr. Ray Franze seeme land in Martinsburg. It’s great knowing there are friends watching where I go!

My Instructor Anthony has accepted a position with the airlines so I will be working with Instructor Luke to help guide me the rest of the way through the program. We will all miss Anthony, he has been a great help.

Keep your fingers crossed that I pass my written exam. Until next time, see you in the skies!



September 2021:

I am Getting Ready for My Cross-Country Flights!

I am currently at thirty-seven hours of flight lessons. I am still trying to maintain a scheduled of three mornings a week at three-hour lessons, and fitting in weekends.

This month I helped out with the Young Eagle’s first flight, at the Wings & Wheels event. My Father drove our 1930 Franklin Speedster which has an airplane hood ornament. It was fun helping but I had to leave early to get to Frederick for a lesson.

My family and I went to Cape Cod, while there my cousin and I chartered a flying tour. The Pilot let me take off and fly for about half of the tour.

My Mother and I attended the tour of Air National Guard in Martinsburg that Mr. Ray hosted. I would like to join the Guard while I am at college. I was able to sit in the Co-pilot seat of a C-17. I also got to stand in a plane engine shroud but the most fun of all was being able to fly in the L3 Simulator (unfortunately no pictures allowed). I was able to take off, fly a traffic pattern around Martinsburg, and was able to land. Mr. Ray was behind me the whole time. My friend Zak, came over and met the group, he is three years older than I and also wants to become a pilot. Zak is working as a load master.

Keep your fingers crossed that I pass my written exam and have great cross-country flights. Until next time, see you in the skies!



August 2021 Update:

I am Soloing!
I am currently at thirty-two hours of flight lessons. I am still trying to maintain a scheduled of three times a week at three-hour
lessons. And I have soloed twice!

My first solo was July 25 at 1 pm. My sister drove me to Frederick so I could practice with my instructor Anthony. I was supposed to solo that Friday but the winds were so strong that Anthony decided not to let me that day. So that Sunday the weather was perfect, maybe a little too hot but slight winds. My NC adopted Grandparents were in town visiting so once Anthony gave the ok, they left Williamsport for the airport. They watched as Anthony hopped out of the plane and there, I was alone! Anthony joined my NC Grandparents and my Parents on the side line with his radio so they could hear me talking to the tower. He also had his cell phone and was texting me. My first take off went smoothly and same with my second ones. On the third time I took off fine but when asking to land, I didn’t clearly hear the directions due to her speaking too fast, so I asked her to repeat, she did but wasn’t happy about doing it. This month I also helped out with the Young Eagle’s first flight event. It was fun helping but the best part I got to fly stick with Mr. Tony in his T112 and with Mr. Curtis in his Cessna 177, and to talk with the Editor in Chief of “Flying” magazine, Julie Boatman.

My family and I went on vacation and we had a few lessons canceled due to weather. One of the cancelations was due to it being too hot. I am scheduled for flights from now until the end of October. I will be taking lessons Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays mornings before classes. My school BISFA has arranged for an “educational Release” in the mornings. I will also be taking on-line college classes through Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) in their Professional Pilot AAS degree program. I have already completed two classes and plan on making more during my senior year.

Oh, and also since my last article I passed my driver’s test on August 12, so I can now operate a car on my own.



July 2021 Update:

I am Flying! Thank you again! I have started my training. I am currently at sixteen hours of flight lessons. I am scheduled for three times a week at three-hour lessons. My instructor Anthony, thinks I will be soloing in a few weeks.

I have been very fortunate to have many people helping to guide me, on my journey to become a commercial pilot. Besides the EAA group, my family have two very close friends that are pilots, one is a commercial American Airline pilot and the other is a Private pilot that flies his own planes. Colonel Mike McCarty, is a friend of my parents that has taken me under his wing. Colonel Mike, learned to fly in the Marines. He is trying to talk me into joining the armed forces to get my training that way.

Since I earned my Eagle Scout during covid not many people were able to attend my ceremony. Undenounced to me, my parents had been in contact with a family friend from Hazard Kentucky. Mr. William Fields wanted to attend but it was not to be. Mr. Bill called my parents up on Easter Saturday this year and announced that he was on his way. My parents keep in contact with him during his flight and timed it so that we arrived at the Hagerstown Airport just before he landed. You may ask how did they get me to the airport? Well, I am still on my drivers learners permit so they tricked me into driving them to the airport by just saying that they were taking me out practicing. Then, since we were near the airport, we just happened to stop in to watch the planes land. There just happened to be a cute silver Swift airplane coming in and the pilot had a thick Kentucky accent. Wow, that plane looked just like the pictures of the planes that Mr. Bill owns, could that be Mr. Bill getting out of the plane?!!

The next morning, we got up early and Mr. Bill and I took off. We flew to Bedford but it was too windy to land so we came back to Hagerstown. Unfortunately Mr. Bill was not able to stay much longer so he had to head back home.

The EAA group also is another group of guys that are helping me learn more about flying, not only the actually flying but the actual planes. They are teaching me how to build a plane and about the maintenance that goes into owning one. I hope I will be able to make them all proud of the pilot I become



June 2021 Update:

First I would like to Thank You for granting me your scholarship. My name is Andrew Russell and I moved to Williamsport MD, six years ago. I have wanted to fly since I was a little boy, my parents think it is due to my Great Grandfather, he was a WWI pilot stationed in France.

I think my spark in aviation started when a modern-day Barnstormer had allowed my dad and grandfather to fly in his red biplane, and although I was very young this experience piqued my curiosity which eventually led to my desire to fly airplanes. To me aviation provides the capability to go anywhere on the planet. I am fascinated by the technologies that make modern reliable and safe. For these reasons I am convinced that I want to learn more about aviation by flying and advancing in flying different planes. Eventually I would want to fly commercial jets with Delta airlines.

Before flying in person, I had flown in a simulator where I had learned all about flight controls and flying a plane. The more and more I learned the easier flying became. Eventually I was able to take flying lessons and my instructor was impressed with my abilities. In addition to these lessons, I started taking aviation classes at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC). Currently I am taking aviation history which is allowing me to expand my knowledge with how aviation developed into today. Moreover, I had been active outside of my aviation activities with camping, hiking, and bike rides with my Boy Scout troop. Last year I accomplished becoming an Eagle Scout after five years of earning badges for a variety of activities as well as completing my Eagle Scout project at our local church. Since this occurred in 2020, I am proud to say that I am a Covid Eagle. One of the virtues of getting this rank is the trustworthiness I demonstrated to my troop my parents, and my community. Furthermore, I showed dedication by continuing to consistently earn the badges required and even more. I believe I deserve the scholarship because of my dedication to becoming a pilot and that I am trustworthy enough to use the scholarship funds wisely to get my private pilot’s license.

My dreams after high school will be to attend college and earn a degree in Commercial Pilot. I have already attended Liberty University’s College for a Weekend event and was able to attend five college classes on aviation (safety, ethics, commercial ground, weather and aviation foundations). I have applied to six colleges that offer a pilot program and waiting to hear if I’ve been accepted. I want to eventually become a pilot for Delta airlines flying large commercial jets. I have had my eye set on this goal for as long as I can remember. My goal for senior year in high school is to earn my private pilot’s license. I would like to live in a hanger and have my own plane. The plane I would like to own is a taildragger aerobatic plane (stunt plane) so that I can enjoy performing flips and barrel rolls.


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