I used this forum a couple years ago when doing my research on how best to pursue my goal of becoming a professional pilot. I’m happy to report now that after getting my degree at Colorado College in environmental science, I’m enrolled at the Mesa Gateway location from zero time, about a month in now and loving every minute.
Today I passed my takeoff and landing evaluation, one of the few evaluations that you accomplish before your first solo flight. It consists of three full stop landings and taxibacks, as well as a go around. An instructor is sitting in the right seat, but only to intervene in dangerous situations, so it really almost feels like you are up there by yourself. In fact, our flight featured three go arounds due to some poor spacing on the controller’s part (here at IWA, the tower is in fact a training tower, and it sure adds to the excitement in an already hectic Class Delta), as well as my first experience encountering wake turbulence, which will definitely wake you up at 0600!
It feels great to have your budding confidence reaffirmed by an experienced instructor, and I’m happy to be moving forward with the program. Up until now, I have been right on track with the set timeline, and I think the upcoming flight blocks are more conducive to allowing me to start getting ahead in the program which I fully intend on doing.
As for the ground portion, I will say that my degree has really made weather and atmospheric dynamics an absolute breeze, and I’m sure that many other degrees have tangential benefits to flying as well. You don’t need an aviation degree to succeed! Study what you enjoy learning about and get started on your flight training. Looking forward to more flights in the near future!