Colton

About Colton

Sophomore

Aerospace Engineering

Major: Aerospace Engineering, Aero Track
Hometown: Cypress, Texas (Houston)
Research: Built numerous RC aircraft / multirotors including quadcopters and hexacopters with autonomous capabilities and live video downlink
Activities: Tennis, RC aircraft, longboarding, hiking/exploring, photography/cinematography, innovation club, Chi Alpha Honors Student
Favorite Class: Engineering 101
Favorite thing to do in Prescott: hike/explore and take pictures
In my free time I… longboard, hike/explore, take pictures, make videos, build and fly RC aircraft

Prescott- Arizona’s Christmas City

Often regarded by many as “Arizona’s Christmas City”, Prescott sure does put on the holiday cheer around Christmas time every year.

December 6th started out as a pretty normal day for me. Got to sleep in until 10:30 a.m., with nothing on the agenda until my first final (physics) at 2:45 p.m. After a late breakfast/early lunch, I headed down to the post office. To my great joy, my new camera had finally been shipped to the school (my old camera’s fate involved a sketchy tripod, a cliff, and fortunate warranty service). After eagerly opening my Sony a6000, I asked my suitemate/best friend if he wanted to go downtown and play with my new camera. All seemed normal as we pulled out of the Embry-Riddle campus and headed down Willow Creek Rd. However, as we neared downtown the traffic began to be unusually thick for Prescott.

We knew something was up when we saw buses unloading at Chipotle. After driving through the shopping complex unsuccessfully searching for a parking spot, we opted to leave my truck at a nearby park. We began to realize that something big was going on as we spotted a high-school band warming up. It quickly hit us that we had arrived just in time to see the beginning of the annual Prescott Christmas Parade. And it seemed as if half of Arizona had come to enjoy the show as well.

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The entirety of the Courthouse Square was covered with thousands of kids and adults alike lining the streets, eager to catch a glimpse of the grand parade.

And grand the parade was. Ranging from toddlers in too-large of cowboy outfits, to a dozen greyhounds tugging at their leashes, the parade offered a huge variety of entertainment and Christmas spirit.

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One of my favorite parts of the parade was the section of Classic VW’sDSC00099

And then there’s the ‘cute’ section of the parade

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After watching about an hour of the parade, I hurried back to the school to take my physics final (I think it went well!).

That night, I travelled back downtown to see the city courthouse lit up with Christmas lights for the first time in 2014. This event was just as busy with people as the parade, only this time everyone tried to fit into the courthouse square. Saying we were packed like sardines was an understatement, but luckily I had my extra tall tripod and was able to get some good shots of the beautiful building.

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And the Courthouse/surrounding 163 trees lit up in all their gloryDSC00165 DSC00168 DSC00169 DSC00171

Embry’s Biggest Surprise — The Tight-Knit Community

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Ever since I was a kid, I had a passion for anything aviation. My aunt was in the Navy and my grandpa was a private pilot with a V-Tail Bonanza. I loved to be surrounded by people who shared the same passion as I had. When coming to Embry-Riddle, I knew I would be surrounded by a community of students and faculty who also loved aviation (since it is an aeronautical university), but I had no idea how tight-knit that community would be. Embry-Riddle is just a large family, with all its members having one common passion and drive: aviation. Not only is everyone pursuing a career in a similar field, but many also share the same extracurricular interests. By the third day of orientation, my suitemates and I built an airplane out of a broken printer we found in the dumpster (no we weren’t dumpster diving) and proceeded to launch it off our third story balcony.

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Silly as it seems, the building and launching of the ‘printer plane’ started the formation of a strong bond between my suitemates and I, and made life long memories before school had even started! And the adventures aren’t limited to gliders created from old electronics; within two weeks I had built friendships with several other guys who shared my love for remote control aircraft. Since then, we have built combat airplanes, built and flown multirotors such as hexacopters and tricopters, have had plenty of crashes, and have made tons of memories.

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It’s that sense of family that surprised me most about Embry-Riddle, and I think it’s a unique community you won’t find at any other university

If you’re interested in seeing the “Printer Pelican 1”, you can watch the video I made at this link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA1GviCfwlw

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Embry Outreach at White River Apache Reservation

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Something Embry-Riddle is very good at (one of the many things) is community outreach. This year I had the honor to take part in one the ERAU’s outreach programs, in conjunction with Chi Alpha (a program which I am also highly involved in), Innovation Club (also highly involved in), Rocketry Club, and ERAU Admissions. The event was created for outreach and promotion for Embry-Riddle and the pursuit for higher education in general.

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Me and about 14 other people from Chi Alpha, a club on campus that revolves around making life long memories through crazy adventures and pursuing our Creator (check it out here >> http://riddlexa.org/ ), trekked off in two vans to White River Apache reservation. Our adventure would take part over two days. The first night we went to their last high school football game and put on a halftime show. It started with Freshman Lee Morris launching off a high-altitude weather balloon, soaring high into the night sky with flashing LED’s before disappearing forever. Secondly, we launched a scratch-built 5-foot tall rocket that we had built using the Student Innovation Center (Innovation club) and some expertise from the Rocketry Club. It featured a cardboard fuselage, 3d-printed fins and nose cone, and a custom motor to send it to 700 feet. It was quite spectacular, and the crowd loved it.

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The next morning, we headed off to the local High school, Middle school, and Elementary school. All day, we taught classes on aviation, college, and pursuing a higher education. We were able to inspire kids to high school, to strive for their dreams and work hard to achieve them.

Watch the story unfold hereColton Chi Alpha 1

 

This event was definitely one of the most memorable parts of my freshman year so far. It definitely makes me thankful for what I have been blessed with, and gives me a hunger to help those around me pursue their dreams as I am pursuing mine.