Hello everybody, currently as I am typing I am sitting on an Airbus A330 flying from Atlanta, Georgia all the way to Amsterdam. My journey began approximately 7 hours ago when we departed John Wayne airport in Southern California on a Boeing 737 all the way to Atlanta Georgia. Now we are on our way to Amsterdam, and finally from Amsterdam we will fly in a Fokker 70 to our final destination Prague, Czech Republic. I sure am excited to land because I was promised by the Lead Flight attendant along with the Captain that I would be able to go into the cockpit of the A330 and talk with the pilots for a little. Seems like a great opportunity to me especially since I have so many questions about the general aviation world and how it operates in other parts of the world such as Europe. Well my laptop is below 6% battery life and it is about to die, I will continue my blog as soon as I can get to an outlet. So it is now Friday night approximately 11:45 at night meaning it is 2:45 in the afternoon in California. We just got back to my aunt’s and uncle’s house where will remain until tomorrow morning. A couple hours after my laptop died we landed in Amsterdam and I went to the cockpit of the A330 and I spoke with the pilots. After speaking with them I was really upset with myself because the Fo (First Officer) aboard told me that I should have been much more sneaky when I asked the flight attendant to speak with them. He also said that if I would have straight up told her that I have my Pilot’s Certificate and will be attending Embry Riddle this fall that I could have went up to the cockpit in flight and stayed for landing!!!!!!!!!!!!! They have 4 seats in the cockpit and on our flight there were only 3 people in there. Apparently they have interns with them from time to time and they do not mind having another person in the cockpit. I was really surprised because I never would have thought that this would be a possibility with all the homeland security regulations, I always thought that because of national security purposes it would be impossible. Oh well, I will just have to try on my way back from the Czech Republic. Currently I am in a little city called Jablonec Nad Nisou, it is located in the north eastern part of Czech Republic. It is up by the Polish border and the German border is just northwest of us and not too far either. My mom, dad, cousin, aunt, uncle, and I just got back from a walk around town and it just reminded me how beautiful this country really is. Tonight we will be sleeping here at my aunt’s and uncle’s house and tomorrow we are heading out to watch the Bohemia Rally race. It is a 3 day race that runs throughout the Czech Republic through little towns and villages and catches everybody’s attention. It is late here and I am going to sleep I will continue my blog later this week.
It is mid-week Wednesday night or should I say early Thursday morning, I have really procrastinated on writing my blog because I have been extremely busy all week. It is 3:30 in the morning and I feel like I am staying up to finish an English essay that is due in a couple hours lol. Except this is better because writing these blogs is way more fun and I get to write about anything and everything (well almost :D). Anyways, another great week has passed and to this day it is exactly 2 weeks since graduation!!! It seems almost unreal that my fellow classmates and I have already graduated. I can honestly say that it still has not hit me that high school is over nor has it occurred to me that this fall we will all be young adults attending college. It is crazy how time seems to fly by especially when you have something to look forward to. In my case ever since my sophomore year in high school I have been counting down the years before I would be able to attend Embry Riddle. Now that it is here it feels great but at the same time I am slightly nervous, in my opinion it is the fear of the unknown. I know what to expect however it is an experience completely new to me and most of us, which is why it is just a little nerve racking. Even though this week was pretty busy it sure has been a great one so far. After a whole week of helping out on a 100 hour alongside with an Annual inspection on a Cessna 170B with my buddies we sure are happy to be done. It was a great experience and I could not be more thankful to Daniel Wotring and Brian Lepkowski, those that made all of it possible and always give me great opportunities around the airport. While working on the inspection all week I was looking forward to Sunday afternoon because I was taking a really cute girl on a surprise date and flying her out to Catalina for lunch/dinner 😉 Sunday came along and I was excited the whole day, until I called the weather briefer and found out that there was pretty bad overcast at approximately 3000ft from the coast all the way to Catalina. I decided to go anyways and if it was overcast all the way to Catalina I would change my destination airport. We ended up taking off and flying above Seal Beach Vor and the overcast had become worse. In my opinion it looked so bad that Catalina was below IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) minimums. I contacted Socal and diverted down to Palomar airport southward by Oceanside. However upon our arrival there Palomar was reporting clouds at 1500ft, visibility 6 with mist, with a westward movement of clouds. After hearing that I cancelled landing intentions because I did not want to land there get lunch and get socked in by the overcast. So we finally diverted north east bound up to French Valley where we ate lunch. Lunch at French valley was really good as it is at most airports. It sure was a great flight and I am pretty sure I was not the only one that liked it aha 😉 Even with all of the zero G’s and steep turns, Emily the girl I took with me agreed that she liked it, she sure is brave for flying with me hahaha jk. Afterwards we went for some ice cream and hung out. It sure was a great day and even though we could not go out to Catalina it still ended up being fun, at least we got to fly VFR (Visual Flight Rules) on top. Monday came along pretty well besides the fact that my mom made me wake up at 7:00 to get blood work done for my annual checkup, oh it was horrible getting up so early. Afterwards, I was busy getting ready for my trip to the Czech Republic, so I ran around buying clothing and supplies and then I also stopped by the airport to hangout for a while with my buddies and relaxed. Later on that day Emily surprised me and took me on a surprise date. It was a lot of fun, we ended up going to an El torrito on a pier and afterwards she showed me some really cool spots around her area. It was so much fun (: Tuesday was a great day spent at the airport, getting ready for Czech, hanging out with friends, and then later we spent the night eating at TK burger and walking down main street and the pier. Finally today went by really quick I packed all of my stuff or should I say Emily packed all of my stuff haha but we got it all packed up and then we went to the beach just before my departure to the Czech Republic tomorrow morning. I have to say that I am really excited for the Czech Republic. I mean all of my family and some close friends live there and every opportunity I get to spend with them I enjoy. It is almost 4:30 in the morning now and our plane departs in about 8 hours so I really have to get some sleep. Goodnight everybody and thank you for reading my blog. I will post new blogs whenever I can (sometimes it is really hard to get connected to the internet because not everybody has a computer over there) and keep everybody updated on my 5 week journey throughout the Czech Republic.
I would like to start off my first post by saying thank you to Doug Dickey, Sara Bofferding, and the Admissions office, alongside with everybody who has given me this great opportunity of becoming a student blogger for ERAU.
Hello to everybody reading my blog. My name is Petr Stepan Jr., somebody is constantly telling me that I spelled my name wrong (I think I know how to spell my name I tell them haha) I was born in the Czech Republic on October 1st, 1992 which is why Petr is spelled without the second “E”. I came to America or more specifically to California with my parents in the fall of 1996 when I was almost 4 years old. Everybody has a purpose in this world and my parents came here with the hopes of providing their only son with a galaxy of opportunity to be able to do whatever he so desired with his life. However I was not the only determining force in the decision to come overseas. The web of opportunity and success is incomparable to that in the Czech Republic. My mom Stephanie and my dad Petr are two of the most hardworking people I have yet seen on this earth, failure to succeed in this world is not an option in their eyes, nor should it be in any of our eyes. Their hardworking characteristics over the years has put them where they are today as two successful individuals who have their heart set on the right things in life. The Czech Republic is a fairly tough country to prosper and to pursue one’s career goals in, which is why we live where we do today in the “Land of Opportunity “as so America is called. I have high ambitions and goals for myself, some that I have already achieved, others I will yet strive to achieve. This world is full of opportunity and of course new doors open up as our careers progress, our transition from high school to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University will be only the beginning, and a key to the “Land of opportunity”. I have not yet fully planned out my future in detail nor should anybody, we should all know what we want and go after it. Having a direction to guide us is the safest bet; however so much is yet to come our way it would be almost unrealistic from day one to know what somebody wants in detail. Over the years I have come to this; I am open minded to anything that comes my way, however if there is something that has heart and has my name on it, it is flying. My major at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University will be Aerospace Engineering and my minor will be flight. My dream job would be combining the field of Engineering and Flight into one area and becoming a civilian contracted test pilot for the military or for any experimental agency/corporation. As a side job I would love to be a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) and help young ambitious pilots as myself come closer to reaching their goals and attaining true happiness. High School is now over, a new segment of mine, in conjunction with my classmate’s lives is about to begin. The years where we will build strong lifelong relationships that will help guide us throughout our careers are about to begin. Good luck to everyone and I hope to see you guys on campus in the fall please comment my blogs and let me know if there is anything I could improve.