Complex Endorsement

Name: Luke Burgett
Type of Project: Creative Endeavor.
1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project.

My STEP experience involved me obtaining my complex endorsement which allows me to fly a greater range of aircraft. I received my training at the OSU flight school in one of their Piper Arrows.

2. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project?
I received a better understanding of the aircraft and all the safety measures that are in place to protect people. It is everyone jobs from the designers and engineers to the pilots and passengers responsibility to ensure their safety.
The experience also helped show me that each part of the country vary dramatically not just in geography, but culturally as well. Before the experience I believed that flying and the number of people flying would be similar to what I had experienced back home, while flying in Ohio I realized that wasn’t true. Ohio deserves the reputation of the birth place of aviation not only since aviation industry first started there, but the people love aviation and foster the growth of aviation since the very beginning.

3. What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you?

Safety is the highest priority during any pilot training and always begins with the preflight. I experienced the benefit of thorough preflight during one of my lessons. I was scheduled to fly the same plane as the person before me and common sense says since the plane was just flying and landed odds are it is safe to fly. This was not one of those times though during my preflight I found that both of the main tires were flat and the engine cowling had gotten stuck in midflight and could not be opened without the help of the maintenance department. It goes to show that standard procedures even if they seem redundant are in place to prevent major accidents from happening.
Safety doesn’t stop with the preflight of the aircraft. The entire purpose of having to receive a complex endorsement is not that the aircraft are extremely difficult to fly, but the safety procedures are different compared to standard aircraft. The two differences between a complex and standard aircraft are complex aircraft have constant speed props and retractable landing gear. The leading cause of complex aircraft crashes are when there is a failure in the landing gear. Many of those crashes are caused by the pilot forgetting to put the landing gear down. Pilot negligence is the main cause of crashes so my training focused on preventing that from happening
The second takeaway from there experience hit me when I was flying around Columbus and that is aviation is deeply rooted in Ohio. It seemed as if every town in Ohio had their own airport and everywhere I looked there was another plane out flying close by. This is in sharp contrast to the areas I fly in where I can fly for hours at a time and not see another aircraft. It showed me that every region of the country have their own culture.

4. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life?
The experience will help with my personal goals since many aeronautical companies prefer to employ people with their pilot’s licenses because those people are going to be the end user of their products and have an extra insight on what pilots and passengers want. By having my complex endorsement I was able to get hands on experience with a wider range of aircraft. The greatest part of this experience was I was able to do something that is my favorite hobby and expand my opportunities to go farther, faster, and share it with more people.

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