To get ahead with flight courses at UND, I stayed for an accelerated semester during the first 6 weeks of summer this year. In 6 weeks, 30 of us in my class took AVIT 323 (aerodynamics), AVIT 324 (aircraft systems), and the associated commercial flight course. It was an intense experience, but I’m glad I got it out of the way!

Commercial flying, other than new maneuvers, isn’t all that different from the flying you’re already used to. The standards are tighter, with more attention payed to altitude, heading, and “getting ahead of the airplane.” The new maneuvers (chandelles, lazy eights, eights on pylons, commercial steep turns, and steep spirals) expand your flying skills to make more smooth, accurate changes in pitch and power, with an overall goal of finishing maneuvers on a specified altitude, airspeed, and heading. They aren’t all that hard to learn, but the commercial course is all about narrowing your standards in an attempt towards perfection.

The big part of being a commercial pilot isn’t so much the flying as it is the knowledge. You must have a deep knowledge of aviation weather, aircraft systems, federal air regulations, and commercial pilot privileges.

With almost 400 hours now, I passed my commercial checkride in late June and in the fall will move onto multi-engine flying in the Piper Seminole. In the spring I’ll enroll in AVIT 414, the CFI course. I can’t wait to get started teaching people how to fly!

Things are moving along quickly… And after the intense summer semester I’m enjoying some summer break…


About The Author

If you want to become a pilot, I want to make your journey just a little easier. I'm a First Officer for Envoy Air, one of the largest regional airlines in the world, and have partnered with industry leaders like the U.S. Air Force to teach about various aviation careers. For a full bio, click the "About" tab above. Use the "Contact" tab to shoot me a message.

8 Responses

  1. Gail German

    So happy for you….
    If you ever come to Dothan area, stop in and say hello
    Pratt’s Landing.

  2. Steve Odland

    It would be great to see you at Delta down the road. I admire your motivation and this is a great time to move fast in the industry, getting time and ratings. Pilots will be short demand for whatever part of aviation you choose.

  3. Dimitris

    Congrats, your story is really inspiring! Looking forward to reading more! :))

    In the end, that photograph… where is this beautiful mountain?!

  4. Anne Martin

    The nap on the mountain looks rough. Congrats on successful completion of the June classes…fly HIGH, Swayne!


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