New Job – Training in Tucson

Week 6


Celebrating Success

Between 2017 and 2019, I worked through the following steps on my quest to become a commercial airline pilot:

  • Completed my Instrument rating in Cessna 172 on October 30, 2017 in Port Orange, FL.
  • Earned my Multi-engine Commercial license in a Geronimo multi-engine commercial on March 21, 2018 in Port Orange at MC Flyers, where I later worked as an instructor.
  • Achieved a Single-engine Commercial license in Milwaukee, WI on September 10, 2018.
  • Became a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) for Single-engine aircraft on September 24, 2018, also in Milwaukee.
  • Became a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) for Multi-engine aircraft on October 19, 2018, also in Milwaukee.
  • Completed my first type rating in a Learjet 35/36 at Flight Safety International in Tucson, AZ on April 3, 2019.

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Take the Sci/Tech Challenge:

To get a different view of Quin’s accomplishments, create a timeline of the major events in her training in the months between October, 2017 and April, 2019.


Our Crew

To earn a type rating in the Learjet 35, my company sent Hunter and me to a special flight school in Tucson, AZ. That city has a very interesting history: It was once part of Mexico and that heritage is still celebrated there today. I look forward to a return visit soon when there’ll be more time to explore the city and surroundings.

Not far away is Mt. Lemmon, which at 9,159 feet is the highest point in the Santa Catalina Mountains. Perhaps I will even be able to follow in the footsteps of botanist Sara Lemmon, who was the first European woman to hike to the top. It would also be fun to fly over and then trek around the nearby Sky Islands which are famous for their biodiversity.

As you can see, I was the only female in our crew and during the whole three weeks, I only met one other. I want to encourage any young woman to investigate the opportunities offered by a career in aviation. To me it has opened up a whole new world that is exciting, fun and challenging.

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Take the Sci/Tech Challenge:

If you are, or know of, a young woman who might be interested in a career in aviation, email me at


The Flight Simulator

We did get lots of time in the Learjet simulator. In it we were able to practice emergency procedures (engine fire, emergency descent, loss of an engine), basic flight maneuvers (steep turns, slowflight, stalls), checklists and call outs (audio reminders of air speeds during take offs and landings, when to raise/lower landing gear, etc.).

For the final flight test, which lasted more than seven hours, there was a crew of two and we shared duties. For the first half I was the co-pilot in charge of running checklists and callouts. As the pilot in command, my partner’s only job was to fly the plane; I did everything else. Then we switched seats and duties. I was the one flying PIC in the left seat and he was right seat.

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Under the Wing of an Angel

In between training classes in Tucson, I went to the Pima Air Museum. There I saw more than 300 aircraft, which are spread over 80 acres. I even got up close and personal with a display of Blue Angels.

The Navy’s Blue Angels were established by the order of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz on April 24, 1946. The Blue Angels teams travel across the country and throughout the world to give flight demonstrations to show the pride and professionalism of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. I understand that the team is getting upgraded jets for their 75th anniversary. They will move from the older F/A-18C Hornet to the newer F/A-18E/F Super Hornet for the 2021 flight show season.

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Take the Sci/Tech Challenge:

  • Ride along with a middle school teacher in one of the Blue Angels over the Salton Sea.
  • The basic acquisition price of an F/A-18 A Hornet is about $21 million per plane. However, after special equipment is added, each Blue Angel plane costs $56 million. If you saved $1 per day, how many years would it take you to accumulate enough money to buy one Blue Angel plane?


A Perfect Fit

Quin's bag with TechOn my first trip with the air ambulance company, I had only 20 minutes to get ready, so I grabbed my official backpack (my only luggage) and the twins and reported to the plane. Tech shows how he can be safely stowed for travel.

I knew from the flight plan that we would be stopping for fuel in St. John’s, Newfoundland so I did a quick web search for information. Because of its location on the far east coast of Canada, Newfoundland was the closest (first or last) fuel stop for flights between North America and Europe. It also played a key role in anti-German security during WWII.

Also because of this location, it was chosen as the site for an experiment whose success would change the world.  In 1901, Italian physicist and radio pioneer, Guglielmo Marconi succeeded in receiving the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean, disproving detractors who told him that the curvature of the earth would limit transmission to 200 miles or fewer. The message was simply the Morse-code signal for the letter “s.”  It traveled more than 2,000 miles, from Poldhu in Cornwall, England, to Signal Hill in St. John’s, Newfoundland. In 1909, Marconi and Ferdinand Braun were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work in wireless telegraphy.

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Take the Sci/Tech Challenge:

Use Morse Code to create a sentence about a Nobel Prize winner of your choice. Share your creation by emailing a copy to


That’s One Tall Cactus!


While in Tucson, AZ for advanced training the the Learjet 35, I got my picture taken next to a large cactus in Saguaro National Park. Here are some fun facts about those plants:

  • Their name is from an Indian word and is pronounced “sah-wah-ro.”
  • They are only found in the Sonoran Desert and the foothills of the surrounding mountains.
  • Their skin is covered with a thick, waxy coating that keeps water inside – some may hold as much as 200 gallons of water.
  • Their “arms” start to grow only after they are 15 feet tall and around 75 years old; some have more than 50 arms and some have none.
  • The largest was 78 feet tall and probably 200 years old.
  • Because they are covered by the Native Plant Protection Act, it is illegal to cut them down or damage them.

Sci & Tech say:  Learn more about . . .

Take the Sci/Tech Challenge:

Do a web search to find out what makes the holes in the Saguaro cactus.

Share your your findings in an email to