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Earning My Wings:

a video blog about learning to fly

UPDATE: Now that I’ve earned my wings, I’m still flying and learning. This blog will remain open and active for those interested in the flight training process, however, if you want to see what I’ve been up to since becoming a pilot, please check out my columns in Sport Aviation magazine. - Brady

Recent Posts
I'm going to learn to fly!!
About this video blog
Getting started
Selecting an instructor
I have an instructor!
Waiting...actively waiting
First day of school
In the Remos G3-600
Flight 01: First flight!
It's not a do-list, it's a checklist
Flight 02: steep turns, slow flight
Safety Seminar
Flight 03: Stalls, steep turns, slow flight
Flight 04: Stalls, stalls & more stalls
Flight 05: Ground Reference Maneuvers
Flight 06: Talking to the Tower
The Wonders of Weather Watching
Flight 07: Practicing Emergencies
Flight 08: Landings
I'm Official!
Flight 09: More Landings
Flight 10: Stalls & Crosswind Landings
Flight 11: The Learning Plateau
What's it like to solo?
Flight 12: Back in the air
Flight 13: Landings
A different point of view
Flight 14: Gaining Confidence
Flight 15: 1st SOLO
Flight 16: Making Good Decisions
Read, Study, Sleep
Written Test: PASSED!
Under the wing of the B-17
Recording in-flight video
Good News!
A Thorough Look-Over
Just For Fun
Flight 17: Back in the Air
Flight 18: Stalls, Slow Flight and Landings
Flight 19: Crosswind Workout
Flight 20: Practice, Practice, Practice
Flight 21: First Cross-Country
At the End of Taxiway Alpha
Flight 22: Short, Soft Field Landings
Schedules and Spring Showers
Flight 23: Class C Airspace
Flight 24: On the Numbers
Flight 25: 2nd Solo
Flight 26: 1st Solo Cross-Country
Flight 27: Solo Landings & Heavy Traffic
Flight 28: Feeling the Heat
Flight 29: Practicing Short, Soft Field Landings
Flight 30: Solo Review
Oshkosh Tower visit
Tough Decisions
Flight 31-32: Final Review for Checkride
I'm a Pilot!
Checkride: Passed!
My First Passenger
License to Learn

Thursday, August 13
My First Passenger
By Brady Lane at 6:00 PM     
Flight log to date  Hours flown: 34.7  |  Days since I started: 303  | Cost: $5,157.60  

I've been waiting a long time for this day.   The day I could finally take a passenger flying, but not just any passenger — my wife.

There's an interesting balance of emotions the first time you fly as a certificated pilot with a passenger.  It's a balance of extreme responsibility and enjoyment.

As we flew last night I was watching all my numbers carefully, scanning for traffic, monitoring engine performance, while at the same time peaking over to see the big smile on her face.  I even convinced her to take the stick and fly for a few minutes.  She reminded me of what it was like the first time I felt the control of an airplane.

It was a strange but enjoyable feeling to just fly last night — just for the fun of it. For the last nine months, everytime I've flown I was going up to practice a maneuver or to learn a new skill, but last night we just flew. 

I probably learned just as much in this "joy" flight as I did during my normal flight lessons, because this was real-life flying.  I flew into an airport I've never been to and as you'll see in the video, despite my planning I had to make on-the-go decisions to ensure we arrived home before dark.

osh sunset

There's an undescribable feeling of competency when you're able to take a friend or family member flying.   This one flight made all my training worth it.


I've also picked up a new camera setup from Datatoys.com that seems to be far better than the cameras we've been using.  As soon as I get it installed and test it out, I'll write a review and let you know what I think.  Having video in the cockpit has been a fun way for me to share my experiences with you as well as a valuable learning tool.

I'm also starting to plan my first real across-the-country cross-country.  In a couple weeks I'll be flying from Oshkosh to Arkansas to return the Remos we've been using for training.  While I've flown several cross-countries, I've never flown one of this magnitude.  I welcome any advice you have as I begin to plan.

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