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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

Tuesday, July 08
Selecting an instructor
By Brady Lane at 9:45 AM     

This was a fun process.  

After meeting with each instructor, I was just itching to go flying. They really got me excited to begin lessons.

I took my time looking for an instructor because selecting a good instructor is huge.  Think about it - I’m going to be spending 30+ hours in a confined area with this person while trying to learn new and challenging skills.

I started at www.sportpilot.org/instructors.  Here, you can search a database of instructors in your area.  After doing this I asked around to some of my pilot friends to see who they recommended (and didn’t recommend).  

I then wanted to meet face-to-face with three instructors to help me make a decision.

I was mainly looking to see how our personalities matched up.  Do we communicate well?  Is this somebody I feel comfortable with?  Here are the questions I asked each instructor...(PDF).

Now I have a tough decision.  Since I’m completely comfortable personality-wise and competency-wise with each of them, here are some factors that I’m considering in making my decision...

  • proximity (one is here in Oshkosh, two are about 45 minutes away)
  • experience (two have numerous years of experience, one is freshly trained)
  • aircraft (one is a tailwheel, two are nosewheel planes)
  • price (they are all about the same, but one is $20 more/hr.)

With AirVenture around the corner, I'll likely have to wait til August to begin.  But that's OK.  AirVenture's worth it.


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