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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

Friday, May 29
Schedules and Spring Showers
By Brady Lane at 11:30 AM     
Flight log to date  Hours flown: 22.9  |  Days since I started: 227  | Cost: $3,695.80  

When I started flight training my goal was to fly 2-3 times a week but, at the very least, once a week.  As you can see, my ideal schedule hasn't panned out.  This reality is something I've learned many students and instructors battle with while learning to fly—schedules are tough.

Everybody's situation is different. Some people can only fly in the evenings, some only on weekends, others only in the morning.  I thought scheduling wouldn't be that big of a problem for me since I live in Oshkosh and work only about a mile away from the runway.  I was wrong.

So, here's something I've learned about flight training: be pro-active about scheduling flight lessons.  This is still not a guarantee, but it's better than not having a plan. 

For instance, this week we had three flight lessons scheduled.  Two were cancelled because of winds and rain, the third cancelled due to a schedule conflict with Jason.  Jason encouraged me to take advantage of the opportunity to fly with another instructor, so I called Whitney and learned she was about to leave town for a week.  Bummer.  Jason spends most weekends at his home in Michigan, so flying this weekend isn't an option.  Next week, I have an out-of-town business trip and a couple other projects that will likely keep me from flying.  Right now it looks like Wednesday is the only day I might be able to fly.  I'm crossing my fingers for good weather because then I leave town for a four-day camping trip.  Grrrrr.  See what I mean.

I've learned life doesn't come to halt when you learn to fly, so you have to make it a priority and take every opportunity you can.


While I've only had a couple true flight lessons this past month, I've had other opportunities to get in the air and I'm sure these experiences have been good for me.  I flew in the right seat on two air-to-air photo missions at Sun 'n Fun to help spot traffic. I also rode in the backseat of a Cessna 206 while a missionary pilot flew his annual proficiency check.  It was good for me to hear and see what these checkrides are like.  I also flew in the front seat of an AirCam (which is an amazing plane by the way).  I saw firsthand what it takes to plan and execute a real cross-country trip like this.  I realize not everybody gets opportunities like this (I normally don't either), but my point is to always look for ways to stay sharp and continue improving your skills as a pilot. 



How do the rest of you handle scheduling flight lessons?  Is it hard for everybody?  In an ideal world—where work schedules, family schedules, and weather aren't ever an issue—I'd be flying 3 times a week, but life doesn't happen like that.  So, those of you who've traveled this road before, do you have any advice?

Speaking of advice, I really appreciate all the comments on the previous post about short and soft field landings.  There's some great tips in there and I can't wait to try some of them out.

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