Friday, June 12
Flight 26: 1st Solo Cross-Country
By Brady Lane at 11:30 AM
Flight log to date Hours flown: 28.3 | Days since I started: 241 | Cost: $4,334.80
I was more nervous before this flight than any others up to now. Leaving Oshkosh for the first time with no one else in the plane is a big milestone, and to be honest, downright nerve racking.
Those nerves were good though, because it made me study the sectional chart all afternoon the day before my flight. I also made sure to read every bit of information available about the airports and runways I'd be landing at.
With the fuel topped off and practically no winds, I took off for my first airport—Portage (C47) about 50 miles away.
It was an awesome feeling when I spotted my first airport from the air and an even better feeling when I landed at it. After navigating and landing at my second airport, Dodge Country (UNU), I headed home.
As soon as I cleared Runway 9 back at Oshkosh, I was overcome with adrenaline and excitement. At that moment, I remember feeling like a real pilot for the first time.
I'm curious if this is the point in other student pilots' training when they first feel like a real pilot. I know there are numerous benchmarks in the training process—but this one was a great one for me.