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
I went up by myself to review ground reference maneuvers and took special care to keep my altitude within the +/- 100 ft. guidelines of the Practical Test Standards.It's much easier to focus and concentrate when there's no one in the right seat to talk to. That being said, other areas are harder without a passenger - like spot landings. I tried two short field landings and floated past the numbers both times. I'm just starting to be able to hit the numbers with Jason in the right seat, but it's considerably different without the weight of a passenger.I've also been reading ASA's Sport Pilot Checkride book by Paul Hamilton. I want to make sure I am mentally ready for the checkride as well. It's been a great resource to know what kind of content I could be questioned on during the oral and practical test — everything from airspace to flight planning to regulations to weather and countless other topics. I love the format too — it lists a question, then what an appropriate answer would be. I'm only about half way through the book, but am already grateful to have this content all in one place. I still need a little more practice and a few more hardcore study nights, but I hope to be ready soon.
Posted by Jessica
@ 04:32 PM, July 09
Just remember to adjust your airspeed a little for the reduced weight your hauling in on final and your 'on spot' landings will come. All maneuvers feel different with less weight. I especially noticed it with the steep turns. One thing I remember my instructor telling me is that all the factor established speeds (Vy, Vx, Va, etc.) are all based on gross weight which we don't typically fly at when training so you adjust a little accordingly.
Posted by Douglas
@ 04:59 PM, July 09
Don't forget, you'll have an examiner in the plane for the practical, so don't practice too much solo. Hate to see you put it down in the grass, short of the runway!
Posted by john snell
@ 08:37 PM, July 09
If you are floating too far. Why? Only one reason, you are going too fast! It won't fly if you are slow enough.Good luckJohn
Posted by Paul Asaeltine
@ 08:48 PM, July 09
Hi Brady. I really oyerstudied and practiced a lot before my checkride but it paid of because I passed and got my pilot's license oh Dec 26th 2004. It was a window of opportunity between winter storms. The taxyways and runways were all shear ice. I had to key the mike to see the threshold to do my shortfield landing. I was nervous to fail but found out that the examiner is not out to flunk people unless a major blunder happens. You are on the right track to success! Good job!
Posted by Gary
@ 10:07 PM, July 09
Brady - was the Remos that went down in Oshkosh the same one you are using for your training?
Posted by Mike Blando
@ 09:11 AM, July 10
Brady...I have truly enjoyed your video blog. You have inspired me to pursue my sport pilot license. A quick question around light sport aircraft (LSAs). How/why did you decide to train in the Remos? I am trying to decide which LSA (Remos, Tecnam, Flight Design CT) to train in. Thanks! Mike
Posted by Garrett
@ 10:34 AM, July 10
And the Countdown Begins!!! Good to see your progress. I am looking forward to my soft field and short field lessons. From what I have heard they are alot of fun. Luckily we have a grass strip as well to practice on. I can't wait!! Happy Flyingwww.mypilotchronicles.com
Posted by Scott
@ 04:36 PM, July 10
Brady,It appears in the video that you are diving at (using elevator) your aim point. If your glide slope is not taking you to your aim point you need to fix that with power (the throttle). by pushing on the stick to keep on glide slope you will pick up speed which now has to be bled off before she will settle. Check the video you will see the same thing (great tool for you).
Posted by Larry Baiamonte
@ 02:09 PM, July 11
Hey Brady,Just wanted to say thank's for your blog. I've followed you since December when I started Sport Pilot Training. I also went through some of the same up's & down's as you (plane down due to chipped prop or maintance issues) taking longer than expected. But I passed my checkride today @ 12:noon and wanted to say thank's for all the words of encouragement from you and everyone else following this blog. It was well worth the time invested. See ya up there soon...Larry B. from Mansfield, TX
Posted by Randy Dallas
@ 01:08 PM, July 12
BradyLooking good my friend. It should be a breeze for you from here on out. Now do you plan to do your check ride as part of the Oshkosh festivities? That would be awesome!Here things have slowed down a bit because of a couple of factors. First, weather has been a problem with doing solo flight. Cross winds and low ceilings were causing issues for more than a week but finally cleared today and I was able to do my solo x-country. I have to agree with you about really feeling like a pilot upon landing at your home field. And that final landing was as close to perfect as I have ever done...I heard the squeek of the mains but felt nothing!! Even impressed my instructor, Adam Valencic of First Landings Aviation, Apopka, Florida. (shameless plug)Anyways,I start my short field and soft field practice tomorrow and am looking forward to hitting the numbers. I'll take all or your experiences with me to help with the learning curve. Take care and good luck with your remaining flights.RandyP.S. And congratulations in passing your check ride Larry!
Posted by Paul Smythe
@ 08:15 AM, July 14
Hi Brady,Great work. If you're floating past the numbers in the shortfield, you should adjust the glideslope and aim to undershoot early in the approach using the power. You should be flying slow enough when you reach the threshold that once you idle the power, the plane sinks and touches down straight away.Hope this works out for you, all the best.Paul.
Posted by Mike
@ 04:52 PM, July 14
Did my first solo today. I think I did good, after all I got my self and the plane back in one piece.How did those P-51 pics come out?
Posted by Brady Lane
@ 02:22 PM, July 15
Mike Blando: First, congrats on the decision to go for your sport pilot certificate! It's hard work, but is extremely rewarding! You're going to love it. Feel free to pipe up with questions as you encounter them in your training. I chose the Remos basically because that's what was available to me. I guess most people learn to fly in whatever plane is available, but if you have options that's great. I would sit in each of them, possibly even fly in each to see which plane is most comfortable for you, handles well, and is capable of what you are looking to do. For instance, the Remos has been a great plane for my training because not only is it comfortable and responsive, but since Jason and I are both, well, uhh, not beanpoles, it's nice being in a plane that can carry two larger people, full fuel and still have nearly 80 lbs. left over. I would also check on how each plane is maintenance and maintained. Hope this helps and look forward to hearing updates from your training.Garrett: Have fun practicing short and soft fields. Even though short fields have been challenging for me, they're still fun. I look forward to hear what you think of them and how you do.Gary: The plane that went down last week was not the Remos I'm flying. 430RA is safe and sound.Larry: Congratulations! That's awesome news and I'm glad my blog has helped you in your training. Hopefully I will have similar news soon!Randy: I would be a nervous wreck if I had to do my checkride during AirVenture. :) Jason and I will be doing a few forums together though during the week. Mon, Wed, and Sat at 11:30 a.m. at the Learn to Fly Center. I'd love to meet you there! Let me know also what you think of short field landings! They're hard but a fun challenge. What are you flying?Mike: Congrats on your solo! It's a rush isn't it? I'm smiling now just thinking about it! And yes, the mustang photos came out great!
Posted by Randy Dallas
@ 06:49 PM, July 15
BradyI did the short/soft field practice Monday and had a bit of a problem with the short field landings. I had a 5-6mph crosswind 90deg from the left, which is opposite of crosswinds I've been flying up till now, and they were throwing me off enough to cause problems. I bounced 2 of the attempts and had to power up and go around. I did get a couple in within limits and did fine on the takeoffs and soft field landings so all in all it was a good day. Tuesday was gorgeous with light and variable winds so I flew with another instructor and performed all the required flight maneuvers as a pre-practical evaluation. We started off with the takeoffs and landings and I ended up greasing the soft field and putting the short field dead center of the numbers. Wow that was cool! It's amazing how much different calm winds make with these landings. I actually felt like I knew what I was doing! Good thing I know better!!Today was another great day doing a mock practical with my instructor. Everything went great but I ended up ballooning just a bit on the short field landing and missed my mark by about 80'...still a decent landing and good enough to pass the check ride! I'll take that.Soooo....Tomorrow's the big day. Oral exam in the morning and practical after if weather's good. I'm actually looking forward to this and want to show the examiner what I have learned. I love flying and hope to share it with as many people as possible. It has been a great training experience and I thank Adam Valencic, my instructor, for helping me to get to this point. I still have one more big step but I have the confidence of two instructors so I believe I am ready. I really wish I could join you for the festivities at Oshkosh my friend but the family wants a Key West vacation this year and we have an offer we can't refuse. Maybe I'll catch you there next year...we'll go up in a Remos and have some fun!Wish me luck! Clear skies & calm winds to everyone,RandyOh...and I'm training in a Remos G3-600 too!
Posted by Cec
@ 02:41 PM, July 24
Congrats big time. I've been following your advances the whole time and even though we've never met, I'm proud of you. Now get out there and just Fly!
Posted by Sebastian
@ 06:47 PM, July 24
Congrats!!! I passed my checkride for the German Sport Pilot License four weeks ago and since then flying has begun to be even better since I can enjoy flying now with passengers.Clear skies and happy landings!
Posted by nick mclean
@ 10:13 PM, July 24
Posted by nick mclean
@ 10:15 PM, July 24
CONGRATULATIONS,,,Brady,,,I followed you all the way,,,I have soloed,,,but because of you,,I might go back and finish,,,