Wednesday, June 18
I'm going to learn to fly!!
By Brady Lane at 1:15 PM
Finally, at the age of 26, I’m doing it. I’m learning to fly.
I’ve been wanting to become a pilot ever since my first airplane ride at the age of eight in a single engine Piper in the skies above Texas.
I grew up attending air shows and listening to my grandfather share stories of his piloting days. He was a pilot in WWII and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for one of his missions flying a B-29 over Japan. He flew 35 missions before the war ended and I've always admired him for his bravery and service.
Even though I didn't choose to be a pilot as a profession, I've always had the bug — the desire to learn.
I still don’t desire to make a career of it. I just want to fly – for the fun of it.
I became an EAA member several years ago while working as a photojournalist at a daily newspaper. Two years later, I joined the staff at EAA as a multimedia journalist. It's a great job. Basically, I use sights and sounds to tell stories of those who are innovating (and enjoying) recreational flight. (We post several new videos each week here.)
I hang out with pilots all day. I talk with pilots, fly with pilots, each lunch with pilots, tell stories about pilots, but I'm still not a pilot myself.
The first step has been a hard one for me. I've tried several times. I've saved up money on three different occasions for flight lessons. Each time I spent the money on something else — an engagement ring (2004), a house (2005), a HD video camera (2007). I don't regret any of these, but I'm still not a pilot.
Even if I didn't buy these things, I'm not sure I had quite convinced myself to begin flight lessons. I didn't understand the big picture, what all was involved. I didn't want to start something that I wouldn't be able to finish.
I've flown a few times with friends who have let me take the stick to give it a try, but I've never had any official training. I've spent hours flying X-Plane flight simulator dreaming about really doing it one day.
Finally, that day is here!