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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

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.

first airplane

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!

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