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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

Tuesday, May 12
Flight 22: Short, Soft Field Landings
By Brady Lane at 1:00 PM     
Flight log to date  Hours flown: 22.9  |  Days since I started: 210  | Cost: $3,695.80  

This lesson was a difficult one for me.  Jason introduced me to short and soft field landings—simulating what to do when you are landing on a short runway or a soft runway like grass or sand.

The goal for short field landings is to come in slightly slower than normal and make sure you touch down at the beginning of the runway.  I was able to land each time, but regardless of how hard I tried, never landed on the numbers.  Taking 5-10 mph off my normal approach speed was just enough to make the whole approach feel off to me. Jason assures me I'm on the normal learning curve, but it sure was frustrating.

Jason also told me that short field landings are the most commonly failed portion of a checkride so it is going to take some practice to master.  I'm curious if any of you struggled with these precision landings and what you did to finally get it.

On a positive note, the takeoffs were a blast.  Climbing out at Vx (best angle of climb) in the Remos is an incredible ride.

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