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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
Studying
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

Thursday, June 11
Flight 25: 2nd Solo
By Brady Lane at 1:00 PM     
Flight log to date  Hours flown: 26.3  |  Days since I started: 240  | Cost: $4,136.80  

I've only soloed once before and it was five months ago, so in many ways this felt like a first solo all over again. 

The first time you solo, there is a lot of attention and celebration, but the second time, there will likely be nobody watching (most times not even your instructor).   

The fact that nobody is keeping an eye on you is an interesting feeling — a great feeling of responsibility.

Do other student pilots have this same feeling the first time you fly with no one else watching?  

Even though it's been a while, I knew what to expect.  Or at least I thought I did.  I remember the plane climbing faster and the amazing view from being able to see out the entire right window, but there was one thing on landing I didn't notice on my first solo.  You can really feel ground effect on landing.  In fact, you have to prepare for it, because without the extra weight of a passenger the plane just wants to float about 5 ft. above the runway for a long time.  I started to get the hang of it by the third landing, but also realized that the plane flies and lands quite a bit different without a passenger.

I mention in the video there was a temporary flight restriction just a couple miles north of Oshkosh for President Obama's visit to the area.   I checked right before our flight to make sure I had the latest information.  Here is a PDF of the TFR.

map

Even though there wasn't a crowd gathered at my second solo I was just as thrilled when I taxied back to the hangar.  And the fact that nobody was watching was strangely a great feeling as well.


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