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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

Friday, June 12
Flight 26: 1st Solo Cross-Country
By Brady Lane at 11:30 AM     
Flight log to date  Hours flown: 28.3  |  Days since I started: 241  | Cost: $4,334.80  

I was more nervous before this flight than any others up to now.  Leaving Oshkosh for the first time with no one else in the plane is a big milestone, and to be honest, downright nerve racking.

Those nerves were good though, because it made me study the sectional chart all afternoon the day before my flight.  I also made sure to read every bit of information available about the airports and runways I'd be landing at.

With the fuel topped off and practically no winds, I took off for my first airport—Portage (C47) about 50 miles away. 

It was an awesome feeling when I spotted my first airport from the air and an even better feeling when I landed at it.  After navigating and landing at my second airport, Dodge Country (UNU), I headed home.


As soon as I cleared Runway 9 back at Oshkosh, I was overcome with adrenaline and excitement.  At that moment, I remember feeling like a real pilot for the first time.

I'm curious if this is the point in other student pilots' training when they first feel like a real pilot.  I know there are numerous benchmarks in the training process—but this one was a great one for me.

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