EAA - Experimental Aircraft Association  
Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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, October 14
By Brady Lane at 1:00 PM     
Flight log to date  Hours flown: 34.7  |  Days since I started: 365  | Cost: $5,157.60  

It was one year ago today that I took my first flight lesson. WOW, what an incredible year it has been!

I remember vividly what that first takeoff felt like, then a few months later what it felt like to take off with no one else in the plane.  It’s been an incredible journey and the best part is it’s just beginning.


I earned my sport pilot certificate a few months ago and this video blog chronicles the entire process—each and every lesson. 

If you’re curious what flight lessons are like, I encourage you to watch the videos on this blog.  If you’re currently taking lessons, I think you’ll find you’re not the only one who has ever struggled with short-field landings.   If you’ve been a pilot for 20 years, I hope you also enjoy these videos and will leave a comment or some advice from your experience to help those who are currently earning their wings.

It’s been said that a pilot’s certificate is a license to learn.  I feel I now have much to explore—landing on grass for the first time, flying a real cross-country (you know the across-the-country kind), flying to my first pancake breakfast, tailwheel training, who knows, maybe even floatplane and skiplane training.

As I continue to fly, the cameras will continue to roll and I will be posting the videos in a forum section on Oshkosh365 (more details to come soon).  I will also be writing a monthly column in Sport Aviation about my flying experiences as a new pilot.  I realize there is much remaining for me to experience and for me to learn and I look forward to sharing it all with you.

Thanks for helping me earn my wings with your advice and encouragement on this blog.  Hopefully this video series will continue to inspire people to act on their dreams. 


37 comments: View

Thursday, August 13
By Brady Lane at 6:00 PM     
Flight log to date  Hours flown: 34.7  |  Days since I started: 303  | Cost: $5,157.60  

I've been waiting a long time for this day.   The day I could finally take a passenger flying, but not just any passenger — my wife.

There's an interesting balance of emotions the first time you fly as a certificated pilot with a passenger.  It's a balance of extreme responsibility and enjoyment.

As we flew last night I was watching all my numbers carefully, scanning for traffic, monitoring engine performance, while at the same time peaking over to see the big smile on her face.  I even convinced her to take the stick and fly for a few minutes.  She reminded me of what it was like the first time I felt the control of an airplane.

It was a strange but enjoyable feeling to just fly last night — just for the fun of it. For the last nine months, everytime I've flown I was going up to practice a maneuver or to learn a new skill, but last night we just flew. 

I probably learned just as much in this "joy" flight as I did during my normal flight lessons, because this was real-life flying.  I flew into an airport I've never been to and as you'll see in the video, despite my planning I had to make on-the-go decisions to ensure we arrived home before dark.

osh sunset

There's an undescribable feeling of competency when you're able to take a friend or family member flying.   This one flight made all my training worth it.


I've also picked up a new camera setup from Datatoys.com that seems to be far better than the cameras we've been using.  As soon as I get it installed and test it out, I'll write a review and let you know what I think.  Having video in the cockpit has been a fun way for me to share my experiences with you as well as a valuable learning tool.

I'm also starting to plan my first real across-the-country cross-country.  In a couple weeks I'll be flying from Oshkosh to Arkansas to return the Remos we've been using for training.  While I've flown several cross-countries, I've never flown one of this magnitude.  I welcome any advice you have as I begin to plan.

43 comments: View

Thursday, July 23
By Brady Lane at 4:00 PM     
Flight log to date  Hours flown: 34.7  |  Days since I started: 282  | Cost: $5,157.60  

It's hard to describe the incredible feeling of being a certificated pilot!  There are few things that compare to such a privilege.

It hasn't been an easy road, in fact my training has been a roller coaster of emotions: fun, challenging, exciting, exhausting—but in the end, extremely rewarding.  It's been a journey that has stretched me and grown me more than I ever imagined when I started.

I've heard numerous people say that a pilot certificate is a license to learn.  I can't wait to take my first passenger, fly to my first pancake breakfast, land on my first grass strip, and go on my first fly-in camping trip—all the while sharpening my skills and knowledge as a pilot.

Thanks for all your notes of encouragement throughout my training so far.  It isn't over.  Jason still wants to take me up and do some spin training and who knows, maybe I will start working on my tailwheel endorsement or a floatplane rating soon!

Nonetheless, stay tuned.  I can't wait to start enjoying the benefits of having a pilot's certificate and I hope to share some of those experiences with you via this blog.

If you're coming to Oshkosh this week for AirVenture, I invite you to attend one of the forums Jason and I are doing at the Learn to Fly Discovery Center. (Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 11:30 a.m.)  I'd love to meet you and shake your hand for helping me earn my wings.

32 comments: View

By Brady Lane at 10:00 AM     
Flight log to date  Hours flown: 34.7  |  Days since I started: 282  | Cost: $5,157.60  

I passed my checkride this morning! 

(I'll post the video and details soon, but wanted to go ahead and share the good news.)

79 comments: View

Friday, July 17
By Brady Lane at 6:00 PM     
Flight log to date  Hours flown: 34.7  |  Days since I started: 276  | Cost: $5,157.60  

Jason and I went flying twice today to do some final checkride prep.

The first flight, we stayed in the pattern.  I flew one regular landing, four short field landings and two soft field landings.  None of them were perfect, but all of them were acceptable and within the PTS guidelines.

The second flight we reviewed ground reference maneuvers, stalls and came back in for a couple crosswind landings.

These flights were mostly about me gaining the confidence that "Yes I can do all these tasks."  It's amazing how much of this is mental confidence.

We also spent about 4-5 hours together today reviewing anything and everything I could be asked about during the oral questioning portion of the checkride.

The thought of a checkride is still nerve-racking, but now I know I can do it.

I can't believe I'm about to make a phone call to schedule my checkride!  I've been looking forward to this day for a long time.

30 comments: View

Copyright © 2008 EAA Advertise With EAA :: About EAA :: History :: Careers :: Annual Report :: Contact Us :: Disclaimer/Privacy :: Site Map