Bitten by the Aviation Bug Again (1997)

            My wife Terri and I were working at Sears Corporate in Hoffman Estates in 1997. I was the Associate Buyer for Cookware and Terri was a Merchandise Analyst for Men’s Outerwear and Accessories. Working at Sears Corporate Headquarters was an amazing experience. We lived in the Northwest Suburbs of…

An Aviation Hiatus

          Like most newly minted private pilots, when I earned my wings back in 1983, I took the members of my family for a flight, and then flew with most of my friends. There was nothing like sharing with others the joy, the thrill, and the beauty of seeing our world from those lofty heights….

Check ride Prep and the Big Day

                     After I successfully completed my solo cross-country flights, and after I successfully passed the FAA Private Pilot written exam, it was time to begin preparing for my check ride. The FAA check ride is an oral and practical exam through which, an FAA Designated Examiner evaluates the pilot’s flying and…

Cross County Flight Training

            The Federal Aviation Administration defines a “cross country flight” as a flight that “requires a point of landing that is more than 50 nm straight-line distance from the original point of departure.” As a part of the training to obtain a private pilot certificate, the student must accomplish at least 3 hours of dual…

16th Birthday – First Solo Flight

“Happy 16th Birthday, are you ok” my mother asked me as I walked into the kitchen that morning. This was going to be an important day in my flying career.  “Are you ready for your first solo flight,” Mother asked. “I guess, but I am scared to death,” I exclaimed. “You’ll do fine, Eric,” she…

Pre-Solo Medical Exam and “Color Blind”

            “First Solo flight” is the day the flight instructor exits the airplane and tells the student, “take it around three times and come pick me up.” It is a milestone in a student’s aviation training. It is the day that all the hard work, study, and preparation culminate in you, the student, taking off…

“Pre-Solo Training”

As my flight training continued, I was beginning to enjoy this newfound hobby more and more each week. The next few lessons included some advanced maneuvers, which involved climbing to a safe altitude, to practice maneuvers that would test my ability to fly steep turns, and to control the aircraft at very slow speeds. Eventually,…

My First Flight Lesson (circa 1980)

  Words cannot capture the thrill I experienced on my first instructional flight with Evelyn Bryan Johnson. Before we ever left the ground, Evelyn taught me that safety was a fundamental aviation principal. “Eric, when we go up there in the air, we take a risk so, we must do all we can to insure…