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 …

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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 …

“Stick and Rudder” – my first flight lesson

The sky was clear, the air was crisp, and the excitement of taking my first flight lesson had been stirring in me for days. I was nervous and yet, I could not wait to learn all I could about this new adventure. When Dad and I arrived at the airport, I had to wait for …

Airplanes: “Bitten by the bug”

I am a pilot today, because my father and I shared a mutual love of aviation. My father let me tag along with him to the airport, when he he was taking flight training.  Later on, he encouraged me and allowed me to take flying lessons myself. Sharing a common passion with your father is …

Aviation: Beauty and so much more

I have been flying airplanes for over 37 years. From the age of 15, aviation has been a significant part of my life.  When I tell people I am a pilot and a flight instructor they sometimes ask,  "Isn't flying dangerous?"   My response has usually been something like, "flying is no more risky than driving …