My Thoughts

Flying high on Lesson #8

As always, I say a prayer before the flying lesson, “God keep us safe and get us back on the ground.” Today I add, “and don’t let me make a fool of myself again.” Thank you, Jesus, for the ability to attempt this at my age. Amen.

 While in Tulsa a few weeks ago, I went shopping with friends and bought a leather jacket. Yes, me! It makes me look like a real aviator. Doubles as an Indiana Jones costume when I put on the hat Pa gave me. Glenn, my instructor doesn’t notice.

 During the flying lesson, my instructor stresses the word “stabilize”. My touch and go landings look like a drunk weaving down the highway, nausea could easily overtake me. It feels like those occasional gusts of whipping wind that attempts to wipe your car off the road. So “stable” is the word for the day. Stable on downwind, on approaches, on landings, and on take offs. Basically, control the plane a little better. Even when it whips back and forth like a volleyball? Especially then.

 I finally learn to keep my hand on the throttle while flying around the pattern, just in case we get too low, go too fast or, crazy thought, overshoot the runway. Good advice, Glenn.

By the way, in debriefing, he asks if I plan to fly solo. Me, the unstable one? Which, I’m reminded, proves why I need these lessons. But solo? Fly by myself? Take that machine up into the sky alone? By the way, my pilot husband thinks my instructor has found a gold mine, the years it will take to teach me to land, much less ever solo. I think I can pass the medical, but the biggest drawback to flying solo, I learn, besides the thousand hours I need to become “stable”, is passing a written test.  Have you seen the detail in that book? I’m getting familiar with Chapter 1 because I’ve read it about 20 times (not exaggerating) but the next 11 chapters have titles like Procedures and Airport Operations, Flight Instruments, Navigation and Weather Service. What do they think I want to do, become a pilot?

 For the first time, I consider flying solo. Maybe it’s possible, say, ten years from now. At the moment, I’m still trying to get stable.

5 replies on “Flying high on Lesson #8”

Hi there,

I found your blog a couple days ago and really enjoy reading your stories. I’m a student pilot too and I know exactly what you are going through. Hang in there with the home studies. It is a lot of information, but I’m sure you will do great. I just took my written test today and passed. If you haven’t looked into purchasing the online Gleim course, I would highly recommend it. I used it and it’s very effective. They break down the sections to what you really need to know for the test. Then all their questions are taken directly from the FAA exam. I can vouch for that, as I recognized the questions when I took the exam today. Also, don’t stress too much about soloing. Your instructor won’t endorse you until he knows you are capable. It’s an amazing feeling and something you will always remember. Good luck and keep up the great blog!

Sara, thanks so much for the encouragement and advice! I bought the DVD’s but it still was confusing. Gleim might help.

I forgot to congratulate Sara on passing her written test! I have a better appreciation now that I’ve tried to read the book! Way to go! Does this mean you’re a pilot now?

Thank you Kathryn! It was certainly a lot of hard work and a lot of time studying night after night. But I’m thrilled that it paid off and I feel more comfortable flying solo now that I have that knowledge. You’ll be so proud of yourself once you pass the test. I think most people consider you a pilot once you have the ability to fly solo, even if you’re a student. But I personally won’t call myself a pilot until I pass the practical test and have that official certificate. I’m hoping to take it in February… maybe even within a couple weeks! Feel free to follow my blog at If you want to read it from the beginning, just click 2010 on the right side under archive, and the rest of the posts show for you to click on. Another blog you may enjoy is a video blog from the EAA website. It’s a guy name Brady who went for his Sport certificate and made videos of his lessons. I’ve really enjoyed it. Anyways, I’m sure we’ll chat again soon, take care 🙂

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