Becoming A Pilot

This blog was written by a young man who is now a student at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, pursuing his dream of becoming a commercial pilot:

I’ve always wanted to become a pilot. It’s been my lifelong dream for as long as I can remember. I don’t know what started my obsession with aviation, but it’s always been there, and always will. I was so excited when my father told me that I could finally start flight lessons for my private pilot license. I was thirteen years old, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The only thing that compares to that time was my first solo flight. That flight didn’t come until the summer after my senior year of high school because that’s when I had the bulk of my flight lessons. I got so caught up with school and other activities that I could never find time to schedule enough sequential lessons, but I never lost the passion. When I started taking lessons again, my family supported me the whole time because they knew how important it was to me. Nearing the end of the summer, I knew that I was going to solo sometime soon, but I had no idea when.

During one of my lessons, we were flying a basic traffic pattern around the Flying W airport in New Jersey, and after we landed, we parked the plane and when I started to get out, my flight instructor, Dan said “Where are you going? You’re staying in here.” I was confused at first and asked him what he meant, and then he said “You’re going up by yourself.” I can’t describe the joy and excitement I felt when I heard those words, but I was torn at the same time. My family wasn’t there, and I wouldn’t have gotten to that point without them. I wanted them to be there to see my first solo. I wanted to solo so badly, but I asked Dan if I could reschedule for another day. Luckily, it was only the next day that my family could come to the airport to see my flight.

The flight started exactly the same as it did the day before, but when Dan stepped out of the plane, I didn’t have to follow him. I was so nervous, but I felt completely prepared to do the flight. I taxied up to the runway and waited for traffic to clear. At the end of my radio call for takeoff, I added “first solo” and a few pilots in the area gave me a “good luck” over the radio. I pulled onto the runway and added full power. After the wheels left the ground, the plane was climbing so much faster than it did with another person in the plane. It was a Cessna 152, so one person’s weight makes a big difference. I could see everyone on the ground watching as I flew by. I flew through the traffic pattern with no problem and lined up with the runway to land. The hardest part was coming up, and I was ready for it. Everyone was still there on the ground watching as I came in. Just like the takeoff, the landing is also affected by the difference in weight. It wasn’t the smoothest landing, but I did it. The wheels touched down and my dream had become a reality.

Ryan Druss

7 Comments on “Becoming A Pilot

  1. Ever since i was a little kid also I played with my toys and i was always interested in flying. My toys wound have wings or anytype of flying equipment but i still would make them fly. I been wanting to fly for as long as i could remember. I hope someone reads this because my familly is not doing so good finatually and that is stopping me from my dream. I hope u understand and consider me.

  2. Well, flying is not my goal. When I say that, I mean its not just my goal. It’s my dream. I was born in baton rouge, Louisiana and have lived in Zachary, La every since. Most people where I’m from show respect, and caring towards others. But one thing that’s expected here is that when you want something, you go for it, and reach out and help others achieve what you know they can, what you know you can, and when it’s something that’s very important to you, you never give up. One day I will become a pilot, because it is my dream and purpose. I would do anything to become a pilot and would do so for anyone who was in my position. I am 15 years old, and have never taken any flight lessons. If you ask me why I want to be a pilot, I have your answer. My uncle, Doug young, recently passed away. He owned a small 4 or 5 passenger airplane and took me flying, I think when I was 6 or 7. It was probably one of the coolest experiences of my life. He let me sit in the co-pilots chair and he took some risks that day. He let me take control, just for a brief 10 seconds. I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew it was what I wanted to do. I almost hit a sort of barrel roll/ uncontrolled flip thing But he took the control back soon after. I will fly. I promise you, no matter what happens I will one day get my wings. I hope that you consider me and help me achieve this dream of mine. Thanks for your time

    Jordan Young

  3. I have been so inspired by the article in Parade and reading the comments of others here. I have a 14 yr old son who decided when he was 4 yrs old that he wanted to be a pilot. We live near Orlando Executive Airport so we get to see planes fly by all day long, deepening his love of wanting to fly. Like alot of families we have felt the effects of our current economy so in the future we will be applying for a scholarship and see if he gets lucky. He is currently in the Navy ROTC in his freshman year and will be pursuing a Naval pilot career and maybe transition to a commercial pilot. I congratulate you Mrs. Homer on you being able to honor your husband in such a everlasting way……..

  4. I KNEW I was going to be a pilot from the age of 3. My mother explained to me that it was an expensive endeavor so I started that same year to save all my money. I also got a job at the age of 13 in order to advance my dream of flight. I began training for my private pilot license when I turned 14 and did not have an easy time of it. I found out that I get air sick. I tried everything to overcome this malady and finally found a way. I am now 17 and have just passed the FAA Knowledge test. Money is tight for us but I will find a way to get my license (I do not drive a car so I can save the insurance money for my flights). My dream would be to continue flying and to get my IFR training. I would be honored if you would consider me for a scholarship. I plan on attending college and getting a masters degreee in Aeronautical Engineering, my goal is not only to fly but to design and build aircraft too. I feel that my knowledge as a pilot will help me to be able to build better, safer aircraft for the future.
    Evan Roper

  5. I always wanted to get a pilots license but I can’t because of a medical issue so I have to stick with flight simulation games. Maybe when they come out with planes that fly themselves then I can get my license lol.

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