it had been three months, I did not expect
this to be one of those flights. But that
was exactly what it was— 1. 2 hours of
All of my senses were
turned on high alert,
which made every smell
sweeter, every sight
and every sound
more delightful. I
was so focused I
didn’t even mind
the fog from our
breath that froze to
the inside of the
windshield before we
completed the first
On the downwind leg for
my first landing I could tell my
muscle memory was suffering a bit, causing me to look down to find the flap lever
and carb heat knob. Nothing big, but a
small reminder it had indeed been 91 days.
Despite the icy windshield restricting
my visibility, my first landing ranked as
one of my best. I was so focused, I barely
remember even seeing the ice.
“Wow. That was nice,” the instructor
said. “If you told me you had flown three
times this week, I would believe you after
that landing. I sure can’t tell it’s been
If there were such a thing as a confidence
indicator on the panel, it would’ve immedi-
ately returned to the green arc. I flew one
more pattern and landing to make sure it
was going to stay there, then departed to the
west toward Wautoma.
After a delightful short trip to Wautoma,
I shot a landing and then flew back to
The instructor and I swapped aviation
stories, he showed me some new things on
the Garmin 496, and both of us took a few
minutes to simply enjoy the beauty of flight.
A lack of confidence turned out to be
my best friend on this flight. It caused
me to fly with a heightened sense of
awareness, which resulted in an incredibly enjoyable flight.
I logged four landings that beautiful
winter day and couldn’t wait to take my
wife and friends flying again. I regained
not only my currency but also my
EAA multimedia journalist Brady Lane chronicled earning his
sport pilot certificate at www.EAA.org/wings.
TIPS FOR STAYING CURRENT
• Pick one day a week as your flying day. Put it on the schedule. Your
flight will get bumped some weeks,
but you’re more likely to fly if you
don’t wait for a time when you have
nothing else to do.
• Fly your friends and family for their
birthdays or special occasions.
• Find fun fly-ins, museums, and points
of interest to fly to on weekends. Visit
www.EAA.org/calendar to find an event
• Find a pilot you can split PIC time with
(and the tab). Just be sure you always
practice proper change of controls and
know who is PIC at all times.
To see a video of this flight and participate in an
online discussion, visit www.SportAviation.org.