BETTER PILOT / AB INITIO
EAA multimedia journalist Brady Lane chronicled his journey to earn his sport pilot certificate
at www.EAA.org/wings. Ab initio is Latin for “from the beginning,” and this column is one in
a series of transitioning from a sport pilot to a private pilot.—Eds.
Be True to
A transfer of trust
WE’RE TAUGHT FROM THE beginning there
are four forces acting on an aircraft in
flight—lift, weight, thrust, and drag. There’s
one more, though, that no one ever told me
about. It’s not on the FAA knowledge test,
but it’s present on every flight: trust.
When first learning to land, a student
only has the confidence to give it a try
because he or she trusts the instructor
will intervene the split second it’s
needed. When the day comes to solo, that
trust miraculously shifts from the
instructor to you.
That transfer of trust has continued in
my training ever since that memorable day.
While working on my tailwheel
endorsement, I spent many hours in the
back seat of a J- 3 Cub learning to trust my
feel of the plane and not rely on the
instruments in front of me. Now sitting in
the left seat of a Cherokee working on my
private pilot certificate, trust once again
took center stage.
My instructor, Steve Krog, handed
me the oddest pair of sunglasses I had
ever seen and told me to put them on.
These stylish shades allowed me to see
only the instrument panel and blocked
everything else. Steve kept an eye out
for traffic and instructed me to hold an
altitude and heading.
“Piece of cake,” I thought. By the end
of that short thought, however, I was
already 100 feet below my assigned
altitude. As I began to correct my