Learning to Fly

Learning to Fly


Learning to fly is one of the most rewarding and challenging things you will ever put yourself through. Experience what is means to go get a $100 hamburger or learn to become a professional within the aviation industry, whatever your goal is, learning to fly will teach you so much about yourself. 

Make no mistake, flying takes serious commitment. It is not a walk in the park and should be approached with an understanding that what you put in is exactly what you will get out. 

Let me walk you through my initial experience in aviation. I had just gotten back from basic training in the Army and decided I wanted to learn how to fly. At that time I was not thinking about it professionally, just simply as wanting to learn to fly. Man did I have a blast learning how to takeoff and land. Next thing I knew I was soloing in a Cessna 172. I was nailing the flying portion of my training. Cross countries, night training, all of the flying aspects of it. The ground portion is a different story. I did not approach the ground portion as I should have. I was taking the Cessna King Schools online program. It's a great program if you APPLY what you are learning and take the ground portion seriously, however, that was not my journey. I got through the modules and was ready for my written, or so I thought. I took it and received a 67%. A shock to myself! And it scared me away from flying, what a shame. It's honestly embarrassing for me to admit but I'm thankful for that experience. This was in 2016, I didn't end up getting my Private Pilot until 2019! 

Back in 2016 I took on a full time job that was supportive of my training, however, work is work and making a paycheck to pay the bills became my priority. This comes back to "you get what you put into it." I was putting no effort in, especially after I failed the written. Honestly that was a huge blessing for me. I knew I needed a more structured route for learning how to fly. EVERYDAY at work I would research and look into going back to school, specifically flight school. I wanted to know how to fly and was finally considering flying for a profession, something I should have begun straight out of high school. But we all have our unique paths, and this was mine. 

I landed on Baylor University's Aviation program as the place that made the most sense for me. They had a professional pilot program and I was locked in. I applied the fall of 2016, got accepted, and started school January of 2017. During the fall semester was my first class in aviation, Private Pilot ground school. Oh man was that one of my favorite classes I've ever taken. That class made me into an aviator! All the concepts I struggled with were now making sense, a lot of what I had learned in previous years started to click in the classroom, and next thing you know it was time to take my written. I got a 89% this time! I was thrilled and so excited to finish it up. April of 2019 I officially earned my Private Pilot Certificate. 

During that semester it made all the difference because I dedicated my time to learning the concepts and what it took to become a Private Pilot. You don't have to go to a university or college to learn to fly or pass your written. What I failed to realize was exactly what I was avoiding, putting in the WORK to achieve what you want in life. I was putting in at least 9 hours a week just through class, and at least an additional 3-5 hours a week into that one class. Dedicate at least 15 hours a week to learning to fly, just the ground portion of things! And you'll achieve your private pilot certificate just like I did. 

Now I get to teach people how to fly and for me it's one of the most rewarding things there is to do. If you're having a hard time with some of your training or are looking to start your training, please reach out! 

Until next time, blue skies and safe flying my friends. 

-Jeff Lively Jr 

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