Jordan Gets His Wings

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In today's vlog, Paul Bertorelli talks with his student, Jordan Nations, whose Private Pilot Certificate is less than 24 hours old. Jordan had the rare opportunity to learn flying in both a vintage Piper J-3 Cub and a Cessna 150. Paul and Jordan took a victory lap around the Florida beaches savoring the unique satisfaction that only students and instructors share.

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Comments (27)

Congrats Jordan. I hope you appreciate the unique opportunity you had to learn to fly in a classic airplane. Kudos to Paul for the obviously excellent instruction you've provided.

There's plenty of time for glass.

Posted by: Jerry Plante | July 11, 2012 8:16 AM    Report this comment

Congratulations Jordan and Paul Bertorelli, recommending instructor. It is quite a satisfying experience, the best gift one can give to others and the best gift one can receive. Rafael Sierra, CFI, CFII.

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | July 11, 2012 8:23 AM    Report this comment

Congratulations Jordan, I also earned my private license via J-3 and 150. The J-3 will be the best airplane you will fly. Simple and fun. I still fly it and I hope my son and daughter will learn to fly in it as well.

Posted by: Jack Healan | July 11, 2012 8:47 AM    Report this comment

Years ago at Oshkosh AirVenture, I talked for a few minutes with an elderly couple whose aircraft was an Aeronca Champ, a small high-wing two-seater whose seats are side-by-side rather than tandem, like on the J-3. One of the points raised by the elderly lady who co-owned the Aeronca was this: Many of today's pilot trainees have their eyes on sophisticated avionics systems when they should get into the habit of having their eyes outside the cockpit, scanning the sky to maintain situational awareness of what's out there. So training in an aircraft like the J-3, which doesn't have all that glass cockpit stuff, will no doubt enable Jordan to go into more advanced aircraft like the Cirrus SR-22, with an appreciation of the fact that glass cockpits are not a substitute for learning the basics.

Posted by: Alex Kovnat | July 11, 2012 9:52 AM    Report this comment

Way to go, Jordan! Hey, a C-150 is pretty "vintage," too, don't you think? ;-)

Posted by: Tim Kern | July 11, 2012 10:06 AM    Report this comment

Well done, Jordan, it's no easy task to do what you have done today! Best wishes for fulfilling, safe flying adventures always. You seem well grounded, pilots need to be that way. And thanks for being honest about your instructor, too. ;)

Posted by: Dave Miller | July 11, 2012 1:28 PM    Report this comment

Congratulations Jordan, well done!

Paul, I hope you taught him to fly proper patterns that are not 747 sized! :)

Posted by: Dave Kalwishky | July 11, 2012 2:07 PM    Report this comment

Paul, I hope you taught him to fly proper patterns that are not 747 sized! :)

Actually, I got hoisted on my own petard on that one. I had one of our partners fly with Jordan before the checkride just as a sanity check. "His patterns are way too tight!"

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | July 11, 2012 2:13 PM    Report this comment

Loved the interview. Congratulations. Now, off to the airport to fly my Aeronca Chief. After watching the interview I swear I heard the Chief call my name.

Posted by: Jay | July 11, 2012 3:42 PM    Report this comment

PAUL! HOW DARE YOU TAKE A YOUNG MAN FLYING IN SOMETHING AS DANGEROUS AS A J-3!!!

Weren't you just blogging that the FAA needs to up the weight limit on LSAs in order to be safe? Using your own logic, clearly a J-3 with a gross weight 100lbs less than the LSA limit and no "safety" equipment has to be dangerous.

Posted by: Kris Larson | July 11, 2012 6:00 PM    Report this comment

Sure is. Like they say, a J-3 is fast enough to just barely kill you.

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | July 11, 2012 6:33 PM    Report this comment

Nice one gents! Wish I'd started out that way - as it is, tail wheel training is definitely in my future.

Posted by: john hogan | July 12, 2012 6:42 AM    Report this comment

Great to see someone get there wings, your instructor had to point out you got your solo in the Cub in at 8 hours. My CFI is my son, Thomas, new instructor as of March, and Henderson State University grad in Dec 2011 in aviation science. When he got close on CFI check ride, I told him start looking for a plane to own together, and we found a local one, a Cherokee 235. Since then, he and I have logged 30 hours together, both cross country, and local maneuvers. Hopefully he, sometime before 100 hours, let's me solo. Sons are protective like that. :)

Posted by: Mark Wiley | July 12, 2012 6:51 AM    Report this comment

Very cool - congrats to Jordan! Way to encourage folks to learn in both airplanes as well, Paul.

I did the exact same thing back in 2008 when I got my Private. There's a great grass strip (Red Stewart Airfield) here in the Dayton area and they require everyone to go that route. Everyone flies a taildragger up through first solo, then you transition into a 150 if you're going for your Private. Certainly teaches one to use the rudder!

And, really, is there anything better than a Cub with the door open on a summer day?

Posted by: Steve DiLullo | July 12, 2012 8:38 AM    Report this comment

Congratulations, Jordan!

My instructor used to say "Its easy to remember the speeds for the J-3; it climbs at 55, cruises at 55, and decends at 55." I see you too are doing 55 just like our old 1940 J-3!! I sure miss that airplane.

Posted by: A Richie | July 12, 2012 9:00 AM    Report this comment

My first ever lesson was in a J3 lo these many years ago, but I switched to a Cessna 140 because it had an electrical system. I never flew a tricycle gear plane until after I got my private ticket. Wish I had bought a J3 in those days and hung onto it, they were plentiful and cheap!

Posted by: Karl Schneider | July 12, 2012 9:30 AM    Report this comment

When I learned to fly a quarter of a century or so ago, I was fortunate enough to live near an airport that had a J-3 as it's primary trainer. If you didn't learn to fly in something like the Cub, there is no way I can explain the gaps in your education...

Posted by: Martie Williams | July 12, 2012 9:51 AM    Report this comment

If you didn't learn to fly in something like the Cub, there is no way I can explain the gaps in your education...

And changing what is intended to be a vlog on a young man's accomplishment for a lifetime into bloviating about one's opinion on the ego-driven-only reward of flying a taildragger vs. a tricycle while avoiding saluting the new pilot puts one into a Grand Canyon of gaps in education.

Posted by: Dave Miller | July 12, 2012 3:25 PM    Report this comment

I happen to share sentiment Dave. As the 'newbie' in this also, people sure hang 'egos' out there in aviation. I applaud this young man for accomplishing something I wish I had the motivation and time for at his age. KOODAHS JORDAN!

Posted by: Mark Wiley | July 12, 2012 5:47 PM    Report this comment

What are "koodahs"?? And what the hell is wrong with ruminating over the mostly lost opportunities to fly taildraggers? I think I'm seeing some really sour grapes here, Dave and Mark.

Posted by: Karl Schneider | July 12, 2012 6:23 PM    Report this comment

'Kudos' spelled uniquely popped in my head, didn't seem to be a stretch.

Nothing any more wrong than missing the chance to congratulate a new pilot, I suppose. It's not a right or wrong subject Karl, it's one of consciousness and lifes lessons.

Posted by: Dave Miller | July 12, 2012 8:11 PM    Report this comment

'Kudos' spelled uniquely popped in my head, didn't seem to be a stretch.

And what the hell is wrong with ruminating over the mostly lost opportunities to fly taildraggers? "

Nothing any more wrong than missing the chance to congratulate a new pilot, I suppose. It's not a right or wrong subject Karl, it's one of consciousness and lifes lessons.

Posted by: Dave Miller | July 12, 2012 8:13 PM    Report this comment

It's abundantly clear that observing the virtual disappearance of taildraggers from the training scene while acknowledging the kid's accomplishment is most assuredly a compliment. I think he's smart enough to see that.

Posted by: Karl Schneider | July 12, 2012 8:43 PM    Report this comment

Matie's comment was a compliment. Jason chose the road less travelled and reaped the rewards. Well done Jason and welcome to the club!

Never ask a pilot if he or she flies taildraggers, if he doesn't you'll just embarrass him and if he flies taildraggers, he'll tell you soon enough.

Posted by: Richard Montague | July 13, 2012 8:23 AM    Report this comment

Matie's comment was a compliment>

No it wasn't, but I don't want to embarrass you too badly. I'll leave it that you meant 'Martie' and 'Jordan', but what's a little detail when changing the subject to the religious fanaticism of taildraggers? I understand such fever can make one a little loopy.

The vlog is an invitation to share a celebratory flight with a new pilot and

his proud instructor. It's an honor to be a witness to their joy and

accomplishments both. To use their occasion as a personal sounding

board for taildragger fanaticism to critcize others, or to boringly go on and

on about oneself and rationalize the inability to be gracious to them is

selfish and classless.

I'd be happy to learn from the wise, more about taildraggers and their safety, insurance coverage and leg exercise benefits on some other blog. Paul I'm sure could lead the way on that. But thanks to a few of you for the chuckle on rationalization and graciousness. It was fun, and again congratulations Jordan and Paul.

Posted by: Dave Miller | July 13, 2012 2:19 PM    Report this comment

So jealous: 1) Paul Bertorelli as an instructor , so lucky. 2) Stick and rudder ab initio training in a J-3, so lucky. 3) Inexpensive per hour I assume.

My training in a rear view mirror equipped C-150 was cool, but one of these days I need to get off my butt and get a tail wheel endorsement.

My Mooney calls.....

Posted by: Mitchell Gossman | July 15, 2012 1:25 PM    Report this comment

My favorite time in any airplane was back seat in a friends J-3 just loping along low and slow..what a sweet, responsive and fun machine to fly!

Posted by: Bruce Cohen | July 16, 2012 8:32 AM    Report this comment

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