How I Learned to Fly

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Once again, AVweb asked for your stories of flight training and you came through for us! Read the best "learning to fly" stories here!

TrainingAVweb readers come in all shapes and sizes. When we asked you to send us your own tales of flight training, we were soon flooded with responses. We read them all, and the best ones are published here. We hope you'll get the same kick we do from reading them!

The offer, by the way, is a standing one: Simply write a 500- to 1,500-word story about how you learned to fly, and submit it via email to If you care to attach a photo or three, that’s even better. If we choose to publish it, you will get your proverbial fifteen minutes of fame plus a stylish AVweb cap! Please check out the rules before submitting your story.

Here are the winning entries to date. Read and enjoy!

Damon Murray "A Kid's Point of View"

I cut this out of a newspaper years's what made me decide to fly!

Harry Flynn "The Fifty-Year Ticket"

It took me forty-seven years to earn my license, but it was worth the wait!

Lawrence Ivey "The Cross-Country from Hell"

... helped me learn that the devil is in the details.

Ned Nutt "My First Solo"

... scared me so much, the second didn't come for another 28 years!

Allen Bevan "First — And Almost Last — Flight"

During early WW II, in Canada, teenage members of an Air Cadet Squadron built and flew an English designed Dagling Primary Glider.

B. Keith Peshak "You Can't Do That in a Cessna 150, Can You?"

A mixed gaggle of Texas students and instructors decide to buzz the Austin tower on an early morning "Dawn Patrol."

Capt. Bill Mauldin (Ret) "Toilet Papered by a Flight School"

A North Carolina radio station has its tower papered from the air, leading its DJ to become a 30,000 hr commercial pilot.

Martin Ignazito "The Smell of Bird's Nests"

... from the J-5's heater, cold weather, packed snow and mud on the all turf runway — but at least the price was right!

Dick Peck "A Fear of Flying"

... lead one businessman to conquer his phobia with knowledge, understanding, and respect.

Jerry Thomas "Keeping the Ball Centered"

Sometimes the lessons with the highest degree of "P-Factor" are the ones best remembered!

Loy Riley "Flying, Spying, and All That Diving ..."

An ex-fighter-pilot-turned-CFI has an endearing but unorthodox teaching method.