Off We Go

Well, here we are. This has been a long time coming. I am currently (finally) studying/training for my my Private Pilot Certificate. This, as far as finances and convenience go, the worst time in my life to do this. I live in Brooklyn (the NYC area probably has the most expensive everything in the country, including flying lessons), and I have to take a train an hour each way out to Long Island to get to the nearest flight school.

But I just can’t not do it anymore.

This has been a dream for almost all of my 33 years. Since childhood I have done everything I can to get my hands on anything aviation-related:

  • Building models with my dad to hang from my bedroom ceiling
  • Attending every airshow within 300 miles
  • Playing hours upon hours of flight simulators, from Microsoft Flight Simulator 3.0 (remember these incredible engine sound effects?) all the way to the current version of X-Plane
  • Reading books and dozens of blogs
  • Bumming a ride or two at local airports
  • Awkwardly camping out at a local airport during a fly-in where I didn’t know anyone
  • More recently, watching hours upon hours of YouTube videos

Life has gotten in the way for too long. This has been second or third on the priority list for too long. If I don’t do it now, I’m afraid I never will. So I started studying the material for the written test a few months ago. As soon as Daylight Savings Time started (allowing me daylight to also fly on weekdays after work), I made a reservation for an intro flight and headed out to KFRG (Republic Airport) in Farmingdale on the Long Island Railroad.

My plan is to fly at least 2 to 3 times a week. I’ll be trying to make reservations for 3+ times a week, with the assumption that weather or other conflicts will get in the way sometimes. I’ll be chronicling my adventures here in write-ups, along with links to any videos I make and upload to YouTube. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about anything in my life (except my upcoming wedding, of course). It’s going to be a crazy ride, hope you can join me.


  1. Proud of you and happy for you. I will follow every step of the way. One question: when you get your license, how will you fly? Do they have Hertz rent a plane, or what?

  2. Quick! Whats VNE, VS, and VFE speeds? Gotta keep you on your toes!

    1. Author

      VNE – Never Exceed Speed – 149kts in the 152
      VS0 – Stall Speed in landing configuration – 43kts in the 152
      VFE – Fastest speed with Flaps Extended – 85kts in the 152

  3. Good luck to you! Our teenage son has been flying since he was 8 and is currently working toward his license right now, too. We’re fortunate to live right by the Experimental Aircraft Association headquarters and right by several airports, so he has had so many amazing opportunities because of it. When it comes to aviation love, where there’s a will, there’s a way and I’m glad you’ve found your way to make this happen!!

  4. I’m so excited to see your adventure chronicled. Also, gives us another thing at work to discuss because Got and Mad Men will be over before you know it.

  5. Rock on Zack! I’m excited to follow along on your journey! I was just thinking of taking up glider lessons this year myself. I’ve got a thing for flying but like all things, I prefer no motors (surfing, kayaking, etc vs motorboats, etc).

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