December 12, 2007

MyFlightBlog in The Wall Street Journal

myflightblog_wsj.jpgYesterday the Wall Street Journal's Blog Watch column written by Keith Huang focused on four blogs written by Pilots. was one of the featured blogs along with PlasticPilot, Sulako's Blog and Yankee Alpha Foxtrot Bravo.

I am sure the other three pilots have seen increased traffic to their blogs as I have see here. I have enjoyed the e-mails from both fellow pilots and student pilots as a result of the article. I created the blog for two reasons, one being that I wanted to keep family and friends up-to-date on my progress while I was learning to fly. The second was that before I started my training, I looked around for advice and information about becoming a private pilot and although there were some great online resources there were few first person accounts; that has changed greatly in the past few years as the blogroll to the right shows.

A week does not go by that I don't get a nice e-mail from someone who is thinking of learning to fly and who asks for advice. I love being able to give back and share my experiences with these prospective pilots. I also get a bunch of pilots who comment or e-mail about their experiences that help me continue to learn and improve as a pilot. One of my favorite e-mails was from an older gentleman who had not flown in over 30 years and said reading my blog brought back the great memories from when he learned to fly, surely a fond memory for him.

Here is the excerpt of my part of the article. You can view the entire article here on (WSJ subscription required).
Todd McClamroch always dreamed of flying. About three years ago, the Chicago resident earned his private pilot's license, and he has been blogging about his time in the air ever since -- in part, he writes, to encourage others to pursue their dreams.

Some of Mr. McClamroch's posts offer practical advice to beginners who are interested in aviation, on topics like choosing an aviation school. And he details the time and expense involved in getting a license. But he also takes time to express the joy of piloting: "It's the achievement of making a dream a reality and finally learning to fly after years of looking up at the skies wishing," he writes. "I am sure flying will take me to places I would not have gone, and it may even allow me to travel more efficiently, but in the end it will be for the pure satisfaction of flying."

Posted by tmacrock at December 12, 2007 7:16 AM

Giving back is an important aspect Todd. Now if we could just get some of those folks who run the airlines to realize that we all have more to gain by helping each other than by pitting one segment against another, we'd really make some progress.

And we all do what we can. Your part here is very important.

Keep up the good work.

Rob Mark

Posted by: Rob Mark at December 12, 2007 1:03 PM

Great article in WSJ. It introduced me to your website, and I have really enjoyed the content. I am about to begin my formal flight lessons to pursue my private rating in Peachtree City Georgia. I am considering purchasing the video series that is produced by Sporty's covering the private pilot course, and wondered if you have had any experience with this during your training. I thought it might be a good way to visually review each lesson along with the reading for the groundschool portion. Also, I noticed that your cost spent to date is pretty low. To get through the private rating here, the cost is quoted closer to $8,000. How have you been able to keep the cost so much lower? I would appreciate any advise.

Posted by: John Wood at December 13, 2007 7:31 AM

John - Glad to hear we have another future pilot in the works. I highly recommend the Sportys DVD series. I used them extensively during training and continue to refer to them for refresher knowledge.

It cost me under $5,000 to earn my license. Mainly because I trained frequently which kept me from having to spend time each week relearning what was taught a few weeks previously. If you can do it try to fly 2-3 times per week. I trained in Cincinnati which had airplane rental and instructor costs there were below the national average. I chose to train in the Cessna 152 which rented for $25-$30 less than the 172 at the time.

Additionally, It was several years ago when the fuel surcharges were less. I would imagine now it would cost closer to $8,000 - $10,000 if I were to have to go through it all over again here in Chicago.

Check out this post I wrote about the costs of learning to fly for additional insight:

Drop a note from time to time to let me know how the training is going.

Posted by: Todd at December 13, 2007 10:42 AM

Great Article Todd, I just chk at Hope to see more of such stuff in future.

And John, I just got my PPL and I am so excited about it that I have to tell u that Sportys DVD series is an excellent stuff.You can find lot of online stuff which provides very useful resources. One of them I remember is an e-book at I have a big list which helped me thro my PPL I'll probably list them in my next comment...

Posted by: Peter Bankss at December 30, 2007 10:48 PM

Congratulations on the great WSJ plug! It's well-deserved.

I've spent the past year freeing up time and money to get my pilot's license. Getting to read your blog has made the wait much easier.

Posted by: Dann at January 16, 2008 10:35 PM
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