The Greg Brady Project

Welcome to the official Barry Williams' blog

My friends call me Barry. From time to time I also hear the name Greg. Yeah, as in Greg Brady. The Brady Bunch represents a fun time in my life. But it’s only part of the story. There’s more to say and that’s what The Greg Brady Project is all about – a place to say it. So, I’ve invited some friends to join me and share their perspectives on the Brady’s, the 70′s and just about everything else. Now, I’m inviting you…

03 Mar
Barry Williams

Solo And Climbing

written by Barry Williams in Blog, barry | 10 comments

‘Look closely, that’s me making my first landing!’

Along the way to reaching a goal there are milestones that must be achieved. I recently took on the goal of becoming a private pilot and I am happy to say I just hit one of those milestones. At some point if you want to swim you have to jump in the water, or if you want to snow ski at some point you must head down the mountain.  If you want to fly there comes a time when you need to do it unassisted, without a flight instructor to tell you what to do, and sometimes more importantly, what not to do. That point happened for me this past month.

The first thing I told Joe Justice, my instructor, when we started this process was that I was not in a hurry to hot-rod around the skies.  I wanted to take whatever time necessary to reach a level of proficiency that made my first foray above the earth a safe one.  That day happened on February 18th. Keeping in mind the aviator’s motto that flying is the second most satisfying experience in the world and LANDING is first. The only inkling I had that the day’s lesson might be different is that Joe made sure I had my log book and picture ID onboard the plane.

Off we went for a couple of loops around the airport, landing and taking off again without stopping.  After our second landing he asked me to come to a complete stop because… he wanted to get out of the plane.  The moment was here.  The moment I had long anticipated. After 42.9 hours of supervised flight time he at least felt I was prepared to fly alone.  It was time to solo.  Even with butterflies, I felt ready as well.

Alone in the cockpit for the first time, I contacted Ground Control then taxied and held short of the runway. Next I contacted the Control Tower, received clearance for take off and everything I had learned came together.  What an exhilarating experience.

Pleasantly, in place of fear, I found the flight around the airport challenging, and rewarding.  My smooth and successful landing proved that I had indeed achieved a milestone that comes with the understanding that there are many more to come.

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    on Mar. 3rd, 2009

    I’m glad to hear your flying lessons are going so well and that you’re accomplishing your goals. Good luck with your flying.

    on Mar. 4th, 2009

    Sounds like you have a good handle on it.Please be carefull though because ,We love Barry(uh,……….in a purely platonic way of course!),rock on,Rodney of THE JESTERS

    on Mar. 5th, 2009

    Isn’t it a great feeling when you finally do something on your own, and you realize that you are very capable of doing it?
    Let’s see, John Travolta, Bruce Dickinson (the singer of Iron Maiden, who is a licensed commercial airline pilot), and now Barry Williams have all taken to the skies!
    Congratulations once again!

    on Mar. 5th, 2009

    Wow, never thought of trying to fly.. myself!! I am glad there are people out there that have the nerve to learn how to fly.. otherwise what we do with all those planes!!! That is great u accomplished such a skill.. must feel latest feat is learning how to operate a fork lift and reach truck.. eeek!! all I can say is trully different experience!! Be safe .. now on to the next thrill!!

    on Mar. 13th, 2009

    Congrats on your milestone! Now that you can fly, where are you gonna take us???? ;-)

    on May. 29th, 2009

    It was a pleasure being your “first” passenger. You did a great job. Look forward to going up again the next time you’re on the east coast.

    on Sep. 28th, 2009

    I think it’s awesome that you took flying lessons and can now fly solo. My late husband built an RV4, and although it was a crash in that airplane that took his life, I’m still very pro aviation. Life on this earth can never be perfectly safe and to try to make it so would be foolish. I flew with my late husband and I know how incredible it is to be up there. I also know that you can never forget for an instant that what you’re doing has the potential to kill you. I don’t really know what caused my late husband’s accident,( though it was ruled pilot error.) However, I do know that his attitude was one of invulnerability– a feeling that nothing could ever happen to him because he was such a great pilot. He had the same attitude about driving a car and riding his motorcycle.

    I’m now married to a man who works part time as a pyrotechnician. I’ve even worked with him on a few fireworks shows. I actually shot the three inch shells (hand lighting) for a show this summer. One would think I’d expect to be widowed again– and I’ll confess that thought has crossed my mind. But then I realized that my husband may work in a dangerous field, but he never ever forgets that it has the potential to kill him. You can’t let that knowledge make you terrified, but it keeps you from becoming complacent.

    Complacency is a killer, whether that be regarding flying, driving or doing anything inherently dangerous. Have fun up there, but don’t ever become complacent about it.

    on Nov. 13th, 2009

    Barry was here in Independence, Kansas (the light aircraft capitol of the world) to see where the Cessna aircraft are built. It was a very exciting day for all, and I personally did not get to meet you, but all that did were very impressed with how you took time for everyone. I wish I could have met you. Maybe someday.

    Chris Ashford
    on Nov. 13th, 2009

    Thx for stopping by Cessna in Independence,Ks.Come by again when you pick up your new Mustang jet.

    Mark Panitz
    on Feb. 6th, 2010

    did you solo at Santa Monica airport?
    (I think you did as you mention
    Justice (and I happen to know
    that there is a flight school named
    Justice aviation at SMO

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