The journey of mastering the art of flight - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

The journey of mastering the art of flight


Our journey to the sky continues. Wednesday I took you on my first flight lesson with the Wausau Flying Service. The view from the tiny 2 seat aircraft opened my eyes to a new dimension of the place we call home.

We're going for another ride. But this time the training wheels came off and I spread my wings, in my adventures of learning how to fly.

"We're just crossing over Downtown Wausau looking down at the mall and the river," said Gil Buettner, my flight instructor.

Millions of Americans fly everyday, but it's not everyday you get to control the plane. After working to get the basics down, I'm ready to take on my biggest challenge yet.

"For the second lesson we teach you how to make climbs and descents and shallow bank turns in each direction," said Buettner. 

So Buettner and I get straight to it.

"The airplane is easy to fly and wants to fly, it's designed to be in the air and so your inputs in the controls even if you were to do something fairly rapidly it's not going to cause the airplane to go out of control," said Buettner.

"Now lower the nose a little bit and bring the power back until you hear the engine noise change," he said. "Now we're climbing at the same time we're going to add some power because this little airplane goes 100 horsepower and we need all the power if we want to climb," said Buettner. 

But I'm not the only one that can try to master the art of flying.

"The people who are interested but not sure can come here and get a couple hours of ground training and go up for a ride to Merrill and back and decide whether they want to continue and we price it so that's it's attractive," said Buettner.

A one time flight lesson at the Wausau Flying Service would cost around $100. If you're aiming to get a pilot certificate, it's around $8,000. But that all depends on the skills of the person.
And if you're looking to take to the skies alone, that'll come after the flight instructor feels you're ready.

"This is fun, it really is fun," said Buettner.

Which is why Buettner says flying is his passion.

"As you grow older health becomes an issue, but fortunately for me I'm healthy and as long as I stay healthy I would like continue to teach," he said.

But after a long day of successfully teaching me how to fly, it's now it's time to head back home.

"As it gets close to the runway and the runway starts looking flat we have to start raising the nose gradually," said Buettner.

And just like that, from the sky back to the ground in a matter of minutes. With only 2 lessons under my belt, I still can't get a pilot certificate, but I can take home my memories of learning how to fly.

If you're interested in taking flying lessons at the Wausau Flying Service just head to

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