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Pilot Lane

Hey, y’all! My name is Lane Knight, and I am a Savannah, Georgia native currently studying at Savannah Aviation Flight School. Growing up I was surrounded by a few pilots. My uncles and my grandfather shared a love of flight, and each one of them had their private pilot license due to this. I was always very fascinated overhearing their talks about flight and wondered what it would be like to fly myself. My fondest childhood memories are getting to go up in my grandfather’s Cessna 172; he would stack boat cushions just so I could be high enough to view the beautiful low country below us. The skies were his happy place, and I certainly shared his enthusiasm from a very young age.

Even after my grandfather sold his Cessna and I was no longer able to fly with him, I was constantly reminded of flight everywhere I turned. From seeing his monthly aviation magazines arriving in the mail to seeing the Sporty’s Cockpit that hung over my office desk, to the framed pictures of us flying together on the office walls, I knew I wanted to get back in the cock pit. When I was 14 years old, I expressed this interest, so my grandfather’s best friend and fellow aviator, Jessie Payton CP, set me up an orientation flight at Savannah Aviation. I was very enthused afterwards; I distinctly remember begging to start lessons right away. Unfortunately, I was unable to pursue lessons due to my rigorous honors and extracurricular schedule throughout high school. I never forgot the feeling in that flight, though. Seeing Savannah and our intercoastal water ways from 3,500 feet was so breathtaking and being in control of the airplane was a feeling like no other.

Flash forward ten years, and I am currently 2 months into pursuing my private pilot’s license at Savannah Aviation. I am currently balancing this and preparing for my medical school entrance exam. I decided to pursue my PPL after finally completing my undergraduate studies. I realized that I am always going to be busy with my career choice, so there is no better time than the present to pursue something I love! I know that life will be rigorous throughout my journey to become a physician, and for me flight is my escape from that world for a couple of hours. I am incredibly thankful for the local opportunity to pursue flight and my flight instructor, Jason, who patiently tolerates my increasingly less-terrifying landings weekly. Hahaha.

In all seriousness, it is so rewarding to see my progress and feel my comfort level grow in the aircraft. I remember my first few flights thinking “Maybe I’m not good enough for this.” and feeling afraid. One of my instructors, Justin, said, “I can’t wait to watch you grow in this journey. I remember being scared my first flights too. You’re going to make a great pilot.”; I remember doubting him so much and thinking I would never overcome that feeling and I would never become a pilot. I told myself to just keep showing up and giving it my all. A few weeks later, that fear was gone, and I was completely absorbed in learning maneuvers. Now, I can truly envision it.

I have learned throughout this journey it takes consistent practice, persistence, a good attitude, and being willing to try again. And if it scares you, it is worth pursuing! Imagine how dull life would be if everything were easy. I am thankful I did not quit because I grow closer to my check ride by the day. I think being a female aviator, it is sometimes easier to doubt yourself when you see yourself in a male dominated industry. But that is even more of a reason to keep going!

By sharing my journey on my Instagram, I hope to inspire other people, especially other young women, to pursue their love of flight. I also hope to use my PPL to aid me in medical mission work.

Ten years from now I plan to have MD and PP, maybe even CP, attached to my name while personally flying in medical supplies to impoverished people groups. I cannot wait to see how my journey in flight ties into my medical career.

The sincerest thank you to Jessie Payton, CP who introduced me to Savannah Aviation several years ago, the wonderful flight instructors at the flight school, and last but not least to my grandfather Stuart Knight, PP who selflessly shared his love of flight with me. Also, special thanks to Aviator Skies for the interview.

I hope you enjoyed my story and this inspires someone not to delay their own aviation journey!

– Lane

For Contact or to follow my journey check out: @thelaneeffectt on Instagram

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