When I left for Gulf Shores, Alabama this past December, I had 62 hours in my logbook. By trip’s end, 110 hours were logged. It’s incredible to think that nearly half of all flying I’d ever done was completed within 12 days in Alabama – Cost free.


Through the generosity of close friends Rod Kellogg and Haley Howard, among others, I was fortunate to take flight numerous times in some pretty amazing aircraft. They were kind enough to take me up in a variety of local aircraft that they have access to down South, making the trip valuable from both a pilot and experiential perspective. To be successful aviation, and to have great experiences, you’ll need a good attitude, motivation, and a certain level of openness. Making connections and friendships with pilots in all walks of life will help you tremendously. Thanks, Haley and Rod, for making our aviation trip worthwhile!

Hitting my 100th hour has been exciting, but also brings forth an issue of complacency. Private pilots with give or take 100 hours are known to be in the most dangerous spot of all pilots. They’re experienced past the point being a student pilot, yet not experienced to the level of higher-time pilots. Many pilots with about 100 hours begin to develop habits of cutting corners and letting down their guard – They’ve become more complacent in the air. The irony is that to be a good pilot, you can never really feel confident, you have to always be on guard and prepared to deal with situations that can arise extremely quickly.


I’m excited that I’ve had the opportunity to build hours recently, but am well aware of the statistics that prove 100 hour private pilots to be in the most dangerous position of all pilots. Today, I have 130 hours in my pilot logbook, and just celebrated the 1 year anniversary of receiving my private pilot’s license.

Flying Down Gulf Shores

Flying Down Gulf Shores

Thanks for reading,
-Swayne Martin
Twitter: @MartinsAviation

Cirrus SR22 N125LC

Cirrus SR22 N125LC

About The Author

If you want to become a pilot, I want to make your journey just a little easier. I'm a First Officer for Envoy Air, one of the largest regional airlines in the world, and have partnered with industry leaders like the U.S. Air Force to teach about various aviation careers. For a full bio, click the "About" tab above. Use the "Contact" tab to shoot me a message.

9 Responses

  1. Karlene

    Congratulations Swayne!! You know, I still remember our conversations when you reached out and didn’t know what to do. Those telling you why you shouldn’t become a pilot, and yet something pulled you. I’m curious as to what words actually gave you the courage to go for it, despite those friends telling you otherwise. What were your final thoughts that pushed you over the edge. Email me that answer! I’m seeing another post about you and what gave you that courage.

    But when you made your decision, you did not focus on what if it were wrong. What if you fail. What if the industry falls apart. You focused on flying the plane… gaining skills, learning all you can, being the best you can and building those hours. That is one of the secrets to success. So this congratulations on your first 100 hours plus is heartfelt and I am so proud of how far you have come! 1 hour at a time, you are on your way!

    • Swayne Martin

      Thank you so much Karlene for all of the support you’ve given me over the past few years, it’s made a huge impact on my life and my journey so far. You were one of the very first people to really tell me that I could do it – And here I am!

      I’ll send you an email soon.


      • Karlene

        Thanks! And the point is… You made a decision, and you focused on that… not on doubt, what if…etc. You are such a huge example of success!! Fly safe and looking forward to that email!

  2. Eric

    Through the past year, I’ve also gone through to getting my certificate. I’ve had a huge hurdle to get over medical cert wise, but I never gave up. I finally solo’d on Fri Feb 20. Other than it being quieter, it felt natural. It felt as though it’s where I’m meant to be.

    With just over 100 hours in my logbook, I know I’m still learning, and hope to never stop learning and experiencing.

    Let me know if you’re ever in the SF Bay are, I’ll take you up!

    • Swayne Martin

      Eric, that’s awesome! Congratulations on your first solo – It’s a huge accomplishment and makes you one of a very select few in the world.

      I’ll make sure to message you if I’m in the SF Bay area!

  3. Pete

    Wow! Congrats, Swayne!
    100+ hours and it’s already been one year. Amazing!
    Good for you. It only gets better..

  4. Bill Charles

    Swayne, first let me say how much I enjoyed watching your videos. Brought back a lot of memories of when I was 15 and started to fly. I have loved every minute of my career and still have that same passion that you seem to for aviation. Congrats on selecting aviation as your career, not many follow their dream. You won’t be disappointed.

    Captain William “Bill” Charles
    United Airlines


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