An inside view to what flying means to pilot Brody Ponsness


Photo Courtesy of Brody Ponsness

Senior pilot Brody Ponsness poses in front of his plane.

For most people, flying a plane is something that happens in dreams. For senior Brody Ponsness, this experience is a reality that’s incorporated into his everyday life.

Ponsness says that his interest in flying started as a child and has only grown into a passion since. “It evolved into having the realization that anyone can fly,” he states. 

In order to be a pilot, training is a very important and very basic first step. Ponsness says in order to get a Private Pilot License, a student needs a variety of schooling to “ensure that you’re prepared enough when you finally go up on your own”. First, there’s an online ground school that goes over the basics of flying. Next, there are instruction flights in which students fly with an instructor and truly learn how fly through hands on experience. Finally, the student will fly solo. To break it down even further, there are different distances and different types of flight that students must learn. 

After completing that training, Ponsness earned a Private Pilot License that allows him to fly with up to 6 plane seats that are under 12,500 pounds. It also limits him to only planes with one engine and landing gear configured for runways, rather than water.

Even with these restrictions on his flying capabilities, Ponsness describes the feeling of flying as “absolute freedom”. He says that every single takeoff and landing gives him just as much of a rush as the first. Ponsness says that it’s extremely freeing to be able to fly up, down, right, or left, and to go anywhere you want. “It really shows you how much it is out there, “ he states. 

He treats every flight as a challenge to do everything right, which proves itself to be entertaining every time

Ponsness views flying as something he can and will turn into a career. He explained that he will start with smaller charter flights to drop off river rafters off in Montana. “After 2-3 years of charter flights, I will then look at my options for the airlines…”, explains Ponsness.

 In order to put his career options in perspective, according to, Ponsness could become a mainline carrier, a military pilot,  a cargo carrier, or a multitude of other options. Income is also a big plus to being a pilot – higher paying jobs can get into the hundred thousands per year. The possibilities of aviation are endless.

In his eyes, Ponsness’s unique skill is important to him because it sets him a higher standard. He says that flying will allow him to gain new perspectives and deal with different situations, which is an exact representation of the drive that’s needed to succeed. In a nutshell, flying has literally taken Ponsness to new heights.