I just wanted to wish my totally awesome wife Kalebra congratulations—on Friday she passed her FAA check-ride exam and got her Private Pilot’s license (that’s her above in an iPhone photo taken by her instructor).

She’s going to take four leisurely days off, and then she’s back to training; working on an endorsement for a plane with a higher performance engine, and afterward she starts her IFR (Instrument Flight Rating) training.

In the meantime I just wanted her to know how proud the kids and I are of her. What an amazing accomplishment, and a wonderful example for our children showing them what hard work and dedication can accomplish. I am SO proud of you sweetheart! Let’s go flyin’! :-)

About The Author

Scott is a Photographer, bestselling Author, Host of "The Grid" weekly photography show; Editor of Photoshop User magazine; Lightroom Guy; KelbyOne.com CEO; struggling guitarist. Loves Classic Rock and his arch-enemy is Cilantro. Devoted husband, dad to two super awesome kids, and pro-level babysitter to two crazy doggos.


  1. That’s amazing!
    Good Luck
    Now you can fly where ever you want

  2. Congrats!
    My sister’s a pilot but she works as an aircraft dispatcher at Southwest

  3. That’s amazing! :D

    Now you can buy a private plane ;)

    Seems like you are going to start photography from planes

    Good Luck :)

  4. Scott, tell Kalebra congrats! Now you can get that G-5. 8-)

  5. Congrats!!!!

    I was looking at the plane and I need to check my flight log but I believe I have flown that plane she is pictured in front of.

    I to have a high performance rating and IFR endorsement. That is one of the best most safest ways to fly. Way to go. It will take hard work because its not natural to fly without looking outside the windscreen. Nothing beats getting in a place on a sunny BEAUTIFUL day and flying with a pair of blinders on. When you do things right, it makes you feel accomplished!!!!

    There is a CD you should get her. It’s Dwayne O’Briens “SONG PILOT”. Its a great CD all dealing with flight songs. http://www.avialantic.com/airsquare/songpilot.html I wore one version out.

    Good Job and tell her to keep the blue side up and green side down!!!! (Pilot Speak)

    Tom Q

  6. Congratulations Kalebra.
    thats something to be really proud of.


  7. Good on ya Kalebra, you’ll have lots of fun with that. Your instrument will be the most challenging thing, but will make you so much better. Just make sure that if you intend to fly IFR for trips, you get several hours of actual IFR during your training, and some approaches in the soup. The training hood is one thing, real weather is totally different. Go out on a low ceiling day with an instructor and go shoot approaches, and stay current. Learn a lot about icing if you plan on flying IFR away from Florida. Have many happy years flying and great stories!

  8. Now you have your own private pilot with benefits … no fair!

  9. Congrats to Kalebra for an amazing accomplishment! So much talent in the Kelby family!


  10. Congrats Kalebra! Too cool!
    Scott is there anything you two can’t do?!?

  11. Congratulations on Kalebra!
    Scott, now you can compete with Moose’s air to air photography workshop ;-)
    But seriously, air to air and air to ground photography can be a nice new thing to your photography.

  12. Up next: Scott’s aerial coverage of NFL football games. :-)

    • Naaa, It would be one aerial shot of a NFL game and then numerous shots of F22’s and landing in a remote strip. Then photos of some nice people with guns and a LONG, LENGTHY “Get to know” you session.

      FAA, doesn’t like people in small planes flying over populated sporting events :( Don’t know why but it makes them a little uneasy. Guess they can’t hear the game or something ;)

  13. Congratulations Kalebra and welcome to the family of aviation :)

  14. Congratulations Kalebra! Very cool! I always fantasized about going through flight training and getting a pilot’s license. You should be vey proud!

  15. Congratulations! Before long she’ll be flying you to seminars aboard NAPP1.

  16. Congratulations Kalebra!

    Lets see… IFR… maybe a tailwheel endorsement… don’t forget some upset recovery… Try some aerobatics… maybe even a formation flight if you want to shoot air to air.

    If you do go with formation training, may I suggest
    North American Top Gun Inc
    270 Estrella Avenue # H4
    St Augustine, FL 32095-6116

    The owner is Bruce Moore.

  17. Congratulations Kalebra – Up, up and away!

  18. Congratulations to Kalebra! I was thisclose to working towards my Private Pilot’s License years ago, and regret not having done it. (Although I did spend the money on a sweet motorcycle lol) Enjoy your days off, you have earned them!

    – Kev

  19. Congratulations! I’ve had my license for over 30 yrs. and there’s no feeling like being a mile high and in control of your destiny in your own aircraft. Scott, you need to get her a beautiful Lancair. 200+mph and a great way to avoid all the crap at the airport. It’s been proven that on flights under 600 miles, a 200 mph plane will get you there faster than a commercial flight!

    Until you get your license, you only have an idea of what she’s gone through and the great feeling of accomplishment!

  20. Congrats to Kalebra! There are so many cool places to visit now that she has her ticket. That IFR rating will come in handy during the cloudy months.

    Scott, I’ll be looking forward to seeing some pictures from Oshkosh this summer.

  21. WOW! WOW! WOW! That is so impressive, very exciting and just flat out COOL! Have fun with it, be safe and I’m hoping to see some great images from the sky Scott, congrats Kalebra : ))

  22. Congrats to your wife, thats an amazing accomplishment. I suspect aerial photography in your portfolio soon.

  23. LOL! When I first read this I missed the part that this was your wife and I assumed (I know assuming makes) this was an employee. When I got to the part where you called her sweetheart I thought, “Man those people at Kelby’s office are really, really close.”

    Well congratulations to your “WIFE”. So does this mean you will soon be coming to workshops in your own private jet?

  24. Great job, Kalebra!That’s a huge accomplishment! And, thanks to Scott for letting us all know!

    I’ve got dibs on a ride! :-)

  25. Awesome! Many congrats to your wife. I used to be VFR certified and I know how difficult those exams can be.

  26. Next up…what the top of Matt K’s head looks like from 5000 ft.

  27. Congrats from a fellow PVT-ASEL/RH… I used to have a COM-AMEL/IA, but lack of time and $$ got me to scale down the fixed-wing portion, and instead switch to helis.

  28. That is awesome! I have a license as well, be sure to enjoy the rides and take your camera.

  29. Congratulations !!

    Has anyone noticed the “signature” Scott Kelby black tee shirt??

    Must be a family thing…

  30. Congrats on this signifant milestone Kalebra!

  31. I have had my Private licenses for 8 years. You think photography equipment is expensive just wait until you start buying all the fun aviation stuff!!

    Enjoy, it’s awesome!

  32. Congrats Kalebra!! I took my kids flying Saturday morning. They love flying to pancake breakfast fly-ins in the area. Actually, they just love getting pancakes.

    Wonderful accomplishment, you should be proud!

  33. So awesome Scott! I’ve always wanted my pilot’s license!


  34. There is only one real profession that allows you to be a photographer. I have my ATP, I am also a CFI,CFII,MEI. I have been flying for the airlines now for about 10 years, I can never wait to get back and pick up the camera after being away from home for a few days! Flying for a airline I am typically off 3-4 days a week which allows me to take many images!

    I can remember that first solo as well as every check ride along the way. Scott, looks like your going to dinner in the keys now, Sloppy Joe’s ?? or maybe dinner on the water in Marathon!!

  35. Scott, If I were you, I’d sit in the back and scream things like:
    “Jacque! there’s a big snake in the plane Jacque! I hate snakes! I hate ’em!!!”

    …but that’s just me.

  36. Congrats Kalebra!
    I just retired as an airline pilot and am glad to see Aviation in good hands.

    Well done

  37. Things I’ve gleaned about Kalebra from your blog: speaks mandarin; talented artist; singer; amazing wife and mother; and now a pilot! You’re an inspiration, Kalebra!!!

  38. Flying was cool, but I chicken’d out. I gave it up for SCUBA….a Fish belongs in the water not the sky. :)

    Best of Luck to your wife, Kalebra on her journey.

  39. Congrats Kalebra! You’re a woman we all admire! Keep flying high – that’s quite the accomplishment.

  40. Wonderful achievement Kalebra; congratulations to you!

    Onward and upward! (Pardon the Pun) :)

    Best wishes,

  41. Congratulations to Kalebra.
    Scott, now you never gonna forget your gear again…just tell the pilot to turn the plane…;-0


  42. You just can’t beat it. 5000 feet, blue sky above, white cloud below. Well done that girl. A true achievement.


  43. Congratulations Kalebra!

    Wonderful job :) ….

    The next new Workshop in Photoshop World Las vegas is :

    Flying, Shooting, Landing and Retouching ;) ……

    Best wishes for you and your Family
    My dear Scott,

    – Ali

  44. Way to go, Kalebra! Now you can fly Scott to all of his photo shoots.

  45. I see she is reppin those laceless converse!
    I got a pair myself, mighty comfortable.

  46. seen like Scott won’t have any inconvenience with ; Loosing Miles with any Air-Line again !!!

  47. Wow! No kidding! On behalf of the “AOPA Pilot” magazine where I write (Scott had dinner with our art department guys, who promised an air-to-air photoshoot that never happened), let me be the 55th person to say “Congratulations!”

  48. I will absolutely concurr that Mrs. Kelby will be flying across the globe in the fastest plane she is authorized to fly doing what most of us wouldn’t dare… but the fire in her belly and the determination and stength of her sould is what most impresses me. She finds so much passion in growing and learning and keeps that contagious smile and room enchanting smile forever on her face despite my attempts to push her past her boundaries in training!! Such an amazing and kind family you two have very proud to watch your family soar. Blessings and prayers Dione

  49. Congratulations that’s just too awesome and where are we going???

  50. Congratulations Kalebra!!!

    Scott, if you thought sports photography was expensive, you’re in for a reality check. Aviation is in a league of it’s own, but you probably know that by now. ;-)

    Now go flying!!!


  51. To Kalebra – CONGRATULATIONS!!! WAY TO GO!!!

    To Scott – You made me cry! It was so nice to see how supportive and proud you are of her, but I’m sure it goes both ways!

  52. Congratulations from a fellow pilot and Vans RV-9A owner.

  53. Congratulations
    As a fellow Pilot (ATPL with Airbus A320 Type-rating) I know how much time one needs to invest to become a pilot.
    But the feeling you get everytime the wheels leave the ground, that’s definitely worth it!!!
    Last year I’ve spent also a couple of months in Vero Beach, FL to fly Piper Seminoles! Lakeland, Okechobee, Naples, Daytona, etc, all great places to fly to…
    If you guys ever come to Switzerland, stop by to do a Single-Engine tour through the alps!

  54. Congrats to Kalebra, I have only had a couple of lessons but I one day dream of being able to justify getting my PPL. Looking forward to seeing some ariel photography of Florida from you Mr Kelby!

  55. Congratulations to your wife Kalebra. I remember my own checkride as just about the most stressful situation I have ever had to go through. It was well worth it though. I wish her continued success in her pursuit of higher ratings.

    Hey, now not even the sky is the limit any more!

  56. Congratulations Kalebra!!!
    Being a wife u made your husband proud,and being a woman u have increased the strength of women.

  57. CONGRATS!!! I remember the day I got my PPL and they couldn’t take the stupid grin off my face for a long time. It’s been a long time now since I’ve flown and I dearly miss it that feeling of freedom! Best of luck with the advanced training and stay safe!

  58. Cangrats Kalerba!!!
    Its always facinating like your first day in school. 
    But the feeling you get everytime the wheels leave the ground, that’s definitely Superb

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