Departments  / 11.11 /

Barry Williams

The Flying Brady

Barry Williams became known to a generation of TV-watching Americans as Greg Brady, the eldest son on The Brady Bunch. The show, about a blended family with three boys and three girls, aired from 1969 to 1974 and created an enduring pop-culture phenomenon. Few people might know, however, that Williams first caught the flying bug as a teenager, flying with his oldest brother Craig in a Cessna 150 along the Santa Monica coastline. A few “short decades” later, in 2009, he became a private pilot.

EARLY CHALLENGES… It was all new. Aerodynamics, systems, instruments, finding weight and balance. I had to come to terms with the fact that seagulls never had to prep for an FAA flight test in order to fly.

HARDEST LESSONS… Weather, weather, weather. Who knew there were so many types of fog? The Coriolis effect? I always thought clouds were so pretty; then I had to learn what each type meant and what could happen if I inadvertently flew into one.

FLIGHT-PLANNING FUN… When I’m on location or traveling I like to become familiar with the geography of the local area. I enjoy learning the landmarks and the terrain between where I am taking off and where I’m landing. Aeronautical charts are a great way to get oriented to a new place.

FAVORITE AIRPLANE… I cut my teeth in Cessna 172s and Piper Archers. For the type of flying I like to do now, the Cessna Corvallis is perfect. It is happy flying low and slow, but it is also capable of a range of more than 1,200 nautical miles, at 25,000 feet, all while cruising over 200 knots true airspeed.

ADVICE FOR STUDENTS… If the studying seems overwhelming, don’t lose sight of what drew you to flying in the first place. At some point you will discover that it is possible to fly and be relaxed and have fun at the same time.

Williams learned to fly at Santa Monica Airport.

Who: Barry Williams

Position: Actor

Total flight hours: Just over 200

Extra: Williams recently opened a variety multimedia musical show, “Brady Bunch,” at Yakov Theatre in Branson, Missouri (www.thegregbradyproject). The show runs through 2011 and spring through fall 2012.