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Old 11th Jan 2019, 17:01
  #69 (permalink)  
Innominate
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: North of Watford, South of Watford Gap
Age: 63
Posts: 208
Like OD it took me 39 launches before my 3 solos; this was at Swanton Morley in May 1973. All were in Sedberghs (WB981 and 987) which - unusually - had canopies. I was apparently put into the T21 because I am left-handed, but in retrospect there may also have been a weight/size issue...

it was the convention then to address the pilot (even a 16yr old Air Cadet) as “Sir”
My second and third solos were flown when the others were heading off to lunch, so the instructors did the ground handling. "Cable on, Sir" from an instructor was a further boost to my sense of achievement, subsequently deflated by my chum who had "borrowed" my beret because he "didn't think you were coming back" [for lunch].

Drifting slightly, my first ever flight was in Chipmunk WK640 on 13 April 1970 during Easter Camp at Waddington. The officer giving the mass brief on emergency drills concluded with something to the effect of "I've never had to bale out, and my only forced landing was due to my Wellington being damaged by a night fighter" which we all found very reassuring!
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