View Full Version : Your First Solo Flight

27th Apr 2009, 13:55
Hi there,

I'm going solo in about 10-15 flying hours time. Describe your first solo please, everything you felt before, leading up to and after the flight.

27th Apr 2009, 16:28
There was the story about a student turning up for a lesson. He was met by a chap who said "Let's get going!" so the student made haste and when they were airborne discovered that the 'instructor' was a journalist who was expecting to be ferried to a news location . . .

Probably apocryphal, so don't worry.

27th Apr 2009, 16:41
I was too young to go solo when I was ready and had to wait around 18 months before I hit 17, so it didn't really come as any surprise. I was set to go up on my 17th birthday, but typically the weather in December is [email protected] in the uk, so it took til March before the good weather coincided with me not being at school (yes, it took 3 months!!)

When my instructor finally got out, I was quite obviously, very happy and was the chance to have a bit of fun without getting into any trouble. I wasn't nervous at all and it was all over pretty quick, but the solo consolidation that comes after is a chance to relive the experience.

You`ll never forget it, for me it was over 17 years ago and I still remember it like yesterday, plus I still have the bragging rights that I was allowed to fly a plane on my own before I could do the same in a car! :E

Good luck

27th Apr 2009, 16:49
You'll be fine, but if my case is typical it can be more of a deal for the instructor who signed you off for solo.

Did my first solo down in Florida, 3 circuits I think. On the final circuit, an elderly private pilot taxied straight out onto the active runway while I was on (very) short-final, so called a go-around at around 20-30'AGL.

Unbeknownst to me, the instructor who'd signed me off minutes earlier was listening in to it all on the CTAF. He reckons it gave him more than a few grey hairs!

Um... lifting...
27th Apr 2009, 17:10
26 October 1988. 1.2 hours. 42 nautical miles almost due north from NAS Whiting Field to Evergreen, Alabama in a T-34C, some of the busiest training airspace on earth.
Three bounces at Evergreen (and bounce was probably just the word for it) then return via VFR course rules to Whiting.
So pleased with myself for having survived thus far that on the return missed a frequency change, gained on the aeroplane ahead of me on the rules and had insufficient interval, didn't see him in the sun, was called on guard frequency by ATC, got sufficiently rattled by that to line up on a permanently closed runway at home field after the overhead carrier break, was barked at by the instructor pilot in the aircraft behind in the circuit who saw what I was doing, readjusted to the correct runway, got the rudder shakers briefly, firmly planted the machine 2-3 times, taxied clear, parked, got my wobbly knees under control, and climbed out.
That was thousands of hours ago and I'm sure if I dreamt about it tonight I'd awaken in a cold sweat.
When it was over I was so delighted I phoned everyone I could think of in the days before cheap long-distance and mobile phones... nobody but the other flight students understood why I thought this was a big deal.:ugh::p

27th Apr 2009, 17:12
First Solo wasn't really a big deal for me. It was just another circuit. I had already done plenty of dual circuit training to the point I was bored of it. First solo nav was much more memorable and more fun. I felt a real sense of achievement having taken the aircraft out on my own and successfully navigated somewhere and come back in one piece and dealt with ATC en route etc. Ok I did get temporarily lost on the way back :}

Like Akrapovic, I also flew an aircraft by myself before I ever drove a car.

27th Apr 2009, 17:21
The instructor that signed me off for my solo was somewhat on the rotund side, so I was somewhat taken aback by the performance of an unburdened Tomahawk, which seemed to want to climb like a rocket and took a lot of coaxing to return to terra firma.

Tower Ranger
27th Apr 2009, 17:33
For me it was pretty memorable. I got to do 15 hours flying training in two weeks in a C152 at Southend as part of my ATC course. The smallest thing I had been in before a Cessna was as pax on a Ba146 so it was abit of a shock to the system. On my very first lesson we had to orbit on final whilst a Tornado and then the Red Arrows landed before us and from about two miles out on the approach that was pretty spectacular.

Went solo after six and a half hours and no dramas at all as i climbed to 500 turned crosswind then downwind, did all the checks and turned base just where i was meant to. I felt i was a little high only the approach so I asked my instructor what he thought. Of course there was no reply and I looked to my left to see why, I can still see that empty left hand seat with a red clip board on it clearly and that was almost 20 years ago. After a few expletives i lande without any drama but what an adrenalin rush.

I look inside a C150 now and think , holy S i flew one of these things after only a few hours training what was I thinking!!

Don`t even get me started on the story of mistaking sheep grazing against the a/d boundary fence for piano keys at Headcorn, I think they were as scared as I was!

You`ll be fine, flying is easy but paying for it is difficult!

27th Apr 2009, 17:51
Hi again,

As I mentioned I've got about 10-15 hours until I go solo. I started flying at the begining of last year, I was 13 years old and now I am 15. I have 10.3 hours and fly most holidays. I'm looking forward to going to in just under a years time. I doing my progress report check on Friday and then I can start curcuits. I've already started doing takeoffs and am looking forward to my first landing.

Sunray Minor
27th Apr 2009, 18:14
My two (glider at 3.5 hours and powered after a further 6) were days after my 16th birthday, more by coincidence than anything else. Learned to drive about 2 years later!

I may be in a minority here but found the whole experience underwhelming. I wasn't particularly excited about doing it and don't recall the flight as being noteworthy - although the landing (in the lightened Blanik) was one of my smoothest. I hadn't started learning to fly with a goal of soloing, and was just happy to be in an aircraft, be that on my own or with someone else handling the stick and rudder, so soloing was neither here nor there for me. Stalls, spins and various g's on the other hand...

This may be important to remember, as really, the solo is just one of the many phases you pass through and the learning only continues from there. Seeing these markers as "ends" rather than "means" is maybe why so many seem to lose interest and chuck it in soon after (PPL likewise).

27th Apr 2009, 18:33
I was another young starter at flying. First lesson was in a J-3 Cub in England at the age of 12. I finally soloed in a Piper Tri-pacer on June 29, 1963 on my 16th birthday at Norman, Oklahoma, which was 43 years and 21,000 hours ago this June. To be honest my first solo flight was a bit anticlimactic, as I had nearly a hundred hours of logged flying time (dual) in the J-3, DHC Beaver, Piper Tri-pacer, Stinston L-5, Cessna 172/182, Navion and T-34.

Now, my first unsupervised solo was great!

As to why I had so much time in different aircraft back then was because my father was an Air Force pilot and all my flying was in Air Force Aero Club aircraft. My father used Aero Club aircraft for some of his duties and when I was not in school he would stick me in the left seat, or the front seat in the L-5 and the T-34, and off we would go.

I was very, very lucky.

27th Apr 2009, 19:47
First solo after just 5 hours on a lovely calm evening in Texas. Just 3 touch and goes but I could have gone on until sunset.

Much more fun was the following week when I did a solo 300 mile triangle cross country. I had to refuel at some small airfield in the middle of nowhere and found a hangar where they were refurbishing old WW2 aircraft. It was a shame I had to leave. An absolutely fantastic day.

Jimmy Macintosh
27th Apr 2009, 20:48
I was ready and waiting for my solo. The last couple of trips were circuits and the instructor had nothing to say. Essentially they were as the CCF termed it "ghosted soloes". It was nice when they finally got out. I thought I should be more excited/nervous but it was nice to just go and do it.
I recall ballooning the landing, but the instructor was on the apron and the fuel bowser obscured their view. I touched down smoothly soon after I came back into view with a nice landing.

I didn't have the heart to mention the balloon to my instructor.

My favourite part of the training was my first solo cross country that was my learning to fly experience, that I'll hold onto. It was the first time I felt like a pilot.

27th Apr 2009, 21:12
Major [email protected] from my instructor over R/T when I first called for taxy. He told me to look at the right hand seat and then recall for taxy.

Hence my username on PPRune.

Oh, and that first circuit. Pure Magic!!!!

27th Apr 2009, 21:26
So many wonderful stories have already been written on this thread.
I will get away with the fact that mine was in another idiom.

O tempora, o mores!

Good continuation!

27th Apr 2009, 21:45
Remember it well. Instructor flew a few circuits with me as a final check then we cleared the active and back down to the holding point. A quick brief and out he got. After several minutes of total concentration and a reasonable circuit I landed and parked up. When I shut down the reality of what I had just done hit me and my legs started to shake a bit making the walk back to the flying school a little interesting. All in all a day I doubt I will ever forget :)

27th Apr 2009, 21:53
Mine turned out to be much easier than I expected. The best part for me is that you can finally enjoy a flight in peace without someone looking over your shoulder and commenting on every move. The thing to watch out for is just the change in weight. Take off will be much more sporty and the landing will take a little more care to get the flare right.

B Fraser
27th Apr 2009, 22:05
My first solo at 8 hrs and a bit was very memorable. My second solo was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

I was told to do a few circuits until I got dizzy, tired or bored however on the climb-out from my second T&G, the 4 cylinder engine became a 3 cylinder engine. Looking back, I suspect that there was lead fouling on the plugs (as they had been changed that morning, I wonder why) and the engine had about 25 hours remaining. The major part of the circuit was over a fairly sizeable town, I was barely holding 400 feet at full throttle, 70 kts was all I had with the engine temp approaching the red zone. I looked for a field expecting the engine to pack up however there was nothing but trees and steep slopes.

RT procedure went out of the window as I said "errrrm, I think I'll call a pan, engine is very rough". The tower were fantastic, all traffic was told to b*gger off and I eventually got up to 1000 feet at the end of the downwind leg. I remember seeing the fire trucks at the edge of the field and it took a second or two to realise that they were for me. Strangely, I also remember thinking that I would have to say thanks to them later in the day.

When back on terra firma, I was asked to taxi straight to the hangar where the engineer (top bloke, ex Halton) jumped in and gave the aircraft a thorough ground test..... fault not found.

I was a bit shaken but was back the following morning to get into the saddle again as quickly as I could.

I never did frame those lucky underpants :ok:

27th Apr 2009, 22:20
I'll never forget it.

July 20, 1986. Bankstown with the legendary "Shawbaby".

It was about 8 hours or so and had been bashing away at the circuits really early in the morning and then heading off to work.

Finally, Shawbaby tells me to taxi to the left and hops out. He tells me to go for a circuit. I had been curious about his RT that he made sure I didn't quite hear properly...

To say I was excited was an understatement. Off I go. WOW, the cherokee sure does climb sans right seat pax. :) It didn't really hit me until I was downwind with a moment to spare when I looked to the right and no one was there. :eek: Actually, it was good. Brilliant in fact.

Turned onto final and the scene was perfect. :O Exactly what you "should" see. I remember thinking "p!ssed this in". The landing wasn't bad actually and to say I was happy was an understatement.

I'll never forget that day. Nor will I forget how good it felt to do that flight.
You'll never forget it either. :ok:

27th Apr 2009, 22:20
Wycombe Air Park/Booker Summer 1996. Had done about 12 hours total and out with the instructor for another lesson on a jolly nice day to just practice circuits. On I think about circuit number 5 I called my final again as a touch&go and thought to myself that I'm still not getting this right. Just as we touched or was about to, the instructor takes control and calls a full stop.:confused:

All the way back to the run-up spot with him saying f*ck-all I'm thinking sh!t I must have done something really stupid at some point and I've spooked him - lecture coming up...:ooh: Once parked at the run-up, instructor says that was fine go do another by yourself then park back in the usual spot, I'll see you at the clubhouse. He proceeds to jump out and was about 20 yards away before I could get my brain in gear.:eek: Reckon it took that long for me to get over my confusion and realize what was going on - I genuinely didn't expect it and thought that it would be another few hours at least, and in anycase that he'd give me advance warning - at minimum that he'd say something like 'how do you feel about going yourself'. To anyone familiar with WAP, RW that day was 07 and so the less usual LH circuit which was another reason (to me) why it was so unexpected.

Managed to collect myself and went through the procedures and getting up in the air (turn left to about 02 at the sock on climbout etc) without incident. Once downwind and after the usual checks (rushed) I recall feeling surprised that the controls (so far) felt exactly the same. I reckon I had this naive assumption that my instructor had somehow discretely been in subtle but complete control all this time via rudder alone.:ugh:

Towards the end of downwind, tower tells me I'm No3 behind a something-or-other approaching straight-in. No probs I thought and on seeing 'the' straight-in at my 11-o'clock-ish decide to turn left onto base once abeam. Of course as soon as I've levelled my wings, farted about trimming for descent etc etc I now see 'the Real no3' straight-in sailing past directly in front of me. Him at 500', me at about 800'. Oooops I think.:eek: Also think, BlooMoo my son, now would be a good time to take a good f*cking look out the window.:8 Unlike 5 minutes earlier my brain realises my mistake relatively quickly and so I try and drift a bit right and keep high so that I can attempt to eke out maximum ttm for my call on final and hopefully nobody will notice. Overshot base a bit to this ingenious effect and eventually levelled and lined up on final.;) After calling final remember thinking that the guy in front (still at 200') seems unusually (for some strange reason) closer than usual but, hey, nobody noticed so, relax. :cool:

One second later tower calls me asking if I see the aircraft in front on short final. Me - 'Errr, affirm?' Tower to guy on short final... 'G-xxxx go-around, you have a 1st solo immediately behind'...:}

Landed fine. Taxied fine. Expected an ear-bashing from the Instructor (in tower during circuit) but he dismissed it, said it happens - shook my hand, me and him with big grins. Sense of relief and satisfaction outweighed the embarrasment at the time. To the guy who had to go-around, Sorry!.:{

Not long after that I did my 2nd x-country solo which unlike the 1st involved landing 'somewhere else' - in my case Blackbushe. A few miles out Blackbushe suggested that I join overhead so did so, just turned downwind and Blackbushe asks 'G-xxxx advise when overhead'. Oooops, again... Didn't feel the same though, just embarrassment without any 1st-solo exhiliration to compensate.:(

looking back 1st-solo was a great experience, one of those rare times where you feel you've 'stress-tested' your personal envelope in terms of many emotions. By definition it's a once in a lifetime event.:ok:

27th Apr 2009, 22:59
I started my flying lessons at 16 and had nearly 30 hours of instruction
by my solo at 17 years of age. Sept 13, 1985

My flight plan was to head out to a good visual landmark, a reservoir near my childhood home that was conveniently located 20nm nearly directly on that day's active runways' heading. There were a few puffy clouds around and it was in early fall. EDIT: late summer actually! Fall weather.

My instructor, a former Marine pilot named Chuck and fairly stern teacher but all around jolly fellow took us around the circuit for some touch and gos. Six I think, none of them stellar by any means. We shut down the Cherokee at the ramp, did a second pre-flight at dear old Mom's request and off I went. Got thumbs up from a grizzly ramper and my instructor as I left the apron and taxied out.

There was a moment of minor panic when I thought I had somehow lost my aero chart but it was found tucked into the visor. Thanks Chuck. Post takeoff had me smiling ear to ear. I'm quite sure I looked like either a madman or an idiot.

Once at 4500 feet, I throttled back a bit and enjoyed my journey like I had never before either as a passenger or student. My major worry was on sighting our house below and before the reservoir. I saw our road and creek below, gave a wag of the wings for Mom and Dad who I had hoped were looking up at the right time.

Soon the body of water was in sight, and I turned her around and headed back to the airport. Thoughts of a bounced landing or go around began to creep in but I banished them to the back of my mind. The return flight was much quicker than outbound. Isn't that always the case?

Airport in sight, I announced my intentions, entered the pattern and after a few airy bumps on downwind and corrections I was about to alight on terra firma. Kept her nose up for a nice long floater and performed one of the greasiest landings of my piloting experience in a wee bug smasher.

The whole experience was in a word, exhilarating.

Happy Flying OP! :ok:

27th Apr 2009, 23:26
My first solo was no surprise, learning to fly at Dublin Airport meant you had to fit in with all the line traffic. So it was well telegraphed with the Instructor getting permission from the tower. He hopped out and I sat there nervously while the 747 and the 737 ahead of me departed, one pilot wishing me well, adding a quip about the state of my nerves. So no real pressure then!:eek:

The take off etc went well, I had been told to expect a noticeable difference in performance but I didn't. It was a Cessna 150 after all. A quick glance at the empty right seat confirmed my status as P.1 but I didn't have much time to saviour the moment as ATC with no sense of occasion, directed me not above 500' in the circuit and 'keep the speed up' as traffic was inbound. Ah, the perils of learning to fly at busy international airports.

Worst landing of the day and taxied in after picking up the Instructor again, feeling slightly pleased with myself.

It was nearly a year later that I had my second solo but that's another story. Although technically it was another first solo as the Instructor on that occasion was unaware that it was actually my second.

The first solo plaque I later received from the club sits in front of me now. It was the 13th of June. I guess 13 isn't an unlucky number for me. I was 21.

27th Apr 2009, 23:30
CaptainKing, just don't do something like this on your first solo.

Back in the late 60s we had an instructor at a satellite field solo a student for the first time. After briefing the student to stay in the pattern, shoot two touch and goes followed by a full stop to pick up the instructor the student taxied to the end of the runway and took off north.

And kept going due north until he was out of sight.

I was back at our home base when the instructor called, more than a little excited. I jumped into another trainer and flew out to the satellite field to pick up the stranded instructor. Before I left the Chief Instructor told me to wait at the other field for while in case they found out where the student and the aircraft was. By the time I landed at the satellite field the stranded instructor came running up to me and told me that they had found the student and the aircraft.

At an Air Force Base about 60 miles north of where we were. (Vance Air Force Base for those who are familiar to this area.) The base called our company and told them that our clueless student had just came in landed and had not clue where he was. The Air Force, officially, was not amused, unofficially they thought it was funnier than all get out. The student was afraid to turn the aircraft with only him in it. So he just kept flying straight until he saw a runway. It was a damn good thing that he did not takeoff heading out over an ocean.

The student in question received a few more hours of dual before his next solo and ended up becoming a Captain on a MD-11 for FedEx. I still see him occasionally. And yes, he tells the story on himself.

So pay close attention to your instructor young man. :=


kiwi chick
28th Apr 2009, 01:43
Redsnail summed my story up pretty accurately, so I won't repeat it!

One thing I will say is try to disregard all the "I soloed in only 5 hours" and "I was good enough to go at 7 hours" etc etc that you will hear from everyone.

You will go when you are ready, and if you go at 20 instead of 10 - hey - you've got an extra 10 hours under your belt and you are already a way better pilot.

Good luck and enjoy!! :ok:

28th Apr 2009, 03:09
CaptainKing - a life defining moment. Just wonderful. :ok:

Good luck.

After you've got your license, read this book : Amazon.com: The Killing Zone: How & Why Pilots Die: Paul A. Craig: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Killing-Zone-How-Why-Pilots/dp/007136269X)

Howard Hughes
28th Apr 2009, 03:23
Soloed in 1982 on a very grey day, stuffed up the last circuit by accidentally retracting the flap on final (bloody stupid three position switch)! "Don't do that on this one" the instructor said as he got out of the aircraft...:uhoh:

I think my smile filled the seat the instructor had vacated! I marvelled at the 'high performance' aircraft I was now flying without the dead weight of the instructor!;)

I still regularly see the aircraft at YSCB and it is still still sending people solo.:eek:

That aircraft will always have a special place in my heart...:ok:

kiwi chick
28th Apr 2009, 03:43
That aircraft will always have a special place in my heart...

... so did mine until it found a special place at the bottom of the ocean.. :hmm:

Howard Hughes
28th Apr 2009, 03:48
About fifteen years ago, I saw a picture of mine in the crash comic upside down in a paddock!:eek:

Someone has repaired it and put it back into service!:ooh:

28th Apr 2009, 04:11
About fifteen years ago, I saw a picture of mine in the crash comic upside down in a paddock!:eek:

Someone has repaired it and put it back into service!:ooh:

The aircraft I did my first solo in and GFT is sadly no longer with us. Here (http://www.aaib.gov.uk/sites/aaib/publications/bulletins/march_2009/cessna_f150j__g_awrk.cfm)....Fortunately no one hurt.

28th Apr 2009, 04:19
My first solo, at a coastal airport, the image of turning base over the sea with the sun setting in a red sky is burned into my memory forever.

28th Apr 2009, 04:57
CaptainKing.....Your posts regarding PPL training should be posted in the Private Flying forum. No real problem, but you'll probably get a better response there.

28th Apr 2009, 05:40
Better than the print-worthy ones so far? :=

My own humbly excluded of course.

28th Apr 2009, 15:45
Hi again,

How come some guys go solo at 5-10 hours, surely you are still doing the basic flight manouvers (turns, climbs, descents, stalls, spins, etc).

Jimmy Macintosh
28th Apr 2009, 15:57
It's dependant on a lot of things. I soloed at 6.5 hours, but the school didn't have any limits set and the instructors decided on when you were ready for the next stage.
A lot of the basics were covered in one flight, S&L, turns, climbs and descents. If you covered them adaquately in the first couple of hours then they just accelerated you into circuits.

Some schools have rules set where no-one solos under a set number of hours.

In all honesty, in private circles it doesn't matter in the slightest. The RAF had a requirement of soloing within the first 10 hours otherwise you might not be the right stuff. But there are so many stages that you could get chopped that that was just the first hurdle. The RAF were looking for the best of the best.

28th Apr 2009, 16:29
As anyone will tell you, you will certainly never forget your first solo. Mine took place about 2 years after my first parachute jump.

I was 8 yrs old.

Dad was a pilot in the RAF and, at the tender age of four I could recognize almost every aircraft in the RAF inventory by the sound of the engines. I was the original hangar rat. Hung around airfields, sure, but we normally lived on one. All my toys were aircraft toys my favourite being a Boeing Stratocruiser. My Christmas present on my 8th birthday was a bound copy of the RAF Flying Review which I still have.

In short I was mad about aeroplanes.

Now, it happened that – at the back of the garage – was an old tricycle with 3 equal sized wheels of the old spoked kind. Most kids would have turned this promising material into a kart. But no, I was going to build an aeroplane with it. I enrolled the help of Quentin, the lad who had faithfully promised to become my navigator. We found some timber (mostly stolen from a local building site) and proceeded to make the wings. As I recall the leading edge was made of a wooden pole about 5 ft long for each wing. This was nailed together and looked quite winglike. An old tarpaulin was used as fabric and there was a primitive tailplane of sorts.

We had hours of fun on this contraption. We would pull it up to the top of a local hill and hurtle down it – often two up – before collapsing in howls of laughter and skinned knees at the bottom of the hill.

Our ‘plane went through frequent rebuilds that summer due to various Cat 1, 2, 3 and 4 incidents.

However, despite the design modifications and the trial of a (we thought) rather ingenious bungee launch system made out of bicycle inner tubes, we always failed to get airborne. In other words we had failed in our primary aim.

It was back to the drawing board. Certain additional modifications were carried out and planning for the great day of our first flight was made.

Our primitive fuselage was lifted up onto the coal box and from there onto the garden shed. From here a small ramp (scaffolding plank) allowed us to transfer it to the flat garage roof. Next came the wings and tailplane. These were attached to the fuselage.

I decided I did not need a navigator on this flight. ‘Weight problems’, I told Quentin who – brave lad – seemed disappointed. ‘And, anyway, I need you to push so that I reach take off speed’.

I pedaled, Quentin pushed and I launched off the roof onto the driveway.
My first solo! Result! Flight time 0.21 secs and 1 ac Cat 5 and a broken wrist!

The parachuting? Much the same result but I broke an ankle!

28th Apr 2009, 17:26
Wish I could say that old chesnut... terrifying followed by ecstasy... however it was terrifying followed by terrifying.,, the only ecstasy was flaring OK and surviving the experience... all at OBA (oops a dirty word on PPrune).

Ironically even now I dislike solo flight. And the irony is of course its unnecessary now.

I'm not sure if its connected with my driving phobia (seriously). I recall my first flight and the instructor asked if I'd driven (to Denham which is a bit in the sticks). I said no... my girlfriend drove me... told the instructor I had a driving phobia and we had a good old chuckle (she might have chuckled in nervousness though at what had she let herself in for?).

Ahhh the old days, canna recall the lassie (at the Pilot Ctr Denham) who instructed me but she was a great instructor, and started me on a long path (this was 1998 after all). Her brother was a good chap, on the A320 at the time. No doubt she's still ahead of me.


Scumbag O'Riley
28th Apr 2009, 18:36
Well CaptainKing, don't know how old you are, but the first time you take an aeroplane up on your own is the sort of thing that you only ever get to do the once. After you have brought it back, you cannot do that ever again. I always thought it was a bit like losing ones cherry.

(Except I was off my head on cider that night and stone cold sober when I took the spamcan to heaven :) )

So enjoy it. Not sure I remember much about mine (first solo), was too busy, thought it was reasonably straightforward. My first dual of the other variety was a lot more tense ;)

28th Apr 2009, 20:52
Mine was at Liverpool in a PA28. A really nice day, great viz. The wind was just at the allowable limit for first solo then, which I think was 10 knots, but smooth and steady, 20 degrees off the nose.

The extra climb rate didn't show too much, the circuit was straighforward, and I made a nice landing with one stage of flap. It was enjoyable, and maybe felt to pass a little quicker than before.

Of it all, I think I enjoyed the qualifying solo cross-country most, including finding Halfpenny Green first time! When I got there though, there was a huge amount of traffic in the circuit and a balloon mincing around. I had to use full flap and fly as slowly as possible to keep back from a 152 which they "fitted in" in front of me as I started downwind, even curving a little too. That was new to me!

28th Apr 2009, 23:15
I was starting to feel confident of my flying and, guess what, the instructor got out and told me to do a few more circuits on my own.

Did the takeoff and noticed the extra performance in a C-150, then observed that now I had to get the thing down all by myself.

But having had the procedures beaten into me, I followed them and brought the airplane back in one piece.

The first solo is simply doing what you've been taught.

It gets more interesting doing your first outlanding in a glider as you have to do a whole bunch more thinking for yourself.

However I suspect a glider outlanding is considerably calmer than having the engine quit as you are coming down a whole bunch faster.

29th Apr 2009, 00:19
Baldwin County, Georgia, airport, age 16, 1980.

0700 lesson to beat the heat and humidity = bumpiness of middle Georgia in July.

Briefed with the 10,000 hour instructor (Georgia Forestry Commission aerial fire spotter pilot as his real job), did one pattern, as we touched down he said to make it a full stop and take it to the ramp.

We stopped, he got out, said "Go do three with a full stop on the third one" and walked back to the tiny FBO.

The mighty C-152 practically leapt off the runway without his weight.

I was much thinner then too.

And had more hair. :{

Still remember looking at the empty right seat on a downwind and giving a joyous "Woo-hoo!"

29th Apr 2009, 01:36
Hot day at Old Sarum, 1967. 5 mins in a Sedbergh - winch launch. Awful landing :ooh: - the one prior to solo was perrfick :O. I was 15 years old...

simon brown
29th Apr 2009, 13:54
I didnt know about it.I did 5 good circuits and the the instructor got out.

Slingsby Venture powered Glider 625 VGS at South Cerney March 1980...