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Student Solo

Old 27th Aug 2017, 22:07
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Hyde, Cheshire
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Student Solo

Ladies & Gentlemen, Will you indulge me a hypothetical question?

'Your' airfield has two runways eg. 06/24 & 16/34 Your student is ready for their very first ever solo flight and has just nicely taken off.
As they turn on to the Downwind, another 'plane calls "G-xx on Final" Moments later, they touch-down on the runway. Unfortunately, (for whatever reason) there is an 'incident' at the intersection with both runways are rendered unusable and, likely to remain so beyond sunset.

What happens to your student? They have not to done any real Nav work, nor yet landed away from 'home'. How would you get them back on the ground?
(I'm assuming at least 2.5 hours of fuel and reasonable weather/wind/vis.)

Last edited by Oscar Charlie 192; 28th Aug 2017 at 07:30.
Oscar Charlie 192 is offline  
Old 27th Aug 2017, 22:37
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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I give them a chart for the solo, pre select the local radar unit on com 1 and brief them to call them and ask for vectors for a diversion stressing 'student pilot first solo'. Fortunate we have a radar'ed airfield within 10 miles ! The same would apply for anywhere i guess. If they should be able to follow a heading pre solo, i try to fit in a circuit elsewhere from home during the training to build confidence !
kindupnorth is offline  
Old 28th Aug 2017, 03:19
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
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How long are the runways?
If that's no option I'd keep my student in the pattern and I'd be on the phone with the nearest ATC facility to coordinate radar vectors.

Mind you last job as flight instructor we'd solo at a different non towered airport. I'd instruct my student to fly back to our towered home airport and leave me to take a cab.
Prior to solo they'd have flown that exact route at least 5-6 times already.
Back and forth. They'd also know how to contact ATC radar so in the big scheme of things it really wouldn't be an issue.
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Old 28th Aug 2017, 03:37
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At my airfield;

-There is a large mil, radar'd, lit airfield within visual range (about 4nm) which I point out on a recent lesson.

-There is a large, radar equipped, lit GA airfield direct south of the airfield. If you go past it, you get a big clue....the sea. This at some point is also pointed out to the stude.

-I'm in the tower. I tell the student to either join visually for the large mil airfield, or fly due south and call the GA airfield. In either case, I've called the airfield in question and told them what is going on; they pick them up on radar and vector them in. As a good FI, I've already shown the stude how the radio works and what a heading is....

-Stude lands. We go pick up her or him in the car...no drama.
hobbit1983 is offline  
Old 28th Aug 2017, 07:23
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Join Date: Nov 2016
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A sensible thing is to equip ithe aircraft with a simple chart wiith the bearings to the three closest airports, along with the frequencies, and make the student aware of D & D prior to solo. The other option is to get the instructor airbourne in another aircraft and 'shepherd' the aicraft to the diversion airport.
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Old 28th Aug 2017, 09:08
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Join Date: Apr 2002
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student solo

I had an excellent experience on exactly this subject.

At my home airfield we were all getting ready to go home. Then we noticed a small Cessna just north of our field. We checked if we had any radio contact...no, there wasn't any, Behind that Cessna another, larger one flew just behind the first. We all knew there were thunderstorms to our west. The Cessna 152 made a smooth landing, the Cessna 172 also landed soon afterwards.

The "story": the Cessna 152 was a student on his first solo, He had already done 2 landings at his home field, but then the storms approached. His instructor (still on their home frequency) told him to start flying East, which he did. His father took the Cessna 172 and followed him. Neither of them had an air chart! oooops

Luckily he found "our" airfield, which is a very easy one. After they landed, we found some space in our hangar for the two planes and we decided that I would fly the C152 the next day, and my boyfriend of the time would fly the C172 back home.

The next day, our mechanic noticed that the C152 needed a new tire so he changed it and told me about it, then off we flew. We found their airfield, an American military one, we contacted their field and got permission to land, which we did. The instructor then flew us home in the C172. I must say, this event was quite fun, but I'll never forget it.

So, the biggest wrong doing of the instructor: letting the poor student try his solo's when extremely bad weather was expected. Neither the student nor his father had a proper air chart They were lucky to find our field...there were others in the area but none as easy as ours (no obstructions, etc.)

Anyway, lesson to learn: make sure conditions are good for solos and make sure they have proper charts on board ( and know how to use them).
WestWind1950 is offline  
Old 29th Aug 2017, 18:58
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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The school I work at the CFI insists that before first solo all students have to do a dual landaway to the nearest airfield which is 12 miles away for this very reason.
Mickey Kaye is offline  
Old 30th Aug 2017, 20:27
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Originally Posted by Mickey Kaye View Post
The school I work at the CFI insists that before first solo all students have to do a dual landaway to the nearest airfield which is 12 miles away for this very reason.
This. It makes so much sense. It's only an hour or so extra before solo. Another good practice rather than rushing to get students solo in minimum hours (which I'm sure nobody does &#128121
rarelyathome is offline  
Old 7th Sep 2017, 11:02
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Join Date: Sep 2002
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Declare an emergency, land on the piano keys instead of 1500' in, and be stopped well before the intersection mess.

Apologising afterwards is easier.
Ascend Charlie is online now  
Old 7th Sep 2017, 21:13
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Join Date: Jul 2017
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
Declare an emergency, land on the piano keys instead of 1500' in, and be stopped well before the intersection mess.

Apologising afterwards is easier.
That MIGHT work except, the field I was originally thinking of is grass and barely 2,500' total! Never mind to the intersection.

Thanks to you all, your replies have been instructional.
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