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Private Flying LAA/BMAA/BGA/BPA The sheer pleasure of flight.

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Old 31st Jul 2017, 04:45   #181 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: AUCKLAND
Posts: 88
5:35 Victa Airtourer 100 which included a 20min ferry flight & 20min circuit bashing at a nearby GA airport (you were not allowed to do a "First Solo" back at the base airport due to it being a Capital city single runway domestic/international airport)
I did know a guy who spent a fortune and after around 50 hours they told him he will never do it they should have worked that out around 20 the problem being he would do a perfect circuit then the next one he would try a kill the instructor in the end they got a Civil Aviation FTO to check him out same problem his SPL was cancelled, poor guy welll he was after paying for all those hours.
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Old 31st Jul 2017, 10:10   #182 (permalink)

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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Switzerland
Age: 56
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My first solo at SEP flightschool

It was 1992, 26th of january when I was 30 years old, and it was my third flight. I had 3 hours and 10 minutes from the very first and the second flight before.
The french instructor was a retired military pilot and instructor. The plane was a Morane Saulnier MS880 B (that did not changed during the first 8 hours).

I have to say that from my 17th to 25th year I was flying sailplanes in Switzerland, and then just the season before beginning my PPL Flightschool I was making my microlight license on a stupid basic equipped Quicksilver II (twostroke Rotax engine with hanging cylinders- it was not only weather that decided you to go or not to go).

So I knew all about trafic pattern, radio (in french), and surrounding air navigation from about 50 hours of microlight.

The first solo flight in this airplane was unforgetable and consists in simply doing a traffic pattern. I remember me , the instructor says: "just hold here (at the junction of the runway with the taxyway) and wait for me , the engine running - I've forgotten something. Once out of the cabin and the door locked, he took a walky talky on the edge of the runway and says to me over the radio: " now do exactly the same as before (we came down from 3 to 4 pattern works).
I made all checkpoints by loud speaking to myself and made that very first landing solo on a SEP. I felt a kind of extasy behind. And the champagner came on my bill after in the club...

At this time, in France the usual curriculum for Pilots forseen first a restricted license (BB- brevet de base) with restricted radius and restrictions on type and model, but gives you the ability to fly with passengers earlier then with a PPL. I've got the tests for this BB at 8 hours and 45 minutes - exactly one month after starting the flight school. For that, I made the theory courses and the tests just two days before the test flight for BB. To achieve the PPL final exam, the legislation exepts 45 hours of flight plus radio license plus navigation exercises, including 5 hours flights under IMC conditions (partially simulated by wearing special glasses during flight). I made my testflight at 40 hours and 10 minutes exactly 4 months day by day from the start of the instructions.

The very first 'adventure' was a flight from central France to Hungary , that was the same year 1992 when I made my instruction, with 47 hours in total and from that 38H28 in solo on PPL. I asked a friend, owner of the PPL since 5 years with a few 100 hours in total to come with me. We rented a PA28 from Dijon, crossed Switzerland- Germany-Austria to finaly land at Siofok Kiliti in Hungary. In total we made 25 hours together- I logged 12 hours from this budget.
This adventure graved in my mind was the best I could get from flying as a fresh baked pilot and I will never miss it. I became a better pilot with only 65 hours in total at the end of my first year as private pilot.

I mean it is not the number of hours before first solo, but the way you do your training and later how you build up your experience as pilot in command.

Look out for a good friend having PPL and beeing experinenced, and fly with him. Do cross country flights, make all the prep works for all flights you do thogether including gather weather forecast and decicion making. You will learn faster, sustainable and will become a better pilot- I guarantee.

Sincerely Yours

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Old 31st Jul 2017, 17:46   #183 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Chedburgh, Bury St.Edmunds
Age: 75
Posts: 1,106
4hours 20 mins for me, C.150 G-AXJD. 17 years after being a Staff Cadet on 613 GS at Halton.
However, I ate, slept and breathed flying ever since that time. Wycombe Air Centre, Kevin Dearman was my instructor. [Brilliant man!!].
It came completely out of the blue, and I felt I wasn't really ready, but he said O.K? and I said O.K. and off I went!. Completed in 35 hours, stopped at 200 hours. [young family]. Regards to Dickie Bird if he reads this.
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Old 30th Sep 2017, 20:02   #184 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Haslingden
Age: 32
Posts: 1
My 2 pence worth.
Went solo today at 14.6 HOURS. 32yoa..
4th circuit lesson.
Knackered the 1st landing as just too fast so decided to go around and got it next time round.
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Old 4th Oct 2017, 17:14   #185 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: England
Posts: 12
Quit after 17 hours dual after my instructor wrote "This man is dangerous!" on my last lesson notes. He said I'd never be safe to fly solo.

Fourteen months later I tried again at a different flight school, did 3 hours dual then my first solo at 20 hours TT.

Years later I have FAA CPL/IR, multi-engine, aerobatic and taildragger experience, Tanzanian CPL, CAA ATPL exams pass and commercial African bush-flying experience.

Just goes to show a bad instructor can break you, and a good one can make you.
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Old 12th Oct 2017, 19:03   #186 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 23, Railway Cuttings, East Cheam
Age: 13
Posts: 3,112
Had you had a good lunch at the Dabbling Duck?
Yes, always a fine culinary experience there.

Does this count as the longest ever time for answering a post?
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Old 12th Oct 2017, 19:14   #187 (permalink)
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Faversham
Posts: 236
Talking Should I wait until January?

Thing. If I wait until January I'll exceed your reply time, but no doubt will have forgotten all about it since then, so will concede.......
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Old 12th Oct 2017, 19:19   #188 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: 23, Railway Cuttings, East Cheam
Age: 13
Posts: 3,112
Been down the pub, it was a lock in.
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Old 30th Oct 2017, 13:49   #189 (permalink)

Probationary PPRuNer
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 4
It took me about 14 hours, flying about once a week or so. We did a lot of "other stuff" before that like ground reference maneuvers, steep turns, stalls etc., not just pattern work.

It probably would have been sooner than that had 9/11 not happened. We were planning on it being that Saturday (just after my 17th birthday). Instead, since our airport was within an "enhanced Class B" area, I was delayed a few weeks and had to brush some rust off first.

Originally Posted by Genghis the Engineer View Post
So I really dont "get" why so many instructors, often with tens of times my instructing hours, feel it's essential to get inexperienced pilots with still-poor basic flying skills into the circuit so fast. In my opinion, they're at a skill level where this will only stress them and slow their learning process.

I get why so many inexperienced pilots think that they should - it's because they were fed that by their instructors. But why the instructors?
I've read that it was the "generally accepted theory" that first solo was a confidence-builder, and doing it early was crucial in getting pilots to "stick with it" and finish the license. As you say, I think that was a self-induced problem.
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 10:23   #190 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Here
Posts: 577
After 3.5 hours total time, but in a glider which is arguably easier than powered. Aged 16!

Brave instructor...

Last edited by Sam Rutherford; 31st Oct 2017 at 17:57.
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 11:01   #191 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Upper Gumtree
Posts: 284
Yes - there's no doubt about it. A first solo in a glider is the best and quickest way to get going.

I managed to be towed straight into lift on my first. What to do? I decided to carry straight on until out of it, but it made for a funny shaped circuit. And on my second, they towed me up into snow!

On my first powered solo (7 hours, if someone is taking averages) ATC said "continue" when I was on approach. Did that mean continue on approach, or continue round the circuit again? It was not in my radio vocab, so I went round again.

It's all a very long time ago, but the first solo always sticks in your memory.
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Old 31st Oct 2017, 22:09   #192 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: EGHH
Posts: 36
Just soloed this afternoon after 22.7hrs TT
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