Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Non-Airline Forums > Private Flying
Reload this Page >

Completed my First Solo Today

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

Completed my First Solo Today

Old 12th May 2019, 18:58
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 22
Completed my First Solo Today

After carrying out circuits for the last few weeks, my instructor put me with the CFI today with a view to sending me for my first solo. After a few circuits, I was sent on my way all on my own which felt quite intimidating. Anyway, I carried out a normal take off, turn to downwind etc. When I turned onto base, I did encounter a bit of a case of nerves, my approach ended up a little fast and I flared a little early resulting in a bounce on landing. The bounce felt pretty high and I felt it was safer to go around. The second landing attempt had a similar result. On the third attempt, my approach was too high and I ended up with a decent landing on my fourth attempt. I was told I could have landed on the first two attempts if I just kept the nose up, but as I was on my own, it felt like the more comfortable decision.

Anyway, I was surprised I needed quite a few attempts to land in my solo as a nailed most of the landings with the instructor for the previous couple of sets of circuits... some with a light bounce, but not too bad.

I was wondering how other people's experiences were; did you encounter any nerves? Did you feel you did better with another person in the cockpit with you?
MrOrange is offline  
Old 12th May 2019, 19:22
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Down south
Posts: 627
Going around was a good decision and shows very good airmanship and pilot in command judgement. Too many people come to grief trying to salvage poor approaches or bad landings. You should never be criticised for going around and never hesitate to do so.

Well done!
bingofuel is offline  
Old 12th May 2019, 19:48
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Ontario
Posts: 24
Originally Posted by bingofuel View Post
Going around was a good decision and shows very good airmanship and pilot in command judgement. Too many people come to grief trying to salvage poor approaches or bad landings. You should never be criticised for going around and never hesitate to do so.

Well done!
I absolutely second this!
Too many airline pilots nowadays are scared to go around. Do not be scared! Look at the recent Aeroflot accident.
A320ECAM is offline  
Old 12th May 2019, 19:49
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: EBZH
Posts: 2,398
Congratulations! Your life will never be the same again!

And if you never commit worse errors than coming in a bit high and/or a tad fast, and know how to deal with it, we'll be blessed with one more good pilot around the skies.

I have been told that on early solo flights the difference in weight in a light plane is quite likely to make the approach and final quite different from one's earlier experiences. So nothing unexpected happened to you, you must have had good tuition.

As for my own experience: I mostly remember being totally baffled, having never expected to be released "so soon". That all went almost flawless left little surprise after that... but the shot of adrenaline was huge.
Jan Olieslagers is offline  
Old 12th May 2019, 21:45
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 22
It's a great feeling isn't it?
Deadstick126 is offline  
Old 12th May 2019, 22:35
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 6,102
Well done. It actually feels more of an achievement than getting your Skill Test.

If you don't deal with a bounce adequately it can just get progressively worse. Look at this

WHBM is offline  
Old 12th May 2019, 22:53
  #7 (permalink)  

"Mildly" Eccentric Stardriver
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: England
Age: 72
Posts: 2,817
Congratulations Captain!! The go-arounds were a good decision. My first solo was in July '65 and 50+ years and 19,000 hours later I can still remember the feeling. As Deadstick says; it's great, isn't it?
Herod is offline  
Old 13th May 2019, 03:46
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: East side of OZ
Posts: 614
Well done Mr Orange,

It’s a great feeling isn’t it?

One thing you you need to consider when you fly your training aeroplane solo is that it only has half the usual payload, i.e. one person on board and so is lighter by whatever your instructor weighs. It all makes a difference. Less power needed on final, not much less but a little less.

The reduced mass can easily get you hot and high and make a normal flare into an over flare. This would also be noticeable if you flew an aeroplane with a very light fuel load compared to one with full tanks and at the same time POB 1.

I distinctly remember the increased rate of climb on my first solo and it was a lot quieter, no noise from the right hand seat! Ha!

Good luck with the rest of your training, cheers,
BH



Bullethead is offline  
Old 13th May 2019, 05:40
  #9 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: UK
Posts: 22
Thank you for the comments Yeah, it felt fantastic. I'm slightly disappointed I needed a few attempts to get it on the ground; I need to make a concious effort not to be overly cautious and just flare as and when I've been taught. But I will practise and practise until I get it just right!

@WHBM That's quite some video! Definitely one to keep in the back of my mind!
MrOrange is offline  
Old 13th May 2019, 06:06
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: In the air
Posts: 234
Congratulations! Mine was just a few weeks ago.

Originally Posted by MrOrange View Post
I was wondering how other people's experiences were; did you encounter any nerves? Did you feel you did better with another person in the cockpit with you?
My legs were literally shaking as I held it on the brakes waiting for clearance. After that it was fantastic, everything happened by magic! I loved not having someone sitting next to me and felt the learning rate just stepped-up by a factor of 10.

Congratulations on making the decision to go around, even if you might have salvaged a landing, that experience will be valuable. I have had some very ugly landings, but I never abandoned a landing after wheels touched; perhaps I should try and setup a bounce-and-go....?
double_barrel is offline  
Old 13th May 2019, 08:49
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 6,102
Originally Posted by double_barrel View Post
My legs were literally shaking as I held it on the brakes waiting for clearance....
Every club has their own way. I turned up for further circuits, to be told by my instructor (I now realise quite unconvincingly !) " ... um ... er ... I've cocked up the bookings, do you mind doing it today with [Mr Senior] here ?". So a couple round the block, stop, and "Do you feel you could doo it on your own ?". "Think so". "Go on then. Bye ....".

Regarding the video, that's a (Czech built) Turbolet 410, used for advanced twin training in Russia. He will have had a lot more hours than you at that stage. You have to look quite closely but at the finale it goes off into the weeds as the nosewheel fails.
WHBM is offline  
Old 13th May 2019, 08:58
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: DORSET
Age: 61
Posts: 569
Congrats - my pal down here also went solo yesterday and he was elated - He cannot wait now for the next phase on journey to his ATPL goal to fly big jets for the Orange order.
rog747 is offline  
Old 14th May 2019, 15:54
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Guildford
Posts: 2
I too 'went solo' last Saturday, but only after 8 lessons beyond when I could have done, given the right conditions.The crosswind element limit of 7 knots in a PA28 had really restricted the opportunities for it to happen until now , combine that with the low cloud, rain and availability of the right instructor to 'send me off.' We'd done everything else possible ,including the 2 hours instrument familiarisation, landing and take off at another airfield , nav exercise and so on. Loving the PFL's though, that gets the blood going!

Finally, last Saturday, things aligned for the three-in-a-row verification landings, right up to the point where the crosswind bust the limits again before i'd even started!
We did some practice circuits nonetheless, as it had been a while, but cut the lesson short and went home to try again another day. However, it wasn't long before the phone rang and I was back to the airfield for a second session when the wind had swung around and back in limits. First of three and...the wind came back again!
Still having fun, so went for an EFATO, a Go-around , a glide to land (love those, always my best landings for some reason?) and a couple of standard circuits buttoned away to land and taxi in....a few short words later and out he got! The wind had been fine for each of the preceding circuits and was still fine apparently,so off I went.!

Climb out to 500ft was quick , 800 soon after (are instructors that heavy, or is it the weight of experience ;-) ?) Then crosswind leg, turn, call downwind 'Student Gold Sierra Alfa' (love the student thing !), BUMPFITCH + L turn base, throttle back, first and 2nd flaps , turn final, call final, bit of turbulence, drag flap, 70ts, over the fence , threshold, flare a little left rudder to kick off the crab (wind's back then) and down.... a bit flat, but ok. Vacate runway, after landing checks, call tower for taxi clearance and ....that's it then?
They're congratulating me on the radio, but it was only on the long taxi back that things began to occur to me.as having passed the Solo milestone. Especially when the instructor, usually in the right seat of course, was then standing outside the aeroplane doing the marshalling arms thing !

I seemed to miiss it all somehow, but rather that, I suppose, than remembering it for more eventful reasons! It was a long time coming and, actually, it just needed to be done, one way of dealing with it I suppose and I come the moment I barely even thought about it..

Post solo though: it's a great feeling and I'm re-energised for the next phase. Loving the journey and I'm soaking it all up as I go.
Life long ambition - Mid life reality

Last edited by Steve C64; 15th May 2019 at 15:11. Reason: Edited for a few spelling mishtooks and stuff.
Steve C64 is offline  
Old 17th May 2019, 03:35
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Barbados
Posts: 351
Congratulation
Ebbie 2003 is offline  
Old 17th May 2019, 07:21
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Lichfield
Posts: 3
Ha Congratulations... I sense I'll be coming up to mine in the next few weeks.. but the idea petrifies me
onionabroad is offline  
Old 18th May 2019, 05:57
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 6,102
Originally Posted by onionabroad View Post
Ha Congratulations... I sense I'll be coming up to mine in the next few weeks.. but the idea petrifies me
Bot it shouldn't. Nor should you be complacenent, but it should be an interesting prospect. Are you afraid of driving the car to/from the airfield ? That's more challenging. In the plane you have height to think about things, a mile of runway to land on, the ability to Go Around and try again, a pro on the radio organising everyone around, etc. Finish the lesson, get in the car, out of the gate, and you are driving down a main road at pretty much landing speed missing all those oncoming at a closing speed of 120mph by just a few feet. And they are all amateurs. Forward visibility is nothing in comparison.
WHBM is offline  
Old 18th May 2019, 07:19
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 10
Congratulations Mr Orange, and may you have many more successful flights. I did my first solo on April 1st (fools day!) 3 days before my 17th birthday. It was at Archerfield near Brisbane which was then an all over grass airfield, and the aircraft was a Tiger Moth (DH 82). The procedure was for the instructor to get out of the aircraft on the field, remove his joy stick (control column sounds over the top for a Tiger) and seat cushions, fasten the harness then wait on the grass for the student to pick him up after landing.

As others have noted the climb performance improved vastly without the instructor's weight, and I felt no nervousness - as is known 16 year olds know everything and can do no wrong! It all went well until i turned onto final and noticed a fair crosswind which was not evedient on the last circuit with my instructor. Then I saw an aircraft taking off in another direction, so I went round and joined the circuit in that direction - followed by a reasonable landing. Then I felt the excitement and satisfaction. I picked up my instructor and then back to the parking area.

There were 6 of us on the same course and one of my friends on the course was sent solo the next day - it was memorable because in the excitement he forgot to pick up our instructor who had to walk all the way back to the parking area carrying the seat cushions and waving the joy stick in a very threatening manner. You could hear him swearing from 300 m away!

That first solo lead to a most satisifying career in aviation as a pilot, ATC and consultant until I retired last year at the age of 79. I feel a quiet pride in our industry, and wish everyone involved success and a good life in no matter what your job is in aviation.

Last edited by Bravo Romeo Alpha; 18th May 2019 at 07:21. Reason: spelling
Bravo Romeo Alpha is offline  
Old 18th May 2019, 19:33
  #18 (permalink)  

"Mildly" Eccentric Stardriver
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: England
Age: 72
Posts: 2,817
Bravo Romeo Alpha. I feel a quiet pride in our industry, and wish everyone involved success and a good life in no matter what your job is in aviation. I second that.
Herod is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.