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Tell us about your first solo

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You should have been warned about the climb rate MANY times during the lead up to your first solo. It's a significant change to the way the plane behaves, in a U/L. Climb rate and approach speed......

He did say he was warned about it

 

 

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Yesterday the weather finally came good. Bit of early fog, looking eerily beautiful in the valleys, but the early sun already hot in a blue sky soon after dawn. At last, a bit of flying weather after weeks of grey sky & rain.

 

And it was the biggie - at last my instructor threw caution to the wind & pronounced me ready to solo the trusty Jab. Yaay!

 

I opened the throttle & we bounded into the air. A surprisingly rapid rate of climb meant I saw 1000' agl before the end of the runway. So a short circuit to the first of my solo landings in the Jabiru. It's a squirmy little beast, as many will know - but like any aeroplane, it only does what you tell it. So it's your own fault if you hit the ground sideways. . .

 

I did 3 circuits, then a full stop after the 4th. Basically ok, but the plane floats a lot longer with only me on board.

 

I was reasonably satisfied with my flying, but I still need to work on my touchdowns - it's very easy to slew slightly, or be too heavy-handed on pitch, leading to balloning.

 

To be fair, this was actually my second 1st solo, but my first one was 30 plus years ago, so my skills were a bit rusty! Apart from a summer of gliding in 2011, this is my first flying for over 25 years. I enjoyed the whole solo thing all over again.

 

This morning was the same settled high, though it took until 10:00 for the fog to clear completely. I did a bit of pootling about in the locality, and a few more landings, to consolidate my newly refurbished skills. All great fun. I think the little Jabiru makes a great training aircraft, demanding proper and precise use of all 3 axes. Very different from the Cessna 150/2 that I gained my PPL on years ago in UK. That was very easy to fly adequately, and tended to flatter vestigial skills. The rudder pedals were a handy place to rest your feet.

 

So once I get my MiniMax signed off, I can start flying an aeroplane with the little wheel in the right place! I ran the engine up again yesterday, after fitting a second battery giving me true dual electronic ignition. The Max told me she was fed up sitting in the hangar & wanted to fly. I had to agree. Narromine here I come!

 

 

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Yesterday the weather finally came good. Bit of early fog, looking eerily beautiful in the valleys, but the early sun already hot in a blue sky soon after dawn. At last, a bit of flying weather after weeks of grey sky & rain.

And it was the biggie - at last my instructor threw caution to the wind & pronounced me ready to solo the trusty Jab. Yaay!

 

I opened the throttle & we bounded into the air. A surprisingly rapid rate of climb meant I saw 1000' agl before the end of the runway. So a short circuit to the first of my solo landings in the Jabiru. It's a squirmy little beast, as many will know - but like any aeroplane, it only does what you tell it. So it's your own fault if you hit the ground sideways. . .

 

I did 3 circuits, then a full stop after the 4th. Basically ok, but the plane floats a lot longer with only me on board.

 

I was reasonably satisfied with my flying, but I still need to work on my touchdowns - it's very easy to slew slightly, or be too heavy-handed on pitch, leading to balloning.

 

To be fair, this was actually my second 1st solo, but my first one was 30 plus years ago, so my skills were a bit rusty! Apart from a summer of gliding in 2011, this is my first flying for over 25 years. I enjoyed the whole solo thing all over again.

 

This morning was the same settled high, though it took until 10:00 for the fog to clear completely. I did a bit of pootling about in the locality, and a few more landings, to consolidate my newly refurbished skills. All great fun. I think the little Jabiru makes a great training aircraft, demanding proper and precise use of all 3 axes. Very different from the Cessna 150/2 that I gained my PPL on years ago in UK. That was very easy to fly adequately, and tended to flatter vestigial skills. The rudder pedals were a handy place to rest your feet.

 

So once I get my MiniMax signed off, I can start flying an aeroplane with the little wheel in the right place! I ran the engine up again yesterday, after fitting a second battery giving me true dual electronic ignition. The Max told me she was fed up sitting in the hangar & wanted to fly. I had to agree. Narromine here I come!

Congratulations on your 2nd 1st solo! You must have read my thoughts with your solo experience and summary of the Jabiru. I just did my 2nd 1st solo a few weeks ago. I learnt on a tomahawk 17 years ago and i cant recall really using the rudder pedals! The Jabiru requires much more rudder use and is definitely harder to land. Maybe its the high wing with less ground effect.

 

 

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Well it was my turn on this fine Monday the 22/6/2016.

 

David my Instructor at Lethbridge had been threatening to get out for the last couple of hours but for the weather being a bit on the rough side.

 

Yes I know they normally don't hint at this but he felt it wouldn't bother me to know he was ready to set me free and was just waiting for a nice sunny day.

 

That being said here we were Monday, that nice sunny day with bugger all wind we were waiting for and so I was thinking, well today will be the day.

 

All good lets do a few circuits to warm up and nothing said about solo.

 

Now have you had one of those days when the right foot and the rudder peddle just don't get along, well Monday started off like that, everything else was going perfect and after about 45 minutes of just not getting it down the middle with a little cross breeze on rwy 28 he said to me , what are you doing, I'm trying to get out of here.

 

We had a bit of a chuckle as I knew what he was on about so two more circuits followed that flowed pretty good, so on the second one he said alright how do you feel about one by yourself?

 

I was ready and so out he gets and the rest is history.

 

Surprisingly no nerves and yes those little Tecnams do leap into the air with only half fuel and one on board and probably a tad more flap than I should have had.

 

Half way down the runway I had two hundred feet or better and thinking to myself that's a bit better than expected I looked around to see why and sure enough spot the obvious mistake, I hadn't reset flaps after landing and letting David out. All good, still below flap ext speed in the climb so time to clean up and get on with it.

 

The rest was text book if I don't mind saying so myself, well maybe a little to the left of centre on touch down, but only a little :-)

 

So 0.2 as Pilot in Command and looking forward to a lot more.

 

 

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Congratulations Nico, good luck with the rest of the training. Training is one of the best parts of your flying career / hobby and your first solo tops all that.

 

 

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I'd rather talk about the flight before my first solo. I was ready, I knew from my previous flight that my next one would be my solo. I arrived at the airfield confident and excited, I may have already purchased the balloons and streamers (I can't recall). What I do remember is that I was mud, hopeless and at the end of the hour, my instructor asked me to taxi back to the aero club. I was gutted but totally understanding.

 

The next day I solo'd. The aircraft jumped in the air, I was nervous but elated and it was over before I knew it. A bit like my first sexual experience.

 

And the beer tasted the sweetest

 

 

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Here is my video from the big day.

 

I gave a running commentary for my instructors benefit just so he could see what was going through my mind at the time.

 

He liked that and he noted that it was the first Solo flight he'd seen from the cockpit other than his own.

 

Anyway have a look at it and thanks for the congrats.

 

 

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Lethbridge is looking good from the air, gotta get down there one day.

 

How far is it from Bells Beach or Point Lonsdale? Going to see the girlfriend next week so will try and get there.

 

 

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Lethbridge is looking good from the air, gotta get down there one day.

How far is it from Bells Beach or Point Lonsdale? Going to see the girlfriend next week so will try and get there.

It'd be a bit of a drive from either place to Lethbridge, possibly an hour or just under.

 

 

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Thanks guys, all good and a great feeling to be set free.

 

 

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My solo was in a little Gazelle and my instructor pulled the 'no warning you're going solo now' trick which we probably a good thing in hindsight. I tried to be as methodical as possible but the excitement and fear is a powerful thing. I distinctly remember hitting a tiny bit of turbulence on the climb out which nearly resulted in a 'downwind' of another kind even though it wasn't really that big. I also remember being on the downwind leg totally overwhelmed by it all and then realising I was a 100ft high before turning base but still brought it in without too much trouble. Nothing compares to going solo!!

 

 

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So at about 60yrs of age, I got to do my first solo in a Jab ......

 

The emotions and elation of doing that 1st solo stays in your memory data brain box forever.

 

The Full stop. Told to go out on your own is so well told by everyone.

 

I did mine and did all the the same things I had usually done with my instructor next to me, but now only with his words continually buzzing in my brain. Perhaps he was sitting on my shoulder.

 

As I kissed the Tarmac for my 1st solo circuit landing, I felt so proud.

 

But as floated down the runway, I felt sure the prop shouldn't have decided to take a rest. It stopped. Not anything I had specifically expected or trained for in that circumstance.

 

Restarted and powered up and managed a climb out. Heart restarted then too.

 

I was so nervous I had probably pulled power off with too much gusto.

 

A few more memorable circuits were trouble free.

 

I'll never forget the moment !

 

 

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I have to say.... why did you restart and do another take off, if the engine stopped during the flare?. You didn't know why it stopped. Why go into the air again under those circumstance? Engine restart on a touch and go. Loading yourself up to achieve what.? Landing is compulsory taking off rarely is. Nev

 

 

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Chris . This may look like an ambush. It's not, but the "situation" is very worthy of discussion and examination of what factors affected your decision.. A time to learn..... Normally anything you aren't happy with during a landing that AFFECTS SAFETY to an unacceptable level may be responded to by aborting the landing and having another try. You may recall during the early part of taxiing out you do an idle check and IF it's not satisfactory (ie the engine stops) the plane is considered unsafe for flight. During some landings with a jabiru since they often float a bit some pilots stop the engine to reduce the fast idle extended float effect. Of course you would only do this IF you are sure you won't need to go around. Nev

 

 

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Guest jonnywallace

Just completed my first solo at Bankstown today in the Foxbat, an incredible experience! I'm so glad to have got it done now, (and to be able to finally write on this thread) and I now know what to expect in the future. I know everyone says that you will climb a lot quicker without your instructor, but man, I didn't realise that quick! I got to high on downwind which set me up too high on final, so the landing wasn't amazing - floated down the runway a bit longer than I should and ballooned a little, but stabilised and managed to put it down relatively softly. Both the plane and I are OK, so can't be that bad right? Looking forward to knowing what to expect next time!

 

 

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Chris . This may look like an ambush. It's not, but the "situation" is very worthy of discussion and examination of what factors affected your decision.. A time to learn..... Normally anything you aren't happy with during a landing that AFFECTS SAFETY to an unacceptable level may be responded to by aborting the landing and having another try. You may recall during the early part of taxiing out you do an idle check and IF it's not satisfactory (ie the engine stops) the plane is considered unsafe for flight. During some landings with a jabiru since they often float a bit some pilots stop the engine to reduce the fast idle extended float effect. Of course you would only do this IF you are sure you won't need to go around. Nev

The engine stopped as I was about to power up.. I had floated a long way along the runway... And everything was happening so quickly (or so it seemed) I instinctively thought of restart. And as it did, powered up and climbed out.... Everything seemed OK after that.

 

Lack of experience mixed with adrenaline etc alters a newbies perceptions on things.

 

Who would have expected those circumstances........ I for one didn't.

 

I try to "stay ahead of the aircraft" wherever I can now......

 

Taxing out, idle check was fine...

 

I wouldn't dream of stopping the engine voluntarily.

 

My instructor said "well done" regarding the restart. Without it, who knows how big a dent I would have maybe put in it.....

 

 

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Certainly a quantum jump for things to do on a go around, at low hours. Floating a long way then engine stops. Chucking a Jab on the ground at a nose down attitude doesn't work well sometimes either. Having the mass of the instructor missing changes things as well. No way you can practice that without it actually happening. Well done. Nev

 

 

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Chris fair enough restarting if you were running out of runway but it probably would have been a good idea to take it back to the hangar once you got back down! Sorry to add to the "ambush" but it seems you aren't aware of the gravity of what happened! (Pun intended :p )

 

 

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