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Today was the day!

 

I knew my solo was coming because my instructor forewarned me and we had to organise a time in the afternoon when the Tower was closed. So today, after doing a theory course I waited around for an hour to see what the wind would do, it ended up dying to about 5 knots right down the runway in time for the tower to close for the day, woohoo!!

 

After a preflight and daily inspection we hopped in and started up. First we taxiied to the cross runway and took off, joining a right downwind for 03 which the wind was favouring. This was my first practical experience with a CTAF and due to the fact there was zero other traffic around it was rather easy to manage! We did a stop and go plus a practice engine failure, then a stop and go again. Although this time I came to a stop on the runway and it was time, my instructor opened the door and hopped out....

 

At this point I wasn't really feeling nervous at all. The first thing I noticed was how short the takeoff roll was, even with a no-flap takeoff the Foxbat was airborne within a count of 4 (A full flap takeoff then would have been astronomical STOL!). I climbed to about 700' straight ahead instead of the usual 500 to give myself a bit more time on downwind and to counter the increased climb rate. Made the usual turn to downwind with a radio call I'm happy to day I didn't stuff up, preformed the usual downwind check and took a quick glance down to the runway to see my instructor and confirm that this was infact real (The empty seat next to me also helped confirm it was real..)

 

Made the usual call while turning onto a nice tight base then another call when turning onto final. Was a good approach with idle power for the whole of final so essentially a glide (Which is how it should be sometimes!). Crossed the threshold and touched down for what I would consider a brilliant landing (Pity no one was in the aircraft to verify it...)

 

Stopped and picked up my instructor, then we realised how long the taxi back to the hangar would be. To shorten this we performed a practice aborted takeoff, which meant a 5 minute 'rollout' along the runway became around 1 minute! Exited the runway and made the usual calls, my instructor radioed the Brindabella aircraft on downwind with some comments about the wind (The only traffic during the entire afternnon), taxiied back to the hangar and shut it down.

 

Feels so good being able to write command hours in my logbook! I now have a massive 0.2 hours solo. Before today I had 9.6 hours total flying time and 8.6 of formal lessons excluding TIF's, according to my instructor I'm the only person he has sent solo prior to 10 hours. Guess that means I'm a fast learner 001_smile.gif.2cb759f06c4678ed4757932a99c02fa0.gif

 

Days like today make me wonder why I'm not going into aviation as a career.... But then I look at the cost of a CPL and realise why 086_gaah.gif.afc514336d60d84c9b8d73d18c3ca02d.gif

 

Hope you enjoyed the read, will post the video of it tomorrow!!!

 

 

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Today was the day!I knew my solo was coming because my instructor forewarned me and we had to organise a time in the afternoon when the Tower was closed. So today, after doing a theory course I waited around for an hour to see what the wind would do, it ended up dying to about 5 knots right down the runway in time for the tower to close for the day, woohoo!!

 

After a preflight and daily inspection we hopped in and started up. First we taxiied to the cross runway and took off, joining a right downwind for 03 which the wind was favouring. This was my first practical experience with a CTAF and due to the fact there was zero other traffic around it was rather easy to manage! We did a stop and go plus a practice engine failure, then a stop and go again. Although this time I came to a stop on the runway and it was time, my instructor opened the door and hopped out....

 

At this point I wasn't really feeling nervous at all. The first thing I noticed was how short the takeoff roll was, even with a no-flap takeoff the Foxbat was airborne within a count of 4 (A full flap takeoff then would have been astronomical STOL!). I climbed to about 700' straight ahead instead of the usual 500 to give myself a bit more time on downwind and to counter the increased climb rate. Made the usual turn to downwind with a radio call I'm happy to day I didn't stuff up, preformed the usual downwind check and took a quick glance down to the runway to see my instructor and confirm that this was infact real (The empty seat next to me also helped confirm it was real..)

 

Made the usual call while turning onto a nice tight base then another call when turning onto final. Was a good approach with idle power for the whole of final so essentially a glide (Which is how it should be sometimes!). Crossed the threshold and touched down for what I would consider a brilliant landing (Pity no one was in the aircraft to verify it...)

 

Stopped and picked up my instructor, then we realised how long the taxi back to the hangar would be. To shorten this we performed a practice aborted takeoff, which meant a 5 minute 'rollout' along the runway became around 1 minute! Exited the runway and made the usual calls, my instructor radioed the Brindabella aircraft on downwind with some comments about the wind (The only traffic during the entire afternnon), taxiied back to the hangar and shut it down.

 

Feels so good being able to write command hours in my logbook! I now have a massive 0.2 hours solo. Before today I had 9.6 hours total flying time and 8.6 of formal lessons excluding TIF's, according to my instructor I'm the only person he has sent solo prior to 10 hours. Guess that means I'm a fast learner 001_smile.gif.2cb759f06c4678ed4757932a99c02fa0.gif

 

Days like today make me wonder why I'm not going into aviation as a career.... But then I look at the cost of a CPL and realise why 086_gaah.gif.afc514336d60d84c9b8d73d18c3ca02d.gif

 

Hope you enjoyed the read, will post the video of it tomorrow!!!

Well done Jake , I well remember the elation of my first solo at 62 years of age , (won't say how many years ago that was )

 

Bob

 

 

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As an update here, I did my second solo today. Same deal as before except I did 3 (Or was it 4?) circuits by myself. This time was a bit different because there was traffic to deal with but that went off without much of a problem. I also think I managed to land on the centreline better... But the issue this time was my landings. I have it on video but don't know if I'll post it up yet. It was a bit windy today but the landings I did by myself weren't very good by my standards, all pretty hard and some a bit bouncy. Not sure what I did, I think I may have been holding off too high. I shall review my video...

 

 

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Hey Jake, sounds good! You will probably find that your landings mayen't be as nice as your first solo one for a little while. A firm landing isn't the end of the world, as long as you maintain control, obviously you don't want to bend anything, but a certain landing is better than skipping around the place.

 

Sit on the line, that may help with staying over the center. Sometimes you can land on the upwind side of the center line if you have a fair crosswind, and the curvature of the runway will put that into wind wing down a bit.

 

 

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Guest Lloydster

Top stuff Jake! I always try to put my side of the aircraft on the centre of the runway. I find that if I try to put the centre of the plane in the centre of the runway, I'm way off to the left. I think this is what Jake means by "sit on the line", as in with your bum on the line. Great looking first solo circuit though! 011_clap.gif.c796ec930025ef6b94efb6b089d30b16.gif

 

 

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Hey Jake, sounds good! You will probably find that your landings mayen't be as nice as your first solo one for a little while. A firm landing isn't the end of the world, as long as you maintain control, obviously you don't want to bend anything, but a certain landing is better than skipping around the place.Sit on the line, that may help with staying over the center. Sometimes you can land on the upwind side of the center line if you have a fair crosswind, and the curvature of the runway will put that into wind wing down a bit.

I have read and re read this but I still do not understand the last comment about the curvature of the runway. Where I fly, they are all pretty straight.

 

 

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I have read and re read this but I still do not understand the last comment about the curvature of the runway. Where I fly, they are all pretty straight.

In some places where the runway is rather wide, it's curved slightly to let the water run off the edge. Not very prominent, but some places it's bigger/steeper than others.

 

 

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Guest davidh10
I have read and re read this but I still do not understand the last comment about the curvature of the runway. Where I fly, they are all pretty straight.

Perhaps if the term "camber" had been used, it would be better understood.

 

 

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