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Tell us about your first solo

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Every recreational aviator no matter how old you are or how many hours you have in your log book, will always remember their first solo. Tell us about yours, what was it like, how did you feel before during and after.

 

I remember mine, taking off in the Gazelle with her flying like I had never experienced before with the less weight of only me being there, saying SH1T, SH1T, SH1T continually until I woke up to myself turning base and then saying it's all up to me now. It all started after doing a circuit and the instructor telling me to land short, and when stopped he simply got out and said do one on your own and walked away.

 

Tell us about yours

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Funny you mention the weight thing, because I noticed that also. But when I went I did my first solo, I remember the instructor telling me to make it a full stop this time, and in my head I was thinking that he was about to make me do a practice aborted take-off. So as I taxied off the runway to go back to the threshold, he jumped out and said off you go! I dont think the gravity of it all set in for me until I was driving home. For me the first solo was a busy time mentally, and I was too focused on getting everything right.

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Just did my first solo today!!

Wasn't all that nervous, although in retrospect (watching the video back) my radio calls were sloppier than normal so I guess I WAS nervous!

The wind decided to start gusting pretty good the moment my instructor got out haha but all went well. Actually found myself looking around taking in the scenery for the first time since I started my training. Very cool moment and definitely one I'll never forget :)

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Two things I noticed was the faster than usual climb due to less weight, and also the light in the cockpit and the right wing, which was usually blocked out by the instructor.

 

All was well until I came over the fence then realised I was not able to keep it straight and landed off the side of the runway. I was not ready and needed more

instruction and mini-solo's after that.

 

Overall it taught me the difference between a bad instructor and a good instructor and how important it is to make sure the student is aware they are fully in control and not being helped along anymore, and the mental link is broken, else you land on the side of the runway.

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After a couple of circuits with my instructor, he asked for a full stop landing and to pull off the runway for the hangers. As soon as I cleared the runway limits, he said 'stop and shut down', got out and went to the tail of the plane (LSA55 Jab) and proceeded to turn the plan around. OK he said, "I want you to do 2 circuits on your own, good luck" and shut the door. I restarted and headed out and onto the runway. Mistake number one, I'd forgotten to turn the radio back on. Realised it as I was back-tracking the runway. All went well as I shot up into the air, less weight, and did an nice circuit in the hot, calm air. Mistake number 2. On the base leg, I slowed her down more than usual as she just didn't want to go down. I was too fast for the conditions at the time of turning onto base. Turned finals and saw I was way to high so decided, rightly or wrongly, to dive to earth. I pulled full flap and pushed the stick forward. Keeping an eye on my speed I came down on a beautiful negative exponential line and pulled off a greaser of a landing, my best to that date. Went back to first stage flaps and repeated the circuit but this time slowed more on the downwind leg, got the correct set-up for a normal landing and pulled off another greaser.

When I told my instructor about it not wanting to come down, he just said, "Yes, I noticed the sudden change in pitch. Well done".

I don't think I've ever executed such perfect landings since.

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That first solo really is an interesting experience, a fabulous mix of excitement and fear, for me anyway. But that was all in the background as I focused on what I was doing and what I was taught. Well, that's the theory, actually I don't have much of a recollection of any of it. It seemed somehow to be automatic, it's difficult to put into words. I highly recommend the experience to anyone though. I've flown solo many times since that first leap skyward, it never loses its attraction.

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My first solo came as a complete surprise .... I had no idea that i would be flying solo so soon in my training that the thought didnt even cross my mind. I thank my instructor for that because he saved me from a sleepless night :)

 

I had just completed a few circuits with my instructor when he told me to come to a stop. He then proceeded to tell me that i was to fly the next one myself. In my ignorance I told him that I had been flying the last three by myself! He qualified my statement by saying that to fly the next one without him in the plane! From there, it was just going through the motions of flying a circuit, do what i had been trained to do. TBH, there was no time to think about the fact i was flying by myself.....that is until after I landed when it all sank in. Couldn't wipe the smile off my face for the rest of the day.

 

I only did about 20 more hours flying after that moment. 17 years later and Im back resuming my training. Sometime in the near future Ill be doing a kind of first 'solo' flight again ...cant wait!

 

Rich

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My first solo came as a complete surprise .... I had no idea that i would be flying solo so soon in my training that the thought didnt even cross my mind. I thank my instructor for that because he saved me from a sleepless night :)

 

I had just completed a few circuits with my instructor when he told me to come to a stop. He then proceeded to tell me that i was to fly the next one myself. In my ignorance I told him that I had been flying the last three by myself! He qualified my statement by saying that to fly the next one without him in the plane! From there, it was just going through the motions of flying a circuit, do what i had been trained to do. TBH, there was no time to think about the fact i was flying by myself.....that is until after I landed when it all sank in. Couldn't wipe the smile off my face for the rest of the day.

 

I only did about 20 more hours flying after that moment. 17 years later and Im back resuming my training. Sometime in the near future Ill be doing a kind of first 'solo' flight again ...cant wait!

 

Rich

 

Dont worry, I went solo 3 times due to motorcycle crashes interrupting my training!

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While it is somewhat of a milestone, everyone does one. In retrospect I think being busy is the best way to do it rather than think things like" $heesh it's only me up here to get this thing down there". There are many "signal" events in an aviation career which are of great significance. A first solo is an achievement where you just did as you have been trained to do at that stage. Your first solo cross country is a far more involved piece of work with vastly more applied knowledge involved, much more planning and much more risk.

Enjoy the first solo experience, but don't think it means you are there yet. Keep applying yourself fully during all your structured training and make the most of the opportunities during your DUAL to get as much understanding as possible of what is happening to the plane. You are only an ab initio student once. If you pick up wrong clues they will continue to be in your mind perhaps to bite you at a critical time, in the future .Nev

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In a Tecnam Sierra, cfi got me to do a full stop, then asked if i would like to do a cct on my own. Yep thought you would never ask! Off i go , then on downwind i thought WHAT IN THE HECK AM I DOING UP HERE!!

anyway actually done 3 ccts. That might have been naughty but didnt get into trouble.

Had lunch , quick cjeck flight and done some more solo work!

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I flew my first solo last November. My instructor/CFI instructed me to shut down after doing a few touch and goes, he got out and casually told me that I'm good to go solo, and told me to just do as I was trained to do. I remember thinking, as I lined up on Runway 30 at YBCM, Oh sh!t, it's just me in the plane, no one to help me out! It was with no hesitation, I pushed the throttle in to commence the ground roll, and I was off. I did my best circuit to date, came in for a full stop, and went up again. This time I did a go around, my approach wasn't quite stable, but came in for another good landing. I've always been excited about flying, but that was a whole new level for me!

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On the day of my first solo the cloud was so low it felt like one false move and I'd be up in the clouds (clearly it wasn't that bad). On my last circuit I accidentally knocked the old C150 flap lever and retracted the flaps, racing down final I struggled with the extra speed. Once safely on the ground the instructor said "you better not do that on the next one" and promptly got out!

 

As others have said the most noticeable thing was the climb rate, I also kept looking at the empty seat next to me and just couldn't believe it. That was 32 years and 9500 hours ago and I remember it just like it was yesterday! :oh yeah:

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My instructor told me that i would be going solo in the next couple of lessons, so I had plenty of warning. On the day itself I went up with my instructor for about 6 circuits, regular landing 1 stage flap, full flap and no flap landings. Then my instructor jumped out and I went up for three circuits with the CFI, again full flap, no flap and regular flap landings. I ballooned on the last one and thought I had blown it for the day. But, CFI got me to taxi to the bowser, we filled her up and he said off you go. Just one circuit. I remember that just at that time it started getting busy in the circuit. I had two aircraft waiting behind me, and I had to hold for a couple (including the yellow Antonov 2) before I got to go. As I was lining up I heard a call for late final that gave me a surprise, but turned out to be a helicopter landing so no conflict for me. Then it was off and yeehhaaa! One up in the J160 and it was like a rocket. That moment of looking at the empty right hand seat on downwind was such a buzz. Had a decent landing, followed by obligatory photo looking slightly stunned in front of the aircraft. Then went home and had a few celebratory drinks and bored everyone with the story over and over again.

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Thanks Brent, I probably should have mentioned that it was a back in 2014, so not a recent accomplishment. Although, I did kind of get a second "first solo" after moving to Brisbane and a new flight school in 2015. Wayne sent me solo in Tecnam 7600, so it was my first solo in a new aircraft.

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Come to think of it, my first solo in the J160 was in 2013 (followed by a year of no flying - arrggh, won't do that again) and not 2014. I blame being tired from a day of travel to Melbourne and back for the slip, or early onset dementia, one or the other.

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I have enjoyed flying both, and don't really have a strong preference. The Tecnam is easier to fly though, so I would choose it if I had to pick one.

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Congrats....its always that empty right seat that gets you. In a similar way to your first solo car drive with the empty left seat... New found freedom!

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First solo yesterday :-) Was a great feeling !

Was warned about , but still didn't quite expect , the difference in climb rate . And I may be imagining it but even decent felt different .

Eager to keep racking the hour up though .

Cheers

Repa

Solo.thumb.jpg.5af597fa29aea68627751d468efaa16e.jpg

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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 and flare all change. IF you are tandem even more so. There's a lot of Cof G change with that. Congrats anyhow. It's a great occasion. My Instructor didn't mention it at all and I'd been doing quite good 3 pointers in the Chipmunk, but with no one in the back I didn't get the stick back enough and it bounced and I went around, which is not a particularly easy manoeuver from a close to 3 point position with my (at the time ) skill and experience, level. Nev

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