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At last I made my first area solo this Sunday! How slow is all this for me, circuits solo was in April.

 

But from the other side I hope my way is better, not just make as close as possible to presribed, but also to understand what is going on, where is safe limit, what to do if something goes wrong etc. In this case I am confident in myself, machine and everything around, not just walking on the edge with full pants of adrenaline.

 

895430_original.jpg

 

As planned, nothing specific. Just flight - take off, area, couple of stalls, turns, pfls and return back.

 

 

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I still vividly recall my first 'Wheels up' . . I was taxying a Tiger Moth from one hangar to another,. . as instructed, after having worked at the Airfield for over a year learning to be a mechanic. . .I had to taxy along the runway area to get form point A to point B,. . and taxied too fast..    and NO,. . it wasn't DELIBERATE.. . I was too young for that malarkey to have kicked in yet. .. The Tiger lifted off the ground and I fair near shat myself. . pulling the throttle back to idle and dropping back onto the grass runway with a 'Thump'. .. solo time ,. . from memory, about seven to eight seconds.  Ma height approx 20 feet. .   Place, Pendeford Airfield ( Wolverhampton )  Date about July 1958. 

 

I realise that his doesn't count . . . 

 

First 'Proper' Solo thanks to Allan Baskett, at Casey Airfield, Berwick Vic., in 1971. . Groupair Flying School.  aircraft was C-150, VH KQM.  Did 2 solo circuits on Rwy 12 RH, I saw Alan Waving at me after the first one, and mistook his signal for 'Go and do another one'. . .. that was NOT what he meant ( No radio at the time )   Felt great . . .decided I was going to be an ACE flyer. . . . .

 

The feeling I had was something between Wonderment and absolute terror. . . 

 

 

Hmmm. . .

Edited by Phil Perry
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 Someone who has time to feel terror isn't busy enough.

       After many years  and sending people solo, in retrospect, I reckon the "services " attitude  played too big a part. There was a fair bit of "questionable " psychology at play there. From a "skills acquired and demonstrated" point of view, you have already shown you are capable. There is only the hang up of you being" by yourself". with no one to take over. Unfairly (I believe) the system springs the solo on you working on the "if you think about it much, you will stuff it up more likely" and not giving you any time to think about it on purpose.. To day IF the student showed any real apprehension I would not send them off at that point without further discussion and briefing.. Legally if something went wrong, I doubt you would have a leg to stand on.  A "circuit" is a pretty simple thing to navigate through. Going out to the training area and re entering  is far more complex, yet no big deal is usually made of that. There are many extreme situations where no one but you can complete the exercise successfully that will come up in your flying "life"

   . Time to solo is often a subject of discussion where there can be some inference of it being a skill or ability determinant in the big scheme of things. There are too many variables for that to have much validity. One could question also What is the rush?  with rush there is risk. Dual time  (Not DUEL time) is Under instruction where you should be LEARNING from someone who should KNOW what they are doing and interested in communicating it to you for YOUR benefit. YOU should be doing nearly ALL of the flying under circumstances where an error  is picked up and treated by being discussed at the debrief.  Even when the training and testing has finished and you have your brand new certificate or licence in your hand you are far from being a seasoned pilot.. Some lessons then may have to be learned the Hard way, IF you think you have learned enough already. Nev

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On 12/25/2018 at 3:01 AM, bones said:

Hmm I have done “first” solo in 4 completely different aircraft the last one was the hardest (helicopter)

 

Helicopters can be a Bugger. . . most ESPECIALLY if you learned to fly in a 'Conventional' three axis aircraft. . . there are so many 'Ingrained' things you need to UN-LEARN, or 'SUSPEND' whilst training in a rotary wing appliance. . . 

 

I had the benefit of several hours of flying with a friend between Port Moresby and Lae in an old Bell 47 in the 1970s,. . which taught me that these things were not really intended to fly on Hot days. . .and that the carby heat control wore out in a short time. . . 

 

Thanks to Larry, who was ex Canadian Air Force pilot, plus some hours in the UK, I got the hang of it. . ( Sort of ) and finally got a ticket to ride. . in very light machines, (Robinson R-22.) . 

 

But the cost of flying them in the UK was bloody prohibitive, unless you had unlimited funds. . .which I didn't. 

 

The most difficult part of helicopter flying is the hover.. . .Many hours of training are devoted to this.. .   I didn't have too many problems here, due to previous crimes in the B-47. . .If an instructor has ever said to you. . 'Now. . Gentle changes of pressure on the controls' . .. that's what hovering is all about.   and the same for flying on Instruments in training too. . .

 

 

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 Any overcontrolling has to be counteracted  so better not to do it  at all, if that can be managed. . Try flying a 72+ thousand pound AUW plane with only manual controls and  being "gentle" on the controls. You either fly on trim (bad) or work out at a GYM and show it who's boss. My previous instructor had run the line be gentle on a plane's controls you don't have to push it around.. That's nice on DHC-1. Horses for courses though. Know your (current) plane. For a while that "advice" was a bit of a monkey on my back. My instructor meant well, bless his cotton socks. Nev

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9 hours ago, facthunter said:

. Dual time  (Not DUEL time) is Under instruction where you should be LEARNING from someone who should KNOW what they are doing and interested in communicating it to you for YOUR benefit. YOU should be doing nearly ALL of the flying under circumstances where an error  is picked up and treated by being discussed at the debrief. 

my instructors say that dual is time to understand what to do, solo - to learn how to do.  To make the whole procedure by yourself, not reliying on somebodys else advice, commands or backup, and elaborate your own way of thinking, control and decision making.

 

For me personally this is much more, as I spent too much resources on communication, if I do the same by myself I have all my brain for the task, not only half of it. Even when I made my AU drivers licence, after 20 years of experience, to drive with instructor was extremele exhausting, one hour of usual supervised driving on usual not very busy Adelaide streets and I felt like after day in busiest traffic.

 

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  It's  better if you just FLY the plane the way you  think is right, regardless of who's watching and whatever is said afterwards is what ever it will be.. Perhaps your instructor hasn't put you at ease, but I'm only speculating. I can't  really unravel what you have said... There shouldn't be that much stress  other than the "task" of flying the plane, which gets easier the more  knowledge and experience you have. Perhaps you have a bit of what's called "Check-itis" . that's not uncommon.. we all get a bit of it..Nev

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12 hours ago, facthunter said:

Going out to the training area and re entering  is far more complex, yet no big deal is usually made of that. There are many extreme situations where no one but you can complete the exercise successfully that will come up in your flying "life"

You're not wrong Nev. First solo navex can be challenging. Leading up to first solo you will have made the trip to and from the training area a number of times, but with a navex, you do it once with the instructor, then do it solo, but in the opposite direction. Things look quite different then, when you are over unfamiliar territory. Then there is, or was when I learnt, the final five hour solo navex. A lot of things can happen in five hours - wind changes, weather changes, etc., and you can have system failures, like my five hour solo, miles from any familiar landmarks, and the directional gyro goes on the blink. You have to navigate using the magnetic compass, and trying to follow a bouncing ball in fluid type compass when the plane is bouncing around like a bucking bronco is no easy task for a novice.

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 Agree Red. Solo nav- ex is like being tossed into the Atlantic, after a few swimming lessons..

           It puts a lot on the instructor preparing him/her also. Many students try to do too much recognition of every road etc and cover ALL, the possibilities they have read about. and are in over load.. You learn the tricks by experience later, Like have a prominent road, rail line or powerline to fall back on in some direction, if you get unsure. Make sure you positively IDENTIFY a place as a reliable FIX or don't use it. Fly good compass courses (how old fashioned) and check drift by sighting ahead from a fix to a known geographical feature ahead on track to make sure some excessive drift doesn't take you where you haven't planned to be. Check your fuel balance and usage against elapsed time and time to run to destination. PLAN thoroughly with radio frequencies and all relevant info on the plan border. Have places to put stuff so you don't drop it in flight. Your pen should be on a string etc  IF you need glasses likewise. Take a peaked cap if you are landing into the sun or plan NOT TO (better). In remote areas especially in hot weather landing away from a road or anywhere you can't be seen or picked up from is DANGEROUS. Take lots of water that survives an upset or don't GO there.  You could write pages on this stuff. We have a big (VAST) virtually uninhabited  fairly hostile environment  Country out there and little Planes that can actually fly across it pretty safely if the process is carried out sensibly and is well planned . Done badly, the consequences are severe.. for the individuals and the reputation of the "show"  .

 WEATHER is  vast topic on it's own. Not just a matter of covering the "legal" aspects of it with forecasts etc but UNDERSTANDING fronts,  Large Cb's,  winds in mountains , reading cloud formations, dust devils. turbulence ,Fog and dust and effect of increasing headwinds on range with low cruise speed aircraft. Nev

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Just did my first solo last Friday at 15!!! After not having flown for 3 weeks due to aircraft maintenance and holidays I was a bit rusty on the first circuit, but on the second quickly regained confidence. On the third, my instructor told me to make this a full stop because He would send me SOLO. I could not have asked for a better solo circuit, the only problem was it went too quick!!! Now focusing on reaching my pilot certificate.

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My first solo was in a Seagull III Rogallo Hang Glider in 1974. You either flew or crashed. I flew & then continued for the next 20 years until I decided to spend some serious money. First solo was in a C152 with the Waikato Aero Club in NZ. The instructor got out & said  "You can do ONE circuit on your own, just ONE". I can't remember the plane being any different or feeling lighter as I was busy at the time. Everything went well except the touchdown which was OK but I bounced and settled down, taxiing back in with the standard "First Solo Grin" on my face. The tradition was you had to shout everyone who was at the bar a beer. Another instructor was there & she congratulated me on a good landing & when I told her I'd bounced, her reply was "Well they were both good landings".  Luckily there were only 8 people in the bar so it didn't cost me much. 

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On 1/27/2019 at 12:09 AM, facthunter said:

 Agree Red. Solo nav- ex is like being tossed into the Atlantic, after a few swimming lessons..

           It puts a lot on the instructor preparing him/her also. Many students try to do too much recognition of every road etc and cover ALL, the possibilities they have read about. and are in over load.. You learn the tricks by experience later, Like have a prominent road, rail line or powerline to fall back on in some direction, if you get unsure. Make sure you positively IDENTIFY a place as a reliable FIX or don't use it. Fly good compass courses (how old fashioned) and check drift by sighting ahead from a fix to a known geographical feature ahead on track to make sure some excessive drift doesn't take you where you haven't planned to be. Check your fuel balance and usage against elapsed time and time to run to destination. PLAN thoroughly with radio frequencies and all relevant info on the plan border. Have places to put stuff so you don't drop it in flight. Your pen should be on a string etc  IF you need glasses likewise. Take a peaked cap if you are landing into the sun or plan NOT TO (better). In remote areas especially in hot weather landing away from a road or anywhere you can't be seen or picked up from is DANGEROUS. Take lots of water that survives an upset or don't GO there.  You could write pages on this stuff. We have a big (VAST) virtually uninhabited  fairly hostile environment  Country out there and little Planes that can actually fly across it pretty safely if the process is carried out sensibly and is well planned . Done badly, the consequences are severe.. for the individuals and the reputation of the "show"  .

 WEATHER is  vast topic on it's own. Not just a matter of covering the "legal" aspects of it with forecasts etc but UNDERSTANDING fronts,  Large Cb's,  winds in mountains , reading cloud formations, dust devils. turbulence ,Fog and dust and effect of increasing headwinds on range with low cruise speed aircraft. Nev

I wonder why it is,. . .that all these Really Useful things are only learned through terror and much experience Nev ?  Funny that. . .   'IF I knew then,. . .what I know now ' . . .etc. . . 

 

For instance, I didn't know initially that VHF radio comms were fairly useless in that wild and huge country; over more than about 50 NM,. . and once had to revert to HF. . .with NO training on the system, but having some amateur radio experience worked it out and got through to Darwin flight Service to pass a  position report to Melbourne on the AFTN. . . 

 

I got to LOVE flying around Australia. . .there's nothing like it . . .

Edited by Phil Perry
typo

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