Okay, this is out of the order for the rest of the blog. While the lessons to this point have been historical, as I go through and try to bring everything up to date, I just couldn’t help but post this one.
Today I did my first solo flight. Just me in charge of a multi hundred thousand dollar airplane. Oddly enough it wasn’t even frightening. We’d come to the end of a load of circuits (more on circuits at a later point), done several engine failure scenarios, then the “Okay we’ll land, then how do you feel about doing your first solo today?”
So we land and taxi to the apron. My instructor gives me a short briefing, and then gets out. Now I’m on my own. Get clearance, taxi to the active runway (runway 26 today) and takeoff. Now I’m flying, on my own. It’s a little surreal, but for the most part it doesn’t seem any different. I climb and work round the circuit, make the plane adjustments on the downwind and inform the tower I’m turning base for a full stop on runway 26. Come round, slow down and start my descent. Final approach, just need to add a touch of power before taking it off again to be sure I’ll comfortably make the runway. I balloon slightly on the landing but easily correct and touch down relatively smoothly. Taxi off and head to the tiedowns. A congratulations on your first solo flight from the ATC ground controller and I shut the plane down.
Greeted on the ground by my instructor with a “congratulations, you’re alive and the plane in one piece!”
So that’s it. Something I’ve been working towards for a while done after 22.8 hours. A solo flight. Still seems very strange.
Well next lesson it’s back to it. I have a lot of solo time to gain before the flight test, but also a lot of cross-country flying, different airports and a lot more practice.