Finally, the day arrived – I flew my first solo today, a crucial milestone for any pilot. Prior to the solo, I had flown over 10 patterns with my instructor and another three with the examiner. The examiner stayed on the ground with a handheld radio and provided very clear instructions beforehand: if he were to yell “GO AROUND!”, I would have to initiate a go-around immediately. Thankfully, I didn’t have to hear those words.
My landings were impeccable, better than ever, probably due to the lighter weight of the airplane with just one person on board or maybe because I was giving it my all.
I had heard that a pilot remembers their first solo for life, and to ensure that I never forget it, I recorded the experience with my action cam. To be honest, I didn’t have time to worry at all since I was extremely busy with flying the airplane and making it right.
It looked like a kaleidoscope of events and procedures. Checklists, runup, taxiing, before takeoff checklist, full power, acceleration, pitching up a little bit, acceleration, rotation, acceleration in a ground effect, climbing, brakes, after takeoff checklist, trim, climbing some more, flaps, trim, climbing, turn, one more turn just before this village, level off, power cruise, trim, before landing checklist, radio call, carb heat, turn before the red building, maintaining altitude, reducing power keeping level attitude, speed for flaps, flaps 10, trim, checking traffic on final, turn to final, flaps 20, nose down, radio call, flare, keeping nose up, keeping nose up, keeping nose up, keeping nose up, keeeeeeeping nose up…. Gentle touchdown. Full power, carb heat off, flaps 10, acceleration, and doing everything one more time except the second time it was a full stop, rather than a touch-and-go.
After landing, I couldn’t help but smile all day long =)