The day of your solo will certainly be a day of remembrance. The radios, the flight controls, everything is under your control. Your instructor has signed you off feeling more than confident that you can operate the airplane in a safe manner.

The best time for a solo is usually early, before the winds start to kick and while all the other pilots are still asleep. Your instructor will most likely want you to demonstrate a few landings with little or no help from him or her. You know you’ve done well when your instructor asks for a full stop landing. After properly endorsing your logbook and signing your medical, you’re on your way to pilot in command time.

A typical solo consists of 3 take offs and landings, although it doesn’t seem like much, every student I have soloed is usually drenched in sweat. A high pressure but rewarding experience. And I was so lean so its difficult for me to control the aircraft,  most of my friends didn't believe that I went solo, they always making fun of me like when you went solo put a big stone in the aircraft but I have done my solo...

After your solo, your instructor will usually perform an old aviation tradition, the shirt cutting. Backing the old day before radios, pilots would learn in an aircraft with tandem seating (one behind the other). Since the two pilots couldn’t communicate very well, the instructor (sitting in the back seat) would tug either on the right or left side of the students shirt indicating which direction to turn back to the airport.

When the student could find the airport and land by themselves the instructor would “cut” their students shirt tail indicating they no longer needed the instructor for the basics.

Stay cool, calm, and collected, your solo is not as difficult as it’s played out to be. Just remember confidence not cockiness, there is a fine line between the two.

Your first solo flight can be as stressful as it is exciting. So here are some tips to make your first solo memorable, safe, and fun.

1) If they don't already know, tell the control tower you're a student on your first solo flight. They'll be extra patient and helpful with your pattern work.

2) Being nervous is one thing, but uncomfortable is another. If something feels wrong or you think you need extra practice, don't hesitate to talk to your instructor about it.

3) If you can, mount a camera in the cockpit to capture your first solo on film. Just make sure it's mounted safely and already filming so you don't have to touch it.

4) Take extra time to double check your checklists. There's no rush.

5) Get plenty of sleep the night before so you're feeling 100% for the flight.

6) There's nothing wrong or embarrassing about doing a few go-arounds if your approaches aren't spot on. You'll be considered a better pilot by making good go-around decisions.

7) Your instructor signed you off for a reason and knows that you're ready to go. Just relax and fly the airplane like you always do.




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