Your connection with the sky

3 steps to a Perfect Solo

Every student pilot knows that flying solo for the first time is inevitable from the moment he started to learn to fly. A student pilot can consider his first solo flight as a culmination of the effort and time exerted into flight training. That, however, still does not take away the stress or the anxiety that is usually attached to the thought of flying alone for the first time.

Your first solo jitters although normal are quite needless, however. A student pilot instead should enjoy his first solo flight rather than fear it, as it is the start of an enjoyable career in aviation.

Don’t Doubt Yourself

You have to remember, first and foremost, that you should not doubt yourself.

The fact alone that your instructor has decided to endorse you in your logbook for your first solo flight is testimony already to your progress and your mastery of the skills you need to learn to fly on your own. By law, your instructor is required to assess a student’s capability for flying solo before he gives endorses him or her for the first ever solo flight through practical application or by testing. This means that, when your instructor has given you the go-ahead to fly the aircraft on your own, you have acquired the necessary skills to make a flight by yourself unassisted. So, instead of fearing that you might not pull it off right, simply bask in the moment and enjoy your first solo in your flight training career.

Make Yourself Aware of Some Changes

There are indeed a number of changes for you to consider during your first solo flight. Fortunately, these changes are not that big and require only adjustment from you during the flight itself. For example, the plane would certainly be lighter and easier to maneuver with only you in the cockpit. This would require you to adjust your flying style to accommodate these new changes i.e. not getting too fast on the landing because the plane is lighter.

Stick to the Routine

The last thing to remember when flying solo is to stick to the routine you have learned during the course of your flight training. Keep in mind the checklist that you have to satisfy before your first solo flight. Do everything just like you would with your instructor. If you're at a controlled field make sure to let the tower know that you are a student on your first solo, so he or she can keep a close eye on you and make things go as smooth as possible. Keeping yourself to the routine can actually help calm your nerves in the long run.

Keep these three things in mind, and your first solo will go smoother than you thought it would. Happy flying!

Read more of Jason's work and check out his video podcasts on his flight training blog

2 Responses to “3 steps to a Perfect Solo”

  1. Great article! And yes, keep that confidence that comes from knowing your instructor sees your skills and says you are ready! For me as an instructor it is a thrill beyond comparison to see a student solo for the first time. There's nothing quite like it!

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