Long Road to Solo

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Amsirahc, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Amsirahc

    Amsirahc Filing Flight Plan

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    Hey everyone, it's been a bit since I've posted anything on here and I wanted to share how things are going. Back when I started flight training, I applied for a 3rd class medical at about 7 hours of flight time. My instructor was ready to solo me then, and I was to the point where I knew this is absolutely something I should be doing for the rest of my life. The medical, as expected due to my history, was deferred. While I was expecting the deferral, I wasn't expecting everything that came afterwards. Months of going back and forth with the FAA and doctors providing the information they requested with long periods of time between responses due to COVID-19 and government issues, racking up nearly $2k in medical expenses, traveling halfway across the state to see a qualified doctor, topping it off with not being able to fly for 6 months because my instructor's work took him out of the area for a long period of time and he got stuck there due to COVID-19. Between waiting for the medical and COVID-19 though, we had continued training and completed nearly all requirements except for the solo work. So, after 6 months of not flying, I finally received my medical, and my instructor was back!

    All the cards seemed to fall right into place. I donned a face mask, got back in the plane with my instructor, and did a quick refresher course. Luckily, I had continued to study throughout my ground time, kept using simulators, and my body didn't forget in the 6 months of not flying. I went back for another lesson the day after the refresher, and we flew some slow flights, stall recoveries, steep turns, more touch-and-goes, etc. Then he says, "Let's make this one a full-stop." I thought we were done for the day and I'd be back the following day for another refresher. Imagine my surprise when we came to a stop and he said, "Now go give me 3 more touch-and-goes and one full-stop."

    The smile on my face was larger than ever. The feeling of the plane completely changed being 170lbs lighter. It was an absolute dream come true. Then, as I was jokingly told repeatedly in previous lessons, everything that doesn't happen during training will likely happen during the first solo. There were deer crossing the runway on takeoff, birds circling within the downwind, another plane entering the opposite runway pattern at the speed of light as I was taking off (he announced 10 miles out when I was throttling up and was right beside me as I passed the trees... at least he smiled and waved), the wind completely changed directions on my second touch-and-go forcing me to change runways to avoid a nasty tailwind landing and put the sun right in my face, and the PAPI lights stopped working until I was on my full-stop landing about 50' from the runway. And as is tradition after the first solo, he was standing there waiting on me, scissors in hand.

    TL;DR - I soloed!
     
    JonH, Boone, Dana and 6 others like this.
  2. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Bro do you even lift
    You got a haircut afterwards?
     
  3. Amsirahc

    Amsirahc Filing Flight Plan

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    ROFL no! They still do solo shirt tail cutting and hang them on the wall like trophies. I could stand to have a haircut though...
     
  4. NHWannabe

    NHWannabe Line Up and Wait

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    Congratulations! Have your feet touched the ground yet?
     
  5. Amsirahc

    Amsirahc Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks! Unfortunately they have due to scheduling and bad weather in our area. I hope to be back in the air this weekend and start working on my solo cross-country soon.
     
  6. Utah-Jay

    Utah-Jay Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Congrats
     
  7. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Great! Good job! The rest will come apace as you get ready for that check ride.

    Then, unless you're going on to commercial/ATP or something, you can stay on basicmed... you can even instruct under basicmed...

    Best wishes! Clear skies!
     
  8. Amsirahc

    Amsirahc Filing Flight Plan

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    The plan as of right now is to focus on finishing out the private cert, but I do hope to continue on to get instrument/multi-engine/commercial and fly as a mid-life career change. As it stands, the doctors have said that my past problems should not cause any issues in obtaining a class 2 or 1 cert down the road. Thanks for the wishes!
     
    CharlieD3 likes this.
  9. NHWannabe

    NHWannabe Line Up and Wait

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    I was walking two feet above the ground for about a week after my first solo.
     
  10. Amsirahc

    Amsirahc Filing Flight Plan

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    Oh! Now I see what you meant. When you put it that way, no, I have not hit the ground yet! I'm sure others are getting tired of me talking about it as well. LOL
     
    NHWannabe likes this.
  11. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    This is fantastic! Congratulations!
     
  12. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    What was the medical issue? It may help other student pilots ....
     
  13. Amsirahc

    Amsirahc Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks!

    You're absolutely right! I mentioned it back in my first post on here to @AggieMike88 (https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/com...ght-lesson-and-questions.121791/#post-2806237), but the thing that got me caught up in a medical nightmare was the brief usage of anxiety medication (as expected and forewarned) for a situation that really didn't qualify as anxiety (found that out after having the $2k psych evaluation...). When I received my medical cert from the FAA, they had a long nasty-gram that basically said I was not to fly if any of my issues worsened or developed into further complications (mainly regarding the abdominal scans and blood pressure). The only advice I did not take was not getting too far into training before getting the medical cert.

    By the time I received my medical, I had accumulated 67 landings, 34.5 hours of duals, 2.4 hours simulated instrument, 3.9 hours night flying, and 20.9 hours of cross country flying in a complex aircraft. I also wasn't charged the full rates for the cross country flights since he invited me to go with him and just wanted me to cover fuel. I have heard of the financial waste some consider flight training without the end-goal within grasp, but to me the training and just being in the plane was just as much of a dream come true as the end-goal. It's not as much about having an end-goal to me as it is taking the journey to become a pilot, even if that meant I might not have been able to achieve it.

    As the saying goes, Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV). For me though, absolutely no regrets!
     
  14. idahoflier

    idahoflier Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    Congrats!
     
  15. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

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    I love a story with a happy ending. Thank you for sharing the fun!
     
  16. Southpaw

    Southpaw Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Congratulations , It's the first mile stone converted from a mill stone . ;)
     
  17. Amsirahc

    Amsirahc Filing Flight Plan

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    @idahoflier @Vance Breese @Southpaw Thank you all very much, and I intend to continue to share stories of my journey well into the future. I do foresee me applying for grants and scholarships for my other ratings and certifications though...