Looking for "first solo" stories

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Rick0117, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. Rick0117

    Rick0117 Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello,I'm putting together a series inspiring new pilots. I've written several articles myself but I need some other perspective. I'f you've written about first solo or first solo cross country flight, could you send me the article?

    Thanks!
    Your help is much appreciated.
     
  2. farky

    farky Pre-Flight

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    A friend of mine has one that has me rolling on the floor every time he tells it but I just can't relate it like he can so I won't try. It involves a door coming open, a severe porpoising action on touch and go....dash panel falling into his lap...just normal first solo stuff
     
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  3. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So there I was...

    ...sitting there in the 172, on a Christmas eve (I would have waited a day but that would have been such a Jesus complex) and it was starting to get dark. Well, no, it was dark. I was literally my CFI's first solo, and would become his first certificated pilot. He said later after I did receive my pilot certificate, it was as if he had one, huge, massive bowel movement. I'm not convinced that statement was complimentary to my flight skills, however; he was camped out in the lobby, with a handheld, as was the chief flight instructor, who was also camped out in the lobby, also with a handheld.

    Now a little bit on the dynamics here. My CFI was a new CFI, but he was not a new dude. He was older than me, and I wasn't the youngest dude as it was. The chief flight instructor was a lady, also no spring chicken, with a complex about male CFI's ('you can't train em!') so stuff was basically flowing down hill. He was riding me, and she was riding him. Wait, that didn't sound right. But never mind that.

    "Nav lights!" a squeaky voice came over ground freq. Nevermind the first solo was supposed to be during the daytime by school policy and probably some sort of 91 part thing or not I'm not sure, but anyway I wanted to solo, that was my Christmas present, and there is that Jesus complex thing. So the plan was, do three laps in the pattern - touch and goes.

    The low voltage indicator of the 172 SP came on intermittently as the engine slowed to idle, as the alternator struggled to power the massive bank of radio, navigation lights, landing lights, strobe lights, parking lights, hazard lights, fog lights, neon lights and various and sundry miscellaneous electrical loads as if perhaps the aircraft would be better served with a diesel generator powering the propeller as an after thought. But, miraculously, as the first official "cleared for takeoff" was received, the engine sprung back to life as the power thrust levers and afterburner switches were engaged.

    "Squeaky squeaky!" Okay, I'll admit. I'm not saying my CFI was a lardo, he wasn't, but he wasn't a small guy either. I think I told you he was an old guy. Not a real old guy, but an old guy in reference to young guys. If that makes any sense. But here's where I'm going with all of that, the removal of 50+ years may not have made a difference on flight dynamics, but the removal of 200+ pounds did, and it uh, well, that first landing, um, yeah. So....

    Tower knew what was going on. I was that guy. No, I mean 'That Guy" (it was a proper name.) The third time around, they actually cleared me for a landing (as opposed to the option) probably because they wanted me to get out of their hair so they could turn their radar off, hop in their cars and go drinking. I'm not sure it actually works that way, but it seemed so a the time.

    "So how did I do?"
    "We can reuse the plane."
    "So can I log some n..."
    "Don't you dare!"

    So anyway, yeah, that was my first solo. Not to be confused with Hans Solo. Although, if you think about it, Hans Solo probably had to have had a first solo too. Imagine the puns that must have been thrown around that day.
     
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  4. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now offering reverse discounts.
    Should I share the "Super Dave" story.... again?
     
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  5. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I didn't solo. I went straight to the flight test and passed. That was before they kept track of written test results so they took my word on that, scored a 105 I told him. Didn't even have an oral, other than howdy, I'm Tom, here to give you, er, a check ride. You ready? Wow he even did the preflight of the plane while I watched from the office drinking a cup of coffee. Afterwards he asked me to cut his shirt and write some chit on it, which I gladly did. This was in Korea, at an Air Force base, so different customs there I reckon. That's it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
  6. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    Kind of anticlimactic. I even wore a shirt I'd picked for my solo flight. I knew it was time and didn't want a nice shirt to get trashed. I'm guessing I had 10-12 hours at the time.

    After a brief flight, my instructor climbed out, told me to taxi back, do three takeoffs and full stop landings, and taxi back after each one, being sure to make eye contact with him on the taxiway after each landing. I did.

    All three landings fit the working definition of great landings.
     
  7. robert lomax

    robert lomax Pre-takeoff checklist

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    just bought 6329R 66 PA 28 Im a plane owner mpg
    I had a disappointing day...
    I had 7.5 hrs,, knew i would be close,, but not really expecting.
    He got out ,, gave me the talk,,, I was ready,,,, and nervous..
    I did fine!!
    Their was NO cutting of shirts....
    It was years later that I learned of the shirt cutting tradition..
    I have since experienced much sadness...
     
  8. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think the shirt cutting is an East Coast thing. Here we just bang a tranny up the azz after our first solo.
     
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  9. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Sure I’ll help! How much are you willing to pay me to hear my story? I can be one of those paid actors or something.
     
  10. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    [​IMG]
     
  11. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I lost my virginity when I was...oh wait...sorry, starting over.

    I soloed on my 16th birthday, a long, long time ago. It was in a Piper Tomahawk, which I actually liked to fly. It was at KLNS, a towered airfield. One of the controllers on duty was a friend from church. Three trips around the pattern. I remember having to dodge a flock of birds. Congratulations all around. No drama, No shirt cutting either :(. Sad to say, a couple of months later another student on his first solo flight totaled the Tomahawk. He hyperventilated and passed out at pattern altitude, descending turn into the ground with the controllers yelling on the radio, trying wake him up. Amazingly he lived. The Tomahawk had a built-in tubular roll cage structure which I credit with saving his life.
     
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  12. eman1200

    eman1200 Final Approach

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    "it was a dark and stormy night. There I was, all alone........."
     
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  13. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Whoa! Now there's a First Solo story, hard to top that. Did he ever come back to flying and decided he had enough?
     
  14. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not you first masturbation eman! Ghesh!
     
  15. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I did not know the gentleman, but I think he did, eventually. He broke a lot of bones ankles, pelvis, collarbone, long recovery. happily no fire. I saw the wreckage and it literally rolled up into a ball of sheet metal, wings, tail, everything.
     
  16. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Cleared for Takeoff

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    wanker..
     
  17. eman1200

    eman1200 Final Approach

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    oh I don't need no dark and stormy night for that.
     
  18. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    I soloed twice. Once after 9 hours in a Cessna 152 back in 1985. At the time I was an E-4 in the Air Force stationed at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa Japan. My instructor was also the DPE and a 0-6 orthodontist as a day job. I paid $40 an hour wet plus $12 for the instructor. After about five or six touch and goes I looked at him and told him that he was expensive company. He told me to taxi to the base of the tower which I did. He hopped out, gave me some last minute pointers and went up into the tower to watch. I didn't realize I was all alone until I was downwind midfield and looked over at the empty right seat. My landings were uneventful but as I taxied back, I forgot to stop at the tower to pick him up. It was only a couple hundred yards walk from the tower to the parking area so he forgave me. He cut off the tail of my REO Speedwagon concert tee shirt, signed it and hung it on the bulletin board for all to see. I rotated back to the states soon afterward and forgot the tee shirt tail and having never finished my pilot's license (as it was called back then). Looking back, I realized the check ride would have been pretty easy as I would have received it from my instructor so I wouldn't have been that nervous.

    The second time I soloed was almost three years ago in my own Cherokee 140. I was more nervous the second time because I was older and had more to live for. Like the first time, it was uneventful. This time my tee shirt (my own woodworking company tee - Yestertime Woodworks, I make antique reproductions) tail was cut off and some nice art work was applied. I haven't framed it yet but I will...someday. This time, I finished my PPL and crossed that off my bucket list.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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  19. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    John Wayne Jones soloed before his father was born...it was in a wooden F-16 Mig/Hawker/Airship prototype while simultaneously being sworn into the S.W.A.T. team.
    It's true, he said so
     
  20. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    Okay. Who is John Wayne Jones? Why was his father born in a wooden F-16 Mig/Hawker/Airship prototype? How is that possible?
     
  21. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    I thought that might get interpreted that way. edited.
     
  22. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I miss that JWJ guy. Thanks for letting me reminisce for a second there..
     
  23. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't remember much about my first solo other than me dropping my instructor off on the taxiway and heading out to takeoff. I'd had just turned downwind when I got a call from the tower, "Doesn't it fly better without that fat guy in the right seat?" I managed to do two nice landings and the last one wasn't so good.

    My first solo XC was BJC - CYS. Tower at CYS tells me to report "the flame." I tell them I'm not familiar with it. He said I'd see it. Sure enough, the approach takes you over a refinery where the vented off gas is ignited in a plume. Second leg CYS-IBM (iirc) consisted of a dead reckoning leg as the CYS VOR was out. Still I found it no problem.
     
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  24. injb

    injb Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Not really a first solo story, but this epic story reminded me of your Super Dave story (It's in the first comment below the article under the name Jim Davis)
     
  25. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    First time...I don't remember much... I was excited, I was nervous, and scared all at the same time.

    Same with the first airplane solo.....
     
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  26. pigpenracing

    pigpenracing Pattern Altitude

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    My first solo I was ready to go and the 172 wouldn't start. My instructor basically said I could do it a different day. My buddy said HELL NO! He hand propped it and I got to fly :)
     
  27. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    You had to take a flight test?
     
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  28. brcase

    brcase Cleared for Takeoff

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    I showed up for my lesson with about 6.5 hours total, all in a C-150.. My instructor tells me that the 150 is in the shop, he asked if I wanted to fly the C-172, I say sure, so we take the 172 out and do about 4 takeoffs and landings at which point he asked if I wanted to go solo. Being young and stupid I said sure. He signed me off and I did my 1st solo, two touch and goes and full stop, in a 172 that I had less than 45 minutes total time in.

    I laugh a little when people ask about transitioning to a 172.

    Brian
     
  29. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    My first solo was under unique conditions. Apparently I was such a good pilot, my instructor decided to let me do my first solo before I'd ever even flown a plane by myself. He must have been a little crazy.
     
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  30. FlySince9

    FlySince9 Pattern Altitude

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    I didn't take flying lessons. I was born a pilot.:D
     
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  31. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route

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    Knock knock.
    OP: Who's there?
    Orange.
    OP: Orange who?
    Orange you glad you asked?
     
  32. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    where's the dislike button? :mad:
     
  33. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    Old dog w/o new tricks
    I fly alone, yeah,
    With nobody else
    I fly alone, yeah,
    With nobody else
    You know when I fly alone,
    I prefer to be by myself
     
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  34. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    The CFI got out of my airplane and said to take it around the pattern 3 times. I did. I then parked it, got out and went home. Utterly anticlimactic. Sorry.
     
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  35. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ya changed the words but we really know you drink alone.
     
  36. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    Old dog w/o new tricks
    errrr..... maybe.
     
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  37. GMascelli

    GMascelli En-Route

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  38. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    How are the meds doing for you? Is the ethanol interlock functioning?
     
  39. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The day dawned, I knew it was my turn.

    Some guy parked his car not far from where I live (I probably drove past it on my way to work), then walked the mile to a local bank. He went inside, wearing his "Show Me the Money" t-shirt, and waved his gun around. After getting whatever money he could, he told the employees to undress down to their underwear, then handcuffed them all together, got in the middle of the scrum, and walked them all out to a minivan owned by one of the employees. They all piled inside while our local traffic copter guy was filming the whole thing. Cops everywhere, he made one of the employees start driving, bouncing over medians while he was shooting at the cops through the minivan windows, spraying broken glass all over.

    The chase headed east, towards my airport. A couple miles later, the van pulled into the airport and came to a stop on the ramp. The guy grabbed a hostage and ran onto the taxiway where a 172 was doing a runup; CFI and student getting ready for a cross country. The guy had a gun in one hand, the hostage in the other, and tried to open the left side door of the 172. To do that, he had to let go of the hostage who then ran toward the tail. The CFI (whom I've flown with and talked to about this), said he pulled the mixture, and he and the student bailed out the right door. While all this was happening the cops blasted a bunch of new holes in the guy. Guy survived, sort of, and after months of hospitalization went to prison for a long, long, time.

    The airport was closed to any traffic other than what was already in the pattern. I called ATIS all day until I finally heard it was open. I headed over to meet my CFI and saw all the news crews set up across the street so they could do their remotes with the airport in the background.

    So, on the evening news, that airplane doing take offs and taxi backs over the shoulder of the news guys? That was me.

     
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  40. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Aww c'mon @Matthew, you think we're that gullible? :rolleyes:

    Naw, cool story man.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
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