Solo Flying

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Nate G, Nov 24, 2021.

  1. Nate G

    Nate G Filing Flight Plan

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    About to do my solo cross countries. It got me thinking. Why are student pilots allowed to and even required to solo for the private pilot certificate? I'm sure a lot has to do with tradition. But, just wondering why student drivers can't drive solo prior to licensure? Is flying less risky than driving?
     
  2. Jim K

    Jim K Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    There's less to hit.

    The dpe can't take you for a long xc, so we count on the cfi to say you're prepared and make sure you make the trip safely. The minute the dpe signs you off, you're legal to go wherever you want, so it only makes sense to give you that experience while you at least have some supervision.

    I'll tell you that for me that first solo xc was far more memorable than my first solo. Getting myself from one place to another was when I really felt like a pilot. Enjoy it!
     
  3. Mxfarm

    Mxfarm Pre-takeoff checklist

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    We didn’t used to have a magenta line to follow or any type of GPS - @ all. There was a lot more skill required in getting to the correct airport.
     
  4. Racerx

    Racerx Cleared for Takeoff

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    Less to do with tradition. More to do with taking off the training wheels and no hand holding. No steering wheel or pedals on the other side of a car.
     
  5. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Darwin technique for weeding out poor pilots prior to the checkride.
     
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  6. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    Close but not correct....:rolleyes:
     
  7. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    If we want to ensure that the pilot is safe to carry passengers, rather than a solo flight maybe the CFI should be required to fly the XC with the student while bound hand and foot. :D
     
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  8. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    The primary reason is skill and confidence building. Solo XC requires the student to plan, problem solve, apply risk management, and use aeronautical decision making.
     
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  9. Warmi

    Warmi Line Up and Wait

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    Which these days pretty much boils down to… follow the magenta line. Frankly it is actually simpler than following the same GPS directions in your car…not complaining , actually loving it.
     
  10. Jim K

    Jim K Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I don't know about that. More than one solo student has managed to run out of gas. Interestingly the club archer I sometimes fly experienced that very event. He almost made it before going down about 3 miles from the airport. Thankfully his dead stick soft field skills were better than his fuel management.
     
  11. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bird's got to leave the nest. A big step from student pilot to pilot is being able to fly places by yourself.

    My first cross country, I got lost. Just had pilotage. ded reckoning and 1 VOR back then, and I wasn't using the VOR. So I called up approach, told them I was a student pilot, first cross country and I was lost. He had me squawk a code, and vectored me to my destination airport. Turns out I was about 10 miles off course. The rest of the stops went fine, I paid closer attention to the checkpoints after that, haven't been lost since, but sometimes those unfamiliar airports are tough to find.
     
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  12. sarangan

    sarangan Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    The progression from dual, to solo and then to carrying passengers makes sense.
    What doesn't make sense is not being allowed to drive solo, and then carrying a load of passengers the day after the driver's exam.
     
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  13. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    My little sister managed to do that - asked for fuel at the FBO at the far end of the solo, but didn't check to be sure they actually put the fuel in. Put it into an onion field, no damage, and the old man flew it out.

    Somewhere in the NTSB data base - solo student ran out of fuel on final, turned away from the airport, and bailed out (wearing a 'chute).
     
  14. Stephen Shore

    Stephen Shore Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I remember my first couple of solo flights back in 1981 when I was 18 years old. I remember it was always a relief when the airport came into view (and it was the correct airport!). All that "pilotage" stuff actually worked most of the time.

    I think I had to land and get my log book signed too. My son did not have to get any signatures when he did his a couple of years ago. Maybe that requirement has changed or I remember it wrong?
     
  15. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I had to get a signature and fill the tanks at each stop.
     
  16. Dana

    Dana En-Route

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    What Clip4 said, it's a confidence builder and proof (to the student as well as the CFI) that he can handle things without the crutch of knowing the CFI is available to get him out of trouble.

    A lot of states don't allow that; there are restrictions on passenger carrying, especially for young drivers.

    It was a requirement back then, I had to do the same thing in 1976, not sure when it was dropped.
     
  17. Jim K

    Jim K Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I don't know if it was required at one time. I was not asked to, but twice I've been in fbo's and seen solo students asking for someone to sign their logbook, so some cfi's still do it. Mine tracked me on flightaware, so I couldn't get away with anything.
     
  18. s35pilot

    s35pilot Pre-Flight

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    Brings back pre-GPS memories… Some airports used to be pretty hard to spot. You kind of had to have a plan for what to do if you couldn’t see it right away.
     
  19. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    To demonstrate you can do it as the only pilot on board before being able to take passengers up. Having done it with a CFI there doesn’t prove you don’t have some decision making deficiency that will rear it’s ugly head when you don’t have the confidence of knowing there is someone there to bail you out. Would you go up with someone who said “I’ve never done this alone before?”
     
  20. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    And gagged
     
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  21. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    I don't remember getting signatures, I think I called the CFI at each stop. That was in 1995
     
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  22. Jim K

    Jim K Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Did you bring a bunch of quarters or did you have one of them fancy "cell phones"?
     
  23. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    Phone at the FBO as I recall
     
  24. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I drove solo before I got my drivers license.
     
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  25. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    Did you get a beating for steeling the old man's car?:rolleyes:
     
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  26. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Actually.... I was driving a tractor and a forklift solo, and as a teenager I occasionally drove the truck on a county road. A dirt road at the time. Usually to get hay from the field in the heat of the day while my dad re-stacked the hay in the shady hay barn.

    Hmmmmm....thinking back, I don't recall the hay being re-stacked at all.....
     
  27. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

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    I was certain to get signatures at my stops.
     
  28. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Had to do it.
    9C0FF2D8-BE65-4B1A-B9BF-D5D49283234B.jpeg
     
  29. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My late buddy told me he arrived at airport on a solo XC. He went inside to get his log book signed and the airport manager said something about signing his book 4 times because that was how many times he bounced the landing. lol

    My first long solo XC was in a school plane with a 530 GPS in 2015. I did not know how to use it much at all and didn't use it for the flight. I didn't even know what a magenta line was then. lol

    I flew with a paper chart with the pencil lines on it. I flew the correct headings and lo and behold there was the airports ahead. I flew north of Dayton Ohio and over WP airforce base with flight following. Got back back no problem. This picture is the actual flight.
    [​IMG]
    I could barely hold a heading or altitude and take pictures!
    [​IMG]
    I luckily didn't see any F14s coming after me!!
    [​IMG]

    Dayton Ohio. Took these pictures while on my first long solo XC using my sectional chart. It was a real confidence builder.
    [​IMG]

    Good Luck on yours!
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
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