First Solo!

I finally got to do my first solo yesterday (31/03/2013) after several weeks of bad weather stopping me from having any useful flying time. My father managed to get some footage of the event, although sadly he did it with his iPad’s awful camera… Still, a video to remember the occasion is better than no video, especially for someone with an awful memory of events like me!

Those not interested in a bit more detail, run away now!

The flight was rather smooth in the end and a lot less terrifying than I expected (Although I was grateful Netherthorpe was quiet; I spent about 5 minutes at the hold for the runway trying to chill out about it). The take-off was very nice, I was surprised at how quickly the aircraft climbed even after my flight instructor (James) had told me… I was at about 700 feet at a point where during the flight before, with James, I was only at 500 ft; this is a big difference when the highest you get in a circuit at Netherthorpe should be 800ft!

After climb-out, things were pretty nice along the downwind leg, although I did let the aircraft climb a little to 900ft while performing checks, which I easily corrected before turning onto the base leg for my descent; the real test.

For the most part I did OK, although I didn’t start descending soon enough meaning I was quite high at first, but I just added more flaps in earlier and pulled the power to a very low setting in order to glide in at a steeper angle to correct. By the time I got close to the runway, I was back on track and fed a bit of power in to counteract a mysterious drop in speed that always occurs just before the airfield when landing on the particular runway in use (06), which James and I think is caused by a small dip in the terrain from a stream. The landing was a little fast as I took the power off quite late but I touched down very close to the numbers at the end of the runway (which is where I wanted to be). The touchdown itself was a little bumpy but I was entirely to blame because of the power change mentioned earlier, and I didn’t help it when I forgot to hold the yoke right back (otherwise the front wheel gives an uncomfortable ride at higher speeds).

In the end, I think I did rather well, with a few areas where I think I could probably improve (Primarily, remembering to use trim when on approach and holding the nose up for as long as possible).

Thanks for reading, and as always, safe flying!

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