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Guest Johnny

I Solo'd today!

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...or can we correctly state I with a great deal of technical control, managed to bring the airplane to the ground with little or no damage to the craft three complete landings ( yeah right, controlled crashes!)I took my pre-solo exam, then went up with my instructor did three rounds thru the pattern with landings and then he got out! You know what... you don't realize how much of a security blanket your instructor is until he is not sitting with you in that cockpit. Honestly, I was scared crazy! My hand was trembling and I was sweating like a pig, and not because the temperature was 100 degrees either. However I managed to complete the solo on my first try and within the lesson plan without delay. That really made me feel good because I have seen several students have to delay their solos because they just weren't ready. Had I not gotten my medical late last week I was prepared not to solo and was happy to be able to get the extra practice. However I guess he felt I was ready for it. VERY SCARY and exciting all at the same time. It was really cool that I could go through the motions of moving through the pattern and do all the things I was supposed to do for the approach.However to be honest, my landings were the three roughest landings I have had. Out of the 45 landings total now in the 18 hours of flight I was a little disappointed in those landings. I was in a variable heading wind with 8kt crosswinds the whole time which made it tricky, but I still felt I could have nailed them a lot better. Good thing it didn't show from where the instructor was standing. He thought I did a great job. HAH! I dropped the plane on the deck from about 18 inches. Sat my butt right into the runway. Oooomph, ugh.So tomorrow I should go through a progress check with another instructor and then do some more solo work.YEAH!Happy 4th of July!JohnnyKTUS/AVQ

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Johnny,Outstanding news!

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Well dang, dude, you're almost finished..... all that's left to do now is the PPL, IFR, CPL, CFI, CFII, complex, high performance, Taildragger, Tug Pilot, Multi, Turbine, ATP.....Congrats on a great day! I tell you, even if one day you DO end up with all of the above - today is the flight that will stick with you forever.RichardI know we all know this one, but it still has power....Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirthOf sun-split clouds, --and done a hundred thingsYou have not dreamed of --Wheeled and soared and swungHigh in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring thereI've chased the shouting wind along, and flungMy eager craft through footless halls of air...Up, up the long, delirious, burning blueI've topped the wind-swept heights with easy graceWhere never lark or even eagle flew --And, while with silent lifting mind I've trodThe high untrespassed sanctity of space,Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

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Congratulations!!!:-jumpy Your first solo with be something you will never forget! A few years from now when you've got a couple hundred hours under your belt, think back to how much you've learned since, and how much more confident you are! :-)

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Hell, I'd be happy if I could just keep my rollouts straight down the runway. I swear one of these days I am going to get to fly in smooth air without crosswinds and I won't know what to do with myself. It was a great day, and I look forward to doing it again tomorrow!JohnnyKTUS/AVQ

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Congratulations Johnny! Awesome accomplishment, isn't it?

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I remember my first solo last year! Boy the plane feels differant without the weight of another person! Thats what I really noticed!

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Congrats Johnny!!Don't be too hard on yourself with the landings. As others have pointed out, flying solo yields a much lighter airplane and some slightly different handling characteristics. It also goes without saying that GEE...perhaps you were a LITTLE nervous?Isn't it the greatest feeling in the world??When I fly solo I'm always amazed at how I turn the Skyhawk SP I fly into a speed demon - sometimes I'll get 1200-1500fpm climbs! Nice!!Best of luck to you on your flying!And please accept my invitation to my web site - you'll find forums, flight vidoes, hundreds of pictures and more...http://www.NoticeToAirmen.com/

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Thanks everyone.I went up again today (the day after). I had a progress check and was supposed to fly solo again but after the progress check in 102 degree weather I was too tired to keep playing in the heat. Besides they needed the aircraft for some IFR training for another student. I will go back out later this week and play in the air some more. My landings today were a little rough (still) but at least I managed to keep it straight down the runway. My instructor pulled the engine on me again today. He really seems to get a lot of pleasure out of that. I think I am doing more "engine out" landings than I am regular landings anymore. I don't know what the weather is like where everyone else flies, but it is always windy here in the desert with 8-16 kt crosswinds. ??? How come, or why is it that the wind never aligns itself with any of the runways I can use? ;) I am starting to think that the instructors pre-program the winds to make it more difficult for my landings! I suppose if I could get my instructor up at 04:30 in the morning (it is light here in AZ at that time) then I could fly in the smooth air, but he likes to sleep in...All-in-all I am thrilled to be able to have this opportunity to fly and the gift of coordination to be able to do it well. Now that I am half way through my training I am a little nervous at to how the rest of the training will go. We will see. I will keep all posted at to how I am doing. As of today I have 20 hours in the air and I haven't managed to break anything yet. The alternator/electrical failure wasn't my fault, I promise!Thanks,JohnnyKTUS/AVQ

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A friend who is a PPL here in Phoenix simply won't fly in the summer--he's not interested in waking pre-sunrise for the hour or two of smooth air the day can offer. He refers to November-March as flying "Season". When I start working on my SPL once the program is in place, I'll likely limit my lessons to the "season" as well. I can't even imagine getting a little SPL aircraft caught in one of our many invisible thermals gracing the desert floor.JohnKPHX

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John,I bet you guys up in Phoenix have been baking! It's been between 97 - 102 lately. We peaked a couple of times at around 104. I kinda feel sorry for my instructor, but I am young (34) so I can handle it. I am trying to finish my license before the end of august before I turn 35 so that is why I am punishing myself flying in the heat. I guess I would go and try the early mornings but I have to WORK (oooh bad word!) and that seems to get in the way. Besides all the folks who don't have jobs are taking up the early schedules. ;)I am not sure where I am doing my cross-country, but it may be up towards your neck of the woods. I know I would like to head torwards Douglas just for the views flying over Bisbee, however I would also like to mix it up in that lovely Class B airspace you all have up there. Tucson is fun but not anywhere near the amount of traffic I could get into the mix with in Phoenix! Another place they like to take the students is either Wickenburg, or Globe. Heck I was thinking real cross-country and I suggested San Diego but all I got was a smirck from my instructor... Think of the cool air I told him. He still didn't buy into it.Any way training is progressing well. I have been studying the weather. I am so going to suck at it too. I get the whole flying thing and communications, but when it comes to the weather... I can point out a cloud and tell you if it is raining or not. (hehehe)Talk to you soon!JohnnyKTUS/AVQ

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