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JerryG

Solo! (long)

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The drive to Troutdale was interminable. I drummed my fingers on the wheel restlessly, while scanning the sky for signs of any untoward weather. Billowing white steam poured from the stacks of the Camas paper mill, curling high and slowly eastward into a vast expanse of blue. Looking down the freeway, I studied the jagged horizon at the mouth of the Columbia River Gorge. I knew Larch Mountain topped out at around three thousand feet, and the few dollops of cloud were drifting by well above its summit. Slight wind and only a few high clouds, but my stomach was in knots never the less.A week previous, Sylvia, my instructor, had announced that she thought I was ready to take the controls of the little Cessna I

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welcome to the club Bill,TTD was where I got my PPL and IFR certs in '91...I thought that was you I heard above my house :)

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"But there is only one first time for everything, and for flying this was it. September 20th, 2005. Cessna 1911V, a 1975 Skyhawk 172M. My first solo flight."And you'll never forget it.May 18th, 1973, (First Saturday after my 16th birthday) RNGSA CU-18, an old (1950's-ish?) Slingsby T-21.I don't remember much from that era, but while I needed the log book to look up the tail number, I still remember the flight.Richard

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Well done BillYou achieved my dream and are so very fortunate, you must have felt so elated and rightly so.Congratulations and thankyou for the report, I was there living it with you. Fantastic eh?Dave T. .........On the lovely warm Devon Riviera and active 'FlightSim User's Group' member at http://www.flightsimgrpuk.free-online.co.uk/

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A wonderful Saturday morning read! Thank you for sharing the story with us. You did a great job of conveying the sense of the moment, very enjoyable. I had another friend solo this week in a Schweizer 300cbi (helicopter). I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit envious at this moment. Happy flying!Btw, at Hovercontrol, our headquarters is at Hood River, so we get to Troutdale fairly often (albeit in the sim of course).

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Hi Bill,great report! Thanks for sharing and my heartfelt congrats on a fine achievement! Hope you still like the sim after this experience ;-)Cheers, Holger

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Thanks for the reponses, everyone! It was a momentous afternoon for me, and I just had to share.And in response to your sim comment Holger, I think if anything it's made the sim more fun for me. I find myself gravitating towards small GA aircraft more now, as I have a better idea of how to do it "right". The other funny thing is now that I've got seventy-five real-world landings under my belt, I'm finding it a heck of a lot easier to land properly in FS, too. Next up on the training docket is a four-hour cross country jaunt. I'm planning it out in FS now!thanks,

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I'll second what Jim said, very well written and congrats :)Hoping to go solo here in the UK in the next few months.. looking forward to the empty seat beside me.

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Hi Bill,Thanks for pointing me in the direction of your post! Well done and congratulations! I still have vivid memories of my first solo back in 1979 at Goodwood in the UK. The main thing I remember is how quiet it was in he cockpit without my instructor yelling at me. The other thing was as you said, how much quicker the aircraft got airborne with only me aboard and the other things was as I turned finals it finally occurred to me that I was going to have to land this thing now! But I did and I was walking on air for days!I'll never forget my trusty steed for the day either. Goodwood Flying Club's Piper Cherokee 180F G-AVSF, still flying today and based at Blackbushe last time I looked!good luck with the cross country!CheersTimhttp://members.chello.nl/t.westnutt/realair.gif

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Well done Bill, the cheesy grin will last for weeks!:-) I still get a buzz from mine, and that was just 14 months ago in a katana, G-BYMB at Wellesbourne here in the UK. What I remember is how much more powerful the plane seemed without the instructor next to me - I swear I was at circuit height before the end of the runway!! My final approach was too fast, forcing a go around, but hey, that's twice as long in the air, right? :-beerchug It only gets better from here -- first solo navex... first solo landaway... and then that magic day when the licence arrives on the doormat! :-)

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"That is one of the best posts I have ever read." Absolutely! Congratulations Bill, sounds like you greased the landing. Good luck with the flight lessons. (I can see that your writing talents can be applied to FS too! :()http://www.kthxdone.com/images/kw_ft.jpgKen Weik [link:maam.org|MAAM-SIM][link:library.avsim.net/search.php?CatID=root&SearchTerm=kenneth+weik&Sort=Added&ScanMode=0&Go=Change+View]My AFCADs

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Bill,Congratulations!Your style of re-living the moment really engaged me - I felt I wasright there with you. I've never piloted a real aircraft, but it'sstories like these that push me to the reality edge... to takethe plunge myself (someday, I hope).Thanks for the great read!JerryG

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