A student pilot’s first solo flight is a much-awaited milestone that can bring a variety of emotions like excitement, nervousness, and stress. But reaching this point is a groundbreaking moment to be proud of because finishing your first solo flight is already a huge accomplishment in one’s aviation career.
But what should one expect during his/her first solo flight? Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for one of the most important and memorable days in your pilot journey.
- Make Sure You’re Ready
Even if you’ve gone through all the training and lessons, you will still definitely feel uncertain as to whether or not you’re ready to fly your first solo. Uncertainty is okay, but you should discuss this with your instructor. If you feel you still need more time to get your circuit flying perfectly first, then don’t rush flying on your own. There’s nothing wrong with ensuring you’ve had enough practice to feel confident to embark on your first solo.
- Don’t Panic
You will undoubtedly feel nervous before your first solo flight – that’s totally normal. But don’t let nervousness cause you to panic because by doing so, you’ll open yourself up to more risk and danger. The key to a successful first solo is to remember that you’ve reached this stage by demonstrating that you are capable of safely flying an aircraft.
- Use Your Checklists
Ensuring there is no oversight can greatly impact the success of your first solo flight. So, it’s best to take your time and double-check your checklists and make sure everything is in order for your take-off and landing.
- ATC Can Help You
If you’re soloing at a controlled airport, Air Traffic Control can definitely help you on your first solo. In fact, your instructor may probably have already told ATC that it’s your first time flying solo, so use this to your advantage. Don’t be shy to tell them it’s your first solo and ask for assistance.
- It’s not over until your engine is off
The successful landing may seem like the finale of your first solo flight. But getting the plane down doesn’t mean you can finally celebrate. It’s important to ensure you keep your cool and focus as you navigate the aircraft off the runway. Part of your first solo flight is to be able to correctly park the aircraft in its designated parking before you safely shut down the engine and breathe a sigh of relief.