Solo Time

Solo Time

Having got a solid foundation being built it was time to really consolidate landings and take offs. So with my instructor we started to build time in the circuit. This is a little repetitive but still good fun. Getting a good landing in really does feel like a great accomplishment. Along the way was the standard departure drills, how to fly each part of the circuit, the checks and radio work along the way and the all important landing!

On top of standard circuits some more ‘unusual’ situations are practiced for. The first being flapless. This is simulating electrical or flap failure so landing with no flaps at all. The biggest changes in this situation are the lack of ability to fly as slow and slow down but also the sight picture is very different. As you do bring the airspeed down to maintain flight a nose high attitude must be taken up. This makes visibility very tricky and challenging.
Glide approaches for the next type. This is to practice landing without engine power. Whist this is done in the circuit it is a key skill for engine failure anywhere. The skill involves managing the energy so you ensure a landing but have enough energy if wind-sheer should occur and make sure you make the landing area, but equally not too much energy so as to not stop. Use of S turns, slip and flaps are very important.

So having become proficient it was getting time for my instructor to step out and have me do a circuit solo.
Unfortunately nothing is simple when my next lesson came up the wind was certainly not favourable for a solo. So we postponed and did other exercises.

Next lesson again weather was not fantastic. We went for a circuit together and decided the wind was just too much. A drink in the clubhouse to kill some time.
With the wind reduced, but still very noticeable, we went for another look. Again I flew nicely but now the rain is heading in with a fine drizzle to start and actual rain showing on the radar not a long way away. My instructor asked if I wanted to wait, call it a day or go solo. I answered that whilst nervous I was confident I could do it and the visibility was not perfect it was going to remain flyable.
So he took his kit out and sent me on my way!

Taxi down to the hold, made my calls and lined up. Heart in my mouth I re ran all my checks and advanced the throttle. The engine accelerated the plane much faster. I held the nose up a little and quickly checked Ts and Ps and was at speed to rotate. The little C150 climbed like I didnt know it could. I was at circuit height very quickly. Everything seemed to happen much faster.
Next I was calling down wind, running through the pre landing checks and starting to think about the scary part. Just to add a little more to the work load the drizzle was back as I turned onto base.
Deep breath and turn onto final. Put the last stage of flaps in, get my aiming point selected. Call final on the radio.
This is it, airspeed, aiming point, airspeed, aiming point. Just like I had been taught. Its looking good. I flare. Bit of a balloon, im told is common due to the lack of weight and inexperience, but dont panic maintain the flare and hold off. It comes down fine. I wont say wonderfully, but for my first solo I was very happy. The plane was certainly useable again!

I vacate the runway, and go for a de brief. My instructor is happy, im over the moon!

To finish the day we go for one more circuit together and then one more solo just to reenforce the lesson.

Fantastic day. One I wont forget for a long time!

Logged time: 13 Hours