Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Mixed emotions during the solo flight. I felt ready. I treated the flight as it was any other flight. 

I taxied to ALPHA for power checks. I double checked everything, I questioned one of the magnetos during the RPM drop check, but I gave it the thumbs up. Just paranoid. There was no issue.

I taxied onto the active. Then it hit me. The decisions I make in the next 10mins could kill me. It really hit me as I applied full throttle. Rudder control. Ailerons neutral. 65kts.

I probably flew one of my best circuits. I was 100' high on the downwind. I extended my downwind leg due to traffic ahead turning base. I didn't panic. I didn't want my first approach to be a go around with the need to retract the flaps.

Turned final. 600' on the QNH. Felt low. Power. Pitched for 70kt. 10deg then 20deg. Perfect profile. 65kts. Runway not moving up or down.

Wind? Slight xwind. No factor Fly the approach.

Landing was amazing. With an instructor, you always feel he/she is giving you guidance. This time, there was no help. I felt in complete control.Right wheel, followed by left (1sec). Then the nose wheel. 

I had done it. I think I only swore ten times to myself during the circuit!

ATC audio available on the following link. Audacity misses the first second of each transmission.


  1. Hi there Neil,

    I've just finished listening to the Airplane Geeks podcast where you got interviewed for the Across The Pond section. Fair play to ya on completing your first solo...you'll never forget that!

    I'm a student pilot with the Leinster Aero Club based out in Trevet near Dunshaughlin. I'm getting close to doing my solo as well; applied for my SPL just this week.

    All the best with the hunt for a JAR school in Phoenix!



  2. Thanks for the nice comments Mark. All the best with your solo and future flying.