Debrief – Saturday 15th May

A good chunk of my last eight hours in the air have been spent flying around the circuit and I have finally gained enough solo time that my instructor has the confidence to send me up on my own; from start to end.

Agenda for today

  • Practice short field landings
  • Practice glide approaches
  • Land on the centre of the runway 

In the past I have been up with my instructor and he has done a few circuits with me and he has then jumped out and let me do my solos. Today was different as I did my walk around and jumped in the plane all on my own. I started up the plane as normal and began taxiing, this is where I was struck by how weak nervous I sounded on the radio, and that in turn made me actually feel nervous as I was taxiing. I took my time running through my power checks and allowed myself to get my head straight. When I was ready I headed out onto the runway.

As I took off my nerves disappeared and I felt comfortable. I knew what I was doing up in the air; even if I am on my own. I settled in for a good forty-five minutes of flight.

Not much exciting happened during the flight, which was a good thing! I did get to practice short field landings as I hoped and I was able to stop on the runway in less than 400 metres every time.

I don’t feel like I managed to improve the accuracy of my landings and had to correct my position on the runway with some aggressive ruddering. I think my problem here comes from not making enough corrections on the final leg. In the future I will attempt to make some corrections whilst on the base leg and see what happens!

I practiced a few more glide approaches but I haven’t quite worked out the best place to cut the throttle yet.

Other than above I don’t have too much to report other than I made it through my first entire solo trip. I didn’t run into any issues whilst starting up and taxiing. My nervous voice eventually disappeared and was replaced by my best confident pilots voice. It was a great hurdle to get past and I am excited for my first solo trip outside of the circuit.

Key take-aways

  • Practice glide approaches
  • Land on the centre of the runway

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