Lesson 47: First Solo | 09/25/16

I came back the day after Lesson 45 to give the soloing thing another try.   This time I made sure to bring all the required documents and I was fully legal.   The weather was still great and although it was a little more busy than the day before I was more in practice because I had just flown so ultimately it was probably for the best that my solo was delayed a day.   I took off with Bob and we flew to Lincoln Park.   We did one landing and then returned to Caldwell where we did 3 touch and goes.   On the last one Bob requested a short approach and told me to pull the power.   I got down safely so he told me to pull off of the runway instead of complete the touch and go.   We taxiied back to Fischer and I started to realize the time had finally come: I was about to solo for the first time.   He signed the last endorsement necessary in my logbook, shook my hand, wished me luck, and stepped out of the cockpit.   I have to say, I was a little nervous at first.   My first radio call was a little oddly ordered and taxiing down the runway I did feel a little nervousness.   I did my run-up, called for clearance and taxied onto the runway.   I ran my eyes over the panel one more time to make sure I was 100% ready; the mixture was full rich, carb heat off, flaps up, transponder alt and 1200, primer in and locked, fuel selector both, lights on, and doors and windows closed and locked.   I slowly advanced the throttle to full with my feet on the brakes, listened to the engine for any odd noises, checked the engine instruments for any last signs of danger, and watched the rpms peak.   I finally knew I was ready and released the brakes.   The plane slowly pulled itself forward and I watched the airspeed indicator waiver for a second and start steadily climbing.   I waited for 50 knots and then slowly pressured the yoke back and the airplane lifted smoothly off the runway surface.   All the nervousness I had felt on the taxiway was quickly washed away by the feeling of flight.   After years of dreaming of becoming a pilot I was finally a pilot in command for the first time.   The feeling was unforgettable.   I waited for the airspeed indicator to reach 74kts and then held that speed as I climbed towards pattern altitude.   I felt my confidence increasing with every minute I flew, realizing that this flight was just like every other of the 224 times I had done exactly what I was doing at that moment in the pattern.   My landings were pretty good and all of the three landings I did I was able to pull off on taxiway Delta (The first taxiway that you can realistically turn off on).   When I was done I taxied back to Fischer and shut down the plane.   I had finally completed my first solo.

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