After only 16 hours, they let you go solo. Your first is just one circuit and one landing around Falcon but it feels like a crazy amount of responsibility; it’s really scary starting up the engine, taxiing and even just having to close the door by yourself. I have to get the ATIS, contact dispatch (who wished me luck and told me to pay attention and be careful, they were so nice to me), contact ground and then contact tower during the long taxi to the runway. At this point I was so impatient to get off the ground but what I did not expect was how fast; without the weight of my instructor and flight partner I rotated so early and reached circuit height in the upwind!
Here's what my little circuit looked like (I had a practice with Lee before I could go alone on the day):
As I declared it was my first solo over the comms, I think the controller spoke extra slowly to me and gave me an easy pattern, and cleared me to land number 1 on the longest runway. After I landed I got a “good job” from the tower, something which Lee said made him sick how I “flirted” with them. He makes me laugh all the time but stayed out on the ramp to watch my solo and had a little handheld radio to listen in. The landing wasn’t perfect but I was so proud of myself and was literally buzzing for the rest of the day, I think that’s why they only let you do one circuit on your first solo.
As is tradition after a first solo you get to be thrown in the pool, in your uniform. Throughout ground school I’ve appreciated how supportive the staff and other students are here and I love that we can all celebrate with each other. I’m proud of how far we’ve all come in such a short amount of time J