Monday, February 18, 2013

First Solo Flight

Video highlighting my first solo flight today: 


The significance of a first solo flight: 



Finally, after two failed attempts due to poor weather, I woke up this morning excited and ready to go. With perfect, cloudless, blue skies and pretty low wind I finally had the chance to do my first solo flight. Needless to say... I was pretty excited! With only 4.4 hours under my belt going into today, I soloed pretty early. I'm glad my instructor had confidence in me to do everything safely!



We headed out to the airport at about 8:30am for the scheduled flight time. I was lucky and found a time in which my whole family, even my grandfather, could be there. For years I had only dreamed of getting ready to go out and fly by myself, but today was the day, and I was ready. For the first time, I saw a jet come into the airport. Apparently they come in a lot on the weekdays, so I hadn't seen one until today. Maybe one day I'll be in the cockpit of a plane like that!



I pre-flighted the plane and got ready for the first part of my lesson. My instructor and I went up to do 4 takeoffs and landings before I would solo, just to make sure I was 100% ready to go. We went through some last minute information, reviewed more about the pattern, made sure I was good on radio calls, and tested out the growing crosswinds. After a good 4th landing, I taxied back to the ramp area to let my instructor out of the plane. When he got out it was a pretty weird feeling, a mix of excitement and worrying I would do something wrong. I knew that he wouldn't let me solo unless he was 100% sure I was totally ready to go.


By the time I began taxiing to runway 34, the winds were at about 6 knots, blowing perpendicular to the runway. I was second in line for departure, behind N16HV (another Tecnam aircraft). After he turned to his crosswind, I decided to go ahead. If you've never flown solo, it feels pretty different. I noticed on rollout how light the plane felt and how it quickly jumped off the ground.



When I took off I laughed to myself because I thought: "Wow, I'm up here flying this plane before I can even drive solo." It was a pretty cool feeling!



I looked over my shoulder down to the ramp area and saw my family with cameras waving and really loving it. That made me feel pretty good. I was glad that I was able to solo today for them. Flying in the pattern was fun. I really noticed how quiet it is. You're all alone in the plane with the occasional radio call... so it was pretty relaxing and really enjoyable. That is one of my favorite parts of flying. When you go up, all you have time to think about is flying that plane. You don't have time to worry about what is happening on the ground with life, people, school work, etc. That is something I know I will always love about flying.

As planned, I did 3 takeoffs and 3 full-stop landings. When I landed, I exited the runway, did a full post-landing checklist, and taxied back up to the run-up area. On the first landing, I looked over to my mom who was jumping up and down, more excited than I was!



The other landings and takeoffs went well. My first landing was by far the best, 2nd was the worst, and 3rd was second best. It was pretty windy on final, so I got thrown around a bit, but it all turned out ok in the end.

After the last landing, I taxied back to the ramp area, shut the plane down, and was greeted by my super excited family. Tons of photos later we were inside getting my endorsements down and had my shirt tail cut off. They explained to me the story behind why your shirt tail gets cut off after your first solo flight which was pretty interesting: First Solo Flight: Traditions

Thanks to everyone who has supported my with this goal of mine; I couldn't do it without you guys! 

-Swayne Martin: From Private to Professional Pilot






35 comments:

  1. Cogratulations from Spain!
    The next year will be my turn! haahahaha
    Good Luck and nice flights!

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    1. Thanks so much! Glad you enjoy the blog!

      Happy flying,
      Swayne Martin

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  2. Well done! A superb achievement.

    CU

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

      Appreciate it,
      Swayne Martin

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  3. Woohoo so proud of u, Swayne! I remember laughing and screaming aloud on my 1st solo--though all my landing sucked bc I was flying the airport's traffic pattern 300' low, lol!

    CONGRATULATIONS!

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    1. Thanks Cap'n Aux! I'm glad you enjoyed it! That sounds like a pretty interesting first solo! :D

      Swayne Martin

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  6. CONGRATULATIONS Swayne!!! I got a surprise call to fly to Amsterdam... and you were flying solo. I knew there was something different in the air. I am so proud of you! Just keep up the great work.

    I also want to tell people about those 4.4 hours. Swayne was able to do this because of all his hours of preparation. So Swayne... how many hours of studying do you think you spent? Preparation is the answer to all success in this business.

    One more thing... CONGRATULATIONS!!! This is so cool.

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    1. Thanks so much Karlene! And yes, I only did it in 4.4 hours because I did spend so much time studying before hand.

      In total it was a lot of time. I read through the whole Jeppesen Textbook (800 pages) and watched a few volumes of the Sporty's online course (hours and hours)

      Glad I'm doing it though because the more I study, the less time I'm spending in the plane = saved money!

      Many Thanks,
      Swayne

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    2. Hi Sayne, contratulations for your first flight!!
      I was searching the Jeppesen book that you mention but didn't find it, can you please specify the exact name?

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    3. Congratulations on your first fly Swayne! How it´s exactly called that book that you mention?

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  7. Congratulations Swayne. My first solo was in July 1987! Man, do I feel old. You looked so calm in the video. Way to go...and a nice landing too!

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the video!

      I love how every pilot remembers his/her first solo date on the spot, makes me happy to hear!

      Swayne Martin

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  8. Very well done indeed Martin! Great video! Congratulations! \o/

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    1. Many Thanks Alex! Glad you enjoyed the video,

      Happy Flying,
      Swayne Martin

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  11. Congrats... I still remember my first solo.. keep up the great work.. and keep posting video and updating us. Feel free to check out my training videos on youtube. Channel: Shawn Waite

    I can't wait till my son is able to fly solo before he drives! (He can't wait either)

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    1. Thanks for the comment! I will make sure to check out your videos when I can today :)

      The feeling of flying above the roads you can't drive on is an incredible feeling!

      Many Thanks,
      Swayne

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  12. Swayne, wanted to drop by and wish you Congratulations!! One thing I wish I had done in life was solo in a plane rather than a car. I love that video by the way! You were truly on top of the world! Keep up the great work and I'll spot you in the skies!

    Only blue skies.. J

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    1. Thanks so much Jeremy! Soloing in a plane is a great feeling. If you haven't already, it's totally worth working towards!

      Many Thanks,
      Swayne Martin

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  13. Really cool blog Swayne! You have such excellent writing! I'm glad that I found your blog as I will be starting flight training soon.

    I'll make sure to recommend this to friends!

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    1. Thanks for viewing. I'm glad you liked it so much!

      Thanks for sharing it with your friends,
      Swayne Martin

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  14. Congratulations! That is such a huge accomplishment! Like the others, I remember my first solo, May of 1989! An interesting note about that flight was that there was an airshow going on the upcoming weekend at my home airport (which was PTK), and while I was in the pattern on my very first solo flight, ATC cleared "Fifi", the only flying B-29, to land right before me! So, by the time I was on short final, the B-29 had landed, and was taxiing to the ramp. Once I touched down, I rolled right past her, and the crew aboard Fifi congratulated me on my solo! I'll never forget that! Just this past summer, I was at AirVenture, and saw Fifi, and it brought back those memories! You will NEVER forget your first solo! Good luck! And keep us posted!

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  15. Awesome, congrats once again Swayne! I really like the video, GoPro is a nice thing to have! Made me really think if I should get one too. More blue skies for you! :)

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    1. Thanks! Glad you liked the video. The GoPro is a great tool that I use for reviewing flights.

      Thanks again
      Swayne

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  16. Swayne,

    I have found this blog by word of mouth and I must say I am beyond impressed. Your journey through all of this flight training is just remarkable. Although I am not much into flying, I think that you are truly an inspiration to many people. No matter what people say to you, never let them get you down. Also, congratulations on this amazing accomplishment! It is truly amazing what you have been able to do with this and I am very impressed. Thank you for sharing this gift with us! I hope to see more solos to come!

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    1. Thanks so much for coming and visiting the blog! I'm so glad that you enjoy it!

      Glad that the blog is being spread by word of mouth, that's always good. It's been doing so well thus far, and I can't wait to see what'll happen in the future with it!

      Thanks for coming by,
      Swayne

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  17. I'm loving this blog. I'm a freshman in high school and can't wait to get started with my lessons. Hearing someone from around the same age group is great! :)

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    1. Thanks for the comment! Glad that you've been enjoying it!

      Get excited for your lessons, it's one of the most rewarding things I've ever done!

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  18. Good job! And a really nice blog indeed! Keep it up!
    Blue skies!

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Thanks for your comment; I really appreciate it! Glad you are here with me on the blog. If your comment does not appear right away, it will after verification.

Many Thanks, Happy Flying,
Swayne Martin