Saturday, February 16, 2013
Planning My First Solo
On Wednesday I became eligible for solo flight because I turned 16. Last weekend, as I wrote about in my last post, I had a good lesson and learned a whole lot. There was a scheduled plan for me to solo on my 16th birthday, but mother nature had some other plans. Even though I am pretty much ready to solo, and my instructor is confident, we have to wait to get the right weather (at least 1,500 foot ceilings, low winds, and 3sm visibility). In addition, my instructor will be going up with me right before I fly to make sure I'm all good to go. I might need another lesson on two before I solo, which I understand.
Weather forecast when I had a flight planned for Wednesday afternoon... not good!
As of now, I have 4.4 hours under my belt, which isn't many at all for a first solo. I'm glad my instructor thinks I'm up to it and thinks I'm ready (or very close) to soloing.
Soloing on my 16th Birthday would have been nice, but sadly I can't control the weather, so I had to reschedule. On Wednesday, I ended up rescheduling for this morning between 9-11am. I had the worst feeling when I woke up this morning and saw snow from my window. I think today was the first time in my life that I've seen snow and responded negatively! I was excited for today because the forecast was looking great. When I checked yesterday, there was a prediction for 3,100 - 6,500 foot ceilings with visibility over 6 miles (perfect for my low flying solo). I've now really come to see how poor weather predictions can be sometimes. By the time the scheduled time rolled around there was an overcast ceiling at 800 feet with snow and rain. What you do as a pilot is often dictated by the weather, so I'm really learning how to be patient and wait for the right day.
Snow precipitation today shown on the bottom
So now, two times, my plan to solo has been cancelled due to weather, oh well... I have now rescheduled the time slot for Monday morning from 9-11am. As of now, the forecast looks excellent (0% chance of precipitation, over 12,000 foot ceilings, and low winds). I have definitely learned that I shouldn't get my hopes up for the weather, so I am approaching Monday with some skepticism.
If I get the chance to solo on Monday I'm going to try to use my GoPro Hero 3 camera to record the flight if everything works out!
Good Forecast for Monday... Crossing my Fingers!