Milestones.

So I have been taking private pilot flight training since the 30th of November 2013. It has been an awesome experience for me and when people ask me how much I love flying, the best I can tell them is that it’s the second best thing to ever happen to me. Ever. There’s no doubt about this in my mind. I like to think that I live life without regret, but I wish I had gotten started on my aviation career earlier in my life. Earl reminds me that I’m learning now because I was ready to learn now, not 10 years ago.

This past Thursday I had a lesson with another flight instructor. This is normal, as my flight instructor and this other one work together, are really good friends, and they cross-check each other to make sure they’re teaching everything they need to be teaching to student pilots. Plus, flying with a different instructor adds an element of pressure that helps determine if the student is ready to handle the pressure of flying the airplane solo.

After four landings, we headed back to the hangar and Russ told my flight instructor, Chuck, “I recommend him for solo, he can handle things safely in the air.”

Chuck looked at me and asked me, twice, if I was ready to fly solo and after a few seconds of thought, I answered in the affirmative.

“I’m ready.”

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I was nervous. After all, there wasn’t going to be anyone in the other seat that could compensate for any mistake I could make. I was confident, yes, but I was still nervous. And I was also very excited.

I made a turn around the pattern and performed what I considered to be my best landing to date. Feeling good, I went around and did it again. The landing wasn’t quite as good as the first; the wind had picked up a little bit and I came down a little harder than I would have liked, but my landing was safe, I didn’t break anything and I felt good. Since it was getting bumpy up there, I opted to make it a full stop. I taxied over to the hangar with a big grin on my face.

I was officially a solo student pilot. I can now fly by myself and practice landings. After a few times at flying solo and a few lessons with my instructor, I’ll be able to venture out a bit more.

I feel like here’s where the harder part of the training begins. I’m really on the road to becoming a private pilot. I am more excited than ever.

I reached a milestone on Thursday and it was one of the best moments of my life. On Sunday morning I went out and practiced landings all by myself. I have such a feeling of freedom in my being now.

I captured my first solo on video if you care to view it.

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