First Solo

After 7 months of lessons, rudely interrupted by lockdowns, I flew solo for the first time this morning. That means: taking off, doing a circuit of the airfield, and landing again – without an instructor beside you. They wish you luck, hop out of the aircraft, and you’re on your own. It’s quite the moment!

I was up half the night worrying, but thankfully it turned out great. Beautiful weather, and a quiet airfield.

It was actually fun. This came as a surprise: I’ve found learning to have a high cognitive load – there’s a lot going on at once, and many things that need to be *just so*. I thought being by myself may make this worse. But today it all felt surprisingly natural. Free and easy. I really enjoyed it.

I’m by no means a licensed pilot yet: this step marks (roughly) the end of learning to fly and the beginning of learning to navigate. I’ve another 6 months or so of lessons, not to mention 6 exams plus the big skills test at the end. So going solo carries no legal weight, but it’s a traditional milestone and a big life goal!

Thanks to all at the excellent Redhill Aviation Flight Training for getting me here.