I started this little adventure the Saturday after Thanksgiving 2011. I have been motivated to fly as much as practical on the advice of many students before me. The more you fly, the less you lose between lessons. Of course what makes airplanes fly... Money! And contrary to popular belief money does not grow on trees.
However, I have been able to fly two to three times a week most weeks and am cruising along. In addition to the flying, my CFI (certified flight instructor) and I have also done some ground school to cover important information like what is safe and what is legal.
Saturday, February 4, 2012, my CFI and I went flying. We stayed in the pattern and did touch and goes (TNG). It was crazy busy. I was on a runway I hadn't really used much before, coming from a direction I'm not really use to, and crosswind I had not encountered before. All good for learning.
After we were done he said that we would practice more next week and when I was ready I would solo. He endorsed my logbook and made sure that I knew what I needed to have in order to solo... logbook with endorsement, student license, and medical.
Monday! I went to CHD, preflighted the aircraft and off we went. It was calm, hardly any traffic, and I was on a runway and in a pattern I was really use to. On our third TNG he says, "do you think you are ready? I think you are ready."
"Um, sure, sure... umm." Very profound and confident, huh?
We talked about what was going to happen. He called the tower for the option and as long as I didn't mess up the next landing I would be going up Solo.
Everything went well. I dropped my CFI off on the ramp. Taxied back to the taxiway. Called for my clearance telling them that I was a student on first solo (ATC already knew that I was a student, we had requested instructor drop off on the ramp. So they were expecting me). I had to wait for landing traffic and then I was cleared to go.
I did three uneventful TNGs, watched a ground squirrel run across the runway as I rotated on my last TNG, landed, and taxied back to pick up my CFI. He congratulated me and gave me a high-five!
It was awesome! I loved seeing his smile and knowing that I did good.