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zachary165
Topic Author
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:19 am

My First Solo Flight: Cessna 172R

Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:00 am

Note: If you actively despise video reports, you may have an issue. As I was the only person inside the aircraft, I was too busy flying it to take pictures.

video of my first solo with ATC
Read description if you want to skip to the fun stuff

1st takeoff: 4:15
1st landing: 8:00
2nd takeoff: 13:40
2nd landing: 17:00
3rd takeoff: 23:00
3rd landing: 27:00


For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a pilot.When somebody asks me what I want to do when I grow up, the answer to that has never changed: I want to fly airplanes. Currently I am in a university that has a flight school where I am pursuing my dreams. After 17.9 hours of dual flight training, it was finally time for me to solo.

5:30 a.m.
I had completed my pre-solo check flight with one of the assistant chief flight instructors at the school the day before. I asked my instructor when he was available and he said he could be ready at 7 a.m. With that in mind, I went to bed early because I knew it would be an early start to the day. I woke up at 5:30, showered and packed my flight bag for the flight. I triple checked that I had my logook, student pilot's certificate, medical certificate, and driver's license. I also put a fresh battery in the bag for my noise cancelling headset. I grabbed a quick breakfast and got in my car to go to the airport.

6:30 a.m.
I arrived at the airport and was treated to a beautiful sunrise.
Imagesunrise by zmenz97, on Flickr
After spending a few seconds marveling at the sunrise, I realized I still had some work to do. I went in to dispatch and was given N461CM, a 2000 model Cessna 172R. I performed the weight and balance calculations and also checked runway length required for takeoff and landing.
Imagepreflight by zmenz97, on Flickr
With the lengths being well below 4,206 feet, and the CG being within the limits both with and without an instructor, I was good to go. I got the books for the aircraft and headed the upper ramp to preflight the aircraft.
Imagepreflight by zmenz97, on Flickr
I took this picture while walking around to check that all the lights were working properly. After that, I turned off the lights to save the battery and walked around to ensure the rest of the aircraft worked as well. I checked things such as the controls, made sure the fuel was the correct color and that the tanks were actually at what they indicated, made sure that there was enough oil, and untied the aircraft. At this point, my instructor showed up, I briefed him on the preflight and he made sure I caught everything. I then got inside the aircraft and he got in on the right side. I started the engine and taxied to the run-up area. I performed the run-up and the 17-year aircraft performed perfectly. After the run-up, I did 3 laps of the pattern. After those 3 laps, my instructor had me taxi to the run-up area and shutdown...
Image
My instructor stepped out, signed the appropriate places in my logbook and offered words of encouragement. I sent a quick text to my parents and after that, I was all alone
Imageendorsements by zmenz97, on Flickr
Imagethe fun by zmenz97, on Flickr
Never has a bitmoji sticker fit so well in my life. I turned on my gopro cameras and statred the engine. I taxied to the runway hold line and waved to my instructor in the grass. I briefed myself on the takeoff and announced over CTAF "Skyhaven traffic, Muleflight 461, student pilot solo, taking off runway one-niner, Skyhaven." I then did a last check to make sure nobody was on final, taxied onto the runway, lined up with the centerline, advanced the throttle, added right rudder and appropriate crosswind corrections, and smiled. The Lycoming IO-360-L2A roared to life and I was off to the races. My airspeed came alive at around 20 knots. I reached 50 knots, then 55. At 55 knots, I added back pressure and lifted off the runway. I climbed out at 79 knots to 1500' MSL (700' AGL) at 1500, I turned crosswind and reached pattern altitude at 1800' MSL (1000' AGL) I turned downwind and reduced he throttle to cruise power. As I crossed mid-field, I made sure that my airspeed was below 110 knots and lowered my flaps to 10 degrees. Approaching the end of the runway, I reduced power to 1300 RPM to establish a 75 knot initial descent. As I turned base, I reminded myself, "Every takeoff is optional, but every landing is mandatory." Turning base, I established the aircraft in a 70 knot descent and lowered the flaps to 20 degrees. Soon after that, it was time to turn final for my first ever solo landing. I established the aircraft at 65 knots and lowered the flaps to full. I flew the airplane to the numbers, flared and landed. It was a little bouncy, but it was still a landing nonetheless. I taxied the aircraft off the runway and went back to repeat it 2 more times. After my third landing, I taxied off the runway, called flight ops, and went to park on the upper ramp from which I left. I had done it. 3 solo takeoffs and landings and I was still alive along with the airplane. I turned off the engine and then turned off one camera and turned on the other. Whoops. Oh well, I as satisfied with the video I got on the other one. Besides. I was focused on flying the airplane, not what was happening with the gopro. I performed my postflight and tied the aircraft back up. My instructor had come over by this time to help me and took a picture of me leaning up against the airplane.
ImageUntitled by zmenz97, on Flickr
it was around this time that I took the camera and took a photo of the aircraft myself.
Imagen461cm by zmenz97, on Flickr
I then gathered my belongings and walked back inside to turn the books back in to dispatch. I then walked up to my instructor's cubicle and got my shirt cut. I filled out my logbook and had a postflight debrief with my instructor.
ImageUntitled by zmenz97, on Flickr
After that, I collected what was left of my shirt, called my family, and went back to campus for the rest of my classes that day.
a380, 717, 733, 735, 737, 748, 752, 753, C172, cr2, md-80, 82,83, 88, 90, dc9-50, dch2, e145 135
 
ual777
Posts: 1593
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 6:18 am

Re: My First Solo Flight: Cessna 172R

Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:21 am

Congrats! My first solo landing was 15 years ago and they are still a little firm once in a while.
It is always darkest before the sun comes up.
 
christao17
Posts: 911
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:14 pm

Re: My First Solo Flight: Cessna 172R

Sun Apr 16, 2017 11:12 am

Congratulations! Thanks for sharing the moment with us. Wishing you many years of safe and happy flying.
More than a decade flying in and around Asia...
 
cschleic
Posts: 1338
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 10:47 pm

Re: My First Solo Flight: Cessna 172R

Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:22 am

Congratulations! The first solo always is a big event. And you can't go wrong with a pop-tart before taking off! Enjoy the rest of your flight training!
 
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VapourTrails
Posts: 2846
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2001 9:30 pm

Re: My First Solo Flight: Cessna 172R

Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:25 am

[threeid][/threeid]
zachary165 wrote:
I asked my instructor when he was available and he said he could be ready at 7 a.m. With that in mind, I went to bed early because I knew it would be an early start to the day.


How did you sleep knowing such an important day was ahead of you? Could you eat much before or after?

By the way, I love the jet fuel mug you have there. :bigthumbsup:

zachary165 wrote:
I arrived at the airport and was treated to a beautiful sunrise.


Certainly one you won't forget. It is great that you have created some memories of the occasion with the narrative (here) and the photographs and video. :thumbsup:

zachary165 wrote:
After that, I collected what was left of my shirt, called my family, and went back to campus for the rest of my classes that day.


What did you do with the shirt afterwards, you kept it right? How were classes for the rest of the day? Could you even concentrate! :profile:

Such nervous excitement, both! :hyper:

I've only done a TIF. I'm happy to be a passenger and let someone else do all the hard work. :cool2: I am grateful for the experience I had though. :fluffy:

=

Congratulations!! Onward and upward. Thanks for sharing. :airplane:
 
User avatar
zachary165
Topic Author
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:19 am

Re: My First Solo Flight: Cessna 172R

Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:33 pm

Thank you all for the nice replies. It took a while for me to settle down and write out these replies as I am still a full time student and the month of April can be one of the toughest months of the year for college students.
cschleic wrote:
you can't go wrong with a pop-tart before taking off! Enjoy the rest of your flight training!

the breakfast of champions right there ;)

VapourTrails wrote:
How did you sleep knowing such an important day was ahead of you?

Sleep was deprived, my ability to perform was not.
I got the mug on clearance form the Boeing store
I still have the remains of my shirt, It is currently hanging in my closet.
I did go to my classes afterwards. It was a little difficult paying attention though as I was too excited from having just flown solo for the first time.
a380, 717, 733, 735, 737, 748, 752, 753, C172, cr2, md-80, 82,83, 88, 90, dc9-50, dch2, e145 135
 
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kann123air
Posts: 1558
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:35 am

Re: My First Solo Flight: Cessna 172R

Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:04 pm

Congrats, buddy. It's awesome to see how far you've come since you described these exact dreams to me back in 7th grade, when we first met. To use the phrase of your favorite airline... keep climbing!

Amrit
Going for great
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1722
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: My First Solo Flight: Cessna 172R

Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:41 pm

Where is this?
 
User avatar
CollegeAviator
Posts: 170
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:55 am

Re: My First Solo Flight: Cessna 172R

Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:07 pm

Great report - and congratulations on your first solo!

I hope to be doing this soon too, up in North Dakota :)
 
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WingsFan
Posts: 258
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:24 pm

Re: My First Solo Flight: Cessna 172R

Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:24 am

Fantastic! Congratulations to you :)
 
jetwet1
Posts: 2201
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

Re: My First Solo Flight: Cessna 172R

Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:18 pm

Congrats on your first solo, you can hear the excitement.

Enjoy the freedom.

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