Your first solo flight can make you feel a variety of emotions, from stress to excitement. Reaching this point of your aviation career goals is a huge accomplishment and milestone to be proud of. The first solo flight is a moment you will never forget and the experience of taking to the skies alone, is incomparable to any other feeling out there. As this is a groundbreaking moment in your aviation career, you’ll want to do everything you can to make it positive and memorable, so here are some tips to make your first solo safe and fun.
1. Don’t feel uncomfortable
Being nervous is one thing and uncomfortable is another. You will undoubtedly feel nervous before your first solo flight. All those hours of theory and practical practice come down to this one defining moment but, feeling uncomfortable is a feeling you shouldn’t ignore. If you feel that something isn’t right or that you need extra practice, talk to your Flight Instructor. There’s nothing wrong with making sure you’ve had enough practice to feel comfortable and safe on your first solo flight.
2. Take your time and double check your checklists
Checklists are there for a reason. Ensuring there is no oversight can make the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful flight. So don’t rush! Take the extra time to double check your checklists and makes sure all the boxes are ticked off before you take-off. A completed checklist will put you more at ease during your first solo flight, so you can enjoy the accomplishment of reaching your goals.
3. Get a good night’s sleep
This tip may sound like common sense but it’s an easy one to forget and you may find yourself unable to sleep the night before your flight. Have a warm glass or milk and do something that relaxes you. A solid sleep will ensure that you’re feeling 100% switched on and ready for your first solo flight!
4. There’s nothing wrong with a go-around
You’re successfully completing your first solo flight and are about to make that landing all on your own in the cockpit. If you notice your approach isn’t quite spot on, do a go-around. Remember that there’s nothing embarrassing or wrong about doing a few go-arounds if you find your approaches aren’t accurate. In fact, you’ll be considered a better pilot by making good go-around decisions rather than completing a bad approach. A go-around shows your Flight Instructors that you know what the difference between a good and bad approach is, and that you can practice good judgement to ensure your approach and landings are perfect!
5. Relax and fly the plane
Even though you’re feeling nervous and may start to worry, remember that your Flight Instructor has signed you off for a reason and knows that you are ready to go solo. No flight instructor will let you go on your first solo flight if they believe you’re not ready. So just relax, fly the airplane like you always do, and make your instructor, yourself and everyone you know proud!
Are you interested in learning to fly but haven’t taken the first step just yet? Why not find out more about SAFT’s Commercial Pilot Licence and dare to soar.
If you’re already enrolled, you’re well on your way to becoming a pilot! Check out ‘What Does It Take To Become An Airline Pilot’ to learn more about your future career options!