Initial Solo

In any pilots career there are milestones that are celebrated and for a student pilot, it is the moment you are allowed to fly unassisted for the first time.

Mine came on October 26th, 2018, almost a month after my last lesson. A few lessons prior to my solo, we had to cancel due to weather and me getting the flu.

It was a cool spring morning with calm conditions at Stellenbosch Airfield. On my second circuit with my instructor, a thought came into my mind and it was “please do not send me solo”. I performed one go-around as I felt my final approach was too high and unstable.

On my previous lessons, we ended just short of an hour of flight and the lesson before that I asked that we do a full stop as I was becoming tired. My instructor asked me if I was okay, I assumed it was because we were flying longer than the previous lesson and my reply was “yes I am”. He asked me a few times.

He instructed me to land and do a full stop, he got out said do run up and fly one circuit. In complete shock, I did it.

I cannot describe the feelings and sensations I felt the moment he closed the door. For a week or two thereafter I could still not believe I done it.

I remember taking off and just smiling, doing my checks and without much effort, performing the checks and flying. After landing, the radio came alive with many other pilots congratulating me.