My First Solo was awesome, and will surely be a day that i will never forget. I finally got it done Monday the 27th of November about 3:30 pm in a Cessna 172 call sign Golf Charlie Echo Oscar (C-GCEO). At that point i had accumulated about 20 hours flight time which could have been about 6 – 7 hours less in my opinion but that’s a story i’ll share another time.
After arriving at the Brampton Flight Center which was the aerodrome i flew from, i wasn’t nervous but really anxious to get it done and hoping there wasn’t any dramatic changes in the weather forecast. I was worried about this simply because I’ve been trying to go Solo for the past 3 weeks, in which I’ve had about 3 cancellations after reaching the aerodrome because of the sudden change in weather conditions.
Thankfully, after completing the appropriate aircraft document verification, weight and balance calculations and ground briefing with my instructor, everything was still looking good. With this said, i proceeded to carry out the procedural aircraft walk around to make sure everything was safely intact.
I performed a really nice circuit and landing, and taxied the aircraft to the apron so my instructor could exit. Immediately after i parked, there was an update over the uni-com. The winds suddenly shifted direction favoring Runway 08 which was 1000 feet shorter than Runway 33, has a 50 feet obstacle and a displaced threshold. Ironically this was also my least experienced runway.
At this point i had only done just about 2 – 3 landings on it prior. Though i wasn’t nervous, it just seemed as if it was destiny to solo on that runway. Especially since on my last solo attempt, the winds suddenly shifted to runway 08 just as i was about to take off, which was subsequently cancelled because of fast deteriorating visibility.
After he realized i was confident enough he exited the plane. I re-started the aircraft, went through the checklist and positioned on the runway for takeoff. After i nudged the throttle in the full thrust position, a feeling of great excitement ran through my body. I was finally flying an aircraft by myself. The plane leaped from the ground in an unfamiliar short duration and before i knew it i was turning on the crosswind leg. After i was established at pattern altitude (1700’ ASL) i made my radio call for the downwind leg and verified that no one was joining the circuit straight-in-downwind.
At this point the sun was directly in front and would have certainly impaired my vision. However, fortunately i was prepared and was wearing my sunglasses. I promptly went through my before landing checklist and attentively held a tight circuit pattern should anything go south and i had to make an emergency landing.
After completing my base leg and was now established on final for landing, something magical occurred. Even though i was only flying a Cessna 172, it felt like was flying a Boeing 787 Dream-liner descending in slow motion with the B.o.B song “Don’t Let Me Fall” playing in the background of my mind.
That feeling was absolutely platonic and extraterrestrial and ultimately made that day astronomically special. After i touched down and parked at the ramp, my instructor was there waiting equally ecstatic as i was. This was not only because he had another successful solo student, but because this specific solo release would have also increased his instructor rating class, so we were both excited.
All in all, i would never trade that moment for another. Feel free to share any thoughts, opinion or your own experience in the comments.