Finally Soloed!

Today was the day! Liani and the kids came with me to Raleigh Executive Jetport (KTTA) for my 8am flight. I took Richard up for a couple of times around the pattern and landing and then he stepped out of the plane. I took off and landed 3 times for my official solo. The winds were starting to pick up and the pattern was pretty bumpy but I brought the plane down safely, although the last landing was a bit of a carrier landing (look it up on YouTube if you are confused what a carrier landing looks like).

Anyway, afterward, Richard (with the kids) cut off my shirttail.
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According to Wikipedia, “In American aviation lore, the traditional removal of a new pilot’s shirt tail is a sign of the instructor’s new confidence in his student after successful completion of the 1st solo flight. In the days of tandem trainers, the student sat in the front seat, with the instructor behind. As there were often no radios in these early days of aviation, the instructor would tug on the student pilot’s shirttail to get his attention, and then yell in his ear. A successful first solo flight is an indication that the student can fly without the instructor (“instructor-less” flight). Hence, there is no longer a need for the shirt tail, and it is cut off by the (often) proud instructor, and sometimes displayed as a trophy.”

Here is what it looks like:

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Today was also airplane washing and cookout day at Wings of Carolina Flying Club.  Liani got her hands dirty helping to wash and wax a Mooney.

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Up next for me is another solo in the practice area to work on my maneuvers (steep turns, stalls, etc…) and start cross country flights with Richard.  Seems so far to go but happy in the moment.

Joined Wings of Carolina Flying Club!

On May 20, 2013, I joined the Wings of Carolina Flying Club (www.wingsofcarolina.org).  That night I started ground school, which lasts for 15 sessions, 3 hours each!  Luckily, I enjoy aviation, but no break in studying this summer!  John Hunter is our instructor and he has been flying and teaching aviation for 50 years.  He is also the chief mechanic for the flying club and uses volunteers to help maintain the aircraft each Wednesday night.  Wings of Carolina has been around for many years and is one of the largest flying clubs in the United States.  I am very blessed to have a club like this nearby to keep training costs lower and instructional value very high.  Well, back to the books to study aerodynamics (or as Marissa called it, “automaniacs”).