Today’s lesson was about improving my landings. So my instructor decided to do circuits training. It was a normal lesson that day and I really wasn’t expecting to do my first solo with a total dual time to date of 6 hours.
All went well that day and after an hour of flight and 6 landings I was expecting to be done for the day. But then my instructor called ATC and said that I will be going back for my first solo doing one circuit. My first thought was “OK, today’s the day”. My instructor gave me the final instructions and then I was left alone in the cockpit.
It was weird to be alone in the plane and I knew it will become even weirder once I will be one the move. I started to run checklists, called ATC and once aligned on the runway and ready for departure, you say to yourself – “This is it! Here we are, everything is going to be OK. You just need to do the same thing as you did earlier”. ATC cleared me for take-off, I applied full throttle and few seconds later I was up in the air.
My instructor warned me about the fact that the aircraft will accelerate faster and lift off sooner, but I really wasn’t expecting such a difference. During the initial climb, the aircraft climbed at a much better rate and reached the circuit altitude sooner.
After the initial climb I turned right crosswind, then downwind and I knew the hardest part was yet to come. I turned base and finally turned final. Aligned with the runway, my speed and altitude was correct, I called ATC and was clear to land runway 35. I was really focusing on keeping a stable approach with a correct speed. The runway came closer and closer and soon was the time for me to reduce the throttle to idle and start raising the nose. The control was much more sensitive due to the fact that I was alone in the cockpit. I finally landed, it wasn’t my best landing but not my worst either 🙂
Once at the ramp, my instructor congratulated me, I shared my feelings and then we went inside to do the paperwork. Today was the day where for the first time, I entered 20 minutes as PIC (Pilot In Command) in my logbook.