Exercise 14 – First Solo
FIRST SOLO: AMPLIFYING NOTES
REQUIREMENT CHECK BEFORE SOLO FLIGHT
1. Medical certificate
2. RT license or certificate of passed exam
3. ICAO english certificate of passed exam
4. Passport or ID card
5. Rental Insurance
6. Written test exam, including oral part. Previously introduced maneuvers check
7. Endorsement signed in the end of solo check flight
- ) The first solo flight is an important occasion for your student as a successful one, free from incident, gives him added confidence which often leads to a significant improvement in his flying ability.
- ) Your decision on when to send your student solo for the first time is critical and often difficult:, too soon and the result may be a poor flight and a loss of confidence; too late and the result is often a deterioration in your student’s flying skill, a loss of interest and a loss of confidence. Three factors are critical:
You must ensure that your student is using the correct techniques and flies consistently safely, even though he may lack polish, and can recognise and correct faults. He must also have proved that he can handle any emergency that might occur.
You need to have seen your student decide for himself when to go around from a poor approach. (If he’s been good/lucky enough not to have to do so from his own practices, fly a poor approach yourself and give him control to check his decision-making.)
You must do all you can to ensure that your student starts the flight with the knowledge that he is fully competent to do so.
3) The following give a guide as to what constitutes an acceptable standard of flying for the first solo flight:
THREAT AND ERROR MANAGEMENT
The student should maintain a good lookout without reminders from you and should be able to maintain a listening watch and make the appropriate RT calls. All checks and drills should be correct, with airborne checks from memory. There should be no doubt as to his ability to avoid other aircraft and to go-around in good time should his approach and landing be baulked.
- Take-off and climb
Your student should be able to line up on the centreline and maintain direction on the take-off run. He should fly the aircraft off at the correct speed and not hold it on the ground too long or try to haul it off in an exaggerated nose-up attitude. The initial climb should be at a safe angle and a good lookout must be maintained whilst completing the after take-off checks.
Although his circuit need not be precise in all respects, your student should be consistent in maintaining satisfactory headings and in judging the positions in which to turn. Angles of bank should be reasonably accurate and he should not be in the habit of overbanking. Variations in altitude are acceptable provided that he corrects them however, the variations should not be large enough to cause difficulty on the approach.
The student should have good control of the speed, particularly during the final turn and on the last stages of the approach. He should be able to assess the correct approach path, recognize the variations from it and thus anticipate the need for corrections to power settings. He must appreciate when it is necessary to go-around. It is important that these decisions are not left until the last moment.
The main consideration is the safety of the landing. There should be no consistent fault such as holding off high. In addition, your student should be landing consistently with one wheel on each side of the centreline and maintain the centreline throughout the landing run. A series of good landings is not necessarily proof that your student is ready for solo; he must have demonstrated that he can go-around safely from ground level in the event of a mishandled landing.
Your student must have had practice at engine failure after take-off and have been tested for knowledge of emergency drills. He should have been briefed on the action to be taken in the event of engine failure in the circuit and have practiced glide landings.
You will have noted and taken steps to correct any tendency towards under- confidence or over-confidence during pre-solo instruction. True confidence is the ability to meet difficulties with assurance and the student should display the ability to keep calm and react sensibly to unusual situations. The pilot who is unaware of his limitations is no more reliable than one who allows himself to be overwhelmed by them and both invite trouble through either ignorance or panic. When your student is ready for solo he should be able to make safe and reasonable corrections on his own initiative and generally handle the aircraft in a manner which inspires trust.
- Before authorising the flight you must ensure that the minimum requirements for pre-solo instruction, given in the Training Manual have been completed and that you and your student have both signed the pre- solo certificate. Make sure that your student is able to recognize and recover from stalls, especially under approach conditions.
- Keep the pre-flight briefing short and simple as your student may be somewhat excited and unable to absorb detailed instructions. It is sufficient to brief him to take-off, complete the circuit and land, with a reminder that it is better to go-around from an unsatisfactory approach rather than to risk a poor landing. Mention any special air traffic instructions but last minute briefings on emergency drills and procedures are a waste of time. Weather conditions must obviously be suitable. If possible, traffic density should be low and ATC warned that the flight is a first solo.
AFTER A FLIGHT
- You must watch early solo flights from the ATC tower in order to note progress and any signs of overconfidence or excessive timidity.
- After his first solo the student may have a strong sense of achievement; any comments on his performance should be carefully measured against his temperament and you should make it clear that the first solo is merely a step to more serious training and should not be regarded as an end in itself.
- During the subsequent circuit consolidation period the student should be given practice at glide, flapless landings and touch and goes in his dual flights and, when competent, authorized to carry them out solo, providing that conditions are suitable.