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Thread: Remember the Day you Solo'ed? Share Your Memory With Us

  1. #41

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    Soloed on 16th birthday 1959 in a J-3 at Waukesha, Wisconsin where I had already worked as a lineboy for two years. Was pretty routine until second time around the patch an airport bum in a PT 19 flew up close to me on downwind leg and did an aileron roll right next to me! I was lucky to have excellent instructors harland sedgwick, Dale Crites, and Bill Kohler. 30 Years later I would be back to run the FBO there and B airport manager....
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  2. #42

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    I soloed when I was 16, on 7-31-1970, less than 2 weeks from being 17. I was taking lessons in Cessna 150's at Northland Aviation at Anoka County airport, ANE. For some reason for which I can't remember, I show 2 separate lessons that morning, my log book shows the first one was maneuvers and the second one as touch and go's. I know I was having problems with cross winds and later that day I came back and we went up to Forrest Lake airport, which had a grass runway that was more aligned into the wind and did some practice there before he soloed me.
    It was the first time I flew off grass and at that particular airport too. I do remember that on downwind I lost sight of the runway for a second or two because it blended into the other grass fields surrounding the strip.
    When we got back I got a congratulations from some guy in the office, they never did the shirt tail thing.
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  3. #43
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    An overcast day in January 1958 in an Aeronca Champ. It leaped off the ground without the instructor, and I remember looking in the back seat seeing it empty while on down wind. When I was taxing back for a second trip around the pattern, someone in a T-6 buzzed low overhead so I parked the plane not wanting to be in the air with him around. The following week my instructor wasn't available so another went up with me. At the end he said I'll show you how to get down in a hurry and he promptly entered a multi turn spin. Scared the bleep out of me. When I told my instructor what had been done he spent some time teaching me spins with a total time of 10 hours in my log. I have never seen nor even heard of that other instructor since.

    Interestingly, many years later a fellow showed up at my seaplane base with that very same Champ on floats. He let me take it for a flight. Boy, what a dog with only an A-65 for power. He later went through the ice with it while on skis. Hmm, I wonder where that plane is today?

    EDIT PS,
    I'll add to this story something which I have found amusing. I earned my Private during the summer between grades 11 and 12. While in the 11th grade there was a science fair where we had to produce an entry in order to pass physics. So I whipped up a quickie autopilot demonstration with an old string pull gyro on a gimbal on a piece of scrap wood with a moving elevator at the back. The judges, one of whom was the superintendent of schools were so fascinated that I had soloed an airplane that they awarded me the first grand prize of the entire fair. What a joke, there were other projects which were far more worthy than mine. I lost a lot of respect for educators after that.
    Last edited by skywagon8a; 03-22-2017 at 02:05 PM.
    N1PA
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  4. #44
    Cub Builder's Avatar
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    Clinton County Airport, Plattsburgh, NY Feb or Mar of 1976, Cessna 150 while stationed at Plattsburgh AFB. I got my pilot's license as a gift to myself for my 20th birthday. I don't recall anything especially exciting about it other than being a check-mark on the road towards a lifetime of fun in aviation. Later that year after I had my ticket I got about 45 minutes of tailwheel instruction in a Champ from a family friend before he turned me loose with his Champ. That was much more exciting to me than my first solo.

    -Cub Builder
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  5. #45

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    I soloed last fall on the 29th of October at the Mack airstrip West of Grand Junction Co in my SuperCub. at the age of 54. I have been around small planes all of my life however never had the time or the finances to take flight lessons. I have a very patient instructor who did not push me to solo before I had gained the confidence and skill needed to safely solo. It was a non event with three decent takeoff and landings.
    Two weeks later I flew my first solo cross country from Grand Junction to Cortez. The highlight for that flight was meeting up with my 75 year young dad flying his J-5 along the way back home. He was thrilled to be a part of my first cross country flight. His first cross country flight would have been in 1972 from Homer to Anchorage with him assisting in a rescue along the way, but that is another story.Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	30708First solo landing.

  6. #46

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    Nine months ago, KMGJ.


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  7. #47
    40m's Avatar
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    10-3-73 DXR, Danbury CT. Worked as a line boy at Danbury Airways, aways arranged for a 1968 Cherokee 140 62U to be available. I kept it clean and polished nice green and white. Great instructor Bobby Wilson, promised me a ride in his nicely restored Ryan PT-22, moved on before I got the chance.

    From Genesis: "And God promised men that good and obedient wives would be
    found in all corners of the earth."

    Then he made the earth round... and He laughed and laughed and laughed!

  8. #48
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Does this count?

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    Eddie Foy
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God"
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  9. #49
    Farmboy's Avatar
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    Ha! That's perfect Eddie. The A-10 cannon always reminds me of comic book heroes like Nick Fury with the cigar sticking out of the side of his mouth.


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  10. #50
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40m View Post
    Great instructor Bobby Wilson, promised me a ride in his nicely restored Ryan PT-22, moved on before I got the chance.
    I'm sorry that you missed your ride in a fantastic airplane. This reminds me of a story. Early in my career I worked for a couple of old timers who taught me a lot about aviation. Part of my regular activities was to take the old station wagon pulling a trailer to various locations to retrieve airplanes, mostly wrecks. I averaged one a month for several years. One of these trips was to Linden NJ where there was a PT-22 sitting forlorn out in the weather without two rear landing wires. I hauled it home to GBR where we recovered the wings and threw on a coat of Dulux. Then I was given the assignment of test flying it. The situation was you fixed it you fly it. It didn't matter whether or not I had ever flown whatever it was before, I did it. That PT-22 was one of the most fun airplanes that I had flown. Built like the proverbial brick outhouse. My boss paid $800 for it.
    If you ever get another chance to fly in a PT-22, grab it and enjoy. Ta-Pocit-Ta, Ta-Pocit-Ta, Ta-Pocit-Ta, Ta-Pocit-Ta. Love that Kinner sound!
    N1PA
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