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Going Solo: Tips and Tricks for Pilots Who Want to Fly Without a Wingman

Flying solo is like taking the leap from the high dive, it's a huge step and a little bit scary. But with the right preparation and the right mindset, you can make the leap with confidence and fly on your own. In this blog post, we'll take a look at how to know when you're ready to fly solo, what your instructor is looking for, and how to make it a smooth ride.


Preparation:


Log your hours:

Before you can fly solo, you need to log a certain number of hours with an instructor. It's like trying to run a marathon without training, you're not ready. Make sure you log the hours you need and are familiar with the aircraft.


Learn the regulations:

You need to know the regulations and procedures for flying solo. It's like trying to drive without knowing the rules of the road, you're going to get in trouble. Make sure you're familiar with the regulations and can follow them.


Practice, practice, practice:

The most important thing you can do to prepare for flying solo is to practice. It's like trying to play a guitar, the more you practice, the better you'll get. Make sure you're comfortable with all the manoeuvres and procedures.


Female Pilot first solo

Showing your Instructor you're ready:


Communicate:

Make sure you communicate effectively with your instructor. It's like trying to have a conversation with someone who doesn't speak your language, it's not going to go well. Make sure you understand and can follow instructions.


Be confident:

Show your instructor that you're confident and ready to fly solo. It's like trying to give a presentation without confidence, no one will believe you. Show your instructor you're ready to take the leap.


Be safe:

Show your instructor that you prioritise safety. It's like trying to walk on a tightrope without a safety net, it's not a good idea. Make sure you're following all safety procedures.


What the Instructor is looking for:


Knowledge:

Your instructor wants to make sure you have the knowledge and understanding to fly solo. It's like trying to take a test without studying, you're not going to do well. Make sure you're familiar with the regulations and procedures.


Skill:

Your instructor wants to make sure you have the skill and ability to fly solo. It's like trying to play a sport without practice, you're not going to be good. Make sure you're comfortable with all the manoeuvres and procedures.


Safety:

Your instructor wants to make sure you prioritise safety when flying solo. It's like trying to cook without following a recipe, it's not going to end well. Make sure you're following all safety procedures.


How it should go on the day:


Be prepared:

Make sure you're prepared for the solo flight. It's like trying to go on a hike without water, it's not a good idea. Make sure you have all the necessary equipment and know what to expect.


Take your time:

Don't rush the solo flight. It's like trying to eat a hotdog in one bite, it's not going to be pretty. Take your time and make sure you're comfortable before taking off.


Enjoy the ride:

Most importantly, enjoy the ride. It's like going on a rollercoaster, it's scary but also exciting. Enjoy the experience of flying solo and take in the beauty of the skies.

Student pilot performs first solo
Enjoy your first solo. It will be nerve-wracking but exciting!

Communicate:

Stay in communication with your instructor and ground support throughout the flight. It's like trying to navigate without a map, you'll get lost. Make sure you're in constant communication to ensure a safe flight.


Follow procedures:

Follow all procedures and regulations during the flight. It's like trying to bake a cake without following the recipe, it's not going to turn out well. Make sure you're following all procedures to ensure a safe flight.


Overcome Imposter Syndrome:

Dog flying an aeroplane
Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome can be a real pain in the cockpit, especially for pilots flying solo for the first time. It's that nagging feeling of self-doubt and the belief that you're not cut out for the job, despite all the evidence to the contrary. But don't let imposter syndrome be the pilot of your thoughts, you got this! Remember, you wouldn't be flying solo if you weren't qualified to do so.


Stay calm:

Stay calm and focused during the flight. It's like trying to play a game of chess while getting a massage, it's not going to go well. Keep your focus and stay calm to ensure a safe flight.


The feeling of flying solo for the first time is like trying to ride a bicycle without training wheels, it's exhilarating and a little bit terrifying. You're on your own and in charge, but at the same time, you're thinking 'what if I crash and burn?'. But once you take-off and feel the freedom of being in the skies all by yourself, it's like finally being able to ride that bike without the training wheels, it's a sense of accomplishment and pride."


It's like having the whole world at your fingertips, but also realising that you're the only one responsible for keeping yourself in the air. It's a mix of excitement, adrenaline and a little bit of 'oh crikey, what have I gotten myself into?'. But as you fly through the clouds (not literally, strictly VFR!) and experience the beauty of the skies, you realise that flying solo is a truly magical experience that you'll never forget. It's like a first kiss, it's scary but also amazing.

It's a mix of excitement, adrenaline and a little bit of 'oh crikey, what have I gotten myself into?'.

Going solo as a pilot is a big step that requires proper preparation, the right mindset, and honed skills. By following the guidelines provided in this post, you will be better equipped to determine your readiness for solo flight and make the experience an enjoyable and safe one. Remember, safety should always be the top priority. Therefore, ensure that you are well-prepared, remain composed and maintain constant communication with your instructor throughout the flight.


If you found this article useful, then you're probably a student pilot. In that case, we have something you'll love. Check our QuizAero Bitesize Online Ground School. Whether you're studying for the NPPL, LAPL or PPL, we will get you through the theoretical exams first time! Click here to learn more.



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