Monday, 13 October 2008


Ex17a only ever appears in a logbook once, and it is now in mine, along with "Well Done!" from Neill, who ten minutes before sunset sent me solo. I can't remember exactly what he said but I remember him saying I was ready and, having initially responded a little reticently and heard him say "not good enough", realised I had to be very positive and before he could categorically declare, I insisted that I was ready, saying something ungracious but necessarily assertive like, "**** it, I'm ready, get out".

And I WAS ready too. I was nervous and excited, sure, but not scared. I was committed and got the most enormous wave of elation as I lifted off and knew that I was completely on my own and that from here on I was dependent entirely on my own skills and judgement. As I turned onto the down-wind leg, at about 7oo' (because of low cloudbase) my legs started shaking uncontrollably and late down-wind my foot jumped on the footpedal, briefly losing me revs, which must have alarmed Neill on the ground. There was nothing I could do about my disco legs, so I just tried to relax and concentrate on the turn-in.

All along I realised I was doing all my checks out loud, which is probably not a bad habit anyway, and I am pleased that I remembered all my RT calls. I think I rounded at base rather nicely and my descent on final and my round-out were good. It was incredibly exciting. It flew on longer, predictably, and leaning forward to ensure good length on my flare, I was able to brace my legs so that the nosewheel didn't shudder as I feared it might....and the touch-down was not bad at all - Cath actually said it was good! (steps back in amazement!). I let out a cheer, then turned and taxyed back to Neill, who was waiting with camera and congratulations.

I taxyed back to the hangar on my own and as I passed the fuel pumps I saw Cath and Dave holding up placards with marks out of ten :) and they were later joined by Stew for some more photos.

The drinks were on me in the Aviator.

Thanks to Stewart, Cath, Dave and Neill for sticking around to celebrate. But of course my greatest thanks go to Neill.



madman said...

Well done on the solo. Really enjoy reading the blog. Yet another biker taking to the air. Say hello to Cath and Stew from me next time you are at Sywell.
Bob T

Tinworm said...

I will be there on Sunday, first thing. Going up on the bike. I will be sure to say hi from you, Bob