Thursday, November 09, 2006
My first solo:
I'm in a 152, approaching 15 hours total time...
Hmm, circuits are going well. I haven't bent the wingspar for at least 3 landings. Now if only I could get over my crippling fear of heights, I'd be set. The guy sitting next to me is saying something, so I'd best smile and nod. On final, I'll try to flare this time. Ahh, that was a nice touchdown, I bet I looked exactly like Tom Cruise if he flew a 152. Wait a minute, what did he just say? Let him out here? But we are in the middle of the runway. Umm, okay. I'll just shut down the airplane then. No?
Sweet zombie jebus, I'm alone in the airplane. Aight, remember the basics. Do I need carb heat on takeoff? Got..to...think! Push the red knob forward and steer with my feet. Ahh there I go, I'm already up to 20 knots. Now 30! This thing is a monster! 60 knots now, so I think I'm supposed to pull back. Yup, that did the trick, I'm now airborne and all alone! This is sa-weet! I now have the power of life and death over all those puny mortals walking and driving their cars below me! Wait, I'm supposed to do something now.
//(high-pitched, squeaky voice) "Zulu Charlie Tango, downwind for a full-stop, cleared to land"
Wait, was I supposed to say that last part? Whatever, I'm flying solo! Aight, I should do the downwind checklist 'cause this thing is pretty damn fast and it's a handful to fly, and I don't want to get behind the airplane at a critical moment. carb heat on, rpm back to 1,700. Aight, I'm set up for landing. I think I'll land without flaps, I don't want to overload myself. Damn, this runway is small. When I fly a jet I hope I don't have to land on any puny 8,000' ones like this, I'll go off the end for sure. Aight, here I go. All alone, I'm going to pull this off. The runway is coming up fast fast fast, I can barely react in time.
Nice, I think I only bounced once! The instructor said I should taxi in after one circuit, and I agree. I'm exhausted! Aight, here's the ramp area, so I guess I'll shut 'er down and walk in. I won't forget the parking brake this time.
Hey guys, thanks for having the confidence in me to let me go solo! Sure, I'll stand outside to get my picture taken. Captain Sully at your service! You want me to slowly back up against this wall while you get your camera in focus? Certainly, I'll think of a nice pose for the....egad! I can't breathe, icy cold water is all over me. Wtf? Oh, nice one guys. The old "bucket of cold water dropped from the hangar roof" trick. Ahh, what do I care. I may be damp, but I'm a 152 Captain!
18 years later, I can still remember it in minute detail.
So tell me about yours...