Behind the scenes at LTF
A first solo is an exciting milestone for every student pilot. It’s when you truly put your skills and knowledge to the test. Sitting in the cockpit, taking-off, doing a circuit and landing the plane all by yourself. If you can pull all this off in a cool, calm and collected way, you’ve truly earned the right to call yourself a pilot. Lots of things need to align when getting ready for your first solo.
The moment will be great, no matter what. Be mindful though, expectations, financial constraints, traffic and instructors all play a part in creating an enjoyable experience. At Learn to Fly, we have a few strategies up our sleeve to ensure the day is as unique as possible.
The first solo is arguably the safest flight a pilot will take as conditions need to be perfect, so there aren’t any unexpected complications. To achieve this, we make sure:
- Traffic is minimal
- Sun glare won’t be distracting
- Weather is calm without any wind, bumps or crosswind
- Aircraft is in good condition, fuelled up and ready to go
Ensuring you have a safe and secure flight means you’ll be able to focus on executing techniques with perfection, admiring the views and soaking up the moment.
Top grade instructors
Only Senior and Grade 2 Instructors are permitted to send you on your first solo flight. With experienced eyes deciding whether you’re ready and watching over you facilitate guiding you towards a safe and successful journey.
Instructors have an eye for knowing which students are ready to go solo and a little insight into what they’re looking for can be helpful when working towards this significant goal. At LTF, we need to see you:
- Fly and land the plane safely (not necessarily smoothly) every time
- Recognise trouble and react appropriately
- Make quick, accurate landing decisions under pressure
- Keep the excitement at bay — heads need to be clear and focus on making the right decisions
- Navigate the air with high situational awareness. Eg. know where other traffic is, how to separate away and follow the sequence
- Complete the solo check efficiently. Nervous students can take longer and this can affect your concentration and energy.
They say a picture tells a thousand words, which is why each student pilot gets their photo taken when they go solo. For years to come, you’ll be able to look back fondly on the nervous excitement you felt and see how far you’ve come.
There’s no rush!
Everyone loves a bit of healthy competition, and some students enjoy challenging each other to see who can go solo with the least amount of flying hours. Like many things, taking the slow and steady approach is best so you can be sure you’re fully prepared when the moment comes.