Before You Solo

“When’s my instructor ever going to let me solo?” It’s a common question, asked by many student pilots after only a few hours of flight instruction. The predictable answer is: When you are ready.

First, there are some things you need to learn about flying — more specifically, about flying out of a problem. Common flying problems include running out of fuel, stalling the aircraft (nosing the aircraft up until it quits flying), and becoming disoriented due to fear or visibility. So, before your instructor ever climbs out of the aircraft and tells you to “take it around” you can bet that the instructor will need to be comfortable that you can handle these problems without him or her on board.

Number of Take-Offs Equals Number of Landings (Hopefully)
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Of course, you’re not going to be able to “talk” your instructor into letting you solo. Instead, you will listen to instruction, respond, ask questions, learn from mistakes, and illustrate that you can fly the airport pattern without endangering yourself and the free world. Instructors recognize that a student’s learning often levels off early in training. That’s the first plateau and, if you’re ready, you might be endorsed for solo flight.

"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-- Andre Gide

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