GARY – SOLO
Never thinking myself ready, shocked was an understatement when Reza hopped out of the plane and told me to go solo. We had done a couple landings and he made up an excuse to go to his car. So I figured that his faith and experience knew better then me. Since I had stopped the engine to let him out the first thing I did was flood it instead of starting it. But I quickly figured out what was wrong and how to correct. Some brief radio work and I was in the run-up area getting ready for my first solo. The tower asked confirmation when I told them I was on my first solo. But with clearance I took off. Take off was easy now and working around to the landing almost came like habit. The first landing was firm and I taxied off the runway. Forgetting myself, I asked for clearance to parking and then had to amend the request to taxi back. The second time around was very smooth and the landing was really good (I did not bounce or screech). This time I taxied back and took off again. The third landing had a couple soft bounces, but I knew what to do and how to settle back to the ground safe and soft. This time I taxied back to parking. My first career solo flight coming to an end. The final surprise was Reza standing there with scissors, I really had no idea about the shirt cutting ritual! That capped the event with a very special memory.