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First Solo Flight for a Trainee Pilot

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

An Unforgettable Occasion for Every Pilot

Flight Training for a trainee-pilot commences with Air Experience. Post Air Experience flight, a trainee-pilot undergoes structured flight classes. Usually, you as a Trainee Pilot will be assigned to one instructor who will train you to next significant stage. Most likely, in India you will be assigned to an Assistant Flight Instructor or Flight Instructor. As a next step of Structured Flight Training, you will be trained for general handling of the aircraft. General handling includes flight classes for effects of control, climb & descent, shallow turn, medium level turn, steep turns, climbing turn, descending turn, 180 / 360 degree turns, stall identification and recovery, effects of power of various maneuvers and the like. Once you are familiar with general handling, there may be a check and post passing the check, you will be progressed to next stage i.e. circuit & landings. Circuit and landing as the name sounds is centric around the airfield in a rectangular fashion. You will be trained with best practices for take-off, climbing turn, level turn, approach checks, approach and landing. As you gain proficiency in circuit & landing, you will be asked to handle radio calls and keep track of traffic in vicinity as well. Circuit & landing is a repetitive exercise where you may be doing around 3-5 circuits in an hour. This exercise will train your mind for take-off, climbing, approach and landing. During this exercise, you will also be exposed to standard operating procedure in case of any emergency. Once, you can handle all aspects of flying a circuit & landing independently. you may be checked by Chief flight Instructor or Deputy Chief Flight Instructor or Flight Instructor. If they find some scope of improvement, they may handover you back to your assigned instructor for some more training. However, if you are found fit, the checking instructor after doing some circuits & landings with you, may ask you to pull over to stand and don’t stop the engine. That’s the time, when the checking instructor tells you, you are good to go. He will step out of the aircraft and give you thumbs up. You will now be supposed to do one circuit SOLO. You will now request Air Traffic Controller for one Circuit & Landing with revised person on board i.e. 01. Following the taxi instructions, you will take the aircraft to Runway in use and depart as per clearance provided. As you release brakes and advance power, the aircraft rolls on Runway, your training takes control of your mind. Since, first time you are the sole occupant, aircraft feels lighter and performance of the aircraft feels better. Close to rotation speed, you give slight back pressure on control wheel and you are all alone in air for the first time. Usually for First Solo, Air Traffic Controllers don’t give any delay. Therefore, completing the circuit and landing should not be a complicated process. Once you land and taxi to designated stand, most likely you will be greeted by your Instructors and fellow students. Usually all schools have a ritual for people getting released for First Solo. This one circuit & landing will not be any usual flight, you will experience a feeling that is once in lifetime for any Pilot. Your FIRST SOLO comes only once and stays for life. After First Solo, you will be sent for Second, third and fourth solo. Before each of them, you will be checked and trained as per performance. In second, third and fourth Solo, you will be doing two, three and four circuits respectively. Post Fourth solo, you will be called check free. Check free means, you will not be checked every time before you go solo. In India, once you become check free, the senior most instructor will place Wings on your uniform. OFLY objective is to disseminate fair and genuine information regarding Aviation. We do not represent any specific flight school. Author of this blog is an Indian Private Pilot and keen observer of Indian aviation market. He flies with multiple flying training schools of India. For consultation on Learn to Fly as hobby or profession. Book your appointment here or write to us


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