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Average Solo Times?  
User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 51
Posted (14 years 4 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3567 times:

Hello all,

I was just wondering, for those PPL and above out there how many hours you had when you soloed for the first time, and if anyone has statistics on what the average solo time is...


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51 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4295 posts, RR: 35
Reply 1, posted (14 years 4 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3427 times:

8.3 for me.... 10-20 hours for average.

Chicks dig winglets.
User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (14 years 4 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3420 times:

Ok thanks...I am up to 15 hours now, I think I am close to it, my instructors were hinting at it the other day, I was just curious...


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User currently offlineGocaps16 From Japan, joined Jan 2000, 4409 posts, RR: 17
Reply 3, posted (14 years 4 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3413 times:

I soloed when I had around 40 hours. The catch is I started flying lessons when I was 14. (ie. changing CFIs like 10 times)


User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (14 years 4 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3411 times:

Hi USAFHummer.

I agree with XFSUgimpLB41X. When I did my First Solo in 1986, the average time was 15 hrs. It took me 18 hrs though, thanks to the weather in Toronto during the winter. My flight school's policy was that...if 30 days or more passed between lessons, your next lesson had to be a review of your last one. You couldn't advance to the next exercise. That was BullSh*t if you ask me. It was a way to get more money out of the students. It was also an insult...sugesting that I had no memory! Who knows what Transport Canada's PPL training rules are today.

I remember having a Cessna 150/52 booked for Friday, Saturday and Sunday every weekend for 3 months in the winter of 86, and every lesson was cancelled due to weather! That sure didn't help any.

I guess every country and flight school is different in the area of rules.

Also, some schools allow their students to fly around the pattern 2 or 3 times, performing a few Touch and Go's during their First Solo flight. Some only allow one trip around the patch. Like mine!

PS. I tape recorded my First Solo from the cockpit. It's cool to listen to now and then.

Chris  Smile

"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
User currently offlineNicolaki From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (14 years 4 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3403 times:

My first solo was at 12 hours, it was the best flight I ever had!

Like Chris said every school will set a limit of circuit patterns you can fly, mine was only one. Be sure to know how much you are allowed, I know someone who flew 6 circuits before the tower called him up and tell him that the school wants him to make this landing a full stop, the instructor forgot to brief him on the 1 circuit limit.


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (14 years 4 months 1 day ago) and read 3387 times:

Thanks again all...I am on Lesson 8 of my flight school's program, solo is Lesson 11, and it takes me approximately 1 to 2 flights to complete one of the lessons, so I have about 4 to 6 lessons left, which, if all goes well on my current schedule, would set the big date for sometime in late October or early November, I'll keep you guys posted...


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User currently offlineTwotterwrench From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (14 years 4 months 23 hours ago) and read 3375 times:


User currently offlineQantas737 From Australia, joined Jul 2000, 738 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (14 years 4 months 21 hours ago) and read 3372 times:

9 hours

User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6160 posts, RR: 13
Reply 9, posted (14 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3335 times:

I had to dig up my log book for this one!  Smile

I did my solo at 30 hours, not becuase im slow, but becuase thats what i could afford. I could only go up maybe 1-2 times a week, but i believe it made a better pilot out of me.

My school made me do 3 times around, no biggie, except for the fact that my instructor was sitting at the picnic tables near the threshold taking pictures Big grin.


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User currently offlineCheckerboard From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2001, 33 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (14 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3327 times:

9 hours for me

User currently offlineEricCieslar From Australia, joined Apr 2001, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (14 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3328 times:

i did mine at 9 hours
im pretty sure i could have done it at atleast 7 if i did it full time and the wheather wasnt crapp. i reamember i was ment to do it at 8 hours but the wheather wasnt good and i wanted to fly anyway so i went up for an hour with the instructor. i now have 37 hours and im about to start my nav training.

User currently offlineCx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6784 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (14 years 3 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3313 times:

Would have been 11 hrs but bad wx led to 13.

User currently offlineCitation501sp From United States of America, joined May 2000, 210 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (14 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 3284 times:

7.5 for myself but the flight school here at the airport averages around 15-20 hours per student. Alot of it depends on the student themselves, my time was on the low side while i've heard of and know some students who end up with 40 50 hours before hand. But once you solo it is a feeling that you never come down from.

Smoke and Thunder! Stage 2 FOREVER!!!
User currently offlineWestern727 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 872 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (14 years 3 months 4 weeks ago) and read 3283 times:

To answer the question: I don't really remember. Which tells you how much significance time to solo has in my mind. There's guys who take forever to solo, and pass their checkride right off. Then there's people who solo right off, and bust their checkride. To solo means that you only have the eye/hand, physical control of the airplane down. There are so many more components of a safe, competent pilot. So why worry about comparing solo times?

Jack @ AUS
User currently offlineTAA_Airbus From Australia, joined Nov 1999, 726 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3271 times:

Forget about averages for solo times and stuff, meaningless. Different scenarios, different course, different weather etc etc lead to eronious figures.

You go when your ready, not when to average says you should.

You go when your instructor says your ready, not when the syllabus says you should.

ie. You fly from a paddock, where you land in any direction and take off in any direction, and where there is no travel to a designated training area, it will take you 5 hours to go solo.

If you fly from a busy GA aerodrome, where you are always holding and there is alot of taxiing, lots of go arounds and weather is shitty, strong x-winds, and where the training area is not directly adjacent to the aerodrome, it can take what will seem like an eternity.

So forget about averages, forget about going solo, it will happen, but the more you think about it, the more pressure you put on yourself and thats the last thing you need.

Trust me, I speak from experience.

Cheerio TAA_Airbus

User currently offlineSophieMaltese From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2064 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3253 times:

I soloed at a little under 20 I believe...I only fly on weekends though so if I flew more frequently it would have been sooner.

User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3247 times:

It used to be "normal" to solo around 8 hours, but that was then, now there is just too much stuff to know and be proficient with to get it done much before 15 to 20 hours.

User currently offlineD-AQUI From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 206 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3232 times:

10 hrs. to the first solo. I took my flying lessons in EDTF (Freiburg-Germany)) that at times has strong x-winds with lots of turbulence on approach to runway 16.

User currently offlineDragogoalie From Australia, joined Oct 2001, 1220 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3206 times:

9.8 hours of dual instruction and 28 landings. is what i needed before I soloed (which was just on this thursday)


Formerly known as Jap. Srsly. AUSTRALIA: 2 days!
User currently offlineBiggles20 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (11 years 10 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3164 times:

About 12 hours for me. I had about 3 1/2 hours worth of circuit flying before hand - approx. 1 hour more than what the average was for my course (EFT).


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (11 years 10 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3159 times:

Since I started this thread way back when and never provided the promised update, I'll give it now:

Looking back on my logbook, the elusive first solo finally occured on November 27, 2001 after 23.7 hrs...


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User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2165 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (11 years 10 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3144 times:

19.9 Hours

Flew today and passed my 100th hour of time my logbook.

Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineA380900 From France, joined Dec 2003, 1124 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (11 years 10 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3124 times:

5H46. The plane was quite easy to fly (rallye).

User currently offlineBMAbound From Sweden, joined Nov 2003, 660 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (11 years 10 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3101 times:

Started on my PPL in November and soloed in March, after 14 hrs. Couldn't fly for 6 weeks around Christmas, due to the not-so-efficient bureaucratic machine in the US. After 6 hrs dual, I appearenly had the wrong visa...

Sucks to be a foreigner sometimes! Big grin


Altitude is Insurance - Get Insured
25 Post contains images Saintsman : As others have mentioned, don't make a big deal about time. I know it's a big milestone but you need to solo when you are ready and safe. And safe is
26 FSPilot747 : I soloed on something of about 25 or so hours. I would have done it quicker but I kept taking long breaks 'cause of school, and at the time only flew
27 KYIPpilot : I think it was around 22 hours for me. Everytime I was ready, it was either too windy or the clouds/vis would not permit it.
28 Post contains images Fly727 : 19.3 9/11 got me at my hour 10. I pretty much had to start all over again after being grounded for 23 days. RM
29 Saleem : 4 hrs and 20 minutes For RCC - Recreational Competency Certificate For Ultralight Aircrafts
30 Flyf15 : 15.1 hours for me...
31 Sllevin : I think it's generally a combination of time and duration. Like anything, if you train constantly, you will fly fewer hours. I sat down and saved all
32 N766UA : Right around 15 logged for me...
33 SupraZachAir : I was signed off and ready to go at 9 or so, but didn't do it until 17. Contributing factors: Weather, personal schedule conflicts. Oh well. I say don
34 Bsergonomics : 7 Hours 10 mins. Bu that was about 14 years ago. Ask Skipper. Back in his day, it was about 2 1/2 hours... (apologies, apologies, apologies....)
35 707cmf : 17something hours, but in a taildragger, and having done otherss things than just circuits beforehand. 707
36 Soulman : 9.2 from memory. Like people have said - it's not necessarily when you do it - it's how well you do it. Enjoy the ride. Soulman.
37 Post contains images Bragi : I flew 15.3 hours in a course of 5 1/2 months before my first solo. (I was waiting to turn 16! )
38 Planespotting : 15 or so because i didn't get my medical until then. ooops...
39 Jderden777 : i think i was just over 5 hours when i first soloed...that was just over a year ago and now i'm working on my commercial...
40 Biggles20 : Hello All, 707cmf - you mention you had to do other "things" before doing circuits, but surely everyone does? Please correct me if i'm wrong as I flew
41 BMAbound : Biggles20, stalls are certainly practiced before attempting a civilian solo. Spins, I'm not sure about the FARs, however, I did them 'til I wanted to
42 Skymonster : 14.5 hours before first solo. As far as doing other things coming first is concerned, usually its things like general handling, stalls, steep turns, e
43 CalPilot17 : 5.5 hours, had alot of flightsim time, still not bad for the second busiest ga airport in the nation.
44 JBirdAV8r : 7 hours. 5.5 hours, had alot of flightsim time, still not bad for the second busiest ga airport in the nation. I'm sorry, this is not a competition. A
45 CalPilot17 : Calm down buddy I was just saying, I managed to make it all the way to the CFII and MEL without killing my self so far. So please go preach to one of
46 Post contains images Ralgha : Here's a cookie. I've actually gotten the impression that you're bragging too, from the FS thread mostly. Dangerous attitude. Just realize that it doe
47 CalPilot17 : You read my FS post, point was your learning about being a head, and having a plane B, but you say "Dangerous attitude," how does that work, I flew wi
48 Ralgha : I didn't say (nor did anyone else) that soloing at low time is dangerous. It's the bragging attitude that is. Maybe you didn't see it as bragging, but
49 CalPilot17 : Most of the CLASS B,C generally have round numbers, I don't generally want a student pilot on their first solo cross country flying right under class
50 CalPilot17 : Just one more thing "As long as you're outside the airspace, no sweat." is a very "Dangerous attitude," yea thats the kind of atitude like lets go sho
51 Ralgha : Oh really? Explain to me how being outside airspace is dangerous? There's a huge difference between flying an NDB with crappy equipment, or flying IFR
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