Nice thread idea! Mine was August 9, 2005 in Cessna 152 N7339W, "The Nice 152" as I call it (we only have two at DCA in Dayton). One of the coolest days of my life. I was a little nervous when my instructor & I taxied back to Delta Connection Academy's ramp at DAY
. We went in, he reminded me of what I needed to do & I headed back to the plane. I started it up, picked up my clearance & taxied to runway 18 at intersection Zulu. I did the run-up as usual & once I was cleared for takeoff, took a deep breath, gave my seat belt a tug (don't know why) & firewalled the throttle. Once I did that, my nervousness turned into excitement.
I got in the air & made left traffic for 18. I went through the pattern, landed & cleared the runway. I cleared at Zulu, made a 180 & held short at the same point I had previously taken off from. With a laugh, I said "There's one." I was cleared onto the runway & took off again, this time being given left traffic for 24R. Because the end of 24R is just past where 18-36 is located, it didn't take long for me to get back on the ground. I cleared the runway about halfway down & shortly thereafter, was up again. On the last leg, which was also for 24R, I was told to extend my downwind for RJ
traffic on final for 24R. I looked for the traffic, but wasn't able to find it, which I told the controller & he offered to call my base. Shortly before he called my turn, I saw the CRJ on final. I touched down on 24R & let it roll out before clearing the runway. I don't exactly remember where I cleared, but it took forever for me to taxi back to DCA
's ramp, which is on the East end of the airport.
When I got there, shut the plane off & opened the door, one of my friends (another DCA
student), reached in & shook my hand, saying "Nice job! How'd it go?", to which I said "Coolest thing I've ever done." After talking for a minute, he headed back to his plane (he was doing a lesson after me) & my instructor came out. He's really laid back & obnoxious & this was no exception; I got an obnoxious "Hey hey!" out of him when he got to the plane. We tied it down & headed inside.
I was signing a couple forms for him & in the middle of that, he said to the 8 person ground school I had after I flew "Lady & Gentlemen, Josh Sprague, first solo!", to which people applauded & trying to fight back a laugh, I waved. A couple people & another instructor asked me how it went & I told them it was awesome. After my class, I got my shirt cut & also learned I wasn't totally following DCA
's dress code properly- I had a dark grey undershirt & they're supposed to be white. The problem was fixed the next day, but my instructor's still trying to figure out how he's going to write on the shirt.
I probably didn't stop smiling for a week. It was awesome to finally solo; I had had some setbacks at the start of the summer, including an ear infection which kept me grounded for 2 weeks, but to solo & get my wings was awesome. The thing was that I was having so much fun with the solo that part of me thought about going around on the last leg so I'd get a few more minutes to fly alone. Not wanting to risk getting in deep sh*t for whatever reason, I quickly thought better of it & stopped at three laps. Still, it was an awesome experience. Easy way to impress your friends, too. "I've soloed in an airplane!"
[Edited 2006-01-14 00:07:55]
A310/319/320/321/333, ARJ, BN2, B722/73S/733/734/735/73G/738/739/744/757/753/767/763/764/777, CR1/2/7/9, DH6, 328, EM2/ERJ/E70/E75/E90, F28/100, J31, L10/12/15, DC9/D93/D94/D95/M80/M88/M90/D10, SF3, SST