i finally went on my first solo flight today. and it was simply amazing.
running up to today, i was more worried about my solo check than the solo itself. 'solo check' is basically a test where we do take-off and landings above the aerodrome, and the instructor will decide whether or not to clear the student and send him for solo.
so yesterday i saw my instructor, and he's all happy and just tells me 'well tomorrow morning just make sure you shave, shower, and shit. remember those 3 things!'
he is quite unpredictable la basically.
anyways during my solo check i screwed up quite a bit. really dumb stupid atrociously silly mistakes, like not maintaing height/speed/power. and boy i thought i wasn't gonna pass the check.
thank God my landings made up for that. prior to this, my landings used to be horrible. once, in the early stages of learning how to land, my instructor yelled, "are you trying to kill all 3 of us in the plane?!"
it was NOT funny.
surprisingly, even to myself, my landings today was good. i didn't baloon, landing wasn't hard, or even out of control (which usually IS the case).
so he cleared me for solo, but not before a few questions:
him: can you MAINTAIN yr height and speed and power?
me: yes sir.
him: are you SURE?!
me: yes sir.
him: are you confident?
me: yes sir.
him: ok, i'm clearing you for solo. do your pre take off checks and don't forget to...
it was more than just music to my ears. it was unbelieveable. and i started to fumble with my checks. always rechecking if the fuel pump was on, lights on, fuel correct tank, etc etc..
finally i said:
"kota baru ground, APAC 09Siera ready for taxi", and there was no turning back. i started to freak out. taking off isn't so hard, landing is the worry. as they say, "taking off is optional, landing is not".
then i lined up, did my checks, got clearance for take off, advanced to 2000RPM let go of the brakes, and advanced to full throttle.
so far so good.
40 kts. 45 kts. increasing rather slowly.
and i checked my rpm, and it was stuck at 2100, when in fact it should have been somewhere around 2600.
should i freaking abort? THINK THINK THINK SHARMAN!
so i did what an engineer once did, reduce power a little and advanced it back to full power. luckily it worked and the power increased steadily. reached 65kts and i rotated. maintained an attitude for 80kts, trimmed the aircraft, and carried on as usual.
i don't know why but my speed was too high, or i was gaining height, which i started to freak out coz i was suppose to start descending soon, even though my power settings were normal for cruise.
luckily i made some adjustments along the way, reached finals at the correct height, maintained my rate of descent and speed, which was the most important thing. staying on centreline wasn't so difficult with the light winds.
everything went well. i reached above the runway threshold, pulled back on the control collumn to straighten the aircraft then cut power. and the aircraft didnt balloon! to my amazement! ballooning is when you increase the aircraft's nose too high that it starts gaining height, and you do not want it to happen.
flared out nicely and the aircraft just sinked so smoothly on the runway. it lost height, wings were level, and slowly just touched the runway with the main wheels and then i lowered the nose wheel to get all 3 wheels back on solid ground. best ever landing i had ever done. it was amazing. i couldn't believe i did it.
i did not kill myself, or even damage the aircraft. i friggin flew a plane by myself, and landed it all alone. my instructor thought me well :D i friggin landed the aircraft!
during lunch he came over and congratulated me on my first solo. he smiled. it was satisfying to know i didn't disappoint him, like how i usually do.
sometimes its not hard to feel tiny in this massive industry. it still freaks me out that i'm actually here. it feels like its too big for me. more than i can grasp. but today just proved to me how in love i am with the industry when you actually realize with time and guidance, you can do it. may take a lil longer, but its worth the wait.
its really hard to put in words what i'm feeling. its like that itch that you just can't seem to scratch. the smirk you can't seem to wipe off. you just have to experience it yourself to know what's it all about.
might not be about landing an aircraft for you, but there's just something in your life that's gonna leave a psychotic smile on your face. and when you do find it, you just wanna live off it and suck all of its every tiny essence of euphoria it has.
for me, i'm more-than-words-can-describe happy that today went so well. it wasn't perfect, but it was perfect to me. and you know what?
i live another day to do it again and again and again..