13/09/16 – As I had two lessons this week, and we weren’t sure whether the weather would be suitable for circuits, and therefore my solo, Luke and I had planned a flight away from Gamston for a bit of variety, and to get me started on navigation. Luke picked Nottingham City Airport, at Tollerton, just outside Nottingham, as a good place for a first time navigation.
As well as drawing the route on the chart, he’d also already filled in the pilot log and showed me how he’d calculated the actual heading required and the speed we would be getting, based on the direction and distance to the airfield, modified by the wind. This allowed us to work out how long it would take us to get there. From the chart we could work out what points of interest we should be able to see on our route, and at what times, to make sure we I wasn’t flying off course.
Nottingham is a lovely airfield, and highly recommended for a visit, my flight there went smoothly, I had some cake (a rare treat for me as I’m on a diet) and we had a nice flight back. The temperature was very high – 29 degrees – and it was a lovely day out.
As we arrived back at Gamston Luke got me to do a couple of circuits. As we landed after the first one he took control, taxied the aircraft off the runway and said it was time for me to do my solo. I was very excited at the prospect of finally going solo, but calm and confident as he’d taught me well. I went up, made a nice well judged circuit, and a slightly bumpy but acceptable landing.
That was it! I finally considered myself a pilot. This wasn’t just my best day’s flying – fly away, cake, fly back, solo – but really one of the best days ever in my life. Only my wedding day and the birth of my son can surpass it. I was proud of myself, but also amazed that I’d got so far. I really knew that getting my pilot’s licence was going to be a fantastic achievement for me, and open up a world of new horizons.