First Solo

This one took a few days to get posted, because it took a few days to digest my feelings on it.

Last Sunday was my first solo. After a few good landings, my instructor got out of the plane, and had me run a few take offs and landings on my own. The first two were good. The third, was not.

On the third pass, I hit the flaps too soon, lost too much altitude. So, I ramped up the power, and got back up to the proper angle on final. My air speed went up as well, so I started compensating. Power out, full flaps. My approach was a bit high, but still managable.

At flare out, something went not quite right, which I still don’t quite know what happened. Perhaps I flared too soon. In any case, I landed fairly hard, bounced back upwards much more than I liked, and decided it was not worth saving. Cram the power! Cram the carb heat! Hmm. Flaps. I’m at full flaps, which means, I’m not going to get off the ground like this. The right thing, would have been to level out, then reduce to half flaps, and wait until I was far off the ground. The wrong thing, is fit the flaps fully, while close to the ground. This had me still descending, as I still hadn’t had enough forward speed. I tipped the nose down for a moment, just to get speed back, and leveled out again - then climbed out normal, and did a go around.

The fourth approach, was spot on; but that third approach definately left a shadow for the day.

I know not to slam the flaps all the way on a go around, but .. I still did. I mixed things up a bit with a touch-and-go (which, you fully retract the flaps, once you’re on the ground), which we had done prior; and, I overreacted, knowing that full power plus full flaps wasn’t going to get me off the ground.

The cool thing, I didn’t panic during the event. The uncool thing, was that the rest of the day (and all freaking night), I kept replaying things in my head, trying to figure out what why I went wrong. It took a few days to fully digest; but now that I recognize what happened, I’m feeling much better about it.

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