What do you need to fly your First Solo Flight?

A pilot’s first solo flight is something that you will always remember . It’s a very significant  accomplishment and a major a confidence-builder. During the very first solo flight, the student will fly a few loops in the pattern and gain experience and confidence in their own abilities – without an instructor present coaching them. Student pilots often learn the most when by themselves and making mistakes on their own. I had my very first solo just a few weeks ago.

A student will go on their first solo flight  when your instructor feels that they are ready, and only after lots of preparation. There are specific maneuvers that your instructor is required to teach and specific topics that you must learn on the ground before you are allowed to fly an aircraft by yourself.

A student pilot must pass an aeronautical knowledge test based on topics in Part 61 and Part 91 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. The test will include airspace rules and procedures for the student’s home airport and flight characteristics and operational limitations for the aircraft to be flown. The flight instructor reviews the test and any incorrect answers with the student before the solo flight happens.

There is no minimum flight hour requirement for a student to solo, but some maneuvers have to be taught and the student must be proficient at them prior to their solo flight. Sometimes, a student will solo with about 10 or 15 hours, but often, the student requires more instructional time than that, and it’s not that uncommon for a student to accrue 20 or even 30 hours before they get to solo. According to FAR 61.87(d), a student pilot must be instructed in multiple maneuvers such as takeoffs and landings, traffic patterns, stall entries and recoveries, emergency procedures, and more.

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