It felt like I would never get to this stage, but I managed to yesterday.
I arrived at my gliding club, and it seemed like a pretty normal day at first. Me and my instructor did 4 flights together at first, practicing some cable breaks and some spinning. However at the end of the fourth flight, as I was strapping myself in again my instructor didn’t seem to be getting in. I was about to question him, when he informed me that this flight would be my first solo and that I would be going up without him.
Getting ready and carrying out the pre flight checks, with my instructor standing right next to me
Checks done, now connected to the cable with my instructor holding the wing - I would be winch launching for this flight.
Cable is live, all out is called and I’m airborne! Too late to go back now.
Touching down after a short but successful flight. I pulled back slightly too hard and the nose was much lighter as my instructor wasn’t in there anymore resulting in me floating a bit ,but managed to get it stable again. After that, just because it wasn’t very busy I managed to fit in two more flights.
Picture of the log book. (As you can see, I just have to mess it up on my solo flights)
Overall, pretty successful day. I’m very happy with how it went and the weather was quite good, however there wasn’t much lift around meaning the flights only lasted about 5 to 10 minutes. It was a pretty weird feeling looking back and seeing the seat behind me empty, and that everything was under my own hands. It happened a bit later than I wanted it to due to Covid, though. Overall, it took 100 flights, 20 months and 22 hours.
The next step would be to transfer to higher performance single seater gliders and work up to cross country; there’s still a lot to learn and you’re still considered a student even after you’ve gone solo, but soloing is still at least one step forwards.
I also apologise for the quality of the photos; my dad only had his Huawei to take them and the camera isn’t great.
Thanks for viewing!