Even though my CFI awarded me a tailwheel endorsement the other day, due to the winds, I didn’t solo the Cub. I set up one more lesson to get checked out in the Cub so I could rent it. I was so happy when the day turned out to have clear skies and calm winds, exactly what I needed!
I made my way out to the airport, excited and nervous about flying solo. I realized I haven’t flown solo since before I got my PPL. Only once afterwards had I been the only pilot in the aircraft. I knew though that my CFI wouldn’t get out unless he felt I was okay to go.
We did a few landings. I wasn’t quite pulling back hard enough on the stick on the roll out. We worked on correcting that before I soloed. After I did one more landing, my CFI asked if I was okay if he got out. I said “okay!” and I dropped him off before heading off to solo. He said have fun and just put it back in the hangar once I was done.
I have a confession. Every time I’ve soloed up until now, it’s to fit a requirement. I did my solo practice time, I did my solo cross countries, and that was it. I didn’t enjoy soloing. Yes, I enjoyed knowing I can do it all by myself, but I didn’t want to seek out opportunities to fly solo.
This was different. I didn’t want to stop soloing! My first three landings were pretty good. It felt great to have my instructor out of the plane so it could climb faster and I didn’t have to go larger patterns to get to pattern altitude. I was feel great and having so much fun. I knew I had to stop soon since I worked later that night. One more landing I told myself!
There was someone else in the pattern on downwind it looked like. This Cub doesn’t have any electrical system, so no way of talking to them. I rushed a decided to take off before them. Don’t rush in an airplane! I knew that before, and this just reinforced the lesson. I taxied out onto the runway and pushed the throttle forward before I was lined up straight. I got control of the aircraft shortly before coming to the edge of the runway. Whew, okay, I’ll never do that again.
I know I’ll go and solo the Cub again for fun since I truly enjoyed soloing for the first time. Now back to the Citabria for aerobatics lessons! I couldn’t be more excited!