I did it, after 4 long months of winter flying with the sim, I flew my Hobbico Superstar trainer last weekend in gusty winds, but the instructor would let me take off or land by myself. I think I could have handled it, but he's the instructor so I followed his advice.
But tonight in pretty decent winds, I took off, flew it and landed on my own twice ........ with an instructor standing by just in case. There were no buddy boxes tonight, however, since Tuesday and Thursday are our regular days for instruction at the field.
I think it may have been Ed who said the reality would be in some ways easier than flying the sim. That would have been correct except for on thing ............ my case of the nerves.
Congrats! My nerves manifest themselves in what I call "Sewing Machine Leg". One leg will start twitching like Im pumping one of those old treadle operated sewing machines. Usually its when Im flying a higher performance kit built plane for the first time. The worst was the very first time I flew my glow trainer. Must have looked like I was throwing a fit or something!
Good for you, Harlan. About nerves...they never go away and should not. A lay-off for a season will bring the "first-flight" nerves back again.
I was flying all the time leading up to the NATS one year and I thought I could not have been better prepared. I put in two really good practise flights and then I was called for my first official flight.
Within five seconds into flight, I was aware my shoulders were tight, I was slightly bent over staring at the model, and my hands were shaking so much it was like some one had hold of the xmitter jerking it around.
I had to talk to myself and calm me down.
Every flight was like that as long as I was in the running for a trophy. When I knew I was not going to win anything, I relaxed, enjoyed the rest of the flights more, and did just about as good as when I was quivering jello on the flight line.
Learning with an instructor is interesting since that is rather new to me. How would nerves have been with no simulator flying and no instructor? If it was just you and one equally inexperienced buddy on a field?
It might have been easier with the nerves-thing because while selecting and building the model, you would have been resigned to crashing a few times while learning and you would be hoping not to total it but have something to repair. The logic was, 'I built it and I can repair it if torn up. It just needs to last a few flights and the next model will last longer.'
Extra needle valves were as necessary a part of the flight box as props...wooden ones.
Congrats on your solo. Good feeling , Huh . And that case of the nerves will go away. One day soon you'll be flying and wondering what's different ? Then you realize your kness aren't knocking anymore and the heart has slowed to only a couple hundred beats :-)