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What Happens on Your First Solo Flight?

16 December 2019   Learn to Fly

One of the most exciting milestones to achieve when you attend flight school is your first solo flight! It’s a huge moment that puts all your hard work to the test; building your confidence and teaching you exactly what it’s like to have full control of and responsibility for an aircraft. Here are some insights into what to expect from your first solo flight, from Monmouth Executive Airport’s flight school in NJ.

When Will My Solo Flight Happen?

There’s no exact date planned for anyone’s first solo flight. It will only happen once your instructor feels that you are ready, after considerable preparation and testing. Even then, your instructor will wait for the ideal weather and flight conditions so that the flight is not too challenging.

Minimum Requirements for a Solo Flight

In addition to your instructor’s blessing, you’ll need to meet the minimum requirements for a solo flight as set out by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This includes:

Ground Training:

Passing knowledge tests based on Part 61 and Part 91 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs), including testing based on the rules and regulations of the base airport and the operational limitations of the aircraft that will be used.

Flight Training:

While there is no set rule for flight hours, around 20 to 30 flight hours are typical. In addition, you must be fully trained in various maneuvers including takeoffs, landings, traffic patterns, emergency procedures, go arounds, stall entries and recoveries, and more.

The Typical Solo Flight Experience

After your instructor has approved a fair weather day for your flight, you’ll likely go up with them to do a final run-through of several maneuvers, including your takeoff and landing maneuvers – often several in a row. If they are happy with your performance, you’ll land and taxi back to drop off your instructor.

Your solo flight will start right from the beginning, with the aircraft engine off. After your instructor has signed your logbook and student pilot certificate, you’ll be allowed to proceed.

Be prepared for it to feel quite a bit different from your past experiences! It’ll be quieter without your instructor there to chat with you and you may find yourself progressing through maneuvers a little faster as a result. 

You may run through maneuvers several times, building your skills and confidence significantly with each repetition. Be prepared to make a few mistakes – this is one of the most significant learning experiences you’ll have as a pilot, after all. But, stay calm and remember that you have the skills and knowledge to correct yourself safely. And, have fun!

Touch the Skies and Learn to Fly with Monmouth Airport’s Flight School in NJ!

Your journey into a career as a pilot starts with getting your pilot’s license at a top flying school in NJ like Monmouth Executive Airport. 

We have our own FAA certified A&P/IA on the premises. In addition, our location outside of the crowded New York area airspace designations means that you get to experience clear, uncrowded skies as you learn to fly. Our classes and lessons are led by experienced and fully certified flight instructors dedicated to helping you achieve your dreams.

For more information about flying lessons in NJ and how to learn to fly, please visit our website at or contact us today.

The New Monmouth Jet Center is ready now, and building for the future