Students learning to fly always look forward to their first solo flight. However, solo flying has risks, and even if you have already completed your first solo flight, you should still be aware of the dangers of flying solo. There are some tips and advice for staying safe while you are on a solo flight.
Check the Cockpit
You should make sure that you have everything you will need in the cockpit and that it is set up in the way you want it to be. Remember that you will be on your own and there won’t be anyone to hand you stuff. This means that you need to make sure that everything you need to have access to during the flight will be within your reach.
You do not want to fall asleep while flying so you need to try some techniques to stay awake and alert. This is more of a problem if you are flying at night. It is obviously best to not get in an airplane if you are tired to begin with. Be alert always and scan your instruments and your surroundings while flying. You need to know where you are always so that you do not wonder into controlled air space such as that which you would encounter over an airport.
Do not forget that you are not alone in the air and that there is other air traffic. Stay clear of places where there is more air traffic. Avoid flying into clouds and storms which will compromise your visibility. Do not underestimate the power of nature. Flying into storms is dangerous and reckless. If the weather looks strange or storms are expected, then it is better to not fly. Rather choose a day when the skies are clear, and weather is good. Remember that you are in a small plane that is vulnerable to strong winds such as microbursts. Besides which you will not have the visibility you need to stay safe if it is storming.
It is important not to skip briefings and you should have a backup plan in case something goes wrong. It is a good idea to be very familiar with emergency procedures in case of a danger to your life. If you know what to do in an emergency, it should decrease the chances of you panicking. Always use your checklists. This is very important, because remember that you are on your own, so there is nobody to check what you are doing. This means that it is that much easier for you to make a mistake.
You should always inform someone that you are going on a solo flight and let them know when you are expected to return. Make sure all your instruments are in good working condition and that your radio is working properly. If you lose communication with the ground you could end up having a big problem, especially in an emergency. By following these simple tips, we have given, you should be able to stay safe and enjoy your solo flight.