Shortest Time to Solo

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Bede
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Shortest Time to Solo

Post by Bede » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:40 pm

Question for you instructors: What is the lowest time you have sent someone solo in?

My answer: 5.5hrs. The guy flew once a week. Absolutely incredible- had to help him on one landing throughout the whole pre solo stage. I probably could have sent him solo in about 4, but did an extra flight to make sure it wasn't a fluke. Unfortunately, the guy had a family and couldn't afford any more flying so he had to quite.
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by razorblade » Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:07 pm

One of my air cadets - 7.5 or something.
He passed his PPL flight test at 41 hrs too. I had to send him for 2 more hours of aimless sightseeing so he could get his license signed off.
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by cgzro » Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:48 pm

I took 8 hours to solo a tail dragger (Jodel) on a grass strip at 15 ;) but it had pretty much a stick, rudder pedals, ASI and altimeter and there was very little traffic on a huge grass strip so pretty simple. Instructor was an ex French Mirage pilot .. with a Texas-French accent if you can imagine that ;) .. good times ;)

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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by Big Pistons Forever » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:12 pm

How fast you solo is an utterly useless metric. The hard part in flying is not flying one circuit with the approval of, and under the watchfull eye of your instructor in close to perfect conditions, it is making the important in flight decisions all by yourself, including the most important one....when not to continue with your ftakeoff/flight/landing. How early you solo is IMO a poor predictor of the core PDM skills that make good pilots.
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by Strega » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:13 pm

using this word
metric
with respect to anything in aviation is utterly useless.
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by modi13 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:51 pm

Strega wrote:using this word
metric
with respect to anything in aviation is utterly useless.
Not in Europe.
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Invertago
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by Invertago » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:30 am

I took 20 hours to solo, but that was only because my big penis kept getting caught in the rudder peddles, had to solve the problem by upgrading me to a C182 which worked out just fine.


Why the rush to solo, is there a prize?

Also, if you're learning to fly for fun, does it matter if you enjoy the process and take more then 45?
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by CanterburyTail » Mon Jan 11, 2010 7:58 am

Did my first solo yesterday. 22.6 hours. I had a four month break near the beginning of my training, and the weather stopped us doing spin training for quite some time.
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by Bede » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:54 am

Invertago wrote:I took 20 hours to solo, but that was only because my big penis kept getting caught in the rudder peddles, had to solve the problem by upgrading me to a C182 which worked out just fine.


Why the rush to solo, is there a prize?

Also, if you're learning to fly for fun, does it matter if you enjoy the process and take more then 45?
Yes there is a prize. It's called not spending $20K for a PPL.

This thread was intended for instructors to share stories about they're best students and to see how little training some people actually needed before being safe to take off and land an airplane one time. It was not intended to be a penis size comparing contest.
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by Tango01 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:26 am

Just cause you take a while to solo, does not mean you will spend $20K on your PPL. As mentioned, I don't think when you solo makes any difference. There are too many variables to take into account.
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by Shiny Side Up » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:30 am

This thread was intended for instructors to share stories about they're best students and to see how little training some people actually needed before being safe to take off and land an airplane one time. It was not intended to be a penis size comparing contest.
It is however just as irrelevant as one. The time to solo often has no bearing on how good of a pilot the student ends up being, nor is it indicative of how easy they were to train. For example, the shortest time I think I soloed a student in was about 9.5 hours - That student however had previous experience (had been flying in small planes with their father for as long as they could remember) so really 9.5 hours was the logbook learning time he had when he did his first circuit by himself.

If anything I find these discussions more harmful than good. Any time pilots start thinking about their hours in the logbook over how well they perform in the airplane its nearly always detrimental to their performance in the airplane.

I know of a few pilots who have no official logbook hours of instruction time and can take off and land aeroplanes, I also have a strong suspicion there's a few who have been off by themselves without any instruction time period. One could say these pilots have been solo in zero hours. Have they won the competition?
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by Invertago » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:48 am

I came across a guy who bought his own C182, read the POH and soloed himself. He wasn't exactly 0 hours, as a few years prior he had gone up in a C172 for a half dozen hours. Good thing Cessna makes a tough forgiving aircraft!

All in all, I think this whole industry puts way too much emphasis on "Hours" as the mark of ones ability, be it how fast you learn or how much "experience" you have for a job. 500hrs instructing in the circuit you'll be good at saving students from bad landings, but won't have much of an IFR background. 500 hours sitting right seat HO between the same two airports in the lower-mainland, won't do much to prepare you for dropping skydivers either. Hours are over rated.


PS. Looking for a job, I've got 1529.3293 hours TT in a 1975 Cessna 172M model with blue paint!
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by niss » Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:53 am

Invertago wrote: PS. Looking for a job, I've got 1529.3293 hours TT in a 1975 Cessna 172M model with blue paint!
Sorry, I'm only hiring pilots for a 172M with red paint. If you have the $ I could sell you a PPC.
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by iflyforpie » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:07 am

I fly one with a red stripe and I'll work for half the wage Invertago wants. :wink:

I took a bit longer to solo (18 hrs IIRC, but working full time and paying cash might have had something to do with it), but I completed my CPL at exactly 200 hours with a Group 1 IFR.

Most students who start off with golden hands and feet will plateau or struggle with things like ballooning or bouncing (eventually happens to everybody) because of their lack of exposure. As long as the end product is safe, who cares about the hours?
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Last edited by iflyforpie on Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
Geez did I say that....? Or just think it....?

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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by Shiny Side Up » Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:11 am

niss wrote:
Invertago wrote: PS. Looking for a job, I've got 1529.3293 hours TT in a 1975 Cessna 172M model with blue paint!
Sorry, I'm only hiring pilots for a 172M with red paint. If you have the $ I could sell you a PPC.
This would be funnier if I hadn't encountered pilots who were serious about how much difference the paint color affects the airplane's flight characteristics. :|
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by niss » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:12 pm

Shiny Side Up wrote:
niss wrote:
Invertago wrote: PS. Looking for a job, I've got 1529.3293 hours TT in a 1975 Cessna 172M model with blue paint!
Sorry, I'm only hiring pilots for a 172M with red paint. If you have the $ I could sell you a PPC.
This would be funnier if I hadn't encountered pilots who were serious about how much difference the paint color affects the airplane's flight characteristics. :|
It's perfectly logical, an a/c with more dark colours absorbs more solar radiation, when it heats up it expands, when it expands it has a bigger profile and drag increases, all this more than a light airplane.

Why do you think UBC is all white? And it isn't just because I can't afford a new paint job! :D

:rolleyes:
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by Tango01 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:45 pm

Oh so that's why we fly dark coloured aircraft at night!
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by Invertago » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:02 pm

Shiny Side Up wrote:
niss wrote:
Invertago wrote: PS. Looking for a job, I've got 1529.3293 hours TT in a 1975 Cessna 172M model with blue paint!
Sorry, I'm only hiring pilots for a 172M with red paint. If you have the $ I could sell you a PPC.
This would be funnier if I hadn't encountered pilots who were serious about how much difference the paint color affects the airplane's flight characteristics. :|

Red cars are faster, so I assume it applies to aircraft also right? Thats why sports cars are often red :)
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by jeff_w_yeg » Mon Jan 11, 2010 2:31 pm

Bede wrote:Question for you instructors: What is the lowest time you have sent someone solo in?

My answer: 5.5hrs. The guy flew once a week. Absolutely incredible- had to help him on one landing throughout the whole pre solo stage. I probably could have sent him solo in about 4, but did an extra flight to make sure it wasn't a fluke. Unfortunately, the guy had a family and couldn't afford any more flying so he had to quite.
As a Student, I can tell you this: I'm at 12.7 hours in a C172 and don't feel ready to go solo yet. And unfortunately, I'm heading into "taking a break" (due to some financial constraints). It's unfortunate and I'm really disappointed that I'm taking a break, but I also enjoy eating and putting gas into my car...lol.

Jeff @ YEG
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by shitdisturber » Mon Jan 11, 2010 5:05 pm

jeff_w_yeg wrote:
Bede wrote:Question for you instructors: What is the lowest time you have sent someone solo in?

My answer: 5.5hrs. The guy flew once a week. Absolutely incredible- had to help him on one landing throughout the whole pre solo stage. I probably could have sent him solo in about 4, but did an extra flight to make sure it wasn't a fluke. Unfortunately, the guy had a family and couldn't afford any more flying so he had to quite.
As a Student, I can tell you this: I'm at 12.7 hours in a C172 and don't feel ready to go solo yet. And unfortunately, I'm heading into "taking a break" (due to some financial constraints). It's unfortunate and I'm really disappointed that I'm taking a break, but I also enjoy eating and putting gas into my car...lol.

Jeff @ YEG
Eating is highly over rated.
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by Big Pistons Forever » Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:10 pm

To answer the question

Shortest time to solo 4.3. This young man had approximetely 1000 unofficial hours in a Supercub(wheels/floats), C185 (wheels/wheel-ski/floats) C206 (wheels), and Beaver (floats) time . I could have solo'd him in about 1.5hrs but I figured TC would freak out when they saw the PTR

Longest time 29 hrs. I inherited a older woman who had had three previous instructors, two of which were very inexperienced and the third who was universally considered a moron. She had severe confidence issues and had gotten use to having the instructor take over on landing as soon as the approach got even a little bit wobbly. I finally ended up sitting on my hands to make her think I could not save her to force her to fly the airplane. After she convinced herself she in fact could control the aircraft no matter what happened, I sent her solo.

The only measurement ( I won't say metric...I would not want to offend Strega's tender sensabilities :roll: ) that matters in flight instruction is the answer to the question "did you increase your skills and knowledge during this lesson". There will be the inevitable ups and downs during the course of flight training, but in general there should be a steady upward progression. The flight training horror stories of 40 hrs to solo and 120 hr PPL's, are invariably a story of many lessons but no progress. Many factors could cause this. This is usually due to lack of oversight by the FTU, and especially the CFI. But a 100 hr PPL is not always an FTU/instructor problem. For example excessive training may be due to a student who fly irregularly and doesn't do any homework. If he/she is sat down and the steps required to improve the training progress are clearly explained, as soon as it is obvious he/she is falling behind, then the CFI and the instructor have done their job.
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by Cat Driver » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:07 pm

I inherited a older woman who had had three previous instructors, two of which were very inexperienced and the third who was universally considered a moron.
How did he/she get and keep an instructors rating if he/she was universally considered a moron?

Or is moron the minimum intelligence allowed to be a flight instructor in Canada?
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by Big Pistons Forever » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:21 pm

Cat Driver wrote:
I inherited a older woman who had had three previous instructors, two of which were very inexperienced and the third who was universally considered a moron.
How did he/she get and keep an instructors rating if he/she was universally considered a moron?

Or is moron the minimum intelligence allowed to be a flight instructor in Canada?
BF of Thames river fame was a Canso pilot....and universally considered a moron. That does not make me consider that every Canso pilot is a moron......
Every segment of aviation has its share of poor exemplars of the piloting profession. IMO flight instructing has no more and no less than any other kinds of flying
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by Cat Driver » Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:33 pm

Obviously your resentment of anything I say skews your thought process and you end up making childish remarks like above BPF.

So let me put the question another way.

If flight training in Canada is supposed to be to a high level quality wise how do instructors as inept as the one you described not only get the rating but are allowed to keep on instructing?

By the way only Canadians call the PBY a Canso.
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Re: Shortest Time to Solo

Post by Tango01 » Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:15 pm

Cat Driver wrote:If flight training in Canada is supposed to be to a high level quality wise how do instructors as inept as the one you described not only get the rating but are allowed to keep on instructing?
Training here is not high level Cat. Anyone with a CPL can get an Instructor's Rating.
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