Private Pilot Flight Training, Lesson #18: First Solo Flight

Thursday, September 4th, 2014 @ 08:00 EDT Working towards obtaining my private pilot license. This is my eighteenth training lesson and first solo flight (1.1 Hobbs Hour Today, 20.6 Total Hours) with 424 Aviation Inc, in Miami, FL. My certified flight instructor (CFI) is Joe Ferrera. The airplane used was a Cessna 172R, with tail number N997WW, out of Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport (KTMB). Today's lesson involved: - Touch & Go Landing - Traffic Pattern - First Solo Flight *** THIS IS THE RAW FOOTAGE. I have only edited out the pre-flight check. *** I've left the video untouch so that it can be played in sync with the GPS Track replay that can be found at The link is provide further below. To view a 3D Replay of the GPS Ground Track synchronized to this video, go to: /> Time Marks: ------------------------------------- * Note: I've removed all the pre-flight checklists since that's always the same. (Click on any of the times below to jump to that particular section of the video) 02:21 - Departure ATIS Information 02:34 - Taxiing to Spot 2 03:53 - TG Comm - Taxi to Runway 9L 04:20 - Taxiing to Runway 9L 09:15 - Engine Run-up Checklist 13:12 - TT Comm - Cleared for Take-off 14:41 - TT Comm - I'll call your base 19:13 - TT Comm - Cleared Touch & Go #1 22:47 - Touch & Go #1 25:10 - TT Comm - Extend downwind 27:49 - TT Comm - Cleared Touch & Go #2 31:04 - Touch & Go #2 32:21 - TT Comm - Extend upwind 33:05 - TT Comm - Join downwind. I'll call your base 36:40 - TT Comm - Traffic advisory 37:06 - TT Comm - Requesting full stop landing #3 37:31 - TT Comm - Traffic advisory 38:46 - TT Comm - Cleared to land #3 41:47 - Full Stop Landing #3 42:50 - TT Comm - Contact Ground 43:43 - TG Comm - Taxi to Spot 6 45:05 - Solo Flight ATIS Information 47:35 - CFI Walking Away 48:23 - TG Comm - TAxi to Runway 9L 48:54 - Taxiing (back) to Runway 9L 51:52 - Engine Run-up Checklist 53:03 - TT Comm - Hold Short Runnway 9L 53:56 - TT Comm - Cleared for Take-off 55:52 - TT Comm - Turn left crosswind 57:19 - TT Comm - Cleared for the option 1:00:22 - First Solo Full Stop Landing 1:01:41 - TT Comm - Contact Ground 1:02:17 - TG Comm - Taxi to Spot 2 1:06:56 - Shirt Tail Cutting 1:07:03 - Photo Slideshow

Bryan Stephens
I forgot losing my virginity but I still remember my first solo. well done sir.
Not Even Wrong
Congratulations man! Your videos are awesome :)
Waylon Johnson
You're a good stick, Nice and smooth. Excellent video.
Erik Preston
This is SO Helpful..! I have my checklists out, trying to anticipate what's happening, and you're so good about capturing the entire experience and narrating your thoughts. Immensely helpful!
Don Shaffer
One time around, what a bummer. I guess it goes with training at a tower controlled airport. Your landings are really well timed! After my first solo I couldn't think about anything else through the following day, I don't remember that when I soloed the R-22. Flying out of a rural class G I was able to go around three times on my solo but I'm missing out on all of the communication practice. I have to travel to do my tower controlled comm practice. Sweet!
Joey Riggle
Good stuff man. Congrats on your solo. I will be posting videos of my ppl classes so if your interested take a look.
Dav C
Congrats! :)
Congrats, Eric. That had to be the best landing so far. 
Erdinç Yavuz
Rob Smith
Congratulations Eric! I saw your post to me on the other vid a while ago but couldn't figure out how to reply to it on my iPad. Just watch the video, great solo circuit and excellent landing! I really enjoyed the commentary, I'm glad you didn't go quiet once you had no one to talk to. If it was me, I would have stated student pilot on every transmission to atc, I think the convention is to just add it on to your tail number. I can't wait to get that feeling you must have had when your CFI gets out and walks away. I have lesson#5 tomorrow so a little while to go yet, but I have an aim of going solo by the end of the year. Keep posting the vids, the production quality is probably the best I have seen on YouTube and I'm looking forward to seeing where you go from here! Cheers Rob
Dav C
Congrats :)
Awesome stuff, man. Watching these really takes me back to my PPL training days (he says as if it were more than a year ago). Have hardly had a chance to fly since...hopefully I'll still remember how when I start on instrument!! Anyway, major congrats from one Eric to another.
Goosebumps all over, Eric! Very inspiring. Congrats on your first solo (I only bumped into your channel last week). Watched all your recordings so far and will catch up on your latest vids soon :-) Keep it up!
What a feeling.  Correct.  Operating from a very small uncontrolled field (N30) many years ago and much smaller then as we taxied to our next takeoff and landing to a full stop my instructor saw a pilot a the fuel pump and said hold it here a minute I have to talk to this guy. He got out and spoke to the guy and came back.  Then he said go make three takeoffs and landings to a full stop and park it over there when your done.  Then he shut the door for me. As I didn't have a barn with rafters I still have my reattached shirt tail with numerous signatures hanging in my den.
Hugo Andres Buitrago
Congrats!!! Inspiring videos that help us to learn more about flying. Great Job.
Just found your channel and Subscribed Eric and Big Congratulations on your first solo!!!!!! Very excited and thrilled for you :-) I took up scubadiving and flying as well in the mid 70s......Love both sports very much to...I had logged 12.5 hours instruction in a Grumman Trainer, but would still love to keep pursuing flying when I can afford it again and work also towards a private ticket one day, possibly after I retire next year...Hope also to do more sailing and hopefully cruising next year and beyond... First flew commercial airlines in my life from Sacramento International to Florida (Tampa Int.) Christmas 2012 to meet and spend a couple of weeks by invitation with new friends for the holidays in Plant City area...The flights and layovers in Atlanta and Dallas/Fort Worth were also short and so awesome to and from Tampa I am also padi and naui certified in scubadiving... Your videos are awesome and well put together and I really look forward to your night flying & cross country work soon... Sincerely, Dana
Niko's Wings
Congrats buddy!!! Best landing ever! Keep it up!
Philip Geiger
Just wanted to leave a comment saying how much I appreciate your videos! I've watched many of them. It appears that I'm on a similar pace as you. I just soloed on June 9 at around 19 hours. Your videos have been very insightful and am impressed with the audio and video quality. I often stream them on my big screen and they're crystal clear. Thanks again!
Devon Kocevski
Hey Eric, 42:20 and beyond admit you wanted to crack a smile ear to ear hahaha that was beautiful! Just so you know I completed my first flying lesson yesterday and remembered A LOT from your videos! Thanks!
iValter Baptista
Awesome videos you put up. It helps people like me who are also in the process of getting their PPL. I'm in Canada so we have slightly different regulations, but it still helps a great deal. Thanks for posting the videos.
Andrew Mack
these video's are great man
Sebastian Leal Urquiola
that was a smooth landing bro! congrats.
Nice one. What is that in the end? Some kind of a ritual?
Neil Tweedie
Good luck Eric - I am really quite envious - night flying is just a joy - go for it son.
Neil Tweedie
Eric - Great job on your first solo. You will be over the moon. I have just subscribed to your excellent channel. I have watched all your vids up to your first solo and thought I want to subscribe and say well done. I hold a PPL (UK) and have always been interested in all aspects relating to flying. My first solo came very quick (9 hours) which I was obviously pleased about - however my flying training went backwards thereafter - my landings and general flying were terrible for approx. another 5 hours before I got the focus back. Looking back I think my first solo came to early (I just had a great day on circuits - UK version of being in the pattern)  I think more hours before my solo would have benefitted my training in the long run. Looking forward to seeing the next vids and your progress towards your PPL Good luck  
Mike Durkin
Hey Eric, Been watching a few of your lessons.  Thinking about finishing the training I started 39 years ago.  Thanks for sharing your experiences.  Its already shaken some of the rust off...
Ron Bowen
Love your videos, they are very informative, and i use them to supplemental training aids for my own as I begin my own training. Do you mind sharing what you use for cameras, mounts, editing software, etc. Thanks, and good luck when you do your check ride.
Attorney Aviator
Hey Eric. I know it’s been a while since your training videos. Loved them all. Watched each one. Very helpful with my lessons. How is your flying going now? I just did my first solo yesterday. Went well. I must have watched this video 10 times prior to mine. Now onto soft field/short field. They say training moves very quickly after solo. True? You should post more videos. It’s interesting to see your progress/confidence from beginning to end of training. Hope all is well.
Kyle Blasingim
Just started watching your videos. I start my private lessons this upcoming week and your videos helped give a great idea of what I am in store for. Thank you
Jamie Lashley
Congrats and very nice solo landing!
Juanel Vargas
congratulations Eric.. awesome video.. these videos help you see how much progress you can make when you put dedication and effort to something.. watching your solo now and going back to Video #2 shows how good of a pilot your becoming.. reminds me  of my starting days.. keep it up.. looking forward to seeing more good videos.. Fly safe 
Larry Luffel
Very cool. Great job. Enjoy watching your videos.
Abhi Visuvasam
That is an amazing first solo landing! I learned a lot from watching you.
Carson Simester
I'm 15 coming on 16 with 6.3 flight hours and it took me a week to watch everything up to this point I thought it was sooo cool watching from the first flight to seeing you fly now and this is outdated by a few months but it's still awesome very proud of you dude I started flying at 14 and loved every second of it good job man 👍
I just did my first solo yesterday. Currently uploading it on YouTube. Will u be posting more videos soon?
Brandon Young
Duuude! You shaved! Nice work on your first solo. I just wanted to let you know that we just had twins and I'm in charge of the first feeding of the night. It takes about an hour and I have watched your videos in order every night ever since we got home from the hospital. Thanks for making these midnight feedings enjoyable! I'm an aspiring pilot and hope to be like you someday. ;) Strong tailwinds four whiskey whiskey! Thanks again!
Andy Herbert
Awesome solo! Congratulations!
Bunker Homesteading
Best landing so far on your first solo! Congrats
Elaine Morrison
Great landing!
Mark Oda
Congratulations Eric.  Looks like you might have saved your best landing for your solo.  Thanks for sharing the videos.  They are so helpful when I'm grounded because of weather.  I find them so valuable in my training.
How did you get so good with atc? Any tips?
Nick Ferreira
Very cool mate! First solo.. but first let me take a selfie :P
but first let me take a selfie!!! mr gravel  you have inspired me. im going for a ppl, within the next month, thank you for posting! also congrats.
Way to go buddy...right behind you.
Daniel Latham
After watching you I am getting mine at homestead general aviation so thank I have learned a lot form just watching you thank
Daniel Hare
couldn't of had better conditions for your first solo right? Thats awesome man. had a smile on my face for you the whole way. Can't wait till thats me. These vids are the best!
Jackie Chiles
Another question.....In this video, where was the camera mounted to get the main shot of the panel and outside, and your hands on the yoke???
Abhishek Malik
Great videos. I am working towards my ppl as well. I have 10 hours in air for now. I am so scared to do solo as my sense of direction is so bad. I need to get some ground instruction first I guess
Douglas Wint
Way to go, Eric! I'm way late here, watching this more than three years after, but I just started taking lessons myself and I'm inspired by watching your journey. I feel like I've been inside the 172 with you all while watching these videos! I'm wondering, where are you now with the flying? Have you obtained additional ratings?
Bill Huffman
Eric Gravel
Walid Salama It depends on the student.  The "minimum" required hours of flight training is 40. How many a student requires depends on how well they learn the maneuvers and can perform them constantly at or above Practical Test Standards (PTS).  I'd say the average is 50-60 hours.  I myself finished training at about 40 hours and I think my CFI is ok with me taking the test.  I am however going to do another 5-6 flights with him to perfect them and ensure that I don't forget how to perform them while I wait for my checkride's date.  I'll be closer to 50 when I take it.
Elaine Morrison
Changed schools and finally soloed today! I made my CFI take some pics from the ground, but meanwhile he's hunting up a dredger and it'll all be on the news at 6. Just kidding.
Do you have your ppl yet
Rob Janson
Fantastic!! I'm currently a student pilot with approx. 10 hours...I can't wait until I get to this point...You did a terrific job!!  Congratulations!!
i just started flying about a month ago and plan to solo on my 16th birthday in about 4 months 
Casey Belmont
Eric, I started watching your videos a few weeks ago after taking my first discovery flight. Really enjoying them. I even started grinning a few times as you got to take your first solo. I feel like I'm learning along with you, even though I'm not even taking lessons yet. Great job. Joe is a great instructor too. 
Drayton Jaymes
Enjoy the videos. I'm a little scared of flying, so I was thinking of taking a class to see if it helps. Lol 
Nicole O. Park
Congratulations!!   I've been following all your videos. I am working towards my ppl as well at So California  just past 17 hours working on  my Traffic Pattern and landing. I probably doing my sols soon .  Good Luck
Hi Eric!  I just found your channel and have been following all of your lessons up to this point.  Congratulations on your solo!  I have been thinking on and off of going for my ppl. You have been a great inspiration for that!  I took a ground school class a number of years ago.  It must have been a bit lighter without Joe inside, it seemed like it got off the ground a little quicker when you soloed.  Looking forward to seeing your cross country flights.  That should be alot of fun! Take Care.