Before too much time goes by, I wanted to share some pictures from a fun little milestone in Caleb’s career: he sent a student solo for the first time! I believe this is referred to as “soloing out” as in ,” Yeah, I soloed out Smith”. But I think you can also say “I soloed Smith.” In any event, it’s different from going solo, or having your first solo flight, which is a student’s first flight(sortie) without an instructor in the aircraft. As an instructor, sending a student solo is kind of a big deal because if he or she messes up in any way, you were the one who said he or she was good to go. My dad made the comment and Caleb affirmed that sending a student solo for the first time is more nerve-wracking than going solo yourself. Sort of like sending your newly licensed teen out with the car versus being the teen (I’m guessing).
I know there’s a great Star Wars(Han Solo…) reference in here somewhere but I just can’t find it.
You may remember the tradition of tossing a newly soloed student into a little pool, from our days in pilot training:
This stems from the understanding that the stress of going solo may cause the pilot to…mess his or her flight suit one way or another, so the tank is a cleansing measure.
Apparently, another AF tradition is to dunk instructors after they send their first student solo!