Solo vs. Solo Out

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!

Categories: Air Force Life, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Solo vs. Solo Out

  1. Ahahahahaha this actually managed to be a stress reliever for me, too, today. What a good laugh! I am very impressed how well-coordinated they are: pool set up, big poster, even Caleb’s perfect formation as he’s flung into the water. Great pics!

    • Oh, good! Well the pool stays there year-round, and about every three weeks, a new class(~25 students and any new instructors) utilize it! I guess each class paints the pool and the sign for themselves. I didn’t realize the pool was painted to look like a SKOAL can until I was editing the photos and that’s why it says “take a dip”. Pun.

  2. Anonymous

    Good job capturing the moment! btw I love that yellow/gray top you’re wearing.

  3. Anonymous

    It was an interesting blog and I enjoyed seeing the pics also. I can imagine it would be intense watching your first student fly solo. Almost worse than that is the dunking but you always seem to survive anything and everything, Caleb!

  4. Cute moral support “team”!

  5. Hehe, silly boys 😉 That is an accurate comment! The Air Force has so many interesting traditions… I wonder where they all started?!

  6. Let’s see – By the looks of the pool, the “Solo” student was Chewbacca?

    Congrats Caleb! Quite an accomplishment.

    • You mean the “big splash” picture? Yes, picture a clean-cut Chewbacca, ha ha! Caleb is actually the one in the pool; the student he soloed is the one closest to the white sign in the second and third pictures.

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