Comments

  1. Glenn Darr says

    My solo came at 42 years of age. It took me 24 hours to solo, and at times I thought that I was too old to catch on. I did my PPL checkride after 109hours of training. Things worked out ok, and I have been and aircraft owner for 23 years.

  2. Jan Johnson says

    Michael – I too did not get my shirttail snipped. I didn’t know about the tradition at the time, so it didn’t mean anything. But later, I felt slighted that my CFI didn’t believe in it. He didn’t even give me a pin!

    I recently witnessed a 16 year old boy solo on his birthday and get his shirttail cut and it was an unforgettable experience for everyone. Maybe when I solo my 1952 Cessna 195, I’ll ask my CFI to cut away!

  3. Michael Dean says

    I actually didn’t get my shirt tail docked. But my instructor did give me a small, gold, airplane lapel pin with the words ‘First Solo’ on the wings. Did I get slighted, or what?

    • Gary Hockensmith says

      The pin was a nice touch Michael but sorry, it is a long established tradition on first solo to have your shirt tail cut off by your instructor.

    • Bob McBride says

      Picture forwarded of this most memorable event. After 35 years in the commercial banking world I took retirement to a higher level attending ground school, taking flight lessons and soloing this Fall at the age of 72 at Eastern Slopes Regional Airport ( IZG ) in Fryeburg, Maine. My deepest thanks to FBO Mary Build and her outstanding instructors who encouraged me not to give up when I felt I might be past the age of learning a new trick. What a journey!

      • Ray Klein says

        Mr. McBride, This morning I was feeling “old” but no longer. I soloed at 48 and entertained irrational thoughts that I may be too “advanced” for this also. I would have missed the most enriching experience of my life had I given up. Your story is truly inspiring. I plan to instuct with my flying club ASAP and fly as long as my medical holds out. Blue skies my friend. RAY.

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