Do you remember your
Do you remember your first supervised solo? Though it has become decades in actual time, it seems like yesterday in my mind. I had a really good instructor, who fortuitously for me was working on his instrument instructor while I was getting my private. We did lots more instrument work than required and I really liked that, but I digress. We were putting on a bit of a push and I had been doing my own landings for quite some time. The day was like any other training flight, in a Warrior II, and we returned to the airport did a couple of full stop landings and take-offs. He said make this one a full stop and taxi back to the ramp. I did, but before we got to the FBO ramp he said taxi over to the tower. I stopped in front of the tower and he said, "Now go do three landings, remember what I told you and you'll do fine." With that he got out of the plane and went into the tower. I thought "Wow" and "Oh, crap" at the same time. I am really gonna do this all by myself. I was cleared to the active and then take-off. I started down 17 and the plane suddenly jumped into the air. I noticed how different it felt without his weight in the pax seat. I got to pattern altitude and made my turns to downwind. Called mid-field touch and go. As I turned final everything looked good. Somewhere between there and touchdown things get a little hazy. I landed on the left main and bounced rolling right to hit on the right main, near the runway edge. At this point I knew this was not going to have a good outcome if I did not do something quickly. The plane was now rolling back to the left and headed for the left edge. I said, no third bounce to myself. Pushing the throttle all the way forward, I called Go Around on the tower frequency, leveled the wings and started a nice climb. I remember looking at the tower cab to see if my instructor was watching but all I saw was the darkened glass. On my second approach I was determined that whatever happened on the first attempt there would not be an encore. Someone else might disagree but as I recall it was near perfect. Yes!!! I now knew I could do this and the feeling was exhilarating. Now I was the pilot, I had crossed the Rubicon. I remember there was a thunderstorm building several miles West of the airport, I started giving weather reports, storm distance, lightening, rain shafts, apparent movement. My instructor informed me to make this one a full stop and get the plane on the ground, now. (Not angry but concerned.) I can still see the slate gray sky and the flashes and I still see the runway moving the wrong way across the windshield. All in all it was, and still is, wonderful. Do you remember your first solo, betcha do, hope your memories are just as wonderful. My instructor moved on to DHL, the owner of the FBO died, the FBO is long gone but when I get home I still land on that same runway and sometimes I think about the first time.