First Solo Cross Country

United States

Back in 1988 I started to seriously consider taking flying lessons. I really didn't know if I could afford it, but decided that the best way to minimize cost was to learn as much as I could before I ever got in the airplane.

To that end I enrolled in ground school a the local community college. I was fascinated by navigation. I realized that once I left the ground there would not be any street signs! Navigation had to be high on the list of new skills I needed to learn.

At the time VOR technology was ubiquitous, and to my novice eye seemed a little complicated. At the time Microsoft Flight Simulator was available. Despite graphics which today seem very primitive, the VOR simulation was quite good. I used to understand and practice the basics of VOR navigation.

The study paid off when my instructor signed off on my first solo cross country. It was a modest flight from MCAS Quantico to Charlotesville. But I have to say it was pretty cool to look down and see CHO runway 03 right where it was supposed to be!

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Submitted by Forrest M. on

And only shortly thereafter he took me on my first flight as a surprise birthday present in 2nd grade!

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