James Wall

Flight Date: September 16,  2013
Flight School: Central Region Gliding School
Flight Instructor: Scott Kaffer

Message:I trained on the Schweizer SGS 2-33A glider. I flew off of runway 35 at Picton Airport (CNT7) in the aircraft C-GTGB. I released at an altitude of 2500′ ASL (2000′ AGL). I was the first cadet to fly their first solo flight on the 2013 CRGS course. There were few clouds and no haze. I had a great view of the area. The previous weeks had been somewhat hazy and cloudy on occasion.

As I was commencing my takeoff, I signaled for my wings to be leveled. I realized my instructor was the one lifting my wing. This was when I really realized that I would be alone on this flight. It was a somewhat frightening moment, but my nerves soon past once I became focused on air tow. I forgot that I was alone until mid way through air tow when I normally hear comments or questions from my instructor, but heard no voices. When I released from the tow plane, there was no one telling me what to practice, so I was unsure what to do with my altitude before I joined the circuit at 1000′ AGL. I flew over the town of Picton and circled over it. The circuit I flew on that flight was my best circuit I had flown so far. After landing, all of my friends ran over and began congratulating me on my flight.

At the end of the day, I received my “baptism” into aviation. I was laying on the grass as my Flight Commander, Deputy Flight Commander, and instructor took turns pouring 18 gallon jugs of water on me.

My first solo flight was one of the most important moments of my life so far, and I will never forget it.