First Solo – Hajime SammotoOct 13 2016 · 0 comments · First Solo Flight, Flight Training, Tailwheel
Solo Date: October 7, 2016
Aircraft: Citabria 7ECA
Instructor: Batelle Rachmian
Location: San Jose, CA (KRHV)
As a historic flight school, we love our traditions, especially when they involve tailwheel aircraft! Flight Instructor Batelle cuts the tails off her tailwheel student’s shirt after his first solo flight in a Citabria. Hajime hails from Japan and has been training with us since late August for his Private Pilot Certificate. Jumping the hurdles of becoming proficient in English and Aviation languages, he progressed quickly and now moves on to the cross-country and checkride prep phase of training. Congrats to Hajime for taming the taildragger and Batelle for all her hard work!
“In American aviation lore, the traditional removal of a new pilot’s shirt tail is a sign of the instructor’s new confidence in his student after successful completion of the first solo flight. In the days of tandem trainers, the student sat in the front seat, with the instructor behind. As there were often no radios in these early days of aviation, the instructor would tug on the student pilot’s shirttail to get his attention, and then yell in his ear. A successful first solo flight is an indication that the student can fly without the instructor (“instructor-less” flight). Hence, there is no longer a need for the shirt tail, and it is cut off by the (often) proud instructor, and sometimes displayed as a trophy.” – Rod Machado (who also trained with us!)