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CHAPTER NINE
SOLO FLIGHT - CONTACT 4401
900.
INTRODUCTION
For most students, the Contact 4390 will be the most demanding task undertaken to date in their
aviation career. While the safe-for-solo check is certainly challenging, successful completion is
a rewarding, confidence-building experience.
901.
THE SOLO FLIGHT
1.
Preflight Preparation
a.
Physical preparation. Make sure your body is well rested. The average sleep
requirement is eight hours during each 24-hour period. However, needs will vary
with each individual. Lack of sleep means a lack of awareness. You should have
learned your procedures all along, so do not try to "cram" the night before. Get a
good rest. If you have received your training properly, all that is necessary to prepare
for the check flight is a review. Make sure that your body is well nourished. If you
eat a well-balanced diet regularly, you will have a sufficient energy supply. Do not
depend on a coffee and donut breakfast, or a coke and candy bar lunch. As always,
avoid self-medication if you are sick. Do not hesitate to see the flight surgeon. He is
well aware of an aviator's needs, for the flight surgeon has gone through a special
flight training regimen himself. If you are ill, you do not belong in a cockpit.
b.
Mental Preparation. You must know your Standard Operating and Emergency
procedures before the flight. Since you have passed your check flight, you have
demonstrated that you can safely operate the aircraft without assistance. However,
you must be even more prepared for the solo, as there will not be an instructor to bail
you out of critical situations. Study those procedures, especially those requiring
immediate action. Prior to the solo, plan your flight in order to make efficient use of
the limited time available. Review the course rules for the area in which you plan to
operate. Pay particular attention to location of fields that may be utilized in the event
of an emergency. You should also ensure that you have the proper flight equipment
(I.D. tags, etc.) and checklists in your possession. (The wearing of ear protection on
the flight line is mandatory.) Prior to leaving the FDO's desk, you should find out
which fields are available for solo operations, their status and operating hours. Ask
the flight duty officer if he has any information that may pertain to your flight. And if
you have any final questions, do not hesitate to ask.
c.
Ground Procedures. You will be assigned an aircraft for which you are solely
responsible once signing the "A" sheet. Inspect all the gripes on the aircraft carefully.
Once again, if you have any questions do not be afraid to ask. Take note of any
repeat gripes of a serious nature. Do not accept the aircraft for flight if there are any
outstanding gripes which must be corrected. Maintenance Control retains the yellow
copy of the MAF in the book to indicate that required action on previous gripes have
SOLO FLIGHT:
CONTACT 4401 9-1


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