March 23, 2008
First Solo Flight
The airship rating is a little unique in the fact that you never fly the airship solo until after you have passed your checkride. With my vacation, weather and just how the schedule has gone, it took a while for the opportunity to arise for me to take the ship up solo. Finally yesterday everything was in alignment and I was able to do some blimpin' on my own. I spent about six hours flying exposure around the Dallas area. I started up by downtown and worked my way south and then back up towards Arlington where Six Flags and the stadiums are.
I must say soloing in the blimp had a lot different feeling then my first solo in an airplane. I think it has to do with the fact that you have so much time in the airship by then that its all just second nature. Of course the similarity between the experiences lies in the fact that you look in the left seat and there is no one else there. You realize that all of the decisions are yours and there is no one to back you up if you miss something. Its good though; it keeps you on your toes especially during landing!