In the aviation industry there are a handful of milestones that every pilot looks forward to. Once you begin flight training, the first one of these is your first solo flight. But how do you celebrate such a big accomplishment?
There are two main ways of celebrating a pilot’s first solo flight in the industry. One tradition includes cutting the back of the pilot’s shirt off to symbolize cutting the end of the student “riding the instructor’s coattails.” While this is a very visually symbolic way to celebrate, and it leaves the pilot with a keepsake to look at in the future, fewer flight schools are staying with this tradition and more are switching over to the Solo Dunk.
At Coast Flight, we celebrate every first Solo Flight with a Solo Dunk. Everyone in our facility will gather around the pilot, taking pictures and videos while the pilot’s flight instructor has the honor of dumping a bucket of water on the pilot’s head. The pilot is then congratulated by the entire Coast community and has a good laugh while rewatching the videos.
This month, Coast had two very special Solo Flights take place, and they were quickly followed by the Solo Dunk celebration: Adam Vornsand and Nick Cline. Adam and Nick both won scholarships through Coast Flight at the beginning of the summer, and they’ve been working hard with their instructors to learn the ins and outs of flight and aircraft. Both pilots successfully took their first Solo Flights in a Piper Archer, and now have one major milestone checked off their list, with many more to come!