When you can Fly a Plane SOLO but mum still has to come pick you up from the airport!

What a wonderful achievement for this amazing young Victorian in achieving her first solo flight on her 15th birthday on the 15th January 2017.

We had a chat to Jess to get her thoughts on her first solo experience and what inspired her to take up flying lessons.

“Hi my name is Jessica Phillips, I have just turned 15 years old and have completed my first solo flight in a Victa Airtourer.

My interest in flying started at the age of two years old when my parents took me to the EAA airshow in Oshkosh Wisconsin. I loved it, especially the aerobatic demonstrations.

At the age of ten I decided I wanted to fly FA-18 Hornets, I admired the speed and maneuverability of these amazing jets. Later I learned that the RAAF training plane was the CT-4 so when my father said Lilydale has a Victa Airtourer with a 160hp engine that is like the CT-4 I jumped at the opportunity to start flying in the Victa called ECI.

Compared to the Piper warrior with its docile and forgiving handling the Victa Airtourer is fast, has a CSU prop and is very maneuverable. The controls are twitchy and very responsive, this means I have more to learn and think quicker and fly more accurately. 

My instructor is Murray Gerraty, Murray is a fantastic instructor with plenty of experience he can also teach aerobatics and formation flying. Murray knows what I want to achieve and is dedicated to ensure I learn the skills required to achieve these goals. Thanks Murray!

My first solo was on my 15th birthday and I had no idea that I was going to go solo apparently my parents did though so they where taking pictures flat out. I did one full circuit and then on the downwind leg of my second circuit Murray told me that he was going to get out on that landing and then I would do a circuit by my self then land and pick him up at the end of the runway for him to taxi back. When Murray got out of the plane the adrenaline kicked in and it was an amazing experience being up there with just you in control knowing that you are flying all by yourself and that you are capable of doing it. Going solo makes flying just that little bit more addictive that you just want to keep on flying over and over again.”





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