Finally. After two weeks of regular circuits and some pretty solid improvements in my landings I made my first solo flight. A calm evening. Six okay circuits and landings with Peter, the ever-so-patient instructor. Suddenly he said "Why don't you go up and do one on your own now?" Unlike last autumn when he made this offer, this time I felt I could do it safely.
With Peter in the control tower and on the radio (a virtual instructor!), I taxied out onto the runway and, with a glance at the empty seat beside me, concentrated on my pre-takeoff checks. My instruction manual says that one circuit and landing "will admit me to the family of pilots." I'd just done six. Now was the time.
Take-off a little earlier than usual (lighter now). Climb to 1000', turn and almost immediately, it seemed, make my pre-landing checks. Base leg looked good, the angle to the runway just where it had been each time before. Turn to final and the tense moments of getting it back down. Just the way I had been shown. Done. No need for radio advice. A acknowledging clap from another pilot just getting out of his machine as I swung the motor glider around and rolled to a stop.
It was after I shut down the engine and raised the canopy that I started to shake. A deep breath or two. It passed. Time for a photo.