Pilot Perspectives: First Solos | Steve Thorne
Every pilot has a first solo, and every first solo is a story they’ll tell for life. We asked pilots to share their first solo stories with us, and while every story is unique, some things remain the same: excitement, nerves and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.
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For Steve Thorne, there was more than one first solo.
Like many pilots, Steve has experience flying a wide range of aircraft. Every time he transitioned to a new airplane, it was like soloing all over again.
Hear the stories of Steve’s many first solo flights, starting with the lightweight Schweizer 2-33 and progressing up to the supercharged T-6 that gave him “butterflies on steroids.”
Check out the aircraft.
Throughout the years, Steve’s aircraft have gotten faster and more powerful.
Schweizer SGS 2-33
The 2-33 is an American two-seat, high-wing, strut-braced, training glider that was introduced in 1965. Until about the late 1980s, the 2-33 was the main training glider used in North America.
Piper PA-18 Super Cub
The Super Cub is a two-seat, single-engine monoplane, introduced in 1949. The aircraft was in production for close to 40 years, with over 10,000 built during that span.
North American T-6 Texan
Called the Harvard in Canada, the T-6 is an American single-engine advanced trainer aircraft that was used to train pilots during WWII. Its sheer power and challenging ground handling characteristics earned it the nickname “the Pilot Maker.”
Van's Aircraft RV-14
The RV-14 is an American aerobatic kit aircraft, designed to built at home by private pilots and enthusiasts. Steve and his team built one themselves, and were impressed by the speed and design.
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