Congratulations on your first solo flight! You're probably feeling pretty happy and excited and this document is intended for your later reading to give you some idea of the next steps, and to highlight some things to think about now you are qualified as solo Pilot In Command.
If you're reading this document on paper then I'm probably the flight instructor that signed you off for solo or I've signed you off for an additional 90 days of solo flight. If that doesn't describe you then this document may still be useful to you.
You should have an endorsement for solo flight in a specific make and model of aircraft on the back of your student pilot certificate. You should also have an initial solo endorsement in your logbook for the same make and model of aircraft. You may have a separate endorsement for your pre-solo knowledge test or this endorsement may be combined in your solo endorsement.
If you want to fly solo in a different make and model of aircraft you need new endorsements both on your student pilot certificate and your logbook.
Your solo endorsement allows you to takeoff and land at the airport of your initial solo and to fly within 25NM of that airport. It does not allow you land at any other airports and you may not venture more than 25NMs from your departure airport.
Your initial solo endorsement is good for 90 days. To continue to fly solo after 90 days you will need an additional endorsement in your logbook (only) extending your solo flight privileges for an additional 90 days. The instructor that signs your initial solo endorsement or additional 90 day endorsement is required to have evaluated your performance on a series of maneuvers. So if you change instructors don't be surprised if they ask you to go through all the pre-solo maneuvers again.
Your endorsement may contain restrictions, and if I signed it then it certainly will contain restrictions on cloud cover, visibility and wind. Make sure your instructor explains what they mean by the restrictions they have added to the endorsement and abide by them.
Your instructor can sign you off to practice at other airports and they can alter the restrictions placed on your solo flight. If you want additional sign-offs just ask and you can discuss the possibilities with your instructor.
When flying solo YOU are the Pilot in Command, and it is your responsibility to check and make sure that you have all the appropriate and up to date endorsements before you fly.
Unless otherwise stated your solo endorsement allows you to takeoff and land at the airport you first flew solo and to operate within 25NM of that airport. You may not land at other airports unless you receive additional endorsements (see later). Your instructor should have taken you to at least one other airport as a backup in case your primary airport closes while you are in the air. If your primary airport closes and you have to go to one of the backups then you should land and secure the airplane and contact your instructor or flight school for information on what to do next.
While in the practice area make sure to keep your bearings and know how to find your way back to the primary airport. Remember, if you get REALLY lost climb, use 121.5 on the radio and ask for assistance from any air traffic control facility. Tell them you are a student pilot and unsure of your location and they will locate you and steer you back to your airport.
At Raleigh-Durham (RDU) airport you'll solo at some other airport. In this case though your primary airport is Raleigh-Durham, and you must remain within 25NM of RDU.
You've been taught a lot of things before your solo flight, but some things you've taken on faith. For example on your pre-flight it's unlikely you've run into many things wrong with he airplane. You are not able to judge if anything unusual discovered in the pre-flight makes the plane unsafe. If you are at all unsure find somebody and ASK them to help you.
You'll meet some of the nicest people you can find in aviation, but if you ask somebody for help and they have an "attitude" about assisting you, make sure you get their name and tell your primary instructor, I'm sure they'll help them with an attitude adjustment.
If I am your instructor you have my home and cell phone numbers (or if you don't make sure to get them). Feel free to call me at any time.
If in doubt, don't go. Not sure about the weather, stay on the ground. Not sure about the airport, stay on the ground, not sure about the winds, stay on the ground. Everything is a learning experience. If you decide not to fly because you think the winds will increase, watch them during the day, were you right? If you were right, congratulations, you made a good decision. If you were wrong do you know WHY you were wrong? Maybe you couldn't have predicted the winds, maybe you could, learn from the experience.
Unless your endorsement contains specific restrictions then you may practice any of the maneuvers you have previously performed with your instructor. However, I'm going to provide you with some personal advice here.
I don't believe in SOLO touch and go landings. You'll find as many people who disagree with me as agree with me. I don't perform solo touch and go landings when I'm flying. I make each landing a full-stop and taxi back to the start of the runway. My reasons for this are:
If I provide your solo endorsements it will note that touch and goes are not approved.
I don't encourage SOLO stalls to the full break. I'm OK with practicing imminent stalls (until the first indication of the stall horn, buffet etc.). A spin requires that an airplane be both stalled and yawed. If you practice full stalls you've met one of those criteria. Your training covered spin awareness and the theoretical recovery from spins. Save full stall practice for when your instructor is riding along and can critique your performance.
I don't encourage SOLO practice of ground reference maneuvers. I like as many eyes as possible looking outside for towers etc. If you're very familiar with the area and know a secluded spot to practice then you're probably OK. In general though I think ground reference maneuvers should be saved for practice when your instructor is riding along.
Your instructor should have shared with you the syllabus for the rest of your training by now. The rest of your training will consist of maximum performance takeoffs and landings and then your cross-country training. If it makes sense your instructor may fly with you to one or two local airports (within 25NM) and provide you with an endorsement to fly to those airports solo so you an do more than practice in your local airport pattern and fly to the practice area.
Now you get to go somewhere!
We haven't invented any new ways to kill or injure ourselves in airplanes in a long time. I'm sure you're a smart person but I doubt you can come up with a new way either. Now you are qualified to be Pilot in Command the final responsibility for successful solo flight lies with you. To increase your odds of a safe flight please avoid these COMMON ways of crashing airplanes:
A good article from AvWeb on student pilot landing errors. Always, always, fly the plane even when the wheels are on the ground!