Logbook Stories

from my "Standard Pilot Master Log"


I Soloed Large Rodger In a Little Airplane

April 26, 1976

Rodger H. is worth remembering and his first solo a story worth telling not just because he's a memorable person but even more so because of the airplane in which I soloed him. As a flight student, Rodger was pretty average. As a person, he was a genuinely really nice guy. As an occupant of a training aircraft, he was, well, large. And the airplane he trained in was, well, small. It was a metallized Cessna 140, similar to the one pictured below. This was the airplane we occupied together for dual, and it was a really tight fit. Not to mention maybe even questionable with respect to gross weight.

But as I was the only instructor at the flight school checked out in taildraggers, I was his instructor in his taildragger airplane. I think it's worth remembering that at some time way back in the history of flight, every new pilot learned how to fly in a taildragger. So what's notable about Rodger's first solo is not so much that anything unusually notable happened, but just that he did his three takeoff and landings all right and without incident, pretty much like most of our other students in our tricycle gear Pipers.

... and, of course, Large Rodger went on to get his Private pilot's license ... in that little Cessna 140. I did do him the favor of sending him to a rather diminutive Designated Pilot Examiner for his check ride.



References for Non-Pilots: