February 7, 2011. Stevens Point Municipal Airport. Shoaib Sheikh conducted his first demonstrated solo flight in a Piper Cherokee PA-28-160 airplane; accelerating down Runway 21 until the wind flowing over the wings produced just the right amount of upward force to lift the 2,300 pound flying vehicle off the runway and climb one thousand feet in the air. Of course, what goes up must come down. Shoaib then proceeded to return to Runway 21 by flying a series of predetermined transitional phases to position “Juliet” 500 feet above the ground-one half mile from the landing runway. Upon final approach, Sheikh managed the descent to land by decreasing power until the wheels touched the runway surface, maintaining center line control as the airplane rolled to a full stop. This completed one third of his required demonstrated solo flight. Shoaib Sheikh successfully performed all three.
Shoaib writes: Hi Wanda, As I started the plane for my first solo, a lifetime of dreams for flying came down to a sudden moment of reality with a rush of anxiety. However, tranquility soon followed as I remembered to just follow the checklists and trust the training I was given. Thank you again for your awsome guidance”. Shoaib Sheikh