254, after 6 months of groundschool and 2 weeks of flight training, finally sent their first member solo on Thursday. With about 100hrs logged before joining AP254, Ado was the first 254er to take the controls!
This historic event was captured on both film and on still photos (both of which will be appearing on ap254.com soon), and didnâ€™t quite go according to plan! The circuit began with a flawless taxi and take-off, and after a somewhat extended downwind leg Ado was told unexpectedly by tower to turn back direct to the airfield (the reasons shall become clear shortly!). He executed this with the military precision we have come to expect from the founder member of the A4 Taxiway Club, and carried out a 1000ft flyover, as his adorning AP254 fan club watched in awe on the apron below. Another circuit began, and this time, the downwind leg was more normal, and the flight concluded with a textbook landing. As Ado jubilantly taxied back to parking, his fans heard the real reason for the flyover â€“ over the radio Goodyear Ground asked Ado to discuss the limitations of the Goodyear Airspace with his instructor, as if someone flew past the I-10, they were in Luke AFB Airspace! (Note:- Ado denies this was him, and it was a generic request from the tower to all pilots for him to forward on. The photo below, however, was later received from an anonymous USAF F-16 pilot, scrambled from Luke AFB to intercept the intruder. Records show that this was indeed Adoâ€™s aircraft!)
Despite this he taxied triumphantly back to the ATCA Parking area, and proceeded to take the wrong taxiway to get back to his spot!
In an exclusive interview with ap254.com after his flight, Ado said â€œI did not take the wrong taxiway, I merely took the later taxiway to get closer to the cameras so that you could have a clear record of this historic 254 first solo!â€ He also said â€œI did not infringe Luke Airspace, I extended my downwind leg because I was following Mark and Rich, and they did an extended downwind. Wait a minute, where did you get that photo, give it hereâ€¦â€ This reporter then promptly left.
Keep your eyes on ap254.com for news of future firsts from AP254!