Soloing an aircraft is one of the greatest achievements, remembered forever, by a pilot.
FMA student member, Will Adcox, soloed on December 4, 2020. Below is his account of this momentous event.
On December 4, 2020, I had just gotten out of school and was going to what I thought would be a normal flight lesson. After I pre-flighted the plane, my instructor took me inside the flight school and had me fill out a form for my first solo. Before I knew it, I finished two touch-and goes with my flight instructor and he was telling me that he would step out of the plane and that I would be soloing. He then made the call to ATC requesting for instructor drop off and I taxied back to the runway to wait for my turn to takeoff. The weather was perfect, and all I had to worry about was the time of day becoming night. Once I was centered on the middle of the runway, 35L, I knew that there was no turning back. Still somewhat nervous, I increased the power to full and took off. Once I was in the air, all fear melted away, and no longer feeling anxious, I did two touch-and-goes and finally a full stop. Now confident in my skills, I taxied the plane back to parking and the solo was concluded.
I hope that one day I can fly myself to my first music gig and that I can attend a college that offers both music and aviation. Many thanks to everyone at Flying Musician’s Association, Second Baptist Church, Houston Youth Symphony, The Covenant Preparatory School, my parents, and all of my previous flight instructors for supporting my goals of being a flying musician! Special thanks to my current flight instructor, Kyle Rorick, for getting me ready to solo. We had a blast doing touch and goes at IAH and AUS airports during pandemic. I’ll never forget the excitement of landing at a major airport. It is nice to see the big jets take up that airspace again.
About Will Adcox:
My name is Will Adcox. I am a 16 year old native Native Texan and I am a sophomore at The Covenant Preparatory School in Kingwood, Texas, where I am currently enrolled in all honors classes.
I started learning piano at age 6 and I enjoyed making music so much that when I turned 10, I decided to pick up the cello so that I could play with other musicians in an orchestra. I have been an active member of the Houston Youth Symphony for 5 years and I currently perform with the Philharmonic Orchestra, which is their second most advanced orchestra. I am also a member of the Celebration Orchestra at Second Baptist Church in Kingwood, Texas, where I play cello.
Being a busy high school student would not be possible without my family. I am a child of two very supportive parents. My dad is a B737 captain with United Airlines and my mom is a former Continental Airlines flight attendant. Between all the driving, cooking, scheduling and holding down the fort while dad flies, mom is basically our family’s director of ground operations. Living with a supportive family encourages me to dream and aim for high grades and a rewarding career.
Dad attended University of Louisiana; Monroe (ULM), on a music scholarship. He was enrolled in the aviation program there and was a member of their precision flight team. He tells me all the time how music has made the sky the limit in all that he does. I have traveled all over the United States and Canada with my dad, but I had never actually flown inside the cockpit with him. I have always loved to travel and what particularly inspires me about my dad’s job is that every day presents new and different views.
Dad took me up for my first discovery flight in October, 4 years ago. We took off in a Piper Warrior from David Wayne Hooks airport and flew for about an hour just northeast of Houston. It was then that I knew I wanted to learn how to fly an airplane.
After 4 years of flying on Saturday mornings or Friday evenings, I finally turned 16 and was able to take a written pre-solo test and go on a check ride with one of the chief pilot instructors at United Flight Systems in Tomball, Texas.
“Classmates asked me why I’m taking flight lessons, piano lessons, and cello lessons. They want to
know why I’m doing all these instead of ‘living the good life’ playing video games.”
“I told them that it’s better to start the hard work while you’re young when so that it doesn’t seem as hard when you’re older. It doesn’t make sense to wait until you’re an adult with financial responsibilities
to start doing something that you love.” – Will Adcox