Flying Over Oklahoma

“Nothing will ever equal that moment of exhilaration which filled my whole being when I felt myself flying away from the earth.  It was not mere pleasure; it was perfect bliss…”
–Professor Jacques Alexandre Cesare Charles

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
–Napoleon Hill

Well, I guess you may have figured out that I had my first solo flight in a Cessna 172 yesterday!  It was wonderful!  I dreamed it, I achieved it and nobody can ever take it away from me.  Now, on to soft field landings and cross country training.  That first cross country (3 full stops at different airports, at least 50 miles apart) by myself will be huge!  A good pilot never stops learning and I still have a long way to go, but the first solo has now been accomplished.  YAY!!!!!

Flying Over Oklahoma

Four 4″ x 6″ Watercolor  & Acrylic Postcards

I painted this in November, 2009, from a sketch I did, looking out an airplane window on my way to Port Townsend, Washington for an acrylic workshop.  I painted it in my hotel room, while I was there.  I thought it would be appropriate for today’s post.  🙂

Professor Jacques Alexandre Cesar Charles wrote this after the first free flight in a manned hydrogen balloon, December 1, 1783.  Note:  The exact adjective used by Professor Charles to describe the emotions is not “exhilaration” but “bilarite”, which can be translated exactly as ecstasy, exhilaration, joy and/or excitement.

See my shirt tail on Facebook! 😀

In American aviation lore, the traditional removal of a new pilot’s shirt tail is a sign of the instructor’s new confidence in his student after successful completion of the 1st solo flight. In the days of tandem trainers, the student sat in the front seat, with the instructor behind. As there were often no radios in these early days of aviation, the instructor would tug on the student pilot’s shirttail to get his attention, and then yell in his ear. A successful first solo flight is an indication that the student can fly without the instructor (“instructor-less” flight). Hence, there is no longer a need for the shirt tail, and it is cut off by the (often) proud instructor, and sometimes displayed as a trophy.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carol King
    Dec 16, 2010 @ 23:04:14

    woweeee! Congratulations on your first solo flight. I’m with Joan….when you fly to NY, let us know.

    Lovely painting. I seem to remember it from 2009.


    • Beth Parker
      Dec 17, 2010 @ 08:59:24

      Thanks, Carol! Yeah, I posted it in 2009. I am so excited about being able to go see some of my friends. I hope I end up being a good pilot, when it’s all said and done. 😀


  2. Alex Zonis
    Dec 14, 2010 @ 17:01:51

    Congratulations, Beth! Both on your painting, which is lovely, and on your solo flight! I am also envious of your flying. I had flown a plane twice in my life, that is someone took off, gave me controls for a while, and then landed. I LOVED it! But never pursued flying somehow :(.

    When are you flying to Chicago? Let me know and I will meet you in O’Hare!!! 😀


  3. lesliepaints
    Dec 14, 2010 @ 13:11:21

    YAY! YAY! YAY! I can’t view your shirt tail, but what a cool story. I like aerial paintings, regardless. They are rare for we earthbound, fear of heights people with vertigo. Congratulations, Beth! 🙂


    • Beth Parker
      Dec 14, 2010 @ 13:54:43

      Thanks, Leslie! I am also afraid of heights. Yesterday I had to climb to the top of some bleachers to measure a sign on the announcer’s box and my legs were quivering! Who knew I’d be okay in an airplane. he he I hope there are a lot more aerial paintings in my future. (once I am secure enough to fly and take pictures. 🙂


  4. Joan T
    Dec 14, 2010 @ 10:48:43

    Yipee!!!!!!! Congratulations on your solo!!!! I’ll be expecting you to fly to NY any time now. lol


  5. lindahalcombfineart
    Dec 14, 2010 @ 09:35:35

    Big, Big, BIG Congratulations! What an accomplishment…and I love the painting too !


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