Hey CFI's, what traditions do you normally do after your student's first flight?
I've heard of cutting out the shirt tail. My instructor took my shirt tail and had it framed with a nice letter. Any other great traditions? Does anyone give plaques or certificates on solo day? How about "wetting downs"?
When I was in the U.S. Air Force, there was a large metal tank outside the squadron filled with water. Upon completion of your first solo in the T-37, your fellow students would capture you and throw you in the tank. If your classmates failed to capture you and you were able to make it all the way back into the classroom after shutting down, your classmates were responsible for providing funds for the Friday afternoon party.
In Norway the instructor usually gives the student a bottle of Solo orange soda http://www.ringnes.no/brands/brus/PublishingImages/Solo/solony.png
I got a framed print of the 172 I flew with my name and the date of the flight on it.
Sits up on my wall among other things.
Throwing into an airfield pool is an all time classic! But in Czech republic water is not the only way how to make the first solo flight even more special and unforgettable. It's called 'ladder tradition' which is always fun. When pilots achieving the first solo flight are tied up on the ladder, mainly instructors pour various liquids on them, such is waste oil, tainted milk or addled egg for example - but imagination knows no limits. In our airfield, there are various favourite 'ladder soups' usually prepared for new solo pilots. It seems like the worst tradition ever, but it's something like wishing all the fresh first solo pilots that this ladder tradition was the worst thing they would ever experience in aviation - wishing them successful flights and same number of takeoffs as landings.