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By Anon
So here it is - that first solo moment. The instructor is out and the power checks are done. This is a middling international airport and so a small delay after checks for one of the local airline flights to arrive. Running through the important things to remember - switch the transponder on on the runway....remember the aircraft is lighter so will get to circuit height faster.... lovely sunny day....

Cleared to enter and line up. Ok I can do this.... cleared for take off so here we go. I’ve done it so many times before it’s almist second nature. Rolling Ts and Ps in the green... excellent. Then.......strange.... the view is different......I’m usually up by now.... speed is rising .....not there yet....I’ve never seen the actual runway end on take off before ...... what’s happening ? There’s the speed and I’m off... great. All going fine then onto the downwind checks. And there it is -

a slight movement forward on the brake handle - it hadn’t fully been the brakes had been binding slightly causing a slightly longer take off run. The clues were there and I should have realised as soon as the picture wasn’t right.

Learning from this - if it looks wrong it is wrong. Do something about it as this could have ended very differently!
By Cessna57
quite an interesting one for first solo, you’ll not do that again I presume !

Basically, well done for spotting it downwind.

PA28 I presume? After training on C152s and never actually using the weird brake I’m always cautious of the handbrake. Just one of the things to check when you line up.
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By Genghis the Engineer
I've done a variation on this (not on my first solo, many year later) flying a large vintage tailwheel aeroplane with a poor parking brake off wet grass.

Very juddery take-off - but successful. Parked that fact for later.

Returning to the field, start pre-landing checks...

U - Undercarriage down and welded, etc.

If the runway surface hadn't been so slippery, I imagine I'd have noticed this and never taken off with it on. But, if I hadn't done my checks properly and at the right time, that might have ended very badly indeed.

It's an important lesson. I always have my students, now I'm an instructor, include "parking brake off" in their pre-landing checks.