Cadet 'Slips the Surly Bonds of Earth' in Historic First Solo Powered Flight
From usaf.af.mil, by Maj. Christopher Reteneller, 557th Flying Training Squadron
9/13/2012 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- A senior with Cadet Squadron 40 "slipped the surly bonds of Earth" during her solo flight Sept. 7, marking the first time in Air Force Academy history that a cadet has flown a solo powered flight in the T-53A.
Cadet 1st Class Staci Rouse's sortie caps more than 12 months of hard work from several agencies, said Lt. Col. Bradley Oliver, the 557th Flying Training Squadron commander.
"We hope she is the first of many cadets to solo in this program," Oliver said.
Rouse, a native of Woodbridge, N.J., said she was nervous, but also excited and "extremely confident" about conducting her first solo flight.
"I had much more confidence flying the aircraft than I expected I ever would after my first flight. When I landed, I felt everything I worked for had paid off. I was overjoyed to see everyone waiting for me after the flight because they all helped me so much. I felt like all of my work made them proud, and I was very thankful for that."