Last year I watched my daughter make her first solo flight in a light aircraft. That means she took off in an airplane on her own, and landed it. She was just 16 and had ten hours training. The first I knew it was happening was when the instructor said quietly to me, “You might want to stay around to watch this lesson!”.
If you haven’t experienced going solo in a airplane, this is pretty much how it works. After you’ve made three perfect landings in a row, the instructor casually remarks: “Not bad, why don’t you do the next three circuits on your own?” They then climb out of the airplane leaving you alone with the engine running and ready to go. At that moment the airplane seems tremendously quiet, the right-hand seat looks tremendously empty and the runaway looks tremendously short!