Shown on left:
former student pilot Jennifer Maison after her
first solo flight losing her shirttails.
A tradition in
aviation requires that after a fledgling aviator solos for the first time
the flight instructor take a pair of scissors to the student pilot's
clothing and cut off the shirttails. No one is certain how this tradition
started, but one story is this...
instructors sat behind the student in tandem, open-cockpit airplanes.
Because this was well before headsets and intercoms, the instructor might
have reached forward and tugged on his shirttail to get his attention.
Removing the shirttail symbolized that the soloed student no longer needed