But in case something unusual happens, it’s nice to be able to ask questions. Make sure that your instructor has a handheld radio and that you have determined a discreet frequency for communication. Test that the handheld works before you start the engine by dialing up the frequency on the ground and checking it with the panelmounted radios so that you can rest assured that you have a lifeline on the ground. I was very happy that I had this added support, though I didn’t use it. I felt confident enough completing my flight without questions and, in fact, my most intense memory of my fist solo was the silence (well, I was talking to ATC at Santa Monica airport, which is very busy, but it was nice not having my instructor constantly yapping in my ear).