Cross Country

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Training Tip: 'Immediate and rapid descent'

Article | Apr 20, 2015

The emergency descent is a flight-test item found as Task A, Emergency Operations, in the Private Pilot Practical Test Standards.

Club Spotlight

Article | Apr 19, 2015

Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places on earth—and it looks even better by air. With 14 public use airports on the eight islands, there are plenty of opportunities for general aviation pilots. Moore Air is a for-profit company that offers aircraft rental, but also has a flying club to help keep rates low for frequent flyers and visitors to the islands. Moore Air owner and president Mark Jones shares how it all works and what it’s like to fly in Hawaii.

Fly like a fighter: Operation empty Sic-Sacs

Fly like a fighter | Apr 07, 2015

After getting sick on his first five flights in a T-37, an Air Force pilot made it his goal to create an experience in which none of his passengers would get sick, whether he was flying reporters or controllers in an F-15 or T-38 or friends in a Cessna 172.

Proficient Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Apr 03, 2015

One of the most meaningful and emotional flights of my life occurred on May 23, 1995, 20 years ago this month.

Pilot Briefing: Giving Back

Pilot Magazine | Apr 03, 2015

Aviation Adventures Inc. came about in an unexpected way.

Training Tip: Seen and avoided

Article | Mar 20, 2015

Pilots receiving radar traffic advisories might be lulled into letting the "second pair of eyes" at the approach control radar scope keep the lone watch for any further traffic conflicts. Don’t become one of those complacent pilots!

Aircraft Spotlight

Article | Mar 15, 2015

For a cost-conscience flying club looking to offer advanced training or do some cross country flying, the Piper Arrow may be exactly what you’re looking for. While there are faster or bigger aircraft, the Arrow offers an easy step up from a Cherokee to a complex airplane, it has a decent useful load, and it’s inexpensive to operate. Dave Sanders of the Bay Area Aero Club in Pearland, Texas shares their experience.

Question of the Month

Article | Mar 15, 2015

The Pittsburgh Flying Club is looking to get a new aircraft and Frank Beresnyak asked for help on the AOPA Facebook Flying Club page. He detailed the club’s current cost structure and what it would be for each aircraft and asked, “If given the choice between the 172 and 182, which would you choose? Would an increase in dues cause you to go elsewhere to rent/fly?” Several club members provided useful ideas on how to best make the decision.

Air racing revs up in 2015

Article | Mar 13, 2015

Want to participate in an air race in 2015? You don't need to be a Red Bull pilot to race in these upcoming events.

Did 'The Lost Aviator' murder his rival?

Article | Mar 12, 2015

Australian filmmaker Andrew Lancaster’s great uncle Bill was a dashing aviator from the golden age of flight. Was he also a rival's killer?

Pilot Getaways: Mineral Canyon, Utah

Article | Mar 09, 2015

The most profound reason to visit Mineral Canyon is simply to experience the natural wonder of the picturesque, river-worn canyons. The canyons are a spectacle to behold from the air.

Training Tip: Awake to a hazard

Article | Feb 23, 2015

Not even past the end of the runway, the pilot banks left and continues climbing on a new heading. Is something wrong?

Aircraft Spotlight

Article | Feb 15, 2015

The Cessna 150 has been used to teach pilots to fly for decades and is still going strong. It is durable, simple to fly to and inexpensive to operate. It may not be fancy, but most pilots have a soft spot for this reliable little trainer. Pocono Mountains Flying Club President Paul Houle shares how his club is creating new pilots with the venerable Cessna 150.

Club Spotlight

Article | Feb 15, 2015

When someone is willing to travel 90 miles to become a member of your club and take flight lessons, you must be doing something right. The Pocono Mountains Flying Club in northeast Pennsylvania is doing a lot right, and has a model worth replicating if you are interested in starting a club with low rates and a focus on flight training.

FAA explains deletion of EFAS questions from a knowledge test

Advocacy | Feb 05, 2015

Although questions about the En Route Flight Advisory Service (EFAS) are being dropped from the private pilot knowledge test, the service remains available, the FAA said.

Pilots: B-17 Pilot

Pilot Magazine | Feb 05, 2015

Last year was the seventieth anniversary of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and their final reunion at the old home base in Sweetwater, Texas—Avenger Field, or Sweetwater Airport.

Turbine Profile: The business of aviation

Pilot Magazine | Feb 05, 2015

With only a nanosecond of hesitation, Bob Pittman declares the Falcon 900 his favorite airplane.

The front lines

Pilot Magazine | Feb 03, 2015

Effectively addressing the challenges that GA faces today requires an army of missionaries to help AOPA advance the faith.

Training Tip: Do you have a safety margin?

Article | Feb 02, 2015

Pilots learn–sometimes the hard way–that it’s a good idea to add a safety margin beyond what regulations require.

Exhausting maintenance: Performance improvements

Article | Jan 20, 2015

Exhaust system design is critical to the ultimate power output of an aircraft engine. Regardless of improvements to induction air flow, compression, cylinder porting, or combustion timing, a poorly designed exhaust system will always limit the power that your engine can deliver.

Training Tip: Saved by a stall

Article | Jan 12, 2015

You never would have taken off if you knew it was going to get this bumpy.

P&E Never Again

Pilot Magazine | Jan 09, 2015

Without a word he reached up and buried his entire little finger in a hole in the aluminum skin.

The ultimate King Air

Pilot Magazine | Jan 09, 2015

When most general aviation pilots think of the biggest King Air, they’re most apt to name the King Air 350i.

High flight

Pilot Magazine | Jan 08, 2015

Accidents involving pressurized aircraft and total pilot incapacitation are rare.

Letters: From our December 2014 issue

Pilot Magazine | Jan 08, 2015

Author Barry Schiff’s story on the Reagan Library and how Air Force One landed on a California mountainside elicited memories—and some criticism from our members.

Father, son solo on same day

Article | Jan 06, 2015

A five-hour round-trip drive to the airfield makes scheduling lessons difficult, but the payoffs include an unobstructed view of Mt. Fuji and the satisfaction of father and son accomplishing goals together.

Aircraft Spotlight

Article | Dec 21, 2014

The Aircraft Spotlight feature looks at an airplane type and evaluates it across six areas of particular interest to flying clubs and their members: Operating Cost, Maintenance, Insurability, Training, Cross-Country, and Fun Factor.

Training Tip: A matter of course

Article | Dec 12, 2014

How would you react to looking down while flying a cross-country and seeing an apparently uncharted airport below?

Club Spotlight

Article | Nov 15, 2014

Based at Augusta Municipal Airport (3AU) in Wichita, Kansas, this club has named all four of its airplanes, and that’s not the only thing that makes GPAC a bit different from other flying clubs.

Training Tip: Fleshing out FICONs

Article | Nov 14, 2014

Especially in northern regions, ‘tis the season when ficons—a notam contraction that translates to" field conditions"—should become a routine preflight item to check.

Sweepstakes 2015: Meet your new 152

Pilot Magazine | Nov 12, 2014

Your “Reimagined” AOPA 2015 Sweepstakes 152 is just like all the 30-something trainers you’ve ever flown—and it’s nothing like them.

Member Profile Daniel Bier

Article | Nov 07, 2014

For Daniel Bier, “Flight of Passage” is more than a book that tells the story of two teens who buy a dilapidated Piper Cub and restore it to take a flight across America in 1966. It’s the reason he and his father started taking cross-country flights in a Piper Archer a few years ago.

Silent night

Pilot Magazine | Nov 07, 2014

>During a recent gathering of local pilots, some were surprised to learn that I rarely fly cross-country at night in single-engine airplanes.

Hypoxia: Insidious emergency

Article | Oct 15, 2014

Many in-flight emergencies arrive with fanfare: annunciator lights, engine sputtering, smoke. Hypoxia may insinuate itself into the cockpit quietly, without the pilot even knowing. In its subtlety lies danger.

Training Tip: Maximum solo

Article | Oct 14, 2014

Be sure to take the opportunities your training environment offers to maximize the value of the solo hours that go in your logbook.

Training Tip: Pressure check

Article | Oct 07, 2014

The student’s instructor recently noted that an example of her increasing ability to juggle tasks was her now-automatic response to altimeter settings broadcast by ATC.

What’s in your hangar?

Pilot Magazine | Oct 03, 2014

For more than 25 years, the FAA has taken the position that hangars at federally funded airports should be reserved for aeronautical use.

A week in the sun

Pilot Magazine | Oct 02, 2014

Take a vacation in the southwest with friends and pick up a glider rating in the process.

Pilot Getaways: Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Article | Sep 24, 2014

If you have sophistication and a sense of humor, then Nemacolin Woodlands Resort is the place for you. It is the kind of place where you can enjoy the finer things in life without taking yourself too seriously. Pilot Getaways recommends checking it out before or after AOPA's Homecoming Fly-In on Oct. 4.

Training Tip: Aircraft speed limits

Article | Sep 22, 2014

Reviewing this regulation will make you a more effective plane spotter when ATC calls out fast traffic in busy (and haze-laden) airspace.

Training Tip: 'Detailed rules and requirements'

Article | Sep 17, 2014

When examining details for VFR operations in and around major terminal areas, a must-have resource is the current local terminal area chart.