Let's Go Flying July Newsletter
VOLume 1, ISSUE 1 • July 23, 2008
Live the Dream
The view from above
Mother of young twins learns to fly
Switch from car to plane keeps family sane on long trips
Gone flying? Tell us about your flight and submit photos and video of the experience!
A safety record that can't be beat
The right fit: Choosing a flight school
Captain, pick your ship!
Aircraft of the Month
Cessna 172 Skyhawk
Ask a Pilot
Question: How do pilots find their way from Point A to Point B in the air?
Answer: Navigating in the air is quite similar to methods drivers use on the ground. Many pilots fly aircraft equipped with GPS. While the unit won’t say, “Turn left in two minutes,” it does depict a line to follow. Pilots also use maps, called “sectional charts,” which depict roads, rivers, lakes, cities, mountains, and more. These prominent features become “checkpoints” that pilots look for to verify their position over the ground. Another means of navigation is “radio navigation.” A pilot will tune into a specified frequency and follow simple instrument readouts to stay on course. And, there’s always the compass. The plus of navigating in the air is that you can often fly a straight line from Point A to Point B—no pesky detours!
Do you have a question about flying? Ask a pilot! Call 877-58-PILOT, or send an e-mail.
Learn the Lingo
As with any passion, there’s a special “insider’s language.” We’ve pulled together some key terms to get you in the loop.
Ceiling: Venture out to any airport, and you’ll hear pilots talking about the ceiling—not the ceiling inside their hangar, flight school, or airport office. What they are referring to is the cloud cover outside. If more than half of the sky is covered with clouds, it is called a ceiling. The height of the ceiling is measured in feet from the ground to the base of the cloud layer.
Taxi: In the aviation world, “taxi” is a verb. Taxiing is basically driving the airplane on the ground. When you taxi, you follow signs and markers on paths, called “taxiways,” which lead you to the runway. Unlike driving a car on the left side of the road, you want to taxi the airplane in the middle of the path.
Windsock: This is an orange cone-shaped flag at airports that shows you from which direction the wind is blowing. It can also give you an idea of the wind speed. If it is limp, it’s calm. If it’s sticking straight out, it’s pretty windy. You’ll use the windsock to determine what runway you want to use to take off and land.
Have you heard or seen a term at the airport that you didn’t understand? Send us the word, and we can explain it to you—it might even appear in a future Let’s Go Flying eNewsletter!
Experience the camaraderie among pilots, listen to exiciting flying stories, and go up for a flight at an airport near you! Airports all across the United States offer different weekend activities, from pancake breakfasts and barbecues to car and airshows. Find out what’s going on in your area! You can search by city, state, or geographic region.
Let’sGoFlying.com is sponsored by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), a not-for-profit individual membership association, which effectively serves the interests and needs of its members as aircraft owners and pilots, and establishes, maintains, and articulates positions of leadership to promote the economy, safety, and popularity of flight in aircraft.
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