Live the Dream
Meet the flying Gormans
Three generations of the Gorman family have inherited the passion for flight. Watch the video interview from the family’s hangar at Mansfield Lahm Airport and learn how the Gorman family turned a love of aviation into an amazing family heirloom.
In the spirit of flight
One of our first wonders is flight. If your memory fails, watch a child in fascination observe a pigeon or butterfly take to the air, to see this seemingly unachievable miracle experienced only in our imagination. Read more >>
Postcards: The airport in the sky
If you were a teenager in 1958, then you may think Santa Catalina Island is 26 miles across the sea from Los Angeles because it’s in the song of that year by the Four Preps. Maybe we need a new song, Not Too Far Across the Sea. However far it may be, it is an experience pilots will remember for a lifetime. Read more >>
Gone flying? Tell us about your flight and submit photos and video of the experience!
Chat with an AOPA pilot
With the click of a mouse, visitors to the Let’s Go Flying Web site can chat with a pilot from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). The live chat feature is fast, easy to use, and completely free of charge, so feel free to ask our pilots as many questions as you like. Chat now by visiting the Let’s Go Flying Web site and clicking on the “Chat with a pilot” icon.
How young is too young?
Is it possible to start flying too young? We’ll answer that with another question: Are some people born to fly? Are there kids for whom, no matter when they start, learning to fly will be easy and safe? Read more >>
A pilot's alphabet
You may have noticed that pilots use code words to communicate letters of the alphabet. This is commonly known as the phonetic alphabet and formally known as the international radiotelephony spelling alphabet. Pilots use the radiotelephony alphabet so that essential letter combinations can be easily understood by individuals transmitting and receiving voice messages. Click here to view the radiotelephony alphabet chart.
First Steps • Types of Certificates • Time and Cost
Choose a Flight Instructor • Safety • Take Your First Flight
Aircraft of the Month
Though technically not a type of aircraft, skydivers and BASE jumpers use wingsuits to create lift and gain some navigational control while gliding through the air. Made of material that stretches around the entire body, wingsuits cost around $1,000. With the suit on, a jumper can move three feet forward for every single foot of vertical drop, thus extending the period of free fall. There are numerous videos of wingsuit-clad jumpers on YouTube.
Photo by Matt Hover, courtesy of the U.S. Parachute Association.
Ask a Pilot
Question: What does the term solo mean, and what is the significance of soloing?
Answer: From a legal standpoint, Federal Aviation Regulation 61.87 says that the term "solo flight as used in this subpart means that flight time during which a student pilot is the sole occupant of the aircraft." A common industry definition says "solo is any flight time during which the pilot is the only occupant on board;" the difference is that the regulation specifies student but the term really applies to any certificated pilot. Definitions aside, your first solo flight is an important milestone in your training and a moment worthy of celebration. It's an experience you'll always remember as among the coolest things you've ever done.
Do you have a question about flying? Ask a pilot! Call 877-58-PILOT, send an e-mail, or chat online with a pilot.
In the Blogs
Here are some recent highlights from our Let's Go Flying blog page.
Let's not forget the co-pilot and flight attendants
By Andrew Schmertz
My office window is along 10th Avenue in Manhattan-- which last Thursday put me and my co-workers in perfect view of something that looked quite out of place... a commercial airliner bobbing in the water. Read more >>
What's your favorite flight?
By Paul Tocknell
Most of my posts on the Let's Go Flying blog have been, up to this point, about professional pilot paths. I want to take a pause from this theme however, to share with you a recently re-discovered reason for wanting to learn how to fly: to find your own personal favorite flight. Read more >>
Aviation Calendar of Events
Airports all across the United States offer weekend activities, from pancake breakfasts and barbecues to car and air shows. Find out what’s going on in your area! You can search by city, state, or geographic region.