Live the Dream
Mountain flying adventure
Combining the joy of flight with the challenge of rugged terrain and the beauty of wilderness landscapes makes backcountry flying an increasingly popular hobby for general aviation pilots. This article features a stunning video of backcountry flying in Idaho's rugged Frank Church Wilderness Area. Watch video >>
A new destination for air sports video
Aviation fans looking for excitement have a new place to watch their favorite hobby brought to life: Airsports.tv, a free Internet TV channel featuring video from the adrenalin-fuelled arena of air sports competition. Read more >>
Glider pilot shares drive to soar further
Doris Grove went to an FBO in Florida more than 35 years ago to achieve a dream twice deferred. After her sixth child went off to school, she had called a nearby airport to schedule flight lessons and found that the instructor refused to teach women. Read more >>
Gone flying? Tell us about your flight and submit photos and video of the experience!
Flight Path series gives student pilots a lift
Working on getting your pilot certificate? AOPA has launched a new program to see you through the process, providing helpful information every step of the way and celebrating each important milestone. Read more >>
How general aviation works: Airports
Airports can be as basic as a strip of freshly mowed grass in a farmer's backyard or as complex as O'Hare International in Chicago. Take an interactive tour of a typical general aviation community airport at the General Aviation Serves America Web site.
Save money on aircraft rentals
Although your instructor will guide you on which type of aircraft you should use for your training, the cost of your aircraft rental will be part of your responsibility as a student pilot. You may find it helpful to search for aircraft rentals online. Read more >>
First Steps • Types of Certificates • Time and Cost
Choose a Flight Instructor • Safety • Take Your First Flight
Aircraft of the Month
Gyroplanes (pronounced Ji-row planes) are classified by the FAA as rotorcraft, a category of aircraft that use rotor blades to produce the lift needed to fly. According to the Popular Rotorcraft Association, a worldwide organization of rotorcraft enthusiasts, gyroplanes are also known as gyrocopters or autogyros. The term “gyro” is typically used to describe a very small gyroplane with unpowered rotor blades, usually built from a kit or from plans. Air Gyro Aviation, located in Utah, is one of a few flight schools in the United States that offer gyroplane training. For additional information on gyroplanes, visit Air Gyro Aviation's Web site.
Ask a Pilot
Question: What is a preflight checklist?
Answer: The FAA's practical test standards state that pilots must use appropriate written checklists to prepare an aircraft for a specific task or flight. Prior to takeoff, pilots inspect several areas of the aircraft, including the aircraft's cockpit, empennage, and landing gear. For additional details about preflight checklists, read AOPA Flight Training’s article, Preflight Inspections.
Do you have a question about flying? Ask a pilot! Call 877-58-PILOT or send an e-mail.
In the Blogs
Here are some recent highlights from our Let's Go Flying blog page.
FAA's new runway safety videos
By Andrew Schmertz
Someone has sent the FAA to film school. As someone who has spent his career in television production, I can tell you that I was pleasantly surprised by the FAA's new runway safety videos. Read more >>
Diamonds in the sky
By Bill Daniels
This story is about my Diamond Distance flight from Sunspot near Alamogordo, NM to Alamosa, CO in a Nimbus 2C sailplane. Perhaps this narrative will give the reader a sense of the techniques... Read more >>
Flying glass with the U.S. Civil Air Patrol
By Steve Tupper
Notice the cool primary flight display (or "PFD")? Notice the yoke just below it? Notice that there's no hand on the yoke? What you can't see in the picture is that there hasn't been a hand on that yoke for more than 20 minutes. 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.