Live the Dream
Helicopter pilot returns to sky after devastating accident
Patrick Scrogin received his flight instructor certificate just 10 months after he was told he would not be able to walk again. Read more >>
An uncontrollable urge to fly
After a hiatus of nearly seven decades, Lt. Col. Maury Marler is back at the controls as pilot in command. Marler, 91, first earned his pilot certificate in 1941 through the Civilian Pilot Training Program and flew for only a year before giving up flying to serve as a navigator in the Army Air Corps. Read more >>
Transcontinental flight expected to make history
She's too young to get a private pilot certificate, but she's flown both airplanes and helicopters. Her practical skill at flying is good enough for a commercial rating, but her demanding school studies make ground school a chore. She's tenacious enough to pay no attention to the limitations she's supposed to have. Read more >>
Gone flying? Tell us about your flight and submit photos and video of the experience!
Let's Go Flying video debuts online
Watch the official Let's Go Flying video to see the excitement of a real introductory flight lesson and a first solo flight in a general aviation airplane. Hear real pilot stories and get a glimpse of some of the destinations and aircraft you could experience as a pilot. Watch video >>
Fashion belts for aviation enthusiasts
From single sales to international commerce, a mother/daughter effort to raise money for a vacation turned into the fashion belt company Skybelts. Skybelts are a unique, fashion-conscious way for aspiring pilots to show their love for aviation. Read more >>
Charting your path to success
Pop quiz: How many pilots who begin flight training end up with their pilot certificate? The answer is startlingly low: about 30 percent. To help stop the flood of flight school dropouts, AOPA created the Flight Path program, a personal tracking system that offers users resources and information to keep students engaged during the training process. Best of all, everyone who tracks his or her progress through the site is automatically entered for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship. The first winners were recently announced. Michael Schwab of Largo, Fla.; John Riggs of Beatrice, Neb.; Bryan Fletcher of Highland, Calif.; and Terry Russell of Wayland, Mich., are now $1,000 closer to finishing their flight training, thanks to Flight Path. Sign up today!
First Steps • Types of Certificates • Time and Cost
Choose a Flight Instructor • Safety • Take Your First Flight
Aircraft of the Month
American Champion Champ 7EC
Ladies and gentlemen, now entering the ring, wearing any of 20 colors, weighing 1,320 pounds, from Rochester, Wis.,—the Champ! Florida dealer Larry Tague even paints boxing gloves on the tail. The American Champion 7EC Champ — certified under the old CAR 4 rules — is re-entering the market as a light sport aircraft, and thus has a 1,320-pound gross weight limitation. Read more >>
Ask a Pilot
Question: I've noticed that there are Part 61 and Part 141 flight schools. What's the difference?
Answer: Whether you train under Part 61 or Part 141, you will learn the same things and take the same FAA tests. The only real difference will be the order in which you learn things. Part 141 schools must use a structured curriculum that teaches skills in a specific order. If you fly every day, this curriculum ensures the effective, efficient use of your training time. Part 61 schools are not bound to a structured curriculum (many Part 141 schools also train under Part 61); they can rearrange the order in which you learn skills to suit your schedule, which benefits those who can fly only on weekends and evenings. Read more >>
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.
'Automatic rough' bumps in the night
By Bill Daniels
I know I'm supposed to write about sailplanes and soaring. However, I spent a lot of my flying career driving single-engine light planes just about everywhere and in just about every weather it's possible... Read more >>
Talking to tower
By Evan Krueger
Yesterday, Dana and I took to the sky (for a little bit at least) to conquer controlled airspace. The lesson started with a small ground lesson on airport signs, controlled airspace procedures, and the airport... Read more >>
Love blooms at the airshow
By Steve Tupper
When you get into aviation, it creeps into your blood and every part of you is somehow influenced by it. If you've ever spelled your name for a restaurant reservation using the phonetic alphabet, you know... 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.