Live the Dream
Jubilee brings balloonists, community together
It's the beauty, color, and imagination of hot air balloons that draws mid-Michigan residents to the Jackson Hot Air Jubilee every year. The weekend airshow from July 17 through 19 brought more than 40 balloon pilots together at the Jackson County Airport in Michigan. Read more >>
Fourth-generation pilot continues family tradition
Sarah Sill turned 16 on May 27, and she celebrated it just as you'd expect for a fourth-generation pilot: She soloed a Citabria.
Read more >>
Virtual friends will meet, fly cross-country
Randy Lewis met Kendall O'Brien four years ago, and the two have been friends ever since. They've shared a lot of aerial adventures; taking turns flying as pilot in command and copilot—virtually, that is. Read more >>
Gone flying? Tell us about your flight and submit photos and video of the experience!
Calling all potential pilots to AirVenture
The Experimental Aircraft Association's (EAA's) AirVenture aviation celebration will be held from July 27 to August 2 in Oshkosh, Wis. This year, AirVenture will feature an entire exhibit devoted to aspiring pilots. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) are helping to get them started right. Read more >>
Take the ASF Say It Right course
Get a taste of what's it's like to be a pilot with the AOPA Air Safety Foundation (ASF) course, Say It Right. The course teaches pilots to communicate properly, efficiently, and effectively from the cockpit (approx. 45-60 minutes). Please note that some parts of this course are geared toward advanced pilots. To take the course, you must create a free ASF account. Take course >>
Sneak a peek at AOPA's Internet Flight Planner
One of the benefits of being a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is that you get access to AOPA's Internet Flight Planner (AIFP). Click here to watch the AIFP demo. Want more? Sign up for a free trial membership to AOPA and you can have access to AIFP and other members-only resources for six months.
First Steps • Types of Certificates •
Time and Cost
Choose a Flight Instructor •
Take Your First Flight
Aircraft of the Month
Piper J-3 Cub model aircraft
July's Aircraft of the Month represents a very popular aviation hobby—model aircraft flying. People who enjoy the hobby are sometimes called "model builders," or "aeromodelers." The radio-controlled Piper J-3 Cub pictured is merely one example of how realistic the models can appear. According to the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), the world's largest model aviation association, there are three main types of model aircraft—free flight (FF), control line (CL), and radio control (RC). AMA is the world's largest model aviation association with 149,000 members and 2,500 chartered clubs. Founded in 1936, AMA is the official national organization for aeromodelers in the United States and is open to anyone interested in model aviation. For more information, visit the AMA's Web site.
Ask a Pilot
Question: How long does it take to learn to fly and get a pilot certificate?
Answer: The FAA has established the minimum number of flight hours needed to obtain a certificate. Under Part 61 of the federal aviation regulations, the minimums are 20 hours for a sport pilot certificate, 30 hours for a recreational certificate, and 40 hours for a private pilot certificate. Some schools operate under an alternate regulation, Part 141, which provides more FAA oversight, more rigid schedules, and more paperwork. The added requirements allow them to reduce the minimum hours of private pilot training to 35 hours. However, many schools believe that a true average flight training time for a private pilot is between 50 and 60 hours, whether the school operates under Part 61 or Part 141. Others believe that 68 to 70 hours is the more likely average. These flight hours can be spread over a time span of several months to a year or 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.
Ignorance is... well, ignorance
By Steve Tupper
CBS Evening News ran a report by Sharyl Attkisson on July 13 titled Tiny Airports Get Big Cut of Stimulus Cash.
A half-researched and poorly-understood effort by an editorial team that doesn't understand the subject matter that it's covering... Read more >>
The magical world of lighter than air flight
By the co-producers of "A Pilot's Story"
I recently had the great pleasure of meeting Kevin Knapp, the Mayflower Transit hot air balloon corporate pilot. I was introduced to Kevin through our good friends Col. Joe Kittinger and his lovely wife, Sherry... Read more >>
A real Texan treat
By Evan Krueger
Recently, I got my first taste of vintage aircraft. My neighbor invited me to his friend's house to take a ride in his North American AT-6 Texan. I wasn't quite sure what it was at the time...
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.