Live the Dream
Trip of a life time
“There’s a 12,000-foot peak on the left, a 13,000-foot peak on the right, both with snowcaps. There’s nobody out there, no other airplane in the sky…it was as though I had the whole mountain range to myself,” Foster recalled. It was a spectacular image during a trip that likely would rank high on any pilot’s wish list—flying one’s own airplane across the country. What makes Foster’s experience stand out just a little more is that, at age 17, he was a little wet behind the ears when he departed for the West Coast. He had logged about 100 hours. And he had taken his private pilot checkride just nine days earlier. Read More >>
President signs GI training bill
President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that expands educational funding opportunities for active-duty servicemen and -women, for the first time including flight training in eligible programs, on Jan. 4. Both houses of Congress passed the “Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act of 2010” during the busy lame duck session of the 111th Congress. “This bill is a big step forward for both active duty members of the armed services and for veterans,” said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA senior vice president of government affairs. Read More >>
First Steps • Types of Certificates •
Time and Cost
Choose a Flight Instructor •
Take Your First Flight
Aircraft of the Month
AOPA's 2011 sweepstakes airplane - Cessna 182
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) will give away a completely refurbished Cessna 182 featuring a 300-hp engine, glass cockpit, and much more. First introduced in 1956, the Cessna 182 is one of the most popular general aviation airplanes in the world. This versatile, four-seat airplane is able to meet the needs of those who want to fly around their local airport and see the sunset or who want to fly to a vacation or business destination. Join AOPA or renew your existing membership before July 31, 2011 and you'll be automatically entered to win AOPA’s 2011 Crossover Classic Sweepstakes. Read More >>
Ask a Pilot
Question: Is there more than one type of pilot certificate?
Answer: While the private pilot certificate is the most common choice for students, there are two other options—the recreational pilot certificate and the sport pilot certificate. Most students select a certificate based on their budget, the type of flying they plan to do, and the aircraft they want to fly. The privileges and limitations of each certificate also should be considered. To find the pilot certificate that is right for you, check out the comparison chart on the Let’s Go Flying website.
Do you have a question about flying? Ask a pilot! Call 800/872-2672 or send an e-mail.
In the Blogs
Here are some recent post from our Let's Go Flying blogs.
First things first
By Chris Findley, CFI, CFII
When you first begin flying you may feel overwhelmed with the amount of information you encounter. It seems like there is so much to learn and much of it sounds like a foreign language! You'll hear your instructor and other pilots talk about things like: Class B, ATC, VSI, Static Port, Asymmetrical Thrust, Nimbus, ATIS, and the Pattern. In the air the radio will crackle with odd sounding phrases that seem only vaguely related to English. A lot of students feel overwhelmed early on. That's why we must keep "First things first." Read more >>
Up in the air again ... sort of
By Arty Trost
I went up to the barn this morning at 0-dark-thirty, to check if we’d had any new lambs born. The moon was full, and so bright that I didn’t need a flashlight. After weeks of rain, seeing the moon and stars was delightful. “Stay clear, stay clear,” I said, promising myself a flight once the sun came up. By 8:00 a.m. the sun was up and it was COLD: 29° outside. But the sky was crystal clear blue! By the time I got to the airport there were a few clouds on the horizon, and by the time I took my gas cans to the gas station, got back to the hangar and fueled up, the sky had grayed up completely. 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.
Women in Aviation, International Conference
Join Women in Aviation, International (WAI) at Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nev., for its twenty-second annual conference from Feb. 24 to 26. With the theme of "Inspire, Enthuse, Innovate," participants will be immersed in the tactics and strategies necessary for successful aviation careers. The conference includes an exhibit hall, seminars, and networking events. For details, visit the WAI website >>
Northwest Aviation Conference & Trade Show 2011
Head to Puyallup, Wash. for the annual Northwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show set for Feb. 26 and 27. Over 11,000 aviation enthusiasts gather in western Washington to check out what's new in the aviation industry. The trade show area features over 350 exhibitor spaces and there are weather and airport workshops scheduled. For more information, visit the website >>
37th Annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In & Expo
Sun ’n Fun Fly-in, one of the world's premier events for recreational aviation enthusiasts, will be held from Mar. 29 to Apr. 3 at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Fla. The event offers more than 450 educational forums, seminars, and hands-on workshops, as well as more than 500 commercial exhibitors offering aviation products and services. Sun ’n Fun will celebrate the Centennial of Naval Aviation and showcase the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels. For additional information and advance ticket purchase, visit the website.
Pilots love to take photos, and they love to share them with other pilots. Now you can upload your flying photos to our online gallery, “Air Mail.” Share your special aviation images, or view and rate more than 7,000 photos (and growing). Photos are put into rotation on the AOPA home page!