Live the Dream
It's daddy's turn to learn to fly
Cage Carruthers set a goal to learn to fly a helicopter once his children were grown. Just recently he soloed a Schweizer 300C. "When my son began college four years ago I began thinking about actually beginning to move forward on a goal I’ve always had. With my son recently graduating from college and the other one halfway through, I can see more light at the end of the education tunnel. Which means, it’s daddy’s turn!” Read More >>
Florida flight school offers full training scholarship
Tailwheels Etc., a flight school in Winter Haven, Fla., is accepting applications for a scholarship competition that will enable one high school student to become a private pilot. The recipient’s package will include accommodations, all flight time and flight instructor time, knowledge and practical tests, and books. The recipient will be responsible for meals and transportation to and from Florida. Tailwheels Etc.’s scholarship program is open to students aged 17 or older. To enter, students must submit a 30-second YouTube video about why they would benefit from receiving a private pilot certificate and post it to the wall of the Tailwheels Scholarship Facebook page. Videos will be accepted until midnight May 20. Complete details are available on the Tailwheels Etc. website.
First Steps • Types of Certificates • Time and Cost
Choose a Flight Instructor • Safety • Take Your First Flight
Aircraft of the Month
Advertised in the late 1940s as “the world’s safest plane,” the Ercoupe has seating for one pilot and a passenger and moves along at 100 mph. The Ercoupe is a cost efficient aircraft to train in, burning just over five gallons of fuel per hour. A distinctive trait of the Ercoupe is that it does not have rudder pedals. A pilot uses the control wheel to maneuver the aircraft on the ground and in the air. Certain models of the Ercoupe that weigh less than 1,320 pounds can be flown under the light sport aircraft category by sport pilots. Jessica Cox, the first person without arms to earn a sport pilot certificate, lists the Ercoupe as her favorite airplane because she can fly the aircraft without any special modifications. To learn more about Jessica’s journey, watch AOPA Live.
Ask a Pilot
Question: I'm interested in getting a sport pilot certificate. What types of airplanes are used for sport pilot training?
Answer: Sport pilots may only fly aircraft that qualify as a light sport aircraft (LSA). For an airplane to be considered an LSA, it must meet a variety of characteristics required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). An LSA cannot exceed certain weight or speed specifications. Aircraft manufacturers are building new aircraft specifically to meet LSA requirements, such as the Cessna Skycatcher, Evektor SportStar, and the Remos GX. Standard aircraft that meet the definition of an LSA can also be flown by sport pilots, such as the Aeronca Champ, Ercoupe 415-C/CD, and the Piper J-3 Cub. The decision to train in an aircraft manufactured specifically for LSA requirements or to learn in a standard airplane that meets the requirements for LSA is simply a matter of availability and personal preference. For more information on the light sport aircraft category and the sport pilot certificate, check out AOPA Online.
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 posts from our Let's Go Flying blogs.
Real IMC for private pilots?
By Chris Findley, CFI, CFII
I recently did an IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) trip with a private pilot friend of mine. I had been his instructor through his private pilot training and we had done all the required work for that certificate. This included three hours of flight by reference to instruments only. As a private pilot, this is mainly to allow you to handle an accidental flight into IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions). It is in no way designed to make you a proficient instrument pilot. The main idea is to teach you to maintain aircraft control and reverse course to fly to clearer weather. Read more >>
Your private pilot certificate
By Jason Schappert
Your private pilot checkride is going to be a big day. It's the final exam of your private pilot training. Below I've compiled some great tips to help you be a success on your checkride. Don't forget your airwork. Students often get sidetracked with preparing for the ground portion of the checkride. Don't let your raw flying skill lack while you're studying. Keep fresh on stalls, turning stalls, navigation, emergency procedures, landings, etc. Remember you are the pilot in command. On your checkride you are to act as pilot in command (PIC) from the moment you walk in the door. Now remember there is a big difference between confidence and cockiness. 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.
International Learn to Fly Day
The Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) will present International Learn to Fly Day on Saturday, May 21. International Learn to Fly Day is aimed at growing the pilot population by doing two things: tearing down the perceived walls at airports, and getting future pilots up in the sky for their first flight. If you've ever said to yourself, "Someday I really want to experience the freedom of flight," then International Learn to Fly Day is for you. Check out EAA's Find an Event page to find an International Learn to Fly Day event near you.
2011 Air Race Classic
From June 21 to 24, more than 50 aircraft will race over 2,100 nautical miles from Iowa City, Iowa. to Mobile, Ala. Each aircraft has a team of two or more women pilots who enjoy the camaraderie and challenge of the four-day race. The Air Race Classic is dedicated to encouraging and educating current and future women pilots, increasing public awareness of general aviation, and preserving and promoting the tradition of pioneering women in aviation. For more information, including a map of the race stops, visit the Air Race Classic 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!