Live the Dream
Aviation Explorers sample lighter side of GA
Bunsen burners might bore some high school students, but when 18 million Btu per hour is rushing from what looks like two giant Bunsen burners, that will capture any teen’s attention—that along with the sound and radiant heat from the 10-foot-tall plume of fire it produces. Three members of the Aviation Explorers Post 320 recently learned how to prepare a hot air balloon for flight. AOPA hosts the Aviation Explorers at its headquarters in central Maryland every other week to help the teens further their interest in aviation. Read More and view the slideshow >>
AOPA launches flight training scholarship program
The creation of two new $5,000 AOPA scholarships will help two student pilots pursue a sport, recreational, or private pilot certificate. Applications for the scholarships are now being accepted online. The application deadline is Aug. 19. The scholarship winners will be announced at the AOPA Aviation Summit in Hartford, Conn., Sept. 22 through 24. Read More >>
First Steps • Types of Certificates •
Time and Cost
Choose a Flight Instructor •
Take Your First Flight
Aircraft of the Month
Erickson S-64 Aircrane Helicopter
While some helicopters are designed for speed, others are built simply to lift a lot of weight. Perhaps the best example is the Erickson S-64 Aircrane. The S-64 was the first helicopter built as a flying crane with an aft-facing pilot station that allows the pilot to directly view the load being carried and fully control the aircraft during precision operations. This unique helicopter was certified in 1969 and originally manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft as the S-64A Skycrane. In 1992, Erickson purchased the Sikorsky S-64E and S-64F models, and the aircraft designation was changed to the S-64 Aircrane. Today, Erickson owns and operates a fleet of 18 Aircranes throughout the world. Read More >>
Ask a Pilot
What is a student pilot certificate and how do I get one?
Answer: A student pilot certificate is issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). All student pilots are required to have a student pilot certificate before they can fly solo. You can obtain a student pilot certificate from an aviation medical examiner (AME), a designated pilot examiner (DPE), or an FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO). Visiting an AME is the most common method for obtaining a student pilot certificate, especially for those seeking a private or recreational pilot certificate. In these cases, an AME will issue your student pilot certificate as part of the aviation medical exam. If you are pursuing a sport pilot certificate and won’t be getting an aviation medical exam, your flight school or instructor can direct you to a local DPE and/or FSDO to get your student pilot certificate.
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.
By Steve Tupper
I’ve written before about the fact that aviation provides challenges worthy of any level of skill. And I thought that now might be a good time to check back in from my wanderings on the frontiers and tell you that–yeah–it’s still true. Not that I expected to find anything different. But my current explorations are of degree, not of kind. Several years ago, after having had my private pilot certificate for about four years, I began flying aerobatics. Read more >>
Doing a good preflight really pays off
By Arty Trost
Today’s weather was made for flying. Slightly overcast and absolutely no wind. So I decided to skip my chores and head for the airport. I’m trying to get in all the flying time I can before I leave for Oshkosh on July 19. I want to practice one-wheel landings, short-field landings and takeoffs, dead-stick landings, etc., etc., etc. I pulled the Talon out of the hangar and refueled, then began my preflight. I have a set order for doing the preflight; I begin at the left-front and work my way back, around the tail feathers, and then forward to the right-front. I didn’t get very far today. 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.
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
The Experimental Aircraft Association's (EAA's) annual aviation celebration, AirVenture, will be held in Oshkosh, Wis., from July 25 through 31. More than 500,000 aviation enthusiasts and 10,000 aircraft will arrive to experience AirVenture. No matter what your age or aviation experience, you’ll be informed, entertained, and thrilled by countless activities that reflect the spirit of aviation all around. For more information, visit the AirVenture website.
AOPA Aviation Summit 2011
Be a part of aviation-themed action for all ages and levels of aviation enthusiasm. No matter if you're a student pilot, have had your pilot certificate for decades, or still have your feet firmly planted on the ground but have always kept an eye high in the sky, there is plenty to see and do at AOPA Aviation Summit you can't afford to miss—Airportfest, educational forums, a 400-booth exhibit hall, and evening social events. AOPA Aviation Summit will be held in Hartford, Conn., from September 22 through 24. For more information, visit the Summit 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!