Live the Dream
Pilot in Guinness World Records
Barrington Irving, a Jamaican-born, 23-year-old pilot who flew around the world in a custom-built Columbia 400 called Inspiration, is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records 2012. Irving, now 27, circumnavigated the globe between March 23 and June 27, 2007. His 97-day flight is in the world record book for the “youngest person to fly solo around the world” as well as the “first-ever solo circumnavigation flight by a black pilot.” Irving’s record-setting flight was designed to inspire young people—especially disadvantaged youth—on the opportunities and joy of aviation.
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Women in Aviation, International scholarship applications due Nov. 14, 2011
In the past 22 years Women in Aviation, International (WAI) has disbursed millions of dollars in scholarship funds to its members, both male and female, to help them advance into the aviation and aerospace careers they have always dreamed about. Certain scholarships also help teachers fulfill their dreams by providing them with the resources they need to bring aviation into their classrooms or to enhance their skills. Now is your chance to apply for one of 64 scholarships totaling $455,000. You must be a member of Women in Aviation, International to apply for these scholarships and you have to apply to win, so get started today! For more information, visit the WAI website>>
First Steps • Types of Certificates • Time and Cost
Choose a Flight Instructor • Safety • Take Your First Flight
Aircraft of the Month
Sikorsky X2 Technology Demonstrator
The Sikorsky X2 Technology Demonstrator holds the unofficial speed record for a helicopter, flying at 250 knots in level flight. The X2 Demonstrator is one-of-a-kind, equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, including two counter-rotating rotors and a propeller in back. The benefits of this prototype are still being discovered. Once in production, it could be flown as an air ambulance, getting critically injured passengers to the hospital faster, or for military purposes, because it can approach a target fast, and then descend and unload cargo or passengers quickly. The X2 Demonstrator completed its final test flight in July 2011 and the aircraft was officially retired after accumulating over 23 test flights. Its new home will be the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport. Read more and watch the X2 in action >>
Ask a Pilot
What is the best way to prepare for the FAA knowledge test (a.k.a. the "written")?
Answer: It depends on your learning style and your schedule. If you are more comfortable in a structured setting and are less likely to study on your own, you may prefer a ground school class. Most ground school classes meet once or twice a week, and last for several weeks. They are typically offered by a flight school or local community college. Alternatively, you could pay a flight instructor hourly for one-on-one attention. If you prefer the flexibility of the self-study route, there are a number of online and DVD-based programs to help you prepare. You may find that a combination of these methods will work best for you. Keep in mind that you can take practice tests to see which areas you may need to review. No matter how you decide to learn the information, your flight instructor will have to sign an endorsement stating you’re ready to take the test. You’ll need to score a 70 percent or higher to pass.
Do you have a question about flying? Ask a pilot! Call 800/872-2672 or send an e-mail.
In the Blogs
Here is a recent post from our Let's Go Flying blogs.
Do pilots have to be good at math?
By Pat Flannigan
"If you want to be a pilot, you have to be very good at math." That was the advice of my elders as I worked my way through grade school, and it's an often repeated sentiment today. But it's a lie. You don't have to be a math-whiz to be a pilot. Most of the private pilot curriculum focuses on physical hands-on skills along with the many regulations governing those skills. Math only creeps into the equation when we talk about the subjects of flight planning, aircraft performance, and weight and balance. But none of those things are very complicated, and anyone who can add, subtract and multiply can do this. If you have trouble with arithmetic (don't we all?), don't worry -- calculators are allowed. 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.
NBAA2011 - National Business Aviation Association's 64th Annual Meeting and Convention
NBAA2011 takes center stage for business aviation activities Oct. 10 through 12 in Las Vegas. The event will feature exhibits at the Las Vegas Convention Center, a static display of aircraft at Henderson Executive Airport, over 100 education sessions and maintenance and operations sessions (M&Os), and over 25,000 business aviation professionals who are interested in seeing and learning about all that is new in the world of business aviation. Learn more on the NBAA website.
University of Oklahoma Westheimer Annual Airport Open House, Fly-In, and Family Festival
The University of Oklahoma Westheimer Airport in Norman, Oklahoma welcomes the community to the airport for an open house that includes tours of the air traffic control tower, static aircraft displays, free admission, and free parking. This annual event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children, kindergarten through high school age, are encouraged to visit the Sooner Flight Academy activity hangar. The OU flight school will have all their aircraft on static display, including a flight simulator and air traffic control simulation lab for prospective students. For details, visit the OU website.
South Carolina Breakfast Club
It's a home-cooked southern breakfast, great fellowship, and flying! Every other Sunday since 1938, pilots and aviation enthusiasts in and near South Carolina have met for breakfast. That's it! No dues, no meeting requirements! Breakfast is approximately $6 per plate and will be ready around 9 a.m. Fly in or drive to the airport, belly up, and talk aircraft until your heart’s content! Pilot or non-pilot, everyone is welcome! The Oct. 16 breakfast will be held at Sumter Airport. For the breakfast schedule and airport location, visit the South Carolina Breakfast Club website.
Want to know what you missed at AOPA Aviation Summit? Check out AOPA Live!
While thousands of pilots and aviation enthusiasts were able to attend AOPA Aviation Summit 2011, we understand not everyone could make the trip to Hartford, Conn. If you could not be there in person, you can still watch archived videos on the AOPA Live 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!