Live the Dream
"Uncle Joey" is a pilot
In the “guess-who-stopped-by-the-office” category is Dave Coulier, best known as Uncle Joey from the 1980s television series Full House. Coulier was a hit around AOPA’s Frederick, Md., headquarters—especially with the women, who remember him as the cute, funny uncle of the Olsen twins and best friend of Bob Saget (who later became a dirty-talking comedian). Coulier is a clean-talking stand-up comedian (he tours with the Clean Guys of Comedy) and was in the Washington, D.C., area for a performance. But Coulier came to tour the AOPA headquarters just like any other pilot—he has been a private pilot since 1979. Read more >>
Combat veteran solos LSA
Able Flight scholarship winner Adam Kisielewski, a former U.S. Marine sergeant who lost his left arm and part of his right leg in combat in Iraq, made his initial solo flight on March 14. Dean Stickell, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, Vietnam War veteran, and CFI, is preparing Kisielewski to become a sport pilot and watched him make three textbook takeoffs and landings at Frederick Municipal Airport in Maryland. As Kisielewski prepared to make his first solo takeoff, Stickell said he wasn’t concerned or anxious about the outcome. “I don’t have any qualms whatsoever,” said Stickell, 70, who soloed at the same airport on his sixteenth birthday in 1957. “I’m excited for Adam, and it’s a pure joy to watch him solo.” Read more >>
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Aircraft of the Month
Flight Design CTLS
Flight Design’s 100-horsepower CT light sport aircraft (LSA) has led the U.S. market since the light sport industry started six years ago with the delivery of its CTSW model. The evolution of the American market has resulted in the newest model, the CTLS, introduced in January 2010. The CTLS has a fuselage that is 16 inches longer than its predecessor and also boasts a larger door, designed to allow passengers to sit down and swing their legs in over the control stick. At 55-percent best-economy power settings, the CTLS spec sheet lists the airplane’s cruise at 89 knots, burning only 4.4 gallons per hour. The large comfortable cabin and excellent visibility of the CTLS makes any flight enjoyable and provides a great environment for learning how to fly. Flight Design assembles and tests the aircraft at its headquarters in Germany and builds the airframe in Ukraine. Learn more about the CTLS on AOPA Live.
Ask a Pilot
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 pilot 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. The frequency of flight lessons, weather conditions, the kind of aircraft in which you are training and its scheduling availability, and individual aptitude will all contribute to the amount of time it will take to earn a 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.
A few things every pilot should have in his or her flight bag
By Jason Shappert
A pilot’s flight bag can be one of the most important tools the pilot could have. But it’s not the bag that’s the tool; it’s what’s inside of it. So what are some of the most important items that a pilot should have in his or her flight bag? Check out the top five >>
Let's keep making GA memories
By Todd McClamroch
Those who lived through it know where they were when they first heard the Beatles, when man first stepped on the moon, or, sadly, when airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center. On a more personal level, there are life events that are elevated to the same status such as a wedding day or the birth of a child. For pilots, several occasions meet these standards. Every pilot remembers that first solo, earning his or her pilot certificate, and probably even the tail number of the airplanes those feats were accomplished in (for me it was a Cessna 152, N5493L). Read more >>
Flight simulation conference in Munich, Germany
By Francois Dumas
This past weekend saw me hop on a regional jet from Amsterdam to Munich in Germany, to attend the Aerosoft Conference held in the city's wonderful aviation museum, the Flugtwerft. Aerosoft is one of the world's foremost developers and distributors of flight simulation (add-on) software and organizes this conference every year, now for the 10th time already. Although it is not as big and famous as the 'Dutch FS Weekend', it is surely worth visiting. If not for finding out news about the 'hobby' then at least to meet with some of the major companies in the industry and meet with developers and other enthusiasts face to face. And as I have explained many times before, aviation and flightsimming IS the same for many people. The passion is the same, the goal is pretty much the same too. 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.
Job and career fair in Las Vegas, Nev.
Fltops.com will sponsor a global pilot job fair and career conference on April 13 in Las Vegas, Nev. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with professionals from several regional and large airlines. Not looking for a job yet? A free career fair will be held in the afternoon for those looking for an aviation university or flight school. More information and registration information can be found here.
Young women mentoring camp at AirVenture
A four-day mentoring camp for high school girls will be held at EAA AirVenture from July 26 through 29 in Oshkosh, Wis. More than 100 participants will be mentored by professionals in the aviation industry, as well as participate in workshops, fly a simulator, learn about airplane assembly, and more. Visit the site to read comments from past attendees and get more information.
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!