Live the Dream
Challenge: Powerless flight
Have you experienced flight in a glider? It is a less-expensive way to get into the air, and it doesn’t require a medical certificate. If you already have a pilot certificate, adding a glider rating is a fun way to sharpen your skills. AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman took to the skies for some soaring lessons and, like most powered pilots, was surprised at how quiet it is without that engine under the cowling. Working with veteran soaring instructors Tom and Doris Knauff, Hirschman came away with a new appreciation for this form of flight. Watch the video >>
Girls With Wings accepting scholarship applications
Girls With Wings, a nonprofit organization aimed at getting girls interested in aviation, is accepting applications for two scholarships. The Private Pilot Scholarship will award $1,000 to a female who has soloed but not completed a private pilot course. The Dreams Take Flight Scholarship will award $500 to a female who plans a career in aviation and would benefit from experiencing introductory flight training. The deadline to apply is June 30. See the website for applications and essay requirements.
First Steps • Types of Certificates • Time and Cost
Choose a Flight Instructor • Safety • Take Your First Flight
Aircraft of the Month
The Beech 18, or “Twin Beech” as it is commonly known, went into production in 1937 and lasted until 1969. The Beech 18 is a classic looking twin-engine transport airplane and a favorite on the ramp at any airport. More than 9,000 were built. The original Beech 18 (C18) had 350-hp radial engines. With the onset of World War II, more than 5,200 modified C18s were sold to the military. After World War II, Beech embarked on an ongoing improvement program for the Model 18, ultimately designing 32 different versions. The Beech 18 was built like a tank, very sturdy, heavy, and stable. As with other Beech aircraft, the Beech 18 is not speedy (flying about 170 mph), but longer trips are comfortable due to the spacious cabin. Airshow performer, Matt Younkin currently flies an amazing aerobatic display in his 1943 Twin Beech, executing maneuvers that its designers and spectators never thought possible for such a large aircraft.
Ask a Pilot
What do pilots mean when they refer to a crosswind landing?
Answer: Pilots select runways based primarily on the direction of the wind. Landing into the wind is preferred because it results in a shorter landing distance. A landing is considered a crosswind landing when the wind is not blowing straight down the runway toward the airplane. The crosswind component is measured in knots from 90 degrees to the longitudinal axis of the runway. A stronger crosswind requires greater deflection of the flight controls to maintain runway heading and land on the centerline. During flight training, you'll practice crosswind landings with your flight instructor. He or she will coach you through the process and help you develop the proper technique.
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.
An [extra]ordinary day
By Kristen Seaman
It seems only natural to start this post with something cheesy like, “It was a day like any other day…” or “I had no idea when I woke up that morning I would…” and then drag the story out for a few more paragraphs before reaching my point. But, let’s cut to the chase because I know why you’re here. So here you go, folks—I soloed! It was awesome, unforgettable, and monumental. In a nutshell, it was everything I dreamed it to be. Read more >>
Are you ready to learn?
By Pat Flannigan
Let's pull back the curtain and look at flight training from the point of view of your instructor. Flight lessons are built around a set of principles known as the Principles of Learning. These principles help teachers guide students toward specific learning goals. But one principle is almost completely up to you, the student. The principle of readiness simply states that learning won't take place until the student is good and ready. This is usually the biggest hurdle for any teacher, from grade school all the way to the cockpit. Read more >>
The rest of the story!
By Arty Trost
Finally—the complete “rest of the story!” When I last blogged, in April, I wrote how I had an engine failure and landed in a wheat field outside of Custer, Mont.—upside down. Amazingly, I wasn’t hurt at all—not a single scratch or bruise. And the Talon had minimal damage, but enough to prevent me from flying home. So with the help of my two flying partners, Wayne in a Rans S-14 and Bob in a Titan Tornado, I rented a truck, took the Talon apart and loaded it up, and drove home. Bob and Wayne continued their flight back to Oregon, taking almost as long as I did because of weather. 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.
Central Florida Flashmob Fly-In
Shhhh it’s a secret! This isn’t your typical flash mob with dancing in a city square. On June 9, you can be part of a select group of pilots to descend on a yet-to-be-specified exact location in central Florida. Meet other pilots, eat some good food, and be part of a one-of-a-kind experience like never before! Should you choose to accept this mission, more top secret instructions can be found here.
1940's WWII Era Ball in Boulder, Colo.
On June 16, Boulder Airport’s Blue Hangar will transform into a boogie woogie good time. Dance the night away amongst WWII airplanes/flybys, military vehicles, and re-enactors. The USO-style show will feature aerialist Brandy Dew, The Diamond Dolls, and more treasures from the 1940s. For more information, visit the website.
Ninety-Nines 2012 International Conference
The Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots, will hold their annual conference in Providence, R.I., July 11 through 15. Attendees can meet Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII, attend FAA Safety Seminars, connect with other women who share a passion for aviation, and learn about scholarship opportunities. The keynote speaker will recount his survival story as a helicopter pilot during a “perfect storm.” More information, including how to register, can be found here.
"The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration"
The Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) annual fly-in and air show will take place at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wis., from July 23 through 29. There is something for everyone at the show, including an opening-day concert, a night airshow, KidVenture, a Fly-In theater, and more. More than 10,000 aircraft fly in and make Wittman the busiest airport in the world. To learn more about this event, 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!