Live the Dream
How to choose a flight school/flight instructor
Learning to fly can be one of life’s most rewarding adventures. The freedom of moving in three dimensions is not only fun but can lead to interesting career and travel opportunities. To take advantage of aviation’s rewards, you must make sure you get the good, solid information and aviation training that you’ll need to be a safe, confident pilot in the air. One of the most important steps in that process is finding the right flight school. Read More >>
Places to fly
When you fly general aviation aircraft, you have access to thousands of airports not served by the airlines. Instead of 540 airline airports, you can fly to over 5,200 airports across the country—meaning you can get closer to your destination. Besides the convenience and flexibility this mode of transportation offers to business travelers, general aviation is also the best way to travel for weekend getaways and family vacations. Whether you want to visit the Grand Canyon, family in Maine, or a weekend getaway to a secluded lake, travel by general aviation and fly yourself! View the Let’s Go Flying Range Map and see where general aviation can take you!
First Steps • Types of Certificates •
Time and Cost
Choose a Flight Instructor •
Take Your First Flight
Aircraft of the Month
Mooney M20R Ovation
Like all Mooney aircraft, the M20R features the distinct vertical tail that aids immediate recognition as a Mooney airplane. First debuted in 1994, the M20R is a four-seat, low-wing, single-engine airplane with retractable landing gear. The airplane has a 280-hp engine and a max cruise speed of 190 knots. It is the first piston-powered, single-engine airplane to be certified for flight into known icing conditions. The M20R uses anti-icing fluid that seeps out of tiny holes on the wing’s leading edge to prevent ice from adhering. It extracts sizzling performance from a tried-and-true engine and airframe, yet makes life easy for the pilot by embracing sophisticated and modern systems.
Ask a Pilot
Can I still get an aviation medical certificate if I am unable to pass the color vision test with the aviation medical examiner (AME)?
Answer: Yes, you can. If you fail to pass the color plate test during your FAA physical examination, the AME may issue your medical certificate with a limitation that will prohibit you from flying at night. You can opt to have the restriction removed at a later date by taking one of several FAA-approved alternative color plate tests. Contact your local optometrist or ophthalmologist to see if they might have one or more of the alternative tests available.
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.
Flying for a cause, flying for the paws
By Kristen Seaman
When I tell someone I’m a pilot now, I get so many different reactions. The most common is “Awesome! Who do you fly for?” I always have this feeling that they’re slightly disappointed to learn the small scale on which I fly. Now, I don’t have anything against commercial pilots, but I have no plans now or in the future to pursue a job with the airlines. Being a commercial pilot is a career move, and that is just not in line with my goals. However, please don’t actually ask me what I want to be when I grow up, because I’m still not sure. I love flying and I love the flexibility of doing it on my own schedule. But I also love my job, and being able to fly as little or as much as I want to outside of that is perfect for me. 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.
Ventura County Ninety-Nines 2013 Pilot Proficiency Classes
Are you looking to brush up on your aviation weather skills? What about handling in-flight emergencies? Flying at night? The Ventura County Ninety-Nines have recruited an impressive group of CFIs and experts to share their knowledge with you. Proficiency classes will be offered through the end of April at KCMA Airport in Camarillo, CA on a wide variety of topics that can appeal to almost any pilot. Registration information and the class schedule can be found here.
Northwest Aviation Conference & Trade Show
Join over 12,000 other aviation enthusiasts in Puyallup, WA for the Northwest Aviation Conference & Trade Show, running February 23-24. This show features two days of seminars and presentations, as well as over 300 exhibits. Among the keynote speakers is AOPA President Craig Fuller, who will be addressing the most pressing issues facing the general aviation community, such as the federal budget, user fees, and NextGen. You can also hear more about AOPA’s efforts to grow the pilot population and their new Center to Advance the Pilot Community. More information can be found on the website.
Women of Aviation Worldwide Week
Take part in the celebration of past and present women in the aviation industry and their accomplishments with Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, taking place March 4-10. This year’s theme is Women and Space. Since its start in 2010, this organization has enabled more than 5,000 girls and women to discover the joys of flight in small aircraft in 36 countries and on 4 continents through their Fly it Forward events. To find an event in your area, or to find out how you can get more involved, visit their website here.
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!