Home | Dreaming of Flying? | Ready to Start? | Already in Training?

This is the new Let's Go Flying site.

The 'family car' that flies

Generations in the Sky

For Jim and Marge Gorman, two passionate, long-time pilots, aviation is a family affair. Three generations of the Gorman family have inherited the passion for flight.

America’s general aviation pilots are your friends and neighbors. They’re your colleagues and business associates. They’re people just like you. And they’ve invested the time and effort to learn how to fly.

These people use their own airplanes, or more commonly airplanes that they rent, just like you use the family car.

They fly airplanes so that they can visit family and friends or tourist spots like Gettysburg, the Grand Canyon, or the giant redwood trees of California.

And sometimes, they fly just so they can slip the surly bonds of Earth. Ask any pilot you see: People who have experienced the gift of flight know why the birds sing.

Family visits

Many people enjoy traveling to see family and friends. People who fly themselves or who use general aviation can make these same trips without the expense and hassles of airline travel.

Because general aviation pilots can use almost 20,000 airports or heliports, they often can get much closer to their destination than they can by flying into an airline hub.

Family vacations and day trips

America is blessed with many tourist destinations: Key West, the Las Vegas Strip, and Mount Rushmore, to name a few. Plus there’s all the shopping, dining, and cultural activities available in major cities.

All of these destinations and thousands more like them can take one or more days to reach by car, even from within the same region of the country. But the 166 million people who fly on small airplanes each year can reach these same destinations in a fraction of the time.

As a result, they can take mini-vacation sightseeing trips during a two- or three-day weekend that would take most families a week or more to complete traveling by car. Or they can visit regional tourist spots 200 miles away from home, yet be there and back the same day without the added cost or time required of an overnight stay.

If popular tourist sites aren’t your thing, then how about being able to fly to a remote fishing camp or going on a wilderness photo safari to a location only accessible by a small airplane?

Find a flight school

Use our database of over 3,500 flight schools to find one near you. Search now >>

Ask a pilot

Click here to have your flight training questions answered by a pilot. Get your questions answered >>

Free magazine subscription

Sign up to receive 6 months of AOPA Flight Training magazine - FREE! Sign up today >>