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Let's Go Flying July Newsletter


VOLume 1, ISSUE 1 • July 23, 2008
Lets Go Flying homepage Already in Training? Ready to Start? Dreaming of flying?

In This Issue:
The view from above
Mother of young twins learns to fly
Switch from car to plane keeps family sane
The right fit: Choosing a flight school
Captain, pick your ship!

Live the Dream

The view from above
High Flight, John Gillespie Magee's famous poem about flying, begins, “Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings.” The poem concludes, “And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod the high, untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand, and touched the face of God.” For Ryan Ramos, flying is that and more. “The view from below can't compare to the view from above. I almost know what it is like to look through God's eyes,” said Ramos. Read more >>

Mother of young twins learns to fly
When Melissa Williams-Brown, mother of three-year-old twin boys, decided to do something for herself, she was looking for what would become one of the proudest moments of her life. “I wanted to do something that wasn’t mainstream. It had to be mentally challenging, and it had to be something that was considered ‘hard to do’ but yet attainable—especially considering my hectic schedule with the boys,” she explained. Read more >>

Switch from car to plane keeps family sane on long trips
Pilot Charles Fleder and his family used to drive 13 hours from their home in southern Arizona to Telluride, Colo., for weekend getaways during the summer. But the long trip weighed them down, and the family dog, Wally the border collie, dreaded the trips. “Our solution was to purchase a Piper Cherokee 180 with the intention of flying as close as we could to Telluride and then renting a car for the remainder of the journey,” Fleder writes in “The Joy of Flight.” “To my utter amazement, all went well.” Read more >>

Gone flying? Tell us about your flight and submit photos and video of the experience!

Start Flying

A safety record that can't be beat
General aviation in the United States is one of the world's safest forms of public transportation. Part of that outstanding track record comes from the steady improvements in technology and certification standards that have made general aviation safe for those flying and those on the ground. Read more >>

The right fit: Choosing a flight school
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 >>

Captain, pick your ship!
You'll never forget the first airplane you fly. No matter how many other aircraft you may pilot, that first trainer will always have a special place in your heart. However, picking the airplane or helicopter you learn to fly in should be based upon your flying goals and your budget. Read more >>

First Steps Types of CertificatesTime and Cost
Choose a Flight InstructorSafetyTake Your First Flight

Aircraft of the Month

Cessna 172 Skyhawk
The Cessna 172 is the world’s most popular general aviation airplane. This versatile, four-seat airplane, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2006, is also a common primary trainer and rental. Many pilots learned to fly in a Cessna 172, then worked toward more advanced ratings in it, and have either purchased or continue to rent one for cross-country trips. This aircraft is able to meet the needs of those who want to fly around their local airport and see the sunset or who want to fly to a vacation or business destination.

Ask a Pilot

Question: How do pilots find their way from Point A to Point B in the air?

Answer: Navigating in the air is quite similar to methods drivers use on the ground. Many pilots fly aircraft equipped with GPS. While the unit won’t say, “Turn left in two minutes,” it does depict a line to follow. Pilots also use maps, called “sectional charts,” which depict roads, rivers, lakes, cities, mountains, and more. These prominent features become “checkpoints” that pilots look for to verify their position over the ground. Another means of navigation is “radio navigation.” A pilot will tune into a specified frequency and follow simple instrument readouts to stay on course. And, there’s always the compass. The plus of navigating in the air is that you can often fly a straight line from Point A to Point B—no pesky detours!

Do you have a question about flying? Ask a pilot! Call 877-58-PILOT, or send an e-mail.

Learn the Lingo

As with any passion, there’s a special “insider’s language.” We’ve pulled together some key terms to get you in the loop.

Ceiling: Venture out to any airport, and you’ll hear pilots talking about the ceiling—not the ceiling inside their hangar, flight school, or airport office. What they are referring to is the cloud cover outside. If more than half of the sky is covered with clouds, it is called a ceiling. The height of the ceiling is measured in feet from the ground to the base of the cloud layer.

Taxi: In the aviation world, “taxi” is a verb. Taxiing is basically driving the airplane on the ground. When you taxi, you follow signs and markers on paths, called “taxiways,” which lead you to the runway. Unlike driving a car on the left side of the road, you want to taxi the airplane in the middle of the path.

Windsock: This is an orange cone-shaped flag at airports that shows you from which direction the wind is blowing. It can also give you an idea of the wind speed. If it is limp, it’s calm. If it’s sticking straight out, it’s pretty windy. You’ll use the windsock to determine what runway you want to use to take off and land.

Have you heard or seen a term at the airport that you didn’t understand? Send us the word, and we can explain it to you—it might even appear in a future Let’s Go Flying eNewsletter!

Airport Days

Experience the camaraderie among pilots, listen to exiciting flying stories, and go up for a flight at an airport near you! Airports all across the United States offer different weekend activities, from pancake breakfasts and barbecues to car and airshows. Find out what’s going on in your area! You can search by city, state, or geographic region.

Destinations and Events

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