When the weather turns nice, the flying bug usually bites. But before you scratch that itch and take to the skies after a long winter break, make sure you're up to speed on flight operations and currency requirements.
Ensuring these things are taken care of before you hop in the airplane can help keep you from inadvertently spoiling your fun in the air. AOPA provides more than 80 aviation subject reports, 10 interactive online safety courses, and thousands of archived safety tips on aviation topics ranging from aircraft airworthiness to windy flight operations to help you make a smooth transition into the air.
If it's been a while since you've been up in the air, recharge your aeronautical communication skills by studying AOPA's aviation subject report on ATC communications. Communication can help you prevent and survive an emergency. In tough situations, ATC could be your best friend, so don't hesitate to talk to them. AOPA's Online Safety Center offers a free course, Say Intentions, to teach you how to call on ATC when an in-air problem arises.
Better weather means you'll probably be blazing new trails in the air and exploring new airports. Avoid runway incursions by refreshing your memory of runway markings and operations with the AOPA Online Safety Center's Runway Safety course. Safety advisors are also available for operations at towered and nontowered airports.
Now that you are sharpening your pilot skills, double-check that you and the aircraft are current. Subject reports are available for aircraft inspections, flight reviews, and currency and proficiency. Remember, if you haven't flown within the preceding 90 days, you must make three takeoffs and landings (to a full stop if at night or in a tailwheel aircraft) before you can carry passengers.
If you are getting back into flying after a long hiatus, try AOPA's Pilots' Guide to Getting Back Into Flying .
For a full list of aviation subject reports, see AOPA Online.
March 18, 2005