Get extra lift from AOPA. Start your free membership trial today! Click here

A new way to learn

AFTA is free to members

The AOPA Flight Training Advantage (AFTA) is a web portal- and iPad-based training application that will help make the process of flight training more effective for the student, the CFI, and the flight school. If you are an AOPA member, this exciting new tool is free.
Zoomed image

Students: AFTA individually customizes every lesson to keep pace with you as you learn so you know what to expect and how to prepare before every flight. Instantly see how you’ve performed on each activity with a full, detailed lesson history. Check your training progress from any device and access tips, videos, and articles to help you master critical skills. Earn badges and share your successes while saving time and money.

CFIs: Make your job easier with fast lesson prep, in-cockpit grading, and instant access to all your student records. AFTA automatically assigns lesson elements based on student performance, while giving you the flexibility to modify on demand. In the air, see airman certification standards and common errors as you grade each maneuver. On the ground, AFTA displays grades and assigns homework to make post-flight briefing a breeze.

Flight schools: AFTA will help you deliver an efficient, high-quality flight training experience that keeps students coming back for more. Your students will appreciate having anytime access to their lesson history, progress reports, and lesson prep materials. Your instructors will enjoy automating lesson creation, assigning study materials, and tracking student progress. And you’ll appreciate the business insights you’ll gain from knowing what happens in every lesson.

And, yes, this experience is completely free for AOPA members.


Failure is not an option

If at first you don't succeed, you really can try again

By Craig Brown

Q: I don’t see this discussed much, but what happens if I fail my private pilot flight test? And who will know?

A: It is certainly not the end of the world, even though it may feel like it. Many pilots have failed flight tests. The simple answer is that you get back up, dust yourself off, go back to your instructor, receive some more training on the maneuvers or subjects failed, and then re-take the test. The majority of first-time failures pass on the second attempt. And, if there is a third attempt needed, although rare, the same applies. And as far as who will know: you, the examiner, your instructor, FAA Airman Certification, and anyone else you tell. Failure of a flight test is not public knowledge, although it does become part of your permanent airman record the FAA Airman Certification Branch maintains in Oklahoma City. In fact, every pilot or instructor certificate or rating you attempt or earn is placed in your airman record.

Any airman can request a copy of his or her entire file. I would recommend this for your own knowledge, and certainly if you intend to make a career out of flying. Use FAA form 8060-68, which you can download at There is a nominal fee that is based on the number of pages in your airman file. You must mail the form to the FAA; there is no online option.

Pilots certainly do not talk much about a flight test failure. It happened, they moved on, and eventually passed. That is all that matters. Learn from the failure, but by no means let it hold you back from accomplishing your dream of flying.

Craig Brown is a senior aviation technical specialist in the AOPA Pilot Information Center. [email protected]

Related Articles