Several years ago, a pilot friend and former aircraft owner told me that owning an airplane is “more expensive than you would ever imagine,” and that was assuming I already imagined that it would be extremely expensive, even staggeringly so. Today, as I shop for my own airplane after years of renting, I realize he was right. And it isn’t just that aircraft and nearly all … [Read more...] about Pilot Finance: Annual Costs of Aircraft Ownership
Ground school is the first step a student pilot needs to take on the way to achieving most flight certificates and ratings, from a sport pilot certificate to an airline transport pilot certificate. While most elements of aviation education need to be completed in person, there are online ground schools available to prepare aspiring pilots for the FAA knowledge test. All … [Read more...] about What Is the Best Online Ground School for You?
Most pilots buy what they need, when they need it, so the best gifts for pilots can be overlooked. Thankfully, flying comes with all types of requirements, both beneficial and fun, and we keep it easy to find the best gift for any pilot. Whether you have a pilot in need of the right gear for their next flight, or if you’re looking for a fun gift from the kids, we’ve got you … [Read more...] about What Are the Best Gifts for Pilots?
Light sport aircraft (LSA) can be flown with a sport pilot certificate instead of a private pilot certificate. Because of the difference in certification, you can become a light sport pilot in as little as half the time and spend half as much money on training. Many sport pilots opt to purchase their own light sport aircraft. Learn about what LSA ownership entails before you … [Read more...] about Light Sport Aircraft Options
Private jet memberships can be an alternative to owning a private jet. Through a private jet membership program, users pay a fee to access private aviation services. Jet memberships give you the opportunity to utilize a diverse fleet of private jets for their personal travel. Private jets can be reserved to take you from New York to Boston, on a short hop, or a trip around the … [Read more...] about Best Private Jet Memberships
Learning how to accurately determine the density altitude is a critical skill that all pilots must master to fly safely. Airplanes simply cannot perform as effectively in low-density air, potentially putting pilots, passengers, and other aircraft at risk. Specifically, a high-density altitude can impact aircraft performance during takeoff and climb. It can also affect the … [Read more...] about What Is Density Altitude?
For both recreational and professional pilots, the desire to fly larger and more capable aircraft frequently pushes them to seek additional training and endorsements. That’s where the complex endorsement comes into the picture. It allows airplane-rated pilots of all levels to operate aircraft with retractable landing gear, in general. Whether utilized alone or … [Read more...] about How To Earn a Complex Aircraft Endorsement
To handle all the traffic flying in the sky in a safe and consistent manner, the FAA developed the National Airspace System. It divides the sky into sectors that serve different volumes of traffic or contain specific activities. Each airspace has different operational rules, pilot responsibilities, and even weather requirements to operate. How are Airspace Classes … [Read more...] about What Are Airspace Classes?
Calculating a precise speed at which an aircraft takes off depends on the current weather conditions and each airplane’s specific aerodynamic design characteristics. Key factors that affect airplane takeoff speed (sometimes referred to as its rotation speed) include: direction of airflow, the airplane’s shape (especially its wings), the airplane’s size, and its weight. Infinite … [Read more...] about How Fast Do Airplanes Take Off?
A quintessential part of any pilot’s flight bag is their aviation headset. In-ear and over the ear options are available for pilots to choose from. For pilots in pressurized cabins with low ambient noise, in-ear aviation headsets may be the best choice for comfortability, functionality, and style. To help you decide which in-ear aviation headset would work best for you, check … [Read more...] about In Ear Aviation Headset Options
The choice of ADS-B receivers comes down to the money a pilot wants to spend, whether the unit will be integrated with avionics in the instrument panel—or Foreflight or another app—and what additional bells and whistles (such as weather, music) the pilot seeks. As an aircraft owner, you can spend just enough to keep the aircraft ‘legal’ in the eyes of the FAA or you can spend … [Read more...] about What Are Good ADS-B Receiver Options?
Flying is all about keeping up with details, especially when it comes to gear. From logbooks and headsets to bottles of water and pens, there’s a lot to keep up with on every flight. Every pilot needs a flight bag, but they’re not all built the same. Here’s a rundown of some of FLYING’s favorite pilot luggage bags, along with the essentials most pilots stash inside … [Read more...] about 5 Best Pilot Luggage Bags
PC flight simulators are a popular way for aviation enthusiasts to get into flying without the expensive alternative of flight simulators or flying lessons. When putting together an at home PC simulator choosing the right hands-on-throttle-and-stick (HOTAS) flight control peripheral is important. Here is Flying’s guide to the best HOTAS flight sticks on the market. Quicklook: … [Read more...] about HOTAS Flight Stick Options
Whatever type of aviation book you have been looking to read, we have collected ideas from readers on what they feel are the best ones. We’ve compiled a list of the top-ten best aviation book options that are both excellent reads as well as informative in all the right ways. Not all nonfiction aviation books need to be boring—even when they cover technical information you … [Read more...] about What Are the Best Aviation Books?
Oftentimes, private jet owners are faced with unknown operating expenses and stressful day-to-day operations. This may lead to the decision of contracting a private jet management company to take care of the logistics and bring in passive revenue from their aircraft. What is a Jet Management Company? Private jet management companies assist aircraft owners by providing … [Read more...] about 4 Questions to Ask Potential Jet Management Companies
So, you want to be a pilot? That’s great! But how can you go from wanting an office in the sky to actually having one? One of the greatest barriers to becoming a pilot is cost. No worries, though. There are a number of organizations, colleges, and universities that offer aviation scholarships to help you. And, with the growing global pilot shortage, aviation scholarships are … [Read more...] about 6 Tips for Winning Aviation Scholarships
The best drones for beginners are typically reliable, safe, affordable, and most importantly, easy to fly. Whether the drone is intended for aerial videography or aerial photography, there are several options available for beginners. Are you looking for the best drones to use as you start out flying them? Here, we review a few options with regards to pricing, ease of use, … [Read more...] about What Is the Best Drones for Beginners?
Hearing is second only to seeing as the most important sense for attaining and ultimately processing information as a pilot. Over time, exposure to loud noises can damage your hearing, creating a critical situation that could require the use of hearing aids, jeopardize your FAA medical certification—or worse, damage your quality of life outside of flying. There are legal … [Read more...] about What Are the Best Custom Earplugs for Aviation?
A quality headset is one of the most important pieces of gear any pilot will own. And in the confines of a noisy piston, turboprop or helicopter cockpit, there’s really no excuse for skimping by choosing a headset lacking active noise-cancellation technology. Many of the top ANR headsets also have built-in Bluetooth capability, allowing users to pair the headset with a phone or … [Read more...] about Best Aviation Headset
There’s something classic and exciting about flying a tailwheel using stick-and-rudder skills. In fact, some of these airplanes date back as far as World War I or II. While earning your tailwheel endorsement, you’ll build a new skill set and broaden your ability to fly different kinds of aircraft. You’ll also broaden your horizons. You can fly to backcountry landing strips … [Read more...] about How To Earn a Tailwheel Endorsement
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) created a standard temperature for aviation in order to establish a baseline from which manufacturers could develop performance data usable for pilots around the globe. This standard temperature is referred to as “ISA,” or the ICAO Standard Atmosphere. Keeping this aviation standard temperature allows for pilots and crews to … [Read more...] about What Is Standard Temperature in Aviation?
Flight training scholarships, women in aviation scholarships, emergency maneuver training, you name it and there’s likely an aviation scholarship available. Many different aviation organizations aim to assist students and pilots of all experience levels in completing their education and career goals in both aviation and aerospace. Lack of funding continues to be a main … [Read more...] about 12 Aviation Scholarships to Help Start Your Flying Career
EMS helicopter pilots are part of an elite profession often described as rewarding, challenging, and sometimes dangerous. After many hours of flight training and certification, EMS helicopter pilots can earn good pay, fly sophisticated aircraft, and most importantly, save lives. The requirements are stringent. The standards are high. But ultimately, providing urgent care during … [Read more...] about How To Become an EMS Helicopter Pilot
Airline pilots average 75 hours per month flying, but they spend approximately another 150 hours each month in flight planning, obtaining weather forecasts, and other pre-and postflight activities. There are restrictions as to how many hours a pilot can fly consecutively, and within certain time periods as regulated by the FAA or other national authorities, in order to ensure … [Read more...] about How Many Hours Do Pilots Work?
Why do we fly commercial when you know that we, as pilots, understand that the best first class seat is the front left one? And if you’re flying for the airlines, you’re most likely to experience sitting in first as the result of your nonrev travel privileges on company or partner airlines—so your experience will naturally involve your own carrier’s amenities and travel … [Read more...] about What Is the Best First Class Airline?
A multiengine rating is an additional certification pilots obtain on a private, commercial, or airline transport pilot certificate that allows them to fly aircraft with more than one engine. As a multiengine rated pilot, your flying experience will build as you operate more and more high-performance aircraft. You’ll also enjoy the security a twin-engine aircraft provides if … [Read more...] about What Is a Multiengine Rating?
Airplane wheels, better known as landing gear, endure the roughest treatment of any aircraft’s equipment. They not only support the full weight of the airplane’s payload, but airplane tires withstand takeoff speeds and must be equipped to handle sudden spin-ups when contacting the runway upon touchdown, and aggressive stops at high velocities. Extreme heat and stress are all … [Read more...] about How Many Wheels Do Airplanes Have?
“Ratings” differ slightly from licenses, but ultimately both are required pieces of documentation proving you’re eligible to be flying a given aircraft. As the name suggests, multiengine ratings are for pilots looking to fly aircraft with more than one powerplant, and can be earned by both private and commercial pilots. All major airliners are multiengine aircraft, making … [Read more...] about How To Earn a Multiengine Rating as a Pilot