Flying a jet is fun; flying with the US Air Force Thunderbirds is a once-in-a-lifetime thrill. In this new video, you can ride along with AOPA editor and longtime flight instructor Dave Hirschman as he tears through the sky at over 9 Gs. He admits he only has two goals: "Stay conscious, and don't hurl."
During training, it's easy to get bogged down in the mechanics of flying: weight and balance calculations, flight plan forms, emergency checklists. This stunning video shows the restorative power of flying just for the sake of flying. It's all about freedom, stunning African vistas, sharing an experience with friends, and the unique places only an airplane can take you. As JP says, "I hate being a pilot, but I love flying."
If you ever dreamed of flying in a Red Bull Air Race, unfortunately it's too late. After 12 seasons, the combination air race/aerobatics competition has flown its last event. But you can still fly along with some of the world's greatest pilots in this video. Hear what it takes to fly the demanding course, from the Gs the pull to the roll rate of the airplane.
Being a professional pilot means so much more than just flying from New York to Boston in a regional jet. In this unique video, ride along with Scott Palmer as he sprays some bean fields in his turbine Ag-Cat. It's a demanding type of flying that rewards precise speed control and total focus, but as Scott explains it's also a lot of fun.
Spins are not a required maneuver for the private pilot certificate, but if you're planning on earning a flight instructor certificate you'll have to perform them for the checkride. As this video shows, that doesn't have to be a scary experience - in fact, spins are a lot of fun. Ride along with an instructor from the Patty Wagstaff Aerobatic School as he demonstrates spin recovery in an Extra 300.
The $100 hamburger is a favorite of pilots - take off, fly somewhere and enjoy a meal with fellow pilots. For most pilots that means a half hour flight to a paved runway and an airport diner, but not in Alaska. In this fascinating video, you'll fly into a remote strip in Alaska to visit the Skwentna Roadhouse. It's not your everyday lunch flight!
The Douglas DC-3 is one of the most famous airplanes in the history of aviation. From its days as a pioneering airliner to its work as a mainstay of the cargo fleet, this brawny twin has taught many pilots the finer points of flying radial engines and tailwheels. Ride along with Matt Guthmiller in this video as he flies one across the North Atlantic to celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
Flying into Oshkosh is a lot of fun, but leaving the world's largest air show is part of the experience too. In this video, ride along with JP (aka @the_candourist) as he hitches a ride with legendary air show announcer Rob Reider in an RV-7A with a glass cockpit. There's no better way to get to know a pilot than to go flying with them!
Most of the time, Air Traffic Control works like a well-oiled machine, with ground control moving airplanes to the runway and tower keeping the runways safe. But sometimes, due to traffic or weather, things don't go according to plan at busy airports. In this amusing collection of ATC conversations, listen to airline pilots and controllers go off-script for some unique requests. It's a great reminder that behind every callsign there's a human being.
Learning to fly a tailwheel airplane is challenging, but incredibly rewarding. While they are less stable than tricycle gear airplanes, they are a lot of fun and open up a whole new world of flying. As this video shows, you can land on grass runways in the middle of farms and connect with flying the way it used to be.