Video: first solo in a Cessna 152

A pilot's first solo is a day full of mixed emotions: excitement and nervousness, pride and fear. This video shows all those feelings, as a student pilot makes her first trip around the pattern by herself in a Cessna 152. If you're not a pilot yet, it's a great preview of what's to come. If you are a pilot, you'll probably remember exhaling at the end like Erin does here.

Video: flying a Beech 18 on floats

The Beech 18 is an iconic airplane, with big radial engines and those long, beautiful wings. Put it on floats and you have a new new level of fun. In this video you'll ride along as AOPA's Richard McSpadden earns his multiengine seaplane rating in the big Beech, splashing around the scenic lakes of northern Minnesota.

Video: pulling Gs with Patty Wagstaff

Flying aerobatics is all about finesse—it's about feeling the airplane and responding with a steady hand on the flight controls. But as this video shows, sometimes it's about aggressive maneuvers and serious Gs, too. Ride along with legendary airshow pilot Patty Wagstaff as she pushes her Extra to the limit.

Video: landing on a beach in New Zealand

Landing "off airport" is a great way to experience the true freedom of general aviation, but it doesn't always require a fancy bush plane or a helicopter. In this new video, you'll ride along with JP for a flight in New Zealand to see what it's like flying in this beautiful country. You'll also watch him land on a beach, which is perfectly legal to do year round.

Video: going supersonic with the Thunderbirds

The US Air Force Thunderbirds are a fixture of the airshow circuit, entertaining crowds all over the country with their high speed passes and formation maneuvers. With a global pandemic, the Thunderbirds didn't get to fly many shows in 2020, so we thought this video was a good replacement. Ride along for some high speed/high G maneuvers and see what it's like to fly an F-16 at the limit.

Video: landing on an island in the river

Short field landings are more than just a mindless checkride maneuver. With the right airplane, good short field technique can allow you to safely operate into and out of some fun and unique landing strips. Ride along with Trent Palmer in this video as he takes his modified taildragger into some remote areas, and enjoy the stunning views.

Video: flying seaplanes in the Alaskan mountains

Flying seaplanes anywhere is fun; flying a Beaver in Alaska is just about the most fun you can have anywhere in the United States. But it's also demanding, with small lakes, rugged terrain, and few rescue options. Fly along with FlightChops as he explores some remote lakes in this legendary bush plane, and see why Alaska is a just plain different.

Video: landing an E-2 Hawkeye on a carrier

We've all seen the sleek fighters catching a wire and landing on an aircraft carrier, but just as impressive is the work that pilots of larger airplanes do. That includes the E-2 Hawkeye, a 50,000-lb. early warning airplane with an 80 ft. wingspan. In this video, you'll get a pilot's eye view of this big turboprop landing on the USS Gerald Ford, then ride along for a catapult back into the sky.

Video: 360-degree helicopter flight over snowy mountains

The snow-capped mountains of British Columbia are a stunning sight, even from the ground. In a helicopter, the view is even better, with panoramic views of pine trees, rocky peaks, and deep snow. This awesome 360-degree video is about as close as you can get to being there yourself, with beautiful views in every direction. 

Video: first solo smile

/
There's nothing like your first solo flight—fear, excitement, and pride all mix together to create an experience you'll never forget. In this video, you'll see what it's like, as you ride along with Annalynn on her first solo. If you've soloed, you'll recognize the feeling. If you haven't soloed yet, here's what you can look forward to: that solo smile!