That first solo flight is a defining event in the life of a pilot, whether your goal is to fly airliners or just have fun in the air. While there's no maximum age for solo, most people know there's a minimum: you have to be 16. But that's only for powered airplanes. As this video shows, you can solo a glider at just 14. Ride along on Jack Wallace's first solo in a Blanik L-23 for your daily dose of inspiration.
When your tires are this big, you really can land almost anywhere. In this wild video, join a group of friends in some unique backcountry airplanes as they go flying through Utah. They land on top of mountains, next to rivers, and even at a gas station. Your daily reminder that "aviation" includes a lot more than just an airliner from JFK to LAX.
Helicopter pilots talk about freedom a lot, especially the freedom to take off and land from almost anywhere. This video is a great example, as two pilots stop by a friend's house on the way to a famous BBQ restaurant - in a helicopter. Watch their careful planning, the backyard landing, and then the arrival at the Salt Lick. So much more fun than driving.
The islands of the Bahamas offer some well-known flying adventures, but the Baja Peninsula in Mexico has its own charm too. Just a short flight from Southern California and Arizona, the hundreds of miles of coastline offer incredible views and diverse wildlife. There are dozens of airports, and the flying weather is often excellent. Fly along in this video as the pilot visits Loreto, San Felipe, and Ensenada.
When you think of precision flying you might think of aerobatics or bush flying, but instrument approaches require plenty of it too. In this short video, you'll ride along in the right seat of an Airbus A320 as it makes a Category IIIB approach into Amsterdam. That means the visibility is less than 1/4 mile, and the autopilot is flying it all the way to the runway.
The Breezy may look odd to non-pilots, but for true aviation enthusiasts this unique open-cockpit airplane is the epitome of simple and fun flying. No avionics, no complicated systems; just stick and rudder, with the wind in your hair. In this video, meet Rob Unger, who rebuilt a Breezy to look just like the original one - which his father created many decades ago. Would you fly it?
What's it like to be a bush pilot? It means flying for days and never seeing an airport, and sometimes being the first person to ever land at a location. In this incredible video, you'll meet some bush pilots in Alaska and see the beautiful places they fly. The real joy of this type of flying is the total freedom.
The phrase "airline pilot" doesn't always mean flying big jets from busy airports. In this week's video, you get to experience a year in the life of a professional pilot - in Hawaii. You'll see some incredible scenery, but also the fun of interacting with passengers on a very personal level at a small airline. It's further proof that there are a huge variety of flying jobs to match almost any style.
Oh, the places you'll go. Dr. Seuss probably wasn't talking about helicopter pilots, but he could have been. In this amazing video, you'll ride along in a Robinson helicopter as four friends explore some of the most beautiful places in British Columbia, from glaciers to ice caves. All of these incredible views can only be seen from a helicopter.
When the days get short and the temperature drops, many US pilots' thoughts turn to the turquoise waters of the Bahamas. The weather is great, the scenery is even better, and it's all a short flight from Florida - a bucket list trip for any pilot. In this video, make the trip to Staniel Cay in a Cirrus SR22 and take in the sights.