Give a Flying Lesson For Christmas

FREDERICK, MD -- Transform the ho-hum Christmas stocking stuffer into the most exciting gift of the holidays. Just go to and find your closest flight school. For as little as $49, an introductory flight is sure to impress even the most jaded humbug on your giftlist.

Sponsored by the nonprofit Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), is an educational program that works with more than 3,500 flight schools nationwide to help flying dreams come true. For as little as $49, the recipient of the introductory flight will take the controls and actually fly a plane from taxi and takeoff to landing under the direction of an FAA-licensed flight instructor. The recipient even can fly over his or her own home.

It's easy to give the gift of flight. Just log on to and enter a zip code to find a local airport and/or flight school. Then call the school and request a gift certificate. Many schools also offer introductory flight certificates online.

The website offers a wealth of useful information for prospective aviators.

Headquartered in Frederick, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association includes more than 413,000 members, or nearly two-thirds of all U.S. pilots and three-quarters of general aviation pilots. Since 1939, AOPA has represented the interests of general aviation, which covers all flying except the scheduled airlines and the military.