United States of America



Sunday October 05, 2014 14:13




"Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen Mary?the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there's a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trim tab. It's a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual can be a trim tab. Society thinks it's going right by you, that it's left you altogether. But if you're doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go. So I said, call me Trim Tab." 

--Buckminster Fuller

Soon... Giving away a copy of:

Microsoft's Flight Simulator X

The Right Stuff, DVD [PG]

Aviator, DVD [PG]

Victory By Air, DVD [TV PG]











The Peter Pan Club



Aviation is literally the COOLEST!

Don't just dream about it... You CAN DO it!

To start, all you have to do is just believe in your abilities and have a balanced CAN DO attitude!

Terrafugia TF-X

It is often nowadays that we hear all kinds of stories about how today's youth has gone bad, however, we do not hear as often about the multitudes of young people fulfilling their constructive dreams, including that of learning to fly or actively pursue an education or career in one of the many GA and AGA related fields.

At The TPA, and with the support of the caregivers in charge of these promising young enthusiasts, we want to make sure that we keep the "dream of flight" alive in their minds , and not ony that! We want to help them recognize those dreams in reality. One of our primary goals continues to be: proactively encouraging and supporting education in all fields that cater to GA and AGA with emphasis -when possible- on traditional schooling programs from the early years of schooling to high school levels, in order to attract and facilitate the better preparation of the next generation of Texan aviation/aerospace pioneers and enthusiasts.



10 year old, Jackson's, lesson flying a Cessna 172 Skyhawk -Houston, Texas


9-year old, Ethan's, very first flying lesson with his instructor -aircraft: SR20


Dear young enthusiast...

  • Do you get a chill when you hear a plane or spaceship throttling-up for take-off?

  • Do you get a high from the odor of combusted aviation fuel, and the sight or sound of an aircraft or spacecraft?

  • Do you feel at home at an airport or spaceport?

  • Do you look up at the sky and stare in amazement when you hear a plane fly above you, until it disappears from view?

  • Do you recognize the livery of almost every airline, even when in flight?

  • Do you recognize the steps of the landing procedure -when you are a passenger on a plane- from the flare to touchdown, and do you T-minus countdown the seconds before the undercarriage touches the ground, brakes are applied, thrust reverse and spoilers are engaged?

  • Do you recognize the make and model of almost every aircraft in service, including war-birds?

  • Do you not discriminate against a nationality or manufacturer of an aircraft as long as it is safe to fly?

  • Do you dream of designing or building your own plane?

  • Do you love repairing and maintaining aircraft?

  • Do you dream of flying or going to space, because you have not yet?

  • Do you pilot an aircraft or spacecraft?

  • Have you ever dreamt of being a pilot or an astronaut-commander/pilot?

  • Do you love scuba diving?

If you do any of these things, most likely you belong with us!



How Airplanes Fly




There is more to aerospace than you think!




Do you want to be an aeronautical engineer? Do you want to design air and space craft?





Do you love fixing things? What about repairing airplanes?!









Would you like to learn more about building and flying a drone? Visit the Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAVs) For The Masses page!







What does it take for you to be a great pilot? and what attitude should a pilot possess?

The above is a powerful questions and very subjective. If I were to ask different pilots I would probably get different answers. One can solicit views from different people, and the answer would again be different. A passenger?s view of a good or great pilot would be different from the ground staff?s view, another different view from someone who works closely with pilots compared to someone who is not directly involved with pilots. I guess that it is in everyone?s mind that a good pilot is someone who is cool, calm, collected and confident under pressure and they are absolutely right with the above views.

I too agree with the above view plus a few more of my own perceptions that are based on my own experience after being in the profession for over 30 years as a management pilot, instructor, trainer and line pilot. The following are my views:

State of mind. If one were to ask me the difference between a great pilot and an average one, I would dare to say that it is in his ?state of mind.? The first thing a great pilot must have is a good, positive mental attitude. He must be disciplined, confident, relax and focus in what he is doing. There is no substitute for a strong discipline. When he is flying, he is on his own and if he is in command of the airplane, there is no one to tell him what to do or what not to do. He therefore has to be disciplined and follow a set of rules, which is the ?standard operating procedures.? Discipline will also make him knowledgeable, meticulous in his work and has the attitude to continuously learn from his experiences.

Beliefs. Next is in his beliefs. It is basically a guiding principle, what pilots think to be true; his feeling about what is certainty in life. It is assumptions he has about himself, other people, his work, and the world. His beliefs could be limiting or they could be empowering to him. In flying we are faced with challenges all the time, perhaps much more compared to someone working on the ground. If we believe that we cannot do something, chances that we will behave in such a way that will cause us to fail, by not trying hard enough (give up), or by doing things to sabotage himself in some way. It is therefore necessary to have beliefs that will empower him to carry out his tasks well, and for him to be able to overcome all obstacles that he is faced with.

Skills. A great pilot has to be skillful. This is his bread and butter. He should be able to fly the aircraft well. By flying the aircraft well I mean with great accuracy and precision. He should not settle for a mediocre performance. He should strive for perfection and this takes a lot of hard work, practice and discipline.

The above to me are qualities of a great pilot. The following diagram will illustrate these qualities.

From the above diagram which one is more important of the three? Well to me all are important and necessary. However before one could acquire the skills, one has to have the right mental state and empowering beliefs. With these two qualities acquiring the necessary skills becomes easier. By having the above qualities he will also become more confident of himself. However he has to always remind himself and be careful of the tendency of becoming over-confidence. I have seen people who become so over confident of himself to the point of being obnoxious in his behavior. To prevent this from happening, another quality that a great pilot must have is ?humility.? This comes from knowing oneself, your strengths and weaknesses and respect for others, be they your working colleagues or any man on the street.

If you are a great pilot and you know about it and you are humble about it, you can walk tall and gain respect from your working colleagues and whoever that you are dealing with. You will truly enjoy this profession and will be forever remembered.

About the author of the answer above:

Cpt. Azhar has been a commercial pilot for over thirty five years, having accumulated over 18,000 flying hours flying as a line pilot, management pilot as well as instructor pilot. He currently flies B747-400s... this is a bit about his story and how he became a pilot:

As a skinny little boy back in the 1950s, I developed this love for planes but never thought that I could be a pilot. This love soon became a passion and I told myself that this was the profession I wanted to be in. Back then there was not much information for anyone who aspired to be in this profession. There were no computers to search for information regarding flying schools or the profession itself, and whatever books available were mainly about planes.

However and lucky for me, fate had it that in 1971 I was selected for flying training as a ?pilot? at the QANTAS flight training school in Sydney after numerous application for the position of ?flight navigator? and ?flight engineer.? I have been a pilot ever since and have enjoyed tremendously my life as a line pilot, management pilot and as a flight instructor on the various aircrafts that I flew.

When I came back from my flight training, I was assigned to fly the Fokker F27 as a copilot. I was promoted to the Boeing 737-200 fleet after a few years on the F27. I was made a Captain on the F27 in 1978 after serving a total of five years as a copilot. From there I was promoted to the B737 which I served for ten years. I was then promoted to command the McDonnel DC10 where I served for three years. After that I was promoted to the Boeing 747-200/300 where I served for another one and a half years before promoted to the B747-400. I am currently a captain on the B747-400.

In the course of my career as a pilot, I discovered a lot of life lessons that we could learn from the strict cockpit discipline and the rigorous training that a pilot has to go through throughout his career. Some of these could be used in our daily life.

What school subjects do I need to become a pilot?

You should have a decent command of the English language, since that is what flight controllers speak. Math and science are also useful since you will need to recognize weather conditions as well as understand how a plane works.



How to access free aviation books online? (Please note: all external links will open in new windows)

Flight training is more than just jumping in an airplane and going out to fly. It also requires a lot of book work. Many of the books you will need are publications of the Federal Aviation Administration. The good news is that the FAA has made most of those books available online - for free. Using the digital version can save you money that can be better used for airplane rental and instructor fees.

Training and Testing page

Go to the FAA's main Training and Testing page at  This is the starting point for locating all the resources the government has made available. You should try out the links on the main page occasionally because new material is added from time to time.

Aircraft Handbooks and Manuals

From the Training and Testing page, click on the "Pilot Training" link to go to There are many good resources on this page so click around and check them out. The link to "Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge" is located on this page ( and is a reference you will need. Also, click on the "Handbooks" link ( This page has the flying handbooks for different aircraft categories. The "Airplane Flying Handbook" is here.

Aviation Handbooks

Still on the Aircraft handbooks page look over in the left column, under Handbooks and Manuals. There is another link to "Aviation." This link will take you to the Aviation Handbooks page where you will find the "Student Pilot Guide", a link to the Pilot Safety Brochures, another link to the PHAK, some handbooks for more advanced training like the "Instrument Flying Handbook" and more.

Airmen Testing Resources

Back on the Training and Testing (, your next step should be to click on "More" in the Testing section ( From this page you can access the knowledge test guides ( with tips on taking the written tests, the Knowledge test question banks ( the Practical Test Standards ( the flying part of the tests, lists of testing centers and much more information about the FAA testing process.

Source of this answer: eHow,









TPA resources for young flyers:

Questions & Answers

Drones / UAVs, building and flying them!


Join The TPA Young Aviator Council

(Coming soon!)

Contact us


Q) What does it take for you to be a great pilot? and what attitude should a pilot possess?

Q) What school subjects do I need to become a pilot?

Q) How to access FREE aviation books online?





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