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Adventure Travel 2006
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Adventure Travel 2006:
The 25 Best Trips

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In our annual tribute to adventure travel, we crown the 25 best new trips, the top ten destinations, and more!
 Adventure travel

New Digital Cameras

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We've sorted through the
new contenders to match up the right digital camera to your shooting style.
See the digital cameras

November Weekend Getaways

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Try these 12 frost-free weekend getaways, sorted by region.
Find a weekend escape

Learning to Fly: Five Steps to Flight
Text by Sam Carmichael

Learning to Fly | Five Steps to Flight | Flight Schools With Great Views

Step 1: Go to the Doctor
All prospective private pilots must be at least 17 and undergo a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical exam, which tests sight—20/40 (corrected) or higher is required—and hearing, and looks at medical history. Check for a list of FAA-certified doctors.

Step 2
: Find an Instructor
For the adventure-plus-flight-training combo, see "Schools With Great Views."
For traditional schools, visit the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association' s Web site ( But before you settle on an instructor, test-drive a few during two-hour intro flights ($50). One tip: Beware anyone who calls you "Iceman."

Step 3
: Train, Train, Train
After landing an instructor, you must log at least 40 hours of total flight time—including 20 hours with your teacher and ten solo hours—augmented by intensive classroom sessions on FAA regulations, aerodynamics, weather assessment, and navigation. Full-time students can finish in three weeks; part-timers can take six months or more.

Step 4:
Pass the Tests
Pilots must pass a 60-question knowledge test ( and a practical test with an FAA examiner other than your instructor. The latter is like a driver's license exam, minus parallel parking.

Step 5:
Get Airborne
You've aced the tests, gotten your license, and arranged a plane rental with your local airport (which typically runs $100 to $200 an hour). Up, up, and away, Maverick!

Pick up the November 2005 issue for great adventure travel ideas, news, and articles by award-winning writers.

Learning to Fly | Five Steps to Flight | Flight Schools With Great Views

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