Top 5 Aviation Magazines for Small Aircraft Enthusiasts

One thing is true of almost every aircraft enthusiast out there—passion for flight and airplanes runs deep. As such, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of publications geared toward pilots, flight students and enthusiasts of all ages. In addition to being fun to read, these periodicals highlight new technologies, keep you abreast of changes in regulations and help you learn more about the upkeep of your plane.

Here are some of the magazines and papers you might enjoy:

General Aviation News
Since 1949, this aviation magazine has provided pilots comprehensive information about all things aviation. Though it has gone through several name changes, the focus is always on providing news and discussion of interest to students and pilots.

You’ll find articles on topics that range from federal regulation in Washington, DC, to ideas for how to update and maintain your airplane. The classified section features plenty of listings for airplanes, hangars, parachutes, residential airparks and more. Make sure you look at the fly-in calendar for “excuses” to file flight plans to new destinations.

The digital edition is available at no cost on the website, and is remarkably user-friendly and quick to load. While you are on the site, browse the various columns and classifieds. This clean, informative magazine is a must-have for every pilot.

  • Frequency: 2x per month
  • Subscription: $35 for 24 issues (1 year)
  • Format: Digital and Print

Texas Aviator
Featuring a colorful layout and interesting articles for pilots and enthusiasts alike, Texas Aviator magazine is packed with articles about planes, travel and enjoying the aviator’s lifestyle. Within the sleek, modern layout, you’ll find articles about local airports, pilots’ groups and pieces that explore aviation’s rich history.

Though much of the material focuses on Texas events, airports and destinations, the writing is intriguing, even to those who have not yet ventured into flight school. With this magazine, ads are as interesting as the articles. After flipping through it, you might find yourself dreaming of living on a resort-like airpark in Hill Country.

  • Frequency: Approximately 1x per month
  • Subscription: N/A
  • Format: Digital

AOPA Pilot Magazine
This aviation magazine is the brainchild of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and is a must-read for pilots and those considering flight training. It is straightforward and features articles of interest to US-based pilots and aviation enthusiasts. When you thumb through it, you’ll see a variety of well-written articles, such as comprehensive reports about regulations and recaps of local air shows. As a Political Action Committee (PAC), this organization offers quality reporting and op-eds about the latest bills and regulations that affect small airplane pilots.

For those who love specs and details, look for satisfyingly thorough reviews of specific airplane models, accessories and parts.

  • Frequency: Monthly
  • Subscription: Included with AOPA membership $25-99
  • Format: Digital, Print and Smartphone App

If you fancy yourself a gearhead or are in search of your next plane, then you will enjoy this aircraft magazine. Besides being one of the finest places to shop and compare planes, this magazine is an excellent resource of knowledge about maintaining and repairing your aircraft.

This publication does not necessarily contain a lot of news or articles, but it is the best place to go if you need to find reputable service providers and parts. If you’re curious about becoming a pilot, this magazine can be an excellent gateway to explore the many complexities that accompany ownership.

  • Frequency: Monthly
  • Subscription: $14.95 per year. There are a few subscription options to consider.
  • Format: Print and Digital (The most recent three issues are free online.)

AgAir Update
Within the covers of this aircraft magazine, you’ll find comprehensive articles on topics of interest to pilots who work with agriculture. What makes this aviation magazine unique and valuable is the depth of reporting. Articles are engaging and accessible from beginning to end, and you’ll likely walk away understanding what you read—even if you’re not an experienced pilot.

Another valuable aspect is that it is longer than most other aviation magazines. The average issue is around 100 pages. Due to excellent design and a good balance between articles, pictures and ads, the magazine is a fun, informative read.

  • Frequency: Monthly
  • Subscription: $19.95 for six month trial or $39 per year
  • Format: Print and Digital

Whether you are new to aviation or a seasoned pilot, it’s always fun to dive deeper into the world of flight. It seems as though there is no ceiling to how much you can learn, but reading aviation magazines can help you stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest happenings in flight and inspire you to greater heights.