Authors Posts by John Zimmerman

John Zimmerman

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John knows how lucky he is to go to work every day at an airport. As Vice President of Sporty’s Pilot Shop’s Catalog Division, he says, “I get to hang around airplanes all the time, flying regularly and testing new products for the catalog.” Coming from an aviation family, John grew up in the back of small airplanes and learned to fly as a teenager. Ever since, he has been hooked on anything with wings and regularly flies a Citabria, a Pilatus PC-12 and a Robinson R44 helicopter. Despite his love of low and slow flight, John says, “I love the challenge of IFR flying in the system. Seeing the runway lights as you break out on approach is a thrill.”

Video: flying the incredible DoubleEnder

When you hear the phrase "bush plane," a Piper Super Cub or a de Havilland Beaver probably comes to mind. One pilot has a different idea: the DoubleEnder. This utterly unique airplane offers incredible short field performance and stunning cockpit visibility, and even has two engines. Strap into the cockpit for an amazing backcountry flight in this week's fun flying video.

Video: how to use an iPad on an IFR flight

Taking off into a low overcast is a rush for many instrument pilots, as the ground disappears into the mist and clouds. At that point, you have to trust your training and follow the instruments - not the seat of your pants. But new technology makes this a little bit easier. In this video, you'll ride along in the right seat of a Piper Arrow as the pilot shoots an instrument approach in low IFR conditions.

Video: flying to the Bahamas in a Cessna 172

Island hopping in the Caribbean should be on every pilot's bucket list. It's fun, exhilarating and surprisingly easy to do, even in a small airplane. As this video shows, all it takes is a Private Pilot certificate and a Cessna 172.

Video: F/A-18 high speed maneuvers

Ever wished you could fly a fighter jet? Watch this five minute video for a taste of what it's like. You'll ride along for a catapult shot off an aircraft carrier, some high speed formation flying, a few low level passes and finally a landing back on the carrier. Do not try this in your Cessna.

Video: fun flying in the AirCam

It's one of the most distinctive airplanes ever built, and also one of the most fun. In this week's video, you'll ride along as the AirCam flies across some of the most beautiful places on earth, from remote jungles to quiet lakes.

Faro offers two new headsets perfect for student pilots

There have never been better options for premium aviation headsets, as companies like Bose, Lightspeed, David Clark and AKG battle to make the quietest, most comfortable headset on the market. The only problem is that most of these headsets cost $800 or even $1000. For pilots looking to spend less, there's an exciting new option from Faro.
Kid in airplane

5 ways to give a terrible intro flight

One of the great traditions in aviation is, soon after you earn your pilot's license, to take a friend or family member up for a flight. It's a fun way to exercise your pilot-in-command privileges, gain confidence and introduce someone new to aviation. Such a flight should definitely be on your to-do list, but it should also be carefully planned.

Video: ILS to minimums in a Citation

Some pilots think flying aerobatics or gliders is the most fun you can have with a pilot certificate. But for others, nothing beats the rush of a well-flown instrument approach to minimums. In this week's video, you'll fly left seat in a Citation CJ1+ jet on an ILS approach all the way to minimums.

What’s new in Sporty’s 2017 Learn to Fly Course

Sporty's popular home study courses have helped over 50,000 pilots learn to fly or add a rating. One reason they're so popular is that they are continually updated and improved. The Sporty’s Academy team recently released the latest version of their Learn to Fly Course, with a host of new features for 2017.

Video: formation aerobatics at sunset

Flying aerobatics is fun; flying in formation with other airplanes is fun; flying at sunset is fun. Put all three together and you've got one spectacular flight. That's what you get to experience in this video, as you ride along with the famous AeroShell team as they fly their AT-6 formation demo at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-in.