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 a Cessna from Greenland to Iceland

Crossing the Atlantic Ocean seems like an impossible task in a small airplane, but it really isn't. This week's fun flying video takes us to Greenland, to join three friends for a flight from remote Nuuk to Iceland. The scenery is incredible, the planning is intense, and the sense of accomplishment is hard to beat. And it's all done in a Cessna 210.
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7 little safety habits to consider

Some aviation tips are in the "commandments" category: never run out of airspeed and ideas at the same time, never take off over gross weight, never fly below minimums on an instrument approach. Those are all true, but that doesn't mean there aren't other, smaller tips that can reduce risk. Here are five I try follow in the cockpit.

Video: Amazing helicopter landing spots

Why fly a helicopter if you're only going to land on an airport? In this incredible video, you'll get to fly around British Columbia with an experienced helicopter pilot as he visits some unusual helipads. From downtown, waterfront helipads to remote, mountaintop locations, the views are incredible and the freedom is unmatched.

Video: seaplane flying tips from Alaska

Seaplane flying is just about the most fun you can have in an airplane, but they are also incredibly useful tools - especially in Alaska. In this exclusive video, bush pilot Patrick Carter takes you along for some seaplane flying in remote lakes around Kodiak Island. You'll see some of the stunning Alaska scenery, and also learn some real world tips for seaplane flying.

Rusty Pilots – getting back in the left seat is easier than you think

If you're feeling a little rusty, you might be like more than 500,000 other pilots (that's right, half a million), who have taken a little breather from flying. Whatever the case, things are different now. You're back in the game and would like to start flying again. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) wants to help.

Video: backcountry airstrip landing in Indonesia

You may practice short and soft field landings in your Cessna or Piper, but it's probably nothing like this. Fly along with Mission Aviation Fellowship pilot Daniel Geaslen in a Quest Kodiak turboprop to see what a truly short and soft runway looks like. He flies into Nalca in Papua, and explains how this seemingly crazy landing is actually very safe if you follow a few important rules. It's also another example of the amazing places general aviation can take you that no airline or car can.

Video: cloud surfing in an L-39 jet

Ever wonder what it's like to fly a fighter jet? In this fun video from FlightChops, you can strap into an L-39 jet trainer and find out. You'll get acquainted with the cockpit, then take off and climb through an overcast for a stunning view of the sky. Watch him do aerobatics from multiple angles, including the stick and the wingtip. The best part is, you don't have to be a specially-trained military pilot to fly one of these airplanes.

Webinar video: how to create a successful flight training plan

If you're learning to fly or thinking about it, the details can be overwhelming. How do you choose a flight school? How much does it cost to earn a pilot's license? How do you stay on schedule and on budget? In this detailed webinar recording, you'll get honest answers to these questions. Charlie Masters is an experienced flight instructor, and he offers his perspective on the ups and downs of flight training. JC Mayerle is a recently-licensed pilot, and he explains the process from the student pilot's perspective.

Video: flying single pilot IFR in Florida storms

Can flying IFR be fun? Absolutely. In this fascinating and information-packed video, an experienced instrument pilot flies a cross country trip through Florida's always-changing weather. You'll see the storms building, but also the way he navigates around them with a combination of datalink weather, onboard radar, and his eyes. It's a great example of how effectively you can travel by light airplane.

Video: two first flight lessons

Do you remember your first flight lesson? For most pilots, it's a blur - a mix of wonder, nervousness and excitement. In this video, you can see it all, from the expectations to the moment of liftoff, as you ride along with two student pilots on their first flight lessons. If you're already a pilot, you'll enjoy reliving the big day. If you're not yet a pilot, this is a great preview, one that shows just how much flying you'll do on that first lesson.
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