Authors Posts by John Zimmerman

John Zimmerman

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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. He is an ATP and also holds ratings for multiengine, seaplanes, gliders, and helicopters. In addition to being Editor-in-Chief of Air Facts, John is a Vice President at Sporty’s Pilot Shop, responsible for new product development and marketing.

Video: landing on a mountain runway in Papua New Guinea

Short and soft field operations might seem academic when you're learning in a Skyhawk on a 6,000 foot long runway. But for some pilots these types of landings are part of the job. Fly along with two professional bush pilots in this video, as they take their Kodiak into a remote mountain runway. On speed and on glide path is the only way to fly here.
CFI

Starting flight training later in life: some tips for success

As we get older, most of us get worse at being a student—no matter what the subject. After all, you’re used to being the expert. So if you’re considering learning to fly after your 40th birthday (or your 60th—you really aren’t too old to start), remember these tips. 

Video: seaplane flying in Alaska

Seaplanes are just about the most fun you can have in aviation—they are all about fun, freedom, and challenge. And there's no better place to fly seaplanes than in Alaska, where these machines aren't just toys, they are a critical mode of transportation. Ride along with FlightChops in this episode as he learns the ins and outs of seaplanes, including the legendary de Havilland Beaver.
Getting started course

Free getting started course now available

Learning to fly is a process, but oftentimes the most confusing part is taking that first step. How do you find a flight school? What should you ask a prospective flight instructor? What's the difference between a Sport Pilot and Private Pilot certificate? Sporty's has recently released a new course to help answer these questions, and it's completely free.

Videos: how to use Sporty’s Electronic E6B Flight Computer

A flight computer is an essential tool for student pilots. You'll use one to calculate all kinds of things, from fuel burn to groundspeed to density altitude. While you can do those calculations with an old school "whiz wheel," an electronic flight computer is a much faster and easier way to get the right answer. This series of video tips shows Sporty's best-selling Electronic E6B in action.

Video: how a $30,000 airplane changed one pilot’s life

Learning to fly is a life-changing experience, but so is buying an airplane. The joy (and occasional heartbreak) of owning your own magic carpet makes general aviation a real family activity and is a great way to learn even more about aviation. This awesome video shows the journey from new pilot to airplane owner, and all the decisions along the way.

Video: landing a Bonanza on a golf course

The Bonanza is known as a refined cross-country airplane, but it's not bad for soft fields either. Fly along with Matt Guthmiller as he flies to a variety of locations in this new video. You'll see airplanes on a golf course, a sand bar, and even a mountain top (no, not all of those are in the Bonanza). It's fun general aviation flying at its finest.

Video: ride with Patty Wagstaff at Oshkosh

The big Sun 'n Fun airshow was supposed to this week, but due to worldwide COVID-19 restrictions it was postponed. To help you get in the airshow spirit, though, we're happy to share this video from Sporty's and Patty Wagstaff. You can ride along as the legendary aerobatic pilot performs her stomach-churning routine at Oshkosh 2019.

Video: life as a seaplane pilot

Flying a seaplane is about the most fun as you can have in an airplane, with almost total freedom and great views. But for some pilots, this type of flying is their job. Follow a new first officer as he learns about flying for Trans Maldivian Airways, an airline that is the largest seaplane operator in the world. It's still work, but it looks pretty fun too.

Video: Triple Tree’s incredible 7,000-foot grass runway

When you hear "grass runway" you probably think of a short farm strip. Triple Tree Aerodrome in South Carolina is something entirely different: a 7,000-foot long stretch of grass that looks like it's a golf course fairway. Ride along in a Cirrus SR20 as a family visits the scenic airport and enjoys the warm hospitality of fellow pilots. It's everything that's right about general aviation.