Authors Posts by Doug Ranly

Doug Ranly

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Doug grew up off the end of a runway and has wanted to fly before he could ride a bike. As the catalog manager for Sporty's Pilot Shop, he takes pride in developing products that make flying easier for pilots. After spending a short time in the military including a year in Iraq, his standards are abnormally high for pilot products. A private pilot with an instrument rating, he enjoys small prop planes more than any jet. You'll normally find him in a Cessna 172 or Skycatcher while on a mission to find the finest biscuits and gravy at an airport cafe.

A pilot’s guide to fuel testers

One of the many pre-flight tasks pilots perform on their aircraft involves fuel, and it’s not just confirming you have enough fuel for your...
Kneeboard

Top 10 things you need when starting flight training

Sporty’s is much more than just a pilot shop—today, our successful flight school has hundreds of students and is solely responsible for the University of Cincinnati’s Professional Pilot Program. The plethora of pilot supplies out there can be overwhelming, so students often look to us for advice on what you really need for flight training. Here's our top 10 list.

Video: why pilots need fuel testers

Draining and checking fuel before flight is one of the first things you learn as a student pilot. But what are you actually looking for, and how do you know if your sample is good or bad? In this Product PIREP video, Sporty's Doug Ranly explains the point of this ritual and shows what contaminated fuel looks like.
Sentry

Five Gadgets for Solo Cross Country Flights

I remember planning my first cross country flight. There were sectional charts thrown across the floor, highlighters in the dog’s mouth, crumpled flight plan...

How to choose the right David Clark passive headset

David Clark is best known for its line of reliable passive headsets. All of these have a five-year warranty, are TSO’d, and made in the USA. The wide selection of passive headsets has something for almost everyone, but they look pretty much the same and have similar price points. What’s the difference? We'll explain.

More acronyms…what’s an STC and TSO?

We live and breath acronyms in aviation. Accept it or else. Two more that you may not be all that familiar with are "TSO",...

Top 5 taxiing mistakes

Learning to move the aircraft around on the ground can be just as difficult as learning steep turns. And it's nothing to be ashamed...
Flight bag

5 must have items for pilots starting college

It's that time of year. A new wave of aspiring professional aviators have moved into dorms as they begin their college journey destined for greatness in a booming aviation job market. After running down the list of obvious questions most college freshman have, the talk often turns towards gear. What does a college student pilot need to command the skies?

Avoid “gearcreep” and stay organized in the cockpit

While I complain about gearcreep at home, I learned that I was the chief offender of gearcreep in the cockpit. Pens, Bluetooth GPS units, aux input cables, flashlights… the stuff that I found rolling around the passenger seat and on the floor after a recent night cross country had me convinced that a more organized cockpit would be in my future.

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

Join Sporty's Doug Ranly for a hands-on look at how to use this popular flight computer. You'll see three common functions step-by-step, plus tips for converting Fahrenheit to Celsius.