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.

4 things to consider in a good flashlight

As you would expect, technology has vastly improved since the days of incandescent bulbs and massive batteries. But before you go buy a $5 case of flashlights at the local dollar store, there's more to a flashlight than meets the eye. And considering this basic device can be a lifesaver, be sure to consider these 4 things.

A straight-in approach is safer than a standard pattern

While some remain staunch supporters of patterns and appropriate entries no matter the circumstances, I make a case for straight in approaches for landings in certain situations. Before you revoke my license and feed me to the tigers, hear me out.

5 Tips for Solo Cross-Country Flying

Learning to fly is an amazing experience. And flying solo is a part of the experience that can really get your blood pumping. While the excitement never subsides, I’ve found these five tips really help to make my flights safer and more enjoyable.

Sporty’s Hot New Products for April 1st

Editor's Note: Happy April Fools' Day. The World’s Largest Pilot Shop is celebrating April 1st with the release of these amazing new products. Developed by...

Move over gauges, here comes the iPad

A mere 10 years ago, aircraft were still being manufactured with round (traditional) gauges originally designed for steam engines.  Think about the technology in...

5 can’t miss stocking stuffers

For a pilot, working at Sporty’s can be compared to a daily Christmas morning. With all the pilot toys, trinkets and gear, it’s easy...

Top 5 mistakes you WILL make during your first 250 hours

None of us are perfect. I’m probably less perfect than most, but by the grace of God, good training and procedures, I’ve been fortunate...

Advice for Student Pilots – Top 10 List

With more than a dozen aircraft and nearly 30 instructors, we have a lot of flight training activity. Oftentimes one of our 100+ student pilots will ask for some advice from the more seasoned veterans. The replies vary, but these seem to be the tips you hear most.

Four things most instructors won’t tell you during your training

Learning to fly is hard, challenging, nerve-racking (at times), but also a lot of fun.  When I was first taking flight lessons, my head...

Welcome to the Club – Now What

Five ways to celebrate getting your wings Aviators are a unique breed. Some might say we are obsessive/compulsive and they could probably make a pretty...