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: Grass runway on Martha’s Vineyard

Flying to an airport restaurant for a "$100 hamburger" is a popular way for pilots to use their certificate and have some fun. This video shows one of the best spots in America for such a flight - Katama Airpark on Martha's Vineyard. Fly along with Matt Guthmiller in a Beechcraft Bonanza as he tours the coastal scenery, lands on the 50 ft. wide grass runway, and parks next to the historic restaurant. Yet another trip that's only possible in a light airplane.

Video: F-16 airshow at Oshkosh

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is one of the world's largest fly-ins, but what makes it so special is the wide variety of airplanes on display. You'll see everything from single seat homebuilts to the latest jets, and that includes the airshow. In this incredible video, you'll ride along in an F-16 for a thrilling aerobatic routine that begins on takeoff. The video finishes with a heritage flight, when the F-16 and a P-51 Mustang fly in close formation.

Video: Boeing 777 landing at LAX

For many student pilots, their ultimate idea of fun flying is a job at an airline. Being an airline pilot has its ups and downs, but one thing never gets old: the incredible views from the cockpit. In this week's video, ride along with an Air France crew as they descend into Los Angeles and land at the busy LAX airport at night. You'll see everything from the cockpit flows to the stunning lights of the LA basin, plus hear the ATC communications.

Video: STOL drag racing in the high desert

You may have heard of STOL competitions - where pilots in bush planes show off their Short TakeOff and Landing skills. The unique High Sierra Fly In, which takes place on a dry lake bed in Nevada is like that, but with a twist. The organizers call it STOL Drag racing, and it looks like one of the more interesting aviation gatherings of the year.

Video: intro to aerobatics

Aerobatics isn't always about custom-built airplanes and big airshows. As this video shows, regular pilots can fly basic aerobatic maneuvers in affordable general aviation airplanes with the right training. Ride along here for a series of loops, hammerheads, and barrel rolls in a Robin R2160. It's fun flying, but it's also great for developing stick and rudder skills.

Video: Glider flying the old fashioned way

When you hear the word "glider," do you think of sleek fiberglass machines that can soar across continents? Those are a lot of fun, but there is an older style of glider that offers an entirely different experience. In this video, you can ride along in a Schulgleiter SG 38, where you're hanging out in the wind. As the caption says, it's "the ultimate freedom."

Quiz: How Much Basic Weather Theory Do You Know?

Weather is something every pilot has to deal with. How much do you know about the basics of Mother Nature, like fronts, dewpoints and stability? Take our quiz to find out.

Video: A year in the life of a Cirrus pilot

Why is flying so rewarding? There are as many reasons as there are pilots, but this video sums it up pretty well: beautiful views, unique destinations, exciting technology, personal challenge, and so much more. A Cirrus pilot combines 12 months worth of flying videos into a 5-minute video that will have you smiling.

Video: crop duster ride-along

There are dozens of unique jobs in aviation, from airline pilot to flight instructor. One of the most interesting jobs, though, is that of the crop duster. These pilots fly just inches above the ground, and fly a precise pattern to deliver just the right amount of spray at just the right time. In this video, you'll sit in the right seat and watch an experienced crop duster at work as he sprays a field in Ohio. Excellent stick and rudder skills are required!

Top 7 iPad accessories for pilots

The iPad makes a great, all-in-one cockpit tool, combining maps, flight planning, in-flight weather, documents and so much more. That doesn't mean it stands on its own, though. A few carefully chosen accessories can make it so much more powerful and easy-to-use. Here's our list of the accessories you should consider, and our top recommendations.
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