Authors Posts by John Zimmerman

John Zimmerman

218 POSTS 52 COMMENTS
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 an island in the river

Short field landings are more than just a mindless checkride maneuver. With the right airplane, good short field technique can allow you to safely operate into and out of some fun and unique landing strips. Ride along with Trent Palmer in this video as he takes his modified taildragger into some remote areas, and enjoy the stunning views.

Video: flying seaplanes in the Alaskan mountains

Flying seaplanes anywhere is fun; flying a Beaver in Alaska is just about the most fun you can have anywhere in the United States. But it's also demanding, with small lakes, rugged terrain, and few rescue options. Fly along with FlightChops as he explores some remote lakes in this legendary bush plane, and see why Alaska is a just plain different.

Video: landing an E-2 Hawkeye on a carrier

We've all seen the sleek fighters catching a wire and landing on an aircraft carrier, but just as impressive is the work that pilots of larger airplanes do. That includes the E-2 Hawkeye, a 50,000-lb. early warning airplane with an 80 ft. wingspan. In this video, you'll get a pilot's eye view of this big turboprop landing on the USS Gerald Ford, then ride along for a catapult back into the sky.

Video: 360-degree helicopter flight over snowy mountains

The snow-capped mountains of British Columbia are a stunning sight, even from the ground. In a helicopter, the view is even better, with panoramic views of pine trees, rocky peaks, and deep snow. This awesome 360-degree video is about as close as you can get to being there yourself, with beautiful views in every direction. 

Video: first solo smile

There's nothing like your first solo flight—fear, excitement, and pride all mix together to create an experience you'll never forget. In this video, you'll see what it's like, as you ride along with Annalynn on her first solo. If you've soloed, you'll recognize the feeling. If you haven't soloed yet, here's what you can look forward to: that solo smile!
ARSim app

ARSim app helps pilots learn radio communications

Learning to communicate with ground, tower, and approach can be intimidating for many student pilots. There's a lot to remember and sometimes when you push the button to start talking, the mind goes blank. Fortunately, there's a new app that can help.

Video: flying the Hudson River exclusion zone

One of the great privileges of being a pilot in the United States is the freedom to fly almost anywhere. That includes a VFR flight right up the Hudson River, with a stunning view of Manhattan. Ride along in this video as some friends fly a Mooney up the East Coast of the US, including a scenic flight past the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and so many other landmarks. All with a private pilot certificate and a single engine airplane.

Video: flying the DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 might be the hardest working airplane in aviation history. From pioneering airline routes to flying World War II missions to hauling freight in remote areas, this tail-dragging radial twin has done it all. In this fantastic video, you'll get to fly in a DC-3 with the world's highest time DC-3 pilot.

What’s the point of ground reference maneuvers?

Confession: I hated ground reference maneuvers as a student pilot. Eventually, my flight instructor broke through and explained why we were spending so much time on these seemingly boring lessons. I began to appreciate that doing these simple maneuvers really well was going to help me make better landings. Let’s review the point of these exercises.

Video: flying the Cirrus Vision Jet

The Vision Jet from Cirrus is the first single engine personal jet to be delivered in significant numbers, and it's a unique blend of turbine performance and single engine simplicity. In many ways, it really feels like a bigger and faster SR22. You'll get to go flying in one with this video, as the pilot flies from New York to Atlanta. See the startup sequence, watch the takeoff, and listen to all the ATC calls. It's a real world look at a fascinating airplane.