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: flying the Mach Loop at 250 feet

The Mach Loop is a stretch of valleys in Wales that is famous for its low-level training flights. Photographers can stand on a ridge and watch airplanes flying below them. That's a great view, but even better is this video: you'll ride in the back seat of a Typhoon flying at 500 knots and pulling over 5 Gs, all while staying below the tops of the hills.

Video: 16 bush planes, 1 hill

Sure, the location is beautiful and the airplanes are not your everyday trainers, but the best part of Trent Palmer's latest adventure is the camaraderie. Sixteen airplanes found their way to the same grassy hill on the last day of 2019, and the result was a lot of fun. 

Video: glider winch launch at Innsbruck

Innsbruck, Austria, is a justifiably famous airport. Tucked in between tall mountains, the airport features stunning views of the Alps and has been a favorite of flight sim enthusiasts for decades. It's also a great place for some soaring, as this video shows. Ride along for a winch launch (always a thrilling start to a flight), some ridge soaring, and a landing back on the grass.
Grass runway

Why taildraggers improve your flying skills – and how to do it in a...

I know when I checked out in a Citabria about 15 years ago, it changed how I thought about the landing process and it recalibrated my “seat of your pants” flight instrument (that we all have). My landings weren’t always pretty, but the experience taught me to focus on three things in particular.

Video: flying LSAs in New Zealand

Light Sport Aircraft (LSAs) provide an excellent platform for new student pilots and are often less expensive to operate. Join JP on a scenic flight around New Zealand to learn what these airplanes have to offer and what's different about flying an LSA.

Video: Patty Wagstaff rolls and rolls and rolls

Patty Wagstaff is famous for being one of the greatest aerobatic pilots in the world, and this video will show you why. She takes her Extra 300L up for a flight over St. Augustine, Florida, and practices a few rolls - actually, a lot of rolls. The GoPro Fusion 360 camera offers a unique view of these maneuvers, and just might make your stomach turn.

Video: how to find a good aviation flashlight

Every pilot needs at least a few good flashlights, but how do you choose the right ones for the cockpit? Go flying with two Sporty's pilots as they explain the 4 must-haves in an aviation flashlight and 3 nice-to-haves.

Video: flying 13,000 miles to Alaska

Every pilot should make an "epic cross country flight" at least once in their life. In this video, ride along with Matt Guthmiller on one of those flights, as he takes his Bonanza to Alaska (and eventually Russia). There are mountains to avoid, thunderstorms to miss, and unforgettable airports to visit. It's not easy, but sometimes that's what flying is all about.

Holiday gift ideas for student pilots

Learning to fly is more than just a fun hobby; for most it's a life-changing decision. One thing you'll notice right away is that friends and family start to ask about gifts - they know you probably want something aviation-related, but it's hard to know the difference between ANR and ADS-B if you're not a pilot. To help the gift buyers this Christmas, we've assembled a list of 10 can't-miss gift ideas.

Video: bush fly’n and BS’n

Having fun as a pilot isn't just about flying, although when you're in a taildragger landing on dirt strips next to a river, it is pretty fun. But as Trent Palmer shows in this video, general aviation is about the people as much as the airplanes. Ride along as he and some friends explore some remote areas in their bush planes.