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: Air-to-air refueling in an F-16

Getting a ride in an F-16 is an amazing experience, but getting a ride in one while doing aerial refueling is even more exhiliarating. You'll get to do exactly that in this amazing video and see how the process works from the fighter and the KC-135 tanker. The key is precise flying and good communication.

Video: McDonald’s drive-thru in a helicopter

A helicopter really does give you the freedom to do some... unique... things. In this funny video, ride along as two pilots pull off the ultimate $100 hamburger run by picking up an order at McDonald's. Just don't try this in your Cessna!

What’s in your flight bag, episode 2

In this series, we ask the pilots at Sporty's what gear they carry when they go flying. While every pilot's flight bag is unique, some common principles apply to everyone: carry enough to be prepared but not too much so that you're weighed down with unnecessary junk. Hear from John Zimmerman, ATP and helicopter pilot, in this episode.

Video: High Sierra Fly-in

It's part Burning Man and part Oshkosh and the result is a totally unique event. Every year a diverse mix of pilots and aviation enthusiasts gathers at a dry lakebed in western Nevada for the High Sierra Fly-in. Airplanes compete to see who can take off and land in the shortest distance, and fun flying is the only item on the menu.

Video: flying (and sailing) in the Bahamas

Some exotic adventures require a long airline flight halfway around the world; others require only a pilot's license and a Cessna (plus a few friends). In this envy-inducing video, filmmaker and pilot JP Schulze heads to the beautiful blue waters of the Bahamas for some flying and sailing. It feels worlds away from the United States, where they departed, but it's only a short flight in the Cessna.

Video: what flying is all about

Flying is about lift and thrust, weight and drag. But as Trent Palmer shows in this amazing video, flying is also about gaining a new perspective on the world and enjoying life. After watching these three taildraggers fly around a mountain at sunset, we think you'll agree that, "life is too short to eat dessert last."

Video: first flight in a Cirrus SR22

The Cirrus SR22 is the best-selling piston airplane in America, and this video shows why. The airplane is fun to fly, fast, and loaded with technology. Ride along as an experienced pilot gets his first left seat time in this amazing airplane, including some actual IFR time and some avionics programming time.

Sporty’s Flight Gear Quick Case Video Demo

A good flight bag can make your next flight lesson more organized and less stressful. But sometimes you don't need a full flight bag or duffel. In this video, we show the compact and flexible Flight Gear Quick Case in action. It has room for the essentials, but won't take up much room in the cockpit.

Video: flying the world’s largest seaplane

When you hear seaplane you might think of a Piper Cub on floats. On the other end of the spectrum is the massive Martin Mars, a 90,000 lb. flying boat with a wingspan of 200 feet. Incredibly, this World War II vintage airplane is still flying, and in this video you'll get to ride along as a dedicated team of pilots and mechanics flies the airplane into EAA Oshkosh.  It's a unique way to arrive at the world's largest fly-in.

Video: learning to hover a helicopter

Learning to fly an airplane is intimidating for new pilots, but learning to hover a helicopter can seem like a truly impossible task. As this video shows, though, that's not the case at all. Once you understand the aerodynamics, it's just a matter of keeping everything balanced. Ride along on this first lesson to see what it's like to fly an Enstrom helicopter.