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: landing at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Every summer, EAA puts on the world's greatest aviation celebration, officially known as AirVenture but usually just called "Oshkosh." It's a week packed with airshows, exhibits, seminars, and so much more—but the most exciting part is getting there. Ride along with a father-son duo in this video as they fly the Fisk Arrival and land at OSH. It should be on every pilot's bucket list.
Pilot talking on radio

The seven deadly sins of aviation communications

Learning how the ATC system works can take time, but fortunately it's fairly easy to avoid some common mistakes. There are a few things that can instantly make you sound less professional—let's call them the seven deadly sins of radio communication. These phrases should not be in your aviation vocabulary.

Video: Steep approach into London City Airport

Most passengers arriving in London land at the huge Heathrow or Gatwick airports, far outside the city. For a lucky few, though, London City Airport offers convenient access to the heart of the city. Landing here includes a scenic tour of some famous sites in the British capital, plus a very steep approach to a fairly short runway—it is not your typical arrival! Ride along for a cockpit view of this procedure in this video, and see why smaller airplanes sometimes have more fun.

Video: F-16 airshow over Miami

All airshows are entertaining, but for pure spectacle it's hard to beat a military jet show over a big city. That's what you'll see in this video, as you ride long in an F-16 for a low level demo over South Beach in Miami. Watch out for the high rises, and enjoy the view.

Podcast: flight training trends and the life of an airline pilot

Why is flight training so strong, even after a pandemic that stopped airline pilot hiring? What do flight instructors wish students knew about learning to fly? What's it like to be an airline pilot? Eric Radtke answers these questions and many more, in the first episode of Sporty's Fast Five Podcast.

Video: pulling over 7 G’s in a turboprop trainer

Did you know that one of the most advanced military trainers today has a propeller out front? The Pilatus PC-21 can fly up to 320 knots at low altitude, and is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop engine. In this video, you'll ride along for a takeoff in the PC-21, complete with a 7.5-G pull-up into a vertical climb and a few rolls. Not your average single engine airplane.

Video: Bush Flying 101

You hear a lot about "bush flying," but what does it really mean? In this beautiful video, Trent Palmer shows that it's more about flying with a spirit of adventure than anything else. He lands his airplane at a variety of remote dirt strips and meets up with other bush pilots for a fun-filled day in the air.

Video: learning how to land on an aircraft carrier

Everyone was a student pilot once, including the most seasoned Navy pilots who land on aircraft carriers in the middle of the ocean. In this video, you'll get to ride along with one such pilot, as she learns how to land the C2-A twin turboprop on the pitching deck. It's a little more complicated than landing a Cessna 172 on a long runway, but the fundamentals of pitch and power are the same.

Video: the river visual approach to DCA

While airline pilots spend a lot of time flying up high, there are a few airports that offer a great view from the flight deck of a Boeing or Airbus. This video is a great example: ride along as an A320 flies the River Visual approach into Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC. The flight path follows the river, which means lots of landmarks out the left window.

Video: landing on the “USS Sedona”

Just because an airport has a 5,000-foot runway doesn't mean it's boring. In fact, Sedona, Arizona (SEZ), might be one of the most beautiful and distinctive arrivals anywhere in the US. Nicknamed the "USS Sedona" for its aircraft carrier-like runway perched atop a mesa. this jewel of the Southwest features stunning views of nearby terrain and a unique view on final approach. Ride along in this video to see what it looks like from the left seat.