Entries by John Zimmerman

Video: flying the Waco biplane

For pure stick and rudder fun, it’s hard to beat the Waco YMF-5D biplane. While it features a lot of modern improvements, it also retains the magic of aviation’s early days: open cockpit, fabric-covered fuselage, and two sets of wings. Ride along in a Waco as this pilot takes it on a tour of Southern California and shows off the impressive avionics inside this vintage-looking airplane.

Video: flying the Gulfstream G650

Few airplanes inspire envy like a Gulfstream jet, and the model sitting at the top of the company’s lineup is the large cabin, long range G650. Most private pilots won’t ever get to fly one of these beauties, but you can get a small taste of what it’s like in this video. Experienced pilot Fred George puts the G650 through its paces, including air work and use of the heads-up display. 

Video: flying over 450 miles in a glider

When you think of glider flights, do you think of short flights within sight of the airport? That may be reality in a training glider on a calm summer morning, but in a high performance glider over the Alps pilots can go much further. Ride along with this glider pilot as he flies over 450 nautical miles in one trip. No engine required, but it helps to have sharp flying skills and knowledge of the terrain.

Webinar Video: Aviation Quiz Hour

How much do you know about weather, airspace, aerodynamics, and flight planning? You’ll find out in this popular webinar recording where Sporty’s instructor, John Zimmerman, presents 20 questions on a variety of topics and leads a discussion on the correct answers and implications.  

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.

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.

CFI Tips: Partial Panel Flying

In this latest installment of CFI Tips, Sporty’s Academy CFI, Dustin Yockey, discusses partial panel flying and the importance of remaining calm, prioritizing positive control of the aircraft, and taking advantage of all available resources for a successful outcome.  

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.