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 on gravel and sand

Sometimes short field and soft field landings are for real; for bush pilot Trent Palmer, it's just another day of fun in his Kitfox. You'll ride along for nearly 20 of them in this fun video, as he and a friend visit a variety of different remote places, from gravel bars in river bends to sandy beaches. It's total freedom.

Video: Paragliding at 18,000 feet

Parachutes are usually used to go down, but as Paul Guschlbauer shows in this incredible video, they can also be used to go up. After flying his Super Cub to Sun Valley, Idaho, he goes flying in his paraglider for an epic trip over the mountains - and has the GPS logs to prove it!

Video: coast to coast in a Cessna 172

Flying across the country in a Cessna 172? It takes patience and flexibility, but it's fun, educational, and surprisingly easy. Ride along in this video as two pilots make that trip, including some beautiful mountain views. The ultimate goal? Pour some water from the Atlantic Ocean (departure) into the Pacific Ocean (destination).

Video: aerobatics in a Cessna

Flying aerobatics is incredibly fun, and it's also a great way to learn new flying skills. That doesn't have to mean exotic airshow airplanes, though - the trusty Cessna 150 Aerobat is a great way to do loops, rolls, spins, and more. Ride along on this flight to see what aerobatic maneuvers look like from the cockpit. 

Video: backcountry flying lesson

Highly modified STOL airplanes (Short TakeOff and Landing) can get in and out of some airstrips that would be unthinkable in ordinary airplanes - but only if you know how to fly them. Ride along with FlightChops in this video as he learns how to handle the incredible new Carbon Cub FX-3, including slow flight and extremely short field landings.

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.