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: 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.

Quiz: How Much Basic Weather Theory Do You Know?

There is one constant in aviation that affects every flight, no matter if you're flying as a student pilot in the practice area or flying for the airlines from coast to coast – the weather. Developing a sound knowledge of weather theory is critical in the early phases of flight training to assist with making the important go/no-go decision. Take our latest quiz and test your knowledge on the fundamentals of weather theory.

Sporty’s releases 2020 Learn to Fly Course

One of the best investments you can make as a student pilot (or a rusty pilot) is a good home study course. It will help you save a significant amount of time and money by preparing for each lesson at home. Most importantly, you’ll be a safer, more well-rounded pilot after you earn your certificate.

Video: pulling Gs with the Thunderbirds

Flying a jet is fun; flying with the US Air Force Thunderbirds is a once-in-a-lifetime thrill. In this new video, you can ride along with AOPA editor and longtime flight instructor Dave Hirschman as he tears through the sky at over 9 Gs. He admits he only has two goals: "Stay conscious, and don't hurl."

Video: flying low over the sand dunes of Africa

During training, it's easy to get bogged down in the mechanics of flying: weight and balance calculations, flight plan forms, emergency checklists. This stunning video shows the restorative power of flying just for the sake of flying. It's all about freedom, stunning African vistas, sharing an experience with friends, and the unique places only an airplane can take you. As JP says, "I hate being a pilot, but I love flying."

Student Pilot News print edition

Student Pilot News is the best place for articles, videos, quizzes, and special offers for new pilots. But in addition to our weekly online updates, we also publish a print version once a year. You can flip through a PDF version of the 2019 edition here.

Video: what it takes to fly in a Red Bull Air Race

If you ever dreamed of flying in a Red Bull Air Race, unfortunately it's too late. After 12 seasons, the combination air race/aerobatics competition has flown its last event. But you can still fly along with some of the world's greatest pilots in this video. Hear what it takes to fly the demanding course, from the Gs the pull to the roll rate of the airplane.