Authors Posts by John Zimmerman

John Zimmerman

214 POSTS 52 COMMENTS
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: first solo smile

There's nothing like your first solo flight—fear, excitement, and pride all mix together to create an experience you'll never forget. In this video, you'll see what it's like, as you ride along with Annalynn on her first solo. If you've soloed, you'll recognize the feeling. If you haven't soloed yet, here's what you can look forward to: that solo smile!
ARSim app

ARSim app helps pilots learn radio communications

Learning to communicate with ground, tower, and approach can be intimidating for many student pilots. There's a lot to remember and sometimes when you push the button to start talking, the mind goes blank. Fortunately, there's a new app that can help.

Video: flying the Hudson River exclusion zone

One of the great privileges of being a pilot in the United States is the freedom to fly almost anywhere. That includes a VFR flight right up the Hudson River, with a stunning view of Manhattan. Ride along in this video as some friends fly a Mooney up the East Coast of the US, including a scenic flight past the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and so many other landmarks. All with a private pilot certificate and a single engine airplane.

Video: flying the DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 might be the hardest working airplane in aviation history. From pioneering airline routes to flying World War II missions to hauling freight in remote areas, this tail-dragging radial twin has done it all. In this fantastic video, you'll get to fly in a DC-3 with the world's highest time DC-3 pilot.

What’s the point of ground reference maneuvers?

Confession: I hated ground reference maneuvers as a student pilot. Eventually, my flight instructor broke through and explained why we were spending so much time on these seemingly boring lessons. I began to appreciate that doing these simple maneuvers really well was going to help me make better landings. Let’s review the point of these exercises.

Video: flying the Cirrus Vision Jet

The Vision Jet from Cirrus is the first single engine personal jet to be delivered in significant numbers, and it's a unique blend of turbine performance and single engine simplicity. In many ways, it really feels like a bigger and faster SR22. You'll get to go flying in one with this video, as the pilot flies from New York to Atlanta. See the startup sequence, watch the takeoff, and listen to all the ATC calls. It's a real world look at a fascinating airplane.

Video: learning formation flying

Flying with friends is always more fun, but to safely fly in formation takes serious training and regular practice. Ride along with Matt Guthmiller in this video as he learns the finer points of flying mere feet from three other airplanes. It takes total concentration, but it's also a blast. 

Video: Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 for pilots

Microsoft's release of an all-new flight simulator this month is creating quite a buzz among gamers and flight simulator enthusiasts, but also among pilots. The latest edition of this long-running franchise features stunning graphics, realistic weather, and a variety of general aviation airplanes. Is it fun? Can you use it during flight training? In this video, an experienced pilot and MSFS beta tester shares his thoughts.

Video: river bar hopping with bush planes

Flying is freedom, but landing where there are no runways is another level of freedom. Ride along with three pilots in this incredible video as they land their taildraggers on gravel bars in a river. It takes skill and practice (watch the intro to learn why), but when done safely this is fun flying at its very best.

Video: flying an F-22 Raptor

The F-22 Raptor seems to defy physics, with the speed of a modern supersonic fighter but the maneuverability of a light airplane. This new video shows you the F-22 in action, from both inside and outside the cockpit. You'll see the incredible vertical climb, the 9G turns, and the thrust vectoring nozzles. It's quite a show.