Home Authors Posts by John Zimmerman
As we get older, most of us get worse at being a student—no matter what the subject. After all, you’re used to being the expert. So if you’re considering learning to fly after your 40th birthday (or your 60th—you really aren’t too old to start), remember these tips.
Seaplanes are just about the most fun you can have in aviation—they are all about fun, freedom, and challenge. And there's no better place to fly seaplanes than in Alaska, where these machines aren't just toys, they are a critical mode of transportation. Ride along with FlightChops in this episode as he learns the ins and outs of seaplanes, including the legendary de Havilland Beaver.
Learning to fly is a process, but oftentimes the most confusing part is taking that first step. How do you find a flight school? What should you ask a prospective flight instructor? What's the difference between a Sport Pilot and Private Pilot certificate? Sporty's has recently released a new course to help answer these questions, and it's completely free.
A flight computer is an essential tool for student pilots. You'll use one to calculate all kinds of things, from fuel burn to groundspeed to density altitude. While you can do those calculations with an old school "whiz wheel," an electronic flight computer is a much faster and easier way to get the right answer. This series of video tips shows Sporty's best-selling Electronic E6B in action.
Learning to fly is a life-changing experience, but so is buying an airplane. The joy (and occasional heartbreak) of owning your own magic carpet makes general aviation a real family activity and is a great way to learn even more about aviation. This awesome video shows the journey from new pilot to airplane owner, and all the decisions along the way.
The Bonanza is known as a refined cross-country airplane, but it's not bad for soft fields either. Fly along with Matt Guthmiller as he flies to a variety of locations in this new video. You'll see airplanes on a golf course, a sand bar, and even a mountain top (no, not all of those are in the Bonanza). It's fun general aviation flying at its finest.
The big Sun 'n Fun airshow was supposed to this week, but due to worldwide COVID-19 restrictions it was postponed. To help you get in the airshow spirit, though, we're happy to share this video from Sporty's and Patty Wagstaff. You can ride along as the legendary aerobatic pilot performs her stomach-churning routine at Oshkosh 2019.
Flying a seaplane is about the most fun as you can have in an airplane, with almost total freedom and great views. But for some pilots, this type of flying is their job. Follow a new first officer as he learns about flying for Trans Maldivian Airways, an airline that is the largest seaplane operator in the world. It's still work, but it looks pretty fun too.
When you hear "grass runway" you probably think of a short farm strip. Triple Tree Aerodrome in South Carolina is something entirely different: a 7,000-foot long stretch of grass that looks like it's a golf course fairway. Ride along in a Cirrus SR20 as a family visits the scenic airport and enjoys the warm hospitality of fellow pilots. It's everything that's right about general aviation.
The Mach Loop is a stretch of valleys in Wales that is famous for its low-level training flights. Photographers can stand on a ridge and watch airplanes flying below them. That's a great view, but even better is this video: you'll ride in the back seat of a Typhoon flying at 500 knots and pulling over 5 Gs, all while staying below the tops of the hills.