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: ride with Patty Wagstaff at Oshkosh

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.

Video: life as a seaplane pilot

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.

Video: Triple Tree’s incredible 7,000-foot grass runway

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.

Video: flying the Mach Loop at 250 feet

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.

Video: 16 bush planes, 1 hill

Sure, the location is beautiful and the airplanes are not your everyday trainers, but the best part of Trent Palmer's latest adventure is the camaraderie. Sixteen airplanes found their way to the same grassy hill on the last day of 2019, and the result was a lot of fun. 

Video: glider winch launch at Innsbruck

Innsbruck, Austria, is a justifiably famous airport. Tucked in between tall mountains, the airport features stunning views of the Alps and has been a favorite of flight sim enthusiasts for decades. It's also a great place for some soaring, as this video shows. Ride along for a winch launch (always a thrilling start to a flight), some ridge soaring, and a landing back on the grass.
Grass runway

Why taildraggers improve your flying skills – and how to do it in a...

I know when I checked out in a Citabria about 15 years ago, it changed how I thought about the landing process and it recalibrated my “seat of your pants” flight instrument (that we all have). My landings weren’t always pretty, but the experience taught me to focus on three things in particular.

Video: flying LSAs in New Zealand

Light Sport Aircraft (LSAs) provide an excellent platform for new student pilots and are often less expensive to operate. Join JP on a scenic flight around New Zealand to learn what these airplanes have to offer and what's different about flying an LSA.

Video: Patty Wagstaff rolls and rolls and rolls

Patty Wagstaff is famous for being one of the greatest aerobatic pilots in the world, and this video will show you why. She takes her Extra 300L up for a flight over St. Augustine, Florida, and practices a few rolls - actually, a lot of rolls. The GoPro Fusion 360 camera offers a unique view of these maneuvers, and just might make your stomach turn.

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.