Entries by John Zimmerman

Video: learning how to land on an aircraft carrier

Everyone was a student pilot once, including the most seasoned Navy pilots who land on aircraft carriers in the middle of the ocean. In this video, you’ll get to ride along with one such pilot, as she learns how to land the C2-A twin turboprop on the pitching deck. It’s a little more complicated than landing a Cessna 172 on a long runway, but the fundamentals of pitch and power are the same.

Video: the river visual approach to DCA

While airline pilots spend a lot of time flying up high, there are a few airports that offer a great view from the flight deck of a Boeing or Airbus. This video is a great example: ride along as an A320 flies the River Visual approach into Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC. The flight path follows the river, which means lots of landmarks out the left window.

Video: landing on the “USS Sedona”

Just because an airport has a 5,000-foot runway doesn’t mean it’s boring. In fact, Sedona, Arizona (SEZ), might be one of the most beautiful and distinctive arrivals anywhere in the US. Nicknamed the “USS Sedona” for its aircraft carrier-like runway perched atop a mesa. this jewel of the Southwest features stunning views of nearby terrain and a unique view on final approach. Ride along in this video to see what it looks like from the left seat.

Video: first solo in a Cessna 152

A pilot’s first solo is a day full of mixed emotions: excitement and nervousness, pride and fear. This video shows all those feelings, as a student pilot makes her first trip around the pattern by herself in a Cessna 152. If you’re not a pilot yet, it’s a great preview of what’s to come. If you are a pilot, you’ll probably remember exhaling at the end like Erin does here.

Video: flying a Beech 18 on floats

The Beech 18 is an iconic airplane, with big radial engines and those long, beautiful wings. Put it on floats and you have a new new level of fun. In this video you’ll ride along as AOPA’s Richard McSpadden earns his multiengine seaplane rating in the big Beech, splashing around the scenic lakes of northern Minnesota.

Five overlooked features in Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course

Sporty’s Learn to Fly Course is famous for its beautiful HD video and its large database of FAA test questions. While those two features are invaluable for passing your tests and becoming a safe pilot, there’s a lot more to this course than just videos and quizzes. Here’s a look at five overlooked features.

Video: pulling Gs with Patty Wagstaff

Flying aerobatics is all about finesse—it’s about feeling the airplane and responding with a steady hand on the flight controls. But as this video shows, sometimes it’s about aggressive maneuvers and serious Gs, too. Ride along with legendary airshow pilot Patty Wagstaff as she pushes her Extra to the limit.

Video: landing on a beach in New Zealand

Landing “off airport” is a great way to experience the true freedom of general aviation, but it doesn’t always require a fancy bush plane or a helicopter. In this new video, you’ll ride along with JP for a flight in New Zealand to see what it’s like flying in this beautiful country. You’ll also watch him land on a beach, which is perfectly legal to do year round.

Video: going supersonic with the Thunderbirds

The US Air Force Thunderbirds are a fixture of the airshow circuit, entertaining crowds all over the country with their high speed passes and formation maneuvers. With a global pandemic, the Thunderbirds didn’t get to fly many shows in 2020, so we thought this video was a good replacement. Ride along for some high speed/high G maneuvers and see what it’s like to fly an F-16 at the limit.

Stay organized with Sporty’s new Flight Gear bags

A good flight bag should be one of the first aviation purchases for a student pilot. One of the most popular options for the last three decades, Sporty’s Flight Gear bags, are new for 2021, with six bags designed by pilots and for pilots. Here’s a look at the options.