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: first airplane out of Oshkosh

Flying into Oshkosh is a lot of fun, but leaving the world's largest air show is part of the experience too. In this video, ride along with JP (aka @the_candourist) as he hitches a ride with legendary air show announcer Rob Reider in an RV-7A with a glass cockpit. There's no better way to get to know a pilot than to go flying with them!

Video: when ATC doesn’t go according to plan

Most of the time, Air Traffic Control works like a well-oiled machine, with ground control moving airplanes to the runway and tower keeping the runways safe. But sometimes, due to traffic or weather, things don't go according to plan at busy airports. In this amusing collection of ATC conversations, listen to airline pilots and controllers go off-script for some unique requests. It's a great reminder that behind every callsign there's a human being.

Video: flight bag review

There's no perfect flight bag for every pilot - it depends on the type of flying you do, the aircraft you fly, and your own personal preferences. With prices ranging from under $50 to well over $200, there are a lot to choose from. In this Product PIREP Video, we review some of the best-selling options, including Flight Gear, Flight Outfitters, MyGoFlight, and Travel Pro.

Video: tailwheel checkout on a grass runway

Learning to fly a tailwheel airplane is challenging, but incredibly rewarding. While they are less stable than tricycle gear airplanes, they are a lot of fun and open up a whole new world of flying. As this video shows, you can land on grass runways in the middle of farms and connect with flying the way it used to be.

Piper Cub on the farm

There's nothing quite so pure as a yellow Piper J-3 Cub on a grass strip; the airplane just wasn't meant to be flown over big cities and landed at towered airports. In this fun video, you'll ride along in a 1945 Cub, from hand propping to low passes over the farms. No avionics, no airspace, just fun flying.

Video: Reno Air Races from the cockpit

It's the fastest motorsport event in the world - the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, features everything from homebuilts to jets racing each other around pylons, sometimes at over 400 miles per hour. In this behind-the-scenes video, you'll ride along for some incredible racing in a Sea Fury and a P-51 Mustang, and see the precise flying it takes to compete at Reno.

Video: how to waterski an airplane (and why you probably shouldn’t)

You've probably seen the videos on YouTube, with taildraggers skimming the water with their big tires as they approach to land. In this honest video, Trent Palmer explains why it's done, how to do it safely - but also why you probably shouldn't do it. A fun and fascinating look at a common bush pilot trick.

Video: landing a Cessna at Chicago O’Hare

Chicago O'Hare Airport is not usually the place to find a single engine Cessna, but landing there is exactly what these two pilots set out to do. Ride along for a scenic tour of Chicago at night, then watch the Cessna fit into the onslaught of airline traffic and land at the 6th busiest airport in the world. Challenging? For sure. Fun? Absolutely.

Video: testing out the Lightspeed Tango wireless headset

There are dozens of aviation headsets on the market right now, but only one is wireless. Lightspeed's Tango model allows you to cut the cord, using a proprietary wireless technology and rechargeable batteries. How does it work? We took it flying recently to find out.

Instagram disease in aviation – don’t catch it

Above a hashtag like #pilotlife or #instaaviation, you'll often see a picture of an exotic seaplane on a fishing trip in the Bahamas, a tundra tire taildragger landing on a remote river bed in Utah, or an airline pilot posing like a model with an “I worked all morning to look like I just fell out of bed” look. It's alluring, but it's not real life.

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