Authors Posts by John Zimmerman

John Zimmerman

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John knows how lucky he is to go to work every day at an airport. As Vice President of Sporty’s Pilot Shop’s Catalog Division, he says, “I get to hang around airplanes all the time, flying regularly and testing new products for the catalog.” 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. Despite his love of low and slow flight, John says, “I love the challenge of IFR flying in the system. Seeing the runway lights as you break out on approach is a thrill.”

Fun flying video: flying Alaska in a Cessna 170

Incredible vistas. Remote grass strips. Towering mountains. If all your time has been logged around busy airports in the lower 48, flying in Alaska may look completely different. In this amazing video, you'll certainly see some very different sights, but you'll also see how much remains the same - pilots are pilots, no matter what the adventure.
Cessna off runway

Why you need renter’s insurance

As you get close to your first solo, your flight instructor may talk to you about buying renter's insurance (sometimes called non-owned insurance). While it's never fun to contemplate an incident or accident, this is an important discussion that deserves some careful study.

Sporty’s new Flight Gear HP bags show off unique features

Sporty's recently introduced a completely new selection of flight bags for general aviation pilots, called Flight Gear High Performance. These bags have a modern look and some unique new features, but with options for customizing each bag to match the mission.
CFI in cockpit

Tough flight instructors are worth it… most of the time

Tough instructors go beyond FAA standards and deeper than the textbook to teach you things that really matter, in ways that make an indelible impression. Over the years, I’ve had a few right seat companions who deserve the adjective “tough,” but in looking back over those lessons I'm glad I had them.
Pilot in airplane

8 times you should say no as a pilot

As much as we like to press the push-to-talk button and calmly proclaim "wilco," sometimes you simply have to say no - even when it's uncomfortable. It's not being lazy or being a bad pilot, it's prioritizing safety over convenience.

Finding a smooth ride – 5 things to look for

As a student pilot, my flight instructor spent a lot of time teaching me how to fly safely. But as I started flying cross-countries as a private pilot, I realized I had never really learned how to fly comfortably. Here are 5 things to look for as you seek out that smooth ride.
FlightLink app

Using Lightspeed’s FlightLink app for training

Communications is one of the subjects that causes the most stress among student pilots. There's nothing worse than pressing the push to talk button and not knowing what to say, or hearing a long Air Traffic Control (ATC) clearance and replying with "say again." There's no substitute for practice, but some technology can help.

What’s new in Sporty’s flight training apps

Like the EFB apps from ForeFlight and Garmin, Sporty's flight training apps are continuously updated with new content and features to take advantage of the latest iOS capabilities and devices. Let's take a look at what's new here.

Drone webinar video explains what UAS are all about

One of the hottest segments of aviation right now involves Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), commonly called drones. Whether for fun, for agriculture or for first responders, there have never been more uses or more aircraft available. To demystify this growing field, Sporty's recently hosted a webinar called, "So you want to fly drones."

Choosing the right headset

Buying an aviation headset is a surprisingly personal decision. There is no “right answer” for every pilot – it depends on the type of flying you do, what airplane you fly most often and your personal preferences. Here are a few things to consider as you compare models.
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