Authors Posts by John Zimmerman

John Zimmerman

111 POSTS 51 COMMENTS
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.”
172 landing

The one tip that finally helped me land better

Making great landings consistently is easier said than done, and it's easy to fall for the latest "miracle cure." I won't offer any of those, because good landings result more from practice, discipline and hard work than quick fixes. But sometimes the right visualization is the key: if you can truly understand all the interrelated events that happen during landing, it's easier to make the correct control inputs.

Video: why learn to fly?

Watch our free 4-part video series on learning to fly. First, why you should learn to fly.

Video: how do you learn to fly?

In the second video in our series, we explore the steps involved to earn a pilot's license.

Video: your first flight lesson

In part three, we give you a preview of what your first flight lesson will be like (hint: you'll do the flying!).

Video: choosing a flight school

In the fourth and final video in the series, we offer some tips for choosing the right flight school.

Visibility: more than meets the eye

Visibility, unlike so many other aviation weather terms, seems so simple. It's a measure of how far you can see, right? What nuances can there possibly be? Turns out, a lot.
Young Eagle in right seat

Don’t say that! 5 phrases to avoid when flying with passengers

Sometimes it's the little things that matter most. A great example is the words we use in the cockpit. Talking is a great way to dispel some fears for a new flyer, but be careful: casual statements can have a powerful effect. Here are five things you shouldn't say in the cockpit when you're flying with passengers.

The unofficial FBO rulebook – what your CFI didn’t teach you

There are some small things we can do as pilots that have a major impact on both safety and camaraderie. You might call this the unofficial FBO rulebook - tips we all need to know as pilots, and they don't appear in the FAR/AIM book or on the FAA written test.
Keep calm and fly on sign

When all else fails, FTFA!

One of aviation's defining characteristics is its acronyms. FAR, ILS, PTS, WAAS and hundreds more fill our flying conversations, and often confuse new pilots. At the risk of adding to the confusion, I'd like to suggest one more, but it won't be on the Knowledge Test. FTFA, loosely translated to Fly The Freaking Airplane, has come in handy dozens of times over the course of my flying career.

Student Pilot Store

Similar to fishing, camping, rock climbing, or boating, getting the right gear for flying is almost as important (and as fun) as the actual activity. At Sporty's, we've operated our own flight school for decades, so we know what student pilots need - and what they don't.
Open

Sign up for our email newsletter.

Close