That Doesn’t Look Like My Airplane!

An activity that many pilots enjoy involves sitting at the airport and watching other pilots takeoff and land. While enjoying this pastime you may see some aircraft that look a bit different from your typical trainer. Join us as we take a brief look at some of the "other aircraft" that you might see.

Stop and smell the avgas

We all set goals as pilots, whether it’s completing the first solo, earning a private pilot certificate or simply getting current again. There’s nothing wrong with that (in fact, I think it’s part of what makes flying so rewarding), but we need to be careful that the destination doesn’t overshadow the journey.

5 can’t miss stocking stuffers

For a pilot, working at Sporty’s can be compared to a daily Christmas morning. With all the pilot toys, trinkets and gear, it’s easy...

Destination flying

June 2, 2005. I had just landed N73028 in a 15 knot crosswind on runway 5 at OGG. "Maui Ground, Skyhawk 73028 to the Tee Hangars." "Aloha 028 taxi ahead on Alpha, left on Golf cross runway 2 then straight on Kilo to the hangars" Yep, you heard it right, I was on the ground at Kahului airport on the island of Maui in the state of Hawaii. No, I didn't fly there from the mainland, my flight had originated from OGG earlier that morning. This was one of the most exciting flights of my life.

My unexpected bush pilot adventure

Want to do some bush flying in Alaska? “Yes, yes I do.” It took all of 1.3 seconds for me to reply when an opportunity arose to fly the backcountry of Alaska for a couple days. Flying a taildragger in the remote wilderness should be on every pilot’s bucket list.

First Solo, Again!

Here at Sporty’s Academy, we love to celebrate the achievements of our students. One of our biggest celebrations comes when a student successfully completes his or her first solo. We really think that this is a big deal and we want the student to understand this as well! It has been many years since my first solo in an airplane. In fact, I’ll be celebrating the 30th anniversary of that event in a couple of years. Even with the intervening years, I can still remember my takeoff from Runway 29 at the Flagler County Airport in Florida. I don’t really remember the landing but I remember the takeoff. I looked out the side window after liftoff, watched the left main spin to a stop, and thought to myself, “Well, now you have to land it!”

Flying IFR – I follow rivers, roads and rails

In 1998 my Christmas present from my wife Rose Ann was a Magellan hand-held GPS.  It was a navigational miracle in a box not...

Log your flights with photos and video

We're all required to log our flight times and landings to prove FAA currency, but this only tells part of the story of a flight. Here you'll learn how you can record a more memorable experience from your flight by using a smartphone or portable cockpit camera to capture the sights and sounds.

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.

Ode to General Aviation

Twas the day after Christmas and snow covered the land. We needed to put our toes in some water, our butts in some sand. We drove...