Magic carpet rides

On June 19, 2019 we departed Lake Hood’s (PALH) 2,200 foot long gravel runway in Skyhawk 12138 rented from Arctic Flyers and Alaska became...

Flying in a new direction – the case for technology in the cockpit

Technology is taking over our airplane cockpit these days, from portable GPS and weather receivers to sophisticated glass cockpit instrumentation. This can provide challenges to student pilots, who need to balance learning the fundamentals of navigation and situational awareness while still taking advantage of the latest advancements in digital mapping and datalink weather.

Closed for the season: how to navigate the partial government shutdown

While the initial government shutdown has ended and most services restored, another shutdown looms and the following article will help you navigate the affected...

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.

Fly until the map turns blue…and then some – Part II

"Take the Aztec to Nevis,” Sporty’s Founder/Chairman, Hal Shevers, stated last fall. We took this statement seriously because it is fully in line with...

The virtues of competition and a challenging flight home

The competition I had the distinct pleasure of representing Sporty’s at the 2018 National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) annual flight competition–SAFECON. With nearly 30 schools...

Fly until the map turns blue…and then some

A February trip to Nevis in the West Indies would present the opportunity try some products and escape the Ohio Valley winter. This is the first of three installments about our adventure in Sporty’s iconic 1963 Piper Aztec. Follow along on our Caribbean adventure and start planning your own.

Chasing the shadow

The eclipse was scheduled to begin in Gallatin about 1:00 PM EDT, but wanting to ensure a good viewing spot Michael and I, along with our families, loaded into N702SP with our eclipse glasses in-hand early that morning for the hour and a half flight to Sumner County.

The first and last time I skipped the preflight checklist

"Lunken tower, this is Cessna Eight Eight Uniform, our windshield is covered with oil, we're returning for immediate landing." I'll never forget making that radio call 14 years ago, and today I can still visualize the oil-soaked windshield as vividly as the day it happened. Even more memorable is how one small, easily-preventable oversight led to this in-flight emergency.

Best-laid plans…

Things don’t always go as planned – a universal truth in life and readily apparent in aviation.  I experienced this first-hand on a recent...