When people ask Mac McClellan what he does for a living he replies, "I fly airplanes and write about them. And I'm one of the most fortunate people in the world to have been able to make a career of doing what I love." Mac has been a pilot for more than 45 years, an aviation writer for more than 40 and has been lucky enough to get to fly just about every type of personal and business airplane in production from the 1970s onward. He was on the Flying magazine staff for 35 years and editor-in-chief for 20 of those years.
He has private pilot privileges in single-engine airplanes, plus commercial pilot privileges in helicopters and an ATP in airplanes with more than one engine. He holds several business jet type ratings and has logged more than 10,000 hours. His first airplane was a Cessna 140 and for the past 27 years he has owned a Baron 58, flying it more than 5,000 hours to cover the aviation industry. And now he is a part-time corporate pilot flying a King Air 350.
Mac shares his unique perspective with Takeoff subscribers in a regular series of articles, based on his decades of experience flying the system. Whether it's practical tips on cross-country flying, details of IFR procedures, or a current industry debate, you can count on Mac for an honest approach.
Amy has been flying airplanes since she was 15 years old, and is a flight instructor and ATP. She's taught flight students from East Coast to West, and currently serves as a National FAA FAAST Team member, providing Aviation Safety Seminars for FAA certified pilots in the U.S. and abroad. She was the Editor in Chief of Aviation for Women magazine for nearly 13 years before returning to her freelance writing and multimedia career.
Amy writes articles on general proficiency topics as well as on the pain and pleasure of aircraft ownership – something Amy knows about first-hand. Throughout her articles, you'll find an infectious enthusiasm for aviation and a focus on proven techniques for safer flying.
A 22-year old student at MIT, Matt is a world record-setting pilot, entrepreneur, and speaker. Since his first solo at 16, he has earned a commercial pilot certificate with numerous ratings and logged more than 1,300 hours in dozens of aircraft. At age 19 he became the youngest pilot to solo circumnavigate the globe by air, flying a 1981 A36 Bonanza 30,000 miles, and has flown in some of the most extreme situations a pilot can find. Most days he can be found flying around the country for business or pleasure, practicing aerobatics, and occasionally doing his homework.
As a talented video producer, Matt shares the adventure of flying with his ongoing video blog, which you can follow in the Takeoff app. Matt also contributes video tips on flying technique, exclusively for Takeoff Pro subscribers, which cover some of the skills pilots usually learn after the checkride.
If there's an aviation job Patrick Carter hasn't held, it's only because he hasn't gotten around to it yet. An A&P and ATP, he has been a Cessna factory test pilot, business jet pilot and aerobatic instructor. He is currently an Alaska bush pilot, flying both Beavers on skis and Cessna 185s on floats to all parts of the state's untouched wilderness. Patrick also founded Nflight Technology, a company that offers a variety of tools for making better in-flight videos.
Combine Patrick's unique aviation experiences and his deep knowledge of video cameras, and you get some spectacular video segments. He provides insight to Takeoff users based on his broad experience, always emphasizing the real-world approach he relies on in his everyday flying.
You probably know Steve as FlightChops, likely the most popular pilot on YouTube right now. He has created a huge following with his fascinating flying adventures, whether it's checking out in a World War II trainer or flying with Coast Guard helicopter pilots. Each flight shows a different side of aviation, but also the common bond all pilots share.
Beyond just flying interesting airplanes, Steve is also passionate about sharing the lessons learned from each adventure, something he does as well as anyone given his background as a professional filmmaker. A humble and accessible host, he shares the ups and downs of training on his video blog, and suggests ways for every pilot to improve his or her skills. You can catch all the latest from FlightChops in the Takeoff app.
Jason is a CFII with more than 20 years of aviation experience and thousands of hours of instruction given. He is also a member of the FAA Safety Team, a speaker for AOPA’s Air Safety Institute and was nominated by the FAA for the 2009 Flight Instructor of the Year Award.
Using his background as a performer and experience on the flight line, Jason created The Finer Points – Aviation Podcast, one of the most recognized and well-respected aviation podcasts in the world. The critically acclaimed podcast has delivered more than 3m flight training files to pilots all over the world.
You can keep up to date with Jason's podcast in the Takeoff app, and Takeoff Pro subscribers get access to exclusive video tips Jason produces in cooperation with Sporty's Academy. These must-see segments focus on "the finer points" of flying, each one going beyond simple textbook answers to make you a safer and more polished pilot.
An experienced and highly-respected meteorologist with years of operational forecasting and broadcast experience throughout the Midwest, Scott is Takeoff's weather expert. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from Penn State with an emphasis in forecasting and communications, and is also a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist. In addition to his interest in weather, Scott is also a real aviation enthusiast - a natural given his father was a professional pilot.
Scott's exclusive Weather Geek video segments explore important topics in aviation weather so you can make better decisions in flight. Takeoff Pro subscribers learn how radar really works, when to expect wind shear, and why weather forecasts are sometimes wrong.
If you've ever been to an airshow, chances are you've heard Rob's voice. He is aviation's best-known airshow announcer, a 5-time Emmy award winner, and also host of Sporty’s flight training courses. Rob is the recipient of the ICAS "Sword of Excellence," the highest award an air show professional can receive, and was also named an "Honorary Blue Angel," only the 46th person to receive that honor in the 65-year history of the team. He is also an avid pilot himself, and flies his beautiful Van's RV-10 to many shows.
With his trademark style, Rob offers dozens of video tips for enhancing your airmanship, from steep turns and crosswind landings to instrument approaches and glass cockpits. Each week, Takeoff Pro subscribers can brush up on the fundamentals with that familiar voice.
One of aviation's best-loved writers, Richard was formerly an editor at Flying magazine and AOPA Pilot, and is currently Editor Emeritus at Air Facts online. He has also written numerous books based on his 20,000 hours of experience flying piston airplanes all over the US. He has pretty much flown every airplane designed since the 1960s, and met most of the memorable pilots along the way. As a result, he is a recognized authority on safety trends, instrument flying, and aviation weather.
Richard's utterly unique articles focus on the evolving general aviation safety record and how new technology can be used for both good and bad in the cockpit. Reading his articles, you'll be challenged and enlightened, all the while learning a host of time-tested techniques for traveling by light airplane.
As Sporty’s lead video producer, Bret is usually flying an interesting airplane, and often with a camera rolling. He is an ATP and CFI, and flies a wide variety of airplanes, whether it's instructing in technically advanced aircraft or taking Sporty's 1963 Aztec on a cross country trip. Bret is also known as "Mr. iPad" at Sporty’s, and is the primary tester for the latest apps and accessories for mobile devices. As the Editor of iPad Pilot News, he has been writing and presenting about aviation apps since 2010, and understands the EFB market better than almost anyone.
Bret uses his broad experience with technology to inform his contributions to Takeoff. From shortcuts that make you an iPad pro to best practices for staying proficient with technology, his articles are packed with tips you can use on your next flight.
Eric is a true aviation educator: a Master Flight Instructor, board member at the National Association of Flight Instructors, and president of one of the country's busiest flight schools. In addition to his many educational roles, Eric also spent some time as an airline pilot and these days is a Captain in Sporty's corporate flight department. He flies everything from LSAs to business jets, but instructing is what he loves. As Editor of Student Pilot News, he frequently writes on topics relating to flight schools and pilot training.
Takeoff Pro subscribers get access to Eric's practical perspective on flight training, including tips for getting started and strategies for maximizing learning opportunities. He also writes articles that help improve your flying skills, no matter how many hours are in your logbook.
John grew up in the back of small airplanes and learned to fly as a teenager. Now a commercial pilot with multiengine, instrument, glider, and helicopter ratings, he flies a wide variety of aircraft, including a Robinson R44 and a Pilatus PC-12. He is a vice president at Sporty's and also the Editor of Air Facts, an 80-year old magazine founded by Leighton Collins that helps pilots learn from each other.
John's thought-provoking articles in Takeoff emphasize real world experience and emerging trends, from the latest avionics innovations to important safety habits for pilots.
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