Sporty's Product PIREPs

Garmin D2 Mach 1 Smartwatch - Long Term Pilot Report

Garmin is well known in the fitness world for creating high end smartwatches that can track all your activities. Biking, hiking, swimming, running, gym workouts… if you can move, a Garmin watch can track it. Of course there's another activity that can be tracked, and it's very close to our hearts: flying. Garmin's line of D2 pilot watches includes all the fitness features you'd expect, plus powerful aviation tools like built-in GPS and a pulse oximeter. I’ve had the pleasure of using the Garmin D2 Mach 1 every day for the last few months. There are many things I love and a few things I’m not too fond of—here's my pilot report.

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How to maximize the life of your aviation headset

Aviation headsets can be a sizable investment for pilots. Plopping down over a thousand dollars for something that will protect your hearing is a common practice for modern pilots (and a smart choice). After spending that hard-earned money on a headset, what can we do to make sure we get the most life out of our investment? Here are four things you can do to maximize the performance of your Bose, Lightspeed, or David Clark.

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Episode 39. Exploring the world in a Boeing 787, with author Mark Vanhoenacker

As a London-based airline pilot, Mark Vanhoenacker has traveled the world—and along the way he became a bestselling author. He explains how he stays curious as he travels, what "airplane mode" means for your brain, and why long-haul flying can be a lonely experience. He also describes the unique personalities of the Boeing 747 and 787, including what it's like to sit two stories above the runway and why he loves flying with a HUD. In the Ready to Copy segment, Mark shares the best overnight destination for an airline pilot, why "wilco" is useful in everyday life, and what he thinks of Moby Dick.

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Top 10 gifts for pilots

Not sure what to get the pilot on your Christmas list this year? We don’t blame you—between ANR and ADS-B, the acronyms can get pretty confusing. Fortunately, the pilots at Sporty’s can help. We’ve combed through thousands of customer reviews, run the math on best-selling products, and debated what 2022’s hottest new products are. The result is this list of the 10 most wanted gifts for pilots.

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Three tips for an easier avionics transition

At a hangar flying session you might hear that in “the good old days” checking out in a new airplane meant nothing more than grabbing the keys and blasting off. That was never a great idea, but with today’s sophisticated avionics it’s simply impossible—integrated panels mean that each airplane is unique and often quite complicated. A smart pilot will commit to serious study on the ground before ever starting the engine. Here are some tools that can save you time and money when learning new avionics. More importantly, they’ll help you be a safer and more confident pilot, able to get the most out of your new equipment.

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Top 5 ASA Gifts for Pilots

Sporty’s Pilot Shop is proud to offer high-quality gear from ASA. Aviation Supplies and Academics (ASA) manufactures plotters, E6Bs, logbooks, kneeboards, and is a leading publisher of aviation books. With such a vast product range, there is sure to be a gift for the aviator on your list. Here are the top 5 ASA gifts for pilots. 

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Episode 38. Flying helicopters and climbing mountains, with Jessica Meiris

What do helicopter flying and mountain climbing have in common? Jessica Meiris is both a professional helicopter pilot and a record-setting rock climber—she says it's all about thinking ahead and working as a team. She shares the incredible story of how she got into aviation, the latest trends in helicopter safety, and tips for overcoming challenges with the FAA medical. She also explains what "energy management" means for pilots and the lessons she's learned about mountain weather. In the Ready to Copy segment, Jessica picks her favorite helicopter, tells airplane pilots how to avoid rotor wash from nearby helicopters, and explains what her favorite place to climb is.

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What pilots need to know about charging plugs, batteries, and cables

Portable electronic devices have become more and more common on the GA flight deck since the turn of the century. From early GPS navigators gaining popularity in flight bags to a company offering a mini computer with a touchscreen that could make phone calls in mid-2007, these devices have improved safety as well as convenience when we fly. As we enjoy the leading edge of technology, though, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how to keep them charged. This article will cover electronic device charging 101, including plug types, cables, and new options like Power Delivery.

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Episode 37. Why eVTOLs are for real and flying the A-10 Warthog, with Beta's Chris Caputo

Chris Caputo spent over 30 years in the Air Force flying A-10s and F-16s, so he might not be the first person you think of when you hear "electric vertical takeoff and landing advocate." But he's a believer, and in this episode he explains why. He also talks about what it's like to fly the Beta Technologies Alia aircraft, why the company is different from other electric aircraft startups, and why cargo may be a better business model than passenger flights. Chris also talks about his Air Force days, including the differences between the A-10 and the F-16, why military training is so valuable for an airline career, and what sound the A-10 gun really makes. In the Ready to Copy segment, he answers whether the last fighter pilot has been born, whether the Boeing 757 or 767 is more fun to fly, and what Air Force airplane he'd most like to fly.

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Sporty's Instrument Rating Flight Sim Training Guide

Complement your Instrument flight training or challenge yourself as a digital pilot with the Instrument Rating Flight Sim Training Guide from Sporty's Pilot Shop. This guide includes an introduction covering how best to use this guide with an at home simulator as well as keyboard shortcuts to help make you a Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 power user. It includes 22 lessons featuring clickable links directing the user to Sporty's Instrument Rating Course to view how a maneuver or approach is executed before digitally flying.

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