Doug Ranly

Five essential products for instrument flying

Flying IFR can be stressful for some pilots. For many of us, the IFR muscle is one that we don’t exercise too often. But just like in any stressful activity, having the right gear can help alleviate some of the pressure. These are the five items that I don’t get an IFR clearance without. 

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Adapting a LEMO panel-powered headset for use in a PJ plug aircraft

Panel-powered headsets (often called LEMO plug headsets, after the connector used) are a great way to enjoy active noise reduction but without having to worry about batteries—just plug into the panel and go flying. But what if you want to use the headsets outside of a LEMO environment? If you're flying in a plane that doesn't have a LEMO plug, you will need an adapter that could not only go from LEMO to PJ plugs, but also provide power for your ANR. Here's how it works.

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What the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) say about using oxygen

The FAA spells out when oxygen is required in FAR Part 91.211. It's important to review this rule and understand the law, but many pilots need oxygen below the altitudes specified there—especially at night. Do you or your passengers always arrive tired or with a headache? It’s probably because of mild hypoxia. Spending a few hours at 10,000 feet is often enough to cause significant discomfort. 

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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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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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Different Grades of Oxygen and How They Pertain to Pilots

Aviators find themselves using oxygen as they explore higher altitudes in non-pressurized cockpits. This brings up an important question: what are the differences between the different grades of oxygen? Fortunately, it’s not that complicated. There are three main types of oxygen.

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Oxygen connectors in general aviation aircraft

Some aircraft were manufactured with built-in oxygen systems. These are commonly found in high performance aircraft with turbocharged engines. When these aircraft were made, each manufacturer could pick which connector to use in their system. Portable manufacturers entered the fray and used different connectors. What we are left with is a whole lot of connectors without much consistency. You might think it will take a special decoder ring to figure out what connector you need for your 1972 Cessna T210 (PB-2 for the record), but it doesn’t have to be that hard. There are six main connectors to consider.  

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Headset Plugs

How to choose the right connector  

Buying a headset can be overwhelming. Our staff of experienced pilots have flown with every brand we sell and are uniquely qualified to answer all your questions. Some of the most common questions we deal with involve headset connectors: "What's the difference between twin plugs and 6-pin connectors?" Or "Do I need a battery powered or aircraft powered headset?" Let’s go through the differences of each connector so that when you select a headset you're confident that you chose the right type.  

 

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