Doug Ranly

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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The ultimate travel bags: Flight Outfitters Seaplane Duffel

As a frequent traveler, I have become a sort of luggage connoisseur. But my pile ’o bags might be marked for the next Goodwill run. I stumbled upon the Flight Outfitters Seaplane duffle bags a few months ago. At first, I thought there was no way I’d fall in love with a non-rolling set of luggage. The small and large sized duffle screamed basic and plain, but little did I know, that is exactly what I needed. 

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Finding the best aviation headset: three videos to help you decide

Every pilot needs a headset, but every pilot has different wants and needs when it comes to hearing protection. To help you find the perfect headset, Sporty's has created this series of three videos covering the most popular options. Whether you're looking for the best overall headset, the best value ANR headset, or the best passive headset, we'll show you what to look for and offer tips for our favorite models. 

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Three myths about active noise reduction headsets

ANR headsets make long flights in noisy general aviation airplanes more bearable. The standard passive headset reduces noise levels by 18-24 decibels; ANR headsets put an additional 10-25 decibels of reduction on top of that. But there is still pushback from those who want to continue to get a flashlight and shoes to go use the outhouse. Here are the top three myths we have heard when it comes to ANR headsets—and why they are wrong.

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Using a portable radio as your primary radio

While the general consensus is that portable radios don’t belong as a primary source, there are still plenty of aircraft out there that don’t have radios at all. Some were manufactured without electrical systems. Others might be homebuilt ultralights or Light Sport Aircraft. The question we like to ask: “Is a portable radio setup better than no radio at all?” The resounding answer is “yes.” 

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Sidetone in aviation headsets: what is it and how does it work?

Pilots like to hear themselves talk. Well, at least my wife says we do. This is especially true when transmitting radio communications. This is known as sidetone. When we press the push-to-talk (PTT) switch, not only does the world get to hear my amazingly professional voice, I get to hear it too. You won’t find sidetone on cell phones or gaming headsets, but it’s common, if not expected, in aviation.

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