John Zimmerman

Episode 44. Flying and writing about the 1919 transcontinental air race, with John Lancaster

How do you write a book about a transcontinental air race from 100 years ago? First you buy an airplane and fly the route yourself. That's exactly what John Lancaster did for his new book, The Great Air Race. He explains what this outrageously ambitious event was all about, where you can find signs of the race today, and what it was like to retrace the steps in his LSA. He also talks about the rewards of taking long trips in light airplanes, the prospects for modern air races, and life as a foreign correspondent. In the "Ready to Copy" segment, John talks about get-there-itis, his favorite anecdote from the book, and where to get the best food in the Middle East.

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How long are aeronautical charts valid for?

Flying with outdated charts is not only unsafe, it's probably illegal—pilots love to debate FAR 91.103, but if you bust Class B airspace with an expired chart, the FAA will likely be upset. Keeping track of all the different effective dates used to be a challenge, since VFR and IFR charts were updated on different cycles. Fortunately, in 2020 the FAA simplified its update schedule so that most, but not all, charts follow the same cycle. Here are the details.

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Episode 43. Weather flying tips and debating Boeing vs. Airbus, with Captain Doug Morris

As a former meteorologist and a 25,000-hour airline captain, Doug Morris loves to talk about weather—but he's worried most other pilots don't share his love. He talks about the most misunderstood weather concept, whether forecasts are getting better, and why pilots might actually have too many weather tools. He also shares stories from his days flying in Atlantic Canada's famously bad weather, and weighs in on the Boeing vs. Airbus debate (he has logged a lot of time in both). In the "Ready to Copy" segment, Doug talks about the most underrated weather tool, the most interesting airport in Canada, and what it's like to see the Northern Lights from an airplane.

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Top 5 iPad Accessories For Pilots

The iPad has changed the way pilots fly, making it easier than ever to view a moving map, weight and balance data, in-flight weather, and more. But to get all those features, you'll need a few accessories. Here is our list of the top five must-have products for anyone flying with a tablet.

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Episode 42. Why GA is experiencing a renaissance, with Flying magazine's Craig Fuller

GA is booming, and new Flying magazine owner Craig Fuller says this isn't just a passing fad. He explains why he believes the industry is experiencing a renaissance right now, with a new generation of pilots attracted by YouTube and a new generation of aviation businesses funded by venture capital. He also shares why he's such a believer in print magazines, what the new business model is for media companies, and how a fly-in community is part of his strategy. In the Ready to Copy segment, Craig talks about Top Gun, a potential eVTOL bust, and the lessons aviation can learn from the trucker shortage.

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Sporty's 2022 Media Recap: top articles, videos, podcasts, and webinars

Our goal at Sporty's is to make flying safer, easier, and more fun. Sometimes we do that with a great new product, but sometimes we do that with original content. Every year, our media arm produces hundreds of articles, videos, and podcasts to educate and inspire pilots around the world. As we close out the year, we thought you might enjoy this list of "greatest hits" from 2022. 

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Sporty's Webinar Series - Video Archives

Sporty’s Webinar Series touches on a variety of topics, from training to new products and services to help you stay informed. For your convenience, all webinars are archived so you can attend anytime your schedule permits.

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Episode 41. What's killing pilots and how to stay safe, with the NTSB's Bruce Landsberg

There are four major causes of general aviation accidents, according to NTSB Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg. He reviews the latest safety trends, from VFR-into-IMC accidents to engine failures, and offers his tips for staying safe. He also shares some surprising statistics about the possible role of ADS-B traffic in reducing midair collisions, and explains why flight data monitoring should be adopted by far more GA pilots. In the Ready to Copy segment, Bruce talks about angle of attack indicators, whole airplane parachute systems, flight simulators, and even his time as a missile launch officer in the US Air Force.

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Episode 40. From YouTube astronomer to Cirrus pilot, with Scott Manley

Scott Manley has been described as a scientist, a gamer, an astrophysicist, a software engineer, a DJ, and a YouTube star. He brings all of those unique skills to his latest adventure: learning to fly. He explains what drew him to aviation, why the written test was easy for a physicist, and what it's like to train in an SR20. He also offers some tips for using flight simulators during flight training and shares which programs are his favorite. In the Ready to Copy segment, Scott talks about riding the zero-G "vomit comet," what he thinks about Navy videos of possible UFOs, and whether you can see a laser pointer from the International Space Station.

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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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