John Zimmerman

Personal Locator Beacons vs. Iridium Satellite Communicators

What's the Difference?

Taking off in a general aviation airplane usually means leaving your connected world behind. Emails, text messages, and phone calls are not options at 7,000 feet in your typical Cessna or Cirrus. More seriously, some GA trips can take you off the grid even after landing - few cell phones work in the backcountry of Idaho or the remote islands of the Caribbean.

 

Read more

Flight Bag Review - Which One Is Best?

There's no perfect flight bag for every pilot - it depends on the type of flying you do, the aircraft you fly, and your own personal preferences. With prices ranging from under $50 to well over $200, there are a lot to choose from. In this Product PIREP Video, Sporty's John Zimmerman reviews some of the best-selling options.

 

Read more

Complete panel upgrade for under $16,000

It has never been easier or less expensive to add the latest avionics innovations to your panel - even if your airplane is 50 years old. The big change in recent years is the availability of modular options at lower prices. It's no longer a choice between 1970s-era analog instruments and fully-integrated glass cockpits costing over $30,000; the latest equipment from Garmin, Aspen, Appareo, and others offers significant upgrades at reasonable prices. Here's a compelling example.

 

Read more

What's the best headset for student pilots?

Choosing your first aviation headset is a tough decision. Do you choose ANR or passive? Bluetooth or not? In this detailed video, JC Mayerle and Doug Ranly from Sporty’s explain what to look for, then they take four popular models flying to compare them in the cockpit of a Cessna 172. Which one will come out on top?

 

Read more

Philanthropy spotlight: flyGIRL

Foundation logoSporty's has a long history of giving back to aviation, with a particular focus on young people and the future of aviation. We simply think it's the right thing to do. In 2007, we formalized our philanthropic efforts by establishing The Sporty's Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting worthy aviation causes. In 2018, for example, the foundation donated over $225,000 to programs - and all with no overhead (Sporty's Pilot Shop underwrites all expenses).

This is the third in a series of articles where we'll highlight individual programs we support at The Sporty's Foundation. Our goal is to shine a light on some great organizations and encourage other pilots to support them.

 

Read more

ADS-B 101: what you need to know

In an industry famous for its ridiculous acronyms, ADS-B stands out for being uniquely confusing. Lots of pilots use the term, but not everyone really knows what it means. And who can blame them - it’s incredibly complicated. So what is ADS-B? Why should you care about it? Can you just ignore it? No. While ADS-B may be confusing, it’s probably the most important technological change you will have to deal with as a pilot over the next two decades. So it's worth the effort to learn this new language.

 

Read more

iPad Weather Receiver Buyer's Guide

The ability to view datalink weather on your iPad has been one of the most significant advancements in portable avionics in recent decades. Whether you fly with ForeFlight, Garmin Pilot, WingX, or FltPlan Go, you can now monitor NEXRAD radar, METARs, TAFs, TFRs and much more. But first you need to choose the right receiver. Use this guide to compare all the options, from ADS-B to SiriusXM satellite weather, and find the best fit for your flying.

 

Read more

Photo customer reviews

We are proud to have over 25,000 customer reviews at sportys.com, real opinions from real pilots on the products you're interested in. They are a great resource for deciding which product to buy or how to use the latest technology, but some reviews go beyond just words. Every Sporty's review has the option to add a photo, and we've received some great pictures of our products in use. Check out some of our best ones below.

 

Read more

Philanthropy spotlight: Aviation Exploring

Foundation logoSporty's has a long history of giving back to aviation, with a particular focus on young people and the future of aviation. We simply think it's the right thing to do. In 2007, we formalized our philanthropic efforts by establishing The Sporty's Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting worthy aviation causes. In 2018, for example, the foundation donated over $225,000 to programs - and all with no overhead (Sporty's Pilot Shop underwrites all expenses).

This is the second in a series of articles where we'll highlight individual programs we support at The Sporty's Foundation. Our goal is to shine a light on some great organizations and encourage other pilots to support them.

 

Read more

Sign up for Special Offers

Stay up to date on new arrivals, email exclusives, and more.