John Zimmerman

Episode 74. Electric airplanes, drone delivery, and personal jets, with Ben Marcus

New aerospace businesses seem to be launching every month, including electric ultralights, eVTOL air taxis, drone delivery services, and private space flight. As a longtime pilot and venture capitalist, Ben Marcus is the perfect person to sort through the hype. He explains which business models will work first, why Walmart is finding success with drone delivery, and what benefits GA pilots might see as a result of this investment boom. Ben also founded JetAviva, a popular airplane broker, so he talks about the light jet boom of the last 25 years and what it takes to transition from a piston airplane to a single pilot turbine. In the Ready to Copy segment, you’ll hear about common charging standards for eVTOLs, the best light jet on the market, and Ben’s favorite backcountry strip in Arkansas.

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Upgrade your next flight with SiriusXM

Whether you fly low and slow or high and fast, SiriusXM Aviation Weather gives you the weather info you need, so you have confidence about what’s ahead to make the best decisions—from takeoff to landing, coast-to-coast. Right now you can take advantage of a limited time $400 rebate and a 3-month free trial from SiriusXM.

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Visit Sporty's at Sun 'n Fun 2024

The first big aviation event of the year is about to kick off, and Sporty's will be there in a big way. The annual Sun 'n Fun Aerospace Expo, which takes place in sunny Lakeland, Florida (LAL), runs from April 9 - April 14 this year. Stop by Sporty's big tent - just outside Hangar A on the main ramp - for new products, interactive demos, product experts, and much more.

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Pilot Friendly Manuals from PilotWorkshops—hands-on review

We are big believers in video training at Sporty’s, which is why we offer over 30 courses in our Pilot Training app. But sometimes there’s nothing better than a book to reinforce key concepts or take your knowledge to the next level, so we’re proud to partner with PilotWorkshops to offer seven of their Pilot Friendly Manuals. Each one addresses an important aviation topic, and is much more than just a dry textbook. Here’s why we like them so much.

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Episode 73. Flying a vintage airplane across the country, with David Tulis

A spur-of-the-moment airplane purchase presented David Tulis with the adventure of a lifetime: flying a 1953 Tri-Pacer across the country. He tells the story of this fun and challenging trip in this episode, including what it was like to cross the Rockies with a 135-horsepower engine, the value of mentors, and the appeal of vintage airplanes. David is also a highly accomplished photographer, so he explains why photos still matter in a world of videos and offers some practical tips for taking better in-flight photos. In the Ready to Copy segment, David tells us his favorite photo of all time, his best best tip for podcasters, and his opinion about famous Atlanta drinks.

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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 72. Why most airports are poorly managed, with Mike Jones

Airports are missing out on $35 billion in economic impact because they're not well run - that's according to pilot and airport management expert Michael Jones. He explains the cause of this underperformance and why the structure of an airport management team is so important. Mike is also a longtime Cessna 210 owner, so he shares stories about this do-everything piston single, including the time he took one to 27,000 feet. In the Ready to Copy segment you'll hear tips for successful Young Eagles flights, what skills Mike learned as an air traffic controller in Vietnam, and the best golf course in the Carolinas.  

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Episode 71. IFR proficiency and remote flight instruction, with Ryan Koch

Earning an instrument rating can unlock new flying adventures, but only if you keep your skills sharp. In this episode, CFII Ryan Koch offers some tips for doing that, including: staying mentally engaged when you can’t fly, using scenarios instead of maneuvers, and simple techniques for improving your instrument scan. Ryan also talks about delivering remote flight instruction with flight simulators, including for avionics training and high school classes. In the Ready to Copy segment, you’ll hear how Ryan uses checklists during IFR flight, what he likes best about the Stearman, and his favorite guitarist. 

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Episode 70. How musicians and pilots are similar, with Randy Waldman

When you go on tour with Frank Sinatra at age 21, it’s hard to be intimidated—so it’s no surprise Randy Waldman jumped into the exciting world of helicopters with both feet. In this episode he shares his unique aviation journey, from model airplanes to owning a Mooney to setting a speed record in a Bell OH-58. As one of LA’s most experienced studio musicians and an active helicopter CFI, Randy talks about the similarities between music and flying, including how pilots can develop feel, whether having a career plan B makes sense, and how to use all your senses. In the Ready to Copy segment, Randy shares the most challenging part of flying in LA, his favorite turbine helicopter, and the most underrated jazz musician.

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Aviation Headset Terminology

What does it all mean?

Aviation loves acronyms and long words, and unfortunately headsets are no different. Here are some of the most common terms you'll encounter when shopping for a headset. Understanding what they mean can help you make the best decision.

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