PIREPs

What are the best flight simulator yokes and rudder pedals?

Since being reintroduced in 2020, Microsoft Flight Simulator has reinvented the flight simulator world. With stunning graphics, live weather, and incredibly life-like cockpits, the latest generation of this storied franchise is winning thousands of new fans every week. To make it more than a game, though, you'll need the right hardware. Here are our top picks for yokes and rudder pedals, any of which can transform MSFS into a valuable training tool. All of these work with X-Plane as well as Micorsoft, and they can be mixed and matched to create the perfect system.

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Bluetooth in aviation headsets—frequently asked questions

One of the many features normally found on premium aviation headsets is Bluetooth, a wireless technology that allows two devices to communicate with each other. This is great for listening to music or making a phone call on the ground, but it can also be used to get audio alerts from your favorite electronic flight bag app. Here's how it works.

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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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Visit Sporty's at Sun 'n Fun 2022

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 5-10 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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Garmin D2 Mach 1 smartwatch - first impressions

Garmin recently introduced the D2 Air X10, an updated smartwatch for pilots with a beautiful screen and dozens of useful features. It has been a huge hit so far, but apparently Garmin wasn’t done: this week the company unveiled the D2 Mach 1. This all-new smartwatch has many of the same sophisticated features as the D2 Air X10, but with even more navigation tools and a number of luxury finishes. Quite simply, it’s Garmin’s best aviation watch ever.

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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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Best flight sim: Microsoft Flight Simulator vs. X-Plane (part 2)

The purpose of this three part blog is to grade Microsoft Flight Simulator versus X-Plane on a wide range of features. Each program has its strengths as well as its weaknesses and it’s worth researching those before financially committing to a software trainer. Edition two covers your first five minutes in both programs, weight and balance, failures, and designing a flight plan.

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