Sporty's Product PIREPs

First look at the new Faro headsets

There have never been better options for premium aviation headsets, as companies like Bose, Lightspeed, David Clark and AKG battle to make the quietest, most comfortable headset on the market. The only problem is that most of these headsets cost $800 or even $1000. For pilots looking to spend less, there's an exciting new option from Faro. Their new Stealth headsets offer high performance without the high price, and are available in passive and active noise reduction models. We sent these headsets up for some test flights with our 24 flight instructors to see how they perform.

 

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SiriusXM subscription options are surprisingly flexible

SiriusXM's new aviation receiver, the SXAR1, is an affordable way to add high quality weather to your iPad. One of the major differences between the SXAR1 and ADS-B receivers like the Stratus is that SiriusXM weather is delivered by satellites, so it's available at all altitudes and all across the United States. That means it requires a subscription, but most pilots don't know that SiriusXM offers some flexible subscription plans. Here are some options to consider.

 

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Flying with the new Lightspeed Zulu 3 headset

The original Zulu headset sparked a wave of innovation in aviation headsets when it was introduced a decade ago, and established Lightspeed as a major player in the premium headset market. Active noise reduction (ANR) headsets were not new at the time, but never before had they been available with so many features at such an attractive price. A lot has changed since then, but Lightspeed is not one to rest on their laurels. They recently released the latest generation, Zulu 3, and as always we went flying to see how it performed.

 

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Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 - the best action camera for pilots yet?

We’ve been using miniature cameras in the cockpits of general aviation airplanes for over 20 years at Sporty’s to assist in the production our pilot training videos. Back in the 90s these cameras cost thousands of dollars and required a background in video production to mount and operate, but it was worth the effort to be able to capture the dynamic sights and sounds from the cockpit to help pilots learn to fly from the comfort of their home. Now there are better options.

 

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4 Reasons the Nflightcam Suction Cup Makes a Great Camera Mount

There’s only one way to properly test a product: you have to fly with it and use it for yourself. This is my favorite excuse to go flying during a work day. In any case, at Sporty’s, we are sure to test all the products we fly with. For this flight, we used Nflightcam’s new suction cup mount, the Vacuum Suction Cup. I have to say that I was very well pleased with the results of the mount. Here’s what I liked best about it.

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2016 Gear of the Year Winners

We recently asked pilots to vote for their favorite gear, from ANR headsets to iPad accessories, in our 2016 Gear of the Year survey. After adding up all the votes (thanks for all the opinions!), we are now pleased to present the results of this mostly unscientific poll. The winners include some legendary products and some exciting new ones as well. 

 

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8 unique features of our new Flight Gear High Performance bags

Flight bags are like airplanes. They're constantly changing to adapt to new technology, and yet there's no such thing as a single perfect design - everyone has their own wants and needs. In recognition of those two trends, Sporty's recently introduced a completely new selection of flight bags for general aviation pilots, called Flight Gear High Performance. These bags have a modern look and some unique new features, but with options for customizing each bag to match the mission.

 

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Which maintenance shops can you trust?

If you’re looking for a great restaurant, you can read reviews on Yelp or Open Table. If you want a nice hotel for your next vacation, TripAdvisor offers thousands of ratings so you won’t be disappointed. But what about maintenance shops and airplane mechanics? If your starter quits on a Sunday night while you’re hundreds of miles away from home, who can you trust to fix it? Does it even need to be fixed in the first place?

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