Sporty's Product PIREPs

Episode 10: Aviation families and rusty pilot dreams, with Flight Outfitters' Mark Glassmeyer

Mark Glassmeyer has a simple plan for his student pilot son: "We’re gonna talk about aviation for the rest of our lives." He understands the power of these multi-generational connections because his grandfather, a B-24 pilot in World War II, first introduced him to aviation at age 7 with a trip to Oshkosh. But even with that memorable start and some lessons as a teenager, it would take more than 25 years for him to actually earn his license. In this episode, he explains why shaking the rusty pilot label meant he had to get a little selfish and take control of his life. Other topics include: why aviation can look surprisingly affordable compared to youth sports, how being a pilot helped him overcome a learning disability, and why Flight Outfitters' tagline is "pilot your own adventure."

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Episode 9: Flying around the world and embracing adventure, with JP Schulze

"A real adventure is never just roses... it's a genuinely challenging experience." That's what JP Schulze (aka the_candourist on YouTube) believes, and he should know—he's flown around the world with over 2 million people watching live, he's biked across the United States solo, and he grew up flying in Africa. In this wide-ranging episode, he explains what he learned from his around-the-world adventure, why he's doing it again in an experimental airplane, and what it's really like to make YouTube videos. He also shares why being a pilot can make you a more self-aware person, his favorite place to fly, and what he thinks about the future of general aviation.

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Episode 8: Controversial aviation opinions, with AOPA's Dave Hirschman

Flight instructors should talk less. Experimental airplanes are clearly better than certified ones. Waterskiing an airplane is a terrible idea. Dave Hirschman, a well-known writer for AOPA and a pilot with a wide range of experience in everything from taildraggers to jets, doesn't think these are controversial opinions. He believes them because the facts support them, and more people should just admit it. This episode covers all of these interesting topics, plus many more: why he uses a video camera on most flights, why pilots need to be good at both technology and manual flying, and what the most important trait is for safe flying. He also shares some stories from his time as a flight instructor and ferry pilot, and some of the personalities he's met along the way—some good, some bad.

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Top 4 Passive Aviation Headsets for Student Pilots

When looking at student pilot headsets, the first thing to consider is your budget. The saying, “You get what you pay for” is pretty accurate when it comes to aviation headsets. Many student pilots are on a tight budget. This has them looking towards less expensive passive headsets. Most pilots will start out with one of these headsets, then graduate to an active noise canceling headset once they get their license. Their original passive headset then becomes a passenger headset.

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Episode 7: Backcountry flying and family airplanes, with the RAF's John McKenna

Flying in the backcountry means "dispensing with the direct-to button," says Recreational Aviation Foundation Chairman John McKenna. The rewards for doing so include true adventure and stunning views—far beyond the $100 hamburger. He explains why you don't need big bushwheels to fly these trips, how his organization preserves remote landing strips all over the US, and what he has learned from over 6,000 hours in tailwheel airplanes. He also shares his tips for including family in your flying adventures. In the "Ready to Copy" segment, John picks his favorite backcountry airport, describes how to make great cowboy coffee, and explains why he once loaded over 60 dogs in a single airplane.

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Thrustmaster HOTAS One - Flight Simulator Stick PIREP

The Thrustmaster brand was born over 30 years ago from a team of engineers and pilots with backgrounds in the US Air Force, Navy, and NASA. The first thing you notice when taking the HOTAS One out of the box is the design of the stick and how it’s complemented by the throttle lever. Out of the box the two pieces are disconnected, allowing you to position them for either left or right seat simulated ops.

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Episode 6: Life as an EMS helicopter pilot, with Matt Johnson

Are helicopters harder to fly than airplanes? What's it like to fly an instrument approach to a parking lot in an EC145 helicopter? And how has the iPad changed the air medical pilot's job? Professional helicopter pilot Matt Johnson takes us inside the fascinating world of rotary wing flight in this episode, from the basics of helicopters to the latest advances in technology. He's also an FAA designated pilot examiner, so he shares his tips for applicants—including why he wants you to pass! In the rapid-fire "Ready to Copy" segment, Matt shares his favorite helicopter, the strangest place he's ever landed, and whether he would ride on an autonomous air taxi one day.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator joins the Xbox platform

The latest version of Microsoft Flight Simulator celebrates one year on the consumer market on August 18, 2021. For a lot of aviation enthusiasts, specifically digital aviation enthusiasts, the celebration started a little early. On July 27, the vivid program from Microsoft made the migration to the Xbox platform and is now compatible with the Xbox Series S and X. Other than a mass-produced personal computer that now supports the program, a lot of gamers/simmers are wondering what else is new with the latest update of the program that’s recently set the flight sim community ablaze. Here's a pilot report.

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Episode 5: Behind the scenes at air traffic control, with Eddie Albert

Air traffic control and pilots work together every day, but often the two sides don't fully understand each other. In this episode, longtime controller (and pilot) Eddie Albert takes us behind the scenes. You'll hear why "roger" is not a read back, what kind of weather ATC sees on their radar screen, and why declaring an emergency usually isn't a big deal. Eddie also explains how he picks an IFR route to file and how to manage weather deviations with a controller. In the fast-paced "Ready to Copy" segment, Eddie shares whether controllers prefer IFR or VFR flight following, what advice he gave to his son as a new controller, and what the best movie is with air traffic control.

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