Sporty's Product PIREPs

Carbon monoxide - what pilots need to know

Cold weather can mean better airplane performance and some beautiful winter sunrises, but it can also mean potential danger from the airplane's heating system. Here's what pilots need to know about carbon monoxide: where it comes from, how to prevent it from entering the cockpit, and what tools are available for detecting it.


Read more

New product recap: third quarter 2022

At the conclusion of every quarter, we like to reflect on some of the more notable products that joined Sporty’s offering. Here are the top ten new products we’re excited to offer to our customers from the third quarter of 2022, from charging accessories to a new training course.

Read more

Episode 35. Understanding aerodynamics and checkride tips, with Catherine Cavagnaro

Catherine Cavagnaro learned aerobatics from legendary instructor Bill Kershner and is a math professor on the side, which gives her a unique perspective on key topics in flight training. She explains what "the back side of the power curve" really means, why takeoffs are an overlooked risk for most pilots, and when you should use flaps on a power-off 180. She also shares her tips as a pilot examiner, including how to handle nerves and whether it's OK to admit "I don't know" on a checkride. In the Ready to Copy segment, Catherine explains the right way to use a sick sack, whether spins should be required for the Private Pilot test, and what geometric topology is.

Read more

Understanding battery maintainers and ground power units

The typical general aviation panel has changed dramatically over the last two decades. Whereas once the top of the line was vacuum-driven “steam gauges” and a couple of NAV/COM radios, today even 60-year old airplanes typically sport moving map GPSs and possibly even integrated glass cockpits. These new avionics make flying safer and easier, but they do add some new responsibilities for the pilot in command. That’s why a ground power unit (GPU) can be so valuable. These increasingly powerful devices make it easy to run your panel without starting the engine, depleting your battery, or running the Hobbs. Here’s how to find the right one for your airplane.



Read more

What aircraft are included in the new X-Plane 12?

The team at Laminar Research has long been working on improving the X-Plane platform and just recently the newest version debuted, X-Plane 12. Everything from wake turbulence produced by wide body aircraft to supersonic flight has been critiqued and fiddled with until it was ready for the community. But what good is a flight simulator if you don’t have great aircraft to fly? Enjoy a quick review of the aircraft changes from X-Plane 11 to X-Plane 12.

Read more

Episode 34. Top Gun training and test pilot stories, with Chuck Coleman

Test pilot. Airshow pilot. Instructor for Top Gun: Maverick actors. Chuck Coleman might have one of the most interesting resumes in aviation, and he has plenty of stories to back up this experience. He talks about training actors to pull Gs for Tom Cruise's blockbuster movie, working with Burt Rutan on the SpaceShip One project, and what it's like to fly the Proteus high altitude jet. In the Ready to Copy segment, Chuck answers whether the Icon A5 is a safe airplane, shares the hardest airplane to fly that he's ever logged time in, and describes the most important character trait for a homebuilder.

Read more

Episode 33. Aviation trends, both hype and reality, with Richard Aboulafia

Are you excited about supersonic business jets or electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft? Richard Aboulafia is going to disappoint you: "I'm here with my bucket of cold water.” The always-entertaining aviation analyst explains why these buzzy projects probably won't happen, what technology will become a reality, and why business jets are hot right now. He also analyzes the airlines' summer of misery and shares the right lessons to learn from the 737 MAX disaster. In the "Ready to Copy" segment, Richard tells us about the Concorde, the Collier Trophy, and China's airliner ambitions.

Read more

Different Grades of Oxygen and How They Pertain to Pilots

Aviators find themselves using oxygen as they explore higher altitudes in non-pressurized cockpits. This brings up an important question: what are the differences between the different grades of oxygen? Fortunately, it’s not that complicated. There are three main types of oxygen.

Read more

Episode 32: Air traffic control tips and tricks, with RJ Ratliff

Do controllers like to get PIREPs? Do you need to read back a Class B clearance? What is a Brasher warning? Experienced air traffic controller (and active GA pilot) RJ Ratliff answers these questions and many more in this wide-ranging episode that's packed with practical advice. In addition to answering common pilot questions, he also explains how technology like ADS-B and datalink communications is changing the job of ATC, and whether remote towers are here to stay. In the Ready to Copy segment, RJ shares what "on the landline" means, what pilot mistake is guaranteed to upset a controller, and what the best college basketball rivalry is.  

Read more

Sign up for Special Offers

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