Sporty's Product PIREPs

An avgeek's guide to pre-gaming for AirVenture

AirVenture, held annually in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is the world's largest aviation celebration and is often considered a must-attend event for pilots from all backgrounds. Whether you're a seasoned aviator or just starting your journey in the world of aviation, Airventure is the place to be in late July. If you are like me, the weeks preceding Oshkosh seem to drag on forever. While we can’t alter the space-time continuum to get AirVenture here sooner, we can embrace our inner avgeek to fully immerse ourselves in pre-KOSH activities. Here are five things you can do to get your KOSH fix pre-AirVenture. 

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Episode 56. Fuel management and flying the U-2, with Tim Decker

Tim Decker’s flying career includes almost every segment of aviation, including military, fractional, airline, and even airshows. He applies safety habits from each of these jobs to his flying in his Cirrus SR22, and shares some of those in this episode. He explains the difference between minimum fuel and emergency fuel, when it’s smart to declare an emergency, and why instructors must embrace scenario-based training. He also talks about the concept of factored landing distances and shares how to calculate them in ForeFlight. In the Ready to Copy Segment, Tim tells us what it’s like to land a U-2 in a crosswind, two key lessons he learned from flying airshows, and the key differences between a career as an airline pilot and fractional pilot.

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Visit Sporty's at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023

The world's largest airshow starts July 24, 2023, and as usual Sporty's will be there in a big way. Our main tent is located in Outdoor Space #260, just outside of Exhibit Hangar B, and Sporty's Wright Bros. Collection will be exhibiting inside Hangar B at booth #2111. We'll also be presenting four seminars throughout the week.

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New product recap: second quarter 2023

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 second quarter of 2023, from backup radios to digital CFI instruction.

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Episode 55. Why airplane accidents are not just stories, with Steve Green

Pilots think about accidents all wrong, according to author and retired airline captain Steve Green. In this thought-provoking episode, he explains why you can't predict every accident, why protecting margins is the key to safe flying, and why pilots must have an overarching strategy beyond just following the checklist. He also argues for more detailed systems knowledge and for maintaining two situational awarenesses (one for the pilot and one for the automation). In the Ready to Copy segment, Steve talks about surviving an airplane crash, whether ice bridging is a myth, and what to carry in your survival kit.

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Sunglasses: what pilots need to know

Choosing the right sunglasses is crucial for pilots, and not just because we all secretly want to look like Tom Cruise. Given the harsh environment pilots fly in, a good pair of sunglasses is actually a smart investment in one of your most important assets – your vision. Sunglasses make it easier to spot traffic, reduce fatigue, and protect your eyes from long term damage due to solar radiation. They can also provide some protection from debris during a bird strike.

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Episode 54. ATC for flight simulators and SimVenture, with Kevin from PilotEdge

Flight simulators boomed in 2020 and have barely slowed down since, but many pilots don’t use all the available tools for flight training. Kevin from PilotEdge has watched it all unfold over the last decade and he explains what flight sims are good for (and what they aren't). He talks about how Microsoft changed the game, whether you can log simulator time, and how virtual ATC plug-ins can make training more realistic. Kevin also created SimVenture, and he describes how pilots can prepare to fly to the world’s busiest airport by talking to real AirVenture controllers during this live online event. In the Ready to Copy segment, he tells us his favorite flight sim airplane, what upgrade he wants to see from sim developers, and whether AI will ever replace human controllers.

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Pilot's guide to portable oxygen systems

Oxygen systems are only for turbocharged airplanes and flights above 12,500 feet, right? Wrong. Even pilots of normally aspirated airplanes will find plenty of uses for a good portable system, from increasing passenger comfort to flying safer at night. Here's our advice for when to use oxygen and how to choose the right system.

 

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Episode 53. Airline myths and leadership lessons, with retired airline CEO Bill Ayer

You have to be both realistic and optimistic to run an airline - that's according to retired Alaska Airlines CEO Bill Ayer, an industry veteran and experienced GA pilot. He offers wisdom from his four decades in the airline business, including why safety must be a data-driven activity, where the real pilot shortage is, and how to manage the tradeoffs between efficiency and safety. He also shares leadership lessons, explaining why "hope is not a strategy" when you're running a business and what young people can do to build a career in aviation. In the Ready to Copy segment, Bill tells us his favorite airplane to ride on as a passenger, whether you should drink coffee on an airliner, his opinion of supersonic airliners, and why aviation culture is so welcoming.

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In Depth Look at Sporty's updated Flight Instructor Refresher Course (eFIRC)

Sporty’s has developed a fresh new option for flight instructors looking to renew their CFI certificate, using a modern online learning system to deliver innovative content. Sporty’s fully FAA-approved eFIRC, newly updated for 2023, will get you up to speed with the latest technology and new developments from the FAA, vastly improving your teaching skills. The best news? Sporty's FIRC is completely free! Let’s take a look at some of the unique features.

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