Sporty's Product PIREPs

Episode 11: GA trends and urban air mobility hype, with Mac McClellan

As Editor-in-Chief at Flying magazine for 20 years, Mac McClellan flew just about every new airplane delivered after 1976. In this episode he shares his favorite ones and some that he wished he'd never flown. As a keen observer of general aviation trends, Mac also explains why pilots are flying fewer cross countries (except for Cirrus owners), why personal flying inevitably means tradeoffs between safety and efficiency, and what the future holds for urban air mobility/eVTOL proposals. In the "ready to copy" segment, Mac shares why he thinks personal minimums are a bad idea, the best places to fly in Michigan, and what sailing and flying have in common. You might disagree with some of Mac's opinions, but he'll definitely make you think.

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Flight simulator buyer's guide—2021

As we close out one of the busiest years for flight simulation in a long time, it’s easy to get lost in the continuously expanding universe of options for an at-home simulator. There’s thousands of hours of video recorded online, a couple hundred live streaming personalities that have made a name for themselves within the digital flight world, and dozens of retailers offering the latest and greatest desk hardware to construct your preferred simulator. We decided to create a buyer's guide to assist the early stage flight sim enthusiast or gift buyer. 

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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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