Sporty's Product PIREPs

5 free tools for flight instructors at Sporty's CFI Portal

Staying organized and staying connected to students is essential for any flight instructor who wants to be their best. Sporty’s CFI Portal, part of our Learn to Fly Course, makes this easier than ever. Available free to any active flight instructor, this suite of tools includes lesson plans, a free refresher course, FAA library, and more. No trial, no credit card, and no catch—just sign up and enjoy these exclusive benefits.

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Which handheld aviation radio should I buy?

A portable radio is an essential tool for pilots of all experience levels. When you're just starting out, listening to local traffic is a great way to improve your communication skills. When you're an instrument-rated pilot, a handheld radio is a convenient option for picking up IFR clearances before engine start. And for any pilot, a quality radio is cheap insurance should the panel go dark.

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Episode 58. What MOSAIC means for pilot training and airplane designs, with Dan Johnson

More privileges for Sport pilots and more affordable light airplanes—that’s the promise of MOSAIC, a sweeping new proposal from the FAA this summer. Industry expert Dan Johnson has been tracking this reform for years, and he gives us a behind-the-scenes tour in this episode, including which legacy airplanes will now be available for Sport pilots and what new airplane designs might emerge. Dan also talks about timing for the final rule, the LSA safety record, and why ultralights are overlooked. In the Ready to Copy segment, he shares his favorite airplanes from AirVenture 2023, why he loves the AirCam, what he’d change about the FAA.

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I just started using oxygen on my GA flights—20 years too late

I’ve gone through the familiar high-altitude and hypoxia training many times during recurrent training events and could recite the facts as well as anyone to impress an examiner or check airman. But, yawn, why should I really care about this on my personal cross-country flights at or below 12,000 ft.? My views changed on this drastically after talking with another pilot at my home airport who flies a non-turbo Cirrus SR22 at altitudes between 8,000 and 12,000 ft. and routinely uses supplemental oxygen. His general take was that it drastically improved his comfort level, both during and after the flight, and his SOP is to use it on any flight over two hours above 8,000 ft.

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Episode 57. FAA medicals and flying as a Top Gun adversary pilot, with Dr. Keith Roxo

The FAA medical is just another check ride and pilots should prepare for it the same way. That's according to Dr. Keith Roxo, an aviation medical examiner and former Top Gun adversary pilot. He shares plenty of practical tips in this episode, including: what to do if you’re unsure of an answer on the application, why some pilots are stuck in medical limbo for over a year, what SODA and CACI mean, and how the FAA is handling mental health issues these days. Keith also talks about flying the F/A-18 and F-16, and how Top Gun taught him the difference between a standard and a technique. In the Ready to Copy segment, you'll hear why color-blindness isn’t a disqualifying condition, whether BasicMed has been successful, and what Keith's favorite aviation movie is.

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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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