This article was originally written in 2016, but as a lot has changed and new great podcasts have emerged, I decided to give it an update at the start of 2021!
Do you listen to podcasts? If not, you definitely should.
For those (very few) completely new to podcasting, a podcast is a series of audio files you can download or stream online and listen to on your PC or mobile devices. It’s like having a radio show you can listen to wherever you are and whenever you want, and only about the subjects and people you actually care to listen to. Just subscribe to a podcast on Itunes, Stitcher or other app, and you can create playlists with your favorite shows and episodes.
Podcasts have become increasingly more popular and it’s not hard to see why.
From my personal experience, I can only recommend listening to it. You can do it while driving, running, working out or when commuting from or to work/school. The amount of (free) knowledge that’s available out there on almost any topic you can possibly think of is incredible, and you could be missing out on a lot of it.
I used to spend a lot of time on the train and bus while commuting to and from school. While that time was usually just lost, being able to listen to experts in different areas like aviation or business while getting to school has been extremely interesting and valuable. Also when doing sports, just relaxing during the evening or doing anything else that doesn’t require too much focus, listening to podcasts can be a great way to learn or just enjoy.
Nowadays, I usually listen to podcasts when working out, in the car or on evening walks in the city.
If you are just getting started, here’s a list of aviation podcasts I recommend checking out. If you’re already listening to some podcasts, you might find some new ones below that you haven’t heard of yet. From someone who wants to get started in aviation to the most experienced airline captains, there’s definitely a podcast for you that will bring value!
Now, let’s dive into the best aviation podcasts for (student) pilots!
#1 – Pilot to Pilot
When I initially wrote this article, this podcast didn’t exist yet. Launched in 2017, it soon became one of the most popular aviation podcasts around!
With Pilot to Pilot, host Justin Siems wants to create a place for aviators to come for inspiration and encouragement. The aim is to help all types of aviators to continue pursuing their aviation dreams, whether that be flying commercially or flying for fun.
#2 – Stuck Mic Avcast
The Stuck Mic Avcast (SMAC), An aviation podcast about learning to fly, living to fly, and loving to fly.
Hosts Carl Valeri, Eric Crump, Sean Moody, Victoria Neuville, Rick Felty and Larry Overstreet discuss everything related to the joy of flying. With shows ranging from discussing the Oshkosh highlights, flying clubs, recurrent training and UAVs to flying in the Maldives and being a flight instructor. I only recently learned about it after listening to another podcast by one of the hosts (#2), but I’ve already listened to a lot of their episodes. A podcast full of value for every pilot, highly recommended!
A new episode comes online every 1st and 15th of the month and averages about an hour, with some episodes of 20 minutes and some even over 1h20.
#3 – Aviation Careers Podcast
For those wanting to start a career in aviation, the Aviation Careers Podcast is the podcast for you. Hosted by Carl Valeri and Eric Crump, who also host SMAC (previously mentioned), and Tom Wachowski, this podcast covers everything related to a career in aviation, from being an agriculture pilot or flight instructor to flying corporate jets. With their combined expertise, you’ll definitely learn a lot from these guys.
Definitely a must-listen if you want to get started as a professional pilot.
#4 – Private Jet Podcast
Interested in what goes on behind the scenes of owning and operating a corporate or private aircraft? Host Tom Wachowski is a Falcon 2000 pilot with over 20 years of experience in airline, charter and corporate aviation. In this podcast, he discusses solo or interviews industry leaders on different topics regarding acquiring or reselling aircraft, hiring staff, training, insurance, operations and much more.
#5 – Airline Pilot Guy
In the Airline Pilot Guy podcast, captain Eric Jeff Nielsen shares his opinion and perspective on topics and events in the aviation world as a pilot in the commercial airline industry. He is a former Air Force pilot who also went to the aircraft accident investigation school and has been flying for a major airline for more than 20 years now. It’s interesting to hear his take on aviation news and accidents.
#6 – The Finer Points of Flying
A podcast about flight training by host Jason Miller, a commercial pilot and CFI sharing his 18 years of experience in aviation in interesting episodes. The Finer Points is a weekly show of about 5-10 minutes long (there goes your excuse of not listening because you don’t have time for podcasts) that’s both entertaining and educational. Jason shares tips and training techniques and his insights into flight training problems pilots may experience. He also interviews professionals from aerobatic pilots, mechanics and air traffic controllers. Absolutely a must for those pilots currently going through flight training.
#7 – The Student Pilot Cast
Another podcast about flight training, but this time from another point of view. In The Student Pilot Cast, student pilot Bill Williams shares his flight training journey to his private pilot certificate. Bill covers every aspect of his flight training talking about his first flights, first solo, cross country flights, short and soft field takeoffs and much more interesting stuff. If you’re interested in learning more about flight training and want to follow a student pilot on his journey, I can only recommend this podcast.
#8 – Uncontrolled Airspace
In Uncontrolled Airspace, every week the hosts talk about news and conversations about the world of General Aviation flying. Definitely an interesting podcast for those into General Aviation! Hosts are Jeb Burnside, Dave Higdon, Jack Hodgson, James Wynbrandt and Amy Laboda.
A podcast about flight training, flight simulation, hangar talk and interesting interviews. Host Chris Palmer is an awesome and enthusiastic guy sharing his passion for aviation with his guests, discussing topics like flight simulator software and hardware, aircraft, airshows, and much more. An interesting podcast for pilots, flight sim enthusiasts and aviation lovers!
This podcast, with a new episode each week, gives you a jam-packed hour (or more) of useful training tips for actual aviation, and flight simulation.
You can listen to the above podcasts via Itunes, Stitcher on any other podcasting app!