Podcasts are a great way to keep your mind busy while you're doing something else. Sitting in traffic on the way to work, passing the hours during a quiet cross country, or waiting for your passengers to show up at the FBO — these are perfect times to load up a podcast. You can learn something new, keep up to date on the topics you care about, and feel more connected to the dynamic and exciting industry that is aviation.
Great News Podcasts for Pilots
Some podcasts are for fun and hanging out, and some are for getting the news and current events. All industries have news podcasts, and aviation is no different. Here are some of our favorites. These podcasts tend to be produced by familiar names, like AOPA and Aviation Week.
Aviation Week Network produces this frequently updated podcast with an eye towards what's happening in the industry. Recent topics include in-depth looks at the problems facing the Boeing 737MAX program, business opportunities for aviation in China, and an interview with an Air Force One pilot. Stay abreast of the happenings in the industry, whether you work in it or simply enjoying being a small part of it.
Wish those hourly NPR news reports only talked about airplanes? AOPA news brings you a brief, weekly news report in only four minutes. It's a quick update that covers everything you want to hear about. For a more extended look in video or audio, check out the latest news with AOPA Live This Week.
If you're interested in corporate or business aviation, check out the National Business Aircraft Associations Flight Plan podcast. Weekly episodes look at current events, but in-depth news and interviews with newsmakers.
Educational Podcasts for Learning and Keeping Up To Date
One of the great things about aviation is how you can keep learning new things no matter how long you've been doing it. Educational shows cover topics from accidents and almost accidents to more about the regulations and FAA.
Flying Magazine's Rob Reider hosts this look at what went wrong every two weeks. Taken from the famous magazine series by the same name, the series interviews pilots who share their emergencies and hair-raising situations with you. There have been over 950 installments of the magazine column, and if any of them left you with burning questions, you just might hear the answer.
CFI Jason Miller launched The Finer Points back in 2005. The focus of this cast is to continue your aviation education--it is, quite literally, all about the finer points of flying. Take a close look at topics like where to set down in an emergency, weather, or tips for better landings. Many shows also take a close look at instruction, with tips from the practical test standards and guests like pilot examiners.
Every other week, AOPA experts take a deeper look at an issue of interest to pilots and aviation geeks. With episodes around an hour long, these entertaining and educational shows are a great way to kill time on those long, quiet cross countries. Interviews with aviation personalities, airline captains, and AOPA Magazine contributors will have you downloading the next episode. Guests have included Reno air race pilots, Hollywood stunt pilots, pilots of record-breaking flights, and AOPA experts.
When you think of cool podcasts to listen to on your way to work, the FAA probably does not leap to mind. But The Air Up There is a fascinating look at the things that the FAA is doing. Learn about upgrades to the National Airspace System, drone rules in the making, and what aviation might look like in the future. Shows range from 10 to 30 minutes in length and feature guests and current events.
Hanger Talk Podcasts — Talk Shows for Pilots by Pilots
If these shows have seemed a little serious for your mood today, start with one of these lighter selections. The topics are still all about aviation, but the focus is on having fun and keeping it entertaining. Hosts let their personalities shine through.
JPR is a nationally syndicated radio show focused entirely on aviation. Look at the latest apps for your iPad, or listen in for interviews with industry leaders.
Captain Jeff has been giving weekly updates since 2015. The show interviews various flight crews and coworkers in the airline industry for a fascinating look behind the cockpit doors.
Hosts Scott Bores, Robert Berger, and Lee Griffing provide an irreverent and fun look at the most boring piece of literature around--the FAR/AIM. Learning your Federal Aviation Regulations has never been so entertaining. Each episode picks a topic from either the FARs or the AIM (Aeronautical Information Manual) and dives in to get all the juicy details. Episodes range from 30 minutes to over an hour, so it's perfect for long commutes.