Aviation Needs All Your Talents and Skills — AviatorCast 131

Are you a bit sheepish about not knowing everything in aviation? Not sure if you’ll ever catch up? The aviation industry and community actually needs what you have RIGHT NOW. What skills have you already built that can benefit the community?

This podcast is all about cultivating and translating over those talents you have into aviation. You’ll be greatly rewarded as a result, and it’ll help with aviation community grow.

In this podcast we will discuss:

  • The unlikely talents in my own story that helped build Angle of Attack
  • Some creative ideas on talents and how they could be used in aviation
  • An exercise to find your talents and skills to add to aviation
  • A bit on Strengths Finder 2.0 to find some of your strengths

The aviation community really does need what you have to offer. Anyone can learn to fly. But your skills and talents are likely unique assets that could catapult your career or momentum toward becoming a pilot.

Go get after it, aviators!

Episode Transcript

On this episode of AviatorCast, aviation needs all your talents and skills.

Welcome aviators to another episode of AviatorCast. Load up your flight bag with useful flight training topics, interviews and aviation passion. Let’s kick the tires and light the fires. Coming to you from Angle of Attack headquarters in Homer, Alaska. Here’s your host and flight instructor, Chris Palmer.

Welcome everyone to another episode of AviatorCast. I’m really happy to have you here. I kind of have a different and interesting subject for you today, but I’m glad you made it here, whether you’re on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, or any of the other places where this thing shows up. I appreciate you being here. If you’re new, great to have you. This is a podcast all about flight training and becoming a better pilot, a safer pilot, and just you’re able to continually learn. That’s what it’s all about.

Okay, so for today we are going to talk about why aviation needs all your talents and skills. So often we think about aviation as a thing we need to learn everything aviation, we need to be all in on aviation. And while to a certain extent, that’s true, and those podcasts helps, like I just mentioned, there are so many things that you already are, so many things you already do that you could bring to aviation to enrich in your career, to improve the community.

And that’s kind of the point I want to get across today is how do we actually go about doing that? So what are some of the other talents that you’ve developed in your life? As we’re going throughout this podcast today, I want you to think about your history. I actually have a little bit of an exercise at the end for you to actually sit down and figure some of these things out, what you can bring to aviation, be creative about it and bring it. But what are some other things that you’ve developed, whether you’ve gone to school for it or skills you’ve developed, hobbies you have, whatever it is, how can you bring those things to aviation, and are you unsure if that skill, whatever it is you have, can be applied to aviation. That’s going to be what we go through today.

I want to talk about my story a little bit first because I don’t ever really talk about my background, which is fine. I don’t like talking about myself, but I think in this case, it’s applicable to talk about where I came from, okay, and why some of the things that we’re churning on in the background throughout my childhood and teenage years ended up really blessing my life as I went through aviation and as I grew into the position I’m in now owning this company and doing what I do. And just as like an end marker, the biggest thing I do in aviation is I create media like this podcast, like the YouTube videos that I do, the courses that I do. So I do online ground school, I have Checkride ACE as well. Those are all video-based training courses that I do. That takes a lot of different talents to make that work that aren’t really aviation talents.

And so that’s kind of the end of where I’m at. And yes, I have all the aviation… well a lot of aviation training and components to that. I’m a flight instructor, both airplane and instrument and commercial pilot of course. Then the private pilot instrument, commercial, that’s kind of the order it goes in, certified flight instructor, and then I added my instrument flight instructor after that, and then I have a business, this business.

So that’s my aviation component. Of course, I borrowed most of the things I know from other people in doing that, but have been very blessed to learn how to fly and have a fairly deep knowledge of aviation. Okay. So all of that aside, we’re going to set that aside for now, okay?

I was doing video at a very early age. What I would do is I would make these model airplanes, the type you put together with glue that are very intricate, and I would put firecrackers and stuff inside and then I’d rig them up on a fishing line and film those airplanes coming down that fishing line and show them blowing up in slow motion.

I also did filmmaking with the home video camera with just action figures and things like that, [inaudible 00:04:31] the Jurassic Park and Playmobil and all of these things. So I did a lot of video making just for fun. I remember the first time I was getting into editing videos, I used the first version of Premiere in seventh grade and I was editing highlight films of my favorite football team, which is the Miami Dolphins and it was then the Dan Marino area, and I was nerding out on that.

Later on, even though I did some football, which was a good time, but I didn’t do football in my last few years of high school, I ended up doing the filming and highlight films for the football team and some of the teammates I used to have my senior year, and I did so well at it that they actually ended up by giving me an award at the banquet. So that was kind of funny.

That’s kind of my video background, a little bit of my video background. I grew up in an entrepreneurial household. My dad was a business owner. So I feel like a lot of those entrepreneurial mindsets and owning a business mindsets, I borrowed from my father. I’m sure just growing up by osmosis, I got a lot of that.

On my mother’s side of the family, they are all educators. So my grandfather was a superintendent. My uncle kind of followed in his steps and was a superintendent and every single one of my aunts were teachers in either elementary, middle school or high school in different capacities. My mom was actually my fifth grade teacher. It’s kind of funny. It was a weird kind of mix of motherly things and teacher things. Anyway, I’ve got too many stories for that, but I’ve got the education side of me that likes to teach. I enjoy teaching.

So entrepreneurial background, education background, video background. I got into tech pretty early. My dad was really good about giving me his nice DSLR, not DSLR, actually just SLR film camera when I was fairly young. I remember being in Washington DC when I was young with a film camera shooting photos of the different monuments and really even enjoying the aerospace museum there, not knowing that I’d become a pilot at the time. But I got into cameras pretty early. I got into tech pretty early, got good at using computers, doing video in computers, doing websites, doing graphic design. Just kind of dabbled in everything.

I was in a punk band when I was in high school. My first instructor said that… I was the drummer. My first instructor said that my footwork was really good when I was using the rudders and he asked if I played an instrument or something. I told him I played the drums and he’s like, “Oh, well no wonder.”

But I was in a punk band and for that we did a lot of audio work, audio editing, we did websites, we did graphics, all sorts of stuff. So I had these things churning on in the background that were kind of adding to this base that I would eventually use. Now, a lot of people kind of leave their hobbies behind from when they’re kids and just move on to a career. And I think that’s wise in a lot of ways. But for me, it kind of worked out that I just really enjoyed it and it fit in what I wanted to do, but I kind of left all of the video stuff behind for a while, and then I went into flight training and started to do that. Got my private pilot in college and then got my other licenses in different ways over the years, but eventually decided to bring the two together.

I said, “Hey, several years ago, I was really good at video and I see this lack of good video editing in the market and really no one doing these sort of products and training. So why don’t I do that?” So I started pretty early. Gosh, I must’ve been 19 or 20 doing flight simulation training. Wasn’t an instructor or anything yet, but I was just using flight simulators to like show how to do stuff and did it all through video.

So that was kind of the beginning of my company and I’ve had it in an iteration in different ways over the years since and grown and grown and grown to where I’m at now, where I do FAA ground schools. I’m a certified flight instructor. I teach people to fly. I share those videos of teaching people to fly. I’m big about making a difference in aviation, teaching people and educating people. And I do that through many different forms of media just like you’re seeing here or hearing here on this podcast.

So all of those skills came together, at least in my story, to make me into the professional I am today. And I get to do that in a wonderful place. I’d get to do it remotely because of the nature of my business. And so I moved to Alaska because I really wanted to live here and I share that all over the world. So it’s this kind of unique position that I was able to get in. But I think that I was also deliberate about making that happen and bringing those skills to where I’m at.

So that’s my story. Okay? Hope that wasn’t too long winded or too uninteresting for you, but a lot of things added up to me being able to do what I’m doing today.

So switching to you, what talents and skills do you have? And believe it or not, aviation needs them. And I wouldn’t discount anything that is in your past. Okay? So I have a friend, his name is Ryan, and he runs a YouTube channel. These are some examples. He runs a YouTube channel called SuperAero. It doesn’t have a lot of videos. He doesn’t have a lot of followers. But Ryan has a background in theater. From what I understand, that’s what he studied in university. And so he has his background in theater and he is hilarious on his YouTube channel. I absolutely love it.

The other YouTubers that I know are the same way. They have a background in video, either professionally or they did it in their teenage years just for fun and that kind of carried over. I know another lady, Steph Strickland, who I met at EAA, and she used to be a news person from what I understand, but now she’s reporting for aviation with EAA and she’s kind of become this official spokeswoman or MC or news anchor.

I think she’s a lot more than that. She’s really fun and does a great job, but she’s become this official news person for EAA that is fun and approachable and easy to watch. So she brought those talents into aviation.

What about a background in marketing? Do you have a background in marketing? I can tell you right now that, and I think this will be in perpetuity, people in aviation, companies in aviation rather are very bad at marketing. They just do not know what they’re doing from the very basics. I mean we’re still in a world today in aviation where people are doing press releases and magazine ads and all sorts of stuff that is just so far behind the curve on what actually works, that if you have a background in marketing, that could be huge for a company to use.

Are you a professional on social media? Kind of keeping in that marketing area, but actually using media as a marketing tool. Are you good at that? Do you know what you’re doing? Do you know how things work together? Can you do it all at once? That can be a big help today because again, aviation companies don’t even know what they’re doing when it comes to this stuff. You’ll see it getting better now, but they’re five years behind. I mean they’re just barely starting to get okay at it, but they’re five years behind actually getting started.

Were you mechanically minded when you grew up? Like did you help your father or your mother for that matter fix cars or trucks or something else? Maybe you should be a mechanic, an aviation mechanic if you’re mechanically inclined like that. Those are definitely, those things are possible as well.

I had an instructor that was a high school teacher and he decided to change his career pretty late in life. I think he’s about 35 when he decided to leave his career as a high school teacher to become a flight instructor. And he went on to become where he’s at now, which is a first officer. He actually likes the seniority of being a first officer, so he’s going to stay in the right seat, at least that’s the last I heard.

So he was a high school teacher, turned to a pilot, but he was a very good flight instructor. For the low amount of hours he had, he had this maturity of teaching to him that just was awesome. And I failed my first instrument check ride. He was my second instrument instructor a couple of years later and just like a totally different experience. It was amazing. So he brought that experience with him.

Do you have a background in sales? Well, there are a ton of people that need help in sales. Could you be an administrative assistant? So we could go down the list here, okay, of tons of different things that you may have and I don’t know what they are. We could have tons and tons of examples. In fact, why don’t you put those examples here in the comments and I’d be more than happy to respond on how you could use your skills, your hobbies to use them in aviation for a career or to enrich the community, okay? This isn’t just about this as a career tool, but to enrich the community and give back. There’s lots of different ways to do that.

So we could go on and on. You can leave some of those comments down here and I can answer those, but get creative about that, okay? So get creative about what talents you actually have. So one thing I did here, you can see and I shared it, is I wrote down my life story. Feel free to do that. It was interesting for me to reflect back on and see just how serendipitous a lot of those steps were to help me get where I’m at.

Now some of you are going to be in a different position, okay? You’ve built a ton of skills. You have talents. You have hobbies that you’ve done, but you haven’t necessarily started the flight training component of it yet, and that’s fine, but you have all of those to start with. And so that can give you a huge leg up in a lot of ways moving forward, okay?

So your life story and the things that you’ve developed over the years are very important to just write down, like write down your life story, at least in terms of talents and stuff. You don’t need to give every little detail about every relationship. That’s not relevant. But go through and write down your life story. Make a list of the talents or skills or hobbies that you have. And that’s going to give you a really good idea of how things are shaping up. I got a Christmas present a few years ago from my mom and I actually really liked this. It’s called StrengthsFinder 2.0. What it is is it’s a system to find out your strengths. And we all kind of have, we have many strengths, but this gives you your top five.

And it’s interesting because when I went through this, you actually go online and take this test, you don’t necessarily just read through the whole book, you’d go online and you take the test. It’s kind of like an aptitude test and then it gives you your five strengths and then you go and read about those five strengths. And I can tell you right now, it was scary how dead on that was about me and I didn’t even realize it. Like as soon as I got those five and I read those five, I’m like holy cow, that’s exactly who I am.

It actually educated me a lot on how I should mold my path moving forward and where my strengths are rather than always trying to improve my weaknesses, just build on my strengths and do more of that. Really cool, cool system. So that’s StrengthsFinder 2.0. I’ll put a link for that in the description here that you guys can go and get that. But I really liked that.

So you have your list of talents, you have your life story, you have potentially, if you go through this, you find your strengths and then you start to get an idea of what you could add in aviation, either to the community or helping someone out, how you can build those things, add those things to what we have here. Because I can tell you right now, there are tons of pilots out there. They’re a dime a dozen. I am of the mindset that almost anyone can learn to fly. It’s not inherently difficult or impossible to do. It’s just another skill, one of those things you learn. We do learn it at a faster pace. It is a bit different because the environment, a loft is a different world.

And so there’s a lot of psychological and just different paradigm shifts, things that happen that make aviation difficult for people. But I feel like if I was to go through an accounting course, I’m not that super good with numbers and I’m sure a lot of you are the same way, I feel like I’d have a lot more struggle with that than I would aviation, but maybe you don’t and so you have that strength. You can bring it into aviation.

So what I’m saying overall here is take a step back from this desire for yourself to be a really good pilot, to find a job, if that’s your eventual goal, or to just be a private pilot and think about what you can do or add to the aviation community. If you are just adding something not on a professional level, then this is more of an altruistic thing where you’re saying, “Hey, yes, I am just a private pilot weekend warrior. I have an instrument rating maybe too. I don’t have any intention on being a commercial pilot, but I have these skills and I want to help the aviation community here.”

Well, there are plenty of opportunities to do that in flying clubs or EAA chapters or any number of organizations where you’re volunteering your time to help people out. That could just help out a ton, okay?

Now if you are going into a career in aviation, actually having these things as your strengths is huge. So right now, just as an example, I’m looking for people to hire to help me grow my business. And so I already have someone on board that’s helping with the videos. He’s doing a great job so far and he’s not a rated pilot yet, but he does have a background in it. His family’s in aviation to a certain extent and it’s going well, okay? So he has all these video skills more professional than me and can help me out. I am looking for an administrative assistant because I need help organizing what I have and all that I have to do.

So what I’m saying there in saying those things is that the talents that you come up with, and I want you to take this serious, the talents that you come up with should not be discounted as things that can help you in your pursuit of aviation to get a career, to grow in that career, to be rewarded in that career, to be honored in that career. There are just so many opportunities in aviation right now that you should be bringing all of your talents to the table to offer that up as a holistic package of who you are. It just makes you a more attractable or a more attractive employee or colleague or whatever it is, okay?

So bring what you have to aviation. We need it. We need to continue to grow aviation. It’s such a huge growth spurt right now. And I can tell you right now, there are companies that are looking for it, there are volunteer organizations that are looking for it. And so yes, let’s continue to pursue this aviation thing, but I hope this has inspired you too to look a bit deeper and find those things that you’re already doing that can help you move forward in aviation.

I mean, if we’re talking candidly here, you could even say that money is a struggle for you right now to get the time to fly. You could even start to trade your talents for time flying. Those opportunities come up all the time. So consider trading things, talent, skills, time, whatever it is for what your other pursuit is, which is aviation.

And then for those of you that are already pilots, not looking to be pro pilots, think about how these things can help in volunteer situations. If you’re looking to get into a career in aviation, think about how your skills and your path, even if it’s very recent and just in your teenage years, can help you in the future. I would be hard pressed to find any profession that could not be applied to aviation as well. I can think of a few sketchy things that maybe couldn’t be applied, but almost every profession can be applied and mixed with aviation.

So I hope you feel inspired today about that. That’s it for this podcast and this subject. Let me know in a time code which part of this you liked the best or just tell me, “Hey, I liked at about this time that you said this and that inspired me to think more about my talents.”

If you enjoy this podcast, remember that you can support us in other ways financially. The way that we want to be supported as a company is not through donations really, but just spreading the word about our online courses. If you need them yourself, we have online ground school, we have Checkride ACE. The ground school will help you pass the written test, which is required for your flight training. You can take that test anywhere. Any school has to accept it, and then Checkride ACE to check things off at the end for your check ride.

And if you’re already through those things and you’re just here to gain some more supplemental information and keep growing in aviation, please be our warriors on the road here or the runway, however you want to say it and tell people about what we do and suggest our ground school and things to other people that are looking for it, because I see a lot of social media posts out there asking about ground schools and we’d love to be part of that conversation. We’re working really hard to change aviation in positive ways.

But the most important part is thank you guys. You’re contributing so much to this community. I really appreciate your comments. I’m trying to respond to everything. I appreciate your messages, your stories, your struggles. If you need help, please reach out. I am more than happy to spend three or four or five minutes just spilling my knowledge, what I’ve seen in the community over the years to help you in your career, okay?

Just this week, I was responding to several people on Instagram and sent very long texts. I was doing speech to text but I was giving them advice on what they needed to do and pointing some things out that I think helped them a whole lot. So don’t hesitate to do that. Keep moving forward. Keep taking one step at a time. I know that you can achieve this dream and it’s worth it. Flying is awesome. Hope you guys are doing well and I’ll talk to you soon. Until next time, throttle on.

We sincerely thank you for joining us on AviatorCast. Please subscribe through your favorite podcast service and leave a review. Check on more flight training resources at angleofattack.com. There, you can find this podcast, many free aviation training videos as well as Online Ground School for private instrument, commercial and CFI. Got a check ride coming up? Checkride ACE from Angle of Attack is your ultimate companion, guiding you through the process so you can conquer your big day. Thanks once again for joining us on AviatorCast. Turn left, contact ground point niner.

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