Where I've been and what is next? #AviatorCast 121

I’ve taken a hiatus from the podcast, but there are lots of great reasons for my absence. That said, I’m back, and excited about the next phase of the podcast.

In this podcast, I’ll go through where I’ve been and why things have been so crazy busy. To put it short, I’ve been growing the business, we’ve had a second baby, and things just get busier all the time.

AviatorCast will be seeing some changes.
– Episodes will be shorter, around 30 minutes. Less fluff, more meat.
– I’ll be sharing more episodes directly related to flight training
– Interviews will still be a thing, and those episodes could be longer
– All episodes will be on Youtube, a Podcast and in other locations

In this podcast you’ll find out why I’m so passionate about this particular subject. This is my mission and passion, and I’m so excited to be able to share it with you all.

Hope you enjoy, and it’s great to be back on the podcast!

“Throttle On!”

Episode Transcript

– [Chris] On this episode of AviatorCast, where I’ve been and what is next.

  • [Announcer] 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.

  • [Chris] Welcome, aviators, my name is Chris Palmer. If you’re watching this podcast or listening to it, you haven’t heard from me in a while on the actual podcast. I’m really happy to be back. You know, a lot’s been going on in my life and I’ve been trying to figure out how to get this started again. I really enjoy podcasting, I enjoy the information that I can give you guys, but a lot’s been going on in the last year that I’ve kept meaning to get back to it but things just kept getting in the way. So, for example, you know, I’m a young dad and we had another baby in February. That kind of threw everything for a loop and really got us kind of too busy for a lot of things. And then from there, I got into some new business things. So throughout this podcast, I want to share where I’ve been and what’s been going on in the last year, because really a lot has transpired. The business has been growing, I’ve been having a lot of fun, getting a lot of great work done. And, then tell you where things are going next. So that’s going to be what today’s all about. Now, that is for you that are interested in that actual topic, kind of learning what I’ve been going through the last year. Most of you have still been keeping track on YouTube and social media, I’ve still been really active there, but it’s just this podcast has kind of been left behind as I figure a lot of those things out. So, I’m going to go through that process, you’ll learn what’s next, and in the subsequent episodes coming up, you know, one of my big goals is to have every single episode that comes out just be really, really useful and impactful to everybody. Really going toward the education direction now rather than just interviews which was kind of where I was trending in the past with the podcast. So, I’ve just found that I’m really passionate about teaching a lot of these aviation training topics and that’s where I’d like the podcast to go still keeping in mind that the interviews should come along as well. So, I’ll share a little bit more about that kind of what the new format’s gonna look like. This is gonna be raw. I need to basically keep this unedited to keep the production time down, but I think it will work out really well. Gonna have a YouTube version now, that you guys can watch on YouTube if you’re into the video part of it, and I’ll also have the podcast version, which you’re probably listening to now, so you can kind of get it no matter where you are. So that’s gonna be how things work. So, again, on a personal note, I’m sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you guys. I’ve been trying to figure out how to get all this content done, for the most part I’m still a one-man show, although even with this podcast right now, I’ve hired some people to help me out to disseminate this better, and in a more, I guess, wide format, okay. So, it’s going to be on the blog, it’s gonna be on YouTube, it’s gonna be on a podcast. There’ll be transcripts for all those things. That kind of takes a team of people to do that but it’s still a one-man show, and with the baby coming in February like I said, it’s been a long process to kind of get into the mode of having two kids now, it’s been a lot busier than I anticipated. And you know, finding that balance between work and family has been really important for me because I want to be able to work hard when I’m at work but I also want to keep a family life which is the entire reason that I have chosen the career I have here in aviation education rather than going for the airlines. I’m just a really family-focused person, so, that’s really big for me. It’s taken a little bit to figure out, but I think I’m there. And here we are, we’re getting into the podcast now, and both in video form again, and in the podcast form. Okay, so. What I really am all about is making a positive change in aviation. So everything I’m trying to do, it comes from or stems from an aviation education standpoint, and I really want to make a change there. I really do believe, and you have maybe heard me say this before that aviation training is fundamentally broken, and I feel like over the years I’ve gained these talents through, you know, voice here and video and the ability to teach, and it’s kind of up to me to share that with the world, so I really do feel like that’s a bit of my calling in order to do that and that I have the skillset and this opportunity to make that change. So I get so excited when I hear that has done something for someone on a one-on-one basis, I’ll share a little more about that later. And truly all of that wrapped together into the fact that I come from an entrepreneurial background, it’s kind of a sickness, I just feel like that is my purpose in life, is to, at least, in my career, to share this knowledge, to make a positive change, to share my talents, and that’s what I’m trying to do with everything that I do, okay, so. That’s the overall arching reason why I do what I do. Now, one of the things I’ve been really busy with the last little while is ground school. So, I held another private pilot live ground school in February or rather, let’s see. I think it was February or March, probably March, and then I held an instrument ground school in January. So that entire time there even with the baby, I was working on those ground schools and getting them all ready, ended up getting those done before the baby and it worked out pretty well. But I’ve really been working hard on the ground school to get it all online which is already there, you can go and enroll right now. They’re broken up into chunks that are smaller, so just little tidbit videos, interspersing questions in between. Basically turning the kind of content that I do and my perspective on aviation, which has gone really well in those live classes into something that people can draw from any time they want, anywhere, at their own pace rather than having to wait for one of those live classes. What I found as an issue that people were waiting for the live class, and didn’t really know that all of that material is already online. So, what I’ve been doing is pushing that branding and that ease of use that I feel like I’ve worked so hard for on my website and the design prowess that I have, and just making training more beautiful and entertaining. So, that’s been pushed into the website now. I’ve done the private pilot ground school. It’s already there, it’s ready. It looks really, really nice. I did, again, the live instrument ground school. I would argue that one of the best classes I’ve ever done, I really enjoyed it. I felt like we were on fire the entire time during that process, and we’ve had some great outcomes from that already with students, so, it’s been a really good process. I’ve been focusing on that core business because that’s really where I make my money in aviation is those online courses. I don’t make a ton of money with the flight training, you know. It’s really nice to get paid to fly and I really appreciate the opportunity and I honor every dollar that someone spends with me when I actually train them in a real airplane, but my economy needs to be a little bit bigger because of this small town that I live in, so really, this business is successful because of those online courses. So, all those courses, they’re going online, I’m drilling down the more detail and I’m finding areas where I can do things better. I’m getting feedback from people, and I’m just making that website top notch. And that’s where a lot of the, I guess, the hiring comes from that I’m in the process of doing right now, is finding developers and things to help me develop the website and make it the best it can be, so it can be on any device, which it is right now, But just all the little details to make it really, really polished and better than anyone else out there. So that’s the plan. I plan on making my ground schools better than anything else out there. Not only design-wise, which I think I’m already ahead probably anyone else, but also content-wise which is something that is going to take a life to build and I will never quit trying to make that better for you guys as I gain the feedback. So there’s another thing I’ve been working on other than ground school, a new course that I’m going to be introducing which is called “Checkride Ace.” So, this is a name that my wife came up with as we were trying to figure out a catchy name for checkride preparations. So, say that you’re preparing for a checkride. Many of you have been through this before where the final week where you need to do some extra things and get things polished up and get ready for the checkride, there’s a lot of gray area there, and I’ve noticed that in the past, students really don’t know, they don’t know what they don’t know. So they don’t know the aeronautical experience that is required. They don’t know what the checkride’s gonna be like. They don’t know the type, you know, the standards from the Airman Certification Standards that they have to fly to, so. There a lot of things that need to come together in the very end that I feel can relieve people if there’s a product out there, you know, several hours of training that teaches you what to expect, so you can check your instructor’s work, so you can check your work, and make sure that you have the best chance to be successful on that checkride day. And I just think that’s going to be an amazing value. That’s something that I’m currently working on right this second. So the ground school has come a long way in being developed and now Checkride Ace is next. Good to be working on that here in the next several weeks to have it ready for you guys, so, literally a way to have you prepare for the checkride. So, I’m excited about that product coming along. Now, I know that a lot of you are already through the process of ground school and you’ve been through some checkrides and you’re out there in the real world flying, trying to stay safe, trying to learn more, and really, honestly, eighty percent of what I do is free content. And so, you’re watching this podcast for free, or listening to it. If you follow me on Instagram, then you’re gonna notice that I’m always active on Instagram, and posting things there. Stories will show you my regular, everyday life and what I do for a career, the flying I do around Alaska. I even downloaded a new social media platform called TikTok, and so I’m getting started on that one as well. So the common thread between all of that is that I’m trying to share things that are very useful for you. So that’s where eighty percent of my time is spent, is just creating free content for the aviation world to consume, learn more, and go to that common purpose or core goal that I have of making a difference in aviation. So, that is mostly what I’ve been doing. So the social media thing again, Instagram, I’ve been doing this series called “One Minute Wings” where it’s just a quick one minute tip that I try to release every Wednesday. That’s scheduled out already for several months now, I just got done with doing some of those before I dove into these podcasts. Those are a lot of fun. I just did one on wind, and how to read a windsock and people that have been pilots for twenty, thirty years have told me that they never knew that. So that was cool that I actually was able to point out something that’s quite different. Been much more active on YouTube. I did a lot a lot of content from Oshkosh on YouTube and just trying to show more of my experience of training, just almost raw and show that on YouTube. So recently I did one of a first solo by a student of mine, Leif, who’s going to be taking a checkride next week so, after I create all this content this week, next week I’m going to be pushing a private pilot to checkride, which is Leif, and then Sara, I’m going to be pushing her toward her commercial checkride as well. So busy, busy, busy, but all of that content is really what I’m doing with most of my time. So, I had some really great experiences at Oshkosh this year. Oshkosh is where AirVenture is, so when I say that, it’s actually just a city in Wisconsin, but that’s where EAA AirVenture is. I’m sure, if you’re an aviation fan, you’ve probably heard of it before. It’s the largest aviation gathering in the entire world, 500,000 people over the week, and had a lot of great experiences. So, obviously as time goes on, you know, my brand has become larger, my following has become larger, and so I’ve gotten the wonderful opportunity to speak at EAA and AOPA. I did a couple forums of my own, I did a meet-up at ForeFlight. Kept myself so busy that I wasn’t able to even go see the vendors in the hangars there at AirVenture, cause I was so busy doing business type things. So the best thing for me that came out of AirVenture was the people that I met after some of these talks that I had given. So there was a guy named Logan that I met after my learn to fly class or forum that I did, who is struggling with some medical stuff, and was just so inspirational with how much he was pushing through that, and so he and I had a really in-depth conversation about how to get that done and some tips from me on how to do it. And then I had people come to me time and time and time again at these meet-ups, after these talks, and they just said, you know thank you for what you do, you kept me going while I couldn’t fly. And honestly that is music to my ears because a lot of the time when I’m creating this content online I really appreciate all the comments you guys leave the shares you do, the likes, all that stuff, that’s amazing, but, I really strive for that human interaction. So to hear someone say you made an impact on me, it was so helpful all those years to see those videos and be inspired, or you did inspire me to get back into it. I’ve had a handful of really great experiences at AirVenture that just showed me that I was just on the right path, doing the right thing and I was making that difference that I’ve been trying to make. So that was super helpful, and above everything else, you know, if it’s a ground school someone’s in, if it’s a photo on Instagram, if it’s a video on YouTube, if it’s a talk I do, or if it’s a story that I do, it doesn’t matter, whatever it is, I’m just so happy that that’s going the right direction. It’s fulfilling for me, it matters to me, you know, I could be doing so many different things in aviation and making a lot of money, but I am striving for that difference-making in people and it’s so cool to see that happening, and I felt like I was validated at AirVenture because of that. So that’s kind of wrapping everything together on where I’ve been and what’s happening next. So again, all the content that I’m trying to produce, no matter what that is, it needs to be educational, so I’m big on that recently. It needs to be useful to you, and so I’m really trying to do better at that. Even just a random photo, trying to put in a question in there that we could start a conversation with or a little tidbit of flying knowledge that can get you freshened up. Whatever it is, just trying to add value to whatever I do and teach all the time. Sometimes it just needs to be inspirational, right? I think all of us need a little bit of a pick-me-up to get going, and so a lot of the content I do is inspirational as well, but not as much as the educational stuff. And then I hope that also, educational-wise and inspirational that you guys are being entertained. I think it’s great to have fun in aviation and I hope that you are experiencing that right now. It’s really amazing what YouTube and social media is doing for aviation. I think, in a way, we’re in the golden years of aviation right now, with how well those things are bringing people in, keeping people fresh, keeping people excited, and so I’m so pumped that those things are doing well, and hope you’re finding that, at least for me, it’s educational, inspirational, and entertaining because those are the things I’m trying to do with every single piece of content. Because I want you to come away better for having been a follower of mine on Instagram or YouTube or this podcast. No matter what it is, I want you to come away with something that’s valuable. Honestly, a podcast like this where I talk about myself way too much is not really in line with that, but I feel like I owe a lot of you followers an explanation on why this podcast has taken a backseat to some of the other things that have been going on. So I hope that you find that, and I really appreciate that you guys have been following for so long. I started this podcast in 2014, so it’s not like it’s new, but it’s never been very consistent because in that time-frame, you know, I got married, I had kids, I went through more education of my own in aviation. I did some projects that were just kind of terrible, and kind of taught me a lot about of what I wanted to do in aviation. So it’s been a growth period for me where I’ve, you know, unfortunately haven’t been as consistent with the podcast as I’d like. But, you’ll be happy to know that recording this, this is number one of eight podcasts that I’m just gonna sit down and record the next few days, and so I’m going to be scheduling these out several months ahead of time, so that this is going to be a consistent thing from now on. So I’m really excited about that because I really have, week to week, I felt guilty for not having the time or the ability to get this podcast done for you guys so I’m really excited about that moving forward. So, if you decide to jump into a ground school or a checkride, you know, that’s great, whatever, but at the end of the day, I would love that, but at the end of the day I really don’t care, because I want you to get something out of this. I realize that so many of you followers, so many of you listeners, so many of you watchers, are further along in your aviation career, okay, so you don’t necessarily need the things that I’m offering, that help me maintain my business and help keep me going and doing what I’m doing. So who cares? I’m still happy that I get to share things with you that you can use right now in where ever you’re at in aviation to inspire you or encourage you, that is so, so important to me. So I really do love doing that. I wish I could do the fun stuff all the time, but that’s, I don’t know. I like also that I don’t do the fun stuff, right. I do the ground school and the checkride thing, because I’m super invested in people actually achieving their dreams. I love it. That’s why I love instruction. I just love getting people to where they had dreamed of getting and being that catalyst helps them get there, so I’m still passionate about that, and I’m excited that I get to have products like that, that help me continue to do that, and help you from a distance. All right, so, a couple words on the new podcast format. I’m gonna be trying to keep it under thirty minutes, unless it’s an interview. I want these to be short, to the point, one sort of deep-dive topic that we go through, and you’ll see that in the subsequent episodes here. So, I’m gonna try to be not so wordy with a lot of what I share, but I want to offer value in every single one of those podcasts that I do. So again, more education, less interviews. This helps me keep the production time down and the consistency up, and it’s, at the end of the day, useful for you. Also, these will be available in video format. If you go to my YouTube channel, you can see me, at times, just talking on camera, and that might be good for you. I know and watch myself a lot of YouTube, I’ve gotten into YouTube a lot over the last year or so, and I watch a lot of YouTube where someone’s just basically sitting in front of a camera talking, and it does add a lot to it, cause you get to see me, you get to see me animated, sometimes I might even bring in an airplane as an example, or something else. Anyway, I think that does work out really well, and so if you want the YouTube version, you’re absolutely welcome to go there, subscribe, and grab that. Now, I want to share something here at the very end at this podcast which is the term “throttle on” that I always use, okay. So “throttle on” was a term that I came up with when I was deep-diving into the brand of what I’m trying to create here at Angle of Attack. And I got really deep into these reasons why I’m even doing what I’m doing. I, you know, I had sheets of paper that I’d written thoughts out on, and trying to come up with this tagline that meant something. And it may seem like “throttle on” just means nothing, but, if you really think about it, to me it means a lot more than that. So, it means “keep moving forward,” and I think that’s so important in aviation, right? You just gotta keep taking that next little step, and keep moving forward toward your dreams no matter what you’re doing. So throttle on, keep moving forward. “Throttle on” could also mean something like, “good luck on your journey.” So it’s kind of like, “hey pal, hope you’re doing well, hope you do well, God bless you,” whatever you want to say, but it’s more of a “good luck on your journey.” So that’s another way of “throttle on.” Keep dreaming big, throttle on, you know. Keep going for it, keep climbing to the sky. And then another throttle on meaning is “great job for the work you’ve done.” So, let’s throttle on to next chapter of AviatorCast here, the next chapter of Angle of Attack. Really exciting, actually I got angleofattack.com since the last time you heard from me here on this podcast, so I’ve really been pushing everything in that direction, and I’m just, I really do want to throttle on and I want to help you throttle on, so this may be the most valuable thing you hear out of this entire podcast because every time I say “throttle on,” it’s a much deeper meaning for me. It goes to that core reason of why I’m doing what I’m doing, and I really wanna help as many people as I can get to where they’re going. And so thank you so much, for all you do for aviation. So many of you are out there just inspirational to me with how much you’re doing in your careers and how much you’re moving forward. Keep it up, keep pushing toward those dreams. Help others as you’ve been helped, and we will all get there together as a community. So that is it for this episode of AviatorCast, keeping it short and sweet. Until next time, throttle on!

  • [Announcer] We sincerely thank you for joining us on AviatorCast! Please subscribe through your favorite podcast service and leave a review. Check out 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 checkride 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 nighter.

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