Today’s Flight Plan
Flying is just fantastic. It’s so fantastic and we talk and write at length on flying subjects much more than we actually fly. This is one of the best parts of being a part of the aviation community- talking about flying is just SO easy.
That’s where our guest from today comes in: Dan Pimentel, author/writer extraordinaire. Dan writes for seven major magazines that anyone would recognize. Not only that, he’s a huge advocate of aviation and wants to see more join the ranks.
Our discussion with Dan is a valuable one. We not only start off with how he become a pilot, but we talk about his writing, Oshkosh, promoting aviation through social media, what it takes to engage this generation of potential pilots.
Join us as we talk to Dan. And remember, you can always reach out to him on Twitter @Av8rDan.
Again, thanks for joining us on the show, Dan. Everyone can communicate with Dan on Twitter.
Major thanks to the amazing Angle of Attack Crew for all their hard work over the years. Our team works incredibly hard, and they’re very passionate about what they do.
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Advocacy, authorship and awful weather. This is AviatorCast episode 80!
Calling all aviators, pilots, flight sim enthusiasts and aviation lovers, you’ve landed at AviatorCast! Join us weekly in our efforts to become better masters of the air through interviews, refreshers, lessons, training topics, simulator set-up, hangar talk, news and more! Buckle up and prepare yourself for this week’s episode of AviatorCast! Preflight complete, fuel on board and flight plan filed. Let’s kick the tires and light the fires! Here’s your humble host, Chris Palmer!
Chris: Welcome, welcome, welcome aviators. You’ve landed at AviatorCast. My name is Chris Palmer. Flying is just fantastic. It’s so fantastic that we talk about and write about at length on flying subjects much more than we actually fly. This is one of the best parts of being part of this aviation community. Talking about flying is just so easy. So that is what we are doing today. We are here on AviatorCast episode 80, so welcome. This podcast is brought to you by Angle of Attack, a flight training media production studio.
So first off, a little bit about AviatorCast. This is where you will learn or engage in more aviation passion. We bring inspiring interviews every single week, generally every single week. This week we have Dan Pimentel on board. He is a great guy. That’s going to be a great interview, I’ll tell you a little bit more about that here in a second. We give you insight into the community, share with you great news that’s going on, things that can help you in getting back in the cockpit, reigniting the flame or getting the courage to fly. Or for those of you that are old time aviators, hey, it’s just great to sit around, listen to, talk about engage in discussions about aviation, so that is why we are here.
As part of every episode, every week I read an iTunes review or review from Stitcher. So these are essentially reviews that you can leave for the show and by doing so, I will send you, wherever you are, an AviatorCast t-shirt and that t-shirt right now, this version of it, I’m going to be doing kind of versions of the t-shirts. This version is Fly or Die on the front and it has the F4U corsair on it. Very awesome shirt. I’ll send that to whoever reviews this show. This week, we have a five-star review that comes to us from Trig57 in the USA and I love his title here, he says “Fans the flame and ignite a few new ones.” So I love that.
And his review says “I discovered AviatorCast while training for my PPL. Because I’m a full-time student, I’ve encountered a few long stretches in my training where I’m forced to become a weekend warrior. During one of these times, I decided that I needed more than my ground training to keep my passion alive and further my knowledge of aviation. After listening to several podcasts, I landed at AviatorCast,” he puts that in quotes. “Hands down the most inspiring and informative flight podcast around, I’ve since received my PPL and I’m now beginning my instrument training. AviatorCast keeps me going and fuels my desire to become a safer and more proficient aviator. Keep up the amazing work Chris and I’ll spread the word on this end.”
So huge thanks Trig56. Send me an email, email@example.com, send me your information, and I will send you that AviatorCast t-shirt. A big congratulations for getting your PPL and I’m really happy to hear as well that you’re moving right into that instrument training. That is absolutely great because honestly, instrument flying is some of my favorite type of flying. I have such great memories of flying in actual instrument conditions. I’ll share just one really quickly okay? My brother and I were on a flight one time between Kansas and Austin, Texas, can’t remember the exact airport in Kansas but we were flying down in Austin, Texas, it was IFR, but we popped up above the clouds. So I actually called up air traffic control and I requested that we get a block altitude between 4000 and 4500. Well, it was sunset at that time. We had this perfectly flat cloud layer and my brother and I in our Bonanza, we were just cruising along, 210 knots, right at cloud top with the sunset happening. It’s just one of those amazing amazing moments and I wouldn’t have been able to do that without my instrument training. And I have a slew of stories like that and every pilot would that has been out there and has flown for a while. So yeah, instrument training is great, I’m glad you’re getting into it again. Thanks for the review. Make sure you send me an email so I can get a t-shirt to you.
So on this episode of AviatorCast, we have Dan Pimentel. Now, Dan is a guy I have been trying to lockdown for an interview for a while. He writes some fantastic articles for a great amount of magazines that you’ve probably heard of. Flying Magazine, AOPA Pilot, AAA Sport Pilot, HAI’s Rotoer Magazine, Air and Space Smithsonian Magazine, Cessna Flyer and Piper Flyer. So this guy writes a lot of material, I love his perspective on things. He’s all about the passion, he’s all about the advocacy of aviation, and that is definitely something that we are about here as well on AviatorCast. So I’m excited to get into this Hangar Talk discussion with him. I hope you guys enjoy it as well. Now, Dan is a big twitter guy, okay? So for those of you that are big in the twitter or you’re using twitter or maybe you aren’t using twitter yet or you haven’t used your account in a while, go mention Dan. Go reach out to Dan. You can involve us in the conversation as well. His username is @Av8rDan. So go mention him, tell him you enjoyed his interview here on AviatorCast and hope you guys enjoy it. So here we go. Here is Hangar Talk with Dan Pimentel.
Now, a special hangar talk segment…
Chris: Alright everybody, we are honored to have a very special guest with us today, Dan Pimentel. Dan, thanks for joining us on AviatorCast.
Dan: Hey thank you Chris.
Chris: So you and I have been trying to meet up for a while now. It seems that things are elusive. You were at Oshkosh, I was at Oshkosh, but we just never really cross paths, but here in the winter of 2016, it’s nice to finally catch up and after a few audio issues, I think we can finally learn more about you and get your take on aviation so I’m excited to have this conversation with you.
Dan: Well I’m excited to be in your show. I’m a big fan of podcasts. It’s one of the fun things about at Oshkosh is that every year, there’s just more podcasters everywhere you look and I know that there’s a podapallooza, I don’t know if you were involved in that. I don’t know if they have one last year but in the years previous, they had Rod Rakic and a bunch of people at the Sennheiser tent and Open Airplane got together a party and it was kind of hosted by one of the big podcasts, I can’t remember which ones, but there were probably 20 podcasters out there and it always blows my mind how many people are doing this so I’m always happy to help.
Chris: Yeah. It’s great to have those different voices in the community that have a different take on things. Our podcast is very much kind of an inspirational beginner type show but we also get into some of the larger issues. But then you know, you have podcasts out there like Airline Pilot Guy and there’s the Airplane Geeks podcast, so a lot of guys doing a great job with podcasting. It’s one of those mediums that’s really easy to plug into when you’re commuting or something like that or mowing the lawn.
Alrighty, so why don’t you take us back many years, we always start out the show this way, take us many years and tell us how you fell in love with aviation.
Dan: Okay. Well that is a classic story of 10-year-old boy riding a sting ray bike with the ape hanger handle bars over to the Fresno Airport in Fresno California, I was about 10 I think. In those days, they used to fly delta darts out of the National Guard base there. So I was about 2 miles by bicycle from the airport, so I was a typical fence hanger for many years and just loved everything about it. We had an old radio out in the garage. It’s an old 1930s Zenith, one of those giant standup tube models and it picked up everything including the radio transmissions from the tower. In those days, it was just probably the center and all that we have now. So I would listen there and then be able to ride up to the airport and see the planes take off and land. And I was kind of a junkie even when I was 10, my other buddies would say “Hey, did you hear about the new Beatles song or new Dave Clark 5 song” and I’d say “No but you know what, the United 612 is going to be taking off here in just a minute, let’s go outside and look at it.” I had the timetables all memorized about what took off. I’m not sure but I think they were 707s back in those days so they flew out of there.
So that’s how I got started and then my dad, we called him Papa Louie, he had always wanted to fly in his younger days, never quite got to do it because like all of us, family and career got in the way. So we flew a couple of times but then back in the early 90s he passed away unexpectedly of a stroke and at that time he had 26 hours in his logbook and he was just getting ready to start soloing. So he was 62 I think at that time and he had put off learning to fly until that time. And so he had finally got at least the dream to start flying, he had started his lessons and he was taking his lessons and then he passed away. And so not too long, a few couple years after that, I finally had the money and the time and the family obligations all out in our way. So I sort of dedicated my flying to him and I went out in 96 and got my ticket and it’s been fantastic ever since.
Chris: Awesome. I actually, looking at an article right here that you wrote for AOPA and it’s titled “Papa Louie, the old radio and flying.” So I’m guessing looking at that right away that that is, a few more details on that exact story.
Dan: That’s the one. I wrote that I think, I might’ve wrote that in 2003, it’s been quite a while. It’s a fun story because the old radio is kind of like my connection to aviation back in those days. So that story just came together, as I do most of my writing, I sat down one day and it just popped into my head and I went out and write about that. AOPA picked that up. That was the first feature I wrote for them way back in the day, probably 12 years ago.
Chris: Fantastic. So jumping ahead, you went out and you got your pilot’s license. Let’s skip ahead a little more and let’s tell people why you’re on the show today. So tell people a little bit more about your professional career and what it is and how that has integrated into the aviation community.
Dan: Well, I wear a lot of hats. I would say that from the aviation audience, they’d be more interested in learning about me as an aviation writer. I write for 7 of the 8 national aviation magazines, there’s one that I don’t write for, but I write for all of them, have something in one or two of the magazines every month. A couple of them are ongoing gigs. I’ve been a freelance writer since almost 1980 when I started. So I love to write, that’s what I do, I write. The Airplanes to Blog is my blog and I’ve had that since 2005. So I’ve written a lot of things and that’s kind of, you mentioned the giving back a little while ago when we were talking previously according this. And that’s sort of my deal, what I do, is my niche in writing is GA advocacy and volunteerism and I try to go out and find people that are doing extraordinary things to help give back to the community. And there’s because an unwritten rule in pilots that we all have to do that and I know it’s not written anywhere but we all seem to do that, we have our thing that we do and we give back as best as we can whether it’s young eagles or whether it’s painting benches at the airport.
So I found that a long time ago because I have the skills to be a writer and I’m a trained journalist, that I could do that, I could get other people’s story out there and help their thing and if I can do that, it doesn’t really help me that much, I mean I get a check once in a while from the magazines for this stuff, but it helps me get somebody else a little bit of free PR and then maybe their thing gets better and by virtue of that, it just keeps compounding and hopefully helps the community as a whole. So that’s my writing career.
I spend a lot of time as you may or may not know on twitter. I’m kind of a twitter junkie and it’s one of the coolest tools but I’ll get to that later. My day job is an ad agency president and creative director. So I’ve been doing advertising and public relations, website design, graphics design, video production, all of that since, I think it’s been about 17 years in this current job. And we have some aviation clients but it’s not all aviation. That’s my day job but my aviation writing is really my passion.
Chris: Gotcha. We all have that passion that we stay connected to, that thing that emits all the hardworking hours keeps us sane so I can definitely identify with that. So to give people an example, I’m actually looking through your pictures here by the way on your smugmug website which is by the way, cdad.smugmug.com, some of your airplane pictures and others there from looks like other clients you have. What type of articles have you written recently that were particularly, the standout to you is things that you were excited about maybe say in the last year or so.
Dan: Well let’s see… Where do you start. I’m just really busy. Currently I’ve been doing some series for HAI Rotor magazine. They’re a great organization. And I’ve done a series, they’re called Sector Profiles and so inside of the helicopter world, there are various types of flying and each one is independent of the other. I’ve done firefighting helicopters, story on them and the pilots that fly firefighting which is insane. It’s the courage and the talent and skills those guys have is just off the charts. I’ve done one on powerline flying which is in itself is kind of crazy. Your rotor tips are 10 feet off the wires and you got a guy dangling below you working on high voltage transmission lines. I just finished another one for them that hasn’t come out yet and it’s going to be in their next issue on helicopter skiing pilots. They’re the people that fly from the bottom of a valley and they’d go and drop very high dollar clients up at the top of the run, up on the top of the mountain.
So I’ve been doing those. I’ve written sport aviation. I did one recently called “The airplane detectives” for EAA and that was a really in-depth look at the airplane restorers, the guys that restore all those great planes your see over in the vintage area at Oshkosh. Everyone of those guys have gone to great lengths to just uncover every little scrap of evidence that they need to rebuild these planes. And I know a couple of them personally and so I wrote this story about how they go and find that and how they just dig through… One guy went back to Maryland to the federal records storage archives and dug through dusty old boxes for a long, long time before he finally came across the plans and the paperwork he needed for the Command Air he was building.
That’s the ones that come to mind, there’s several others. I write lots of destination articles for different magazines, where to fly and what’s cool when you get there, that sort of thing.
Chris: Gotcha. Now, you are located in the Pacific Northwest right, you’re in Oregon?
Chris: So tell us about what flying is about in Oregon.
Dan: Well today, it’s best to have a seaplane.
Chris: That makes sense this time of year.
Dan: We’ve had a tremendously wet winter and everything you hear about Oregon is true in regards to rain. It’s a good kind of thing though because if you ask people that like to live here like myself, I don’t have a sprinkler, I moved from California and I left all my sprinklers down there. So everything is nice and green, I live in the forest. Right outside my door is 250-year-old growth trees. So yeah, it’s nice and green and lush but it’s pretty darn wet and gloomy this time of year. I live in the Willamette Valley and the freezing levels hover between 3000 and 4000 feet this time of year. And to get out of this valley, the three directions are if you are south, you have to go over the Siskiyou which is up to 8000, 9000, 10,000 feet. You go east, you have to go over the Cascades which are big and pointy and hard and you have to use 10 grand to get over them. So you can go north but unless you have a plane that’s equipped, it’s tough to really fly very far around here.
But I love living up here. It’s nothing like what you deal with up in Alaska or what the people back east deal with with the ice and snow but it’s a different kind of thing.
Chris: You know, it is actually very similar to where we are here because during the winter, things just really settle down flying. Obviously the tourism goes away and the ceilings drop down, and we get lots of rain and snow even. I mean, in my town it’s pretty temperate so we get a lot of rain but I can definitely identify and in fact, when I was training to be an instrument pilot, I actually lived in Utah at that time and I did all my IFR training in Oregon. So I went there with my instructor in the Bonanza and we just went up and down the coast and did actual IFR the whole time. It was exactly what we wanted in the typical Oregon weather. So what do you do to stay proficient during the winter months? I know that your mind is engaged right with all of the articles and the things that you’re working on. Do you find that that is what keeps you in the game during the winter months?
Dan: Well, my airplane has been for sale for about a year and the market for used airplanes has just dropped off the cliff. And so I’ve not been flying yet as much as I probably should or could only because I want to keep the hours low and keep the clock not ticking. So I’m staying proficient. I’m instrument-rated but I’m not proficient at all with that. I got my rating in 2007 and found out after a couple of years of really pushing hard to stay current that it’s a lot of work and you have to really be serious about it because there is just no wiggle room. If you think you’re gonna fly up in the clouds, you better be good at it. And so as far as keeping my head in aviation, I make it all the time everyday and I love being involved and reading the news about it and just seeing all the new things that are coming out, none of which I can really afford because I’m a writer. But it’s a fun thing.
As far as being proficient as a pilot, I’m a pretty skilled VFR pilot. I have no problems, I’ve flown to LA many times in the San Francisco Bay area and Seattle area and I have no problems with that. But as far as the IFR goes, I tend to let that slip. And the good thing I think, you have to be smart enough to know when you’re not proficient at that because that’s a lot of guys get hurt, is they go out and they haven’t flown for a while, they go out and they get an instrument flight IPC and suddenly they think they’re okay to go punch through clouds, and people get in trouble. All the time they get in trouble.
So that’s one of my thing as far as my personal minimums go, I wouldn’t think of flying IFR right now although if I had the time to get proficient, I’d love to do it and around here you really need to but you also need to have the airplane for it. And my trustee old Cherokee has a heated pitot tube, that’s it. So you’re not going to punch through ice with that.
Chris: Yeah definitely. Actually, I flew in the Oregon the first time I tried to get my instrument rating and being from Utah, I was kind of in the same situation you were. I just couldn’t go anywhere IFR, didn’t make sense to get my instrument rating if I couldn’t actually fly it. So I honestly failed my first instrument checkride, didn’t try from then until we got a turbo Bonanza that could get above it. So by the first time I went into Oregon, exactly what you said, we descended into Salem and we built ice on the airplane. So it’s just one of those things you got to be sharp as a tack and your airplane has to match what’s going on to weather and your capabilities and proficiency need to match what you’re trying to do as well. So kudos to you for knowing your limitations. I think that’s something that every pilot has to learn right?
Dan: Well, I have a client now and a really good friend who teaches IFR and actually flies adventure flights for people in his TTx. He flies IFR flights up into Alaska all the time and his advice to me, he said that if you want to be serious about IFR, you need to file all the time, even in the middle of summer, just always file because you’re in the system, you’re thinking about the minimums, you’re thinking about the regulations and he says if you do that all the time, then when you need to do it in the weather, it’s gonna be second nature to you. He says it’s not safe to just fly VFR and think that you can just fly IFR when you need to. His advice is go all in or don’t even try it.
Chris: Yeah. I think that’s a fantastic tip. And at the height of my proficiency, that’s what I did. If I was flying VFR, I was going to do flight following anyway so I figured I may as well just do IFR and be in the system and I would definitely say that’s true.
So let’s rewind a little bit to what we touched on just briefly earlier and that is aviation advocacy and volunteerism. Why don’t you speak to that? Why don’t you speak for those that are uneducated on the subject what kind of programs are out there, how youth can get involved in aviation, how women can get involved in aviation, and some of these different programs out there that are available to simple promote this thing that we love.
Dan: Well, it’s really endless the amount of things that we could do as pilots. My big thing with advocacy is to really to really to get pilots encouraged to go out and reach out to the non-flying public because for me to go to the local airport and try to talk to people about flying, they already know about it. So it’s not really in aviation’s best interest for me to go out and try to talk to pilots about “Hey, this is how cool our world is” because they already know.
So I originally wrote a column for one of the magazines and it was 8 things that you can do today to help reach out. I encouraged people to, if they are not comfortable with public speaking, to look up toastmasters. Toastmasters is actually a really great group that’s everywhere and every town and it’s basically very, very inexpensive way to learn how to be a public speaker. And you can go and you can do that and get trained very easily to be able to then go to your Rotary Club or your Kiwanis Club or your kid’s high school or anywhere else and give a presentation about flying. I encourage people to do that.
Another thing that I’ve been preaching lately, there are several things. One of them is to reach out to let either your local VFW chapter or find a local retirement home that’s a pretty good size, contact their marketing manager and just say “Hey, do you have any World War II veterans that are residents that maybe were in the air force or army flyers or marines and can I just come talk to them?” And the answer is almost always yes. And so I encourage people to go make an appointment, call them, they’ll ask the resident if it’s okay, and of course they’re gonna say yes, and then just go down there, have lunch and let them tell you their story, because it does a lot of things. First of all, it makes them feel good, you’ll make a friend, you might even end up taking them flying. I’ve taken a couple of veterans in my career of flying and people up in their 80s and 90s and sometimes, I hate to say it, but sometimes it’s the last time they may fly. And so it’s a really fun thing to do.
Another thing that I have promoted recently which is another just, this is an example of what I tell people. Think outside the box. Like take what you’re good at, whatever your occupation is, and then think about how you can use those skills to promote aviation to the public. And so one of the things, I encourage everybody, if you’ve never taken a tour of your local tower, to contact the tower manager and go out there and tour the tower because you’ll get a much better feeling for what ATC has to go through on the other end, I call it the people in your headset. And if you do that, I’ve done numerous times, I have friends that are controllers and it’s always educational. But here’s what I suggest, is contact the tower and say “I’d like to organize a group of some students to come out there,” and they’ll absolutely go “Yeah sure, let’s work it out.” And then you contact one of the local elementary schools and they all have science fairs and you contact the principal and you say “Look, I’d like to organize trip, the winners of your science fair to go out and tour the ATC facilities.” And the principal will always say “Oh my god, that’s a great idea.” So then they offer that as a price for their science fair.
And so what you end up doing is you engage their parents, obviously the parents are involved, the teachers are involved. In that process they may say, “Hey, would you like to come in to the class and talk a little about flying” of course you’ll say yes and so there you made yourself another opportunity to connect with a few more people. And those are just two examples of a bunch of examples that I can give you of ways that we need to just think about who do we know and what do we know? If you’re a truck driver, it doesn’t matter what your occupation is, there are people you know, there are organizations that you can go offer yourself up as a pilot. And when you go, you take your iPad, your take your charts, you take things like that if you’ve got anything like that that are props and just tell them “Hey, this is what we do, this is how much it cost me, this is how you go about learning to fly, it’s really, really cool.” Maybe talk about what goes on at Oshkosh. And I really think that by doing that, that’s our best way of connecting us and what we do to the people that we need to be reaching out to.
Chris: Yeah. Wow, I was jotting down notes here while you were rattling those of because all of those are great ideas even in my local area in my small town. We don’t have an actual control tower but we do have a flight facility, not necessarily flight following but we have an on-base facility here at the airport that I could go and just hang out and see what they do. So yeah, those are fantastic and to even the elementary school idea, my mother is a fourth grade teacher and when I go to visit her in Utah, she has me come in and teach the class just about science, just about clouds and why as a pilot we are concerned about weather and the types of things we look out for, and the kids just have such great questions. I don’t know how they do it but just such fantastic questions and it’s always a learning experience for me obviously so even if it’s just a selfish endeavor, it ends up being something that’s worthwhile but obviously it could be one of those things that simply parks interest in a child and that child starts buying model airplanes or doing what you did in Fresno and riding their bike down to the airport and watching the airplanes. So that is really how these things start and just like you said, it’s this unwritten rule that in aviation, that is simply what we do, is we promote what we love I guess.
Dan: Well and I’ll give you another one. And so every city has non-aviation type non-profit charities of all kinds and many many of them have silent auctions. And so you contact one that’s dear to your heart that’s a pretty big one that is a pretty big event, and say “I’d like to donate a scenic flight in my airplane” and so they’d go “Okay great.” So they’ll probably say “Make up a little sign explaining it, and you offer a flight for two or four or whatever you can carry, it’s a couple hours, an hour, whatever you want to do.” But then the cool thing is you probably get tickets to the event and I’ve been in events where this happen and you’ll see the pilot standing there next to his sign and as people mingle around doing the silent auction, it gives you an opportunity for a couple hours to sit there and tell people about flying. They’re going to ask you, “What kind of plane do you have? How fast does it go? Blah, blah, blah, what can you do with it?” And you can just stand there and just chat up everybody about how cool it is and it doesn’t cost you more than really gas to go do this but yeah, you’ve opened up an opportunity to talk to a whole bunch of people and that’s really what we need to do, is connect to those kinds of people.
Chris: Yeah precisely. So you to spoke to elementary-age kids. We get into the teenage years right and especially these days, there are a lot of shiny bright cool things pulling kids in different directions. What is your take on teenagers? How can we get them involved in aviation? I know there are some programs out there but you seem to be a guy full of good ideas, so what do you think about that?
Dan: I think it’s a challenge. I know that I’m stumbling here, it’s a challenge. I think you need to reach teenagers through some sort of other means. There is so much noise and so much things out there. You get to be 13, 14, 15, that’s kind of the formula. But you get to be 16, 17, 18, 19, you’re in some ways kind of an adult. I mean, they’re busier than we are with everything that they do. What I think needs to happen is that somehow, the pilot community needs to reach those kids on a more grassroots level, maybe that’s not the right way of saying it. And by physically showing them or telling them this is what’s cool about flying, and there needs to be an element of, I have to be careful how to say this, not just come learn about our world so you can become an airline pilot which is a really notable thing and with the pilot shortage, it’s pretty much anybody with a money to go to a good university like Embry Riddle and go through the draw and get a degree, and pass the money to amass, what is it, 1500 hours to become an ATP. I mean, you’ll get into an airline if you’re not an idiot.
But we need to be able to reach them, I think the key to it is STEM education, science, technology, engineering and math. We hear that a lot but it’s those kids that are involved in STEM program that would be more likely to be interested in flying, both male and female. Because if you have that connection, you know that they’re kind of already going to be able to get the whole thing about aerodynamics and the systems and the airspace and all of that. But Chris here’s the thing, flying needs to be made cool. I’m going to go on a soapbox here for a minute and tell you that I believe the industry as a whole has missed the boat on marketing and I’m a marketing guy, on how to sell aviation to the public and that includes young teens in 20-somethings, because they just not made it cool.
I had an Osh bash event which is my social media that I do every year at Oshkosh, I did those a couple years ago and I said “What do we need to do to get into a million pilots” and work like 560,000, 600,000 at the moment, and obviously everybody knows in the real world we’re not going to get to a million right now. But my take on it was this. What the industry needs to do is to not look at this as come by an airplane and go fly up and get harburgers. What needs to be done is it needs to be made cool because let’s face it, 30 and 40 something, the baby boomers like myself, we’ve got more discretionary income but we’re also busier than we need to be and we have career obligations and sometimes it’s tough.
But then there is a lot of people that are in the 30 and 40 something range that are what I call adventure sports people, kayakers, bicyclists, the Go-Pro people. So you take that crowd, they think nothing of spending 5000 dollars on a really good road bike but if you ask them how much does it cost to learn to fly and they’ll go “Oh, probably 15,000 dollars.” I’ve done this a lot of times and sometimes you’ll hear people say 10 but generally the number I hear is I don’t know, 12-15,000 dollars. That’s how much they think it cost. And if the industry would advertise in surfing magazine, kayak magazine, outdoor magazines, bicycle magazines, and say “No, you can do it for 5000 dollars by getting a sport pilots tickets.” You can be a pilot for under 5000 dollars and you can fly around in a super efficient plane that burns 3 to 4 gallons an hour and it will be super groovy and it will be great. They’ll go like “Wow. I was thinking about going up to ask for 1 week of skiing but instead of doing that, I could get my pilot’s license.” And the public does not know that.
This week is the lightsport expo down in Sebring which is a really cool show, but the public and barely pilots, but the public itself has no idea that that even exist or that you can get pilot’s license for 5000 dollars. So how do you engage teenagers? I think you start by getting the message out to everybody that there is an easier, cheaper way to get into flying and if we could get people into it at that level as sport pilot, you get them in, you get them hooked, and they get to just liking it and then they move up from there. At my Osh bash a couple years ago, I tried to get that message out, like all the associations instead of working your own separate programs, you need to all get together and come up with this gigantic marketing plan that makes flying as cool as kayaking or as mountain-climbing or anything like that.
So these people that are adventure sports people will go, they’ll spend gods of money to go out and people run marathons all over the country and they spend lots more than 5000 bucks a year to go do that, and there is a lot of those people out there that keep all of those magazines totally flowing their ink that probably have a feeling like they think we flying is cool and they’d love to do it sometime but it’s just way out there, too expensive for them. And when they open their magazine for the bicycling magazine, then they see an ad, a real clean and edgy ad that shows young people that are flying lightsport, which some of the lightsport airplanes are pretty cool-looking, and make it cool to go out to the airport. If the industry could make that happen, then suddenly on social media and all over the place, it’s like people are Instagramming “Hey, look at me, I’m at the airport. I’m gonna go take a flight in this plane. It’s really cool. I can’t wait to start my first lesson.” And it just goes from there.
Chris: Yeah. I think back to Oshkosh this year. I had a media pass for AviatorCast and I was able to attend the unveiling or the handing over the keys of the first ICON A5. And for those that are unfamiliar with the ICON A5, it is the epitome of cool. It’s this both wheeled and seaplane aircraft, the wings can fold, you can actually tow it in a sense and it’s kind of an outlier in the aviation community right now in the sense that they really did tap into exactly what you’re talking about, that adventure community, this fairly affordable airplane that’s very capable but its main thing is just the cool factor of adventure. They don’t talk about the types of avionics that are in there or the performance numbers or anything like that. They talk about the types of adventures you can have and it definitely stands out to me as something that’s different, so I certainly understand exactly what you’re talking about there.
Dan: Well I think that there’s nothing else on the market right now that does that as well as ICON does. I did see a tweet from my good friend Rod Rakic, he runs Open Airplane, he was the Chicago boat show recently I guess and he said like he thought the show was really cool but he was really amazed that ICON wasn’t there and I was too because you’d think that’s how the market they need to hit. People that buy 100,000-dollar cigarette boats down in Florida, there’s a group of that have the money because face it, the ICON A5 is one of the coolest things out there but it’s not something you buy to really go places. I hate to say it, but it’s a toy but it’s the coolest one out there by far. I don’t think does it any better than they do right now. I think that the rest of the industry should probably take some clues from what ICON is doing as far as how they market they A5 because you’re right. I’m not totally into where their market. I hope that’s the perfect example of something that should be marketed to adventure sports people outside of the aviation world.
Because people in aviation, we all know about the A5. Anybody that’s been to Oshkosh for the last five, six, seven years went by their tent which is 100 x 40 x 40 with an IMAX-size screen on the back and giant music and lights and dancing girls, and a big turntable and spotlights, I mean it’s a big, big show. And so we have all been watching the evolution of that but now that it’s here, now that they’re being delivered, that is on the best chances for aviation to reach across to people that don’t know about how cool. They see that and they go “Oh my god, I got to have one of those.” So yeah, that’s one of the coolest products we have right now.
Chris: So obviously, part of all these and really part of the world right now is this hyperconnectivity to what’s going on and what’s new and while that can be a distraction obviously from aviation, we in aviation can also use that as a tool. So I know that at Oshkosh this year, you actually held an event or rather a forum that actually taught people how to use twitter because twitter is such an amazing tool. Now, I’m not exactly going to ask your age right here on the show, but you are an older guy and you’re using twitter to a very high level, doing a great job sharing things, being involved in the community there. How can we as the regular everyday pilots get the word out better or involve our friends or that sort of thing with not only twitter but some of the other outlets like you mentioned Instagram, obviously Facebook is one of them. What are some of the things that we can do as pilots to advocate if you will aviation through those mediums?
Dan: Well, the reason that I gave the forum last year at Oshkosh, the basics of using twitter, came from the sport aviation expo in Sebring last year. I went two years ago to that show and saw it myself, I was pretty cool. So last January 2015, I watching the twitter feed and by doing a search as you well know, you can just follow everything, anybody using that hashtag. So I watched and on Thursday of the show, not one LSA manufacturer or vendor or anybody else tweeted anything about that show. It was just like radio silence. And I thought, you know, somebody needs to tell these people about this, it’s free and they need to be using it. And big people, big companies to some extent use it but I think it’s just an amazing tool to really engage people. And so I was really dismayed that there was that many people in aviation that are of my age, I’m 50s, I’m not a spring chicken but it’s not rocket science to use it either. But at that particular show, nobody was using it. And the people that run the show, they did a few tweets during the thing so they were using it to some extent, they’re using other social media, but for twitter, it was total radio silence.
So I gave the forum that tried to teach people the basics of using it and the whole premise was “Look, if you build headsets, you can go on there and you can search out people that are talking about headsets and all you need to do is, the self-promotion thing on any social media, I mean people are very wise to that, users are very wise to that. When I was trying to teach, is you do like a 5 to 1 ratio. For every 1 tweet you do about your company or your business, you do at least 5 that’s just about aviation, what’s going on, maybe within your niche but just even cool things that are happening. And by doing that, you engage people, they start following you, and then when they see the occasional “Hey, we’re bring our new LSA down to Sebring next week, come check it out, it’s now got bigger wheels, whatever” they’re gonna go “Okay, that’s cool.”
And so there are ways that that platform can really be valuable to reach out to people. Then when you get it rolling, now you’ve got your LSA company, you’re building these planes, it’s pretty cool, people start to talk about it online, it’s a great way to engage people and they can ask you questions, you can announce little things, you can just, there are things you can do on twitter and like you pointed out, I do use it all the time, to just keep your name and your persona of your business out there. And I’ll give you an example. In your office, you get a new engineer to come in and he’s working for you now. But the guy likes dune buggies, he’s like big into dune buggies, so you do a tweet about “We want to welcome our new @somebody,” or maybe he doesn’t even have twitter, who cares, put his name in there and put a picture of him crashing some dune with his wheels 8 feet off the dune. People are going to look at that and go “Well that’s cool.” And maybe they don’t care about this guy that he drives dune buggies but for that split second, they see the name of your company next to this picture and this tweet and they go like “Wow, these guys are humans. That’s great. That’s cool.” And you just do those little things like that and by doing that you show the twitter people out there, “Hey, it’s not all about us.” We make a lightsport and it’s pretty cool and once in a while you can remind people about that but if you just get engaged with other people, then people will suddenly start seeing that you support the whole community.
As opposed to Facebook, I’m not a huge fan of Facebook and I’ll tell you why as anybody that does that managing page or business page, anytime you post something, say you have 4000 followers or fans or whatever they’re called this week, you’re looking to see that you post something up there and it was served to 400 people, and you feel like, wait a minute, I got 4000 fans, how come you only send it to 400 people? And you see a little boost button there that says “oh, if you pay us 25 bucks, we’ll boost it to maybe 1200 people. But if you give us 50 bucks, we’ll post it to 3600 people, and if you give us 100 bucks, we’ll blast it out to other people.” So it becomes a profit machine for them which is good for them, capitalism, they’re making gobs of money doing this but the reason I don’t tell people if you really want to make an impact use twitter is because on twitter, it’s free first of all but everybody that follows you potentially has the chance to see what you’re seeing.
Obviously there are ways in twitter to make lists of people and then you can follow those lists. I mean, I think I might follow 1200 people now. If I go to the timeline that shows the 1200 people, unless it’s right there and I scroll a couple times, I’m never going to see what those people do. So I have a list of people that really matter to me and I almost always see what they do. And people that know twitter, they know that.
Also, I made a big point in my thing about social media is that if you want to hit the millennials or the, I would get confused if it’s generation that comes after millennials, before baby boomers, the 30, 40 somethings, there’s a really good chance they’re on twitter and so if you’re building a lightsport aircraft, and you’re on there and you want to hit that market because if you’re smart, you’re gonna know that sure, back in the day when they first came out with lightsport, everybody went “Oh great, you’d only need a driver’s license medical” and so all of these old guys that can’t get a medical anymore, they’re gonna run out and buy a lightsport. Everybody taught that was going to be a saving grace. Well it turns out that that’s not the case. Lightsport has kind of floundered in some respects. But the future of that particular niche is younger people who can get into a lightsport for a lot less money and fly one for a lot less money. And those people are all on twitter. So I love it myself.
Chris: Yeah. It’s working really well for me and just a couple experiences to share on things that kind of connect to twitter is first the flying one which back in September, it might’ve been early October, I was taking the last floatplane flight of the season with my float instructor. The lake was icing over, it was that time of year where you got to pull the airplane out or it’s gonna get stuck sort of thing and ruin the floats. So we went out, we did a flight, we came back and we were just doing laps around the pattern. He wanted to get his last five touch and go’s in if you will before the end of the season, and I popped out my iPhone and I logged on to periscope which is something that’s connected to twitter, which was a live video stream, and I livestreamed our touch and go landings and people were just freaking out. They’re saying this is the coolest thing ever and I’m seeing the little hearts on the screen. They’re just totally losing control because here I am in Alaska in a floatplane and they are in their seats, wherever they are, enjoying that experience live. So that was quite an amazing experience, that particular one.
And then yesterday, just on my personal periscope, I went out to the beach and turned it on and was taking a beach walk with my nieces and my wife, and people were getting on and they were asking about bald eagles and they were asking about Alaska and what it was like to live here and all of these questions and they were from crazy places like Kazakhstan and Czech Republic, and not so crazy places like Italy and France and stuff like that, but worldwide basically and in a matter of seconds. And so not only that component of it, being able to have that voice, but also majorally to what you spoke to was the fact that twitter for me even on my business profile is very much about one on one interactive relationships.
So I see something someone else, I acknowledge that they are doing great work because I see a lot of great work being done in aviation. I’ll share that. I might share my podcast every once in a while for example which I think people enjoy because I’m not pushing anything on them with the podcast, it’s just an advocacy thing. And so yeah, twitter is a fantastic platform to us. I think Instagram is still really great. Facebook, you’re absolutely right, it’s a math problem right? If you see every post from every person you like or follow, you would be scrolling for pages and you would only see the last hour but not only that, they’re really monetizing it. I’ve really enjoyed twitter myself. It’s been a fantastic place to get to know people and coincidentally enough, that’s where you and I met. I saw that you’re an influencer in the industry and I reached out and said “Hey Dan, here’s what I’m doing. Would you like to be on the show? Let’s talk about what you’re doing. We don’t have any backroom deals going on here. This is just you and I sharing our passion for the community and not what you called earlier, pigeonholing kids into say an airline pilot job or something but you have your authorship in the community. I have some professional stuff that I do in the community and I also love flying and so we may not be the frontline warriors in aviation, they guys punching through the cloud layers every single day and dodging thunderstorms and those sort of things, but man do we love aviation and we have, just like many other people, we have the opportunity to share on wonderful platforms like twitter so awesome.
Dan: Well. One of the things that a lot of people that don’t realize that don’t do twitter is the way it can go sort of viral. I’d give you a quick example. One of the years that I flew United Airlines back to Oshkosh and for some reason, I connected with the flight attendant and she was just super nice. I was sitting in the back right by the bathrooms but also by where they are taking their break, it was on the long leg, like probably San Francisco to Chicago. And so I was struck at this conversation that she was like super nice to talk to me about being a pilot. So when I got to O’Hare, I just tweeted out “Hey @United, just wanted to tell you one of your FAs on UA flight whatever, super nice, great service, really enjoyed the airline.” And that’s it, I tweeted it, put the phone back in my pocket, went on my merry way. Well, their marketing people saw that and retweeted it. Well they have 600,000 followers. And so just like in the time it took me 30 seconds, 45 seconds to pound out this quick little tweet on my phone, throw it back in my pocket, suddenly my stuff, what I was doing, got sent out to all 600,000 of United Airlines followers.
So if you do it right on twitter, if you have good content and it all comes down to the content at what you think other people would really enjoy and if you pass that along, they can pass it along to their people and then they pass it along to their people if it’s cool and it’s cool how that can just multiply.
Chris: Yeah. It just kind of starts to cascade down. And I’ve seen small instances of that in what I do but I’ve definitely never had United Airlines retweet my post, that’s pretty dang cool. But that is an advantage of it. You can connect and get the attention of these large corporations or companies that otherwise almost feel like they don’t have a realistic face to them and there’s some true to that. But they have seen the wisdom in engaging people on social media as well.
One of the funny classic things that kind of happens these days is people will go complaining on twitter and mentioning a company and to their surprise they get a response within a few minutes of a customer service person whoever it is that is totally invested I making sure that their problem is fixed, and I just always find that interesting.
Dan: That’s right. And the thing is there is no difference in a guy that builds lighsport aircraft and Boeing. A company like Boeing has got, I guarantee you, somewhere there’s a whole department in their creative department and there is probably 10 people that do nothing but work shifts of watching twitter and when somebody says, maybe it’s not Boeing because their customers are big airlines, but somebody like, I know the Honda Motor Company, not the aircraft company, I know for a fact because I know one of the women that monitors it pretty well, they watch that all the time and they respond immediately.
But there is no reason why somebody who is building a lightsport aircraft, and of course they don’t have to time to sit there and watch twitter all day long, but when you do have to have that time or if you have an intern in your office or you have somebody from the local community college who’s interning in your office or your shop. You can make that an important part of your interaction with your costumers and it just goes a long way and it doesn’t really cost that much. And then when you get to be a company that maybe has 100, 200 employees so you’re maybe Lighspeed headset, those kinds of companies, if you’re at that level where you’re building a big national product that people are buying, you absolutely have to have somebody who is paid to sit there. That’s their job, is monitor social media and respond and just be there the minute somebody says something because what happens is somebody will say “Hey, I bought your headset and you know what, it’s a pile of crap. I can’t get it to work.” Well did you have it plugged in the right away? Oh, you got to plug it in? I don’t know that. I mean, there’s people out there, it’s the nature of the internet these days, that are just clueless and they’re tweeting or commenting and saying things that are just absolutely not true.
And so if you have a product that’s a big national company, you need to be on there all the time looking for anybody using a hashtag or anything that has to do with your company and make sure that if it’s good, then you need to retweet it and tell the people “Hey thanks Joe Blow for enjoying our products.” But if it’s not or if it’s incorrect, you need to jump on it immediately because if by the time you go get your coffee and come back, it could’ve gone out to lots and lots of people that your headsets are crap. All the big companies that build good products are doing that but it can be also smaller companies. You don’t have to be a Boeing or a big headset company or Garmin or somebody to keep that philosophy. You can do it small an you can still monitor it and maybe you don’t go on immediately because you’re busy running your business but it’s really a vital piece of the whole puzzle these days.
Chris: Yeah. It works really well and you’re making me feel less guilty for having my iPhone 6+ out and just tweeting up and sending tons of messages at Oshkosh because that’s all I do. I walk around and I experience things and I go to things that I think people will be interested in and admittedly things that I’m interested in, and I share it, I share those things with the community and I just have such a fun time doing that especially since it really does make an impact. There those times here and there where people speak up and say “Hey, I’m in the United Kingdom and it’s really hard to fly here and you inspired me to go out and get my pilot’s license” or something like that and I wish I could do all that in an English accent but I’d slaughter it.
Dan: Well, I don’t know how much time we have but I could talk all night about Oshkosh and how cool it is, but the twitter has become, in the last 3 years probably, it’s become the tool. If you want to go to that show, you need to have twitter 24/7 almost and follow it. I’ll give you an example, there’s a young girl who attends Wellesley College right now, on twitter she’s @astronautabby. She’s probably 19 and she’s one of the sharpest tacks in the room. She’s got a goal to be the first woman on Mars by 2030, and she’s given TED talks and she’s just beyond brilliant. Well, she and her mother who’s kind of her manager but her partner too, I caught wind that they’re going to be at Oshkosh this year for the first time and so I made sure she was up to speed because she’s 19 so she’s obviously all over social media and I say “Abby, make sure, put a search right in your twitter app or whatever you’re using for #OSH15 and just follow that and I guarantee you’ll find out everything you need to know.”
And it was such a cool thing to see these newbies who’d never been to that show to come there and they were just overwhelmed, totally overwhelmed. I kept seeing tweets from her going “Oh my god, I don’t know where to go first. There are 15 things I want to see right now.” That was a kick but that’s what twitter does at Oshkosh in particular is that you’ll be walking, I mean anybody that’s been to that incredible show. This happens, what I call them Oshkosh moments, where things can only happen there. I can spend all night talking about it, but you’ll be walking along and you look over and you see something, okay well I’ll give you an example. There were swift airplanes, the low wing, they’re kind of vintage but they’re really cool. If one lands at your home airport, everybody’s going to walk over and look “Oh cool, look at that, there’s a swift.”
My first year I went to Oshkosh was quite a few years ago. I had brand new digital camera and was just super excited to start using it and I saw out of the corner of my eye, of course I went through air show square those days after the flatline made a right towards vintage and went out walking out that way, and literally it took me I don’t know, 3 hours to even get past vintage to where they parked the airplanes. And I looked over and I see three rows of swifts. There must’ve been 40 of them and I was just going like, this can only happen here and everytime I go there, everyday like several times an hour, I see something that I just go, oh my god, that this is just mindblowing.
I was going through the what’s now Boeing Plaza for the first time, I was so busy last Oshkosh, I came in on Monday, I didn’t get to Boeing Plaza until Tuesday about lunch. And I’m walking through there and there is an F-35, there is a B-52, a B-17, a B-25, probably a bunch of other airplanes I’m not thinking of, and the Airbus A350, all of that right there, and I’m standing there just gawking at all these going “This is unbelievable that there’s this much hardware right here in my field of vision” and I turned to the left and there’s a jet-powered cozy, a cozy is a little home-built. This guy has built a jet-powered cozy and I just went like “This only happens at Oshkosh.” So I’m obviously on my phone tweeting this out as you would do and so many other people.
That’s why it’s so cool of an app to me because you just see those things and you just go “Ah, everybody else I got to let you know how cool this is right this second.”
Chris: And my big moment this year and I shared this on an earlier podcast was I was able to go to the Apollo 13 forum, I don’t know if you made it to that or not, to see Jim Lovell and Fred Hayes speak, Jack Swaggert passed away a while ago, but that in and of itself was amazing. I just had to pinch myself that this was even real, that I was seeing the actual guys that survived Apollo 13 right there, talking much more casually and of course with much less drama than you see in the movie. So I had that all experience and then I had my friend take a picture of me just standing in front of the stage with a backdrop and a space suit right there, and then standing right next to me getting his picture taken kind of just hanging out was Captain Sullenberger. I just looked over and seeing him and I’m like “You got to be kidding me. Is this real right now?” And so I shook his hand quickly and it was just like, you said only at Oshkosh. Maybe that’s a hashtag you and I need to start this year onlyatosh or something like that.
Dan: Oh I love it. I love it. Consider it done. I had the same experience a couple of years ago when they had all of Burt Rutan’s airplanes there at one time, and I was walking through the same place, Boeing Plaza, and they had pulled all of them out and they had them on display, it was like Burt Rutan Day or something. So I’m standing there looking at all of these, and if you see any one of this planes, you just go like “Wow, it’s beyond amazing.” He’s the best aerospace engineer of our time I think and to see all of his creations there in one place is just mind-bending. And I stand there and literally did exactly what you said, I looked over and 3 feet away from me and his back turned was Burt Rutan. So he turned around and I just said hey, I shook his hand and said “This is so cool what you’ve done here and everything” and he was thankful, he’s a nice guy. I like that. Hashtag onlyatoshkosh. I’m gonna write that down and we’re going to do that.
Chris: Yep. I love it. And we’ll try to enroll our other fellow tweeters or tweeps I guess people calling them to do the same. Alright, so let’s wrap up the show here with one final question and kind of your way to leave the show. So there are many different demographics that want to get into aviation or maybe those that don’t know they want to get into aviation. But what are the steps we can take today, say that I’m one of those people, I want to get into aviation, what are the steps I can take today to get into aviation? And feel free to pick multiple demographics, even just one that you particularly know a lot about, maybe it’s the middle age people or the millennials, whatever it is, how do I actually get that done? How do I plug in? How do I make this happen?
Dan: Wow. Well, there is no way to get around the hard part is that it’s not cheap. That’s one of the stumbling blocks of young people not flying like we want them to is that yeah, you come out of college with 100,000 dollars and a student loan debt. That’s just crippling for a lot of people, and then you go out and you’re looking to get 40,000-dollar as your first job. So what you need to do I think is to get people is try to tell them how cool it is but then explain to them that we need to get them into our world, take them flying or at least somehow get them out to the airport for an EAA event, or I’m a big fan of EAA and I’m constantly telling people, just go find your chapter, any chapter, it doesn’t matter, and look them up online, you can find when they meet, and just go hang out in one of their meeting because you can certainly crash one of their meetings and they won’t charge you anything. And if you have even a passing interest in aviation and obviously they’re all about homebuilts but I’m not a builder and I love EAA and the same people you meet at Oshkosh, they’re super groovy people. That’s one of the things I tell people. Go out and just find an EAA meeting, hang out for a couple hours and ask some questions and anything you need to know about what’s a good flight school, should I start with sport pilot, ABC, just whatever your questions are, these guys will be more than happy to answer anything. That’s a good place to start.
The young people, I don’t know, that’s a tough question, we got back to that, and I write a lot about women in aviation and the pilot population with women is still stuck at 6%. Nobody and believe me I’ve interviewed probably 20 people in my writing career, women in aviation, big, at the highest levels, about why is it women don’t fly and nobody has the damn answer. It’s really frustrating that nobody, we all kind of think maybe we know why they’re not flying like they’re supposed to like we think they should because certainly there are no gender problems anymore. Any woman, female that wants to fly is totally welcome in the skies these days. They’re welcome at the airport with probably extremely rare exceptions, there’s no sexism, there’s nothing, I mean, just come on out, be part of the gang.
But somehow, somewhere we have to figure out what’s keeping your average 35-year-old woman that thinks airplanes are cool from actually taking that first step and taking a discovery flight, getting her hands on the controls of an airplane, because they’re not doing it and nobody knows why. But they’re what I call aviation’s secret weapon. If we could solve that one problem of how to get women to start flying, we could get to that million pilots I was talking about earlier, we really could. They’re out there and they’d make great pilots. I always know when it’s a woman flying an airliner when I’m landing because it’s really smooth.
Chris: It’s true, and I heard and I haven’t back this up, but I heard that on average, women get their instrument ratings sooner and they say that’s because they’re naturally better multitaskers.
Dan: Oh my god. Most women I know including my wife can do, they make me look sick when it comes to multitasking and I think that’s super critical when you’re a pilot.
Chris: Oh yes, definitely. I can’t imagine that’s not valid. I haven’t seen the actual study or whatever so I can’t really back it up but it makes sense to me, totally makes sense to me.
Dan: Well if somebody can ever solve that riddle of how do you get the average female to start flying, it will save the industry, it really will.
Chris: Yep. Well, there are many different pilots of all shapes, sizes from all over the world that are trying to plug in and stay connected and I really appreciate our conversation this evening, and talking about that and even the twitter component was really interesting to me. So before we leave here Dan, please let people know where they can find you and even mention some of the magazines that you write for and stuff like that, because obviously you’re a guy that’s well-connected and I like what you’re doing here so where can people find you.
Dan: Well, the easiest place to find me is on my blog which is airplanista.com, just like fashionista but it’s airplanista, long story about how that name came about. I write for AOPA Pilot magazine, AAA sport aviation magazine, I mentioned HAI rotor magazine, I got a new series starting in Flying Magazine coming out in 2016. Air and Space Smithsonian, I’m doing some work with them, that’s gonna be coming out this year. And the Cessna Flyer and Piper Flyer Magazine. Those are the main ink magazines that I work with.
Chris: Fantastic. Well, I really appreciated our conversation tonight and I’ll tell you, I’m really excited to bump shoulders with you in Oshkosh this year. We’re going to be hanging out a little bit together so that will be fun.
Dan: Yeah. I’m usually there Monday through Wednesday and half the Thursday, that’s kind of my schedule.
Dan: By the way, do you know about Camp Bacon?
Chris: I do and I missed it last year and I need to go this year.
Dan: You should have your hand slapped. Next year, make it a point to get over there any evening, hit up twitter and 40 avgeeks will tell you right where to go. For people like us, it is ground zero for podcasters, avgeeks, all of us that like technology as much as we like airplanes. It’s the funnest time you’ll have. I guarantee you. It’s like the airshow ends and the fun begins over there. It’s just a blast.
Chris: I can hear the smile in your voice so I’ll be sure to be there. Alright Dan, I really appreciate it. Thanks for joining us on AviatorCast tonight.
Dan: Well thanks for having me.
Chris: Take care. See ya.
Join us next week for another exciting topic or interview with a great guest. Spread the AviatorCast message. Please review AviatorCast on iTunes or submit an audio question for the show at AviatorCast.com. All iTunes reviews and audio questions that are aired on the show will get an official AviatorCast t-shirt. You can write AviatorCast directly on AviatorCast.com where you can interact with the AviatorCast community or write AviatorCast at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.
For more information on Angle of Attack simulation training videos for FSX, X-Plane and more, go to www.flyaoamedia.com. If you are looking for a professional aviation training video services and other media, inquire at www.angleofattackpro.com. Now, for the final release clearance, back to Chris Palmer.
Chris: Alright, a huge thanks goes out to Dan Pimentel for joining us on this episode of AviatorCast. Dan is a busy guy. He is trying to remain an active pilot. He is going to flight shoes and keeping his business alive and writing these articles and all these things. So when people come here to AviatorCast and they take their time with us, I really appreciate it because they don’t have to do that but Dan is such an advocate of aviation and such a part of this community like a lot of us that he just understands that this is something that he needs to do, that he likes to do, that these are the type of conversations he likes to be involved in. So Dan, once again, huge thanks my man. I look forward to seeing you at Oshkosh at Camp Bacon. I look forward to collaborating with your more in the future. I’ll definitely see you on twitter but again huge thanks and I hope you the listener enjoyed the show as well with Dan. Again, reach out to him in twitter @av8rdan and tell him you enjoyed the show.
So a huge thanks goes to the Angle of Attack crew for all the hard work that they do. These guys are behind the scenes right now working on a big project and it is difficult and it is long hours and intense stuff and that’s what it takes to create amazing aviation training especially media. Videos are very hard to produce so these guys are doing a fantastic job. They free me up and so I am able to do things with reaching out to the community like this so a huge thanks goes out to these guys. And of course you the listener for coming each and every week.
If you love AviatorCast, please share AviatorCast. Please review us on iTunes. Tell your friends about it, wear your Fly or Die t-shirts with pride, reach out to me if you guys have any ideas for new interviews or new subjects. Really, I am big about bringing people on that you guys suggest. Patrick Smith was one of those guys recently that was a suggestion from a listener and several others have been that way as well. So I’m big into fulfilling your requests, how about that. I love meeting you as well. I’m going to be in Florida in April at Sun n’ Fun, I look forward to that. I’m gonna be at Oshkosh this year and I may be at a few other events as well, but I always love meeting new people and I’m huge about this this flying thing guys so keep up the great work, keep working hard, keep trying to achieve your dreams, keep trying stay in the cockpit, if you need any help or any suggestion or whatever it is, feel free to reach out anytime. And until next time, throttle on![/transcript]