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The Student Pilot Cast (mp3)

Learning to fly…in front of the world. A Podcast about flight training. Follow Bill as he progresses through his flight training. This is the audio only feed. The audio podcasts are NOT the same content as the video podcasts, so if you want all the content, please subscribe to both. The audio feed is more tied to the student experience, in cockpit training, with a few features and special events. The video feed includes in-cockpit video sometimes, but is more feature oriented and does not typically coincide as closely with the training.

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SPC #034-Solo, Shorts, Softs, and FOD

Hello again SPC listeners.  Today’s episode takes us on a solo training flight on a very busy day to practice performance landings and takeoffs (shorts and softs).  We have everything from FOD to go-arounds in this episode, so enjoy. I was nearing the end of stage III in my training, so I was almost in the home stretch.  I also explain in this episode the cramming of flights I had to do over just a few days to finish stage III.  This flight was the first of them. As mentioned, If you are thinking about learning to fly, check out Air Freddy’s Learning to Fly Guide, an e-book that will answer many of your questions beforehand, and do it in an entertaining way. Lastly, don’t forget to go check out the newly released (out of beta) myTransponder.  This aviation oriented social networking site is great.  To commemorate the recent full release and the fact that it is now open to anyone to join, I’ve created a group on myTransponder called, “Fans of the Student Pilot Cast.”  Please head over to the site and sign up if you haven’t already, and by all means, join my new group! Thanks again for listening, and enjoy the episode.  Then, get out and fly!


6 Nov 2009

Rank #1

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SPC #026-Out of the Nest, Part I

Today’s episode is a very special one as we’ll cover my first solo cross country.  It was a simple flight from Chandler to Tucson International, but a giant step for me in my training.  Join me as a learn to fly in front of the world in podcast episode 26 of the Student Pilot Cast, Out of the Nest, Part I. I’ve included a couple of pictures.  First is the route I took on this leg from Chandler (KCHD) to Tucson (KTUS). [Cross Country Route, Courtesy of Navmonster.com] The next photo is of Pinal Airpark and all of the mothballed airplanes. [Pinal Airpark From Above-Showing some of the big iron] As usual, I hope you enjoy this episode.  Please send me feedback through email or via the contact link above.  Also, feel free to leave comments below.  My training was getting hot and heavy now…I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Tailwinds.


22 Jun 2009

Rank #2

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SPC #022-Crossing the Country, Part 1

Hello again, everyone.  I’m back with episode 22 about my first dual cross country flight during my primary training.  It was fantastic as I hope you’ll be able to tell from this episode.  I went from KCHD to KTUS, or Tucson International. I also mentioned Scenario Based Training in this episode as well.  Linked here is an ASA book on the subject. Finally, Picacho Peak is used as landmark in this episode.  I wanted to include a picture I took of it during one of my flights…it is quite spectacular (and this picture does not do it justice). I hope you all enjoy the episode.  Please leave feedback for me.


3 Feb 2009

Rank #3

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SPC #002-Where to Spend your Kids’ College Fund

…or, How to Choose a Flight School or CFI Okay, on to the second episode.  Its been over ten days since my last episode because I had a snag starting my training.  Because the school I chose was so busy, I had some scheduling issues, but we’ve worked those out, and I have my first lesson tomorrow.  So before I formally start my training, I wanted to do an episode on how I chose my flight school, and what criteria I used.  This is that episode. I mentioned in episode 002 several of the sources of information that I used to develop my criteria for selecting a school, and some of those are listed here.  First, two podcasts were very influential…and those were the Finer Points, by Jason Miller, and the CFICast, produced by the PilotCast guys (which unfortunately doesn’t seem to work well with at least the latest version of Internet Explorer, but the link directly to the feed is here).  Also, the AOPA forums were helpful as well. Once again, music in this episode is from Uncle Seth. Enjoy…and please leave feedback as comments on this episode, or click “contact” above to send me an email.


30 Mar 2008

Rank #4

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SPC #003-The First Week

In episode 3 we talk about my first week of training.  Two flights and some ground work.  I’ve got 2.2 hours, and two more flights this week before I have to go out of town.  I also talk abou a B-17 that came to our local airport. Thanks for listening.  Please leave feedback or click “contact” in the upper right corner of this page to send me an email.


6 Apr 2008

Rank #5

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SPC #005-Coyote Ugly

Another episode in the cast is released!  In Episode 5 I start to include much more in cockpit audio, by popular demand.  This makes the cast a bit longer than usual, so I hope you don’t mind.  We cover several lessons, up to but not including my Phase 1 Stage Check. There’s a couple of interesting tidbits, and some good information on some changes in my training…or at least my trainer.  As for the title, you’ll have to listen to find out. I mentioned an accident that happened here locally in this episode, and promised to post a link to the NTSB preliminary report.  The fatal crash referenced is here.  I mentioned a previous accident from which the student pilot and CFI walked away.  That link is here. Thanks for listening.  Please leave feedback or click “contact” in the upper right corner of this page to send me an email.


9 May 2008

Rank #6

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SPC #009-What’s it Like to be a New Pilot?

Episode 9 is completely different.  We’ll get back to the regular podcasts momentarily, but for this episode, we have the pleasure of hearing from Pilot PJ, a relatively new pilot who shares his wisdom with us.  PJ and I talk about everything from multiple “discovery flights” to finally taking passengers for rides.  Some of the stuff in between includes landings, instructors, the Internet, and an aviation museum that PJ volunteers for in Texas. Enjoy the episode, and a big “Thank you” goes out to PJ for helping out with this one.  Excuse the audio quality…I’m still learning how to properly record interviews.


10 Jun 2008

Rank #7

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SPC #021-Good Freakin’ Flight

I’m back SPC listeners!  I’ve had no time to produce new episodes for a while, but I forced myself tonight…and put off some other stuff.  So what we have is another training episode, Episode 21, “Good Freakin’ Flight”.  This is a solo flight that I took after returning from my Dive trip, and this was the next flight in my training after the night flight that was covered in episodes 19 and 20. I hope you enjoy this episode, and I’ll try to be more consistant with the releases going forward.  Please give me feedback as always.  Also, I’m working on a couple of videos, including the video from the flight covered in this episode as well as a tutorial on how to record in cockpit audio, as this is my most frequently asked question from listeners.  This is in addition to a start that I’ve got on the next audio episode as well. As usual, for up to date information on flights, feel free to follow me on twitter.  Thanks again, everyone.  Get out there and fly!


14 Dec 2008

Rank #8

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SPC #013-Ground Reference Revisited

This is an episode about a solo flight I took to practice ground reference maneuvers.  I also take the opportunity to share portions of an email I received from David Allen, a future pilot who’s email summarized in an eloquent way what several people have said to me since I started this.  I asked David for permission to share his email, and he graciously allowed me to.  Thanks, David, for the kind words, the motivation to keep producing more episodes, and allowing me to share it.  Like I say in the episode itself, contact and notes from people like David are the only compensation that podcasters like me get for the hours put into production and planning.  Letters from David and others like him make it well worth it. So, if you would like to contact me, feel free to do so at the email address mentioned in the episode, or simply click on the contact link on this website and let me know what you think.  Up next I’ll be finishing up Stage II, and it will be on to the cross country work in stage III.  I hope you hang with me…there’s a lot more to come.


2 Jul 2008

Rank #9

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SPC #004-Grooving with 6.6 Hours

In episode 4 we talk about the continuation of training after my vacation, some things my wife and I saw in Seattle.  We also cover recording in cockpit, landings, and where I’m at with training.  I’ve got 6.6 hours now. I apologize for the long delay of over two weeks, but I was on vacation, and then work had me slammed.  My wife and I went to Seattle, and I wanted to include a couple of pics from that…some of this is discussed in this episode. First, one of my favorites.  Look at the little guy in front of the brand new 777 before a test flight out of Paine Field.  The scary thing is…compared to what I’m flying, that little plane is big…and in this photo is a good 300 feet or so closer to the camera, so its really even smaller than it looks relative to the jumbo. Here is the same 777 on its takeoff roll, and lifting off. Here is a giant freighter being loaded…that was quite a site. And a nice shot of the Seattle skyline from the water. Thanks for listening.  Please leave feedback or click “contact” in the upper right corner of this page to send me an email.


23 Apr 2008

Rank #10

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SPC #020-Tour de Phoenix-Part 2

I’m back, after an exclusive one month tour of Europe, Scandinavia, and…no, that’s not true.  In fact, I’ve just been really busy, and haven’t had a chance to finish this episode up and send it out on the feed.  Bad me, I know.  So, we skipped September in the podcast…I’ll try to make it up to you all. Here is episode 20, the second and final part of my first night flight around the Phoenix area.  As I said in the audio, I really enjoyed this flight a lot.  Now that I have my license, I need to do some more night flying. Enjoy the episode, and by all means, let me know what you think of the podcast.


4 Oct 2008

Rank #11

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SPC #008-Movin’ on Up

Here is Episode 8 of the Student Pilot Cast, “Movin’ on Up”.  Join me as I document a dual flight I had where we worked on partial panel instrument flying, ground reference maneuvers, and crosswind landing.  I’ve got a lot of good stuff coming up, and I’m going to start releasing more episodes to relieve the burden of documenting many flights in one episode…it starts to get daunting when I’ve got 6 or 7 flights backlogged.  In addition, I’m hoping this makes it easier to listen and follow it as well.  It should give me more opportunities to do other topics rather than just doing flights every time.  But because I’m flying on average three times a week, it’s easy to fall behind.  We’ll see how it goes. In any case, enjoy episode 8 of the audio cast.  Let me know what you think by contacting me through the contact link above, leaving a comment on this episode, or emailing me at the email address mentioned in the audio cast.


3 Jun 2008

Rank #12

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SPC #015-On Par with the VOR

Shooting ’em out rapid-fire, now, folks.  Here’s another episode of the Student Pilot Cast, number 15, about a flight in which we focused on VORs and Simulated Instrument Conditions (The Hood).  I had passed my Phase II Check, and I was starting on Phase III.  I hope you enjoy.


8 Jul 2008

Rank #13

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SPC #006-Look, Ma. No Instructor!

In this episode we catch up in my training through my phase 1 phase check, a change of my CFI, and of course, my first solo.  This is a big episode, and includes an event that I will always remember. I’m including a couple of pictures from the big event that I asked my instructor to take. This is just seconds before my first ever touchdown as PIC. This one is on rollout for my full stop/taxi back.  See, I’m alone. This is after my three landings back at the ramp.  That’s a happy pilot. I hope you enjoy the episode.  Thanks for listening, and please give me any feedback by clicking on the “contact” link on the top/right of the homepage.


19 May 2008

Rank #14

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SPC #019-Tour de Phoenix-Part 1

Hello patient Student Pilot Cast listeners.  I’m back again with a training flight, which happens to be my first night flight…as well as a few other firsts.  We basically to take a tour of the Phoenix Valley at night.  Very cool. I broke this into two parts because it was a long flight with quite a bit going on.  I hope you enjoy.  Don’t forget to give me feedback.


29 Aug 2008

Rank #15

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SPC #007-Alone Again

Another episode.  This week I get to finish up recounting the story of my first solo, and then the very next day, my second solo.  There was a lot of good experience to be had, and I try to sum it up in this episode. Enjoy, and let me know if you have any suggestions for the audio cast.  I’m hoping to get some video up soon, but I’m experimenting with the capture of video.  Well see how it all works out.


26 May 2008

Rank #16

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SPC #014-Stage II, That’s Who!

Episode 14 is here!  Today we’ll follow a dual lesson that I had to prep for the Stage II Stage Check.  Now that I had been introduced to shorts and softs, and had some time to practice, it was time to finish stage II.  Before I could do this stage check, though, I had to prep with my instructor.  That’s what this lesson and episode is about.  We practiced steep turns, minimum controllable airspeed, power on and power off stalls, emergency procedures, and a couple more short and soft landings. Thanks for listening.  I hope you enjoy episode 14.


6 Jul 2008

Rank #17

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SPC #012-Who Said Anything About Short and Soft?

Okay, we’re back to the lessons. As you can see from the title, at this point in my training I have started learning the performance takeoffs and landings sometimes referred to as “Shorts” and “Softs”.  Within 4 day’s time I had three dual lessons on these performance landings and takeoffs.  I also take a moment in this episode to comment on a strategic mistake that I made in this part of my training.  Let this be a lesson for you all! Enjoy the episode.  Please leave feedback or comments.


25 Jun 2008

Rank #18

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SPC #017-Podapalooza 2008-Part 1

Hello everyone.  I’m happy to release part 1 of the 2008 edition of Podapalooza, which was recorded in Oshkosh at EAA Airventure.  Podapalooza is the gathering of aviation podcasters in Oshkosh each year.  As well as being released on this and many other feeds, this year it was broadcast live on EAA Radio as well as on the Internet.  Participating in this year’s event was, in the order they were sitting, Uncontrolled Airspace, The Student Pilot Cast, The Finer Points, Airspeed, and the Pilotcast (along with CFI cast).  Remoted in via skype was Will and Dave of the Pilot’s Flight Pod Log.  Notably missing this year were new pilot, Greg, from the Student Pilot Journal and student pilot Jerry from VA Student Pilot.  I’m probably forgetting others as well, so forgive me.  I also want to note that Airventure Today (the daily Airventure newspaper) did an article on the Podapalooza, so check that out if want to.  I really enjoyed participating this year, and felt honored to be on the stage with so many talented people.  It’s a great community of people in aviation.


10 Aug 2008

Rank #19

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SPC #010-Sometimes You Just Feel Like a Pilot

Hello, everyone.  I’ve just returned from my little vacation Scuba Diving with my buddies in the Channel Islands, and I’m releasing episode 10.  This episode documents a very memorable flight for me; a flight that helped me remember why I’m doing this.  This flight may end up being even more important to me than my first solo.  Listen to this episode to understand why. Also, The Student Pilot Cast got mentioned in AOPA’s Flight Training Magazine!  Jill from AOPA contacted me a while back and asked me some questions about my podcast and some of my motivations for creating and producing it.  In the July issue on page 14 they outline some of this in the feature, “Training Notes and News”.  Very humbling to be mentioned in a publication that I’ve been reading for a long time, and which I respect a lot. Also, because of that exposure, I’ve gotten a significant number of new listeners, so I want to welcome these newcomers to my exhibitionism around learning to fly.  More and more I’m doing this for all the world to hear and see…mistakes and all.  In this episode, I document my first ever flight away from the airport by myself where I am PIC from start to finish.


16 Jun 2008

Rank #20