When we used to have a blog at the Plane Crazy Down Under show’s website, my co-host Steve Visscher posted this article about our friends at the Airplane Geeks Podcast. I’ve posted it here to preserve his words so they weren’t lost when the blog was shut down.
In the brave new world of new media, and podcasting in particular, it is often easy to become fixated on statistics. And despite the advice of mentors & experts to concentrate on the quality of the content, it is very tempting for producers to look all too often at download rates, total downloads, number of advert impressions, number of episodes…the list goes on.Â This obsession leads to multiple daily site visits with the sole purpose of seeing how many more downloads have ticked by since the last check.Â Some might say this is unhealthy, if not a little vain, and I think they’d be correct.
However, it is important to celebrate milestones, and as such we are thrilled to see that our great friends at the Airplane Geeks Podcast have reached the 100 episode mark. The show first hit the internet on June 10th, 2008 and has become a weekly institution for aviation news and fascinating guests.Â There were many other aviation podcasts that came before them, but Airplane Geeks are kind of different from the usual “hanger flying” shows.Â Focused more on the heavy iron than general aviation, the show is easy going and covers airlines and industry news from around the world.
The show was created by Courtney Miller and Max Flight.Â Courtney is a commercial pilot who had spent time in regional and freight airlines before landing a job with Bombardier in Canada.Â Max describes himself as “an engine guy”, and hasÂ over 30 years experience in the industry.Â Â He also runs the 30000feet Aviation Directory, which he once described to us as “insanely large”.Â Courtney left the hosting duties at episode 51 due to his work commitments, and was replaced by Rob Mark from Jetwhine.com, Dan Webb from ThingsInTheSky.com and “code sharing” aviation historian David Vanderhoof.
I came across the show at about episode 28 after a search through the iTunes Store for more aviation podcasts to add to my already swollen list.Â I then downloaded a few earlier shows and it quickly made it’s way to the top of my list each week.Â One aspect of the show that makes it different from many others in the category lay in Max & Court’s active encouragement of the audience to contribute content.Â And it’s this encouragement that laid the early building blocks of Plane Crazy Down Under.Â I sent the guys a couple of articles of local news that I thought they might find interesting, but based on some contributions I’d tried making to other shows, didn’t expect to hear back.Â
Imagine my surprise then when I hear my article covered in episode 31 (or so).Â It does tend to give one a brief, almost child like sense of pleasure at hearing your name float across the speakers the first time around.Â So, I went on sending more articles in and before long the exercise was dubbed the “Australia News Desk”.Â It was Courtney who first suggested that I try reading the articles myself and send them in, and sure I’m sure I must have become quite annoying with my constant Skype calls, trying to get things sounding vaguely professional.
Around the same time as the audio reports started, Grant began sending in content as well and it wasn’t long before we teamed up to produce what has now become a weekly segment on every Airplane Geeks show.Â And of course, from there came episode 1 of PCDU in July 2009.
In episode 100, Courtney described PCDU as one of the Airplane Geeks greatest achievements.Â I am truely humbled that he thinks this, and I can only offer Courtney & Max my most heartfelt thanks for giving me the encouragement to “have a go”.Â Were it not for them, I’d probably still be listening to other podcasts and pondering what it would be like to make one of my own – and telling myself I wasn’t good enough to do so.Â I consider them both teachers and mentors, but above all else, they are my friends.Â
In an environment where the social aspect of “new media” is often called into question, the Airplane Geeks show demonstrates the positive aspects and continues to foster a community of like minded enthusiasts.Â One hundred shows on the server….I hope they’ve made space for hundreds more!