Keep learning and growing to be the best aviation professional you can be.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? Did it come from someone close? A family member, childhood coach, or trusted mentor? Perhaps you picked it up in a self-help book or professional journal. Maybe you’ve found a few precious gems through social media, webinars, or podcasts. This month’s Spotlight on Safety offers several sources of inspiration and insight to consider along your journey as an aviation professional.

I, myself, have been inspired by the deep well of lessons learned that’s so readily available from a plethora of sources today. Most of those lessons come from people willing to share the good, the bad, and the ugly about their lifetime of experiences so that we’re all better equipped to follow a similar path—without so much of the bad and the ugly!

The best advice I’ve received is to “be the master of your trade.” And the explosive growth of the many new ways to consume valuable content has made that sage advice much easier to follow.

Podcasts and Webinars Take Flight!
The rapid growth of live-streamed and recorded content has made the consumption of quality curated aviation information easier than ever. Whatever your interest, chances are someone has published the content you seek. Why not explore and enjoy these emerging resources and add them to your list of ways to master your trade.

If you haven’t already found content that aligns with your interests, I’ve proposed several sources below to consider as you compile your favorites. Each offers episodes that typically include one or more pearls of wisdom that might resonate with you. Check them out, find your own inspiration, or even start your own podcast! And if you find some helpful nuggets along the way, please share them!

[email protected] webinar series: HAI launched the [email protected] webinar series in 2020 to help vertical aviation stakeholders follow the state of their industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. The free series provides a steady diet of relevant content to keep you informed about and engaged in the industry issues that matter most to you. Our guests have included the FAA administrator, NTSB investigators, manufacturer CEOs and operators, service providers, and other experts. Attendees are able to ask tough questions and gain deep insights into the vertical aviation industry.

The Real ResQ Podcast: Hosted by Jason Quinn, an award-winning search-and-rescue operator and an HAI social media ambassador, The Real ResQ Podcast doesn’t disappoint! Jason delivers a compilation of personal stories from people who’ve put their lives on the line and made remarkable rescues. His guests offer insider perspectives, helping listeners reflect on these everyday heroes’ good—and bad—moments.

Originating everywhere from the high mountains to the deep blue seas and everything in between, these stories are fun and exciting and will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat. Jason’s podcasts help remind us that “those in distress are praying for a miracle [and] [t]hey are going to get us.”

Flight Suit Friday Podcast (available on Apple, Audible, Spotify, or your favorite platform): Created by a group of US Coast Guard aviators to share their stories, Flight Suit Friday explores the art of search-and-rescue and celebrates this demanding yet rewarding job. Initially targeting a niche Coast Guard audience to share tales of heroism and rules of life, the show now captures the interest of aspiring pilots, rescue swimmers, and flight mechanics alike. The Flight Suit Friday team was featured prominently in an August 2022 [email protected] webinar and at their podcast booth at HAI HELI-EXPO 2023.

Push to Talk with Bruce Webb: If you haven’t heard of Bruce Webb, add him to your list of top-tier content providers. Bruce has spent four decades flying helicopters; now, in this helicopter podcast, he’s stepping out of the cockpit to learn more about the various lives lived around the industry.

Each episode examines a different guest from among pilots, technicians, photographers, wildlife experts, and more. In the air and on the ground, each of them shares valuable insights. Bruce’s “Webb Sight” contains a growing list of informative and thought-provoking videos and articles, as well.

The Pilot’s Lounge Podcast, Brotallion: The Pilot’s Lounge aims to bring together aviators worldwide to share their experiences and learn from one another. The hosts pick the brains of an impressive array of guests. From world-record holders to line-company assault helicopter pilots to intercontinental airline pilots, they share their knowledge and stories from every corner of the aviation community.

In addition to producing edgy content, the podcast offers a wide range of merchandise to support the Brotallion Blue Skies Foundation and The Wingman Foundation, two organizations that honor fallen aviators and provide post-mishap support to the US Army and US Navy and Marine Corps community and their families.

Jocko Podcast: Although not an aviation-focused podcast, this one, hosted by retired Navy SEAL officer Jocko Willink, has had several guest appearances by current and former aviation icons, including helicopter pilot Mike Durant, who joins Episode 312: “Black Hawk Down. Night Stalkers Never Quit.”

Those who watch, listen to, or read Willink’s work love his no-nonsense approach to life. My personal favorite is a quote from his Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual: “People ask me, ‘How do I get tougher?’ BE TOUGHER. ‘How can I wake up early in the morning?’ WAKE UP EARLY. ‘How can I work out consistently every day?’ WORK OUT CONSISTENTLY EVERY DAY. ‘How can I stop eating sugar?’ STOP EATING SUGAR.”

If only it were that easy for us mere mortals!

This short list of resources only scratches the surface, and I suspect many of you have what you consider a better list. This one works for me and should be a good start for anyone just beginning their foray into podcasts and other new media.

Keep Exploring and Learning
I can’t recall when or where I first heard “be the master of your trade.” I’ve made more than my fair share of boneheaded mistakes, but I’ve also survived and thrived, honoring those words of advice during my aviation career.

Maybe you’ve already received similar advice during your journey. Or are you still searching for that inspirational message to propel you on your way? Trust me, you’ll find it soon enough.

There’s no shortage of unsolicited advice in our industry; sifting through it can be daunting. So keep exploring and learning. Be curious and ask questions. Continuous improvement, after all, is vital to becoming a master of your chosen trade!


  • Chris Hill

    After an aviation career in the US Army and Coast Guard, Chris Hill oversaw aviation safety management systems throughout the USCG as aviation safety manager. He holds an ATP rating and has logged more than 5,000 flight hours, primarily in military and commercial helicopters. Chris joined HAI in 2018 as director of safety.

Chris Hill

Chris Hill

After an aviation career in the US Army and Coast Guard, Chris Hill oversaw aviation safety management systems throughout the USCG as aviation safety manager. He holds an ATP rating and has logged more than 5,000 flight hours, primarily in military and commercial helicopters. Chris joined HAI in 2018 as director of safety.