In the age of online learning, it's no surprise that many aspiring pilots are turning to YouTube to supplement their formal training and education. Watching real pilots navigate the skies and explain complex aviation concepts can provide valuable insights and a deeper understanding of flying. Here are some of the top pilots you can learn from on YouTube, and how observing their experiences and even their mistakes can make you a better pilot.
Kelsey Hughes, 74 Gear: Kelsey is commercial and cargo Boeing 747 pilot, with an engaging teaching style. He uses his YouTube channel, 74 Gear, to give viewers a glimpse into his life as a professional Boeing 747 pilot. He shares his experiences, explains complex aviation procedures in easy-to-understand language, and even provides career advice. You can learn how to approach different situations and take away important lessons on decision making and risk management. We especially recommend his Air Traffic Control Versus Pilots videos for learning about communication and dealing with task saturation.
Petter Hörnfeldt, Mentour Pilot: Peter is a training captain and type-rating instructor/examiner on the Boeing 737-800 and he flies for a major European carrier. He uses his YouTube channel, Mentour Pilot, to educate viewers about different aspects of commercial aviation, but particularly focuses on aviation incidents and investigations. He does a great job of walking through exactly what happened, and highlights both mistakes and good decisions. He shares cockpit procedures, provides insights, and offers practical career advice. We particularly like his focus on how seasoned pilots handle emergencies and what we can all learn from them. One of our favorites is the story of TACA flight 110, and the amazing pilot who performed so admirably.
- Charlie Copeland, Flex Air Flight School: Charlie has been type-rated on the Boeing 737, but he now flies an Airbus for a major legacy carrier. After his own training, saw a need for affordable, comprehensive flight training, and in 2015 he founded Flex Air Flight School. With his co-founder Paul Wynns, a retired Naval Aviator, the Flex Air YouTube channel is a rich source of knowledge, from practical flight training insights to lessons in developing a career in aviation. If you are currently on active duty you should start with the webinar on SkillBridge Pilot Training, if you are building hours you might enjoy the video on Boutique Air Pilot Jobs For Low Time Pilots.
Joe Diebolder, Captain Joe: Captain Joe uses his YouTube channel to answer common aviation questions and bust popular myths. His comprehensive explanations of aircraft systems and procedures can help to deepen your understanding and reinforce your existing knowledge. Captain Joe's videos can also help you anticipate and avoid potential errors. If you aren't a pilot, and you have ever wondered if you could land a plane in an emergency you'll enjoy this video simulating a passenger trying to land a commercial passenger jet.
Fiona O'Flaherty, Just Planes: As one of the few women in a male-dominated industry, Fiona O'Flaherty offers a fresh perspective on flying. As one of the pilots featured in Just Planes, she showcases her experiences as a pilot, including dealing with challenging weather conditions. Fiona’s honest discussions about her own mistakes and learnings can help you develop your own skills and avoid similar pitfalls. Aviation need more female pilots, so we really enjoyed the JustPlanes playlist of a variety female commercial airline pilots.
Mistakes are an inevitable part of any learning process, including aviation. By watching these experienced pilots discuss their errors, you can understand the common challenges faced in flying and how to handle them. This not only aids in avoiding these mistakes yourself but also teaches you invaluable problem-solving and decision-making skills, making you a better pilot.
So, grab your pilot’s headset and start learning from these YouTube Pilots today! They provide an invaluable supplement to your formal aviation training, helping to deepen your understanding, broaden your perspectives, and enhance your skills as an aspiring pilot.