Fast Five from Sporty's - aviation podcast for pilots, by pilots

By Sporty's Pilot Shop

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30 minutes, 1 pilot. Fast Five brings you authentic conversations with some of aviation's most interesting people. From honest discussions about flight training to fascinating stories from world famous airshow pilots, this podcast is for anyone who loves to fly. Stay tuned for our rapid-fire "ready to copy" segment at the end of every episode. Brought to you by Sporty's Pilot Shop, training and equipping pilots worldwide since 1961. Have a comment? Email us:

Episode Date
9. Flying around the world and embracing adventure, with JP Schulze

"A real adventure is never just roses... it's a genuinely challenging experience." That's what JP Schulze (aka the_candourist on YouTube) believes, and he should know—he's flown around the world with over 2 million people watching live, he's biked across the United States solo, and he grew up flying in Africa. In this wide-ranging episode, he explains what he learned from his around-the-world adventure, why he's doing it again in an experimental airplane, and what it's really like to make YouTube videos. He also shares why being a pilot can make you a more self-aware person, his favorite place to fly, and what he thinks about the future of general aviation.

JP's YouTube channel:

Sporty's Pilot Training app:

Sep 21, 2021
8. Controversial aviation opinions, with AOPA's Dave Hirschman

Flight instructors should talk less. Experimental airplanes are clearly better than certified ones. Waterskiing an airplane is a terrible idea. Dave Hirschman, a well-known writer for AOPA and a pilot with wide range of experience in everything from taildraggers to jets, doesn't think these are controversial opinions. He believes them because the facts support them, and more people should just admit it. This episode of Fast Five covers all of these interesting topics, plus many more: why he uses a video camera on most flights, why pilots need to be good at both technology and manual flying, and what the most important trait is for safe flying. He also shares some stories from his time as a flight instructor and ferry pilot, and some of the personalities he's met along the way—some good, some bad.

Sep 07, 2021
7. Backcountry flying and family airplanes, with the RAF's John McKenna

Flying in the backcountry means "dispensing with the direct-to button," says Recreational Aviation Foundation Chairman John McKenna. The rewards for doing so include true adventure and stunning views—far beyond the $100 hamburger. He explains why you don't need big bushwheels to fly these trips, how his organization preserves remote landing strips all over the US, and what he has learned from over 6,000 hours in tailwheel airplanes. He also shares his tips for including family in your flying adventures. In the "Ready to Copy" segment, John picks his favorite backcountry airport, describes how to make great cowboy coffee, and explains why he once loaded over 60 dogs in a single airplane.

Host: John Zimmerman (@jtzim), Sporty's Pilot Shop 

Guest: John McKenna, Recreational Aviation Foundation


Aug 24, 2021
6. Life as an EMS helicopter pilot, with Matt Johnson
Are helicopters harder to fly than airplanes? What's it like to fly an instrument approach to a parking lot in an EC145 helicopter? And how has the iPad changed the air medical pilot's job? Professional helicopter pilot Matt Johnson takes us inside the fascinating world of rotary wing flight in this episode, from the basics of helicopters to the latest advances in technology. He's also an FAA designated pilot examiner, so he shares his tips for applicants—including why he wants you to pass! In the rapid-fire "Ready to Copy" segment, Matt shares his favorite helicopter, the strangest place he's ever landed, and whether he would ride on an autonomous air taxi one day. Host: John Zimmerman (@jtzim), Sporty's Pilot Shop Guest: Matt Johnson, air medical helicopter pilot and designated pilot examiner Sporty's Helicopter Course:
Aug 10, 2021
5. Behind the scenes at air traffic control, with Eddie Albert

Air traffic control and pilots work together every day, but often the two sides don't fully understand each other. In this episode, longtime controller (and pilot) Eddie Albert takes us behind the scenes. You'll hear why "roger" is not a read back, what kind of weather ATC sees on their radar screen, and why declaring an emergency usually isn't a big deal. Eddie also explains how he picks an IFR route to file and how to manage weather deviations with a controller. In the fast-paced "Ready to Copy" segment, Eddie shares whether controllers prefer IFR or VFR flight following, what advice he gave to his son as a new controller, and what the best movie is with air traffic control.

Host: John Zimmerman (@jtzim), Sporty's Pilot Shop

Guest: Eddie Albert, Support Specialist, Cincinnati Approach

Sporty's Instrument Rating Course:

Jul 27, 2021
4. Aerobatics and flying in Africa, with Patty Wagstaff

Patty Wagstaff is one of the most famous airshow pilots in history, but her aviation story includes so much more than just aerobatics. In this wide-ranging podcast episode, Patty talks about what's going through her mind during an airshow, what pilots can learn from an upset recovery course, why she chose to fly as a wildfire spotter for Cal Fire, and why she loves flying in Africa. As you'll hear, she has flown an incredible variety of airplanes. In the fast-paced "Ready to Copy" segment, Patty shares her favorite warbird, what pilots can learn from horses, and what it was like to grow up in Japan.

Host: John Zimmerman (@jtzim), Sporty's Pilot Shop

Guest: Patty Wagstaff,

Basic Aerobatics Course with Patty Wagstaff:

Jul 14, 2021
3. iPad apps and legal weather briefings with iPad Pilot News Editor Bret Koebbe

Has the iPad made flying safer? What counts as a legal weather briefing these days? And what are the latest trends in aviation apps? Nobody knows the world of electronic flight bags better than Bret Koebbe, a corporate pilot, active flight instructor, and Editor at iPad Pilot News. He shares his tips for integrating an iPad into primary flight training, flying with datalink weather, and using flight simulators to learn a new app. In the fast-paced "Ready to copy" segment, Bret shares his favorite app, what it's like to fly Sporty's 1963 Piper Aztec, and his best tip for smoking meat.

Host: John Zimmerman (@jtzim), Sporty's Pilot Shop

Guest: Bret Koebbe,

Flight Gear iPad Battery Pack:

Jun 29, 2021
2. Airshow life and movie auditions, with Rob Reider

Rob Reider is a renaissance man: he's a well-known airshow announcer, honorary Blue Angel, Van's RV-7A owner, 5-time Emmy award winner, and an accomplished musician. In this wide-ranging episode, Sporty's John Zimmerman asks Rob about all of these topics, from the behind-the-scenes world of airshow performers to commuting by light airplane to his brief role in a legendary movie. In the fast-paced "ready to copy" segment, Rob talks about his favorite airshow food, the best banjo players, and his idea of the perfect flight.

Host: John Zimmerman (@jtzim), Sporty's Pilot Shop

Guest: Rob Reider,

Sporty's PJ2 Radio:

Jun 15, 2021
1. Flight training trends with Eric Radtke, Sporty's Academy

Why is flight training so strong, even after a pandemic that stopped airline pilot hiring? What do flight instructors wish students knew about learning to fly? Eric Radtke answers these questions and many more, in the first episode of Sporty's Fast Five Podcast. Eric and host John Zimmerman also talk about what it's like to be an airline pilot, why flying with family is the best, and whether YouTube is good or bad for student pilots. In the "ready to copy" segment, Eric talks about the best Cincinnati chili restaurants, whether he prefers steam gauges or glass cockpits, and his favorite airplane.

Host: John Zimmerman (@jtzim), Sporty's Pilot Shop

Guest: Eric Radtke, President - Sporty's Academy (

Try Sporty's Learn to Fly Course:

Jun 03, 2021