"Open the pod
door." That was the unspoken demand as podcasters and podcast
listeners met for the third annual Pod-a-Palooza forum at EAA
AirVenture Oshkosh 2008 Friday evening. And by the end of the event,
broadcast live on EAA Radio, it was obvious the future of aviation
podcasting is wide open.
for the uninitiated, are web-based programs analogous to Internet
radio broadcasts, and casts devoted to general aviation are growing
more popular. The subject matter and formats of aviation podcast
vary widely. Topic areas the casts specialize in range from flight
instruction to general hangar flying.
as a medium is so young, and everybody is doing different
things," Kent Shook of The Pilot Cast (http://pilotcast.com),
who organized the forum, said in a post-Palooza interview. "It
benefits all of us to help each other. We need to grow not
necessarily individual audiences, but audiences as a whole. Most
pilots are going to listen to all our shows."
casts and casters taking part in the forum included Steve Tupper of
Jason Miller of The Finer Points (www.ontheflightline.com),
Will Hawkins of The Pilot’s Flight Podlog (http://pilotwill.libsyn.com),
Bill Williams of The Student Pilot Cast (http://studentpilotcast.com),
and Jeb Burnside of Uncontrolled Airspace (http://uncontrolledairspace.com).
(Full disclosure: Uncontrolled Airspace’s principals include AirVenture
Today staffers Jack Hodgson and Dave Higdon, and this reporter
is an occasional guest.)
are hard to measure because of the difficulties of accurately
tracking downloads, but from the attendance and comments of the
Pod-a-Palooza audience, it was obvious people who do listen are
have a one-hour commute to work each day, so rather than listening
to commercial radio, I started listening to aviation podcasts,"
said audience member Jim Goldman, from Media, Pennsylvania, after
the forum. "When I come [to AirVenture], I don’t know
anybody, except at Pod-a-Palooza, where I knew everybody, because I’m
listening to everybody on the way to work."
finds listening to podcasts helps with his aviating, especially
since, like many pilots, he doesn’t get to fly as much as he’d
advantage for somebody like me is, there are always changes in
aviation—the technology and equipment changes, and news—and just
listening to these, when you go to the airport, you feel like you
know what’s going on."
interested in finding podcasts can Google the terms "podcasts"
along with key words like "aviation," "flying,"
or "pilots." They can also subscribe to podcasts, so that
programs are automatically downloaded, or the subscriber is alerted
of their availability when they are posted on the web. The websites
for the podcasts also have forums where listeners can post comments,
and online friendships among listeners often develop as a result.
Pod-a-Palooza live broadcast was coordinated by EAA Radio’s Fareed
Guyot and Jim Gray. Shook described AirVenture’s receptivity to
podcasters as "Aweseome," especially since many
established organizations don’t understand podcasting.
"I think that’s
part of the EAA," Shook said, noting the
"experimental" in the organization’s name. "We’re
experimental media in a way."