If I have a few free minutes in the evenings or on weekends, there’s a 90% chance I’ll spend it watching aviation videos on YouTube. I don’t think my “Watch Later” list has dipped below 100 videos in years; as soon as I watch some and whittle down the list, I find more. The videos can be informational, educational, or just plain entertaining. I thought I’d share here some of my favorite channels for student pilots and avgeeks. It’s a list not necessarily of the biggest names with the most followers (you can probably find those yourself), but of channels that I look forward to watching every time they upload. Prepare yourself for aviation overload!
This is the first channel I ever set up notifications for, and the only one I eagerly look forward to watching, and watch within 90 seconds of a video being posted. Steve is a video editor during the day, so the flying videos he makes in his spare time are well shot and edited, remaining simple and focused without extra fluff. I discovered his videos when he was going through training to fly tailwheel airplanes, and those videos are still some of my favorites. He doesn’t shy away from showing his mistakes, and remains humble about his experience level. All of this makes for great videos chronicling the trials and tribulations of a low-time pilot transitioning to other aviation skill sets. Plus, now that he’s been able to get some sponsors, he’s been able to go on some real bucket-list adventures, and share those with all of his followers. Up next, he’s going to jump right back into the student grind, and work on his instrument rating. I’m really looking forward to (virtually) riding along for that!
“Welcome to the Sky” is the trademark of this young CFI living and teaching in Florida. You can ride along with him and his students as they try to gain their private pilot licenses, and each video focuses on a certain skill or aspect of flight training, with lots of general silliness interspersed throughout.
Another young guy, he’s a Private Pilot who just graduated college in Massachusetts and is moving down to Florida. His videos aren’t primary flight instruction (he’s not an instructor) but are full of interesting tips and tricks he uses to improve his flying, along with really great breakdowns of a variety of aviation-related topics, such as safety, shared airplane ownership and how to fly with non-pilot friends. He also has really great graphics that help explain the topics he’s discussing.
This channel is run by a CFI who flies out of my local airport, KFRG, so I love watching his videos to see how he navigates the local area. his videos cover everything from IFR flights and approaches to night flights and tips on winter flying.
Do you love nature AND aviation? Well this channel is for you! The videos are made by a retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist who flies a Light Sport Aircraft called a Sting around California and Nevada. The landscapes are gorgeous and his descriptions of them are both entertaining and educational, especially his “Drought Watch” flights where she shows the effects of major drought (and then major flooding) on a variety of areas around California. Imagine if your goofy grandpa was a flying biologist, and that gives you a good idea of this channel.
His channel is mostly devoted to cars and car reviews, but he’s also a helicopter pilot and does some incredibly thorough helicopter reviews. Just scroll past all the Porsches and dive into 30+ minutes tours of the exteriors, interiors, history, and flight characteristics of some of the most beautiful helicopters you’ve ever seen. He also has a great sense of humor about the toxic cesspool that is the YouTube comment section, and takes the time to collect, and make fun of, some of the most foul comments he receives.