Whether it’s the thunderous roar of a high-speed flyby, the dramatic news footage from far away conflicts, or the captivating self-assuredness of the men and women who pilot them, military aircraft are fascinating to a lot of folks.
…of course, if you are reading this you already know all that. In fact, you’re probably one of them.
I am too.
My infatuation with military jets began in early childhood and quickly became my life’s calling. After college I was fortunate to spend nearly a quarter of a century as a US Navy fighter pilot flying aircraft such as the F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet, F-16 Fighting Falcon, and A-4 Skyhawk. I deployed overseas on aircraft carriers numerous times and was selected to attend (and instruct at) the US Navy Fighter Weapons School, better known as TOPGUN.
I met many people over the course of my career who reminded me of the public’s more-than-passing interest in combat aircraft. Responses to learning what I did were typically, “that’s cool!” or, “man, I wanted to do that, but….” Circumstances permitting, the new acquaintance and I would frequently spend the next several minutes (or sometimes hours) discussing what it was like to fly a high-performance jet fighter, pull G’s, or land on an aircraft carrier at night.
This fascination with my profession was humbling and I know this experience was not unique to me—most of my fighter pilot friends report similar interactions.
Before retiring from the Navy in early 2017 I knew it was important to find a way to stay connected to the profession that so indelibly shaped my life. I also realized there must be a lot of people out there who would love to know more about what it’s like in the world of combat aviation but might never have an opportunity to find out, short of a chance encounter with a military pilot.
The Fighter Pilot Podcast seeks to satisfy both.
About the show
The Fighter Pilot Podcast is a thrice-monthly internet radio show that explores the fascinating world of air combat: the aircraft, the weapons systems, and—most importantly—the people.
Each episode lasts about an hour and features a guest who helps explain a relevant topic such as what an ejection seat is or how aerial refueling is performed. There is also a Q&A segment to answer listener questions.
If you would like to help fund this listener-supported show, and in the process gain access to exclusive content, please visit our Patreon page.
You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voice message at 877-MACH-101 (877-622-4101). Who knows? You may hear yourself on an upcoming episode.
Thanks for tuning in. I hope you enjoy the show.
Amazing resource of knowledge and in depth insights of the navy fighting aviation.
You and your guests are giving us mere mortals a fascinating [insight] not only into your flying careers but into the very human side of the job. It’s not just about the technology, it’s about the life too.
I’m an Aerospace Engineer who works at Sandia National Laboratories and I love your podcast. Please keep up the great work.
WOW! The level of quality of content and presentation …, only [goes] up and was already high at the beginning.
This is the real deal as narrated by the guys on the pointy end of the sword. Nothing comes as close to the topics as this show. Intelligent and directed topic points from inside the rarely cracked world of Fighter Pilots. Amazing!
Awesome in-depth topics that are clear and concise. Jello does a fantastic job of mediating and explaining the intricacies of the Naval Aviation world for we civilians. He shares a solid, down to earth perspective and has a great sense of humor. His guests reflect his credibility within the Fighter Pilot community.
For those of you out there like me that didn’t get to realise their boyhood dream then listen in to this as a great way to live the dream vicariously.
You’ve brought to light the level of dedication and professionalism required for your choice of career. Really hits home.
I’m extremely impressed with what you’re accomplishing monthly while maintaining your life/work. The quality of the podcast speaks for itself.
Thank you for being an ambassador for aviation and encouraging people to pursue a career in the aircraft. That close knit community you’ve created on the air waves really brings about that wardroom feel of Naval Aviation, and you are definitely giving your listeners a glimpse of that!
Your ability to explain and excite your audience is amazing. Great topics, great guests and, most importantly, a great insight into a world most of us will never see.
Whilst proudly serving in a number of highly specialised units in the Australian Defence Force, like a great, great many I failed to achieve the ultimate goal, that of a Fighter Pilot. However through your podcast I have been able to gain a great understanding of the life and culture of a Fighter Pilot.
I feel really protected knowing there are people like you guys up there watching our backs.
After listening, I can appreciate what pilots go through to do what they do and that a reliable machine is just as important.
Topics are relevant. Content is gripping. Format, flawless and length just right! I’m on episode 14 and burning though them as quickly as life will permit… Only downside is I know at some point I’m going to catch up and have to wait for the next episode… ? Great work and thank you!
The passion you and your guests speak with has sparked my own passion for aviation that has lay dormant for some years, but is now rearing it’s awesome head again… I’m 29 years old and at a juncture of my life. I’m now going to study my absolute arse off to become an Airborne Electronics Analyst with the RAAF’s brand new P-8A or E-7A and fulfill my dream of flying in the Australian Military. I hope you don’t ever underestimate how much it strikes in the heart of an aviation nerd to hear you and your guests speak with such humility, expertise and passion when it comes to aviation and the desire to pull on the green flying suit with your country’s flag on the left hand side. You have literally spurred me to once again throwing caution to the wind and following [my] dreams.
I’ve been around military aviation all my 40+ years and to have someone who’s been there and done it explain how things work (both mechanically and personally) can only benefit the aviation community.
Continually re-listening to previous episodes and finding things I missed the first time. Can absolutely see the workings of ‘plan, brief, execute & debrief’ in full flight. Excellent delivery of interesting and motivating content.
Your podcast is a tremendous asset for Navy nerd young men like [my son] and parents like me who are ignorant of who and what and how, but don’t want to remain so. Keep up the good work.
As an aviation enthusiast you won’t find a more informative and entertaining podcast. Whether you are interested in what it’s like to fly high performance military jets, the demands of being Air Boss, or the history of The Distinguished Flying Cross, you’ll find it here. It’s all delivered expertly.