The Aviators is an award-winning weekly TV series featuring interesting people, the latest aircraft, the coolest technology and the best fly-in destinations. It’s action, intensity, and adrenaline mixed with education, entertainment, and beauty. The Aviators is all-things aviation – for everyone who has ever gazed skyward.
- A Pilot Without Arms: We meet Jessica Cox, the world’s first armless licensed pilot who has spent her whole life proving that her disability hasn’t limited her.
Aircraft Profile – Pitts Special: A profile of the first aircraft designed specifically for aerobatics – the Pitts Special.
- L-39 and Upset Recovery: Does it sometimes feel like your airplane has a mind of its own? Well fasten your seatbelts as we go flying in the most prolific fighter jet trainer of the Soviet era in an introduction to unusual attitude and upset recovery training.
- Flying Again: We catch up with the Rusty Pilots Initiative as they attempt to re-ignite every pilot’s fire by helping former flyers in their return to the sky.
Aircraft Profile – Aviat Husky: Meet the proud owner of the dynamic Aviat Husky utility aircraft.
- Space Flight: A look at the history of NASA and the space program through the decades spanning from WWII through to the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle programs.
- Anatomy of a Journey / Ground Control: Learn about the complexities of life as a ground controller and listen in on some dialogue between air traffic control and Kurtis as he navigates through both the departure and arrival procedures within an airport. Complicated? Let’s find out!
- WWI Aviation: Soon after the invention of the aircraft, military uses for the new flying machine came into being. Then with the dawn of the Great War, legends like the Red Baron were made, and a whole new mode of warfare was born.
- Aircraft Profile – Eclipse 550: Introduction to the latest in very light jets (VLJs). It’s like flying your own personal rocket… with custom leather upholstery!
Should You Turn Back to the Airport?: In the event of engine failure, your instinct may be to turn back for the runway – a commonly fatal move.
- It’s the Franken-Glider! / Tuskegee Airmen: The TG-7A motorgliders are basically a combination of wings from the SGS 1-36, the tail of the SGS 2-32, and a Lycoming O-235-L2C engine on the nose. See it all come together as we meet the Team Tuskegee pilots and explain the history of the Tuskegee Airmen and their trials experienced during WWII.
- Skytyping: What is skytyping? See it accomplished with five aircraft flying in impressive formation, emitting biodegradable vapor puffs in a dot matrix pattern to create the world’s largest billboard… in the sky.
Personal Jet: The Sonex Jet started as a pet project of founder John Monett who’s always wanted a personal jet, and what developed was a tiny plane with a big impact!
- The Beloved Cub: By popular demand we’ve tracked down the family of aircraft closest to the hearts of most aviators – the timeless Piper Cub.
- Best of The Aviators: Pulling back the curtain to reveal never before seen footage with a collection of outtakes that uncover what’s been hidden from the public until now.
- Deconstructing an Air Show Routine: The world’s best, Sean D. Tucker, takes us through his gut-wrenching act turn by superhuman turn.
Flight Attendant School (Part 1): Anthony learns the hard way that a flight attendant’s job is more than just serving coffee and peanuts.
- Flight Attendant School (Part 2): We go inside a fully operational aircraft cabin simulator to demonstrate a few safety scenarios in response to some in-flight situations.
Hangar Flying – Fighters: Kurtis, Sara, and Anthony debate the merits of their favorite fighters.
- Jet Man: We join Yves Rossy as he soars through the air with the help of nothing more than a jet-powered wing strapped to his back!
Volunteerism: Showcasing several ways in which pilots lend their wings to a charitable cause including Pilots N Paws, Angel Flight West, and Archangel Airborne.
- World War II Advancements in Aviation: We examine the impact of the Second World War on aviation.
Pearl Harbor / Tora, Tora, Tora: A historic look at the attack on Pearl Harbor and how a live reenactment helps tell the story.
- Air Show Pyrotechnics: We showcase Rich Gibson, the man behind some of the most explosive airshow spectacles.
Hangar Flying – Bombers: Kurtis, Sara, and Anthony debate the merits of their favorite bomber planes.
- 100 Years of Commercial Flight: The highs and the lows of an industry that has become an essential part of our lives.
- Epic Aircraft: Surprise! Anthony gets an unexpected opportunity to fly a brand new turboprop-driven aircraft.
Jet Truck: 3 jet engines, 36,000 horsepower, and over 375 miles per hour, this land-based vehicle puts competing airplanes to shame!
- Aircraft Tires: Tires are one of the most overlooked parts of an aircraft so we highlight the importance of a plane’s rubber.
World’s Highest Control Tower: Check out the view of Vancouver Harbour from the tallest air traffic control tower in the world.
Maintenance: They say flying is safer than driving. We look at the incredibly tight processes that make that possible.
- Air Show Radio Chatter: Air shows are recognized as having great visual appeal. But when we take viewers inside the cockpit during an airshow performance, learning the significance of what’s said or surprisingly NOT said will send your head spinning.
Hangar Flying – General Aviation: Kurtis, Sara, and Anthony wrap up their debate series by discussing their favorite single engine planes.
- Challenger 605: We fly well above first class in the kind of super elite style experienced by only A-list celebrities, fortune 500 executives, and heads of state.
Navigation: You CAN get there from here, but how? Kurtis explains how pilots figure out which way to point their planes.
- Bell 407 Helicopter: If you didn’t think there’s much of a difference between flying a helicopter and a fixed wing airplane watch as Anthony puts his training wheels back on for a stab at the chopper.
Wing-Walking: Gene Soucy and Teresa Stokes detail their one-of-a-kind performance.
- Building Engines: We take it back to basics when examining the components used to build aircraft engines so that they produce the kind of power needed to make airplanes fly.
Air Tractor: From fertilizing crops to fighting wildfires, the aerial application aircraft is a highly specialized bear of a bird… not to mention, it looks super cool!
- FLS Microjet: This spunky little jet weighs in at a mere 400 pounds! We profile this incredible (and tiny) aircraft and its full-sized pilot.
SR-71: Blackbird pilot Terry Pappas tells us what its like to be one of just 478 people who have flown this stealthy Strategic Reconnaissance aircraft.
Sean D. Tucker: We get to know the man behind the famous red Oracle plane and watch his death-defying aerobatics up close.
- Zenith 801: No runway? No problem! We challenge the limits faced in the world of bush flying in this amazing utilitarian aircraft.
Legacy Flight: A tribute to our flying heroes, past and present.
ILS Testing: The Instrument Landing System (ILS) is a precise system used to help planes land almost blind. We do some extreme flying in a CRJ-200 to test the system.
- Float Planes: An introduction to the world of seaplanes.
Buying an Aircraft: Ever wondered how to actually buy an airplane?
Aircraft Boneyard: With over 4,200 aircraft, sure the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) is a “Boneyard” but it’s also so much more.
- Civil Air Patrol: We participate in a search and rescue exercise with CAP members and cadets.
AWACS: We take an exclusive inside look at the Air Force’s eyes in the skies: the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) E-3 Sentry.
B-17: Kurtis looks at the historic Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.
- Radial Engines: Anthony learns about the one-of a-kind sound and look of radial engines.
Aerial Refueling: In-air refueling brings new meaning to the term “close flight” as we profile the KC-135 Stratotanker and its crew.
- Cobra: We take you aboard this two-bladed single engine attack helicopter formerly used by the United States Army.
Team AeroDynamix: No other air show act in the world puts as many aircraft in the air at one time than Team AeroDynamix. We take you flying with them.
Tank Killer: We profile the A-10 Thunderbolt II, the tank-killer more commonly known as the Warthog.
- Landings: Takeoffs are optional, but landings are mandatory! Kurtis takes a look at how to land different types of aircraft.
Seabee: Is it a boat or is it a plane? It’s both! We show you the exciting world of Seabees.
Varied Aviation Training: Short or long runways. Controlled or uncontrolled airports. Desert, mountain, or coastal flying. We look at the various ways and places you can learn to fly.
- GlasAir: We go flying in this blazingly fast low-wing, two-seat homebuilt aircraft.
Legend Cub: The Cub is an aviators’ favorite and the Legend Cub is today’s most popular American-manufactured light sport aircraft.
Terminals: How are airport terminals designed? We check out the form and function of terminals from the design of the arrivals and departures areas to how the gates arranged to park aircraft.
- Savannah: We profile this capable and affordable light sport homebuilt aircraft.
Huey: A lot of people may recognize this helicopter from the film “Apocalypse Now”, but this bird has a lot more history than just that.
Formation Flying: Kurtis expands his warbird flying experience and tries his hand at formation flying.
- How to Fly an ILS Approach: Kurtis shows you how to land an aircraft when you can’t see the ground using only your flight instruments.
Airplane Parachutes: Can a parachute strapped to the back of an aircraft really save the lives of it passengers?
777-300ER: We examine the history and showcase the latest variant of the Boeing 777.
- Aircraft Mods: A look at how aerodynamic tweaks can improve performance and increase speed.
Soaring: Anthony tries to keep his cool while flying without the reassuring sound of a roaring engine.
- F-4U Corsair: The WWII fighter made famous by the legendary Greg “Pappy” Boyington.
Aerobatics: Kurtis receives an introduction to Aerobatics. We’ve seen him do a lot this season, but can he master this aviation skill?
- Goodyear Blimp: The Goodyear Blimp is an American icon. But Goodyear is at a transformational point in their history as they revamp the fleet to Zeppelins.
- Rob Reider, Announcer: The famous voice of some of the largest air shows in the world.
Panel Makeover: The Aviators’ Cessna 210 gets a brand new glass panel cockpit.
WWII Pilot Training – T6: Kurtis earns his wings in a T-6 warbird.
- Journey of a Bag: Where does your bag go once it leaves your hands and heads down a conveyor belt at an airport? How does it get from one location to the next?
WWII Pilot Training – P51: Kurtis takes you back in time to see what it was like for young WWII pilots to fly in the legendary fighter, the P-51 Mustang.
- Winter Flying: How do pilots prepare for winter flying? Anthony shows us the different methods to keep yourself and your plane warmed up in those cold winter months.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner: We take a look inside this new exciting, efficient & luxurious plane.
Black Diamond Jet Team: Nearly as cool as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds… but they’re civilian!
- Night Time Flying: Kurtis and Anthony take us night flying. Some say it’s more beautiful… while others think it’s more dangerous!
PT-19: Wayne Boggs introduces us to his historic P-19 trainer aircraft.
USAF Thunderbirds: A behind the scenes look at the U.S. Air Force air demonstration squadron and their F-16s.
- Guardian Angels: Experiencing an aviation emergency where the calm voice on the other end of the radio helps get our pilot out of trouble.
Thunderbird for a Day: Always wanted to know what it would be like to fly in an F-16? We follow one of our producers as she trains and flies with the USAF Thunderbirds!
Fifi: The infamous B-29 bomber from WWII. We take you through the different crew positions of this historic aircraft.
- Oxygen Lab: Kurtis experiences oxygen deprivation at Embry Riddle University.
Anatomy of a Commercial Flight: We unlock the cockpit door to show what goes on inside the areas of a commercial flight that have always remained mysteriously secret.
- T-28: We profile the U.S. Air Force and Navy training aircraft that also was flown during the Vietnam War.
War of 1812: We celebrate the birth of the U.S. Navy at the home of the Star Spangled Banner.
Very Light Jets: A rising trend in high-end single pilot flying, we look at the technology inside the Eclipse 500.
- Basler DC-3 Conversions: Just when you think a classic old airliner might be ready for retirement, it’s converted into a modern marvel.
Aviation Career Choices: Anthony visits the University of North Dakota to learn some of the many other ways to make a living in aviation besides being an airline pilot.
- Start Up and Run Up: Sara and Anthony run the checklists with us as we look at all the steps pilots take on the ground to make sure things go as planned in the air.
Weather Makers: Anyone can predict the weather, but this team of rugged North Dakota cowboys actually tames Mother Nature and makes it!
Aerostars: A precision aerobatic team that flies Yak 52s while performing a captivating aerial show in tight formation at air shows all over North America.
- John Mohr, Barnstormer: We get to know the man who flies a stock 1947 Stearman like no one else on the planet.
T-45 Goshawk: We explore the aircraft that introduces fighter pilots to carrier landings.
Balloons: Quiet and peaceful, these mammoth bags of hot air require unique skills to fly.
- TH-57 Ranger: A look at what makes helicopters interesting during this walkaround.
MU-2: Sara flies the Mitsubishi MU-2 & learns why it has such a loyal following of pilots.
Road America Fly Over: The Wisconsin Air National Guard add a jet-powered punch to the end of the national anthem at a Nascar race at Road America.
- F-22: The world’s most advanced stealth jet fighter & it’s home at the Nellis Air Force Base.
Light Sport Aircraft: Sport aviation is the fastest growing category of aviation and Sonex’s aircraft are among the sector’s most popular.
Learning to Fly – Rock Star Edition, Part 1: We hang out with Motley Crue’s lead singer Vince Neil as he starts taking flight lessons!
- Dog Fight: Taking to the skies with former fighter pilots to dogfight other aircraft in air combat.
Learning to Fly – Rock Star Edition, Part 2: Vince Neil of Motley Crue continues his training as his instructor surprises him by unexpectedly calling for his first landing.
Skytypers: A formation team that besides performing with military precision actually types long-lasting messages in the sky.
- Aviation 101: An explanation of some of the very basics of aviation.
Host Profiles: A closer look at some of the hosts of The Aviators including Sara, Kurtis, Anthony, and new host, country music singer George Canyon.
- ATC Gibberish: Breaking down and simplifying all that complex sounding radio chatter.
Water Egress: Sara learns how to escape from a submerged aircraft.
Condor Squadron: Taking to the air with a team of formation pilots flying WW2 era planes.
- Can a Kid Land an Airliner?: A follow up to some of the popular sim segments from season one, but this time with a 12 year old at the controls!
Flight Services: Kurtis shows us the many important functions of this often overlooked aspect of Air Traffic Control services.
$100 Hamburger: A pilot expression for an aviation food-run. Anthony and Raeleen dig in at Greenville, South Carolina
- Private Pilot Emergency: Anthony closes the season 2 sim segments by having everything but the kitchen sink thrown at him. Can he do it?
MCAS Miramar (formerly Top Gun): Spending the day with US Marine fighter pilots at their legendary base.
- Day in the Life of an Air Show (Part 1 of 2): We take you behind the scenes for an exclusive look at the inner workings of one of America’s biggest air shows.
- Day in the Life of an Air Show (Part 2 of 2): The exciting conclusion to the two-part special including an up-close look at the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.
- AN-2: Going flying in one of the biggest biplanes around, the Russian Anotonov AN-2.
iPad: Anthony, our resident gadget guy, explores the usefulness of the Apple iPad in the cockpit.
B-25: We take a look at the B-25 Mitchell bomber and its current caretaker, the Commemorative Air Force.
- Triple Tree Aerodrome: We visit one of the most incredible grass strips in the country.
Fat Albert: The US Navy Blue Angels take us for an incredible flight aboard their C-130.
Yak 52W: Sara meets Peyton McCool who takes her for a thrilling flight.
- Dream Flight of a Lifetime: A group of pilots participate in a seminar leading to one of them winning a flight in a T-33.
Remote Control Aircraft: Sara tries her hand at a completely different kind of aviation at the Joe Nall event in Woodruff, South Carolina.
Aeroshell Aerobatic Team: Raeleen spends the day with the superstars of the air show circuit.
- Varied Levels of Aircraft Ownership: Kurtis walks us through the varied level of aircraft ownership from the basic to the luxurious.
Airpark Living: We visit a unique kind of gated community where your driveway is your runway.
Singles vs. Twins: Sara answers the question “Are two engines really better than one?”
- Aircraft Engines: Kurtis learns about aircraft engines with Bill Middlebrook of Penn Yan Aero.
Female Friendly Airport: Raeleen visits the most female friendly airport in the world.
Personalizing a Used Aircraft: Anthony tells us about buying a used aircraft and making it your own.
- AOPA Summit: We visit the annual event of the AOPA – Aviation Summit
LAPD: Kurtis takes us on through an exclusive visit with the aerial support unit of the LAPD.
Pete McLeod: Jeff speaks with Red Bull Air Racer Pete McLeod.
- Cessna 195: A profile of one of the first corporate aircraft from yesteryear.
World’s Busiest Tower: We visit the pink-shirted pros from the FAA at the busiest control tower in the world.
Aviation Camping: Kurtis enjoys the great outdoors.
- AirVenture: America’s largest aviation celebration.
C5M: A look at the US Air Force Supergalaxy.
Tiger Moth: A challenging wartime trainer biplane.
Jeff Skiles: Kurtis and Sara speak with one of the Miracle on the Hudson heroes.
Flat spin: A pilot’s tells us about his “unrecoverable” mishap.
- Chartright: Corporate charters are all about flying in style.
Cross Canada Century Flight: Over 100 aircraft fly coast-to-coast to commemorate 100 years of flight.
Julie Clark: Kurtis interviews the pioneering air show performer.
Affordable helicopters: A look at small, personal rotary-wing aircraft.
- Cessna: Anthony explores the legacy of the Cessna brand.
Float Planes: We take a look a year-round seaplane training on the west coast.
Landing an Airliner: Airline captain, Jeff, shows us how to land a heavy!
Patty Wagstaff: We catch up with the aerobatic champion in Florida.
MiG 15: We learn about this classic Russian fighter.
- Sun ‘n Fun Special: We pay a visit to Spring Break for pilots in Lakeland, Florida.
- Can a Private Pilot Land an Airliner?: Anthony lives out this fantasy scenario. How does he do?
Delfin L-29: A look at another eastern fighter.
Aircraft Annual Inspection: The practically essentially and legally necessary process of keeping all aircraft safe regardless of vintage.
Airbus A380: Sara gets a tour of this massive new airliner.
- Can a Non-pilot Land an Airliner?: In this third segment of our simulator series, a non-pilot attempts the impossible!
Portable Collision Avoidance Systems: We tinker with inexpensive gadgets by Zaon that help private aircraft stay safe.
Women in Aviation: Sara interviews the president of an organization that provides scholarships to young female pilots.
Light Sport Flying: A look at the fastest growing sector in aviation today.
- Air Traffic Control Tower: An inside look at one of the most technologically advanced towers in the world.
Walkaround Checks: Kurtis tests his pre-flight inspection skills.
Quesnel Air Show: After having seen some of the larger air shows, we visit a smaller and more quaint one.
Pilot Profile: John tells us about his growing up with an interest in aviation.
- Rick Volker: Sara interviews the air show performer during the off-season to talk about spring conditioning.
Homebuilt Industry: How handy aviation enthusiasts use their skills to build their own aircraft.
Cessna 208: A look at the Caravan – the pickup truck of the skies.
Mid-Continent Instruments: Making precision aircraft instruments with lifesaving features.
- En Route Control: Most air traffic control does NOT take place in a tower but rather in an area control center like this.
Boundary Bay Air Show: A popular local show at the season one home of The Aviators.
Beech Staggerwing: An aircraft profile on the one time ultimate executive aircraft.
AOPA: A look at the important role of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.
- Aircraft Auctions: Getting a bargain while purchasing aircraft in a unique and fast-paced way.
Ultralight Flying: Arguably one of the most visceral flying experiences there is.
Aviation Destination – Wichita, Kansas: We visit the Air Capital of the World.
- Mikey McBryan: Anthony chats with the star of TV’s ‘Ice Pilots’.
Goodyear Blimp: Kurtis takes a memorable flight aboard one of Goodyear’s famed slow-moving giants.
Midnight Sun Challenge: A group of pilots fly into the Yukon.
- Day in the Life of an Airline Pilot: Raeleen shows us what a typical day is like for her as an airline first officer.
Airline Environmentalism: Green efforts airlines are taking to improve efficiency.
Airliner Maintenance: Routine maintenance airlines perform to keep their fleets running safely.
- Cross Border Flying: Anthony flies the 206 from Canada to the United States and checks in with Customs.
Robert Gannon: Robert speaks to Anthony about his remarkable story of flying a Cessna around the world.
Splash In: Sara visits a fly-in dedicated to seaplanes.