Episode 67. Year in review, with John Zimmerman and Rob Reider

John Zimmerman and Rob ReiderIn this special year-end episode, host John Zimmerman sits down with producer Rob Reider for a behind-the-scenes look at Pilot’s Discretion. They talk about what traits make for a good guest, the two rules for podcast hosts, and tips for getting better audio. You’ll also learn the most popular Pilot’s Discretion episodes of 2023, what John and Rob’s favorite episodes are, and what lessons they have learned about flying after 66 interviews. In the back-and-forth Ready to Copy segment, they share the most famous pilots they’ve flown with, their nominee for most underrated airplane, and their favorite airports.


  • What Pilot's Discretion is all about: “What got me interested is the people in aviation.”
  • How to be a good podcast host: “My two rules are: do your homework and shut up.”
  • Lessons learned from guests: “The biggest lesson is just how valuable the community of pilots is. Be willing and open to learn from others.”
  • What the pilot's role is: “It’s easy to become robotic as a pilot and just follow the checklist and follow the rules. But that’s not enough.”
  • What makes a good pilot: “Your habits in a lot of cases define who you are as a pilot. It’s not about the fancy footwork... It’s about the little things you do every day.”
  • Embracing the challenge of flying: “That is the great joy of flying... You’re never done. There is no perfect flight. So there’s always a chance to go out the next time and be better.”
  • Why audio quality matters: “I think the tastes of people have changed over the years and they are demanding or expecting better audio than they used to get.”
  • Keep podcasts short and sweet: “I don’t really give a damn what somebody had for dinner last week.”

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