A month or so ago the review crew were given the opportunity to be on a rather unusual review – a video course all about Aviation from Doctor Aviation. Aviation…how cool is that? Of course with a fifteen year old male in the house, we jumped at the chance and we are so pleased we did!
Who is Doctor Aviation?
Doctor Aviation seeks to bring all things aviatic to a broader audience with this easy to access video course suitable for all ages, although geared towards high-schoolers. Daryl Smith, creator of Doctor Aviation, has 24 years experience in the Air Force and over 2000 flying hours to his credit. Now a college professor, Daryl’s goal is to make aviation available for anyone who is interested.
Below is a video which gives a little bit more information:
Doctor Aviation Course is fifteen lessons long, each lasting about an hour. The course contains the following modules:
Session 1 The Aviation System
Module One: The Aircraft
Session 2 The Major Components of an Airplane
Session 3 Axes and Forces
Session 4 Why an Aircraft Flies: The Secret of Airfoils and Lift
Session 5 Why an Aircraft Turns, Pitches and Slides: The Flight Controls
Module Two: Air Traffic Control
Session 6 How We See an Aircraft Miles Away: The Secrets of Radar
Session 7 The Air Traffic Cops: How Air Traffic Control Works
Module Three: Maintenance
Session 8 Keep ‘Em Flying: Aircraft Maintenance – Propeller Engines
Session 9 Keep ‘Em Flying: Aircraft Maintenance – Jet Engines
Module Four: Airfield Operations
Session 10 The City in and of Itself: Running a Large Airport
Session 11 The Small Airport and Running an FBO
Module Five: The Aircraft II
Session 12 Flying in the Clear and Not so Clear Air: VMC and IMC
Session 13 Important Pilot Instruments – Attitude Indicator
Session 14 Important Pilot Instruments – Airspeed Indicator
Session 15 Other Aviation Ships: Gliders, Helicopters, Airships
The very first lesson can be previewed here
Each video has Doctor Aviation narrating the prose accompanied by striking photography and useful, colourful diagrams:
Often it is simply Daryl with his clip board and his eminently listenable voice. This is a man who is knowledgable and passionate about his subject, so much so that my son began a detour to research flying as a possible career change 🙂
In addition to the videos, each lesson contains downloadable course notes, which are more of a test for the student to complete, and which, once completed, would form the bulk of the course notes. You can see what I mean in a couple of pages of the course notes from lesson seven:
There is also a download of extra resources for further study, should the student wish to dig a bit deeper. I left it up to Thomas how much of these he completed, but often I would walk past him and he would be watching some video or another, soaking up as much information as he could. Again, the extra resources are shown below to illustrate just how comprehensive they are (again this is taken from lesson seven):
How Did We Use Dr Aviation?
Thomas watched the videos, finishing seven over the six-week review period. He was not required to complete the extra activities or the tests, but I often caught him watching the YouTube videos which were recommended.
What Did Thomas Think of Doctor Aviation?
The review for Doctor Aviation fell at a bad time for Thomas, over his IGCSE exams, and even so he watched them as regularly as he could and has, to date, managed to complete almost half the course. That probably tells you all you need to know. Thomas would not have asked to watch them if he hadn’t LOVED them, but he really did. I asked him to jot down some notes, which he did. Typically, they were very short notes 🙂
- The videos were engaging to watch
- He liked the fact they were videos rather than book learning
- He found the videos very explanatory in nature, full of facts and interesting information
- He loved the examples Doctor Aviation gave to illustrate whatever element of flying he was explaining.
- Thomas enjoyed these so much that he started researching joining the air cadets and looking at returning to engineering as a career in the air force!
- Whilst he did not do any of the tests, he did enjoy the extra resources which he felt were comprehensive, well thought out and enjoyable to explore.
All in all Thomas loved this course, and would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in aviation. He does add a proviso though, to watch out because it could spur you on to look into aviation as a career and change your future forever!
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