About Flaps

Hello and welcome to Flaps Podcast. We’re a British podcast aimed at the private pilot and flying enthusiast. We produced our first edition in July 2010 and we’re delighted with the response we’ve had so far.

To get idea of what we do, listen to this montage:


Press play above, or right-click here and select save to download and keep the podcast.

The podcast is produced by Mark Newman and Elliott Webb, two private pilots in the UK.

Mark’s a radio producer for the BBC in Birmingham, having previously worked at stations including Radio 1 and BRMB. He’s also produced online radio content.

Elliott’s a presenter who has worked for a variety of BBC and commercial radio stations, including hosting the breakfast show on BRMB in Birmingham between 2003 and 2010; he’s also been a TV newsreader.

In 2003 Mark was the launch producer for Elliott’s BRMB breakfast programme – which became the number-one rated radio programme in the Birmingham market. It was at this time that we discovered that we’d both like to learn to fly aeroplanes.

(That’s us above, with Elliott on the left, in what is the only picture of us both that I could find just now. It’s a few years old from our BRMB days, and yes, that is the singer Pink in the middle. Unfortunately she’s not a regular part of the Flaps team.)

Every edition also features former airline pilot and RAF Squadron Leader Pablo Mason. It’s great for us to benefit from Pablo’s experience and to get his opinions into the podcast.

We had the idea for Flaps in 2009, spent a while thinking about it, and began making the first edition in June 2010. Our intention was always to make a podcast with very high production values. We wanted to take a specialist subject – general aviation – and make it accessible to a wider audience. Although we won’t shy away from discussing subjects of interest to pilots, we try to avoid donning an anorak (probably a hi-vis one) while doing so.

We’re a magazine-format programme and aim to cover a variety of items in each edition. For instance, we’ve spoken to Peter Burkill, who was in command of the 777 that crashed at Heathrow in 2009; we’ve heard from a student PPL whose engine failed in the circuit; we’ve enjoyed Lembit Opik’s stories; and been amazed by one of the test pilots for the Harrier jump jet. We’ve explored the effects of winter weather on flying; witnessed a Vulcan bomber’s high-speed taxi run; and put pilots’ concerns about 2012 Olympic airspace restrictions to the CAA.

Each podcast is around 30 minutes long. We’re very aware that while there’s no concept of a “timeslot” online, there most certainly remains the ability to bore an audience senseless! We make the podcast as available as possible: it’s here on this site’s audio player, and also to download, and it’s also on iTunes.

If you want to listen to a full edition of the podcast, go back to the main page and click on one of the editions. We’re particularly proud of the first one (July 2010) as it had an awful lot of work put into it and it proved what we could do – and it’s what got us nominated for the Sony Radio Academy award.

Thanks for reading.

March 2011