Startup to Shutdown - Series 1

STARTUP TO SHUTDOWN - THE PODCAST  |  Podcast , ±46 min episodes every 2 weeks, 4 days  | 
Join your hosts, Paul and Rhett as we explore the far reaches of the aviation world. Spreading positivity for aspiring pilots, hope for those persevering through challenging careers and touching on conservation with a uniquely African perspective.

Paul, formerly a charter pilot with extensive experience in Operations and Safety Management and now an airline pilot with a major South African carrier and Rhett, a Grade 2 flight instructor with a passion for bush flying, reignite a 10 year friendship to bring you this podcast.

With some incredible individuals lined up, we look forward to sharing their unique stories with you, insights from industry leaders and lessons from those who have lived to tell the tales.

Join us as we delve into the depths of the aviation industry. We will shed light on the numerous possibilities out there for anyone passionate about flying and share insights into all the aspects of being a pilot, from flight school to the flight deck and well beyond.

We will endeavour to do our best in bringing you the utmost value throughout the course of this series.

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Why do birds sing? - A candid chat with Sean Cronin

The Triple Threat, Sean Cronin, meticulous engineer, heartfelt conservationist and passionate aviator. Sean has worked his way from the ground up, quite literally, starting as an airforce ground engineer, swinging spanners on all sorts of military and civilian aircraft and now building kit planes on his farm and willingly lending a helping hand in the battle to protect our endangered Rhino and other wildlife.

Join us as Sean recalls the journey that he has navigated to where he is today, fulfilling his childhood dream of growing wings and showing others out there that it is possible for anyone to fly. An inspirational tale for all of us, particularly the young dreamers who still hope to take to the skies. Listen out for Sean's alternate approach to flight training that might just make it an affordable adventure in this day and age.
Bathawk South Africa Blue Angels and Thunderbirds over New York Being a USAF Thunderbird Pilanesberg Wildlife Trust

International Woman of Mystery

Kaitlyn Costa, the female corporate pilot that has just about done it all. With 2,500 hours she has fought tooth and nail to make it to where she is today, flying a Global Express across the globe.

Her story starts in South Africa where she completed an integrated “frozen” ATPL. Shortly after achieving her CPL, Kaitlyn immigrated to Australia with the rest of her family to practically start from scratch in terms of forging a career in aviation.
The hard work and dedication while taking a detour to fly skydivers, cargo and manage ground operations for an executive corporate FBO paid off. The experience obtained and relationships she forged blossomed into opportunities (and some adventures) for Kaitlyn that she could not turn down, as she moved into the cockpit of both the airline and corporate sector.

Kaitlyn provides interesting insights for all pilots feeling stuck or struggling in the industry. This is a positive message of hope and going beyond what you thought you were capable of and certainly one to listen to.

For those wanting to take Kaitlyn up on her offer for mentorship and guidance, you can reach her via her Instagram account on the handle @savannahice.

Don't forget our promotion on The Excel Pilot Logbook. Find the link at and use the promo code "STARTUP2020" for a 20% discount.
Excel Pilot Logbook - Promo Code Kaitlyn's Instagram Account

It's All About Attitude - Capt. Walter Waldeck

In this episode we chat with Senior Training Capt. Walter Waldeck. Currently flying with SAA on A350's, Walter has almost 30000 hours of experience on no less than 150 aircraft types. Walter also owns and runs Flight Training College in George and continues to instruct in the general as well as commercial aviation worlds.

This is a story of the passion driven blood, sweat and tears (and some fun along the way) to achieve the heights he has. He gives honest accounts of some interesting flights in his early career as he stole some luck to replace it with experience.

He shares some fundamental lessons that not only students would do well to listen to but pilot's across the board in aviation.

As with any story, there were chapters that didn't go as planned but passion, family and friend's support, pure grit, a little bit of luck... and a painting, culminate in another great aviator's successful journey.
Flight Training College

Startup to Shutdown - Episode 1

For the first episode, Paul and Rhett introduce themselves and the Startup to Shutdown Podcast. They share their separate journeys that both began at Flight Training College in George almost 10 years ago and retrace their different career paths up until today where the Startup to Shutdown show begins.

We'll briefly touch on some of the many themes and discussion topics to come in the following episodes and open the floor for your input, feedback and any suggestions.

Firstly, for those who think they might have an idea, please take a stab at our first audience interaction game of "Guess Paul's Age!"
(listen closely for a ballpark figure)

Secondly, anything you'd specifically like to hear from this show or suggested guests we could interview, please click on the link below or send us an email to get in touch.

For the chance to feature in a future episode, send us your voice notes!

This show is created for aviators, by aviators. With the goal of providing as much value as we possibly can. Without your feedback, we can't know what it is you'd like. So please help us improve this experience for all.

Thank you for listening and all your support. We hope you enjoy the show!

Follow us on instagram and facebook for updates and more:
@startuptoshutdown, @startuptoshutdown_podcast

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4 episodes