The Everyday Heroes program is a shared series of personal interviews with men and women from all facets of aviation, and the brainchild of retired TWA Captain, Bert Botta.

As a child, Bert’s keen admiration for planes and their pilots propelled him into a career as a commercial airline pilot and instructor. During his time in the air he got to sit next to, instruct and hang out with many of his ‘heroes’.

Now in retirement, it is those shared experiences stories told during his flying career that he remembers most. Those stories not only inspired and motivated him to reach greater heights in his own career, they also gave him a better connection to the aviation industry and his colleagues.

Seeking some form of continued connection Bert started a men’s’ group back in 2012 at the Petaluma Valley Athletic Club in his home town of Petaluma, CA. Whilst the Athletics Club is long gone, Bert’s group continues to meet every Wednesday morning at 07:45am for coffee and donuts, sharing their stories and support.

For the rest of his week Bert continued to seek out ways to stay connected his beloved aviation industry, mentoring new and wannabe pilots, and writing about his flying career. He took up the mantle as newsletter editor for the Private Jet Pilots group, and his first novel “Fast Lane to Faith: A Jet Jockey’s Search for Significance” is the story of his own spiritual journey in which he faced and overcame some incredible challenges that life and aviation threw at him … but the last chapter is still being written …

Bert still yearned to find a way to become more involved with aviation and, more importantly, protect and share the many stories that entertained and motivated him during his flying career. In floating ideas, talking and interviewing pilots past and present, Bert quickly came to the realisation that everyone he spoke with is, in their own unique way, a ‘hero’, and each has their own special story to tell. And so the Everyday Heros program was born.

In the program, Bert conducts a series of personal interviews with people from all facets of aviation – current and retired. From the heights of the cockpit right down to the folk on the ground, there are literally thousands of amazing stories that are yet to be told by ordinary men and women, just like you.

And when stories are told and captured they live on, many motivate or comfort, and some even become legend. For the lives of those who partake, listen to the podcasts, or read the books become richer and more connected, not just to other aviators, but also to their families and friends who may be hearing that story for the very first time. This is the legacy of the podcasts, told in their own words, captured forever.

Think you don’t have a story or your life isn’t very interesting? Bert can help with his way of asking the right questions that not only reveal your hidden story, but elevating it to a new level. Those podcasts deemed most interesting and entertaining will then be re-edited and captured in a series of compilation books to further celebrate the highs (and lows) of flight.

If you are interested in learning more about the Everyday Heroes program then simply subscribe to The ART of Aviation. And if you’d like to be featured then email Bert here.

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