An interview with the aviation YouTuber: Dan from Dj’s Aviation

Dj’s aviation is a youtube channel known for its excellent coverage of aviation events and the everyday goings of the aviation world. Dan has almost 325,000 subscribers on Youtube and has reported on topics such as the up-and-coming Boeing 797. Join me as I put some questions to the man himself.

At what point did you first get interested in aviation?

“My love for aviation started at the age of 3 or 4, somewhere around there. It was all thanks to my parents, especially my Dad, who would bring me to the airport’s outskirts each weekend. We’d sit in the car and watch the planes arrive and depart. In the back, I’d often play with my Hotwheels cars. Being very young and this being 2003/04, flight tracking applications were not something readily available. Instead, I’d have to browse the Melbourne airport website the day before and write down the arrivals and departures on paper. There was an element of surprise. With no videography or photography due to my age, I enjoyed the planes for what they were—an incredible achievement by us as humans and in the engineering world. I’d guess the registrations and aircraft types with my Dad in a little notebook. A book I still have to this day. My interest in the aviation scene only grew regarding videography and photography from this point forward. I started with a point-and-shoot camera and worked my way up over 14 years to where I own professional gear. “

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When did you decide that you wanted to share your love of aviation on YouTube?

“When I was 14, I created my Youtube channel and started sharing my love for the aviation world, funnily enough, it was my mum’s idea, so I guess I owe her a lot, not just for how she raised me, her crazy love for the Boeing 747 and planespotting, but for also recommending I  start the YouTube channel. I wasn’t the popular kid in school, so I often spent my weekends at home or the airport. But, the genius she is, my mum made a valid point that I wasn’t doing anything with the images and footage I created at the airport. That’s when she suggested uploading it to Youtube. So, in July of 2015, I started Dj’s Aviation Videos, as it was previously known, and uploaded my first video, which was planespotting.”

Credit: qz.com
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If you had advice that you could give to other aviation YouTubers, what would it be?

“Be unique; There’s no use doing something someone else is doing, at least in my eyes. That’s not to say you can’t upload planespotting or flight reviews. However, put your spin on it. Give someone a reason to watch your content over someone else’s doing something similar. Maybe it’s your community feel. Perhaps it’s your sense of humor. Lean into something and go with it. Trust me. It’ll do wonders because there’s nothing better than not just on Youtube but also in the life to be unique. It stands you apart from the crowd and people, maybe not now but later will appreciate that. 

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Have fun. The most important thing is to make content that you enjoy, and if you don’t,  switch it until you find something you do. Of course, it’s a lot easier said than done. Producing content can be tiring, whether it’s a job or a hobby, but once you find that topic or style of video you enjoy, everyone will notice, and your skills will shine through. Of course, having fun is also essential because, ideally, especially if uploading is your hobby, you don’t want your escape from the stress of life to be something not enjoyable.”

What made you want to launch your second channel, Dj’s transport?

“I’ve been uploading aviation content for almost seven years to Dj’s Aviation with videos daily, there are over 2,000 videos now on that channel, and it’s a tiring process. I’ve always been interested in other forms of transport but never really got the chance to enjoy them. The goal and reason I wanted to launch Dj’s Transport were to have fun again. Whether it was uploading train spotting, learning more about Eurostar, or even Amtrak. I just wanted to have fun publishing on YouTube, and while this contradicts my answer to your last question, I think doing the same thing on Dj’s Aviation for so long left me burnout and wanting more. Starting the second channel in some of the spare time I had allowed me to have another community, relax and do what I wanted without the pressures.”.

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Dj’s transport covers new from across all transport, not just aviation (Credit: bbc.co.uk)

What has been the best moment that you’ve had whilst being a YouTuber?

“Attending the launch of Northern Pacific Airways in the United States earlier this year would  have to be the ‘best moment.’ I don’t think anything will top the week of events and the fantastic people I met personally. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me, and I loved every second of it. There were many pinch-me moments during the event. However, most of all, I think it allowed me to see that everything I had done, all the late nights, unfortunately,  all the bullying and abuse I went through online and in school was worth it in the end to have this opportunity to be covering the launch of a new airline on the other side of the world.  Honorable mentions this year would have to be the various interviews I’ve conducted with executives within the aviation industry, whether it be commercial or private. My love for the media and communication field has allowed me to develop my interview and journalism skills.  Still, it’s also given me a better understanding of the other side of the aviation industry. “

Dan was at the launch of American airline Northern Pacific airways (credit: runwaygirlnetwork.com)
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What helps you to decide what to create a video on?

“Content creation is my full-time job. Unfortunately, deciding the best topic to cover comes down to what I believe people will watch solely. There’s content I’d love to cover but sadly sometimes don’t get the chance to do, whether that be due to time available or sadly not enough people tuning in to the coverage on that topic. Being as transparent as possible, as this is my job and I have bills to pay, there’s always an element of needing to ensure that people will watch the videos. Without people tuning in, food won’t be on my plate at the end of the day, and continuing to upload to Dj’s Aviation would no longer be feasible. I always have an idea of what I want to cover, and when something appears, whether it be a new interview,  report, or release, I’ll tend to focus on something I firmly believe will be of more interest to people. Say a major U.S airline over an Australian regional operator. My series of ‘Aviation news weekly’, if you will, has allowed me to cover more niche topics. However, of course, due  to time constraints, even then, there’s stuff I still miss out on.”

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Featured image credit: Dj’s aviation on Facebook

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Published by Sam Jakobi (Sam the Avgeek)

I am a young Avgeek who has been interested in aviation since the age of around 3 or 4. I run a very small youtube channel in which I review flights and explain common things in the aviation industry.

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