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Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career

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Rank #11 in Aviation category

Business
Careers
Leisure
Aviation
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The Ready For Takeoff podcast will help you transform your aviation passion into an aviation career. Every week we bring you instruction and inspiring interviews with top aviators in their field who reveal their flight path to an exciting career in the skies.

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The Ready For Takeoff podcast will help you transform your aviation passion into an aviation career. Every week we bring you instruction and inspiring interviews with top aviators in their field who reveal their flight path to an exciting career in the skies.

iTunes Ratings

83 Ratings
Average Ratings
67
5
5
3
3

Always Interesting

By Jim2991 - Nov 13 2019
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Love the variety of subjects and interesting guests. Perfect for aviation junkies. Thank you.

Thank You George

By flying64Q - Jul 08 2019
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Absolutely must listen podcast. George this is gold

iTunes Ratings

83 Ratings
Average Ratings
67
5
5
3
3

Always Interesting

By Jim2991 - Nov 13 2019
Read more
Love the variety of subjects and interesting guests. Perfect for aviation junkies. Thank you.

Thank You George

By flying64Q - Jul 08 2019
Read more
Absolutely must listen podcast. George this is gold
Cover image of Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career

Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career

Latest release on Jan 20, 2020

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The Ready For Takeoff podcast will help you transform your aviation passion into an aviation career. Every week we bring you instruction and inspiring interviews with top aviators in their field who reveal their flight path to an exciting career in the skies.

Rank #1: RFT 225: The Commuting Life

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If you become an airline pilot, there's a good chance you will at some point become a commuter. Commuting is probably more prevalent among pilots than in the general population, since they can travel from their homes to their bases on their company's planes as pass-riding passengers on in the cockpit on jump seats. Reciprocal jump seat agreements make it fairly easy to obtain a jump seat on another carrier.

There are several scenarios of commuting situations. If you reside in a city where your airline has a base, but you are currently based at a different location, you may decide to commute to your base, rather than relocate. At some point, you may become senior enough to be based where you live. In this case, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

In another example, perhaps you reside in a city where your airline does not have a pilot base. In this case, you will be a commuter for the duration of your employment, unless and until the airline establishes a base where you live. There is no light at the end of the tunnel.

When you commute, you typically must plan for several backup flights to get yorself to work, since  your airline expects you to be in position when you're needed. And you have to be well-rested. That means you probably need to obtain accommodations at your base.

Many pilots obtain crash pads, where they pay a fairly reasonable price to share a sleeping space with other commuting pilots. The other option, unless you have a friend in the new city who will allow you to camp out at their house, is to get an apartment in the city where you're based, or get a hotel room for every trip.

In another model, perhaps your airline provides positive-space air transportation and hotel room prior to your beginning your flight schedule. In this case, you still need to spend a lot of time away from home simply traveling to your employment, but the problem of uncertainty about your transportation is solved.

If you're commuting simply to get seniority in a base, or get more pay due to a promoted position, you need to give a lot of thought to the heavy price you'll pay.

For more information, read the blog post "The Commuter's Survival Kit".

Sep 28 2018

13mins

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Rank #2: RFT 003: Airline Training

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We discuss airline training and tips for training success.

Ready For Takeoff - Aviation and Commercial Airline Podcast - Your source for thoughts from the flight deck and beyond for Airplane Geeks looking for aviation careers.

Related Podcasts:Airline pilot guyhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/apg-199-happy-holidays!/id441028270?i=359234860&mt=2

Commercial airline podcasthttps://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/accident-analysis/id1013207395?i=358256749&mt=2

Airplane Geekshttps://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/airplanegeeks-382-women-boeing/id282825594?i=359468941&mt=2

Thoughts from the flight deckhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/are-your-takeoffs-really-safe/id286681986?i=358500366&mt=2

Aviation Careers podcasthttps://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/acp100-agricultural-flying/id544473518?i=358747249&mt=2

Dec 29 2015

46mins

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Rank #3: RFT 284: Navy SEAL/Cropduster Mike Rutledge

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From the Fighter Sweep website: Michael Rutledge is a 30 active duty year veteran with almost 12 years enlisted including a 3-year assignment as a Helicopter Rescue Swimmer, followed by 8 years as a Navy SEAL. While at SEAL Team One, he served as an M-60 gunner, Air Operations Specialist, Advanced Training Instructor and Platoon Leading Petty Officer. In 2002, Mike transferred to the U.S. Army to become a Warrant Officer Aviator. Upon graduation from flight school, he was directly assigned to the "Night Stalkers" of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) where he served for 13 years as an MH-47G pilot. His current assignment is the Commander of the West Point Flight Detachment at the United States Military Academy. Mike is also an accomplished aviation author, consultant, speaker, and airshow pilot specializing in vintage WWII aircraft, as well as spending his summers flying crop dusters in the Midwest.

Apr 22 2019

36mins

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Rank #4: RFT 210: C-21/C-130/KC-10 Pilot Dr. Jannell MacAulay

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Dr MacAulay spent 20 years in the US Air Force where she commanded the 400 member joint 305th Operations Support Squadron, was a professionalism and leadership instructor, and served as the Director of Human Performance and Leadership for the 58th Special Operations Wing. In this capacity, she stood up a pilot program launching a human performance effort from the ground up, to create high-performing, mindful, and mission-focused warfighters & families.

Most recently, she serves as a Human Performance consultant for the US Air Force, Department of Justice, and corporate America - sharing her knowledge and lessons for building high-performing organizations and teams. She has a

Masters Degree in Kinesiology (focused in exercise physiology) and a PhD with

work in the field of strategic health & human performance. Dr MacAulay is a

certified wellness educator, yoga instructor, mindfulness researcher, and holds a

certificate in plant based nutrition. She is a mother of two, and a combat veteran

with over 3000 flying hours in the C-21, C-130, & KC-10 aircraft.

Aug 06 2018

45mins

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Rank #5: RFT 095: Career Counselor Karen Kahn

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Karen Kahn has been actively involved in the aviation industry for 30+ years. She is one of the nation’s first female commercial pilots hired and one of few pioneers still working. Prior to starting her airline career in 1977, she instructed at the Sierra Academy in Northern California and operated her own weekend ground school teaching Private, Commercial and Instrument courses.

She holds ratings through Airline Transport Pilot (ATP), including type ratings on the Boeing 757/767 and McDonnell-Douglas MD-80. She was the first woman to be type-rated in a Lockheed JetStar. Her other ratings include: CFII MEI, Flight Engineer, Turbojet, Seaplane, Helicopter, and the coveted Master CFI (MCFI) designation from the National Association of Flight Instructors.

As an author, speaker and career counselor, Captain Kahn also specializes in helping pilots improve their career preparation, and more recently has expanded her business to provide career development beyond aviation.

Captain Kahn’s professional presentations include career workshops, professional and civic meetings, events, trainings, and trade shows. She prefers to tailor her presentations to each event ensuring a special and unforgettable engagement. She is an inspirational voice on confidence, determination and achieving goals, and can speak on a variety of topics spanning personal motivation, leadership, travel, career development and, of course, aviation.

Jun 19 2017

42mins

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Rank #6: RFT 039: B-52 Pilot/Airline Pilot Nick Hinch

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Nick Hinch started his Aviation career as an Air Force navigator on the B-52, flying over Hanoi during Operation Linebacker II. He then went to pilot training and rose to B-52 Squadron Commander and Wing Assistant Director Of Operations. Following a 20-year Air Force career, he became an airline pilot with United Airlines, then went overseas to fly B777s for Air India.

Aug 01 2016

52mins

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Rank #7: RFT 079: SR-71 Pilot Brian Shul

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In 1973, Brian Shul was an Air Force T-28 pilot advising the Thai Air Force when his airplane was shot down over Cambodia. He suffered catastrophic burns and spent over a year in the hospital, with numerous experts telling him he would never fly again. He was determined to prove them wrong.

Two days after being released from the hospital, Brian was back flying Air Force fighter jet aircraft. He went on to fly the A-7D, and was then selected to be a part of the first operational A-10 squadron at Myrtle Beach, SC, where he was on the first A-10 air show demonstration team. After a tour as an A-10 Instructor Pilot at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, he went on to instruct at the Air Force’s Fighter Lead-In School as the Chief of Air-to-Ground Academics. As a final assignment in his career, Shul volunteered for and was selected to fly the SR-71. This assignment required an astronaut type physical just to qualify, and Shul passed with no waivers.

He started taking photographs of the SR-71, and since retiring has published two books of SR-71 photos and information, and then turned his attention to photographing birds and nature.  

His "speed check" story is the most-repeated story in all of aviation.

Apr 24 2017

26mins

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Rank #8: RFT 184: Christina Olds Tells The Robin Olds Story

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Christina Olds is the daughter of Robin Olds, an American fighter pilot and general officer in the U.S. Air Force. He was a "triple ace", with a combined total of 16 victories in World War II and the Vietnam War. He retired in 1973 as a brigadier general. After her father's death, Christina spent years combing through her father's notes, diaries and unfinished memoir to complete a captivating, intimate memoir of the consummate fighter pilot.

The son of Army Air Forces Major General Robert Olds, educated at West Point, and the product of an upbringing in the early years of the U.S. Army Air Corps, Olds epitomized the youthful World War II fighter pilot. He remained in the service as it became the United States Air Force, despite often being at odds with its leadership, and was one of its pioneer jet pilots. Rising to the command of two fighter wings, Olds is regarded among aviation historians, and his peers, as the best wing commander of the Vietnam War, for both his air-fighting skills, and his reputation as a combat leader.[4]

Olds was promoted to brigadier general after returning from Vietnam and became Commandant of Cadets at the United States Air Force Academy. 

Olds had a highly publicized career and life, including marriage to Hollywood actress Ella Raines. As a young man he was also recognized for his athletic prowess in both high school and college, being named an All-American as a lineman in college football. Olds expressed his philosophy regarding fighter pilots in the quote: "There are pilots and there are pilots; with the good ones, it is inborn. You can't teach it. If you are a fighter pilot, you have to be willing to take risks."

May 07 2018

37mins

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Rank #9: RFT 087: SR-71 Test Pilot Bob Gilliland

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Bob was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1926 and graduated from The Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee in 1944. At age 17, Bob volunteered for the US Navy and was training to go into submarines when he was accepted into the US Naval Academy at the war’s end. As a midshipman he served on various warships, including a heavy cruiser, destroyer, carrier, and the battleship USS North Carolina in which his GQ station was the 16 inch gun turret. Bob graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1949. He took his commission in the Air Force where he could go immediately to flight school. He went on to fly the Republic F-84 ThunderJet in combat against MIGS in Korea and was then selected after the war for the elite Air Force Research and Development team where he flew virtually every aircraft in the USAF inventory including “expanding the envelope” in the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. As a Lockhead F-104 instructor pilot, Bob taught some of the world’s leading pilots how to fly the Starfighter. Some of his students included WW2 Luftwaffe fighter aces Gunther Rall, and Johannes Steinhoff as well as Canada’s Wing Commander Kenneth Lett and USAF General John Dunning. Remarkably, Bob has made 5 successful “dead stick” landings in the F-104 – an amazing accomplishment given that the F-104 glides like a “toolbox” and is extremely unforgiving of pilot errors. Bob was also involved with fellow Lockheed test pilot Darryl Greenamyer in breaking the FAI world restricted altitude speed record of 988.26 mph in a highly modified F-104 on October 24, 1978.

Bob Gilliland has logged more test flight hours at Mach 3 than any other pilot in the world. He has been recognized and honored for his work many times. In the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, he is honored for making one of the greatest contributions to aviation in his time as a test pilot/astronaut joining the 7 Mercury astronauts, Charles Lindberg and Howard Hughes in the same honor. Bob is a fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and a recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Flight Test Historical Foundation for his distinguished aviation career. Bob was awarded the prestigious Ivan C. Kincheloe Award in 1964 for his work on the Blackbird program. He was named an Eagle by the Air Force Flight Test Historical Foundation in 1998 and received the Godfrey L. Cabot Award in 2001. Among his many honors, the one which he seems to have enjoyed the most, was the “Legends of Aerospace Tour” to Europe and the Middle East in March of 2010. As one of America’s five Legends, along with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan, Jim Lovell, and Vietnam fighter ace Steve Ritchie, the Tour stopped at many “down range” US military bases and hospitals. Former Good Morning America host David Hartman served as the moderator for the Tour. The Legends spoke daily to thousands of our servicemen defending our interests abroad, reminding Bob, he said with a smile, of how much he had enjoyed seeing Bob Hope and Betty Grable visit his airbase when he was flying combat in Korea.

May 22 2017

35mins

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Rank #10: RFT 244: Navy Fighter Pilot/Author Dave Dequeljoe

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From Dave Dequeljoe's website:

Dave Dequeljoe is a former Navy fighter pilot with two combat tours to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was awarded the Navy Commendation with Combat “V” device for valor and an Air Medal with Individual star device for the heroic low altitude rescue of U.S. Special Operations Forces from an overwhelming advancing armor column. Dave also was awarded two Strike Flight Air Medals, and his squadron won the Battle “E” for excellence in sustained combat sorties. Transitioning home after debilitating injuries sustained from an inverted flat spin ejection, Dave became an entrepreneur and has owned several businesses.

Dave has written an outstanding book, Dogfighting Depression, to help people dealing with depression. His noble goal is to put a huge dent into the number of veteran suicides (22) each day.

Dec 03 2018

40mins

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Rank #11: RFT 250: Pilot/Bristol Watch Company Founder Greg Youngs

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Taught to fly in high school by his father, a combat-decorated Air Force pilot, Greg has gone on to fly professionally in aircraft ranging from crop dusters to corporate aircraft to airliners and has piloted more than 50 aircraft types (and counting).  His immediate family includes pilots for the Air Force, Navy, Army, and airlines, as well as a NASA Space Shuttle Commander.  What another company might refer to as a board of aviation experts, the Bristol founder just calls the dinner table. 

Dec 24 2018

40mins

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Rank #12: RFT 179: AOG/MEL/CDL

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Aircraft on Ground or AOG is a term in aviation maintenance indicating that a problem is serious enough to prevent an aircraft from flying. Generally there is a rush to acquire the parts to put the aircraft (A/C) back into service, and prevent further delays or cancellations of the planned itinerary. AOG applies to any aviation materials or spare parts that are needed immediately for an aircraft to return to service. AOG suppliers refer qualified personnel and dispatch the parts required to repair the aircraft for an immediate return to service. AOG also is used to describe critical shipments for parts or materials for aircraft "out of service" or OTS at a location.

In aviation, master minimum equipment list, or MMEL, is a categorized list of on-board systems, instruments and equipment that may be inoperative for flight. Specific procedures or conditions may be associated with operation of the relevant item. It is considered by default that any equipment or system related to airworthiness which is not included in the MMEL is required to be operative. The MMEL is defined on a per aircraft model basis.

MEL (Minimum Equipment List): MEL is based upon the MMEL (Master Minimum Equipment List). MMEL is defined on a per aircraft model basis. MEL is prepared by the operator by taking reference of the MMEL keeping in mind the type and number of equipment installed. Initial issue of the MEL and its subsequent revisions will be approved by competent authority.

The philosophy behind MEL is to authorize release of flight with inoperative equipment only when the inoperative equipment does not render the aircraft unairworthy for the particular flight to avoid revenue loss to the operator and discomfort to the passengers.

Limitations, procedures and substitutions may be used to provide conditions under which the inoperative equipment will not make the operation unsafe or the aircraft unairworthy. This is not a philosophy which permits reduced safety in order to fly to a base where repairs can be made, but rather a philosophy which permits safe operations for a take off from a maintenance base or en-route stop.

It may not include items like galley equipment, entertainment systems, passenger convenience equipment, which do not affect the airworthiness of an aircraft. All items which affect the airworthiness of aircraft or safety of those carried on board and are not included in MEL are required to be operative.

Minimum equipment lists are issued to specific aircraft and specific operators. In order to use a minimum equipment list, that specific company must receive a letter of authorization from the national aviation authorities of the countries where the aircraft will operate.

A minimum equipment list is required in the United States by the Federal Aviation Administration:

  • When operating any turbine-powered aircraft such as jets or turboprops.
  • When operating under part 135 (Commuter and on-demand operations)
  • When operating under part 125 (Non-airline large aircraft operations)

The CDL evolved over several years from what was commonly known as a “missing parts list,” which was a list of non-structural external parts of an airplane that were found missing after flight. The missing parts list is known today as the CDL.

The CDL plays an important role in the operator’s ability to safely continue flight operations. It is a list of externally exposed aircraft parts that may be missing for flight while the aircraft remains Airworthy. CDLs are developed by aircraft manufacturers, approved by the FAA, and tailored for each model aircraft.

A CDL is developed for most U.S.-built transport 14 CFR part 25 aircraft and many 14 CFR part 23 aircraft by aircraft manufacturers during the initial certification process. However, they are not a required element for aircraft certification. The manufacturer makes the decision to develop or not to develop a CDL. If deemed necessary, the aircraft manufacturer develops a proposed CDL and submits it to the responsible Aircraft Certification Office (ACO). The ACO reviews, evaluates, conducts the required testing, and coordinates with the appropriate Aircraft Evaluation Group (AEG), if needed, to resolve any problems and/or discrepancies.

Apr 20 2018

7mins

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Rank #13: RFT 194: F-16/Airline Pilot Scott "Hurler" Weaver

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Scott Weaver hails from a long line of pilots, starting with his grandfather, Leo Purington, who had a 4-digit pilot certificate number. Scott was immersed in aviation from a young age, but had initially aspired to a career as a professional baseball player.

Finally, the flying bug bit him, and he entered the Air Force and attended Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT). Following UPT, he stayed in Air Training Command as a First Assignment Instructor Pilot (FAIP), instructing student pilots. Then it was time for him to get his fighter assignment, and he selected the F-16. Scott continued to fly the F-16 for the rest of his career, including his time in the DC Air Guard. He retired from the Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel.

After leaving active duty, Scott hired on with a major airline, and currently flies B777's on international routes.

Scott also wrote a book that chronicles the history of Thunderbird Field and his family's role in that history.

As part of his research, he met Jerry Yellin, the pilot who flew the last combat mission of World War II, who trained at Thunderbird Field.

Jun 11 2018

45mins

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Rank #14: RFT 089: Fear of Flying Counselor Tom Bunn

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After graduating from Wake Forest University in psychology, Captain Tom entered the U.S. Air Force. Number one in his class when he got his wings in 1960, he was given his choice of assignments, and chose to fly the Air Force's first supersonic jet fighter, the F-100.

He served from 1961 until 1965 with the 9th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany flying the F-100 and F-105. In addition to flying, he did accident investigation and developed a safety device for the F-100.

While in Germany, Captain Tom raced a Lola Mk5 Formula 3 at the Nurburgring, Zolder, Zandvordt, and Rouen. When returning to the U.S., he converted the car to SCCA Formula C specifications, and won a U.S. National Championship in 1965. From 1965 until 1986, he flew DC-8s, 707s, and 747s internationally with Pan Am.

From 1986 until 1996, he flew 747s, 757s and 767s at United Airlines.

The first fear of flying program was started at Pan Am by Captain Truman "Slim" Cummings. Captain Tom worked with him on that program until founding SOAR in 1982 to develop more effective methods for dealing with flight problems. This led to graduate school at Fordham University where he earned a Masters Degree with top honors, and several years of postgraduate study at the Gestalt Center Of Long Island, the New York Training Institute For Neurolinguistic Programming, and The Masterson Institute. He was licensed as a therapist in 1990.

Tom's website is http://www.fearofflying.com/ . He has authored an outstanding book to help travelers overcome their fear of flying.

May 29 2017

25mins

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Rank #15: RFT 231: Road Warrior Survival Tips

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Whether you're a professional pilot or someone who flies as a passenger, there's a good chance you're going to fly in an airliner and layover in a hotel at some point in the near future. Here are some tips to make your trip easier and safer:

  • If you plan to park your car at the airport, make sure your car registration and insurance card do NOT show your address.
  • Snap a photo of your parking spot.
  • Make your luggage look distinctive.
  • Only put your first initial and last name, and your email, on your luggage ID tag.
  • Do not pack anything of value in your checked luggage, and make sure all essential medications are in your hand-carried bag.
  • Fill any required prescriptions at a pharmacy with a national presence.
  • Bring your own water bottle onto the flight.
  • Carry a liberal supply of antibacterial hand wipes.
  • Pay attention to the flight attendant safety briefing.
  • At your destination, keep your luggage close by and in sight while waiting for ground transportation.
  • Know what that transportation will look like.
  • Keep all your bags with you when you check in at the hotel.
  • Try to get a room on the third floor.
  • If you feel uncomfortable with the security situation, ask the hotel for an escort to your room.
  • Perform a complete room inspection when you arrive at your room.
  • Immediately after the room inspection, walk to the two closest emergency exits shown on the map on the back of your door.
  • Carry an ultraviolet flashlight to check the cleanliness of your room.
  • Disinfect EVERYTHING in your room with your antibacterial wipes.
  • ALWAYS keep the DO NOT DISTURB sign on your door.

Oct 18 2018

17mins

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Rank #16: RFT 226: TV Weatherman/Pilot Chris Dunn

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Chris Dunn started flying - in the right seat of his father's airplane - when he was an infant. Chris's dad had several airplanes while Chris was growing up, so he was steeped in aviation throughout his childhood.

Chris didn't actually start his own flight training until he was thirty years old, when he had "the time and the money" to take lessons. He flew 2-3 days a week, and earned his Private Pilot certificate quickly. He immediately earned his Instrument rating shortly afterwards, and later pursued his Commercial certificate.

Chris attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to earn his Master's Degree in Aviation Safety.

Chris became an on-air television weatherman, and continued his love of aviation by serving in volunteer aviation activities, such as Civil Air Patrol and Angel Flight West. In that capacity, Chris transported patients to medical treatment where commercial air transportation was not available and automobile trips would take too long and be too taxing on the individuals. He once transported a patient from Denver to North Platte, Nebraska, where she was met by another pilot who would fly her the rest of the way to Iowa. The patient's transfer was front and center on North Platte's only television station, and garnered publicity and appreciation for General Aviation and how it serves communities.

Chris shares his love of aviation in his website: http://www.theflyingweatherman.com/.

Oct 01 2018

33mins

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Rank #17: RFT 205: Density Altitude

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From the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge:

Density Altitude

SDP is a theoretical pressure altitude, but aircraft operate in a nonstandard atmosphere and the term density altitude is used for correlating aerodynamic performance in the nonstandard atmosphere. Density altitude is the vertical distance above sea level in the standard atmosphere at which a given density is to be found. The density of air has significant effects on the aircraft’s performance because as air becomes less dense, it reduces:

  • Power because the engine takes in less air
  • Thrust because a propeller is less efficient in thin air
  • Lift because the thin air exerts less force on the airfoils

Density altitude is pressure altitude corrected for nonstandard temperature. As the density of the air increases (lower density altitude), aircraft performance increases; conversely as air density decreases (higher density altitude), aircraft performance decreases. A decrease in air density means a high density altitude; an increase in air density means a lower density altitude. Density altitude is used in calculating aircraft performance because under standard atmospheric conditions, air at each level in the atmosphere not only has a specific density, its pressure altitude and density altitude identify the same level.

The computation of density altitude involves consideration of pressure (pressure altitude) and temperature. Since aircraft performance data at any level is based upon air density under standard day conditions, such performance data apply to air density levels that may not be identical with altimeter indications. Under conditions higher or lower than standard, these levels cannot be determined directly from the altimeter.

Density altitude is determined by first finding pressure altitude, and then correcting this altitude for nonstandard temperature variations. Since density varies directly with pressure and inversely with temperature, a given pressure altitude may exist for a wide range of temperatures by allowing the density to vary. However, a known density occurs for any one temperature and pressure altitude. The density of the air has a pronounced effect on aircraft and engine performance. Regardless of the actual altitude of the aircraft, it will perform as though it were operating at an altitude equal to the existing density altitude.

Air density is affected by changes in altitude, temperature, and humidity. High density altitude refers to thin air, while low density altitude refers to dense air. The conditions that result in a high density altitude are high elevations, low atmospheric pressures, high temperatures, high humidity, or some combination of these factors. Lower elevations, high atmospheric pressure, low temperatures, and low humidity are more indicative of low density altitude.

Effect of Pressure on Density

Since air is a gas, it can be compressed or expanded. When air is compressed, a greater amount of air can occupy a given volume. Conversely, when pressure on a given volume of air is decreased, the air expands and occupies a greater space. At a lower pressure, the original column of air contains a smaller mass of air. The density is decreased because density is directly proportional to pressure. If the pressure is doubled, the density is doubled; if the pressure is lowered, the density is lowered. This statement is true only at a constant temperature.

Effect of Temperature on Density

Increasing the temperature of a substance decreases its density. Conversely, decreasing the temperature increases the density. Thus, the density of air varies inversely with temperature. This statement is true only at a constant pressure.

In the atmosphere, both temperature and pressure decrease with altitude and have conflicting effects upon density. However, a fairly rapid drop in pressure as altitude increases usually has a dominating effect. Hence, pilots can expect the density to decrease with altitude.

Effect of Humidity (Moisture) on Density

The preceding paragraphs refer to air that is perfectly dry. In reality, it is never completely dry. The small amount of water vapor suspended in the atmosphere may be almost negligible under certain conditions, but in other conditions humidity may become an important factor in the performance of an aircraft. Water vapor is lighter than air; consequently, moist air is lighter than dry air. Therefore, as the water content of the air increases, the air becomes less dense, increasing density altitude and decreasing performance. It is lightest or least dense when, in a given set of conditions, it contains the maximum amount of water vapor.

Humidity, also called relative humidity, refers to the amount of water vapor contained in the atmosphere and is expressed as a percentage of the maximum amount of water vapor the air can hold. This amount varies with temperature. Warm air holds more water vapor, while cold air holds less. Perfectly dry air that contains no water vapor has a relative humidity of zero percent, while saturated air, which cannot hold any more water vapor, has a relative humidity of 100 percent. Humidity alone is usually not considered an important factor in calculating density altitude and aircraft performance, but it is a contributing factor.

As temperature increases, the air can hold greater amounts of water vapor. When comparing two separate air masses, the first warm and moist (both qualities tending to lighten the air) and the second cold and dry (both qualities making it heavier), the first must be less dense than the second. Pressure, temperature, and humidity have a great influence on aircraft performance because of their effect upon density. There are no rules of thumb that can be easily applied, but the affect of humidity can be determined using several online formulas. In the first example, the pressure is needed at the altitude for which density altitude is being sought. Using Figure 4-2, select the barometric pressure closest to the associated altitude. As an example, the pressure at 8,000 feet is 22.22 "Hg. Using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website (www.srh.noaa.gov/ epz/?n=wxcalc_densityaltitude) for density altitude, enter the 22.22 for 8,000 feet in the station pressure window. Enter a temperature of 80° and a dew point of 75°. The result is a density altitude of 11,564 feet. With no humidity, the density altitude would be almost 500 feet lower.

Jul 19 2018

8mins

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Rank #18: RFT 298: B-2/Airline Pilot Keith Reeves

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Keith Reeves wanted to be a pilot ever since he was a child, living on base at Kadena Air Base, Japan, and hearing the local F-4s and SR-71s taking off.

When the family relocated to Selfridge Air Force Base he got the chance to get close to airplanes. A friend on base took him up for a flight in a General Aviation plane, and he was hooked.

He attended the United States Air Force Academy, and flew with the Academy aero club. Before Undergraduate Pilot Training, he served as an engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, then he attended pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base. Kevin qualified for the T-38 track, then flew B-52's for 5 1/2 years, rising to the position of Instructor Pilot.

While flying B-52s, he bought a Citabria, and kept it for 10 years.

He applied to the B-2 program, and was accepted on his third attempt. He remained on the B-2 for the remainder of his flying career, stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base. In addition to the B-2, Keith was dual-qualified in the T-38.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he flew a 37-hour flight.

Keith now flies as a B737 first officer for a major legacy airline.

Jun 10 2019

38mins

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Rank #19: RFT 200: Fighter Pilot Podcast Host Vincent Aiello

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Vincent Aiello (aka "Jell-O") took his first airplane flight when he was 11 years old, and was smitten. He attended UCLA, majoring in Mathematics, and then entered the Navy. He was initially assigned as a life guard while waiting for flight training, then finally started his flying. He flew the T-34, the T-2 and the TA-4 while in training.

After his initial training, he flew the FA-18 at El Toro, then flew at Cecil Field. His first deployment was on the USS George Washington. He later attended TOPGUN and remained on staff as an instructor.

Following 25 years of service, he retired from the Navy and, somewhat reluctantly, became n airline pilot.

Jell-O is the host of the Fighter Pilot Podcast, where he interviews fighter pilots from all branches of the service in captivating episodes.

Jul 02 2018

31mins

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Rank #20: RFT 187: Easy ILS

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In Episode 149 we discussed how to fly a 3-degree visual approach. In this episode we talk about how to fly a manual ILS approach, i.e., an approach flown without a flight director.

If you are planning to fly to an airport with an operable ILS, a little flight planning goes a long way. You can check weather forecasts for your destination and determine the probable runway that will be in use when you arrive, along with the forecast temperature and wind. You need this information to plan your approach.

To start, calculate the true airspeed of your aircraft at the anticipated landing weight when you arrive at your destination. Depending on your aircraft, this can vary considerably depending on weight. Now, consult your performance charts to determine your approach speed in indicated airspeed (IAS).

Use your IAS to calculate the true airspeed (TAS) for your approach. If you are operating into a sea level airport on a standard day, IAS an TAS are close to each other, but if you are flying your approach to a high-altitude airport there can be a considerable difference between IAS and TAS. The proper way to do this is to use your E6B computer, as explained in RFT 148. The fall-back method is to increase your IAS by 2 percent for each  1000 feet of altitude to determine TAS. For example, if you are flying 90 knots IAS at 5000 feet pressure altitude, your IAS would be 99 knots (90 knots plus 10 percent of 90).

You need this TAS to use the wind side of your E6B, as explained in RFT Episode 146. Perform a wind-side calculation to determine your groundspeed and wind correction angle for the approach.

Now, to stay on a nominal 3-degree ILS glide slope, descend at 1/2 your groundspeed times 10. If your groundspeed is 99 knots, descend at 500 feet per minute. When you intercept the localizer, apply the wind correction angle to the final approach course to get an initial approach heading.

ASSIGN yourself headings and descent rates, and you will find that it's relatively easy to fly an ILS with the needles centered, even without a flight director!

When you get to minimums and see the runway, don't change a thing!

May 17 2018

10mins

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RFT 362: Laser Protection with Dr. George Palikaras

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Laser attacks against aircraft are a major problem. There were over 7000 laser strikes against aircraft in the past year. Increasing the threat is the easy availability of hand-held lasers and the increased power of modern lasers.

Laser strikes have the potential to distract and blind pilots, and a solution is essential to aviation safety.

Dr. George Palikaras is a scientist who saw the need to protect pilots' eyes from laser illumination. His company, Metameterial Technologies, has developed a solution, and protection is available now.

Jan 20 2020

21mins

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RFT 361: One Door Closes...

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There's a famous expression, "When one door closes, another one opens". That's certainly been my experience, although it didn't always look rosy when I was in the middle of a situation.

I was furloughed from United on April 1, 1981 (April Fool's Day). It was just after midnight, and I turned in my cockpit key, my company ID, and my flight manuals, and I was unemployed. Job prospects were miserable. The only pilots who had gotten work were the ones who were furloughed first. We had to sell our home, and moved out on our wedding anniversary. It was tough. A door had closed.

Through networking, I had gotten in touch with another furloughed pilot and heard that Lockheed was hiring. I interviewed and was hired for a job no one could tell me about until I had a security clearance. So I dutifully went into work every day and sat in a processing office waiting for my security clearance to come through. And I waited. Although I was getting paid - about the same as what I made at United - I hated the one-hour drive in California traffic, and I missed flying.

One day I came across an article in the Air Force Times about the Palace Recall Program, and I called the number listed. I told the person that I had left the Air Force almost four years earlier, and I was interested in geetting back in. He said, "You're not going to get in unless you're a fighter pilot". I said I was, and he let me apply. A total of 246 officers applied for the program, and 13 were accepted. I was one of them.

I ended up flying for the entire time I was furloughed, earned the Tactical Air Command Instructor Pilot of the Year Award, and eventually became a Squadron Commander. It was great, and it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been furloughed. A door had opened.

I've found this "door closes-door opens" numerous times in my career.

Jan 16 2020

7mins

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RFT 360: Airline Pilot Guy Captain Dana

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Hello APG fans! I am Captain Dana and would like to share a bit of my background with all of you. My first logged flight was on my seventeenth birthday in August 1987. Ever since I can remember as a child I always loved airplanes and flying. I graduated with my degree in aviation management from a small college in southeastern Massachusetts with a fairly large aviation program. While going to school I was hired by ACME JR in Boston as a customer service agent, eventually moving up to a supervisory role. Then I was offered a position with ACME and have worked in baggage service, ticketing, gates, reservations, ramp operations, supervisor, customer service operations instructor and Mad Dog systems instructor. While working full time I completed all my flight training all the way through flight instructor and started teaching on the side, bought a partnership in a PA28-161 (Piper Warrior), flew parachute jumpers and eventually became a corporate pilot earning my type rating in a Cessna Citation. I then took a position with ACME JR ATL leaving my career at ACME behind to fly the EMB120 and the CRJ200. Now I am fortunate to be back at ACME as a Mad Dawg pilot, which was my goal, since it is the aircraft I spent 3 years teaching and with the company I’ve spent most of my career. I have logged time over my flying career in 31 different civilian aircraft. I still currently hold a CFI/II and love to share my wisdom, experience and knowledge of my aviation career with anyone who listens. Thank you all for supporting Jeff, the APG crew and APG community. Fly safe.

Jan 13 2020

39mins

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RFT 359: Nigerian Airways Flight 2120

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Nigeria Airways Flight 2120 was a chartered passenger flight from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Sokoto, Nigeria on 11 July 1991, which caught fire shortly after takeoff from King Abdulaziz International Airport and crashed while attempting to return for an emergency landing, killing all 247 passengers and 14 crew members on board. The aircraft was a Douglas DC-8 operated by Nationair for Nigeria Airways. Flight 2120 is the deadliest accident involving a DC-8 and remains the deadliest aviation disaster involving a Canadian airline.

The aircraft departed King Abdulaziz International Airport bound for Sadiq Abubakar III International Airport in Sokoto, but problems were reported shortly after takeoff. Unknown to the crew, the aircraft had caught fire during departure, and though the fire itself was not obvious since it started in an area without fire warning systems, the effects were numerous. Pressurization failed quickly, and the crew was deluged with nonsensical warnings caused by fire-related circuit failures. In response to the pressurization failure, Allan decided to remain at 610 metres (2,000 ft), but the flight was cleared to 910 metres (2,990 ft) as a result of the controller mistaking Flight 2120 for a Saudia flight that was also reporting pressurization problems due to Captain Allan mistakenly identifying as "Nationair 2120" rather than "Nigerian 2120", a mix-up that lasted for three minutes but was ultimately found not to have had any effect on the outcome. Amidst this, First Officer Davidge, who had been flying C-GMXQ out, reported that he was losing hydraulics. The crew only became aware of the fire when a flight attendant rushed into the cockpit reporting "smoke in the back ... real bad". Shortly afterwards, Davidge reported that he had lost ailerons, forcing Allan to take control; as Allan took over, the cockpit voice recorder failed. At this moment, the air traffic controller realized that Flight 2120 was not the Saudia flight and was in trouble, and directed them towards the runway. Allan subsequently contacted air traffic control multiple times, among his pre-mortem communications being a request for emergency vehicles.

When the aircraft was about 18 kilometres (11 mi; 9.7 nmi) from the airport and at an altitude of 671 metres (2,201 ft), a point where the landing gear could conceivably have been lowered, it began to experience an inflight breakup and a number of bodies fell from it, indicating that the fire by that time had consumed, at least partially, the cabin floor. Just 2,875 metres (9,432 ft) short of the runway, the melting aircraft finally became uncontrollable and crashed, killing whatever portion of the 261 occupants on board—including 247 passengers—had not already suffocated or fallen out of the aircraft. Nine of the fourteen crew were identified, but "no attempt was made to identify the passengers".

Jan 09 2020

6mins

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RFT 358: Reflecting on 2019

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Last year found me teaching at Metro State and working on my podcast and my script. It was actually a fairly fun schedule, with interviews for each Monday episode and educational information for each mid-week episode.

Whenever I interviewed someone who had written a book, I would read the book before interviewing them. Altogether, I read about 30 books in 2019.

In 2019 I started doing some speaking engagements. So far, all of the appearances have been pro bono, but I'm hoping to start expanding to paid venues. My topics are "Air Combat Lessons in Leadership and Life", "Layover Security for Travelers" and "Airline Safety Improvements From Accident Investigations". In 2019 I started writing and revising books to accompany those presentations.

Podcast guests Jason Harris and Lee Ellis have been incredibly helpful in guiding me on my journey. I met up with Jason at a local Denver meeting of the National Speakers Association, and Lee and I got together later in the year when he made a speaking appearance in Denver. Lee has been incredibly helpful in referring podcast guests to me, and his presentation left he huge audience mesmerized.

In February Nick Hinch told me that United was hiring ground instructors, and I applied. I was accepted, and started Basic Indoctrination training, along with 40 new-hire pilots, at the beginning of April. I was put on the B737 fleet, and my job is to be a Groundschool Instructor, teaching systems and procedures on the B737 NG. Although I initially had hoped to go to the B777, I am thrilled on be on the 737. I get to work with new-hire pilots and new Captains, and I get to influence these pilots for the rest of their careers.

United, it turned out, is a fantastic airline, totally changed from the toxic environment that existed in 2004. I attribute this change to the leadership under CEO Oscar Munoz, who is a breath of fresh air compared to the previous CEOs.

At United, I'm working full-time, so it's sometimes a bit of a challenge deconflicting my United schedule with my Metro teaching schedule. But I love both jobs.

In May the WGF Veterans Writing Group invited me to "pitch" my screenplay to eight Hollywood producers. The outstanding mentoring I had received throughout the previous year had really helped me refine my script to something I could be proud of. It was a fun experience, but I didn't get any nibbles at that time.

But my son Steve met another producer at the Austin Film Festival and mentioned my script, and the producer said he'd like to read it. So, hope springs eternal - Steve helped me put a final polish on the script and I sent it off shortly before Christmas. I'll be totally honest: it's not GOOD, it's GREAT!

Steve came out to Colorado in July and directed and produced the audio version of my book, Hamfist Over The Trail. He also produced the audiobook cover.

I did the narration, and it was certainly not a walk in the park! Altogether we spent five days recording, and then Steve spent a lot of time editing the file. He removed every audible breath and glitch and equalized the audio files. I think we ended up with a really great product. The audiobook is now being reviewed for release at ACX, and we hope to have it available to the public very soon.

Jan 06 2020

7mins

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RFT 357: Decade Retrospective

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As we start a new decade, I'd like to share my experiences of the last decade with you.

As I've mentioned in episode 300, my employment with Jet Airways in India ended toward the end of 2009. The Indian pilots were fully up to speed, and it was time for us expat pilots to leave. So there I was, 64 years old, unemployed, and no pension.

I filed to start drawing Social Security payments and started looking for work. As so many of our podcast guests have advised, networking is the key to finding employment. In my case, I recalled reading an update from a former United pilot in our retiree newsletter. He had mentioned that he had a job performing airline audits, and I contacted him to learn more. He put me in touch with the company he worked for, ARG/US Pros. Toward the end of 2009 I visited them for an interview, and they hired me.

https://youtu.be/Xxk3IIdJ7MU

In January 2010 I attended Auditor Training, and then went on my first assignment, to Japan, in February. One of the reasons the company sent me to Japan for a month - four audits - was because I mentioned in the interview that I spoke Japanese.

Each audit was five days long, and our team of five auditors (plus myself) would look at every area of an airline's operations, and debrief the airline CEO at the end of each day. On the weekends between each audit our team would work on our post-audit report and prepare for the next audit. During the first audit I mostly was observing, although toward the end I performed a lot of the auditing duties. For the last audit, I was "cleared solo" and operated by myself.

The audit process is called IOSA - IATA Operational Safety Audit - and during an audit the team uses an IATA (International Air Transport Association) checklist to look at everything an airline does, to determine if the airline conforms to the ISARPs (IATA Standards and Recommended Practices). There are over 1000 ISARPs the team examines. It's hard work.

For the next two years, I performed about an audit each month, and eventually became an audit team leader. Since I had studied Russian some 40 years earlier, I led a team to Moscow for a few weeks. By the end of the visit I was able to conduct the debriefs in Russian. Leading the team entailed planning for each audit and writing a detailed audit report at the end of each audit. It was a great experience, but I wanted to get a bit closer to airplanes.

In 2012, through networking with some of my former Jet Airways pilots, I heard that Boeing was looking for instructor pilots (IPs), and I applied. I went out to Seattle and interviewed, and was hired to be an IP on the new B787. I started as a contract employee on the anniversary of my United new-hire date, October 16th. I went through the 787 course as a student, took a check ride and received another type rating: B787. Then I went back through the course again as an instructor-trainee. Since the 787 was not yet flying, Boeing didn't have any real airline students, so three of us instructors would practice our teaching on each other. Two of us would play student while the other instructor would go over the planned lesson in the simulator, then we would each trade places. Finally the 787 was cleared to fly and we started getting real airline students.

I really enjoyed being back in a cockpit environment, but wasn't crazy about always being away from home. One day, a Boeing check airman told me that Omni Air International was looking for B777 IPs, and they were using the United simulators in Denver for their training. I applied to Omni, had a telephone interview with the Chief Pilot and the Director of Training, and was hired on a contract basis. So now I had two contract jobs: Boeing and Omni.

Omni was great with scheduling, giving me work assignments a month in advance. Boeing operated a bit differently. Typically, I would get a call saying I had a work assignment in two more days. Sometimes I could accept the assignment, but often it conflicted with my Omni commitment. After I turned down several assignments, Boeing advised me I was no longer a contract employee. So I was all-in on Omni.

Unfortunately, the United Training Center in Denver was getting busy with internal training, so Omni had to look elsewhere for simulators. Eventually, all of the Omni training was conducted at the Delta Airlines training center in Atlanta or in the Boeing training facility in Miami.

In 2016, again through networking, I heard that a training company in Tennessee, ARCS Aviation, was looking for a B777 Subject Matter Expert (SME) for some software development. I contacted the owner, and he drove up to Atlanta to meet me when I had finished an Omni simulator period. We hit it off, and I started doing consulting work for ARCS.

After a few years, Omni decided to use only their line pilots as simulator instructors, so we parted ways, and I spent all of my time as an SME, first on the B777, then the B787, then the B747. It was a great job that I could do at home, on my computer. Finally, the software programs were complete, and my work for ARCS was over.

In 2016 I started the Ready For Takeoff Podcast at the urging of an Omni pilot, Phil Pagoria, and my son Steve. Phil became one of my first guests on the podcast, and will make an appearance again soon! Steve walked me through everything I needed to do to produce a podcast, and has been my go-to person every time I need help.

In 2018 I heard from a friend, Nick Hinch (former RFT guest) that Wheels Up was looking for pilots. I hadn't flown in nine years, but had stayed current in simulators, and figured this would be my last chance to be employed as a pilot again. But, of course, my medical certificate had expired. So I made an appointment with my Aviation Medical Examiner (AME).

And I did something really stupid. For over 30 years, I had gone to the same AME, and every time on my application I had listed all of my visits to healthcare professionals since my previous visit (6 months earlier). And for some reason, I don't know why, I simply did the same thing. I listed all of my doctor visits since seeing him last. This is important: the form only asks for doctor visits in the last three years. But I foolishly listed all of them, and some from five, six or seven years earlier, were no one else's business, certainly not the FAA's.

My AME said he needed to send my information to the FAA, and the FAA Medical Department wanted some tests. Expensive tests, over $10,000 worth of tests. I saw the Wheels Up job disappearing, and asked the FAA if I could change my application from First Class medical to Third Class. No can do. Once you apply for a medical certificate, it must be either Approved or Denied. After many exchanges of letters, mine was Denied. After a Denial, an airman cannot get ANY medical certificate, including the new BasicMed. So, the only solo flying I can legally perform is in a glider, which does not require a medical certificate.

One of my first jobs when I had retired from United in 2005 had been teaching at Metropolitan State College of Denver, in their Aviation Department. In 2018 I visited them, now renamed Metropolitan State University of Denver, to see if they needed a classroom instructor. My timing was perfect, and I started teaching Fundamentals of Aviation and Basic Instrument Flight, two days each week, as a contract employee. Eventually, I became a full-time employee with the title of Lecturer, and I still teach courses two days every week.

In 2018 I was accepted to the Writers Guild of America Veterans Writing Project, and started working on a screenplay adaptation of my Hamfist novel series. (That's my son Steve sitting next to me in the first picture that comes up on that website).

In the next RFT episode I'll visit the year 2019.

Have a GREAT 2020!

Jan 02 2020

17mins

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RFT 356: Astronaut Dr. Tom Jones

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spacewalks to install the centerpiece of the International Space Station, the American Destiny laboratory. He has spent fifty-three days working and living in space.

After graduation from the Air Force Academy, Tom piloted B-52D strategic bombers, earned a doctorate in planetary sciences from the University of Arizona, studied asteroids for NASA, engineered intelligence-gathering systems for the CIA, and helped NASA develop advanced mission concepts to explore the solar system.

Tom is the author of several space and aviation books: Ask the Astronaut, Planetology, (written with Ellen Stofan), Hell Hawks! The Untold Story of the American Fliers Who Savaged Hitler's Wehrmacht (with Robert F. Dorr), and Sky Walking: An Astronaut's Memoir. The Wall Street Journal named Sky Walking one if its “Five Best” books on space.

Dr. Jones' awards include the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, four NASA Space Flight Medals, the NASA Exceptional Service award, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, the NASA Exceptional Public Service award, Phi Beta Kappa, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and Distinguished Eagle Scout. The Main Belt asteroid 1082 TomJones is named in his honor. In 2018, Tom was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.

Tom served on the NASA Advisory Council and the board of the Association of Space Explorers and is a board member for the Astronauts Memorial Foundation. As an aerospace and science consultant, he focuses on the future direction of human space exploration, uses of asteroid and space resources, and planetary defense. A frequent public speaker, he appears often on TV and radio with expert commentary on science and space flight.

Dec 30 2019

35mins

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RFT 355: IOE

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From AOPA:

When ground and sim training are complete, it’s finally time to fly the airplane! Back in the day, the first step was to get some landings in an actual airplane, usually conducted in the middle of the night at a small outstation under the guidance of a specially trained pilot. Those days are largely gone because of cost and safety concerns (mostly cost). Simulators are now so good that the airlines and the FAA agree that “familiarization flights” are no longer needed.

Initial operating experience (IOE) is the term used to describe your first trip of several in an airplane under the watchful eye of a check airman (sometimes called a line check airman, or LCA). IOE is an exciting yet nerve-wracking experience. You’ll go to the airport, find the crew room, and go through the entire preflight routine. It will feel like you have no time at all to get everything you need to do done, but in no time you’ll be able to do it all with time to spare.

The LCA will be talking a mile a minute, trying to teach you as much as possible in as short a time as possible. At the gate, you’ll do a supervised walk-around, and then get in the cockpit and do your routine as you’ve trained for it in the sim. However, now you’ll be bombarded by other distractions that you didn’t have before, such as flight attendants who want to say hello or need you to order something they’re missing in the cabin. Mechanics may be nosing around, and ticket agents usually come down to see if you’re ready. It doesn’t help that you still haven’t perfected the routine, and you feel as if you’re running in mud. Meanwhile, the LCA keeps talking, and he’ll take over a lot of the little stuff to try to achieve an on-time departure.

You’ll be thinking about the fact that you’ll be flying the airplane for the first time with a cabin full of passengers who have no idea that you’ve never actually flown this airplane, but you can’t dwell on it. Time will feel very compressed as you’re dealing with ATC, busy frequencies, and weather you don’t see in the sim (especially good weather). Your first night in the hotel will probably be one of the best nights of sleep you’ve ever had, thanks to the exhaustion.

IOE is a lot of fun in addition to being a steep learning curve. You’re putting all of the pieces together and realizing the culmination of your dreams. At times it’s frustrating because you don’t realize going into it how much you still have to learn, and landing the airplane is totally different than the sim. But over a few trips, with several LCAs, it starts to fall into place. And no matter how many times you go through IOE in the future, it will never be as overwhelming as the first time. Nor will it be as fun.

Dec 26 2019

5mins

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RFT 354: 21Five Podcast Hosts Dylan and Max

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Hey, we’re Dylan and Max. We met at flight school many years ago and have remained friends while navigating our careers as professional pilots. If you know a pilot, then you know they love to talk about aviation (probably a little too much). We both love radio and podcasts and are huge fans of some of the real pros in the business: Howard Stern, Joe Rogan and Bill Simmons, just to name a few. We saw an opportunity to create something that professional pilots would enjoy, and we're striving to produce a show that’s interesting, informative, and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Because we both have varied backgrounds in business aviation and the airlines (plus our days as CFIs), we offer an interesting perspective to our listeners. Whether you’re a new instructor, a line pilot at a 121 carrier, or a 135 charter road warrior, our hope is that you'll find the show engaging.

As for the name? 21.Five refers to the emergency frequency, 121.5 - a place where pilots go for assistance or lend a hand to a fellow airman in need...and of course get a laugh at the guard police and meows. Is it the best name ever? No, but here we are anyway.

Dec 23 2019

39mins

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RFT 353: Emotional Support Animals

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An emotional support animal (ESA) is a type of assistance animal that alleviates a symptom or effect of a person's disability. An emotional support animal is not a pet and is generally not restricted by species.

An emotional support animal differs from a service animal. Service animals are trained to perform specific tasks (such as helping a blind person navigate), while emotional support animals receive no specific training, nor even, necessarily, any training at all. (It therefore stands that in the setting of mental illness, whether or not the animal is a "service animal" vs. an emotional support animal would hinge on whether or not it is formally trained to do something specific to mitigate the mental illness.) Any animal that provides support, well-being, comfort, or aid, to an individual through companionship, unconditional positive regard, and affection may be regarded as an emotional support animal.

In the U.S., people with emotional or mental disabilities can be exempted from certain federal housing and travel rules if they own an emotional support animal. To receive that exemption, they must meet the federal definition of disabled, and they must present a letter from a certified healthcare provider, stating that the animal provides emotional support that alleviates one or more of the symptoms or effects of the disability.

Emotional support animals are typically cats and dogs, but may be members of other animal species. In relation to whether or not an emotional support animal should be allowed in a rental property, it is thus necessary to perform an individualized assessment of the specific assistance animal to determine if it poses a direct threat of harm or would cause substantial property damage, and not to assume that an animal is excluded based upon breed or species. Although a wild or exotic animal that poses an increase risk of disease or potential attack upon other people may potentially be excluded, courts have recognized species including guinea pigs and miniature horses as emotional support animals.

Laws and regulations that allow service animals to be taken into businesses or onto aircraft may give the service provider discretion to deny admission to unusual service animals. For example, under the Air Carrier Access Act, airlines are never required to accommodate unusual animals such as ferrets, rodents, snakes and other reptiles, or spiders within the passenger cabin of an airplane.

In 2018, Delta Air Lines banned pit bulls and similar breeds of dogs from the passenger compartment of their aircraft as emotional support animals, after a pit bull traveling as an emotional support animal bit two employees.

Most airlines will allow emotional support animals, with proper documentation from a veterinarian and/or mental health counselor, and small animals such as cats and dogs can be held on the passenger's lap during the flight.

There is no requirement under federal law for emotional support animals to wear a tag, harness, or clothing of any type indicating they are emotional support animals.

Emotional support animals do not need to have any special training.

There are no training requirements for emotional support animals. Emotional support animals typically have no training beyond what would be expected for the same type of animal. Emotional support animals need not perform any tasks other than what a pet of the same species would perform, and may display unwanted behaviors, such as defecating or urinating in inappropriate places, growling and barking at people, or biting them.

Both poorly trained emotional support animals and poorly trained pets that are being fraudulently passed off as emotional support animals represent a threat to the health, safety, and function of both people and trained service animals.

To qualify for an emotional support animal in the US, its owner must have an emotional or mental disability that is certified by a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or other licensed mental health care provider. These may be invisible disabilities.

The owner's mental health impairment must be substantial enough to produce disability, rather than discomfort or a desire to have a pet. Furthermore, for the provider to certify the animal, non-fraudulently, the emotional support animal's presence must provide a significant benefit, that makes the difference between the person functioning adequately and not.

An emotional support animal letter, or an ESA letter, is a document that qualifies people to be accompanied by a support animal in contexts in which pets might not be permitted, such as in rental housing or mass transportation. The letter must be issued by a psychiatrist, qualified mental health professional, or physician. The professional who issues an ESA letter need not be the recipient's primary care physician, and some doctors may refer patients who are seeking an ESA to psychologists or other professionals.

Under US Department of Transportation, rules, the doctor or mental health professional who issues the letter must be currently providing treatment to the passenger. Airlines are not obligated to accept certificates or letters that are more than one year old, and may require that the certification be provided on the letterhead of a licensed mental health professional or doctor who is specifically treating the passenger's mental or emotional disability.

ESA owners are currently permitted to have their animals with them on commercial flights in the US, with the proper papers saying they are under the care.

While there do not seem to be any cases dealing with the issue of multiple emotional support animals, the basic requirements for this accommodation would be the same. Thus, if a disabled person claimed to need multiple emotional support animals, he or she would need documentation supporting this claim from his or her psychologist or other licensed healthcare professional. The practitioner would need to provide documentation that each support animal alleviated some symptom of the disability.

As of 2018, Delta Air Lines limits free travel for emotional support animals to one animal per ticketed passenger.

The ability to avoid extra costs, such as paying damage deposits for pets in a rental apartment or extra baggage fees for taking an animal on an airplane, has resulted in some people misrepresenting their pets as ESAs. Following a 2018 incident in which a woman tried to board a flight with her peacock, airlines have tightened their requirements for flying with an ESA.

In some US states, providing a letter, registry, or certificate to a person who is not disabled is a crime. Many states have made it a criminal misdemeanor to make false claims stating that their animal is an assistance animal or to say they are a handler training an assistance animal. States that have passed laws criminalizing the misrepresentation of service and assistance animals include Alabama, Arizona,California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington State.

Dec 19 2019

7mins

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RFT 352: Master Pilot tim Donohue

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Tim Donohue attended college on a naval ROTC scholarship and earned his ratings and worked his way through college as a CFI.

After college, he attended pilot training at Pensacola, then flew the A-4s at Miramar. Following four years in the A-4, Tim went to Pensacola as a flight instructor, this time flying T-39s.

After the Navy, Tim interviewed with several airlines and was hired by Eastern Airlines. At Eastern, he started out as a B727 Flight Engineer. It took six years for him to be promoted to Copilot.

When Eastern Airlines went out of business, Tim was hired by United Airlines, starting over as a new-hire. He became a Captain after six years, and retired in 2014.

He stayed active in aviation after retirement, and kept his CFI current. He still flies, and recently was awarded the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award.

Dec 16 2019

37mins

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RFT 351: Suicide By Pilot

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Always adhere to the IMSAFE checklist: I - Ilness S - Stress A - Alcohol F - Fatigue E - Eating/Emotion

Dec 12 2019

12mins

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RFT 350.1: Remix Admiral Robert Shumaker

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Bob Shumaker was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania in 1933.  His father was a lawyer and his mother a writer.   After graduating from public schools he attended Northwestern University for a year and then the United States Naval Academy where he was a boxer, a cross-country runner and a scholar.  After flight training he joined VF-32, a fighter squadron in Jacksonville, Florida flying F8 Crusaders.  He was a finalist in the Apollo astronaut selection, but a temporary physical ailment prevented his selection.  In 1964 he earned a masters degree in aeronautical engineering and then joined VF-154 in San Diego, California.  About this time he married Lorraine Shaw of Montreal.  In February 1965 he was shot down on a mission over North Vietnam and spent the next eight years as a POW.  After eight years of imprisonment and having suffered multiple tortures and solitary confinement, he was repatriated and returned to school to earn a doctorate degree in electrical engineering.  As a Captain he was the government project manager for tactical missiles such as HARM, HELLFIRE and MAVERICK.  In 1983 he was promoted to the rank of Commodore and became the head of the Naval Postgraduate School.  At the Pentagon, as a Real Admiral, he was responsible for coordinating the research efforts of the Navy’s air, surface, electronics and space activities.  He retired from the Navy in 1989 and became an assistant dean at the George Washington University and later served as an associate dean at the University of North Dakota.  He retired in 1991 and then built an experimental aircraft which he’s flown to Alaska and other exotic locations.

Admiral Shumaker’s military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, two Silver Stars, four Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.  In 2011 he was honored with the Distinguished Graduate Award from the United States Naval Academy.  In 2016 he was awarded the Lone Sailor Award along with Senator John Glenn.  His POW experience has been documented in a book entitled “Defiant” by Alvin Townley.  He and his wife Lorraine live in Fairfax Station, Virginia where his hobbies are golfing and flying.  

Dec 11 2019

43mins

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RFT 350: Admiral Robert Shumaker

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Bob Shumaker was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania in 1933.  His father was a lawyer and his mother a writer.   After graduating from public schools he attended Northwestern University for a year and then the United States Naval Academy where he was a boxer, a cross-country runner and a scholar.  After flight training he joined VF-32, a fighter squadron in Jacksonville, Florida flying F8 Crusaders.  He was a finalist in the Apollo astronaut selection, but a temporary physical ailment prevented his selection.  In 1964 he earned a masters degree in aeronautical engineering and then joined VF-154 in San Diego, California.  About this time he married Lorraine Shaw of Montreal.  In February 1965 he was shot down on a mission over North Vietnam and spent the next eight years as a POW.  After eight years of imprisonment and having suffered multiple tortures and solitary confinement, he was repatriated and returned to school to earn a doctorate degree in electrical engineering.  As a Captain he was the government project manager for tactical missiles such as HARM, HELLFIRE and MAVERICK.  In 1983 he was promoted to the rank of Commodore and became the head of the Naval Postgraduate School.  At the Pentagon, as a Real Admiral, he was responsible for coordinating the research efforts of the Navy’s air, surface, electronics and space activities.  He retired from the Navy in 1989 and became an assistant dean at the George Washington University and later served as an associate dean at the University of North Dakota.  He retired in 1991 and then built an experimental aircraft which he’s flown to Alaska and other exotic locations.

Dec 09 2019

42mins

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RFT 349: De-Icing Fluid

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From Wikipedia:

Deicing fluids come in a variety of types, and are typically composed of ethylene glycol (EG) or propylene glycol (PG), along with other ingredients such as thickening agents, surfactants (wetting agents), corrosion inhibitors, colors, and UV-sensitive dye. Propylene glycol-based fluid is more common due to the fact that it is less toxic than ethylene glycol.

  1. Type I fluids have a low viscosity, and are considered "unthickened". They provide only short term protection because they quickly flow off surfaces after use. They are typically sprayed on hot (130–180 °F, 55–80 °C) at high pressure to remove snow, ice, and frost. Usually they are dyed orange to aid in identification and application.
  2. Type II fluids are pseudoplastic, which means they contain a polymeric thickening agent to prevent their immediate flow off aircraft surfaces. Typically the fluid film will remain in place until the aircraft attains 100 knots (190 km/h) or so, at which point the viscosity breaks down due to shear stress. The high speeds required for viscosity breakdown means that this type of fluid is useful only for larger aircraft. The use of Type II fluids is diminishing in favor of Type IV. Type II fluids are generally clear in color.
  3. Type III fluids can be thought of as a compromise between Type I and Type II fluids. They are intended for use on slower aircraft, with a rotation speed of less than 100 knots. Type III fluids are generally bright yellow in color.
  4. Type IV fluids meet the same AMS standards as Type II fluids, but they provide a longer holdover time. They are typically dyed green to aid in the application of a consistent layer of fluid.

From NASA:

There are four standard aircraft de-icing and anti-icing fluid types: Type I, II, III, and IV.

Type I fluids are the thinnest of fluids. As such, they can be used on any aircraft, as they shear/blow off even at low speeds. They also have the shortest hold-over times (HOT) or estimated times of protection in active frost or freezing precipitation.

Type II and IV fluids add thickening agents to increase viscosity. The thickeners allow fluid to remain on the aircraft longer to absorb and melt the frost or freezing precipitation. This translates to longer HOT, but it also means a higher speed is required to shear off the fluid.

Type III fluids are relatively new and have properties in between Type I and Type II/IV fluids. Type III fluids also contain thickening agents and offer longer HOTs than Type I, but are formulated to shear off at lower speeds. They are designed specifically for small commuter-type aircraft, but work as well for larger aircraft.

*Note: Holdover Times (HOT) are published in a range to account for variations in precipitation intensity: shorter time for heavier intensity, longer time for lighter intensit

Type I fluids are always applied heated and diluted. For de-icing, it is the heat and hydraulic force that accomplish the task. For anti-icing, it is primarily the heat imparted to the airframe that accomplishes the task. Caution: Type I fluids have the shortest HOT. When a Type I fluid fails, it fails suddenly.

Type II and IV fluids may be applied heated or cold, and diluted or full strength. In North America, typically Type IV fluids are applied cold, and only for anti-icing. In the UK, typically Type II or IV fluids are applied heated to accomplish de-icing as well as anti-icing.

Dec 05 2019

8mins

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RFT 348: World War II Gunner Richard Kolodey

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Richard Kolodey grew up near a small airport in Dallas, Texas, and had taken numerous flights in general aviation aircraft. He signed up for the marines at age 17 as soon as he graduated high school, five months after the attacks on Pearl Harbor. He attended training in San Diego, and was one of only two recruits selected for flying.

In this podcast, he describes his training as a gunner. His actual firing from an aircraft didn't occur until he was overseas. His first combat mission occurred over Guadalcanal in August of 1943, bombing a landing strip to allow the navy CBs to repair the strips for American forces. His aircraft was escorted by F-4U aircraft. His group shot down 10 planes and sunk 35 ships.

He served on the TBM, which had a crew of three - pilot and two gunners. During his overseas tour, his aircraft took numerous hits, but he never had to bail out. His mission was to island-hop through the Solomon Islands, securing the islands for American planes to get close enough to Japan to launch missions.

After he returned from overseas, he attended flight training to become a pilot when the war ended.

Dec 02 2019

33mins

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RFT 347: A Sad Anniversary

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TWA 514 crashed into terrain while attempting to land at Washington Dulles International Airport. from Wikipedia:

"The flight was being vectored for a non-precision instrument approach to runway 12 at Dulles. Air traffic controllers cleared the flight down to 7,000 feet (2,130 m) before clearing them for the approach while not on a published segment.

The jetliner began a descent to 1,800 feet (550 m), shown on the first checkpoint for the published approach. The cockpit voice recorder later indicated there was some confusion in the cockpit over whether they were still under a radar-controlled approach segment which would allow them to descend safely. After reaching 1,800 feet (550 m) there were some 100-to-200-foot (30 to 60 m) altitude deviations which the flight crew discussed as encountering heavy downdrafts and reduced visibility in snow.

The plane impacted the west slope of Mount Weather at 1,670 feet (510 m) above sea level at approximately 230 knots (265 mph; 425 km/h). The wreckage was contained within an area about 900 by 200 feet (275 by 60 m). The evidence of first impact were trees sheared off about 70 feet (20 m) above the ground; the elevation at the base of the trees was 1,650 feet (505 m).

The wreckage path was oriented along a line 118 degrees magnetic. Calculations indicated that the left wing went down about six degrees as the aircraft passed through the trees and the aircraft was descending at an angle of about one degree. After about five hundred feet (150 m) of travel through the trees, it struck a rock outcropping at an elevation of about 1,675 feet (510 m). Numerous heavy components of the aircraft were thrown forward of the outcropping, and numerous intense post-impact fires broke out which were later extinguished. The mountain's summit is at 1,754 feet (535 m) above sea level."

As a result of this accident, air traffic controllers now assign an altitude to fly until intercepting a segment of a published approach.

Northwest 6231 crashed after encountering an aerodynamic stall. From Wikipedia:

"The flight was chartered to pick up the Baltimore Colts in Buffalo after the aircraft originally earmarked to transport the team was grounded by a snowstorm in Detroit.

The Boeing 727-251, registration N274US, departed New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport at 19:14 for a ferry flight to Buffalo. As the craft climbed past 16,000 feet (4,900 m), the overspeed warning horn sounded, followed 10 seconds later by a stick shaker stall warning. The aircraft leveled at 24,800 feet (7,600 m) until it started to descend out of control in a spin, reaching a vertical acceleration of +5g. At about 3,500 feet (1,100 m), a large portion of the aircraft's horizontal stabilizer separated due to the high G-forces, making recovery impossible. Flight 6231 struck the ground in a slightly nose down and right wing-down attitude twelve minutes after take-off, at 19:26."

The accident board determined that the pitot heat had been inadvertently turned OFF prior to takeoff, and as the aircraft climbed through clouds the pitot tubes froze, causing altimeter effect on the airspeed indicator, in which an increase in altitude will cause indicated airspeed to increase.

On many aircraft today, the pitot heat will automatically be turned ON when the aircraft is airborne.

Nov 28 2019

6mins

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RFT 346: Virgin Galactic Astronaut Mike Masucci

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Mike "Sooch" Masucci has over 9000 hours in 70 different aircraft. He was accepted into the Air Force Academy, and took flying lessons while at the Academy and earned his Private Pilot certificate, and majored in Astronautics.

After graduation, he attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Vance Air Force Base and then remained there as a T-38 instructor pilot as a First Assignment Instructor Pilot (FAIP).

After three years as a FAIP, Mike was selected to fly the U-2 high-altitude long-endurance airplane in the special duty assignment. He eventually became in an instructor in the U-2 as well as the T-38, while still being serving in deployments. His longest mission was 12 hours (13 hours in a space suit).

After 3 years he was selected to attend Test Pilot School, and then became a U-2 test pilot. After a few years as a U-2 test pilot during major aircraft upgrades, he returned to Test Pilot School, this time as an instructor. In that role he flew the T-38, the F-16, gliders and glider tow ships.

He again served in the U-2 and retired from the Air Force in that role.

He owned a 1946 Cessna 120 while in pilot training but - in Sooch's words - traded it in for an engagement ring. He now owns a 1964 Beechcraft Travel Air.

After the Air Force he flew a Citation X for several years, accumulating 750 hours every year in Part 135 operations. He did that for several years, then received a call from Virgin Galactic and was invited to apply.

He is multi-current, flying the White Knight as well as the space ship. Both aircraft have identical cockpit designs. Mike was selected to fly the second mission into space, and earned astronaut wings on February 22, 2019.

Nov 25 2019

31mins

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RFT 345: Runway Incursions

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What is a Runway Incursion?

Any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take off of aircraft.

What is a Surface Incident?

A surface incident is an unauthorized or unapproved movement within the designated movement area (excluding runway incursions) or an occurrence in that same area associated with the operation of an aircraft that affects or could affect the safety of flight.

There are four categories of runway incursions:

Category A is a serious incident in which a collision was narrowly avoided.

Category B is an incident in which separation decreases and there is a significant potential for collision, which may result in a time critical corrective/evasive response to avoid a collision.

Category C is an incident characterized by ample time and/or distance to avoid a collision.

Category D is an incident that meets the definition of runway incursion such as incorrect presence of a single vehicle/person/aircraft on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take-off of aircraft but with no immediate safety consequences.

Nov 22 2019

7mins

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RFT 344: Juan Serrato

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Juan Serrato came from an aviation family, and was immersed in flying from an early age. His father was a Vietnam era helicopter pilot, and took him flying often. Juan attended a school as a teenager where aviation was part of the academic curriculum, and earned his Private Pilot certificate.

After high school Juan attended A&P school, and then was hired servicing airplanes. He then entered an ab-initio program with Mesa Airlines, barely making the cutoff because he had 148 hours and the limit was 150 hours. While attending the program, he worked as a mechanic on aircraft.

He became a first officer on the Beech 1900 with Mesa as a US Air Express copilot. He flew as many as 13 legs per day. He flew the 1900 for a little over a year, then became a first officer in the RJ (regional jet). He flew the RJ for two years, then became an EMB 145 captain, flying his first trip on September 11, 2001. He was inflight when all aircraft were ordered to land immediately due to the national emergency. He landed at Raleigh, NC. He was stuck there for three days, until his girlfriend drove down to pick him up.

At Mesa, he became an accident investigator, on scene for a fatal accident investigation for the powerplant division. He also became a simulator instructor and line check airman.

After nine years at Mesa, he was hired by Gemini Air Cargo on the MD-11, flying all over the world. After about a year, the airline went out of business, and Juan was hired by Southern Air on the B747 as a first officer, flying freighters. He flew a lot of trips out of Ethiopia on a 20-on, 10-off schedule. After two years, he was furloughed as a pilot, but worked in their headquarters on documentation.

After five years with Southern, he was hired by Atlas Air, flying several versions of the 747, including the LCF (large cargo freighter). He was at Atlas for four years, then was hired by a legacy carrier, where he works now as a flight instructor on the B737.

Nov 18 2019

33mins

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Always Interesting

By Jim2991 - Nov 13 2019
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Love the variety of subjects and interesting guests. Perfect for aviation junkies. Thank you.

Thank You George

By flying64Q - Jul 08 2019
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Absolutely must listen podcast. George this is gold