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Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career

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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RFT 003: Airline Training

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


29 Dec 2015

Rank #1

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RFT 039: B-52 Pilot/Airline Pilot Nick Hinch

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.


1 Aug 2016

Rank #2

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RFT 360: Airline Pilot Guy Captain Dana

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.


13 Jan 2020

Rank #3

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RFT 079: SR-71 Pilot Brian Shul

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.


24 Apr 2017

Rank #4

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RFT 338: Pilot/Airport Owner Moose Pier

Martin "Moose" Pier is a NASA flight crew member, airline instructor and airport owner. Moose started out in the Air Force and decided to take flying lessons at the base aero club. He was introduced to the club manager's daughter, and the rest was history - they are still married. In addition to pursuing airplane flying, Moose became interested in hang gliding, and eventually bought an airport property in Colorado, intending to become active in hang-gliding. In the process, he acquired airplanes. He now owns EIGHT at last count! Moose served in the Air Force for a full career as a flight engineer, and then became an airline flight engineer. In the process, he met the SOFIA team from NASA and was hired to fly scientific missions all over the world. In his "free" time, Moose operates a team of two mules, "Black" and "Decker" to give rides to children.


28 Oct 2019

Rank #5

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RFT 284: Navy SEAL/Cropduster Mike Rutledge

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.


22 Apr 2019

Rank #6

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RFT 342: F-105 Pilot/POW/Authors Smitty and Louise Harris

Smitty Harris was born in 1929 in Parkersburg, West Virginia. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on January 2, 1951, and made Sgt before entering the Aviation Cadet Program on August 10, 1952. Harris was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings in September 1953, and then completed advanced flight training in the T-33 Shooting Star and F-84 Thunderjet. His first operational assignment was as an F-86F Sabre pilot with the 45th Day Fighter Squadron at Sidi Slimane AB, French Morocco, followed by service as an instructor pilot at Greenville AFB and then with the 3306th Pilot Training Group at Bainbridge AFB, Georgia, from January 1956 to August 1960. Capt Harris then served as Chief of the Promotions and Flying Status Branch at Headquarters Air Training Command, Randolph AFB, Texas, from August 1960 to November 1962. His next assignment was flying F-100 Super Sabres and then F-105 Thunderchiefs with the 561st Tactical Fighter Squadron at McConnell AFB, Kansas, from November 1962 to November 1964. Capt Harris transferred to the 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Kadena AB, Okinawa, in December 1964, and began flying combat missions in Southeast Asia in March 1965. He was forced to eject over North Vietnam while flying his 6th combat mission on April 4, 1965, and was immediately captured and taken as a Prisoner of War. After spending 2,871 days in captivity, he was released during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973. Col Harris was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, and then he remained at Maxwell to attend the Air War College there from August 1973 to August 1974. He remained on the faculty as Chief of Curriculum Planning until his retirement from the Air Force on July 31, 1979. After retiring from the Air Force, Smitty completed law school and joined the Mississippi Bar in December 1981. He and his wife Louise have three children. Smitty Harris was the 3rd Air Force pilot shot down and taken as a Prisoner of War during the Vietnam War. His 2nd Silver Star Citation reads: For the Period March 1968: This officer distinguished himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force during the above period while a Prisoner of War in North VIetnam. Ignoring international agreements on treatment of prisoners of war, the enemy resorted to mental and physical cruelties to obtain information, confessions, and propaganda materials. This individual resisted their demands by calling upon his deepest inner strengths in a manner which reflected his devotion to duty and great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.


11 Nov 2019

Rank #7

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RFT 180: Fighter Pilot/Airline Pilot Russ Goodenough

Russ Goodenough is one of the few people on the planet to become a member of the caterpillar club from both seats of the F-4! Russ attended the United States Air Force Academy in the second graduating class, and then went on to Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) and followed that with qualification in the top-of-the-line F-4. During his combat tour of duty at Cam Ranh Air Base in South Vietnam he was shot down, exactly 52 years ago on the date of this recording, April 21, 1966. His dramatic rescue is chronicled, along with actual photos of the rescue, in his memoir, Why Johnny Came Marching Home. Following his combat tour of duty, Russ flew F-4s in Europe, then separated from the Air Force to pursue a career as an airline pilot. He flew all over the South Pacific as a Continental Airlines pilot.


23 Apr 2018

Rank #8

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RFT 346: Virgin Galactic Astronaut Mike Masucci

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.


25 Nov 2019

Rank #9

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RFT 390: Colonel Scott "Soup" Campbell

Colonel Scott C. Campbell is the Assistant, Manpower and Operations, Headquarters, United States Air Force Academy where he assists in the oversight of aviation and summer programs, cadet assignments and course of instruction development. Prior to assuming his current assignment, he served as Commander of the 355th Fighter Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. He was responsible for one of the largest installations and flying operations in the United States Air Force, with more than 7,500 Airmen, 3,000 civilians, and more than 100 aircraft. He was responsible for organizing, training, and equipping a wing comprised of 20 squadrons, two of which were fighter squadrons. The wing provided A-10C aircraft for close air support and forward air control, combat support, and medical forces for combatant commander requirements worldwide. The 355th Fighter Wing was also responsible for training A-10C pilots for the entire Total Force and was the Air Combat Command executive agent for Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces and Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty compliance.  Colonel Campbell earned his commission in 1995 from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He has commanded at the group and squadron level, and served as an Aide-de-Camp and weapons school instructor. Colonel Campbell served as the Afghanistan Country Director in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. Colonel Campbell is a command pilot with more than 3,400 hours in the T-34, T-38, A-10 and MQ-9. He has flown in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM.


27 Apr 2020

Rank #10

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RFT 082: Getting Your Type Rating

To serve as Pilot In Command of a large (over 12,500 pounds) or turbojet aircraft, you must have a type rating in that aircraft. Normally, training for the type rating is conducted in a formal training environment, using simulators and advanced training facilities. The Type Rating Test (check ride) is normally conducted adhering to the Practical Test Standards, although at some airlines the rating process is conducted using the Advanced Qualification Program (AQP) with proficiency determined at various milestones during training. The Practical Test Standards are spelled out in FAA document FAA-S-8081-5F. This podcast discusses tips for success in your training and advice for a successful Type Rating Test.


4 May 2017

Rank #11

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RFT 070: Airline Productivity Expert Mike Baiada

Michael Baiada has 35 years and over 20,000 hours of flying experience and holds BS degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and Business Administration from Rutgers University. He was the Manager of Products at Allied/Bendix Avionics Division, Assistant VP - Operations/Maintenance at Ransome Airlines and a USAF officer/pilot. After serving in the Air Force, Mike joined United Airlines as a pilot. His passion, from early on, has been to enhance airline productivity. Over the last 25 years, Michael Baiada has worked extensively on airline operational productivity and ATC/airspace capacity issues. In collaboration with Michael Boyd, he co-authored the three volume Free Flight Analysis. Mike is President of ATH Group, Inc. ATH's vision is to bring the Supply Chain, Lean Six Sigma philosophy to the airline curb to curb production process so as to fundamentally alter the airline operating environment. ATH Group’s products include its patented and award winning Attila Process™, a tactical aircraft/asset/airline flow management solution. ATH's award winning and patented Attila™ solution is currently operational for Delta Air Lines at Atlanta, reducing delays, improving product quality and saving Delta over $20,000 per day in fuel alone (www.athgrp.com). Based on Attila™, within 3 years, airlines can move to increase A0 to greater than 80% and reduce block time by an average of 10 minutes per flight.


6 Mar 2017

Rank #12

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RFT 205: Density Altitude

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.


19 Jul 2018

Rank #13

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RFT 067: Airline Pilot/Podcaster Carl Valeri

Carl Valeri started his career in the computer business, preparing clients for the effects of the dreaded Y2K Disaster. But he always had a desire to fly, and finally found his passion when he got an airline job. When he was furloughed, he found his other passion: helping furloughed pilots find aviation employment. He now helps countless pilots in the pursuit of their passions through his aviation counseling, his blog, and his podcasts. He publishes  an Aerospace Scholarship Guide, which he updates annually, and also guides young pilots as a Flight Team coach. In addition, Carl is a television on-air aviation expert. AND, in his spare time, he flies for an airline!


13 Feb 2017

Rank #14

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RFT 073: Air Force/Airline Pilot Brian Settles

Brian Settles embarked on his aviation career by accident, registering late (at the behest of his mother, Bernice) for Ball State University after his basketball scholarship to the University of Colorado fell through at the last minute. Ironically, he was talked into signing up for the drill team which meant enrolling in the Air Force ROTC program. While at Ball State, Captain Settles majored in Secondary Education with a concentration in Spanish and English and was enticed to enrolling in the ROTC Flight Instruction program. Proving he could walk and chew gum at the same time, upon graduation and commissioning in August 1966, he entered into Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training at Laredo Air Force Base, Texas. Being a sports jock at heart, Captain Settles was captivated by the machismo of being a fighter pilot and chose the only fighter jet option available to him and most of his pilot training classmates, an assignment to fly as co-pilot in the F-4 Phantom jet fighter-bomber, a move which got him shipped off to Vietnam for a one year combat tour at Da Nang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam in August 1968. Captain Settles survived one hundred ninety-nine combat missions flying the F-4 in Vietnam, completing  his Air Force obligation as a KC- 135 refueling tanker pilot at March Air Force Base in Riverside, California and concurrently earning his Master's degree in International Relations at the University of Southern California. Captain Settles reluctantly turned down a highly coveted selection to the U.S. Air Force Academy Political Science faculty to accept employment in the fall of 1972 as an airline pilot with now defunct Eastern Airlines. The Arab Oil Embargo of the early seventies temporarily cost Captain Settles his lofty pilot job at Eastern. With a wife and a three year old son, he served for two years in a counseling position with Rutgers University College where he was promoted to Supervisor of Counseling and appointed Assistant Dean until his recall to Eastern in August of 1976. Thirteen years later, struggling as a single parent Dad with two sons, the would-be airline pilot was once again forced from his glamorous airline pilot career in March of 1989 when a union strike and subsequent bankruptcy shut down Eastern Air Lines permanently. Perhaps as a lark, but more so intent on keeping the For Sale sign out of the yard of his Atlanta home, with his older son a freshman at Florida A & M University and a thirteen year old at home, he endured a two year cab driving adventure on the streets of metro Atlanta until fall of 1992 when he was hired by Private Jet Expeditions, an Atlanta charter jet airline. He advanced to Captain on the McDonald Douglas 82 passenger jet in six months.  Two years later, career storm clouds returned and Captain Settles suffered his second airline bankruptcy collapse. Once again, seeking solvency in his taxi-cab, he drove part time until he secured re-employment in 1995 with Indianapolis based ATA Airlines.


27 Mar 2017

Rank #15

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RFT 203: It's Not WHO'S Right

United Airlines Flight 173 was the watershed event that launched the establishment of Crew Resource Management (CRM) throughout the airline industry. That accident occurred thirty years ago. With the widespread acceptance of CRM in airline operations, one would surmise that crew communication issues would be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it has worked out. We have no way to determine how many times a Captain has disregarded a First Officer’s suggestions or comments and there is no adverse effect, but we do   numerous accidents where this has been a causal factor. Take, for example, the case of Air Florida Flight 90, three years after Flight 173. During the takeoff roll, the First Officer expressed concern about the airplane’s performance. Three times the former F-15 pilot First Officer expressed concern. “That don't seem right, does it? Ah, that's not right.” The Captain answered, “Yes it is, there's eighty.”. Then, twelve seconds later, the First Officer said “Naw, I don't think that's right. Ah, maybe it is.”. Twelve more seconds and the First Officer said: “I don't know.”. So was this simply a case of the pre-CRM philosophy that “the Captain is God”, early in the use of CRM? After all, in the old days, the Captain WAS God! Consider Ernest Gann’s book Fate Is The Hunter, in which he recounts his Captain holding lit matches in front of his face as he flew a challenging instrument approach to minimums - with passengers aboard! But that was then, this is now, right? I wish that were true, but I believe there are still far too many of “Captain-God’s” out there. When I was flying for a major airline in Asia, on  several occasions I made errors (thankfully, all minor) and never heard a word from my First Officers. During our post-flight debriefing, I inquired why they had not advised me of a potential problem, especially since I had specifically briefed them to do so. (“I’d rather be embarrassed in the cockpit than on the evening news”). In EVERY case the response was, roughly, “Captain, I did not want to disagree with you”! I suspect there is a cultural aspect to this, wherein First Officers are used to being disregarded. In 2007 Garuda Indonesia Airways Flight 200 crashed following an unstable approach in which the First Officer repeatedly advised the Captain that the approach was unstabilized and to go around. The Captain ignored him, attempting to salvage a landing by descending at 4000 feet per minute, and crashed. In 2010 India Air Express Flight 812 also crashed on landing. The Captain was the pilot flying, and the first Officer had said “Go around” three times, the first being on two-mile final. Of the 160 passengers and crew, only 8 passengers survived. And, it apears to be a problem world-wide. First Air Flight 6560 crashed in 2011 attempting an ILS in Canada. The First Officer specifically advised the Captain that the GPS showed them off course to the right, and that the localizer was showing full-scale deflection. He also said “Go around”. Altogether, the First Offficer expressed clear concern THIRTEEN TIMES. Yet the Captain continued the approach. Everyone onboard died. Psychologists will tell us there are valid reasons for the pilot flying not wanting to go around when another crew member who has less professional image at stake has no problem abandoning the approach. Let me posit a concept that should appeal to EVERY pilot - money. When you go around, the flight lasts longer, and you get more flight pay! Depending on your operation, you may be required to submit some sort of report. So be it. Here’s a suggestion for First Officers: if you EVER experience a Captain ignoring your suggestion to go around, visit your chief pilot or Professional Standards Committee immediately! Let’s not lose sight of the requirement that common carriers, such as scheduled airlines, are REQUIRED to exercise the HIGHEST degree of safety in performing their duties. Unless you are operating in an emergency fuel situation, continuing an unstabilized approach does not satisfy that requirement. Bottom line: it’s not WHO is right, it’s WHAT is right!


12 Jul 2018

Rank #16

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RFT 354: 21Five Podcast Hosts Dylan and Max

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.


23 Dec 2019

Rank #17

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RFT 336: Army/Air Force Pilot Randy Larsen

Randall Larsen is the CEO of Randall Larsen Presents, a company dedicated to bringing great stories in film and print to the American public. He also serves as the National Security Advisor at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. From 1998-2012, Larsen served in a variety of executive positions in national and homeland security including: Chairman, Department of Military Strategy and Operations at the National War College Founding Director, Institute for Homeland Security Senior Fellow at the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University Executive Director of the Congressional Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism CEO, The Bipartisan WMD Terrorism Research Center Larsen is the author of Our Own Worst Enemy: Asking the Right Questions About Security to Protect You, Your Family, and America (Grand Central, 2007).  His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Business Week. Colonel Larsen retired in July 2000 after serving in both the Army and Air Force for a combined total of 32 years of active duty military service. His flying career began as a 19-year old Cobra pilot in the 101st Airborne Division. He flew 400 combat missions in Vietnam. He is a command pilot with more than 4,000 hours and also served as military attaché at the US Embassy in Bangkok, the chief of legislative liaison at the US Transportation Command, and the commander of America’s fleet of VIP aircraft at Andrews AFB MD. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, 17 awards of the Air Medal (3 with “V” Device for Valor), and the South Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.


21 Oct 2019

Rank #18

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RFT 072: NGPA Executive Director David Pettet

As a 5-year-old, David Pettet wrote a letter to himself saying he wanted to be an airline pilot. He became a CFI as an 18-year-old, hired on as gate agent with a regional carrier, and parlayed that into a flying job. He was hired by Omni Air International as a B767 pilot, then moved to Hawaiian Airlines, flying the DC9 and the A330, and finally landed his current job at a major legacy airline. He has been a member of the National Gay Pilots Association since his early years as a pilot, and served in numerous leadership positions, rising to his current position as Executive Director. The NGPA has both gay and straight members, and offers numerous membership benefits, including networking opportunities and millions of dollars in scholarships available to all members. The NGPA is now an international organization, and is much larger than simply the LGBT community, offering networking opportunities for pilots of all genders and lifestyles. Their Industry Expo offers representatives from numerous airlines, including over 40 airline and vendor exhibitors. The last several hours of the Expo are reserved for members only, to allow them to interface with airline recruiters. The scholarship program is currently  giving away 3 B737 type ratings, over $100,00 in cash awards, and a $5000 Private Pilot scholarship. Here's the important point for all pilots: you don't need to be LGBT to win a scholarship - fully half of the scholarships go to straight pilots! The organization has stated, "In order for us to ask the industry to be inclusive of LGBT, we have to be inclusive as well." The organization offers several types of memberships, from individual to family and student.


20 Mar 2017

Rank #19

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RFT 149: How To Fly A 3-Degree Final

Every time you fly a visual or instrument approach you will be flying a nominal-3 degree flight path. This podcast covers several techniques to fly a 3-degree final approach, whether you have glide slope guidance, such as an ILS, or simply referring to visual cues.Since the glideslope on most ILS installations and the desired visual glide path is 3 degrees, we will look at ways to easily fly a 3-degree glide path. A 3-degree glide path is equal to an altitude loss of 300 feet per mile. Considering that a nominal threshold crossing height (TCH) is 50 feet, the proper glide path would be an altitude of 350 feet above ground level (AGL) at a distance of one mile from the runway, 650 feet AGL at 2 miles, and 1000 feet AGL at 3 miles (I'm a pilot, so I try to simplify things!). If you know your distance from the runway and the elevation of the airport, it's fairly easy to keep yourself on the right path. You can determine your distance from the runway using GPS, VOR/DME or visual references. The vertical speed (VSI) (in feet per minute - FPM) to arrive at a 3-degree flight path is one-half your groundspeed in knots times 10. For example, if your groundspeed is 100 knots, your VSI for a 3-degree flight path would be 500 FPM. It's important to note that this is GROUNDSPEED, not airspeed. You can determine your groundspeed from your GPS (if you have one) or by calculating your true airspeed (TAS) and subtracting your headwind. To calculate your TAS, you can estimate it by increasing your indicated (or calibrated) airspeed by 2 percent for every 1000 feet of altitude. So if your IAS is 100 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS) and you are at 5000 feet MSL, your TAS would be 110 KIAS. You can estimate your headwind by taking the headwind component at the runway and increasing it by about 20 percent. In this example for a 100 KIAS approach flown at 5000 feet MSL with a 20 knot headwind, you have a groundspeed of 90 knots, and would descent at 450 FPM. If you do not have an ILS receiver and are approaching a runway served by an ILS, you can fly toward the runway in level flight, configured and at final approach airspeed, until reaching the outer marker (OM), then simply lower the nose 3 degrees.


2 Jan 2018

Rank #20