Rank #1: Alaska Airlines Chief Pilot Captain John Hornibrook
Captain Mike Swanigan visits with his boss, Alaska Airlines Chief Pilot, Captain John Hornibrook.
They have a great conversation about John's aviation journey, and what it takes to become a pilot for Alaska Airlines.
John shares his adventures as a young pilot flying for Great Lakes Aviation in the upper midwest of the USA. We learn about the people who mentored John, and we talk about the importance of relationships in aviation.
Oct 08 2015
Rank #2: Episode 27: Captain Rick Jones, Corporate Pilot
Captain Rick Jones is the first Corporate Pilot to appear on Talking Flight.
I first met Rick when I was working as a Flight Engineer Instructor for Alaska Airlines. We were in Vancouver, British Columbia, and we were using the B727 Flight simulator at Canadian Pacific Airlines. My good friend, Captain Dick Jones was the Captain Instructor, and he brought his 12 year old son, Rick, along to watch us at work training flight crews. We became very good friends, and I began to mentor Rick towards a career as a professional pilot.
Rick tells us about his remarkable journey into aviation, and the lessons that he learned along the way. I know that you will enjoy his sense of humor as he tells us about his interesting adventures.
Feb 19 2018
Rank #3: Episode 35: Alaska Airlines Seattle Base Chief Pilot Captain Dave Mets
Captain David Mets is presently one of the two Seattle Base Chief Pilots for Alaska Airlines.
David tells us about his career as a USAF Pilot and about his transition to a Pilot career at Alaska Airlines.
We also learn that he had a three-year stint serving as Rocket Scientist at Cape Canaveral.
Several events that initially appeared to be disappointments, turned out to be some wonderful opportunities for Captain Mets and his family.
Mar 11 2019
Rank #4: Episode 22: Mr Tom Lynch, Aircraft Dispatcher for Alaska Airlines
One of the best kept secrets in the Airline Industry is the Aircraft Dispatcher career field. These are the men and women who do the preliminary work of planning your next airline flight. They go to work hours before flight time analyzing the factors that will lead to a safe and comfortable flight.
The FAA requires that the Dispatcher and the Captain agree that a flight can be operated safely and conform to Federal Air Regulations. Both the Captain and the Dispatcher must certify that they are in agreement with the plan before the flight can depart.
Mr. Tom Lynch has been a Aircraft Dispatcher for Alaska Airlines for 30 years. He is also a FAA Designated Dispatch Examiner, and he administers the FAA practical checks to graduates of training programs in the Seattle area.
Tom started in the airline business as an airplane cleaner for Huges Airwest. His work ethic and positive attitude helped him to move up and ultimately rise to the level of Aircraft Dispatcher.
Please join us as we sit down and have a great conversation with Mr. Tom Lynch.
For more infrmation on the Airline Dispatcher career field, check out the following link:
Feb 05 2017
Rank #5: Episode 26: American Airlines Captain Greg Jones
Our Guest today is Retired American Airlines Captain Greg Jones. He is the first pilot from American Airlines to join us on Talking Flight.
Greg's interest in aviation began when he flew with his family on a Martin 404 from Ohio to New Jersey when he was just 5 years old. His fascination with airplanes continued when he began building and flying model airplanes as a teenager. When he was in High School, he joined the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program, and learned more about airplanes, navigation, and aviation weather.
After graduating from The Ohio State University, Greg served in the USAF as a pilot. He later made the decision to leave the active Air Force to pursue his ultimate dream of becoming a Commercial Airline Pilot. But he ran into several setbacks, including a gear up landing incident that almost derailed his efforts to be hired by a commercial airline. But Greg relied on his religious faith to keep him motivated, never gave up, and he ultimately achieved his goal.
Captain Jones tell us about his adventures flying the T-37 (Tweetie Bird), the T-38 Talon, the C-141 Starlifter, the Boeing 737, and The Boeing 757.
Feb 02 2018
Rank #6: Episode 2: Alaska Airlines First Officer Latisha Shupert
Alaska Airlines Captain Mike Swanigan interviews First Officer Latisha "Tish" Shupert. Tish shares the story of her journey from a college basketball court to the flight deck of an Alaska Airlines 737. Her motto is "Wish it, Dream it, Do it". Special thanks to Alaska Airlines Captain Phil Parrish for the opening theme. Note: This is a re-release with audio correction.
Jan 19 2013
Rank #7: Talking Flight Episode 14: Empire Airlines Captain Mark Holden
We visit with Empire Airlines Captain Mark Holden. Mark is one of our regular listeners, and he reached out to us at email@example.com.
Mark graciously agreed to appear on this episode of Talking Flight and he is the very first Regional Pilot to appear on our program.
Mark talks about his early days flying as a Student Pilot at the Redmond Roberts Field in Redmond Oregon. He met the Airport Manager, Carrie Novick, and she encouraged him to persue his dream of becoming a Professional Aviator.
After getting his Private Certificate as a High School kid, Mark went on to Embry Riddle University to obtain his advanced certificates and his College Degree.
Mark tells us about his varied flying background, including his time as a Freight Pilot, and later progressing into the Medical Airlift Business.
Mark is currently a Captain for Empire Airlines, and he is flying ATR42-500 in the Hawaiian Islands. The Airlines serves as a feeder for Hawaiian Airlines under the brand name of "Ohana by Hawaiian".
When I asked Mark what advice that he had for beginning pilots, he said "Don't be shy, ask a lot of questions".
Mar 10 2015
Rank #8: Ace Your Next Check Ride!
Mike Swanigan gives some helpful advice on how to improve your performance on flight checks. Remember to Bug It, Brief It, Scan It, and Check It!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Aug 12 2013
Rank #9: Episode 31: Retired Alaska Airlines Captain Tom Crank
Captain Tom Crank tells us about his life as a Military and Commercial Aviator.
Tom tells us about his struggles at the USAF Academy, and how he unexpectedly became an Air Force Pilot.
Captain Crank began his airline career at Eastern Airlines, and he flew the Boeing 727 until the airline started to fail as a result of financial difficulties.
After Eastern Airlines, Tom headed west and went to work for Alaska Airlines.
Tom also tells us how he handled some leadership challenges that he had as a Captain.
Tom's motto is "It's not the mistake, it is the recovery."
Aug 18 2018
Rank #10: Episode 34: Horizon Air Captain Kevin Nigbur
Captain Kevin Nigbur is the first Horizon Air Pilot to appear on Talking Flight. He is currently flying the Embraer 175 Regional Jet on Horizon's route system.
Kevin earned an Aviation Degree in College, but he had to put his flying dreams on the back burner when he was needed in his family business.
Captain Nigbur tells us the amazing story of how he restarted his flying career after the age of 40.
Feb 18 2019
Rank #11: Episode 18: How to Get Through Training
It is just Captain Mike Swanigan on today's episode. He offers some training tips to help the beginning pilot.
This Podcast is a close cousin to Ace Your Next Check Ride. That program was designed to help the advanced aviator get through military or airline training. This Podcast is designed to help newer pilots ease the learning process, and to advance through their beginning flight lessons at a faster rate. Mike's theory is that you can learn some of the hardest parts on the ground while "chair flying".
We hope that our brnad new pilots will find this podcast to be helpful
Nov 22 2016
Rank #12: Episode 23: Captain David Crawley, MD
Our guest today is Retired Alaska Airlines Captain David Crawley, MD.
David folllowed his mother's advice and spent years in school preparing to be a Doctor. He finished school and started his working career as a Medical Doctor, practicing Emergency Medicine and Aeromedical Medicine.
But a childhood adventure had a profound effect on David. A visit to his Grandmother's house planted a dream that would not go away. Grandma's neighbor, Braniff Airlines Captain Warren Larsen invited David to join him when he went out to the airport to clean the plane that he had flown the night before.
Captain Larsen put little David in the Captain's seat and told him that he could play with the controls, with the exception of a few buttons and levers. That day was the start of a journey that would lead him to Medical School and ultimately to the Flight Deck of an Alaska Airlines MD80.
David's adventure is chronicled in his latest book "Steep Turn: A Physician's Journey from Clinic to Cockpit". You can find his book on Amazon or wherever books are sold.
Apr 07 2017
Rank #13: Episode 19: Alaska Airlines Captain Carlos Zendejas,
Captain Mike Swanigan sits down with Captain Carlos Zendejas to talk about his life and his career.
Carlos moved to the Untied States from Mexico with his family when he was a 5th grader. Spanish was his first language,but he found out by accident that he could speak and read english. Their new home was in the traffic pattern of Laughlin AFB Texas, and he was amazed by the T-37 jets flying over him. He decided then and there that he was going to figure out a way to fly them.
In this podcast, Carlos tells us about the hard work that it took for him to get through USAF Pilot Training, and what it was like to be the Aircraft Commander on KC-10 refueling mission.
Carlos inherited his parents amazing work ethic and applied it to all areas of his life.
Carlos is now one of the Seattle Base Chief Pilots for Alaska Airlines. He serves the 1000 Alaska Airlines pilots based in Seattle Washington. We get an inside look at what it takes to keep an airline operation running smoothly and safely.
I came away from this interview inspired and amazed by this amazing person.
Dec 15 2016
Rank #14: Episode 37 Retired Alaska Captain Phil Pope
Captain Phil Pope joined Alaska Airlines in 1964. He started in Ground Operations and worked his way into becoming a Flight Engineer on the Lockheed Super Constellation. He later flew the Lockheed C-130, the Boeing 727 and the Boeing 737.
Phil tells us about his part in helping to build Alaska Airlines into the Major Carrier that it is today.
Jun 10 2019
Rank #15: Episode 32: Alaska Airlines Captain James "JP" Wilson
Our Guest today is Alaska Airlines Captain JP Wilson. He flies the Boeing 737 out of Alaska's Portland Oregon pilot crew base.
In addition to his Captain duties at Alaska Airlines, JP is now the Manager of Pilot Development at Alaska's sister airline, Horizon Air. He works with Colleges and Flight Schools on developing the next generation of airline pilots for Alaska and Horizon.
JP tells us the story of how followed his dream to become a pilot for a major airline. He also shares a few suggestions for aspiring pilots to improve their chances of being hired by an airline.
Oct 15 2018