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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 interviews with top aviators in their field who reveal their flight path to an exciting career in the skies.
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Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career
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Now displaying: April, 2017
Apr 27, 2017

Jeff Price is considered one of the world’s leading experts on aviation security, lecturing at conferences such as the Airport Law Enforcement Agencies Network, the Air Line Pilot’s Association, and the American Association of Airport Executives. He has written over 300 publications for a variety of publications including Aviation Security International magazine, Airport magazine and Plane & Pilot. He has also authored two chapters on aviation security for other texts and is frequently called upon to comment for CNN, ABCNews, NBC, CBS, USAToday, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, AP and others.

Jeff began his career as a U.S. Coast Guard Officer. He entered airport management in the Operations Department at Stapleton International Airport in 1992, working ops and developing the airfield manager training programs for DEN; he was part of opening Denver International Airport, then served as its Assistant Security Director until 1998; he moved to Jefferson County Airport as the Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Property Management and was then appointed the Airport Manager from 1999- 2002. He also served a term on the Colorado Aeronautics Board.

Through Leading Edge Strategies he provides security training and consulting, facilitates emergency exercises, and provides expert witness services; he also served as an expert witness on the 9/11 case.

Jeff has published two textbooks, Practical Aviation Security and Practical Airport Operations.

Apr 24, 2017

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 20, 2017

Mary Flake grew up during the depression, and worked peeling potatoes on a farm as a 14-year-old. One day, a Piper Cub landed at the farm, she got a ride, and was hooked. She immediately wanted to take flying lessons, but had to save up $100 for the required lessons. After several months, she had the money, and started taking lessons. When she was ready to solo, she filled out the paperwork and her instructor told her she would have to wait until she was 16.

She spent the next year working at the airport and hitching rides every chance she could until she was old enough to solo. After receiving her Private Pilot license, she performed in some airshows, doing inverted flying in a Stearman biplane. She lived to fly, and used the money she had saved up for a prom dress to buy a leather flying jacket.
Mary graduated from high school at age 16 and moved away from home to pursue a career. She became a realtor, and purchased an archer to use for business.

Apr 17, 2017

Jack Brush began his aviation career as a rated navigator while at the United States Air Force Academy, where he was in the second class to ever graduate. He then attended Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) and was assigned to fly the C-124. In two years, he amassed 2000 flying hours, and then attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving his Master of Science Degree in Aeronautics.

While teaching Aeronautics and Economics at the Air Force Academy, he continued to fly with cadets,  then received his PhD from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and returned to teach Economics at the Academy.

Following retirement from the Air Force, he founded Columbine Capital Services, an internationally recognized quantitative equity modeling firm. At Columbine, he purchased an Aerostar 601P aircraft to use for business travel. After talking to other Aerostar owners, he discovered that his airplane was significantly faster than others of the same model, and the idea of setting a world record was born. He soon learned that setting a record could be very hard on an airplane, and he decided to sell his company and keep the airplane. And he vowed to not do anything that would harm is plane.

In this podcast, Jack explains that there is a lot of planning and coordination that goes into setting a world record. A major factor is fuel capacity. If the engines are operated at a high power setting, fuel is used at an increased rate and the airplane's fuel capacity may not be sufficient for a 2000 km course and a required emergency reserve. Jack had to continuously monitor weather patterns, to determine when winds and temperatures would be favorable for his planned course. An international observer is required for the record attempt, and that requires advance planning. Finally, Jack had to plan how to perform his mid-point turns as efficiently as possible, to minimize time in the turn and avoid losing airspeed.

Apr 12, 2017

Dave Fisch learned to fly as a teenager, soloed in 5 1/2 hours, and earned all of his certificates up to CFI in his first year. He worked his way through college as a CFI, then joined the Air Force Reserves at Travis Air Force Base and was sent to Air force Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT). Following UPT, he was assigned to fly the C-141 worldwide.

In between Air Force missions, Dave worked several desk jobs and kept applying to the airlines. Finally, he struck pay dirt at American Airlines in 1976. He initially started as a B-727 Flight Engineer, and was the number 13 pilot from the bottom of the seniority list for two years. At the 10-year point, he finally made Captain. He retired at age-60 as a B-777 Captain, and then went to India to fly B-777s for Jet Airways. After several years, Jet Airways terminated all the expat pilots.

Dave now flies a Global Express aircraft for a boutique charter company. Virtually all of his missions are long-haul international flights, some exceeding 12 hours. Most of his trips start with an airline flight to anywhere in the world to meet up with the airplane, then he will have a 1-2 day layover prior to starting his mission. His schedule is 20 days on and 20 days off.

Apr 10, 2017

Jeff Fellmeth, formerly known as "First Officer Jeff" on the Airline Pilot Guy podcast, is now "Captain Jeff" at a legacy airline.

When Jeff was 14, his Boy Scout trip to summer camp had an overnight stop at the Air Force Academy, and that's when he decided he wanted to become an Air Force officer. He was initially turned down by the Academy, but was accepted to the Academy Prep School.

In Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT), he initially got airsick, until his first spin in a T-37. After that, he was hooked, and determined to become a fighter pilot. Following UPT, he flew OV-10 aircraft as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) in Germany, working practice airstrikes all over the country for three years.

After the OV-10, Jeff got his F-15 assignment. The F-15 is a hands-on-throtle-and-stick (HOTAS) airplane, and the only time the pilot takes his hands off the stick and throttles is to turn on the master arm switch and operate the landing gear. During his Air Force career, Jeff flew all models of the F-15, the F-15A/B/C and F-15E.

Following a full military career, Jeff was hired by a legacy airline, where he now flies.

Apr 3, 2017

Kim Campbell joined the Civil Air Patrol as a cadet at age 13 and made her first solo flight in a civilian aircraft over San Jose at age 16. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Air Force Academy in 1997 where she was the cadet wing commander, as was her father during his time at the academy, the first time that a father and daughter both served as cadet wing commander. Also, like her father before her, she "maxed" the rigorous PFT (Physical Fitness Test), one of only a handful of cadets to achieve a perfect score in the Academy's history. She holds a degree in International Security Studies from the University of Reading, United Kingdom, and a Masters in Business Administration from Imperial College London, United Kingdom, which she undertook while on a Marshall Scholarship.

Her A-10 aircraft received a catastrophic hit from AAA (Anti-Aircraft Artillery) when she was flying a combat mission in support of American ground forces over Baghdad on April 7, 2003. "We did our job with the guys there on the ground, and as we were on our way out is when I felt the jet get hit. It was pretty obvious — it was loud... I lost all hydraulics instantaneously, and the jet rolled left and pointed toward the ground, which was an uncomfortable feeling over Baghdad. It didn't respond to any of my control inputs."

She tried several procedures to get the aircraft under control, none of which worked; last, she put the plane into manual reversion, meaning she was flying the aircraft without hydraulics. The aircraft immediately responded. "The jet started climbing away from the ground, which was a good feeling because there was no way I wanted to eject over Baghdad." With some technical advice from her flight leader, Lieutenant Colonel Turner, she flew the injured plane for an hour back to the air base. "The jet was performing exceptionally well. I had no doubt in my mind I was going to land that airplane." Landing was tricky: "When you lose all the hydraulics, you don't have speed brakes, you don't have brakes, and you don't have steering." For this action in aerial combat she was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

On the ground it was discovered that her A-10 had sustained damage to one engine and to the redundant hydraulic systems, disabling the flight controls, landing gear and brakes, and horizontal stabilizer. A detailed inspection revealed hundreds of holes in the airframe and that large sections of the stabilizer and hydraulic controls were missing.

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