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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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Now displaying: June, 2017
Jun 30, 2017

A visual no-flap or partial-flap approach may be a required maneuver on a type rating test. there are several techniques to make this event easier.

Naturally, good CRM requires you to use all of your resources, which include the ILS (if available), VASI/PAPI (if available) and non-ILS approaches in your database.

If none of these are available, simply fly the airplane on a 3-degree glide path by positioning the aircraft 350 feet AGL at one mile, 650 feet AGL at two miles, and 1000 feet AGL at three miles. Another way to determine a 3-degree flight path is to descend at 1/2 your groundspeed times 10. A 140 knot groundspeed would require 700 feet-per-minute descent rate. This is based on groundspeed, which can be determined by true airspeed (TAS) adjusted for wind. If you cannot read groundspeed directly from your instruments, calculate your TAS by realizing that TAS increases approximately 2 percent above IAS for every 1000 feet of elevation.

Jun 26, 2017

Marc Sheffler wanted to fly ever since he was a child. He started flying at age 17, and after attending L'ecole de L'air (the French Air Force Academy) he attended pilot training in the French Air Force in 1997. Excelling in flight training, he became a fighter pilot, flying the Alphajet.

Following that, he transitioned to the Mirage 2000. He currently has 2,200 hours in the Mirage in the air-to-ground mission, employing weapons ranging from "dumb bombs" to terminal guided munitions. He has flown five combat tours of duty in Afghanistan in the troop support mission and two combat tours over Libya.

Marc is also an author, and has written two novels, currently available only in French.

Jun 23, 2017

Night flying is generally smoother and features less communications traffic congestion than daytime flying. But to have a safe night flight, the pilot needs to be extra vigilant in several areas.

For starters, it is much more difficult to find a suitable area for an emergency landing at night, so you might want to adjust your route of flight to remain within a reasonable distance of suitable emergency airports. That might necessitate flying slightly higher at night to maximize gliding distance.

Flying higher, however, has its own downside at night, since vision is directly affected by oxygen level. Consider using supplemental oxygen if flying above 5,000 feet.

Prepare your eyes for night vision by wearing sunglasses for at least 30 minutes before dusk. Rhodopsin - visual purple - enhances the sensitivity of the rods in your eyes. Once your eyes are dark-adapted, they can discern the light of a candle at 2 miles. Even a brief flash of light will bleach out the rhodopsin and destroy the enhanced night vision. Rhodopsin is insensitive to red light.

Have at least two flashlights available, and keep instrument lights as dim as possible.

Currency requirements to carry passengers: 3 full stop landings within an hour of sunset or sunrise during the preceding 90 days.

Jun 19, 2017

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 16, 2017

Wind shear is a change in wind speed and/or direction over a short distance. It can occur either horizontally or vertically and is most often associated with strong temperature inversions or density gradients. Wind shear can occur at high or low altitude.

Not all fronts have associated wind shear. In fact, shear is normally a problem only in those fronts with steep wind gradients. As with so many things associated with weather, there is no absolute rule, but a couple of clues tell you that wind shear may occur: • The temperature difference across the front at the surface is 10 o F (5 o C) or more. • The front is moving at a speed of at least 30 knots. You can get clues about the presence of wind shear during the weather briefing by checking these two factors. Ask the briefer and, if these factors are present, be prepared for the possibility of shear on approach.

Wind shear is just one of the many unpleasant aspect of thunderstorms. The violence of these storms and their winds are well documented. The two worst problems outside actual storm penetration are shear related. These are the “first gust” and the “downburst.” The rapid shift and increase in wind just before a thunderstorm hits is the first gust.

Gusty winds are associated with mature thunderstorms and are the result of large downdrafts striking the ground and spreading out horizontally. These winds can change direction by as much as 180 degrees and reach velocities of 100 knots as far as 10 miles ahead of the storm. The gust wind speed may increase by as much as 50 percent between the surface and 1,500 feet, with most of the increase occurring in the first 150 feet. The implications for a shear on approach in such a case are obvious.

The other wind problem mentioned previously, the downburst, is also downdraft related. It is an extremely intense, localized downdraft from a thunderstorm. This downdraft exceeds 720-feet-per-minute vertical velocity at 300 feet AGL. The power of the downburst can actually exceed aircraft climb capabilities, not only those of light aircraft, but, as is documented in one case, even a high-performance Air Force jet. The downburst is usually much closer to the thunderstorm than the first gust, but there is no absolutely reliable way to predict the occurrence. One clue is the presence of dust clouds, roll clouds, or intense rainfall. It would be best to avoid such areas.

 

Jun 12, 2017

The Professional Pilots of Tomorrow was organized to provide confidential, insightful, and unbiased mentoring to pilots by more experienced and seasoned professional pilots from airlines throughout the aviation industry.

Becoming an airline pilot for a major airline takes years of work experience. Chances are pilots use one of two routes to build their work experience and flight time: military service or regional airlines. In the present day, most pilots entering the regional airline industry use it as a stepping stone.  Pilots may spend many years at their airline before getting a call to interview at a major airline.

Professional Pilots of Tomorrow is a means for up-and-coming pilots to network with established, more experienced pilots. The industry is small and the more we connect, the more we foster a sense of community which allows us the opportunity to help those following in our footsteps. By facilitating a means for people to speak with current regional airlines pilots and become apart of a growing network where the exchange of free information passes freely, they aspire to improve the lives of young professionals.

Their mentor program is designed to be as transparent and unbiased as possible. This fosters a relationship and dialogue that is honest and ensures the applicant is best suited to make the crucial decisions ahead of them.

Their website is http://www.theppot.org/

Jun 9, 2017

This week marks two very significant anniversaries in aviation history. Both occurred during World War Two.

The Battle of Midway occurred 75 years ago this week, June 4-7 1942. Although it was a naval battle, the dramatic results were achieved primarily by naval aviation. Only seven months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, which launched the United States into the war, the results of the battle crippled the Japanese navy for the remainder of the war. In this one battle, four Japanese aircraft carriers (Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu and Soryu) were destroyed. The U.S.S. Yorktown was the only American aircraft carrier loss.

In terms of casualties, the results were equally as dramatic. The Japanese navy suffered 3057 dead, while 307 Americans had lost their lives.

In the European Theater, Operation Overlord - the Normandy invasion - commenced 73 years ago, on June 6, 1944. This was the largest seaborne invasion in history, with nearly 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participating. On just that one day, 160,000 allied troops crossed the English Channel. Allied casualties were immense, with 4414 confirmed dead on just that first day.

Airpower played a major role in the invasion. The allies had air superiority, which meant that their ground forces were not subject to German bomber attacks. Paratroopers were carried by transport aircraft, and gliders transported ground forces to unimproved sites in the dead of night. American fighter-bombers hammered German emplacements.

In terms of the overall plan, the invasion did not initially meet its objectives. The invasion beaches did not link up as planned, and the five critical bridgeheads did not get connected for six more days. Compared to allied casualties, the Germans lost 1000 men.

But the Normandy invasion was the beginning of the end for the Third Reich, and the lives lost, including a cousin I never met, were not in vain.

Jun 5, 2017

Richard McSpadden was first introduced to flying when his mother presented his father with an introductory flight lesson. His father became a pilot and that started a generational love of aviation that passed to Richard and now to his children. His father purchased a Navion, and Richard earned his pilot ratings in the plane.

Richard joined the Air Force after college, and found that the Navion time really gave him an edge in Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT). His performance in UPT was instrumental in his getting the only F-15 assignment available to his graduating class. After attending F-15 training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, he was assigned to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. He followed that assignment with an F-15A assignment at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico.

When it was time for a staff assignment, Richard became the Air Attache in the Republic of the Philippines, and flew the C-12 King Air aircraft as part of his duties.

Seeing an Air Force announcement that the Thunderbirds were recruiting demonstration pilots, Richard applied, completing an extensive flying history and personal resume. He was selected for an evaluation flight, and took it in an F-16, which he had never flown before, and became the new Commander for the Thunderbirds.

After his two-year tour with the Thunderbirds, Richard retired from the Air Force and pursued a career at Hewlett Packard. In 2017, Richard became the Executive Director of the AOPA Air Safety Institute.

Jun 1, 2017

ETOPS is an acronym for Extended Operations. The term used to signify Extended Range Operation with Two-Engine Airplanes but the meaning was changed by the US FAA when regulations were broadened to include aircraft with more than two engines. It refers to the standards and recommended practices (SARPS) issued by ICAO for Part 121 aircraft to fly long-distance routes that had been off-limits to twin-engined aircraft, and subsequently to extended range operations of four-engined aircraft (such as the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental).

There are different levels of ETOPS certification, each allowing aircraft to fly on routes that are a certain amount of single-engine flying time away from the nearest suitable airport. For example, if an aircraft is certified for 180 minutes, it is permitted to fly any route not more than 180 minutes single-engine flying time to the nearest suitable airport.

ETOPS applies to twins on routes with diversion time more than 60 minutes at one engine inoperative speed. For rules that also cover more than two engines, as in the case of the FAA, ETOPS applies on routes with diversion time more than 180 minutes for airplanes with more than two engines.

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