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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: February, 2018
Feb 26, 2018

Don Mrosla attended the United States Air Force academy in the same class as his twin brother. While there, both Mrosla brothers became champions at boxing, but hung up their gloves their last year to prevent any potential boxing injury that would disqualify them from attending Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training.

After completing pilot training, Don qualified in the C-130 Hercules, and continuously cycled to Vietnam. One of the missions he was qualified in was to drop a 15,000 pound bomb out of the C-130 tailgate in support of American helicopter operations, creating an "instant landing zone". On these missions, the aircraft was called the B-130. On one of his missions, he had two of his four engines shot out and barely made it back to a safe landing.

Following retirement from the Air Force, Don flew for an airline in the South Pacific, then pursued a career at Southwest Airlines, which he continued until mandatory retirement.

Feb 23, 2018

The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) program is an internationally recognized and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline. IOSA uses internationally recognized quality audit principles and is designed to conduct audits in a standardized and consistent manner. It was created in 2003 by IATA. The program is designed to assess the operational management and control systems of airlines. The companies are included in the IOSA registry for a period of 2 years following an audit carried out by an organization accredited by IATA. The auditing standards have been developed in collaboration with various regulatory authorities, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the USA, Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Transport Canada and the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA). IATA oversees the accreditation of audit organizations, ensure the continuous development of IOSA standards and practices and manages the IOSA registry.

Feb 19, 2018

Rich Jackson is a true Renaissance Man of aviation. He has flown in the Air Force, the Navy and the Coast Guard, and after retiring from 22 years in the military he flew in several combat zones as a contract pilot.

Rich started out as a helicopter pilot in the Air Force and served as an H-53 Aircraft Commander, based in Sembach Air Base, Germany. He then transitioned to fixed wing in the Air Force. After another helicopter stint in the Air Force as an HH-65 Aircraft Commander, he transitioned to the Coast Guard and then served on an exchange tour with the Navy, instructing in T-34 aircraft.

Rich has flown helicopters to both the north and south pole, and has served in numerous advisory capacities for advanced helicopter operations and employment. After retiring from the Coast Guard, he flew as a pilot of MC-337 ISR aircraft during Kosovo operations, then worked as a Piasecki Aircraft test pilot before going back into the combat theater, this time in Iraq, again flying the C-337. With 5000 hours in the C-337, he is perhaps the highest time Skymaster pilot in the world.

Rich continues to work as a consultant to the tactical community.

Feb 16, 2018

Sooner or later, you're going to be flying as a passenger on an airliner. There are numerous steps you can take to ensure your safety as a passenger.

Preparation for an airline flight starts before you leave home. One basic step is to make sure the identification on your luggage tags does not provide information to anyone with nefarious intent. Your luggage tag should only have your first initial, last name and telephone number or email address. Using an initial rather than a name should be standard operating procedure for female travelers when making hotel reservations also.

The reason to omit your address on the luggage to to prevent anyone who sees, finds or steals your luggage from knowing where you live. If your luggage is stolen and the thief finds out where you live, he will have possibly unrestricted access to your home while you are traveling. For the same reason, it is a really bad idea to tell the world, via social media, about your travels while you are away. Just last week, Patriot team member Rob Gronkowski's house was burglarized while he was out of town participating in the Superbowl. So save your social media photos for after you return.

Before you leave for your flight, stop by your local everything's-a-dollar store and get a pack of antibacterial wipes (I know you can also buy these for a few more dollars at your local grocery store, but most of our listeners are pilots, i.e., cheap!). Take those with you, and wipe down everything at your airline seat. Everything: tray table (you wouldn't believe how often passengers use tray tables to change diapers!), safety information card, arm rests, seat belt buckle and air vents. A 2015 study by TravelMath found more bacteria on the aforementioned items than on the airplane toilets!

I also recommend you abstain from using the airplane potable water supply. That includes coffee and tea service, since the water for coffee and tea comes from the airplane's potable water. Even though it's heated for coffee and tea, dirty water is still dirty water. I recommend that you brink your own water bottle with you to the airport. Obviously, you cannot bring liquids through the security checkpoint, but you can bring an empty bottle, and then fill it from a water fountain at the airport. The best source of water is from a bottle-filling station rather than a drinking fountain.

As you enter the airplane, pay attention to the location of the emergency exits and the number of rows between your seat and the closest exit. During an evacuation in a dark, smoke-filled cabin, you may have a difficult time finding an emergency exit unless you know exactly where the exit is located relative to your seat.

If you have a choice of seats, I recommend a window seat. It's a no-brainer you don't want a middle seat, but an aisle seat has certain hazards you should know about. It a passenger - any passenger - is walking down the aisle when the airplane encounters turbulence, there's a possibility that passenger could fall onto you. Also, items in the overhead storage compartment can fall onto you if the compartment door is open during a period of turbulence.

Really pay attention to the safety information briefing the flight attendants provide. Take out the safety information card and study it. You may discover new things you didn't previously know. Even if you're on an airplane that seems the same as previous models, you may find some differences. For example, the A-320 has two overwing exits while the A-321 has four. And the overwing exits on a B737-300 are totally different from the overwing exits on a B737-800.

Feb 12, 2018

From Fast Eddie's website:

I was born in New Orleans at a very early age and raised in Chattanooga, East Tennessee. I earned an engineering degree from Georgia Tech and a Masters in Management from USC. I was a designer for Piper Aircraft. As a USAF fighter pilot, I flew the F-104 Starfighter, the F-4 Phantom II, the A-4 Skyhawk, the Anglo-French Jaguar, and F-16 Viper aircraft.  I instructed and flew with the USAF Fighter Weapons School, the US Navy Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun), the Royal Air Force Qualified Weapons Instructor Course (Jaguar), the French Air Force, and the Imperial Iranian Air Force. I logged 375 combat missions over North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, earning two Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Air Medal. After my flying career, I served as an Air Intelligence Officer working with the CIA, FBI, and MI6. My first book, War for the Hell of It: A Fighter Pilot's View of Vietnam, is an Amazon bestseller.  My first novel, The Pilot: Fighter Planes and Paris, earned laudatory reviews. My wife and I live in the wine country of Paso Robles, CA with our dogs and horses.

Feb 9, 2018

When flying in colder-than-standard temperatures, it's important to understand that True Altitude may be lower than Indicated altitude due to the effects of cold temperatures. This is especially important when making an instrument approach at a high-terrain airport during cold temperature conditions.

Feb 5, 2018

Colonel Dave Scheiding started his aviation career in the U.S. Air Force. After Undergraduate Pilot Training, Dave was asked to remain in Air Training Command as a T-37 Instructor Pilot (IP) at Laughlin Air Force Base. In addition to being the resident expert at spin recovery, he pulled service as the base Aerdrome Officer. In that capacity, on October 21st, 1967, he oversaw the post-crash activities when Thunderbird pilot Merrill McPeak crashed during a performance.

Following his IP assignment, Dave volunteered for Vietnam, flying the O-2A as a Forward Air Controller (FAC). He was based at several locations in Vietnam, and has chronicled his experiences in his memoir, The Long Return.

After Vietnam, Dave was selected to attend the University of Denver, where he received his Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering. This education was instrumental in determining the cause of the terrible crash of the Operation Babylift flight, the evacuation of Vietnamese children during the collapse of South Vietnam.

On short notice, Dave traveled to South Vietnam to investigate the crash of the C-5. With virtually no security, Dave's team scoured the accident site and recovered whatever debris remained after locals had stripped the location. During an extended analysis of the C-5 aft cargo door after returning to the United States, Dave re-created the cause of the accident.

After that, Dave returned to the cockpit and flew the F-111 until his Air Force retirement.

In addition to his memoir, Dave authored a moving book about his beloved dog, Hank.

Feb 1, 2018

The five original elements of Crew Resource Management (CRM) are:

  • Inquiry
  • Advocacy
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Decision Making
  • Critique

Most pilots have become proficient in the first four elements, but frequently the Critique element is ignored. A properly conducted Critique allows you to evaluate how the flight went and to learn from successes and failures of the flight's activities.

Basically, when conducting the Critique, you consider what went right and what went wrong, and what you would do differently if given the opportunity to conduct the flight again. It is comparable to the post-flight Debrief process conducted by military pilots.

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