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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: May, 2018
May 31, 2018

As part of ATC modernization (NextGen), the FAA will be shutting down 308 VORs of the roughly 1000 in use right now in the United States. They will continue to operate VORs that provide coverage above 5000 feet over the entire continental United States (CONUS). This will provide Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory Service (HIWAS) continuity. They will also retain VORs that are used with VOR, localizer and ILS approaches, and those in mountainous terrain and those used by the military. This will leave what is called the Minimum Operational Network (MON) for use in the event of GPS interruption.

Phase I: From 2016 to 2020, the FAA will decommission 74 VORs. Phase II: Between 2021 and 2025, the remaining 234 VORs will be decommissioned.

If a VOR is shut down, it SHOULD be shown with a cross-hatch on aeronautical charts.

It will continue to be REALLY IMPORTANT for pilots to always check NOTAMS that pertain to their route of flight!

The FAA plan is shown here.

General Aviation pilots should continue to hone their map-reading skills!

May 28, 2018

George E. Hardy in March 1943, at the age of 17, passed the written and physical examinations for the US Army Aviation Cadet program.  In July 1943 he was called to active duty and sent to Keesler Army Air Field, Biloxi, Mississippi, for basic training.  In September 1943 he was assigned to the 320th College Training Detachment at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.  His group was scheduled to take college-level courses, at Tuskegee Institute, for a period of five months. This training was cut short in the beginning of December, as his group was transferred to Tuskegee Army Air Field (TAAF) for Aviation Cadet training, as part of Class 44-H.  In September 1944 he graduated as a single-engine pilot and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. In November he was transferred to Walterboro AAF in South Carolina for combat flying training in P-47 aircraft.  This combat flying training was completed in early February 1945, and he was shipped overseas to Italy.  In Italy, he was assigned to the 99th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, where he flew 21 combat missions over Germany in P-51 aircraft.  Those missions were mainly high-altitude escort missions of heavy bombers, but many of the missions also included strafing of ground targets.  He returned from Italy in August 1945 and served at TAAF, until it closed in the summer of 1946.  In July 1946 he was transferred to Lockbourne AAF, Ohio where he was assigned to the 99th Fighter Squadron, flying P-47 aircraft. He was discharged from active duty in November 1946.

He attended New York University, School of Engineering, in the Bronx, from September 1947 to May 1948. He was recalled to active duty at Lockbourne Air Force Base (LAFB), Ohio, in June 1948.  He was assigned to the 301st Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, flying P-47 aircraft.  In September 1948 he was reassigned as a student in the Airborne Electronics Maintenance Officers Course at Keesler AFB, Mississippi.  The course of study covered radar and long-range navigational equipment on fighter and bomber aircraft.  He graduated in August 1949.  In July 1949 the USAF instituted racial integration and personnel at Lockbourne AFB were reassigned to Air Force bases worldwide.  After graduation in August 1949, he was transferred to the 19th Bomb Group (B-29 Aircraft) on the island of Guam. He was further assigned to the 28th Bomb Squadron as a maintenance officer. His primary job was supervising about 25 airmen in maintenance of electronic equipment on the assigned aircraft.  As a pilot he was also required to fly and was assigned as a copilot on a B-29 aircrew.  The Korean War started 25 June 1950, and the 19th Bomb Group was transferred to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa. He flew 45 combat missions over Korea in the B-29 aircraft.

In March 1951 he returned to the states and was assigned to 6th Bomb Wing, at Walker AFB in New Mexico, as a maintenance officer. In June 1951 he was transferred to Lowry AFB, Denver, Colorado for seven months training as an Armament Systems maintenance officer, specifically on B-36 aircraft.  The B-36 aircraft was the largest aircraft in the Air Force, capable of intercontinental bombing missions without refueling.  The armament systems field included not only the electronic navigational and bombing systems but also included the retractable gun turrets and maintenance and loading of the bomb bays.  After the training at Lowry he was transferred back to Walker AFB and in December 1952 he was transferred to Carswell AFB, Ft Worth, Texas. He became part of the 42nd Bomb Wing (B-36 aircraft) and in March 1953 the wing was transferred to Limestone AFB, Maine. He served as a maintenance officer in the 42nd Armament and Electronics Maintenance Squadron (AEMS), until August 1955.

In August 1955 he transferred to the United States Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton Ohio.  He entered the undergraduate engineering program and in August 1957, received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering.

In September 1957 he was assigned to the 3rd AEMS, 3rd Bomb Wing (B- 57, Canberra aircraft) at Johnson Air Base, Japan.  He was soon assigned as Maintenance Supervisor, a position he held for almost 3 years. The 3rd Bomb Wing  areas of operations were in Japan, Korea and Okinawa. He became jet-qualified as a pilot and in 1959 he received the aerial rating of Command Pilot. In June 1960 he was promoted to the grade of Major.

In November 1960 he transferred to Plattsburgh AFB, New York.  He was assigned as Squadron Commander of the 4108th AEMS, in the 4108th Air Refueling Wing (KC–97aircraft).  In the second half of 1962 his squadron held the 8th Air Force trophy for best AEMS squadron.  In November 1962 he was notified by the Air Force Institute of Technology of his eligibility to apply for a new graduate level systems engineering course specializing in reliability engineering.  He applied for the course and was reassigned, in January 1963, to the USAF Institute of Technology, at Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton Ohio.  In August 1964 he graduated with a Master of Science Degree in Systems Engineering - Reliability.

In September 1964 he was assigned to the Electronic Systems Division of Air Force Systems Command, at  Hanscom  AFB, Massachusetts.  In 1965 he received his promotion to the grade of Lt. Col.  In August 1966 he was assigned as Chief of Engineering and Program Manager, for the Development, Installation and Cutover of the 490L Overseas AUTOVON (AUTOmatic VOice Network) Communications Switches, part of the Department of Defense first worldwide direct dial telephone system.  The AUTOVON services within the continental United States was provided by the various telephone companies.  With completion of the overseas switches, the Department of Defense and other government agencies would have almost worldwide, direct dial telephone access.  The initial sites in Europe, Panama and the Pacific were successfully cut over in 1969.

At the end of 1969 he received notice of a flying assignment in Vietnam and was provided with refresher flight training as an AC-119K Gunship Aircraft Commander. He was assigned to the 18th Special Operations Squadron at Phan Rang Air Base in Vietnam in April 1970.  Although the squadron headquarters was at Phan Rang Air Base, the aircraft were located at two operating locations, one at Udorn Air Base, in Thailand, and the other at DaNang Air Base in Vietnam.  He was assigned as the Operating Location Commander at Udorn Air Base, Thailand through August 1970.  Missions were flown at night over northern Laos searching for truck traffic from North Vietnam.  In September 1970 he was transferred to DaNang Air Base in Vietnam as Operating Location Commander.  Missions were flown at night over central portions of Laos looking for truck traffic from North Vietnam.  He flew 70 combat missions before returning to the states in April 1971.

In May of 1971 he  was assigned to the Inspector General's office at Air Force Systems Command,  Andrews AFB in Maryland.  He served in the IG's office until November 1971 when he retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

His decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor, the Air Medal with eleven (11) Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster.

 

May 24, 2018

This past weekend I attend an outstanding workshop in Los Angles. Forty-eight veterans were selected to participate. The selection process was fairly intense - I had applied last year and was not selected, so I felt very honored to participate. I was there to see if I could develop a theatrical treatment of my Hamfist series.

The workshop was held at the Writers Guild Foundation. The Foundation describes itself as "a non-profit organization that serves as the premier resource for emerging writers and movie and TV lovers in Hollywood. boasting a vast toolbox for writers, the Foundation is unmatched in its mission to promote and preserve the craft, history and voices of screen storytelling through its Library, Archives, Programs and Events".

The Veterans Writing Project receives funding from donors and sponsors, including Final Draft, a software program that each participant received.

Attendees were divided into eight groups of six participants, all veterans. On the first day, in our individualized groups, we worked on Premise/Concept and Story/Structure. On the second day, we worked on Character and Dialog/Scene. We were guided by Mentors, all experienced, working, script-writers, and had an awesome two-hour presentation by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Billy Ray (Hunger Games, Captain Phillips).

I really enjoyed the workshop, and realize I have a lot of work to do to turn my novel series into a movie. Fortunately, the Foundation will be holding our hands for the next year, with monthly workshops in L.A. and video conferencing for those of us who don't live nearby. Altogether, this was a fantastic experience, and I would encourage any veterans who have a story to tell to consider applying. You can get more information on the Project's website.

May 21, 2018

From Jacqui's website:

Jacquie traces her love of flying her to her earliest days, when, as a newborn, her first outing was to the Los Angeles County Airport Air Show. Her pilotfather’s interest in airplanes and flying inspired Jacquie to want to dream of flying. Jacquie spent many years dreaming of flying but was unable to do much about it until years later after working and saving her money. By the time she was 32 years old, she decided she was tired of hearing herself say “I wish I could fly and airplane”. She enrolled in ground school and the rest is history, as they say. She earned her Private Pilot certificate in 1987 and shortly thereafter was introduced to the world of aerobatics. Shortly thereafter a friend offered her a ride in a Pitts Special and she jumped at the chance to do a different kind of flying. With that first flight of loops, rolls, spins and a few other very scary maneuvers, she was instantly hooked on aerobatics. Once she discovered aerobatics, there was no question in her mind she was destined for aerobatic flying. It took 10 years longer to save enough money to take aerobatic lessons, but save she did and took her first “formal” aerobatic lesson in July 1997. She joined the International Aerobatic Club in August 2000 and for the next 4 years she flew aerobatic competition. She raced her biplane at the Reno Air Races from 2001 through 2004 to learn a whole new kind of flying.

Jacquie is now flying an Extra 300 monoplane. She made the switch from a biplane of many years to something new. Her beautiful red Extra is faster, more capable of gyroscopic maneuvers and has two seats! She can now give rides and share her love and passion of flying with others across the country. She holds a Commercial Certificate in land-based aircraft as well as a seaplane rating and holds a Level 1 ACE card which allows her to perform air shows down to the surface.

Jacquie B has earned her wings. She no longer qualifies as a newcomer flying for gas-and-a-hot-dog, as the saying goes. Her time has come. With over 3,200 flight hours and more than 1100 coast-to-coast air show performances behind her, Jacquie has proven that she has the talent, stamina, discipline and guts to reach beyond the limits placed on her by naysayers. In fact, she broke even more stringent cultural boundaries when she became the first female solo pilot to perform at the 2010 Al Ain Aerobatic Show in the United Arab Emirates. Jacquie is a powerful inspiration to the millions of fans who realize that they too can accomplish great things in life.

Jacquie spends a large part of her time as a role model by way of speaking to kids at schools, speaking to civic groups, private groups, and particularly groups of women and young girls. In March 2013, she organized a week-long program to offer airplane rides to young girls and women of all ages in a concerted effort to introduce them to the joys of flight and all things aviation. Jacquie flew 31 girls/women with the help of several other pilots during that week and made some life-long friends! Most had never been in a small airplane before. And the first two riders – Mom and her high school aged daughter, both said at the conclusion of their ride that they “needed to buy an airplane”!! Poor Dad didn’t know what to do! But the result is these girls/women got to experience something they always wanted to do and may someday go on to do great things in aviation. “We must give back” says Warda. “Our real job is to educate others of the vast opportunities in the world of aviation and share our passion and make sure others learn about and experience what we love so much. We must help others get started down the path of achieving their dreams, and by simply giving a ride in an airplane, it works! It’s a small gesture but makes a HUGE impact on the lives of many”.

 

May 17, 2018

In Episode 149 we discussed how to fly a 3-degree visual approach. In this episode we talk about how to fly a manual ILS approach, i.e., an approach flown without a flight director.

If you are planning to fly to an airport with an operable ILS, a little flight planning goes a long way. You can check weather forecasts for your destination and determine the probable runway that will be in use when you arrive, along with the forecast temperature and wind. You need this information to plan your approach.

To start, calculate the true airspeed of your aircraft at the anticipated landing weight when you arrive at your destination. Depending on your aircraft, this can vary considerably depending on weight. Now, consult your performance charts to determine your approach speed in indicated airspeed (IAS).

Use your IAS to calculate the true airspeed (TAS) for your approach. If you are operating into a sea level airport on a standard day, IAS an TAS are close to each other, but if you are flying your approach to a high-altitude airport there can be a considerable difference between IAS and TAS. The proper way to do this is to use your E6B computer, as explained in RFT 148. The fall-back method is to increase your IAS by 2 percent for each  1000 feet of altitude to determine TAS. For example, if you are flying 90 knots IAS at 5000 feet pressure altitude, your IAS would be 99 knots (90 knots plus 10 percent of 90).

You need this TAS to use the wind side of your E6B, as explained in RFT Episode 146. Perform a wind-side calculation to determine your groundspeed and wind correction angle for the approach.

Now, to stay on a nominal 3-degree ILS glide slope, descend at 1/2 your groundspeed times 10. If your groundspeed is 99 knots, descend at 500 feet per minute. When you intercept the localizer, apply the wind correction angle to the final approach course to get an initial approach heading.

ASSIGN yourself headings and descent rates, and you will find that it's relatively easy to fly an ILS with the needles centered, even without a flight director!

When you get to minimums and see the runway, don't change a thing!

May 14, 2018

Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation is a manifestation of the passion of the Fisher family for seniors and for aviation. To understand this passion and the history of the Foundation, you need only look at the personal and professional legacy of the Fisher Family.

William L. and Dorothy Fisher started the family’s aviation heritage in 1940. Their love for the freedom of flight now transcends through four generations of pilots.  William purchased a Stearman for $1,200 but later sold the airplane.  They also had a very soft spot in their hearts for the aging and, in 1965, decided to open a senior health care facility in Roseburg, Oregon. Since then, aviation and senior care and service have become a lifetime priority for 3 generations of the Fisher family.

In the spring of 2011, William Fisher, son of William L. and Dorothy, and his son Darryl, decided to fulfill a life-long dream. They traveled throughout the United States, giving veterans and seniors in long-term care communities, an opportunity to fly in a newly restored Boeing Stearman aircraft.

Darryl was so moved by the positive emotions generated by the trip that he and his wife, Carol, decided to establish the non-profit organization, Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation, as a tribute to seniors and United States veterans. Carol Fisher states, “The Fisher’s have always enjoyed sharing their love of aviation with anyone and everyone that has an interest in flying. Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation is the Fisher family’s way of giving back to those that sacrificed so much to help build this great nation”.

May 10, 2018

FAR 91.25 briefly discusses the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting Program. In many respects, it's a "get out of jail" card to avoid enforcement action. The program is explained in Advisory Circular AC 00-46E.

Enforcement Action. When determining the type and extent of the enforcement action to take in a particular case, the FAA will consider the following factors:

(1) Nature of the violation;

(2) Whether the violation was inadvertent or deliberate;

(3) The certificate holder’s level of experience and responsibility;

(4) Attitude of the violator;

(5) The hazard to safety of others, which should have been foreseen; Par 7 Page 3 AC 00-46E 12/16/11

(6) Action taken by employer or other government authority;

(7) Length of time which has elapsed since the violation;

(8) The certificate holder’s use of the certificate;

(9) The need for special deterrent action in a particular regulatory area or segment of the aviation community; and

(10) Presence of any factors involving national interest, such as the use of aircraft for criminal purposes.

Enforcement Restrictions. The FAA considers the filing of a report with NASA concerning an incident or occurrence involving a violation of 49 U.S.C. subtitle VII or the 14 CFR to be indicative of a constructive attitude. Such an attitude will tend to prevent future violations. Accordingly, although a finding of violation may be made, neither a civil penalty nor certificate suspension will be imposed if: (1) The violation was inadvertent and not deliberate;

(2) The violation did not involve a criminal offense, accident, or action under 49 U.S.C. § 44709, which discloses a lack of qualification or competency, which is wholly excluded from this policy;

(3) The person has not been found in any prior FAA enforcement action to have committed a violation of 49 U.S.C. subtitle VII, or any regulation promulgated there for a period of 5 years prior to the date of occurrence; and

(4) The person proves that, within 10 days after the violation, or date when the person became aware or should have been aware of the violation, he or she completed and delivered or mailed a written report of the incident or occurrence to NASA.

 

May 7, 2018

Christina Olds is the daughter of Robin Olds, an American fighter pilot and general officer in the U.S. Air Force. He was a "triple ace", with a combined total of 16 victories in World War II and the Vietnam War. He retired in 1973 as a brigadier general. After her father's death, Christina spent years combing through her father's notes, diaries and unfinished memoir to complete a captivating, intimate memoir of the consummate fighter pilot.

The son of Army Air Forces Major General Robert Olds, educated at West Point, and the product of an upbringing in the early years of the U.S. Army Air Corps, Olds epitomized the youthful World War II fighter pilot. He remained in the service as it became the United States Air Force, despite often being at odds with its leadership, and was one of its pioneer jet pilots. Rising to the command of two fighter wings, Olds is regarded among aviation historians, and his peers, as the best wing commander of the Vietnam War, for both his air-fighting skills, and his reputation as a combat leader.[4]

Olds was promoted to brigadier general after returning from Vietnam and became Commandant of Cadets at the United States Air Force Academy. 

Olds had a highly publicized career and life, including marriage to Hollywood actress Ella Raines. As a young man he was also recognized for his athletic prowess in both high school and college, being named an All-American as a lineman in college football. Olds expressed his philosophy regarding fighter pilots in the quote: "There are pilots and there are pilots; with the good ones, it is inborn. You can't teach it. If you are a fighter pilot, you have to be willing to take risks."

May 4, 2018

FOQA is a voluntary safety program that is designed to make commercial aviation safer by allowing commercial airlines and pilots to share de-identified aggregate information with the FAA so that the FAA can monitor national trends in aircraft operations and target its resources to address operational risk issues (e.g., flight operations, air traffic control (ATC), airports). The fundamental objective of this new FAA/pilot/carrier partnership is to allow all three parties to identify and reduce or eliminate safety risks, as well as minimize deviations from the regulations. To achieve this objective and obtain valuable safety information, the airlines, pilots, and the FAA are voluntarily agreeing to participate in this program so that all three organizations can achieve a mutual goal of making air travel safer.

A cornerstone of this new program is the understanding that aggregate data that is provided to the FAA will be kept confidential and the identity of reporting pilots or airlines will remain anonymous as allowed by law. Information submitted to the FAA pursuant to this program will be protected as “voluntarily submitted safety related data” under Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 193.

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