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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: December, 2018
Dec 31, 2018


The road to becoming an airline Captain starts long before you get hired by an airline. You should start planning on earning the left seat in the same way you plan a cross-country flight:

SELECT YOUR DESTINATION. This might be the left seat of an airliner, a business jet, crop-duster, whatever. Know where you want to go, and, just like on a cross-country flight, you may have to divert around unexpected weather or even land at an alternate.

CHECK THE WEATHER. Be aware of conditions along your route and at your destination, and be sure to check NOTAMS. In this case, learn about hazards along your route and be ready to change destinations (airlines) if conditions aren't favorable.

CHECK THE DESTINATION FACILITIES. Just like knowing your airport destination runway lengths and widths, elevation and available services, you should know what the airline expects of its pilots. Specifically, airlines are VERY conservative, and plan ahead to not have ear-rings for men, visible tattoos, or extreme appearance. Get that degree to make yourself more competitive.

KNOW THE MILESTONES. Just like checking your visual check-points along your route, plan ahead for the ratings you need.

CONFIRM YOUR LEGALITY. Make sure you have the certificates, and the medical, you will need for the career. It would truly be a shame to spend many thousands of dollars on ratings only to then discover you have a disqualifying condition, such as color-blindness.

CHART YOUR PROGRESS. Keep track of your progress along your journey to a professional pilot job.

BRIEF YOUR APPROACH. Be totally ready when you are called in for an interview. That means having your appearance exactly as you want it, including an interview suit/outfit that fits perfectly. Read Molloy's Dress For Success and Molloy's-Live For Success.

Dec 27, 2018

Visual illusions are familiar to most of us. As children, we learned that railroad tracks—contrary to what our eyes showed us—don’t come to a point at the horizon.

Aerial Perspective Illusions may make you change (increase or decrease) the slope of your final approach. They are caused by runways with different widths, upsloping ordownsloping runways, and upsloping or downslop ing final approach terrain.

Pilots learn to recognize a normal final approach by developing and recalling a mental image of the expected relationship between the length and the width of an average runway.

A final approach over a flat terrain with an upsloping runway may produce the visual illusion of a high-altitude final approach. If you believe this illusion, you may respond by pitching the aircraft nose down to decrease the altitude, which, if performed too close to the ground, may result in an accident.

A final approach over a flat terrain with a downsloping runway may produce the visual illusion of a low-altitude final approach. If you believe this illusion, you may respond by pitching the aircraft nose up to increase the altitude, which may result in a low-altitude stall or missed approach.

A final approach over an upsloping terrain with a flat runway may produce the visual illusion that the aircraft is higher than it actually is. If you believe this illusion, you may respond by pitching the aircraft nose-down to decrease the altitude, resulting in a lower approach. This may result in landing short or flaring short of the runway and risking a low-altitude stall. Pitching the aircraft nose-down will result in a low, dragged-in approach. If power settings are not adjusted, you may find yourself short of the runway, needing to add power to extend your flare. If you do not compensate with power, you will land short or stall short of the runway.

A final approach over a downsloping terrain with a flat runway may produce the visual illusion that the aircraft is lower than it actually is. If you believe this illusion, you may respond by pitching the aircraft’s nose up to gain altitude. If this happens, you will land further down therunway than you intended.

A final approach to an unusually narrow runway or an unusually long runway may produce the visual illusion of being too high. If you believe this illusion, you may pitch the aircraft’s nose down to lose altitude. If this happens too close to the ground, you may land short of the runway and cause an accident.

A final approach to an unusually wide runway may produce the visual illusion of being lower than you actually are. If you believe this illusion, you may respond by pitching the aircraft’s nose up to gain altitude, which may result in a low-altitude stall or missed approach.

A Black-Hole Approach Illusion can happen during a final approach at night (no stars or moonlight) over water or unlighted terrain to a lighted runway beyond which the horizon is not visible. When peripheral visual cues are not available to help you orient yourself relative to the earth, you may have theillusion of being upright and may perceive the runway to be tilted left and upsloping. However, with the horizon visible you can easily orient yourself correctly using your central vision. A particularly hazardous black-hole illusion involves approaching a runway under conditions with no lights before the runway and with city lights or rising terrain beyond the runway. Those conditions may produce the visual illusion of a high-altitude final approach. If you believe this illusion you may respond by lowering your approach slope.

The Autokinetic Illusion gives you the impression that a stationary object is moving in front of the airplane’s path; it is caused by staring at a fixed single point of light (ground light or a star) in a totally dark and featureless background. This illusion can cause a misperception that such a light is on a collision course with your aircraft .

False Visual Reference Illusions may cause you to orient your aircraft in relation to a false horizon; these illusions are caused by flying over a banked cloud, night flying over featureless terrain with ground lights that are indistinguishable from a dark sky with stars, or night flying over a featureless terrain with a clearly defined pattern of ground lights and a dark, starless sky.

Dec 24, 2018

Taught to fly in high school by his father, a combat-decorated Air Force pilot, Greg has gone on to fly professionally in aircraft ranging from crop dusters to corporate aircraft to airliners and has piloted more than 50 aircraft types (and counting).  His immediate family includes pilots for the Air Force, Navy, Army, and airlines, as well as a NASA Space Shuttle Commander.  What another company might refer to as a board of aviation experts, the Bristol founder just calls the dinner table. 

Dec 20, 2018

The first step in planning your cross-country VFR flight is to check departure, enroute and destination weather to confirm that you can safely, and legally, conduct the flight. Remember, VFR weather is 1000/3 and you must remain at least 500 feet below, 1000 feet above, and 2000 feet laterally from clouds.

Now, mark your departure airport and your destination on your sectional aeronautical chart.

Consult the Airport Facility Directory for both airports to determine runways and other airport information. Check NOTAMS for both airports to see if there are any changes to the Directory information.

Now, use your plotter to draw a straight line between the departure and destination. You may need to alter the course around restricted airspace and other areas you need to avoid.

Place your plotter on the course line you have drawn and measure the course with respect to true north by measuring at the mid-meridian - the true north line closest to the middle of your route. The reason for this is that the meridians converge at the poles.

Now, convert this course with respect to true north to a course with respect to magnetic north. You perform this conversion by finding the isogonic line that represents the variation from true north along your course. Subtract east variation and add west variation.

If you REALLY want to make this calculation easy, fly your cross-country along the east coast of Florida, along the agonic line where the variation is zero!

To calculate your compass heading to fly along the route, use the mnemonic TVMDC: true heading adjusted for variation equals magnetic heading; magnetic heading adjusted for deviation equals compass heading. Deviation adjusts for compass installation, and is typically a small number. It is marked on the compass correction card in your airplane.

To remember the mnemonic, think of: True Virgins Make Dull Company. Learn this quickly, because as soon as the PC police learn of this podcast, it will be banned!

Note checkpoints along your route that you can use to measure your course progress. Typically, these will be objects, such as bridges, towers, and distinctive river bends. You will use these to gauge your flight progress regarding your groundspeed and course maintenance.

Now, consult Chapter 5 of your Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) to determine your true airspeed at your cruise altitude. Your cruise altitude for a VFR flight at an altitude above 3000 AGL must be at an odd altitude plus 500 feet heading east and at an even altitude plus 500 feet heading west.

Look at the FD Winds Aloft Forecast to determine the prevailing winds along your route closest to your planned altitude.

Now, use the wind side of your E6B computer to determine your groundspeed (for a refresher, listen to RFT episode 146) and then use the calculator side (RFT episode 148) to determine the time to reach each checkpoint.

Complete a navigation log, such as https://www.packafoma.com/aviation/flight-plan-forms/vfr/, for the flight and your preparations are complete.

Finally, file a flight plan (not REQUIRED, but really RECOMMENDED), and have a great flight!

Dec 17, 2018

From Jeff's website (http://berlincreative.com/aviation/): 

Jeff Berlin began his creative career chasing models down the streets of New York City… with a camera. They knew he was there, it was cool. He liked this so much he spent five years shooting in Milan and Paris before moving back to NYC to continue his career. Over the years, he’s collaborated with top fashion magazines and brands like Vogue Italia, L’Oreal, British Elle, Estée Lauder, Esquire, Bloomingdale’s, Miss Vogue, Macy’s, Vogue Pelle, Madame Figaro and many others.

Recently, Jeff transitioned to motion pictures. He was producer and camera operator on the feature film Three Days in August, which played at multiple film festivals and ran in select theaters nationwide. It’s now available on major streaming platforms. Jeff has both shot and directed an online spot for the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), a fashion brand film for noted designer Norma Kamali, as well as a number of short films and online spots for Sony. His latest film project, Stormchaser, a short with an award-winning director, was shot on the new Sony VENICE motion picture camera and is currently in post production.

Jeff is a Sony Artisan of Imagery and an experienced aviator. He is also a published writer and was editor of three national consumer aviation magazines -- Plane and Pilot, Pilot Journal and PilotMag.

Dec 13, 2018

Before you brief your instrument approach, WAIT!

W - obtain the Weather, typically from ATIS, and confirm that it is suitable for your approach.

A - perform your Approach Checklist

I - set up your Instruments for the approach, and load it into the FMS

T - now Talk about the approach

Confirm you are on the correct approach page.

Confirm the proper localizer frequency and approach course are entered into the FMS/navigation system.

Confirm the airport elevation and runway elevation.

Verify your flight path to the final approach course.

Confirm the glide path angle. A normal glide path is 3 degrees.

Confirm the minimum safe altitude and any obstructions.

Confirm the Outer Marker or Final Approach Fix crossing altitude.

Confirm the Decision Height or Minimum Descent Altitude.

Brief the Missed Approach.

Brief the runway exit plan.

Dec 10, 2018

AeroSearcher is the perfect example of a startup conceived to solve a founder’s frustrations with “the way things are.”

The aviation community has always been one of the most passionate, sophisticated and adventurous communities in the world. The average person simply doesn’t hop into a metal can and fly it to 25,000 feet. Despite the typical flyer being a go-getter, make-it-happen, we’ll-figure-it-out-when-we-get-there personality, finding online info as an aviator has always been a spaghetti bowl of tangled messiness.

Want to find a plane to buy and make sure you’ve seen all the options? You’d usually have to scour five, maybe even ten websites.

Looking for a job in the aviation field whether it be a corporate pilot, a mechanic or a flight instructor to name a few? You’re typically going to spend several hours and visit an array of websites before you even begin to feel you’ve seen the majority of possible opportunities.

Aircraft parts or aviation products? The same story: a vast number of sites and resources all with a different way to find what you’re looking for and no single site that can give you the majority of what’s available. It is this complexity that AeroSearcher simplifies. We’ve built a service that let’s you find in seconds what may have taken far longer in the past.

We’re not an aircraft classified provider. We just let you search every major classified site at one go.

We’re not an aviation job site. But using AeroSearcher means you can search nearly all aviation job sites with ease.

We don’t sell aircraft parts or aviation products, but there is no single place on the web where you can search and find whatever aviation related item you are looking for faster.

We know that we’re just at the start of an amazing journey. There are more possibilities for AeroSearcher: big improvements, new types of aviation information to index and innovative solutions to aviation problems.

Dec 6, 2018

The United States formally entered World War II in December 1941, following Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Six months later, Bush enlisted into the U.S. Navy immediately after he graduated from Phillips Academy on his eighteenth birthday. He became a naval aviator, taking training for aircraft carrier operations aboard USS SableAfter completing the 10-month course, he was commissioned as an ensign in the United States Naval Reserve at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi on June 9, 1943 (just three days before his 19th birthday), which made him the youngest naval aviator to that date.

In September 1943, he was assigned to Torpedo Squadron 51 (VT-51) as the photographic officer. The following year, his squadron was based in USS San Jacinto as a member of Air Group 51, where his lanky physique earned him the nickname "Skin". During this time, the task force was victorious in one of the largest air battles of World War II: the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

After Bush's promotion to lieutenant (junior grade) on August 1, 1944, San Jacinto commenced operations against the Japanese in the Bonin Islands. Bush piloted one of four Grumman TBM Avengers of VT-51 that attacked the Japanese installations on Chichijima. His crew for the mission, which occurred on September 2, 1944, included Radioman Second Class John Delaney and Lt.(jg) William White. During their attack, the Avengers encountered intense anti-aircraft fire; Bush's aircraft was hit by flak and his engine caught fire. Despite the fire in his aircraft, Bush completed his attack and released bombs over his target, scoring several damaging hits. With his engine ablaze, Bush flew several miles from the island, where he and one other crew member of the TBM bailed out; the other man's parachute did not open. Bush waited for four hours in an inflated raft, while several fighters circled protectively overhead, until he was rescued by the submarine USS Finback, on lifeguard duty. For the next month, he remained in Finback and participated in the rescue of other aviators. Several of those shot down during the attack were executed, and their livers were eaten by their captors. A radio operator from the Japanese unit which shot down the Bush plane was American citizen Nobuaki Iwatake, a Japanese American who had settled in Japan six months before Pearl Harbor and was drafted into the Japanese Imperial Army in 1943. This experience shaped Bush profoundly, leading him to ask, "Why had I been spared and what did God have for me?"

In November 1944, Bush returned to San Jacinto and participated in operations in the Philippines until his squadron was replaced and sent home to the United States. Through 1944, he flew 58 combat missions for which he received the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Air Medals, and the Presidential Unit Citation awarded to San Jacinto. Bush was then reassigned to a training wing for torpedo bomber crews at Norfolk Navy Base, Virginia. His final assignment was to a new torpedo squadron, VT-153, based at Naval Air Station Grosse Ile, Michigan. Bush was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in September 1945, one month after the surrender of Japan.

Dec 3, 2018

From Dave Dequeljoe's website:

Dave Dequeljoe is a former Navy fighter pilot with two combat tours to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was awarded the Navy Commendation with Combat “V” device for valor and an Air Medal with Individual star device for the heroic low altitude rescue of U.S. Special Operations Forces from an overwhelming advancing armor column. Dave also was awarded two Strike Flight Air Medals, and his squadron won the Battle “E” for excellence in sustained combat sorties. Transitioning home after debilitating injuries sustained from an inverted flat spin ejection, Dave became an entrepreneur and has owned several businesses.

Dave has written an outstanding book, Dogfighting Depression, to help people dealing with depression. His noble goal is to put a huge dent into the number of veteran suicides (22) each day.

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