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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: August, 2019
Aug 29, 2019

From Skybrary:

SOP is a Standard Operating Procedure.

Many industries use SOP’s as a common way of ensuring tasks or operations are completed correctly, however SOP’s are essential in aviation.

They ensure that aircraft are flown correctly in accordance with the manufacturers guidelines, but also it allows 2 pilots that have never met before who may be from different crew bases and different cultures or backgrounds to fly together as a flight crew team on the same aircraft fully understanding what the other pilot is expected to be doing for the whole flight.

Different types of SOP’s are as follows:

A memory flow of arranging switches and levers in the correct position for a particular phase of flight. For example it is normal that the PM / PNF (Pilot monitoring or Pilot not flying) will complete the before start flow and then read the before start checklist which the PF (Pilot flying) will respond to.

A call or acknowledgement of an event. For example most EASA airlines have to acknowledge an automated callout of 1000ft which would be followed by PM / PNF stating whether they are stable or not for the subsequent landing.

A procedure that requires completing with certain criteria. For example in visible moisture below 10 degrees pilots will be required to taxi and take off with engine anti-ice systems on.

SOP’s can also be developed as time goes by to incorporate improvements based on experience, accidents, near misses or innovations from other manufacturers or operators to suit the needs of a particular organization.

SOP’s should not be designed too detailed and exhaustive that the pilot does not provide any form of cognition to the process and not be too relaxed where the crew have too many options to decide between.

If a pilot is not conforming to SOP’s he/she can be expected to be challenged by the other pilot.

However there may be an occasion where it is preferably or vital to ignore or not carry out an SOP. This would normally be in an emergency situation.

An example of this would be continuing to land the aircraft below the operating minima where the pilots had not become visual with the runway as they had an uncontrollable cabin fire.

Aug 26, 2019

Steve Forte got his introduction to flying by sitting next to his father in the family airplane. After seeing The High And The Mighty, he was fully bitten by the aviation bug, and took flying lessons while still in high school.

Steve "paid his dues" in civilian aviation, working various jobs and finally becoming a pilot, with Cochise airlines. One of his jobs was collecting the airsick bags at the end of every flight! After serving as an air ambulance pilot and flying Metroliners, he was finally hired by United Airlines in 1979.

At United, he started off as a Flight Engineer on the DC-8. Like everyone else hired during that time period, he was furloughed from United in 1981, and decided to go back to school, earning a full-ride scholarship to the University of Arizona to pursue his MBA. After recall at United, he became a flight instructor at the Denver Flight Training Center, and quickly rose up the management ranks, finally becoming Senior Vice President of Flight Operations.

Steve retired from United at age 50 and became President, CEO and COO of Naverus Corporation, a pioneer in performance-based navigation technologies for air traffic management. He later became Chief Operating Officer and Director of Operations for Virgin America Airlines.

After Virgin America was acquired by Alaska Airlines, Steve worked on writing his book, Takeoff, and producing a romantic comedy, Under The Eiffel Tower.

Steve is now Vice President of JetBlue University, and he still flies trips as Captain on JetBlue's A-320 airplanes.

Aug 22, 2019

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
OSA affects a person’s upper airway in the area of the larynx (voice box) and the back of the throat. This area is normally held open to allow normal breathing by the surrounding muscles. When an individual is asleep, these muscles become slack, and the open area becomes smaller. In some individuals, this area becomes so small that breathing and resulting normal oxygenation of the blood is impaired. The person may actually choke. This causes some degree of arousal from normal sleep levels which the individual may or may not be aware of. These people do not get restorative sleep, and wake feeling tired.

OSA has significant safety implications because it can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, personality disturbances, cardiac dysrthythmias, myocardial infarction, stroke, sudden cardiac death, and hypertension, and cognitive impairment such as decreased memory, attention, planning, problem-solving and multi-tasking.

What is the background on the FAA’s actions on OSA?
The FAA’s has always used the special issuance medical certification process to certificate pilots with OSA. In November 2013, the FAA proposed guidance that would have required treatment for pilots with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more. It would have grounded those pilots until they successfully completed treatment, if required, and they obtained a Special Issuance medical certificate from the FAA. Key aviation industry stakeholders, as well as members of Congress, expressed concern about this enhanced screening. The FAA has now revised the guidance to address those concerns.

What is the new guidance? 
An AME will not use BMI alone to assess whether the pilot applicant has OSA or as a basis for deferring the medical certificates (except in cases where the OSA risk is extreme). AME’s will screen for the risk for OSA using an integrated assessment of history, symptoms, and physical/clinical findings.  OSA screening will only be done by the AME at the time of the physical examination using the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) guidance provided in the AME Guide. Pilots who are at risk for OSA will be issued a medical certificate and will then, shortly thereafter, receive a letter from the FAA’s Federal Air Surgeon requesting that an OSA evaluation be completed within 90 days. The evaluation may be done by any physician (including the AME), not just a sleep medicine specialist, following AASM guidelines. If the evaluating physician determines, using the AASM guidelines, that a laboratory sleep study or home study is warranted, it should be done at that time. The pilot may continue flying during the evaluation periodand initiation of treatment, if indicated. The airman will have 90 days (or longer under special circumstances) to accomplish this, as outlined in the Federal Air Surgeon’s letter. The FAA may consider an extension in some cases. Pilots diagnosed with OSA and undergoing treatment may send documentation of effective treatment to the FAA in order to have the FAA consider them for a special issuance medical certificate.

How is OSA treated?
Though several types of treatment are available depending on the severity of OSA, the most effective treatment involves the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or Automatic Positive Airway Pressure device that is worn while sleeping. In fact, there are currently 4,917 FAA-certificated pilots who are being treated for sleep apnea and are flying with a special issuance medical certificate.

When will the new guidance take affect?
The FAA plans to publish the new guidance in the FAA Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners on March 2, 2015.

What are the FAA’s current rules on OSA?
Untreated OSA always has been and will continue to be a generally disqualifying medical condition requiring a special issuance medical certificate. AMEs are advised by the FAA to be alert for OSA and other sleep-related disorders such as insomnia, restless legsyndrome,and neuromuscular or connective tissue disorders, because they could be signs of problems that could interfere with restorative sleep, which are needed for pilots to safely perform their duties.

Is the FAA changing the rules on OSA?
The FAA is not changing its medical standards related to OSA. The agency is revising the screening approach to help AMEs find undiagnosed and untreated OSA.

Have there been any accidents or incidents associated with OSA?
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that OSA was a contributing factor in the February13, 2008 Mesa Airlines (operated as go!) Flight 1002 incident, in which both the captain and first officer fell asleep during the flight. They flew 26 miles past their island destination into open ocean, and did not respond to air traffic controllers for more than 18 minutes. After normal communication was resumed, all three crewmembers and 40 passengers onboard arrived safely at their destination.  The captain was found to have undiagnosed severe OSA. The NTSB has investigated accidents in all modes of passenger transportation involving operators with sleep disorders and believes OSA to be a significant safety risk. The NTSB database lists 34 accidents – 32 of which were fatal – where sleep apnea was mentioned in the pilot’s medical history, although sleep apnea was not listed as “causal” or “contributory” in those accidents. The database includes an additional 294 incidents where some type of sleep disorder was mentioned in the history.

Aug 19, 2019

Lorraine Morris started flying as a young child in the front seat with her father in a General Aviation airplane. She earned her Private Pilot certificate during the summer between high school and college, and continued to fly, working her way through college as a CFI.

Lorraine hired on with a major legacy airline, and rose to Line Check Airman (LCA) on the B777. In addition, she started flying warbirds with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and is now an Aircraft Commander on the EAA's Boeing B-17.

Lorraine resides on an airpark and owns three airplanes, as well as three projects she and her husband are restoring.

Aug 15, 2019

From You’ve probably heard the saying, “seniority is everything.” Well, in the airline piloting business, that’s absolutely correct. Every day you’re not on the roster is another day someone else gets above you.

Surely, seniority isn’t everything, right? Yes, it pretty much is. Let’s start with pay. The sooner you get hired, the sooner you can accrue longevity pay increases. Most airlines top out at 12- to 15-year pay, and you enjoy a raise on your hire date every year until you hit the top pay rate. Although the increases aren’t staggering, they are certainly meaningful, especially as a new hire. At the same time, however, most major airlines have some sort of retirement “B fund,” which is essentially a percentage of your salary that goes into a retirement fund. This is a significant benefit. If you make $100,000 in your third year, and the retirement B fund is 15 percent, the company pumps $15,000 into your retirement for that year. The higher your pay, the more money goes toward your retirement.

In the last five years or so, major airlines have been profitable, and most have some form of profit-sharing plan in place for employees. Typically, the profit-sharing payout is a percentage of your salary. Once again, seniority plays into this because the longer you’ve been on the property, the more you will take home in profit sharing.

And the sooner you get hired, the quicker you progress through the ranks to become a captain, where pay rates increase substantially. So, not only do you make 40 percent more in hourly pay, for example, the company will then be doling out that much more in your retirement B fund and in profit sharing. See where this is going? If you get hired at a major airline at age 25 instead of 35, you will accrue millions more in pay and benefits by the end of your career.

Then there’s the quality of life issue, and it’s a biggie. In the airline business, it’s all about people getting hired behind you, and those retiring or otherwise moving on who are ahead of you. If you get hired at the beginning of a hiring wave, you will rapidly move up the seniority ladder and get decent schedules within just a few months. Those hired at the tail end of a hiring wave will likely spend years toiling at the bottom of the seniority list, where the schedule can be brutal.

With seniority, you can transfer out of the company’s smaller airplanes and move on to widebody airplanes that pay more—and have easier schedules. Or you could use your seniority to become a captain on a smaller airplane and enjoy the big raise. Vacations are also based on seniority. Want to get the Fourth of July holiday off for a family vacation? Only the senior folks in their respective seats will get that. If you’re junior, expect to only secure vacation weeks in the winter—and only during weeks that don’t have a holiday in them. For pilots with families, being gone on weekends and holidays can be a real burden on your lifestyle. In the airline world, those woes can only be solved with seniority power.

So, does seniority mean everything? As you can see, it’s more than just important. Seniority drastically affects pay, retirement benefits, quality of life, and career advancement. In fact, if you’re given an opportunity to obtain an earlier hire date, jump on it any way you possibly can.

 

You’ve probably heard the saying, “seniority is everything.” Well, in the airline piloting business, that’s absolutely correct. Every day you’re not on the roster is another day someone else gets above you.

Surely, seniority isn’t everything, right? Yes, it pretty much is. Let’s start with pay. The sooner you get hired, the sooner you can accrue longevity pay increases. Most airlines top out at 12- to 15-year pay, and you enjoy a raise on your hire date every year until you hit the top pay rate. Although the increases aren’t staggering, they are certainly meaningful, especially as a new hire. At the same time, however, most major airlines have some sort of retirement “B fund,” which is essentially a percentage of your salary that goes into a retirement fund. This is a significant benefit. If you make $100,000 in your third year, and the retirement B fund is 15 percent, the company pumps $15,000 into your retirement for that year. The higher your pay, the more money goes toward your retirement.

In the last five years or so, major airlines have been profitable, and most have some form of profit-sharing plan in place for employees. Typically, the profit-sharing payout is a percentage of your salary. Once again, seniority plays into this because the longer you’ve been on the property, the more you will take home in profit sharing.

And the sooner you get hired, the quicker you progress through the ranks to become a captain, where pay rates increase substantially. So, not only do you make 40 percent more in hourly pay, for example, the company will then be doling out that much more in your retirement B fund and in profit sharing. See where this is going? If you get hired at a major airline at age 25 instead of 35, you will accrue millions more in pay and benefits by the end of your career.

Then there’s the quality of life issue, and it’s a biggie. In the airline business, it’s all about people getting hired behind you, and those retiring or otherwise moving on who are ahead of you. If you get hired at the beginning of a hiring wave, you will rapidly move up the seniority ladder and get decent schedules within just a few months. Those hired at the tail end of a hiring wave will likely spend years toiling at the bottom of the seniority list, where the schedule can be brutal.

With seniority, you can transfer out of the company’s smaller airplanes and move on to widebody airplanes that pay more—and have easier schedules. Or you could use your seniority to become a captain on a smaller airplane and enjoy the big raise. Vacations are also based on seniority. Want to get the Fourth of July holiday off for a family vacation? Only the senior folks in their respective seats will get that. If you’re junior, expect to only secure vacation weeks in the winter—and only during weeks that don’t have a holiday in them. For pilots with families, being gone on weekends and holidays can be a real burden on your lifestyle. In the airline world, those woes can only be solved with seniority power.

So, does seniority mean everything? As you can see, it’s more than just important. Seniority drastically affects pay, retirement benefits, quality of life, and career advancement. In fact, if you’re given an opportunity to obtain an earlier hire date, jump on it any way you possibly can.

ward your retirement.

In the last five years or so, major airlines have been profitable, and most have some form of profit-sharing plan in place for employees. Typically, the profit-sharing payout is a percentage of your salary. Once again, seniority plays into this because the longer you’ve been on the property, the more you will take home in profit sharing.

And the sooner you get hired, the quicker you progress through the ranks to become a captain, where pay rates increase substantially. So, not only do you make 40 percent more in hourly pay, for example, the company will then be doling out that much more in your retirement B fund and in profit sharing. See where this is going? If you get hired at a major airline at age 25 instead of 35, you will accrue millions more in pay and benefits by the end of your career.

Then there’s the quality of life issue, and it’s a biggie. In the airline business, it’s all about people getting hired behind you, and those retiring or otherwise moving on who are ahead of you. If you get hired at the beginning of a hiring wave, you will rapidly move up the seniority ladder and get decent schedules within just a few months. Those hired at the tail end of a hiring wave will likely spend years toiling at the bottom of the seniority list, where the schedule can be brutal.

With seniority, you can transfer out of the company’s smaller airplanes and move on to widebody airplanes that pay more—and have easier schedules. Or you could use your seniority to become a captain on a smaller airplane and enjoy the big raise. Vacations are also based on seniority. Want to get the Fourth of July holiday off for a family vacation? Only the senior folks in their respective seats will get that. If you’re junior, expect to only secure vacation weeks in the winter—and only during weeks that don’t have a holiday in them. For pilots with families, being gone on weekends and holidays can be a real burden on your lifestyle. In the airline world, those woes can only be solved with seniority power.

So, does seniority mean everything? As you can see, it’s more than just important. Seniority drastically affects pay, retirement benefits, quality of life, and career advancement. In fact, if you’re given an opportunity to obtain an earlier hire date, jump on it any way you possibly can.

Aug 12, 2019

Kendra is the Founder and Chair of Elevate Aviation and has been an air traffic controller for 19 years at the Edmonton ACC. Her early life did not start her down a path for success. In her adult life she took control and created her own success story. She has a passion for sharing her story and motivating others to live outside of their comfort zone in order to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

She has raised thousands of dollars for charitable causes by producing and selling calendars, and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for charity. She was honored as a Global Woman of Vision in 2016. 

She founded Elevate Aviation to inspire men and women to pursue careers in aviation. Elevate pairs young people with mentors and career advisors in all fields of aviation

Kendra was recently selected as an Honorary RCAF Colonel.

Aug 8, 2019

Just this past week several aviator careers have been ruined by alcohol, so it may be time to review what the alcohol limits are for operating an airplane.

14 CFR § 91.17 states:

(a) No person may act or attempt to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft -

(1) Within 8 hours after the consumption of any alcoholic beverage;

(2) While under the influence of alcohol;

(3) While using any drug that affects the person's faculties in any way contrary to safety; or

(4) While having an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater in a blood or breath specimen. Alcohol concentration means grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

(b) Except in an emergency, no pilot of a civil aircraft may allow a person who appears to be intoxicated or who demonstrates by manner or physical indications that the individual is under the influence of drugs (except a medical patient under proper care) to be carried in that aircraft.

(c) A crewmember shall do the following:

(1) On request of a law enforcement officer, submit to a test to indicate the alcohol concentration in the blood or breath, when -

(i) The law enforcement officer is authorized under State or local law to conduct the test or to have the test conducted; and

(ii) The law enforcement officer is requesting submission to the test to investigate a suspected violation of State or local law governing the same or substantially similar conduct prohibited by paragraph (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(4) of this section.

(2) Whenever the FAA has a reasonable basis to believe that a person may have violated paragraph (a)(1), (a)(2), or (a)(4) of this section, on request of the FAA, that person must furnish to the FAA the results, or authorize any clinic, hospital, or doctor, or other person to release to the FAA, the results of each test taken within 4 hours after acting or attempting to act as a crewmember that indicates an alcohol concentration in the blood or breath specimen.

(d) Whenever the Administrator has a reasonable basis to believe that a person may have violated paragraph (a)(3) of this section, that person shall, upon request by the Administrator, furnish the Administrator, or authorize any clinic, hospital, doctor, or other person to release to the Administrator, the results of each test taken within 4 hours after acting or attempting to act as a crewmember that indicates the presence of any drugs in the body.

(e) Any test information obtained by the Administrator under paragraph (c) or (d) of this section may be evaluated in determining a person's qualifications for any airman certificate or possible violations of this chapter and may be used as evidence in any legal proceeding under section 602, 609, or 901 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958.

Aug 5, 2019

DURING HIS CHILDHOOD IN EL CENTRO, CALIFORNIA, SCOTT KARTVEDT (’90) WATCHED THE BLUE ANGELS NAVY FLIGHT DEMONSTRATION SQUADRON SWIRL AROUND THE SKY AS PART OF THEIR TRAINING EXERCISES. “I saw them practice while I was riding motorcycles,” says Kartvedt, now a commanding officer in the Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron 101.

Twenty-five years later, it was Kartvedt who was in the pilot’s seat, flying a few inches away from a neighboring aircraft at 800 mph while taking a six-plane vertical delta formation. “Anytime someone asks what goes through my head when I’m up there, I always say I’m just there in the moment,” explains Kartvedt, now the commanding officer of the Navy's first F-35 squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO ONE (VFA-101). “There are times when you break away and you have that moment to fly, so you have that chance to take it all in or take in the crowd. It’s a rush!”

Among more than 90,000 Pepperdine alumni, he is the only naval officer selected as a member of the Blue Angels. Yet without Pepperdine, Kartvedt would have never even considered enlisting in the military. Passing by Chancellor Emeritus Charlie Runnels’ office one afternoon in 1990, “I saw a naval aviation poster, which caught my eye,” he recalls. “I knocked on the door, started a conversation, and struck up a friendship from that point on. We talked a lot about naval aviation and the challenges of training, but also the joys of service.” Runnels later wrote a letter of recommendation for Kartvedt’s Navy application, which propelled his decades-long career in the military.

Since then, Kartvedt has become a decorated naval commander, who has participated in 1996 Taiwanese Contingency Operations, Operations Southern Watch, and Iraqi Freedom; during Operation Enduring Freedom he commanded an F/A-18 squadron during two deployments supporting ground forces in Afghanistan. In 2010 Kartvedt assumed duties at the Pentagon as the Navy’s Joint Strike Fighter requirements officer responsible for establishing the Navy’s first stealth fighter and for training pilots and maintainers on how to operate the F-35.

Ashore, Kartvedt served with Marine Strike Fighter Squadron 101 as an F/A-18 flight instructor and landing signal officer. He has also held a post as a requirements officer of the Naval Aviation Joint Strike Fighter, where he assisted the director of air warfare in the development, programming, and budgeting of war-fighting requirements for the F-35C Strike Fighter.

Throughout his accomplished career, Kartvedt counts his wife Lisa (’90) as his most ardent supporter and someone who has enabled the family’s smooth transition throughout the 13 moves the Kartvedts have made since 2004. “We have always decided that we would move together,” he explains. “But the sweetest moment of any military career is the homecoming and homecoming embrace, because you spend six months thinking about it and when you finally reach that moment, it’s sweeter than anything you can imagine.”

Aug 1, 2019

An in-flight cabin fire is one of the most serious emergencies a crew can encounter. In my blog (Open Ocean, No Comm, On Fire) several years ago I related my experience with an in-flight fire while over the ocean out of radio contact with Air Traffic Control.
In 1998, as the result of an airline accident, the FAA mandated installation of smoke goggles on air carrier aircraft.

Until fairly recently, many airline aircraft provided separate smoke goggles, stored near the crew oxygen masks. This presented a conundrum: which should be donned first, the goggles or the mask? Recently, more and more operators are upgrading their equipment to smoke goggles integral to the oxygen masks.

Obviously, oxygen masks are necessary in the event of a depressurization. But in the event of smoke or fire, goggles are essential, to allow the crew to continue to see the instruments, and to prevent exposure to toxic gasses.

In many cases of structural aircraft fires, cyanide is present in the smoke. this cyanide can be absorbed through the eyes, so it is essential to protect the eyes.

Another solution to allow crews to see the instruments is the Emergency Vision Assurance System (EVAS ).

 

 

 

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