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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: September, 2019
Sep 30, 2019

Anna Rice fell in love with aviation as a child, as she accompanied her flight attendant mother on trips to Europe. She attended Metro State College of Denver (now Metropolitan State University of Denver), majoring in Aviation, and was selected as an intern at American Airlines.

After graduation, she became a CFI and then a pilot for a small airline, and was on track to become a pilot with American Airlines when the attacks of September 11th crippled the U.S. airline industry. She continued to work as a CFI until another airline job became available.

THEN another career hurdle appeared, the airline pilot age limit raising from 60 to 65. That caused total stagnation in upward movement at her airline, and she was furloughed.

When she had children, she saw the furlough as a blessing, as she was able to stay home to raise them, and she bypassed her recall until the children were older.

She is now back at her airline as a B737 First Officer.

Sep 26, 2019

The introduction of the Advanced Qualification Program (AQP) in the early 1990s marks another stage in the evolution of error management. Under
AQP, a voluntary program, the FAA allows air carriers to develop training programs specific to their individual needs and operations. A condition for
AQP authorization is the requirement to have a CRM program that is integrated into technical training.

To accomplish this objective, air carriers began to “proceduralize” CRM by incorporating desired behaviors into operational procedures and checklists.

Although AQP is a voluntary program, the FAA Flight Standards Service encourages air carriers to participate. AQP provides for enhanced curriculum development and a data-driven approach to quality assurance along with the flexibility to target critical tasks during aircrew training. The AQP methodology directly supports the FAA’s goals for safety enhancement. The primary goal of AQP is to achieve the highest possible standard of individual and crew performance. In order to achieve this goal, AQP seeks to reduce the probability of crew-related errors by aligning training and evaluation requirements more closely with the known causes of human error. For example:

a. Crew Performance. Most accidents are attributed to crew error. Traditional training programs focus on individual training and evaluation. Under AQP, the focus is on crew and individual performance in both training and evaluation.
b. CRM. Most accidents are caused by errors of judgment, communication, and crew coordination. Traditional training programs focus primarily on flying skills and systems knowledge. Under AQP, competence in flying skills and systems knowledge are integrated with CRM skills in training and evaluation throughout the curriculum.
c. Scenario-Based Training and Evaluation. Most accidents are caused by a chain of errors that build up over the course of a flight and which, if undetected or unresolved, result in a final, fatal error. Traditional training programs, with their maneuver-based training and evaluation, artificially segment simulation events in such a way as to prevent the realistic buildup of the error chain. Under AQP, both training and evaluation are scenario-based, simulating more closely the actual flight conditions known to cause most fatal carrier accidents.
d. Additional Benefits. Added benefits that are expected for individual applicants will vary, but may include:
(1) The ability to modify training curricula, media, and intervals.
(2) Crew evaluation as well as individual assessment.
(3) Improved standardization across fleets and flight personnel.
(4) Shift from programmed hours to proficiency-based training.
(5) Access to innovative training ideas and research.
(6) Opportunity to achieve more efficient training.

Sep 23, 2019

Under Chairman Sumwalt’s leadership, the agency’s ranking in the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government has advanced 33 percent to the agency’s current position of Number 6 of 29 small federal agencies. He is a fierce advocate for improving safety in all modes of transportation, including teen driver safety, impaired driving, distractions in transportation, and several aviation and rail safety initiatives.

Before joining the NTSB, Chairman Sumwalt was a pilot for 32 years, including 24 years with Piedmont Airlines and US Airways. He accumulated over 14,000 flight hours. During his tenure at US Airways, he worked on special assignment to the flight safety department and served on the airline’s Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) monitoring team.

Following his airline career, Chairman Sumwalt managed the corporate aviation department for a Fortune 500 energy company.

In other notable accomplishments, he chaired the Air Line Pilots Association’s Human Factors and Training Group and co-founded the association’s critical incident response program. He also spent eight years as a consultant to NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) and has written extensively on aviation safety matters. He has co-authored a book on aircraft accidents and has published more than 100 articles on transportation safety and aircraft accident investigation.

Chairman Sumwalt earned an undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Aeronautical Science (with Distinction) from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, with concentrations in aviation/aerospace safety systems and human factors aviation systems. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of South Carolina, and an honorary doctorate from Embry-Riddle. He is an inductee into the South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame.

Sep 19, 2019

In RFT 086 we discussed Stabilized Approaches. According to AINOnline fully 96 percent of all airline flights conclude with stabilized approaches. Of the 4 percent that are not stabilized, virtually NONE of them (3%) result in a go-around!

FAA recommends</a> that approach stabilization start as far out as possible. Simply stated, a stable approach is a 3-degree glide path, executed on-speed and fully configured for landing. It's easy to calculate a 3-degree glide path - simply take half your groundspeed and multiply it by 10 to get the vertical speed to maintain the 3 degrees.

Since the go-around is not performed nearly as often as a normal landing, it is essential that the crew review the procedures involved in a go-around when they brief the approach.

Sep 16, 2019

From LinkedIn:

Chris “Elroy” Stricklin is an award-winning leadership author, a highly sought after motivational keynote speaker and a Combat-Proven Senior Military leader retiring after 23 years which culminated with CEO-Level leadership of a 7,000-person strong, $7B worldwide organization. During this time, he was responsible for 11,383 personnel, $323M Payroll, $160M Contracts, Creation of 1,891 jobs and local economic impact of $566M.

His style combines the skills acquired as a combat-proven leader, mentor, author, speaker and coach integrating the fields of dynamic Leadership, followership, negotiations, positive change, public relations, public speaking and complex organizational change as a business strategist.

Unique experience as a U.S.A.F. Thunderbird Solo coupled with CEO-Level duties and Pentagon-level strategic management of critical Air Force resources valued at $840B, multiple N.A.T.O. assignments, White House and DARPA fellowships, and command-experience in the United States Air Force allow his unique synthesis of speaking, following, leading, management, negotiations, continuous improvement and positive change. His acclaimed keynote reveals the secret to Teamwork…The Thunderbird Way, an insight into the success principles and training methods used by The Air Force Thunderbirds to ensure precision and success each season.

A combat-decorated Fighter Pilot, Chris is also a Certified Manager with degrees in Economics, Financial Planning, Management, Real Estate, Strategic Studies and Operational Art and Science. He authored a negotiation primer subsequently published and adopted as required Air Force Pentagon new action officer orientation. He and his wife, Terri, have 4 children. 

Chris's website has more information.

Sep 12, 2019
  • Secretary Rice: “I don't think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile”
  • 1972: Southern Airways Flt 49 threatened to crash into Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • 1974: S. Byck attempted to hijack Delta DC-9 to crash it into White House
  • 1993: Iran training pilots to fly into buildings
  • 1994: Air France Flt 8969
  • 1994: FedEx Flt 705
  • 1994: Terror 2000
  • 1995: Bojinka plot included crashing planes into Sears Tower, Transamerica Bldg, WTC, John Hancock Tower, U.S. Congress, White House
  • 1996: Ethiopian Airlines Flt 961
  • 1996: Chechen rebel threatened crash into Kremlin
  • 1998: Kaplanicar (Turkish) attempt to crash airplane into tomb of Attaturk
  • 1999: MI6 warned of suicide attack
  • 1999: Research Div. of L.O.C warned of airplane attacks
  • 1999: Keynote address at NDU warned of UAV attacks on buildings
  • 2000: Security consultant warned “most serious threat to WTC was someone flying a plane into it”
  • March, 2001: The Lone Gunmen – hijacked B-727 flown into WTC
Sep 9, 2019

 

What began as one dog on an airplane several years ago has evolved into a team of over 100 volunteers who fly or drive animals from danger to safety. Founded in 2009 by pilots and friends Brad Childs and Jonathan Plesset, the organization become a recognized 501c(3) entity in 2012. Since then our teams have conducted a wide range of missions including hoarding cases, saving animals from dog fighting rings and natural disasters, and helping overcrowded shelters. We now have the capability to respond to a huge variety of rescue needs both near and far. During the devastating hurricanes in 2017, PAART made its first international journey, heading to the storm-ravaged island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands to rescue not only 42 animals, but two rescuers who had found themselves stranded on the island for weeks. Our reach stretches from Texas to Florida and all the way up the East Coast to Massachusetts. We have conducted rescue missions as far inland as the Mississippi River. While Pittsburgh is in our name, it actually makes up less than 10% of the area we cover.

Our rescue partners are many, ranging in size from large organizations like The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and North Shore Animal League America, as well as small shelters in remote areas of West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and beyond. One of our newer partners is St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, New Jersey. With an increasing population disparity in the northern states, St. Hubert’s serves as a hub for animals heading into New England where rescue dogs are scarce but people still want to have the fulfilling opportunity to rescue a beautiful, healthy animal who otherwise would have met a devastating fate.

Sep 5, 2019

mmonly known as “takeoff safety s

The second segment requirement is often the most difficult one to meet. Segment two begins when the gear is up and locked and the speed is V2. This segment has the steepest climb gradient: 2.4 percent. This equates to a ballpark figure of around 300 feet per minute, and for a heavy airplane on a hot day with a failed engine, this can be a challenge. Often, when the airlines announce that a flight is weight-limited on hot summer days, this is the reason (the gate agent doesn’t know this kind of detail, and nor does she care; she just knows some people aren’t going).

The magic computers we use for computing performance data figure all this out, saving us the trouble of using charts and graphs. All we know is that we can either carry the planned load or we can’t.

Second segment climb ends at 400 feet, so it could take up to a minute or more to fly this segment. Think of all the obstacles that might be in the departure path in the course of 60 seconds or more.

Third segment climb begins at 400 feet, and here the rules can vary. The climb gradient is now half of what it was before: 1.2 percent. However, we are also required to accelerate to a speed called VFS (final segment climb speed). In graphs and publications, the third segment of the climb is often depicted as being a flat line for the acceleration. In many turboprops, that’s exactly the way it’s flown. The airplane is leveled off (and the pilot is using a very tired leg to overcome the increasing yaw tendency via the rudder) and accelerated before the final climb begins.

In jets, however, there is generally enough power in the remaining engine to avoid a level-off. If the airplane can continue to accelerate during the third segment, it may continue to climb, so long as it can do so without a decrease in speed or performance. In fact, during the climb it must continue to meet the climb gradient while accelerating to VFS.

Third segment climb ends upon reaching VFS.

The fourth and “final segment” begins upon reaching VFS and completing the climb configuration process. It is now permissible (and maybe necessary) to reduce thrust to a Maximum Continuous setting. The climb gradient is again 1.2 percent, and VFS must be maintained to 1,500 feet above field elevation.

ore.

Third segment climb begins at 400 feet, and here the rules can vary. The climb gradient is now half of what it was before: 1.2 percent. However, we are also required to accelerate to a speed called VFS (final segment climb speed). In graphs and publications, the third segment of the climb is often depicted as being a flat line for the acceleration. In many turboprops, that’s exactly the way it’s flown. The airplane is leveled off (and the pilot is using a very tired leg to overcome the increasing yaw tendency via the rudder) and accelerated before the final climb begins.

In jets, however, there is generally enough power in the remaining engine to avoid a level-off. If the airplane can continue to accelerate during the third segment, it may continue to climb, so long as it can do so without a decrease in speed or performance. In fact, during the climb it must continue to meet the climb gradient while accelerating to VFS.

Third segment climb ends upon reaching VFS.

The fourth and “final segment” begins upon reaching VFS and completing the climb configuration process. It is now permissible (and maybe necessary) to reduce thrust to a Maximum Continuous setting. The climb gradient is again 1.2 percent, and VFS must be maintained to 1,500 feet above field elevation.

From d,” but in technical terms, the speed for best climb gradient.

The second segment requirement is often the most difficult one to meet. Segment two begins when the gear is up and locked and the speed is V2. This segment has the steepest climb gradient: 2.4 percent. This equates to a ballpark figure of around 300 feet per minute, and for a heavy airplane on a hot day with a failed engine, this can be a challenge. Often, when the airlines announce that a flight is weight-limited on hot summer days, this is the reason (the gate agent doesn’t know this kind of detail, and nor does she care; she just knows some people aren’t going).

The magic computers we use for computing performance data figure all this out, saving us the trouble of using charts and graphs. All we know is that we can either carry the planned load or we can’t.

Second segment climb ends at 400 feet, so it could take up to a minute or more to fly this segment. Think of all the obstacles that might be in the departure path in the course of 60 seconds or more.

Third segment climb begins at 400 feet, and here the rules can vary. The climb gradient is now half of what it was before: 1.2 percent. However, we are also required to accelerate to a speed called VFS (final segment climb speed). In graphs and publications, the third segment of the climb is often depicted as being a flat line for the acceleration. In many turboprops, that’s exactly the way it’s flown. The airplane is leveled off (and the pilot is using a very tired leg to overcome the increasing yaw tendency via the rudder) and accelerated before the final climb begins.

In jets, however, there is generally enough power in the remaining engine to avoid a level-off. If the airplane can continue to accelerate during the third segment, it may continue to climb, so long as it can do so without a decrease in speed or performance. In fact, during the climb it must continue to meet the climb gradient while accelerating to VFS.

Third segment climb ends upon reaching VFS.

The fourth and “final segment” begins upon reaching VFS and completing the climb configuration process. It is now permissible (and maybe necessary) to reduce thrust to a Maximum Continuous setting. The climb gradient is again 1.2 percent, and VFS must be maintained to 1,500 feet above field elevation.

Sep 2, 2019

This week we're having a flashback to hear Brigadier General Steve Ritchie tell his story. Steve shot down five enemy aircraft in Vietnam, making him the first (and only) Air Force pilot ace of the war. Most striking is his description of almost getting a sixth MiG, and the iron discipline involved.
Before you listen to Steve Ritchie's interview, please read this passage from Hamfist Over Hanoi, based on a true story:
“Now before I tell you what I consider the most important quality of a fighter pilot, and this goes for you WSOs also, I'm going to tell you a story.”
“During Operation Rolling Thunder, an F-105 flight lead was in an extended engagement with a MiG. He was performing repeated high-speed yoyos, gaining on the MiG with each yoyo. One more yoyo and he would be in a firing position.”
The Colonel paused and looked around the room. We were all transfixed in rapt attention.
“Just as he was about to get a firing solution, his wingman called Bingo.”
Bingo meant that the fuel had reached the predetermined quantity where the flight must Return To Base. 
“What do you think Lead did?”
Colonel West made eye contact with each of us. I was hoping he wasn't expecting any of us to answer.
“Lead did what he was supposed to do,” he continued, “he disengaged by doing a quarter roll and zoom, and he RTB'd. And I'll tell you why he did it. He did it because he had flight discipline. And he had trust. He trusted that his wingman wouldn't call Bingo unless he was really at Bingo fuel. And he, the Flight Lead, had established that Bingo. He gave up his MiG because he had discipline. If he had taken one more slice, done one more yoyo, he could have had that MiG. But he would have put his wingman in jeopardy. He did the right thing. He had discipline.”
“I expect, I demand, that all my pilots exhibit discipline. I don't expect anyone to be perfect in his flying. You're going to make mistakes, and you're going to learn from your mistakes. But I do expect everyone to have perfect discipline. If anyone in the flight calls Bingo, you RTB, whether you've accomplished your training or not. If anyone calls Knock It Off, you discontinue the maneuver. And if you find yourself out of control below 10,000 feet, you eject.”
“Does anyone have any questions?”
Nobody uttered a word.

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