Nick Hinch started his Aviation career as an Air Force navigator on the B-52, flying over Hanoi during Operation Linebacker II. He then went to pilot training and rose to B-52 Squadron Commander and Wing Assistant Director Of Operations. Following a 20-year Air Force career, he became an airline pilot with United Airlines, then went overseas to fly B777s for Air India.
Chuck Nash spent 25 years as a Naval Aviator, rising to the rank of Captain. He has landed on 9 different aircraft carriers, amassing 965 carrier landings. He now serves as a Military Analyst.
Karlene Petitt knew she wanted to be a pilot when she was a pre-teen, even though everyone told her "girls can't be pilots". She started flying when she was 16, and now, with eight airline uniforms in her closet, she's an international Captain with a major legacy carrier. She's also an author of five books, and working on her PhD.
Many of the equipment items and procedures used on air carrier aircraft today are the result of accident board recommendations from hull loss accidents. In this podcast we discuss some of these.
Your resume and application are what the airlines will see when deciding to select you for an interview. In this podcast, we discuss strategies to improve your chances to score that interview.
Erika Armstrong accidentally entered aviation by working a desk at a local FBO to support herself in college. And THEN she became addicted to aviation. She worked her way up through the ranks, flying charters and Red Cross blood transport flights, and eventually ended up in the left seat of a B-727. Along the way, she encountered gender bias and sexual harassment, but she prevailed. She now writes aviation columns for numerous publications.
Bad eyes kept Lee Lauderback from becoming an Air Force pilot, but he never lost his passion for flying. After graduating from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with all of his ratings, he landed a job flying Learjets for golf legend Arnold Palmer. He flew all of Arnold Palmer's airplanes for 17 years, but branched out on his own after purchasing an old P-51D and returning it to service.
After completing a contract instructing in the airplane at the famed U.S. Navy Test Pilot School, Lee established his own school to train pilot-owners in the P-51.
With 9,000 hours in the Mustang, Lee is the most experienced P-51 pilot in the world, and regularly flies aerobatic demonstration flights at airshows.
Adam Senatori was furloughed from his airline pilot job, was trained as a fire-fighter, and worked as an instructor pilot. He started taking pictures with his iPhone during some of his flights and posted them on Instagram. He became an Instagram star, and won a photo contest sponsored by GE, which resulted in his getting a photo assignment in Wales. Soon, he was hired to photograph every major international airshow, and he is now a highly successful aviation photographer.
Merrill McPeak followed his initial Air Force F-104 and F-100 flying assignments as a member of the Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team, performing in 200 airshows. He then went to Vietnam, and became the commander of the famed Misty FAC (Forward Air Controller) squadron.
After Vietnam, he went to Armed Forces Staff College, then to the Pentagon, and had a host of other assignments that eventually led to his becoming the Chief of Staff of the Air Force. In this podcast, General McPeak recounts a fascinating story of his Air Force career, which started with his notaccepting a Regular commission, since he had no intention of making the Air Force a career!
He also describes his crash during an airshow, when the wings separated from his F-100 as he was pulling up for the “bomb-burst” show finale, at just under the speed of sound.
In this interview General McPeak also talks about his return to Southeast Asia with his sons, to see the Ho Chi Minh trail from the ground.
Barry Schiff started flying at age 14, became a pilot with TWA, and in the intervening years has amassed flying experience in 355 aircraft types. As an author, Barry has written over 1700 articles, and has a regular monthly column in AOPA Pilot magazine.
John Swanson was an All-American Fencer at the Air Force Academy, then became a Forward Air Controller (FAC) in Vietnam and Laos. Following his combat tours, he became a T-38 Instructor Pilot and a U-2 pilot in the Air Force, then flew for Delta Airlines. He now flies fractional jets.
Brigadier General Dale Stovall talks about his time in the Air Force as a combat rescue pilot, his Air force career, and his career as an airline pilot for Fedex following his military retirement.
After finishing up a 20-year career flying F-16s in the Air Force, Dan Hampton wrote the New York Times best-seller Viper Pilot, and followed that with three other award-winning books.
Captain Ross "Rusty" Aimer has an entire closet full of airline uniforms, and has flown all over the world, including a stint as the pilot for the Shah of Iran. He is now a much-sought-after aviation safety expert for all of the news shows.
Mike Penketh was a Marine fighter pilot, warbird pilot, airline pilot, air race pilot and race car driver. Then after experiencing a terrible car crash and losing both of his hands, he regained his flying credentials and won an aerobatics competition. He is now a motivational speaker.
Steve Ritchie graduated first in his Undergraduate Pilot Training class in 1965, but he almost didn't even get into pilot training due to injuries sustained playing on the championship Air Force Academy football team. After graduation, he made a personal pilgrimage to see the chief Air Force Flight Surgeon, and was successful in making his case. After pilot training he flew the F-104 for a couple of years, then volunteered to fly the F-4 in Vietnam. At DaNang Air Base, he flew the first F-4 Fast-FAC (Forward Air Controller) mission.
After completing his tour of duty in Vietnam, he attended the Top Gun "PhD of Fighter Pilots" Fighter Weapons School, then remained there as an instructor. But the war in Vietnam raged on, and Steve volunteered to go back. After a short detour, he ended up in the vaunted 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron, and shortly after he arrived Operation Linebacker was launched against Hanoi. Steve was selected to fly the MiG-CAP mission, and during the next four months downing 5 enemy MiG-21 aircraft, becoming the Air Force's first (and only) pilot ace of the war.
But perhaps his most important mission was the rescue of his squadron-mate and friend, Roger Locher, who had been shot down on the first day of Linebacker and evaded capture for 23 days. The two-day mission involved over 100 aircraft in the most famous rescue of the war. Another Academy graduate that Steve personally trained, Dale Stovall, flew the rescue helicopter further into enemy territory than any other rescue of the war to make the pickup. (We'll meet Dale, now a retired Brigadier General, in a future podcast.)
After the Air Force, Steve became a featured motivational speaker and aerial demonstration pilot.
Ron Rapp got the flying bug early, and started flying, and instructing, in every airplane he could find. In addition to basic and instruments, he taught aerobatics and formation. His formation flying led to his joining a sky typing team. He now flies a Gulfstream internationally, and runs the House of Rapp aviation blog.
Chad Hennings was an All-American football player in high school, and could have had his choice of any college in the country. He chose the United States Air Force Academy, where he was named Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year.
After graduation, although he was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, he opted to serve his country as a fighter pilot, flying the A-10 on 45 combat missions during the Gulf War.
After completing his active duty service commitment, he was again selected by the Dallas Cowboys, and went on to win THREE Super Bowls!
Blaine Jones was a commercial baker who started taking flying lessons in early September, 2001. Then the attacks of September 11th galvanized him to serve his country. He volunteered for the Air Force, and became a fighter pilot. Not just any fighter pilot - Blaine flew the F-15, the F-22, and was selected for the thunderbirds aerial demonstration team.
TOPGUN instructor Steve Harden developed the CRM training program for his new employer, Fedex, and now teaches CRM principles to the medical community.
Dick Powers was a pilot with Eastern Airlines during the Golden Age of Aviation. After Eastern went out of business, Dick resurrected his career as a freight pilot with FEDEX. He now conducts airline safety audits worldwide.
Patty Wagstaff has been an aerobatic champion for over three decades. In this episode of Ready For Takeoff, we learn about how she became an international champion.
Donnie Cochran became the first African-American member of the Navy Blue Angels aerial demonstration team, and later the first African-American Team Leader.
In this episode of the Ready For Takeoff podcast we talk to Dr. Sam Martin, "The Great Sambini", an Air Force fighter pilot who flew O-2A, A-37, A-10 and F-117 aircraft.
In this episode of the Ready For Takeoff podcast we talk to Brenda Robinson, the first African-American female to earn the wings of gold as a Naval Aviator. Following her service with the navy, Brenda flew for American Airlines for 17 years, then founded the non-profit Aviation Camps of the Carolinas, LLC.