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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: Category: Aviation
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.

Nov 29, 2018

The briefing for a VFR approach is not as comprehensive as the briefing for an IFR approach, but nevertheless should prepare the pilot for all anticipated contingencies.

FAR 91.103 requires the pilot in command to become familiar with all information concerning that flight. That would include all runway and NOTAM information for your departure and destination fields, departure, enroute and destination weather, NOTAMS, and airfield information for your departure and destination.

You can check the facilities at any airport by consulting the Airport Facility Directory, which is available online.

Nov 26, 2018

From the Brown's Seaplane Base website:

Brown’s Seaplane Base was started in 1963 by Jack Brown. His fondness for seaplanes began at an early age, flying an Aeronca C-3 Floatplane on the Kanawha River in West Virginia. This continued during WWII when he flew the Grumman “Flying Boats” and PBYs. Following the war Jack was a civilian instructor and test pilot for the U.S. Air Force stationed in central Florida. He put down roots here and became the fixed base operator at the Winter Haven airport, now Gilbert Field.

Jack’s affection for seaplanes gave him a grand vision for an overgrown area of Lake Jessie, located just southwest of the Winter Haven airport.

In 1975, Jack Brown passed away. His oldest son, Jon, became the FBO Director and along with his brother Chuck, they are the FAA Designated Pilot Examiners for the single engine sea course. Along with Jon and Chuck, you will find family working in the office, with old friends, and past students always dropping in to just say “Hello!”.

Nov 22, 2018

From Franklin Macon's website:

Franklin J. Macon (Frank) is a Documented Tuskegee Airman and dyslexic.  He grew up and still resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Frank belongs to Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., Hubert L. "Hooks" Jones Chapter, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to honoring the accomplishments and perpetuating the history of African-Americans who participated in air crew, ground crew and operations support training in the Army Air Corps during WWII; introducing young people across the nation to the world of aviation, aerospace, mathematics, and science through local programs such as the Mile High Flight Program; and, providing annual scholarships and awards to deserving individuals, groups and corporations whose deeds lend support to the goals of Tuskegee Airmen Inc.

Frank's wish is for all kids to live with purpose and conquer their challenges.

Tuskegee Airman Franklin Macon made an appearance at the Wings Over The Rockies Museum on November 20, 2018, to announce the publication of his memoir, I Wanted To Be A Pilot.

Nov 19, 2018

Willie Daniels became fascinated with aviation from an early age, and enrolled in Mount san Antonio College, majoring in Aviation, and then completed his degree at Metropolitan State College of Denver (now Metropolitan State University of Denver) in the Aviation Department.

His first airline job was as a flight attendant with United Airlines. In the meantime, he built his flying time and finally landed a position as a pilot with United. He advanced through the ranks and spent 19 years on the B747 before the plane was retired. He is currently a B777 Captain flying international routes.

After reading some sobering news stories, he founded Shades of Blue to foster Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in the minority community. He is now the President of Shades of Blue.

Here is the website for Shades of Blue, a 501(C)3 organization.

Nov 16, 2018

We discussed what windshear is in Ready For Takeoff Podcast Episode 94. Now we'll discuss pilot procedures to escape windshear encounters.

Windshear predictive equipment is discussed in AC 20-182A.

A recent landing accident at Sochi, Russia highlights the importance of adhering to crew procedures during windshear encounters. As you can read here, the crew made several attempts at landing, and finally landed during windshear and departed the runway, resulting in a hull loss.

The important take-away from this report is that the crew did not adhere to proper windshear avoidance and escape procedures. When the predictive windshear system announces "monitor radar display", it is indicating that there is potential windshear somewhere in the flight path. When it announces "go-around, windshear ahead" it indicates that windshear conditions exist directly in front of the aircraft, and a normal go-around should be accomplished. When the voice announces, "windshear", the aircraft is currently in windshear conditions and the windshear escape maneuver must be accomplished. Depending on the aircraft, the windshear escape maneuver may be totlaly different from a normal go-around.

While a normal go-around usually continues to use the autothrottle system, during a windshear escape maneuver, the autothrottles are disconnected and maximum thrust is required. Additionally, unlike a normal go-around, the landing gear is not retracted (to avoid additional drag of gear doors opening) and the aircraft is climbed at a pitch attitude established by the manufacturer (15 degrees for Boeings). Depending on the effects of the windshear, the crew may be required to decrease the climb to honor the pitch limit indicator.

The key to dealing with windshear is AVOIDING it at all costs, since there may windshear conditions that exceed the performance of the aircraft.

Nov 11, 2018

Andy Parks hails from a long line of aviation enthusiasts. His grandfather fought in World War I, and after the war he became friends with many of the aces of that war from all sides. Andy's dad met them as a kid and listened with rapt attention as they told their stories. Andy's dad became a physician and university medical school professor, and remained in contact with many of the aces.

Andy's dad started a project that has evolved into the Vintage Aero Flying Museum. He built and collected World War I airplanes. Andy is now the Director of the Lafayette Foundation, a 501(c)3 charity that accepts donations at their website.

The museum's collection includes a 1917 Fokker DRI, a 1918 Fokker DVII, a 1918 Fokker DVIII and two 7/8 scaled SE5a aircraft. Andy flies these aircraft and takes them to venues around the country.

In 1981, Andy's dad took him to Europe for a meeting of 48 aces from the Great War, and they all connected with Andy, giving him their memorabilia and regaling him with stories. For a week, these octogenarians were once again 18-year-old fighter pilots.

The memorabilia are all on display at the Vintage Aero Flying Museum, and Andy is on-site to share his encyclopedic knowledge of their stories.

Nov 8, 2018

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial – The Wall – has panels that list the KIA (Killed In Action) casualties in chronological order of their loss. Panel W1, the last panel, encompasses the date July 30, 1972. My name is not on that panel, because my military Brothers, J.D. Allen and the crew of Purple 28, saved my life.

On July 30, 1972, I was Number Four in Walnut Flight, four F-4s on a strike deep into enemy territory north of Hanoi. The flight was being led by a new flight lead on his first mission over Hanoi, and J.D. was the deputy flight lead, Walnut Three. Enroute to the target, we faced heavy reactions. SAMs (surface-to-air missiles), AAA (anti-aircraft artillery) and MiG calls (enemy aircraft). As we egressed the target area over the Gulf of Tonkin, Lead called for a fuel check, and that was when we all realized that my fuel was significantly below the other airplanes in the flight. In fact, I wouldn’t have enough fuel to make it to the post-strike refueling point.

Lead was out of ideas, and that’s when J.D. went into action. With Lead’s concurrence, he took command of the flight, sent us over to the emergency GUARD frequency, and made contact with the refueling tankers. One of them, Purple 28, volunteered to fly up into enemy territory to meet us. That crew put their airplane, their lives, and their careers on the line to save me.

Back in 1972, navigation was not the GPS precision it is today. The INS (inertial navigation system) position on the F-4 could be off by as much as 10 miles for every hour of operation. The only way to roughly determine our position was radial/DME from a TACAN located on a Navy ship, far away. J.D. asked the tanker for his position from the TACAN, then gave the tanker a heading to meet up with us. Picking the tanker up on radar, J.D. told him when to begin his turn to a heading to match ours, and told him to start a descent. In the meantime, he directed me to start a half-nozzle descent.

My WSO and I were running through the Preparation For Ejection checklist, and I was periodically reporting my fuel state. The last reading I recall seeing was 0 on the tape and 0030 on the counter. About two minutes fuel. With fuel gauge tolerance, perhaps a bit more, perhaps less.

Up until this time I had simply been flying the headings, speeds and altitudes J.D. had assigned. I was pretty much operating on mental autopilot. The next thing I knew, I looked up and saw the refueling boom of the tanker directly above me, ready to plug in. I opened up my refueling door and immediately heard the rush of JP-4 entering my aircraft. And I knew I wouldn’t need to step over the side on this mission.

I think of J.D. and the tanker crew, and silently thank them, every time I hold my wife, my kids, my grandkids. If they hadn’t stepped up to the plate when they did, I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t have made it home. When you pull the ejection handle over shark-infested enemy-controlled water, there are a thousand things that can happen to prevent a happy outcome.

So I want to once again thank my Brothers, the brave tanker crew and J.D. Allen.

Nov 5, 2018

We met Heath Owens in Ready for Takeoff Podcast episode 174, where  he was getting a lot of free flights, although he was not logging any student time.

Now Heath is actively pursuing his Private Pilot certificate, and is closing in on his check ride. He STILL has not paid for any flying, and he has amassed experience in even more airplanes!

Heath also has been extremely successful in the Aviation Insurance business, and his website is www.heltonins.com.

Today is the anniversary of a tragic loss during World War II. This tribute to Loyce Deen, who was killed during the Battle of Manilla Bay, is really a tribute to all the men and women who served our country during the war that rescued the world.

Nov 1, 2018

Teamwork is the secret sauce to leadership, and both leadership and teamwork are essential to being a successful career as an airline pilot. One way to establish effective teamwork skills is to participate in team sports as opposed to individual sports. Alternatively, you can develop teamwork skills by club activities and other organizational efforts.

Oct 29, 2018

From the Safety Operating systems website:

A veteran major airline, corporate and general aviation pilot, Captain John Cox has flown over 14,000 hours with over 10,000 in command of jet airliners. Additionally, he has flown as an instructor, check pilot, and test pilot in addition to his extensive involvement in global air safety.

Awards and Recognition

  • Sir James Martin Award More Information
  • Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, London, England
  • Member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI)
  • Master Air Pilot Certificate Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators
  • Air Line Pilots Association Air Safety Award (ALPA’s Highest Safety Award)
  • Air Line Pilots Association Leadership Award
  • Air Line Pilots Association Steering and Oversight Award
  • US Airways Safety Achievement (US Airway’s Highest Safety Award)
  • US Airways Boeing 737 Training Department Certificate of Appreciation
  • Outstanding MBA Graduate, Daniel Webster College in recognition for academic excellence
  • Laura Taber Barbour Award

Education and Affiliations

  • Graduate of University of Southern California Air Safety Program
  • United States Navy Post Graduate School Aviation Safety Command Program
  • Accredited International Standard Business Aircraft Auditor (IS-BAO)
  • International Air Transport Association Trained Airline Auditor (IOSA)
  • NTSB Group member on Systems, Structures, Powerplants, Air Traffic Control, and Operations.
  • Six major NTSB investigations with numerous field office investigations.
  • Masters Business Administration – Aviation Management, July 2010, Daniel Webster College, Nashua, New Hampshire

Public Appearances and Speaking Engagements

  • National Transportation Safety Board – Witness (twice)
  • National Safety Council Congress – Numerous guest lectures
  • ALPA Air Safety Week – Host 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
  • International Federation of Air Line Pilot Associations – Numerous guest lectures
  • University of Southern California – Numerous guest lectures
  • Embry Riddle Aeronautical University – Numerous guest lectures
  • Department of Transportation’s Transportation Summit – Numerous guest lectures
  • Queens College, Charlotte, North Carolina – Guest Lecturer
  • SAE G-10- Society of Automotive Engineers Aerospace Conference – Speaker
  • International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI) – Speaker
  • Flight Safety Foundation – Speaker
  • Contributor to USA Today's "Ask The Captain"
Oct 25, 2018

From Wikipedia:

A flight data recorder (FDR; also ADR, for accident data recorder) is an electronic device employed to record instructions sent to any electronic systems on an aircraft.

The data recorded by the FDR are used for accident and incident investigation. Due to their importance in investigating accidents, these ICAO-regulated devices are carefully engineered and constructed to withstand the force of a high speed impact and the heat of an intense fire. Contrary to the popular term "black box", the exterior of the FDR is coated with heat-resistant bright orange paint for high visibility in wreckage, and the unit is usually mounted in the aircraft's tail section, where it is more likely to survive a severe crash. Following an accident, the recovery of the FDR is usually a high priority for the investigating body, as analysis of the recorded parameters can often detect and identify causes or contributing factors.

Modern day FDRs receive inputs via specific data frames from the Flight Data Acquisition Units (FDAU). They record significant flight parameters, including the control and actuator positions, engine information and time of day. There are 88 parameters required as a minimum under current US federal regulations (only 29 were required until 2002), but some systems monitor many more variables. Generally each parameter is recorded a few times per second, though some units store "bursts" of data at a much higher frequency if the data begin to change quickly. Most FDRs record approximately 17–25 hours of data in a continuous loop. It is required by regulations that an FDR verification check (readout) is performed annually in order to verify that all mandatory parameters are recorded.

Modern FDRs are typically double wrapped in strong corrosion-resistant stainless steel or titanium, with high-temperature insulation inside. Modern FDRs are accompanied by an underwater locator beacon that emits an ultrasonic "ping" to aid in detection when submerged. These beacons operate for up to 30 days and are able to operate while immersed to a depth of up to 6,000 meters (20,000 ft).

Cockpit voice recorder

A cockpit voice recorder (CVR) is a flight recorder used to record the audio environment in the flight deck of an aircraft for the purpose of investigation of accidents and incidents. This is typically achieved by recording the signals of the microphones and earphones of the pilots' headsets and of an area microphone in the roof of the cockpit. The current applicable FAA TSO is C123b titled Cockpit Voice Recorder Equipment.

Where an aircraft is required to carry a CVR and uses digital communications the CVR is required to record such communications with air traffic control unless this is recorded elsewhere. As of 2008 it is an FAA requirement that the recording duration is a minimum of two hours.

A standard CVR is capable of recording 4 channels of audio data for a period of 2 hours. The original requirement was for a CVR to record for 30 minutes, but this has been found to be insufficient in many cases, significant parts of the audio data needed for a subsequent investigation having occurred more than 30 minutes before the end of the recording.

The earliest CVRs used analog wire recording, later replaced by analog magnetic tape. Some of the tape units used two reels, with the tape automatically reversing at each end. The original was the ARL Flight Memory Unit produced in 1957 by Australian David Warren and an instrument maker named Tych Mirfield.

Other units used a single reel, with the tape spliced into a continuous loop, much as in an 8-track cartridge. The tape would circulate and old audio information would be overwritten every 30 minutes. Recovery of sound from magnetic tape often proves difficult if the recorder is recovered from water and its housing has been breached. Thus, the latest designs employ solid-state memory and use digital recording techniques, making them much more resistant to shock, vibration and moisture. With the reduced power requirements of solid-state recorders, it is now practical to incorporate a battery in the units, so that recording can continue until flight termination, even if the aircraft electrical system fails.

Like the FDR, the CVR is typically mounted in the rear of the airplane fuselage to maximize the likelihood of its survival in a crash.

Combined units

With the advent of digital recorders, the FDR and CVR can be manufactured in one fireproof, shock proof, and waterproof container as a combined digital Cockpit Voice and Data Recorder (CVDR). Currently, CVDRs are manufactured by L-3 Communications, as well as by other manufacturers.

Solid state recorders became commercially practical in 1990, having the advantage of not requiring scheduled maintenance and making the data easier to retrieve. This was extended to the two-hour voice recording in 1995.

Oct 22, 2018

Michelle “Sonic” Ruehl is an Air Force Instructor Pilot with over fifteen years of service. She flew four different aircraft and amassed over 2000 hours, including 807 combat hours in Afghanistan, providing real-time airborne targeting data to Special Operations forces. While in Afghanistan, she also volunteered to teach English to local school girls as well as a group of young Afghan men studying Business. For her service, she earned seven Air Medals, two Aerial Achievement Medals and a special award for volunteer work, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

After her last deployment, Sonic returned to the U.S. Air Force Academy (class of ’03) to teach Rhetoric and Composition in the Department of English and Fine Arts. She taught courses in Writing and Public Speaking. When she was not in the classroom, she was the theater director, equestrian team mentor and worked down at the airfield teaching cadets how to fly the T-53 in the Air Force Academy’s Powered Flight Program. She found it incredibly rewarding to help the next generation of officers reach their dream of becoming military aviators.

Sonic brings 15 years of rhetoric, communication, and debriefing skills to the Afterburner team. She earned her M.A. in Teaching Writing and Rhetoric from the University of Colorado and traveled to Ghana where she taught civic leaders how to develop community improvement plans. In Tanzania, she taught children how to write music. In Nepal, she taught English to Tibetan refugees at a Buddhist monastery. She also worked as a speechwriter for a three-star general, preparing her for public engagements and developing strategic corporate messages for dissemination to 7000 personnel. Additionally, at the request of the Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, she designed and taught a communication course to the Air Force headquarters staff at the Pentagon.

To honor fallen military colleagues, Sonic founded Parwana LEADership Legacy, a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is to provide leadership camps to veterans and their families to enhance empathy, communication, and teamwork so youth can then use these concepts to lead others. Through these programs, Sonic uses her M.A. in Psychology, as well as her certification as an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL) to teach children, veterans, and survivors of trauma how to heal from their experiences and become empowered leaders in their community.

Sonic excels at helping teams become their best by aligning their communication processes with their strategic goals, so she was thrilled to join the Afterburner team in 2018! She is currently serving in the Air Force Reserves for the 302nd Airlift Wing at Peterson Air Force Base. She lives in Colorado with her husband, who flies for a major airline, and their baby girl.

Oct 18, 2018

Whether you're a professional pilot or someone who flies as a passenger, there's a good chance you're going to fly in an airliner and layover in a hotel at some point in the near future. Here are some tips to make your trip easier and safer:

  • If you plan to park your car at the airport, make sure your car registration and insurance card do NOT show your address.
  • Snap a photo of your parking spot.
  • Make your luggage look distinctive.
  • Only put your first initial and last name, and your email, on your luggage ID tag.
  • Do not pack anything of value in your checked luggage, and make sure all essential medications are in your hand-carried bag.
  • Fill any required prescriptions at a pharmacy with a national presence.
  • Bring your own water bottle onto the flight.
  • Carry a liberal supply of antibacterial hand wipes.
  • Pay attention to the flight attendant safety briefing.
  • At your destination, keep your luggage close by and in sight while waiting for ground transportation.
  • Know what that transportation will look like.
  • Keep all your bags with you when you check in at the hotel.
  • Try to get a room on the third floor.
  • If you feel uncomfortable with the security situation, ask the hotel for an escort to your room.
  • Perform a complete room inspection when you arrive at your room.
  • Immediately after the room inspection, walk to the two closest emergency exits shown on the map on the back of your door.
  • Carry an ultraviolet flashlight to check the cleanliness of your room.
  • Disinfect EVERYTHING in your room with your antibacterial wipes.
  • ALWAYS keep the DO NOT DISTURB sign on your door.
Oct 15, 2018

Tammy Barlette got her introduction to aviation when she received 40 hours of flight instruction from the ROTC Program at the University of Minnesota. After graduation and commissioning, she attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas. When she received her wings, she qualified to remain at Del Rio as a T-37 Instructor Pilot as a FAIP (First Assignment Instructor Pilot).

After serving as an IP for three years, she qualified in the A-10, and went overseas to Korea. When she returned to the United States, she flew A-10s at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, in Tucson, and then became qualified in the MQ-1 Predator. Tammy participated in 1500 hours of combat support in Iraq and Afghanistan, protecting our troops on the ground with real-time combat support.

After attending Weapons School, she returned to Laughlin Air Force Base as a T-38 Instructor Pilot. She recently retired from the Air Force, and is now a motivational speaker. Her websites are www.tammybarlette.com and www.athenasvoiceuse.com.

Oct 11, 2018
I first attended the 23-acre United Airlines Flight Training Center in 1978. At the time, it was still a fairly-new facility, with the initial four buildings constructed in 1968. After completing my Initial Flight Officer training, I was invited to remain on campus as a B-727 instructor for a year before assuming my duties as a B-727 Second Officer (flight engineer) in San Francisco.
 
Throughout my employment at United, I spent half my career - 13 years out of 26 - as an instructor at the Training Center. I saw numerous changes, including the closure of nearby Stapleton airport and the construction of the "new" F building, which housed additional offices and simulators.
 
After retirement, I occasionally returned to the Training Center to administer simulator training as a private consultant for other companies. The last time I was there for work was about three years ago. I have to admit, the building was starting to look a bit long in the tooth.
 
Last week I attended a New Pilot Expo at the United Flight Training Center, for the Metropolitan State University of Denver Aviation Department, where I teach. From the outside, the campus looks pretty much the same, except for some construction on the south side. Once I entered, I was blown away.
 
Captain Mike McCasky, the Managing Director at United, made an impressive presentation, and every attendee was inspired to become a pilot with United. At the end of the presentations, we all received a tour, and were given the opportunity to see the simulators, flight training devices, and classrooms.
 
The entire facility has been renovated, and it looks awesome! I recognized the hallways, but was completely lost among the new offices and state-of-the-art classrooms. There are currently 31 full flight simulators and 10 flight training devices in operation. Another 8 simulators and 4 flight training devices are planned. When the additional construction is complete, the Flight Training Center will be the largest airline training facility in the world.
 
United will be conducting sixty thousand training events this year, and will use over one hundred thousand hotel rooms for trainees. In addition to pilot training, United conducts pilot interviews, flight attendant recurrent training, and Tech Ops training at the facility.
Oct 8, 2018

From Captain Aux's website:

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Eric Auxier is an airline pilot by day, writer by night, and kid by choice. Never one to believe in working for a living, Mr. Auxier’s past list of occupations include: Alaska bush pilot, freelance writer, mural artist, and Captain for a Caribbean seaplane operation. With over 20,000 flight hours, he is now an A320 captain for a major U.S. airline.

Eric started out in aviation with a hang glider he bought at age 14, then flew gliders at age 16, and took lessons in powered aircraft at 17. He attended flight training courses at Cochise college, and had all of his flight ratings thru CFI when he graduated. He then attended Arizona State University for his bachelor's degree, and worked his way through school as a CFI.

After college Eric flew grand canyon tours, then landed a job as a bush pilot in Alaska He followed that with a stint flying charters in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Finally, Eric landed his dream job as an airline pilot, and is now a Captain on the Airbus A-321.

Oct 4, 2018

In airline operations, flight crews and cabin crews are thoroughly trained on what to expect in the event of an emergency landing. There are several acronyms that are used to convey this information.

NTSB:

N - Nature of emergency

T - Time until landing

S - Signal

B - Brace

TEST :

T - Type of Emergency

E - Exits to be used in the event of evacuation

S - Signal to be given by the flight deck crew to brace customers

T - Time to prepare cabin

NITS:

N -nature of the emergency

I - information to passenger & preparation

T -time remaining

S - Signals

If the aircraft is equipped with an Evacuation Command Switch, this will be part of the briefing.

After receiving the briefing from the Captain, the lead flight attendant will identify any Able Bodied Passengers (ABPs) who can assist with a potential evacuation, and may reseat and thoroughly brief APBs if time permits.

Oct 1, 2018

Chris Dunn started flying - in the right seat of his father's airplane - when he was an infant. Chris's dad had several airplanes while Chris was growing up, so he was steeped in aviation throughout his childhood.

Chris didn't actually start his own flight training until he was thirty years old, when he had "the time and the money" to take lessons. He flew 2-3 days a week, and earned his Private Pilot certificate quickly. He immediately earned his Instrument rating shortly afterwards, and later pursued his Commercial certificate.

Chris attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to earn his Master's Degree in Aviation Safety.

Chris became an on-air television weatherman, and continued his love of aviation by serving in volunteer aviation activities, such as Civil Air Patrol and Angel Flight West. In that capacity, Chris transported patients to medical treatment where commercial air transportation was not available and automobile trips would take too long and be too taxing on the individuals. He once transported a patient from Denver to North Platte, Nebraska, where she was met by another pilot who would fly her the rest of the way to Iowa. The patient's transfer was front and center on North Platte's only television station, and garnered publicity and appreciation for General Aviation and how it serves communities.

Chris shares his love of aviation in his website: http://www.theflyingweatherman.com/.

Sep 28, 2018

If you become an airline pilot, there's a good chance you will at some point become a commuter. Commuting is probably more prevalent among pilots than in the general population, since they can travel from their homes to their bases on their company's planes as pass-riding passengers on in the cockpit on jump seats. Reciprocal jump seat agreements make it fairly easy to obtain a jump seat on another carrier.

There are several scenarios of commuting situations. If you reside in a city where your airline has a base, but you are currently based at a different location, you may decide to commute to your base, rather than relocate. At some point, you may become senior enough to be based where you live. In this case, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

In another example, perhaps you reside in a city where your airline does not have a pilot base. In this case, you will be a commuter for the duration of your employment, unless and until the airline establishes a base where you live. There is no light at the end of the tunnel.

When you commute, you typically must plan for several backup flights to get yorself to work, since  your airline expects you to be in position when you're needed. And you have to be well-rested. That means you probably need to obtain accommodations at your base.

Many pilots obtain crash pads, where they pay a fairly reasonable price to share a sleeping space with other commuting pilots. The other option, unless you have a friend in the new city who will allow you to camp out at their house, is to get an apartment in the city where you're based, or get a hotel room for every trip.

In another model, perhaps your airline provides positive-space air transportation and hotel room prior to your beginning your flight schedule. In this case, you still need to spend a lot of time away from home simply traveling to your employment, but the problem of uncertainty about your transportation is solved.

If you're commuting simply to get seniority in a base, or get more pay due to a promoted position, you need to give a lot of thought to the heavy price you'll pay.

For more information, read the blog post "The Commuter's Survival Kit".

Sep 24, 2018

Gilmary Michael "Mike" Hostage III is a retired United States Air Force four-star general who last served as the commander, Air Combat Command from September 13, 2011 to October 2014. He previously served as commander, United States Air Forces Central, Southwest Asia. He retired from the Air Force after over 37 years of service.

As the commander of Air Combat Command, he is responsible for organizing, training, equipping and maintaining combat-ready forces for rapid deployment and employment while ensuring strategic air defense forces are ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime defense. ACC operates more than 1,000 aircraft, 22 wings, 13 bases, and more than 300 operating locations worldwide with 79,000 active-duty and civilian personnel. When mobilized, the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve contribute more than 700 aircraft and 51,000 people to ACC. As the Combat Air Forces lead agent, ACC develops strategy, doctrine, concepts, tactics, and procedures for air- and space-power employment. The command provides conventional and information warfare forces to all unified commands to ensure air, space and information superiority for warfighters and national decision-makers. ACC can also be called upon to assist national agencies with intelligence, surveillance and crisis response capabilities.

As the Air Component Commander for U.S. Central Command, Hostage was responsible for developing contingency plans and conducting air operations in a 20-nation area of responsibility covering Central and Southwest Asia.

General Hostage entered the air force through Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps from Duke University in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, and a command pilot with more than 4,000 flying hours. He has flown combat missions in multiple aircraft, logging more than 600 combat hours in operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn.

In May 2012, press reports have indicated Hostage ordered pilots to fly the F-22 Raptordespite problems with its oxygen system. Hostage has said that some of the problems the pilots encountered were simply limits of the human body, but that UAVs were not suitable for the AirSea Battle concept of the Pacific Pivot.

Hostage has put forward the concept of a "combat cloud" for how manned and unmanned systems will work together in the USAF of the future.

In 2014 Hostage said that his plans to retire the A-10 fleet would put greater demands on USAF pilots and that their readiness was crucial. He also doubted the usefulness of the planned Combat Rescue Helicopter in a serious conflict against modern air defenses, and that it might be better to just use the V-22.

Sep 21, 2018

National POW/MIA Recognition Day is an observance that honors whose who were prisoners of war (POW) as well as those who are still missing in action (MIA). It is observed in the United States on the third Friday in September. National POW/MIA Recognition Day was proclaimed by the United States Congress in 1998. It is one of the six national observances when the POW/MIA Flag can be flown. The other five observances are Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day.The POW/MIA flag was created by the National League of Families in 1972 and was officially recognized by the Congress in 1990. It is a symbol of concern about United States military personnel taken as POW or listed as MIA.The POW/MIA flag should be no larger than the United States flag. It is typically flown immediately below or adjacent to the national flag as second in the order of precedence. On National POW/MIA Recognition Day, the flag is flown on the grounds of major military installations, veterans memorials, government agencies, federal national cemeteries.In the armed forces, a single table and chair draped with the POW/MIA flag are displayed in mess halls and dining halls. Such installation symbolizes the hope for the return of these who are missing in action.

The POW/MIA flag was created for the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia and officially recognized by the United States Congress in conjunction with the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue, "as the symbol of our Nation's concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, thus ending the uncertainty for their families and the Nation."

The original design for the flag was created by Newt Heisley in 1972 The National League of Families then-national coordinator, POW wife Evelyn Grubb, oversaw its development and also campaigned to gain its widespread acceptance and use by the United States government and also local governments and civilian organizations across the United States.

In 1971, while the Vietnam War was still being fought, Mary Helen Hoff, the wife of a service member missing in action and member of the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia, recognized the need for a symbol of U.S. POW/MIAs, some of whom had been held captivity for as many as seven years. The flag is black, and bears in the center, in black and white, the emblem of the league. The emblem was designed by Newton F. Heisley, and features a white disk bearing in black silhouette the bust of a man (Jeffery Heisley), watch tower with a guard on patrol, and a strand of barbed wire; above the disk are the white letters POW and MIA framing a white 5-pointed star; below the disk is a black and white wreath above the white motto: "You are not Forgotten." The POW/MIA was flown over the White House for the first time in September 1982. The flag has been altered many times; the colors have been switched from black with white – to red, white and blue – to white with black; the POW/MIA has at times been revised to MIA/POW.

On March 9, 1989, a league flag that had flown over the White House on the 1988 National POW/MIA Recognition Day was installed in the U.S. Capitol rotunda as a result of legislation passed by the 100th Congress. The league's POW-MIA flag is the only flag ever displayed in the rotunda, and the only one other than the Flag of the United States to have flown over the White House. The leadership of both houses of Congress hosted the installation ceremony in a demonstration of bipartisan congressional support.

On August 10, 1990, the 101st Congress passed U.S. Public Law 101-355, recognizing the National League of Families POW/MIA flag and designating it "as a symbol of our Nation's concern and commitment to resolving as fully as possible the fates of Americans still prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, thus ending the uncertainty for their families and the Nation." Beyond Southeast Asia, it has been a symbol for POW/MIAs from all U.S. wars.

The flag is ambiguous as it implies that personnel listed as MIA may in fact be held captive. The official, bipartisan, U.S. government position is that there is "no compelling evidence that proves that any American remains alive in captivity in Southeast Asia". The Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) provides centralized management of prisoner of war/missing personnel (POW/MP) affairs within the United States Department of Defense and is responsible for investigating the status of POW/MIA issues. As of 29 March 2017, 1,611 Americans remained unaccounted for, of which 1,023 were classified as further pursuit, 497 as no further pursuit and 91 as deferred.

The last loss of the Vietnam War:

CDR Harley H. Hall was the commanding officer of Fighter Squadron 143
onboard the aircraft carrier USS ENTERPRISE. On January 27, 1973 he and his
Radar Intercept Officer (RIO), LTCDR Philip A. Kientzler, launched in their F4J
Phantom fighter aircraft on an attack mission against North Vietnamese supplies
and logistic vehicles 15 miles northwest of Quang Tri, South Vietnam. Hall and
Kientzler were under the direction of an OV10 Forward Air Controller (FAC).

CDR Hall's aircraft came under intense anti-aircraft fire while attacking
several trucks and was hit. He made an attempt to fly back out to the safety of
the sea, but minutes later the aircraft caught fire on the port wing and
fuselage.

Both Hall and his co-pilot, LCDR Philip A. Kintzler ejected at 4,000 feet and
were seen to land 100 feet apart near a village on an island in the Dam Cho Chua
and Cua Viet Rivers. CDR Hall was seen moving about on the ground, discarding
his parachute. No voice contact was made with the men, and the probability of
immediate capture was considered very high.

Numerous aircraft made several passes over the area for the next several hours
and were unsuccessful in observing either of the downed crewmen. Several
emergency beepers were heard intermittently the remainder of the afternoon and
throughout the night, however, no voice contact was established. Active,
organized search and rescue efforts were subsequently terminated.

Only Kientzler was released at Operation Homecoming in 1973. He reported that
during parachute descent they received heavy ground fire, at which time he was
hit in the leg. He last saw CDR Hall as they touched the ground. When he asked
his guards about his pilot, he was told that he was killed by another.

No other returned POW reported having knowledge of Harley Hall, yet the Pentagon
maintained him in POW status for over 6 years, and documents were obtained that
indicated that he was indeed captured. The Hanoi government claims to have no
knowledge of CDR Harley Hall. This former member of the famed Blue Angels flight
team remains missing.

Harley Hall was shot down on the last day of the war and was the last Navy air
casualty of the Vietnam War. He was the last American to be classified Prisoner
of War in the Vietnam War.

Harley H. Hall was promoted to the rank of Captain during the period he was
maintained as a prisoner.

In October 2017, state government buildings in Maryland began flying the POW/MIA flag outside.

Sep 18, 2018

The U.S. War Department created the first antecedent of the U.S. Air Force, as a part of the U.S. Army, on 1 August 1907, which through a succession of changes of organization, titles, and missions advanced toward eventual independence 40 years later. In World War II, almost 68,000 U.S. airmen died helping to win the war, with only the infantry suffering more casualties. In practice, the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) was virtually independent of the Army during World War II, and in virtually all ways functioned as an independent service branch, but airmen still pressed for formal independence. The National Security Act of 1947 was signed on 26 July 1947 by President Harry S Truman, which established the Department of the Air Force, but it was not until 18 September 1947, when the first secretary of the Air Force, W. Stuart Symington, was sworn into office that the Air Force was officially formed as an independent service branch.

The act created the National Military Establishment (renamed Department of Defense in 1949), which was composed of three subordinate Military Departments, namely the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the newly created Department of the Air Force. Prior to 1947, the responsibility for military aviation was shared between the Army Air Forces and its predecessor organizations (for land-based operations), the Navy (for sea-based operations from aircraft carriers and amphibious aircraft), and the Marine Corps (for close air support of Marine Corps operations).

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