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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: Page 11
Nov 6, 2017

Aviation was in Lynn Damron's blood from the time he was born. His uncle was a barnstormer in the 1930s and later became an airline pilot. Starting at about age 10, Lynn wanted to be a fighter pilot. He soloed a J-3 Cub when he as still in high school, and after a year at a civilian college he was accepted to the United States Air Force Academy, class of 1967. After graduation he attended Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) at Moody Air Force Base and was assigned to fly back-seat F-4s.

On the way to Vietnam his unit was diverted to Korea, and he spent six months there on an air defense assignment. After his F-4 assignment, Lynn went to Vietnam as a Forward Air Controller (FAC), based at Hue. After Vietnam he became an instructor pilot (IP) in the supersonic T-38 Talon, training UPT students. Following his IP assignment he became an F-105 Wild Weasel pilot at George Air Force Base, CA.

After an educational assignment at Air Command And Staff College Lynn was assigned to fly F-4s at Clark Air Base, Philippines. Following his final F-4 assignment Lynn served as a staff officer for his last eight years in the Air Force.

Lynn now serves in the Civil Air Patrol, mentoring cadets and flying search and rescue missions.

Nov 4, 2017

Concept of Operations

  • Runway Status Lights is an essential FAA system which uses Airport Surface Survellance data to determine vehicle and aircraft locations. Runway Status Lights processes this data using complex software algorithms with adjustable parameters to control airfield lights in accordance with Air Traffic operations, including anticipated separation. Red airfield lights (Runway Entrance Lights and Takeoff Hold Lights) illuminate and extinguish as vehicles and aircraft traverse the airfield.

System

  • Runway Status Lights integrates airport lighting equipment with approach and surface surveillance systems to provide a visual signal to pilots and vehicle operators indicating that it is unsafe to enter/cross or begin takeoff on runway. The system is fully automated based on inputs from surface and terminal surveillance systems. Airport surveillance sensor inputs are processed through light control logic that commands in-pavement lights to illuminate red when there is traffic on or approaching the runway.
  • Runway Entrance Lights (RELs) provide signal to aircraft crossing entering runway from intersecting taxiway
  • Takeoff Hold Lights (THLs) provide signal to aircraft in position for takeoff
  • Runway Entrance Lights

    The Runway Entrance Lights system is composed of flush mounted, in-pavement, unidirectional fixtures that are parallel to and focused along the taxiway centerline and directed toward the pilot at the hold line. A specific array of Runway Entrance Lights lights include the first light at the hold line followed by a series of evenly spaced lights to the runway edge; and one additional light at the runway centerline in line with the last two lights before the runway edge (See FIG 2-1-9). When activated, these red lights indicate that there is high speed traffic on the runway or there is an aircraft on final approach within the activation area.

    1. Operating Characteristics – Departing Aircraft: When a departing aircraft reaches 30 knots, all taxiway intersections with Runway Entrance Lights arrays along the runway ahead of the aircraft will illuminate (see FIG 2-1-9). As the aircraft approaches a Runway Entrance Lights equipped taxiway intersection, the lights at that intersection extinguish approximately 2 to 3 seconds before the aircraft reaches it. This allows controllers to apply "anticipated separation" to permit Air Traffic Control to move traffic more expeditiously without compromising safety. After the aircraft is declared "airborne" by the system, all lights will extinguish.
    2. Operating Characteristics – Arriving Aircraft: When an aircraft on final approach is approximately 1 mile from the runway threshold all sets of Runway Entrance Light arrays along the runway will illuminate. The distance is adjustable and can be configured for specific operations at particular airports. Lights extinguish at each equipped taxiway intersection approximately 2 to 3 seconds before the aircraft reaches it to apply anticipated separation until the aircraft has slowed to approximately 80 knots (site adjustable parameter). Below 80 knots, all arrays that are not within 30 seconds of the aircraft's forward path are extinguished. Once the arriving aircraft slows to approximately 34 knots (site adjustable parameter), it is declared to be in a taxi state, and all lights extinguish.
    3. What a pilot would observe: A pilot at or approaching the hold line to a runway will observe Runway Entrance Lights illuminating and extinguishing in reaction to an aircraft or vehicle operating on the runway, or an arriving aircraft operating less than 1 mile from the runway threshold.

    Whenever a pilot observes the red lights of the Runway Entrance Lights, that pilot will stop at the hold line, or along the taxiway path and remain stopped. The pilot will then contact Air Traffic Control for resolution if the clearance is in conflict with the lights. Should pilots note illuminated lights under circumstances when remaining clear of the runway is impractical for safety reasons (i.e., aircraft is already on the runway), the crew should proceed according to their best judgment while understanding the illuminated lights indicate the runway is unsafe to enter or cross. Contact Air Traffic Control at the earliest possible opportunity.

    Runway Entrance Lights

    Takeoff Hold Lights

    The Takeoff Hold Lights system is composed of in-pavement, unidirectional fixtures in a double longitudinal row aligned either side of the runway centerline lighting. Fixtures are focused toward the arrival end of the runway at the "line up and wait" point, and they extend for 1,500 feet in front of the holding aircraft (see FIG 2-1-9). Illuminated red lights provide a signal, to an aircraft in position for takeoff or rolling, that it is unsafe to takeoff because the runway is occupied or about to be occupied by another aircraft or ground vehicle. Two aircraft, or a surface vehicle and an aircraft, are required for the lights to illuminate. The departing aircraft must be in position for takeoff or beginning takeoff roll. Another aircraft or a surface vehicle must be on or about to cross the runway.

    1. Operating Characteristics – Departing Aircraft: Takeoff Hold Lights will illuminate for an aircraft in position for departure or departing when there is another aircraft or vehicle on the runway or about to enter the runway (see FIG 2-1-9.) Once that aircraft or vehicle exits the runway, the Takeoff Hold Lights extinguish. A pilot may notice lights extinguish prior to the downfield aircraft or vehicle being completely clear of the runway but still moving. Like Runway Entrance Lights, Takeoff Hold Lights have an "anticipated separation" feature.When the Takeoff Hold Lights extinguish, this is not clearance to begin a takeoff roll. All takeoff clearances will be issued by Air Traffic Control.
    2. What a pilot would observe: A pilot in position to depart from a runway, or has begun takeoff roll, will observe Takeoff Hold Lights illuminating in reaction to an aircraft or vehicle on the runway or about to enter or cross it. Lights will extinguish when the runway is clear. A pilot may observe several cycles of lights illuminating and extinguishing depending on the amount of crossing traffic.
    3. Whenever a pilot observes the red lights of the Takeoff Hold Lights, the pilot will stop or remain stopped. The pilot will contact Air Traffic Control for resolution if any clearance is in conflict with the lights. Should pilots note illuminated lights while in takeoff roll and under circumstances when stopping is impractical for safety reasons, the crew should proceed according to their best judgment while understanding the illuminated lights indicate that continuing the takeoff is unsafe. Contact Air Traffic Control at the earliest possible opportunity.

    Takeoff Hold Lights

    Pilot Actions

    1. When operating at airports with Runway Status Lights, pilots should turn the transponder "ON" with Altitude Enabled when operating on all taxiways and runways. This ensures interaction with the FAA surveillance systems which provide information to the Runway Status Lights system.
    2. Never cross over illuminated red lights. Under normal circumstances, Runway Status Lights will confirm the pilot's taxi or takeoff clearance. If Runway Status Lights indicates that it is unsafe to takeoff from or taxi across a runway, immediately notify Air Traffic Control of the conflict and confirm your clearance.
    3. Do not proceed when lights have extinguished without an Air Traffic Control clearance. Runway Status Lights verifies an Air Traffic Control clearance, it does not substitute for an Air Traffic Control clearance.

    Air Traffic Control of Runway Status Lights

    1. Controllers can set in-pavement lights to one of five brightness levels to assure maximum conspicuity under all visibility and lighting conditions. Runway Entrance Lights and Takeoff Hold Lights subsystems may be independently set.
    2. The system can be shutdown should Runway Status Lights operations impact the efficient movement of air traffic or contribute, in the opinion of the Air Traffic Control Supervisor, to unsafe operations. Whenever the system is shutdown, a NOTAM must be issued, and the Automatic Terminal Information System must be updated.
Oct 30, 2017

Mark Berry started flying as a teenager, and attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, earning all of his General Aviation (GA) ratings by the time he graduated. Following graduation, he paid his dues in GA, and passed his Airline Transport Pilot written exam and Practical Test (check ride), but couldn't receive his ATP rating until he turned 23 years old.

Flying Tigers Airline wanted to offer him employment, but couldn't hire him without an ATP. While he was waiting to "age" into his rating, he was hired by Trans World Airlines. His life was on track to a fantastic career, and he was engaged to his soul-mate, Suzanne.

Suzanne was traveling to Rome on business, seated in First Class of TWA Flight 800. When Flight 800 crashed, Mark's world fell apart. Every day he went to work he saw aircraft in his airline's livery that were identical to the plane that carried Suzanne to her death. Mark had to take time off, and had to find a way to deal with his loss.

In the long process of healing, Mark wrote two novels that explored survivor guilt. But he didn't deal with his own issues until, after much urging from family and publisher, he wrote his memoir, 13,700 Feet - My Personal Hole In The Sky.

Mark eventually recovered, and returned to airline flying. When TWA went out of business, he ended up at another airline, and is now a Captain.

Oct 27, 2017

Lightning has the potential to cause catastrophic damage to aircraft. It is estimated that lightning will strike an aircraft every 1000 flight hours, normally without serious complications. One of the more famous aircraft accidents caused by lightning was the 1963 crash of Pan Am flight 214, which crashed near the University of Delaware.

An immediate result of that crash was the requirement for all turbojet passenger aircraft to have lightning-dissipating static discharge wicks installed on the airplane wingtips. In addition, it was recommended that all jet aircraft use jet A fuel, rather than more volatile kerosene. Today, in the event of a lightning strike, the aluminum fuselage acts like a Faraday cage and diverts the thousands of amperes of electricity around the aircraft, not through it.

Oct 23, 2017

One day, while at Airventure at Oshkosh, Richard Taylor had a bold proposal to his friend, fellow pilot Pat Epps. "Let's fly over the magnetic north pole and do a roll to see what happens to the magnetic compass!" This was the start of a multi-attempt saga that took several years and took the pair on an adventure of a lifetime.

Richard Taylor had served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper, then attended college. He had promised himself a Private Pilot certificate as a reward for finishing college, and that was the start of his aviation passion. In this podcast you will hear Richard recount his flight to the north pole, his authoring of the memoir Roll The Pole, and his project with Pat Epps to rescue the P-38 Glacier Girl from under 250 feet of ice.

Oct 20, 2017

From Wikipedia:

Jet lag, medically referred to as desynchronosis and rarely as circadian dysrhythmia, is a physiological condition which results from alterations to the body's circadian rhythms resulting from rapid long-distance trans-meridian (east–west or west–east) travel. For example, someone travelling from New York to London feels as if the time were five hours earlier than local time. Jet lag was previously classified as one of the circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

The condition of jet lag may last several days before the traveller is fully adjusted to the new time zone; a recovery period of one day per time zone crossed is a suggested guideline. Jet lag is especially an issue for airline pilots, crew, and frequent travellers. Airlines have regulations aimed at combating pilot fatigue caused by jet lag.

The term "jet lag" is used because before the arrival of passenger jet aircraft, it was uncommon to travel far and fast enough to cause desynchronosis. Travel by propeller-driven aircraft, by ship or by train was slower and of more limited distance than jet flights, and thus did not contribute widely to the problem.

The symptoms of jet lag can be quite varied, depending on the amount of time zone alteration, time of day, and individual differences. Sleep disturbance occurs, with poor sleep upon arrival and/or sleep disruptions such as trouble falling asleep (when flying east), early awakening (when flying west), and trouble remaining asleep. Cognitive effects include poorer performance on mental tasks and concentration; increased fatigue, headaches, and irritability; and problems with digestion, including indigestion, changes in the frequency of defecation and consistency of faeces, and reduced interest in and enjoyment of food. The symptoms are caused by a circadian rhythm that is out of sync with the day-night cycle of the destination, as well as the possibility of internal desynchronisation. Jet lag has been measured with simple analogue scales, but a study has shown that these are relatively blunt for assessing all the problems associated with jet lag. The Liverpool Jet Lag Questionnaire was developed to measure all the symptoms of jet lag at several times of day, and this dedicated measurement tool has been used to assess jet lag in athletes.

Jet lag may require a change of three time zones or more to occur, though some individuals can be affected by as little as a single time zone or the single-hour shift to or from daylight saving time. Symptoms and consequences of jet lag can be a significant concern for athletes traveling east or west to competitions, as performance is often dependent on a combination of physical and mental characteristics that are impacted by jet lag.

Travel fatigue is general fatigue, disorientation, and headache caused by a disruption in routine, time spent in a cramped space with little chance to move around, a low-oxygen environment, and dehydration caused by dry air and limited food and drink. It does not necessarily involve the shift in circadian rhythms that cause jet lag. Travel fatigue can occur without crossing time zones, and it often disappears after a single day accompanied by a night of good quality sleep.

Jet lag is a chronobiological problem, similar to issues often induced by shift work and the circadian rhythm sleep disorders. When traveling across a number of time zones, the body clock (circadian rhythm) will be out of synchronization with the destination time, as it experiences daylight and darkness contrary to the rhythms to which it has grown accustomed. The body's natural pattern is upset, as the rhythms that dictate times for eating, sleeping, hormone regulation, body temperature variations, and other functions no longer correspond to the environment, nor to each other in some cases. To the degree that the body cannot immediately realign these rhythms, it is jet lagged.

The speed at which the body adjusts to the new schedule depends on the individual as well as the direction of travel; some people may require several days to adjust to a new time zone, while others experience little disruption.

Crossing the International Date Line does not in itself contribute to jet lag, as the guide for calculating jet lag is the number of time zones crossed, with a maximum possible time difference of plus or minus 12 hours. If the time difference between two locations is greater than 12 hours, one must subtract that number from 24. For example, the time zone UTC+14 will be at the same time of day as UTC−10, though the former is one day ahead of the latter.

Jet lag is linked only to the trans-meridian (west–east or east–west) distance travelled. A ten-hour flight between Europe and southern Africa does not cause jet lag, as the direction of travel is primarily north–south. A five-hour flight between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the United States may well result in jet lag.

There are two separate processes related to biological timing: circadian oscillators and homeostasis. The circadian system is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the hypothalamus of the brain. The other process is homeostatic sleep propensity, which is a function of the amount of time elapsed since the last adequate sleep episode.

The human body has a master clock in the SCN and also peripheral oscillators in tissues. The SCN's role is to send signals to peripheral oscillators, which synchronise them for physiological functions. The SCN responds to light information sent from the retina. It is hypothesised that peripheral oscillators respond to internal signals such as hormones, food intake, and "nervous stimuli"

The implication of independent internal clocks may explain some of the symptoms of jet lag. People who travel across several time zones can, within a few days, adapt their sleep-wake cycles with light from the environment. However, their skeletal muscles, liver, lungs and other organs will adapt at different rates.This internal biological de-synchronization is exacerbated as the body is not in sync with the environment—a "double desynchronization", which has implications for health and mood.

Oct 16, 2017

Raymond Leopold knew he wanted to be a pilot since he was a child. He took flying lessons before entering the United States Air Force Academy, and continued his lessons with the Academy Aero Club. After graduation, he went to graduate school, earning his Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering, before attending Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training.

In pilot training, he was at the top of his class. In fact, to celebrate the fact that he was the first student to solo in a jet, his classmates threw him into the swimming pool. In the process, he was injured, herniating three lumbar discs, and was medically eliminated from pilot training.

The Air Force assigned him to a position that would let him utilize his education, and he attended night classes to pursue his Doctorate in Electrical Engineering. He followed this assignment with a stint teaching at the Air Force Academy. By this time he had become a CFI, and was selected to supervise the Balloon Club at the Academy, earning his balloon ratings in the process.

Ray's career included a tour at the Pentagon, working with aviation pioneer John Boyd. After serving twenty years in the Air Force, Ray made the hard choice to pursue a civilian career. And that's where he changed the world.

Ray was hired by Motorola, and created the satellite telephone system that became known as Iridium. In this podcast, you'll hear a recap of the incredible efforts that went into launching 77 communications satellites and the system that now enables telephone calls from anywhere on the planet.

You'll also hear about how Ross Perot was willing to bankroll Ray in his attempt to lead the first team to successfully fly across the Atlantic Ocean in a balloon.

Oct 12, 2017

Drug testing is a way of life for pilots and other transportation workers. As a pilot, you will receive pre-employment drug testing, random (no-notice) drug testing, and reasonable-cause drug testing throughout your career.

Oct 9, 2017

Gateway Select is an innovative talent pathway for those seeking to become pilots at JetBlue. This particular Gateway Program will allow an applicant, if successful, to learn with us from the beginning and become a JetBlue pilot after completing a rigorous training program.

This unique, accessible and cost effective JetBlue Pilot Gateway Program will take a more competency-based approach to becoming a professional pilot. The Program will optimize the training of prospective airline pilots by offering early exposure to multi-crew/multi-engine operations, full motion simulator training, crew resource management, and threat and error management. Once meeting all program requirements, including the FAA's 1,500 flight-hour requirement, pilots will become a new hire at JetBlue. At that time, graduates will go through the same orientation and six-week instruction that all E190 first officers complete.

Oct 7, 2017

Misidentifying airports and landing at the wrong runway has plagued pilots for generations. Typically, the two airports are within 10 miles of each other and have similar runway orientations. But the wrong runway may be significantly shorter.

From NTSB:

Without adequate preparation, robust monitoring, and cross-checking of position using all available resources, flight crews may misidentify a nearby airport that they see during the approach to their destination airport.

The risk of an accident increases because the runway at the wrong airport may not be long enough to accommodate the landing airplane, and other aircraft operating at the airport may also be unaware of potential conflicting traffic.

Air traffic controllers may not detect a wrong airport landing in time to intervene because of other workload or radar coverage limitations. Related incidents The following incidents involving air carriers landing at the wrong airport occurred within 2 months of each other:

On January 12, 2014, about 1810 local time, a Boeing 737-7H4, Southwest Airlines flight 4013, landed at the wrong airport in Branson, Missouri, in night visual meteorological conditions (VMC). The airplane was scheduled to fly from Chicago Midway International Airport, Chicago, Illinois, to Branson Airport. Instead, the flight crew mistakenly landed the airplane at M. Graham Clark Downtown Airport, Branson, Missouri. The flight crew reported that they were flying direct to a fix for an area navigation (RNAV) approach. They advised the air traffic controller that they had the airport in sight; they were then cleared for the visual approach. Although the correct destination airport was depicted on their cockpit displays, the flight crew reported flying to the airport that they visually identified as their destination; once the airport was in sight, they did not reference their cockpit displays. The airplane stopped at the end of the 3,738-ft runway after a hard application of the brakes. (DCA14IA037)

On November 21, 2013, about 2120 local time, a Boeing 747-400LCF (Dreamlifter) landed at the wrong airport in Wichita, Kansas, in night VMC. The airplane was being operated as a cargo flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport, Jamaica, New York, to McConnell Air Force Base, Wichita, Kansas. Instead, the flight crew mistakenly landed the airplane at Colonel James Jabara Airport, Wichita, Kansas. The flight crew indicated that during their approach to the airport, they saw runway lights that they misidentified as McConnell Air Force Base. The flight was cleared for the RNAV GPS 19L approach, and the flight crew saw Jabara but misidentified it as McConnell. The flight crew then completed the flight by visual reference to the Jabara runway. Once on the ground at Jabara, the flight crew was uncertain of the airplane’s location until confirmed by the McConnell Air Force Base tower controller. The Jabara runway is 6,101 ft long, whereas McConnell runways are 12,000 ft long.

What can flight crews do?

Adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs), verify the airplane’s position relative to the destination airport, and use available cockpit instrumentation to verify that you are landing at the correct airport.

Maintain extra vigilance when identifying the destination airport at night and when landing at an airport with others in close proximity.

Be familiar with and include in your approach briefing the destination airport’s layout and relationship to other ground features; available lighting such as visual glideslope indicators, approach light systems, and runway lighting; and instrument approaches.

Use the most precise navigational aids available in conjunction with a visual approach when verifying the destination airport.

Confirm that you have correctly identified the destination airport before reporting the airport or runway is in sight.

 

Oct 2, 2017

Aviation has been a major part of Stacey Banks' family for three generations. Inspired by her uncle, an American Airlines pilot, Stacey's father became an Air Force pilot, flying F-4s in Vietnam, then flying for United Airlines. He took Stacey up on numerous civilian flights when he was delivering cargo and checks when she was a toddler. When Stacey was a teenager, she started taking flying lessons, vowing that her father would be her first passenger once she obtained her Private Pilot certificate.

Achieving that goal came under enormous pressure when her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Finally, when she earned her ticket, her father was permitted to leave the hospital to accompany her on her most memorable flight. After her father passed away, Stacey chose to remain closer to home to help her mother, and attended Metropolitan State University of Denver, majoring in Aviation. During her internship at American Airlines, she formed her goal to be a pilot for American. She worked her way up through the piloting ranks, and finally was hired by American.

During her journey, she suffered serious potentially career-ending injuries, and overcame numerous obstacles to achieve her dream.

Sep 29, 2017

Volcanic ash poses a significant risk to aviation. It can cause problems for aircraft on the ground and inflight. This podcast discusses some issues that are significant to pilots.

Sep 25, 2017

MayCay Beeler is a spirited vivacious American aviatrix, record breaking pilot, best-selling multi award-winning author, television personality, veteran TV host/producer/journalist, spokesperson, and active FAA Certified Flight Instructor with a passion for all things flying.

Born in our Nation's Capitol, MayCay grew up in the Washington metro area. After a brief stint as a cowgirl working summer jobs in Wyoming, attending Montana State University, and graduating from the University of Kentucky, MayCay found her niche on the small screen and in the big sky. Her television broadcasting career began as a co-host for the nationally syndicated TV show PM Magazine at WATE-TV, the ABC affiliate in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her flying career took flight from these same roots.

With an extensive career in television, MayCay has worked for every major network affiliate as on-camera talent in TV news and entertainment. Readers of a local newspaper voted MayCay their "Favorite TV/Radio Personality" in a Charlotte area "best of" poll. Additionally, MayCay has worked as a TV news weather anchor for the ABC and NBC-TV stations in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

MayCay's knowledge of weather comes first hand from her flying career. She is a licensed Airline Transport Pilot and FAA Certified Flight Instructor. She set world aviation records in the experimental Questair Venture aircraft. MayCay has been named FAA Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year for the southern United States. She is a member and former chapter chairman of The Kitty Hawk Ninety-Nines, the International Organization of Women Pilots. MayCay represents Greensboro, North Carolina's Piedmont Triad International Airport as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Airport Support Network volunteer. Additionally, she has served as an AOPA seminar instructor pilot traveling the nation for the Air Safety Foundation. MayCay is a former charter pilot and applicant in NASA's Journalist-in-Space Project. An avid proponent of learning to fly, MayCay is the creator of The Diva Flight Experience, which empowers women through aviation.

MayCay has produced numerous TV features on aviation, including her personal accounts of flying with General Chuck Yeager; and Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager of Voyager fame. Her many adventures in television include initially learning to fly for a TV assignment; competing in the Air Race Classic- an all-women's transcontinental air race; and skydiving with the Navy Seals.

 

Sep 22, 2017

FAR Part 107 describes the process of obtaining an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) certificate. Airman Certification Standards describes the process, which involves taking a written examination by computer at an authorized testing location, and there is no practical test (checkride) involved. The FAA has provided a study guide, an online course, and a sample test. For certificated pilots, the process simply involves completing the online course with an end-of-course exam.

Once you pass the test (or complete the online course for certificated pilots) you can immediately print your UAS license, and the permanent license will be mailed to you a short time later.

Getting a UAS license may be an excellent opportunity for new and aspiring pilots to gain an introduction to aviation.

Sep 18, 2017

Michael Morales had a dream to become an astronaut, and set a goal of attending the United States Air Force Academy to become an Air Force pilot. At the Academy, he discovered his eyesight would not qualify him to become an astronaut, but he was qualified to become a pilot. He attended Undergraduate Pilot Training and then became a C-17 pilot. Shortly after qualifying in the airplane, the Global War On Terrorism started and he was deployed worldwide for an extended period, away on missions 200 days a year.

After four years, he became a C-17 Instructor Pilot at Altus Air Force Base, and later transitioned to the C-130J at Ramstein Air Base. At Ramstein he became the Chief Pilot for the transition from the C-130E, working with numerous foreign military leaders. He served two tours in Afghanistan, training Afghani pilots in English and flying.

He later became a White House Fellow, serving with the Small Business Administration, and currently serves at the Air Force Office of Legislative Liaison.

Sep 15, 2017

Airport markings are full explained in Chapter 2, section 3 of the Aeronautical Information Manual. This podcast highlights the more important issues.

Sep 11, 2017

David Berke is a retired Marine Corps officer and combat veteran. As an F/A-18 pilot he deployed twice from the USS John C Stennis in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He spent three years as an Instructor Pilot at TOPGUN where he was dual qualified in the F-16 Fighting Falcon and served as the Training Officer, the senior staff pilot responsible for conduct of the TOPGUN course. He then served as an ANGLICO Forward Air Controller supporting the Army’s 1st Armored Division during extensive urban combat operations in Ramadi, Iraq in 2006. He was the only Marine selected to fly the F-22 Raptor having served as an exchange officer at the Air Force’s 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron as the Division Commander. He became the first operational pilot ever to fly and be qualified in the F-35B, serving as the Commanding Officer of the Marine Corps’ first F-35 squadron from 2012-2014. He earned his Master’s degree in International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies with a concentration in Strategic Studies. He is now a leadership consultant at Echelon Front.

Sep 7, 2017

There is an abundance of information about airport lighting in Chapter Two of the Aeronautical Information Manual. This podcast covers some of the high points.

Aug 30, 2017

Christian “Boo” Boucousis was a fighter pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force for 10 years. He is now the CEO of Mode, an innovative property development group that is currently developing Australia’s tallest prefabricated hotel in the Perth CBD.

Boo’s story is a real world example of how fighter pilots use the skills developed during their military careers to succeed in business.

Diagnosed with a serious medical condition, Boo could no longer fly fighter aircraft and so he decided to take the plunge into business. Using the skills and knowledge he acquired in the Air Force, he co-founded a successful humanitarian support company in the Middle East growing it to over 1,500 staff. Boo then sold that business and moved back to Australia to focus on developing affordable building methods, which was the genesis of Mode.

Boo attributes his success in business to the values and discipline he learned in the Air Force – focus, efficiency, continuous improvement and simplicity. And because of this experience, Boo fundamentally believes that the simple methodology used by fighter pilots (which Afterburner calls FLEX), can accelerate the performance of any business or organization.

Aug 26, 2017

ADS-B enables increased capacity and efficiency by supporting:

  • Better ATC traffic flow management
  • Merging and spacing
  • Self-separation or station keeping
  • Enhanced visual approaches;
  • Closely spaced parallel approaches;
  • Reduced spacing on final approach;
  • Reduced aircraft separations;
  • Enhanced operations in high altitude airspace for the incremental evolution of the "free flight" concept;
  • Surface operations in lower visibility conditions;
  • Near visual meteorological conditions (VMC) capacities throughout the airspace in most weather conditions;
  • Improved air traffic control services in non-radar airspace;
  • Trajectory-based operations providing a gently ascending and descending gradient with no step-downs or holding patterns needed. This will produce optimal trajectories with each aircraft becoming one node within a system wide information management network connecting all equipped parties in the air and on the ground. With all parties equipped with NextGen equipage, benefits will include reduced gate-to-gate travel times, increased runway utilization capacity, and increased efficiency with carbon conservation.
  • Use of ADS-B and CDTI may allow decreased approach spacing at certain airports to improve capacity during reduced-visibility operations when visual approach operations would normally be terminated (e.g., ceilings less than MVA +500).
Aug 24, 2017

This episode features more great advice from our previous guests.

Aug 19, 2017

Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) is a protocol for pilots and controllers to communicate with each other via digital means. Think of it as pilots and controllers communicating via email.

The standard method of communication between an air traffic controller and a pilot is voice radio, using either VHF bands for line-of-sight communication or HF bands for long-distance communication (such as that provided by Shanwick Oceanic Control).

One of the major problems with voice radio communications used in this manner is that all pilots being handled by a particular controller are tuned to the same frequency. As the number of flights air traffic controllers must handle is steadily increasing (for instance, Shanwick handled 414,570 flights in 2007, an increase of 5% - or 22,000 flights - from 2006, the number of pilots tuned to a particular station also increases. This increases the chances that one pilot will accidentally override another, thus requiring the transmission to be repeated. In addition, each exchange between a controller and pilot requires a certain amount of time to complete; eventually, as the number of flights being controlled reaches a saturation point, the controller will not be able to handle any further aircraft.

The CPDLC application provides air-ground data communication for the ATC service. This includes a set of clearance/information/request message elements which correspond to voice phraseology employed by air traffic control procedures. The controller is provided with the capability to issue level assignments, crossing constraints, lateral deviations, route changes and clearances, speed assignments, radio frequency assignments, and various requests for information. The pilot is provided with the capability to respond to messages, to request clearances and information, to report information, and to declare/rescind an emergency.

The sequence of messages between the controller and a pilot relating to a particular transaction (for example request and receipt of a clearance) is termed a ‘dialogue’. There can be several sequences of messages in the dialogue, each of which is closed by means of appropriate messages, usually of acknowledgement or acceptance. Closure of the dialogue does not necessarily terminate the link, since there can be several dialogues between controller and pilot while an aircraft transits the air traffic service unit (ATSU) airspace.

https://youtu.be/PweVyYqleF8

 

Aug 14, 2017

In prior Ready For Takeoff podcasts our guests have shared their advice for new pilots just starting out their flying training. In this episode we've assembled a cross-section of their thoughts.

Aug 11, 2017

This information is for training and informational purposes only. Wake turbulence is generated whenever an airplane is developing lift. The heavier and slower the airplane, the greater the wake turbulence. Your key to avoiding wake turbulence is to always fly through undisturbed air.

A Bombardier CL604 Challenger suffered catastrophic damage at FL 340 from the wake of an Airbus A380 flying at FL 350. The report is very sobering.

Aug 7, 2017

Todd Curtis served as a Flight Test Engineer in the Air Force at Edwards Air Force Base prior to launching the web site AirSafe.com in 1996, capitalizing on his Bachelor's Degree (Electrical Engineering), Master's Degrees (Electrical Engineering and Business) and Doctorate (Aviation Risk Asseessment). The site consistently ranks as a top three or first page result for Google searches for airline safety, fear of flying, carry-on baggage, and numerous other airline safety and security terms. The web site has also been cited frequently by major newspapers such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington post. The site and related online properties continue to provide the public with a diverse source of airline safety and security information.

He has worked at Boeing and is a frequent guest on television news shows as an aviation expert.

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