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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Jan 17, 2019

From CBS News:

For the first time, a new network of satellites will soon be able to track all commercial airplanes in real time, anywhere on the planet. Currently, planes are largely tracked by radar on the ground, which doesn’t work over much of the world’s oceans.

The final 10 satellites were launched Friday to wrap up the $3 billion effort to replace 66 aging communication satellites, reports CBS News’ Kris Van Cleave, who got an early look at the new technology.

On any given day, 43,000 planes are in the sky in America alone. When these planes take off, they are tracked by radar and are equipped with a GPS transponder. All commercial flights operating in the U.S. and Europe have to have them by 2020. It’s that transponder that talks to these new satellites, making it possible to know exactly where more than 10,000 flights currently flying are.

Tucked inside the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that was blasted into space on Friday are 10 advanced Iridium Communications satellites, each the size of a Mini Cooper. Once active, they’ll power satellite phone communications, space-based broadband and carry a device which will solve an issue that’s plagued aviation for decades.

“Seventy percent of the world’s airspace has no surveillance. Aircraft fly over the oceans and report back their positions to air traffic control every 10 to 15 minutes at best and in between those periods, no one knows where they are,” said Aireon CEO Don Thoma.

Aireon, based in McLean, Virginia, was developing the technology to change that even before Mayalasia Airlines flight MH370 vanished over the Indian Ocean in March 2014. But a Boeing 777 with 239 aboard disappearing was a wake-up call, prompting years of safety experts demanding change.

“I can find my kids by pinging their iPhone. We shouldn’t have aircraft that disappear anywhere in the world today,” former National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Debbie Herman said back in 2016.

To make that happen, the Aireon technology is hitching a ride to space as part of the largest technology swap the universe has ever seen. Iridium is replacing its existing constellation of 66 satellites and 9 spares orbiting the earth built and launched in the mid-90s.

Walt Everetts help designed the first generation of Iridium satellites, naming two of them after his sons Nicholas and Andrew. He’ll be in the company’s command center outside Washington, D.C. as his team maneuvers the new satellites into place, simultaneously powering on the new and devastating old. The legacy satellites will then be moved out of orbit where they’ll burn up in the earth’s atmosphere.

“It’s kind of like changing a tire on a bus going 17,000 miles per hour,” said Walt Everetts, vice president of satellite operations for Iridium. “With these new satellites that we’re putting up, we have more capacity, more processing capability, more memory … so we are taking an old flip phone and upgrading it into a smartphone.”

While not fully complete, the updated network circling the globe 485 miles overhead is already tracking planes. Aireon was able to instantly confirm the last known location of Lion Air Flight 610, the Boeing 737 Max that crashed in the Java Sea last October.

“With the Iridium-Aireon system, every airplane is in reach of an air traffic controller … so no matter what happened to that airplane we would know within seconds of where that airplane was,” Iridium CEO Matt Desch said.

The technology may also make it possible for air traffic controllers to allow more flights to be in the air at the same time on busy routes over the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It could also allow for more direct flight paths, which means more flights, the potential for fewer delays, and shorter flights to places like Europe.

From Aerion’s website:

ADS-B is an air traffic surveillance technology that relies on aircraft broadcasting their identity, a precise Global Positioning System (GPS) position and other information derived from on-board systems. The data is broadcast every half a second from the aircraft, and is being used by Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) to identify and separate aircraft in real-time.

Jan 14, 2019

Charles Doryland was an Eagle scout who attended West Point, intending to be an Infantry officer. During his senior year, while walking to the hospital to take his commissioning physical, he went to the Air Force line, thinking that he could choose either the Army or the Air Force. He passed his physical, and was offered a pilot training slot.
He ended up flying F-86s after pilot training, then B-47s. Then he was selected for Test Pilot School, and was subsequently stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Later, after attending graduate school, he was assigned to Edwards Air Force Base.
Charles was the pilot of "Balls Eight", B-52 number 8, on flights carrying the X-15s on their journeys into space.
He volunteered to fly RF-4s in Vietnam, and achieved 100 missions over North Vietnam in five months, then served in Saigon during the Tet Offensive.
Charles went back to graduate school for his Doctorate, and taught at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT). Following his retirement from the Air Force he was a university professor until fully retiring at age 65.

Jan 10, 2019


Increased navigational accuracy can place several aircraft on the same course in the same lateral position

Strategic lateral offset procedure (SLOP) is a solution to a byproduct of increased navigation accuracy in aircraft. Because most now use GPS, aircraft track flight routes with extremely high accuracy. As a result, if an error in height occurs, there is a much higher chance of collision. SLOP allows aircraft to offset the centreline of an airway or flight route by a small amount, normally to the right, so that collision with opposite direction aircraft becomes unlikely.

In the North Atlantic Region pilots are expected to fly along the oceanic track center-line or 1 or 2 nautical miles to its right, randomly choosing one of these three offsets on each entry to oceanic airspace. The aim is to not achieve an overall even distribution of one-third of all flights on each of the three possible tracks, as one might assume. When the procedure was originally developed, 4.9 percent of aircraft in most oceans could not offset automatically, so the centerline had to remain as an option. Because of the possibility of opposite direction traffic on the centerline, it is the least desirable option, with the highest risk. The procedure lowers the overall risk of collision should an aircraft move vertically away from its assigned level. This randomization has the advantage over a planned assignment of offsets to each individual aircraft in that it mitigates the collision hazard for same-direction flights should an aircraft be erroneously flown along a track that was not assigned by ATC.

SLOP is recommended for use in modern flight management system-based, RVSM (reduced vertical separation minima)-equipped aircraft operations to mitigate the midair collision hazard, which is amplified by the accuracy of modern aircraft navigational technology and onboard flight instruments.

Lateral navigation (left–right) based on global positioning system (GPS), and RVSM quality altimetry (up–down), are each so accurate in their own dimension that opposite-direction aircraft which are erroneously flying the same altitude on the same navigational path are very likely to collide.

In addition to mitigating en route midair collision hazard, SLOP is used to reduce the probability of high-altitude wake turbulence encounters. During periods of low wind velocity aloft, aircraft which are spaced 1000 feet vertically but pass directly overhead in opposite directions can generate wake turbulence which may cause either injury to passengers/crew or undue structural airframe stress. This hazard is an unintended consequence of RVSM vertical spacing reductions which are designed to increase allowable air traffic density. Rates of closure for typical jet aircraft at cruise speed routinely exceed 900 knots.

Wake turbulence is thought likely to be experienced by the lower of two aircraft when it arrives approximately 15–30 nm behind an opposite-direction aircraft which has crossed directly overhead on the same route. On November 13, 2015, ICAO published a revised version of Document 4444, Pans ATM Paragraph 16.5 that includes provisions for applying SLOP in a continental/domestic air space for aircraft that are capable of offsetting in tenths of a mile. Centerline is not an option as aircraft can offset up to one-half mile right of course, in tenths of a mile, providing 5 alternative offsets.

In January 2017, the ICAO SPG (Authority for the NAT region) published updated guidance indicating that SLOP is now a requirement on the North Atlantic, rather than a recommendation. The guidance was part of a number of changes that were contained in a revised 2017 edition of NAT Doc 007:North Atlantic Airspace and Operations Manual.

Jan 8, 2019

From Natalie's website:

The flyGIRL mission is to encourage and inspire women and young girls to open their hearts and minds to their potential. We want every girl and woman to dream big, aim high, and fly!

Natalie Kelley launched flyGIRL after she earned her pilot’s license. The experience of pushing her own boundaries, challenging herself, and succeeding as a woman in a male-dominated industry completely changed Natalie’s life. She gained confidence and a sense of independence that she had forgotten in adulthood. With her own money, Natalie launched flyGIRL and self-funded the first $5,000 flyGIRL Scholarship to finance a portion of the cost to send another woman to pilot training.

Today, flyGIRL has helped dozens of young women explore their potential and change their lives through scholarships, a supportive network, motivational articles and speaking engagements. Contact flyGIRL to learn how to bring our mission to your organization, community, or school!

Jan 3, 2019

From Wikipedia:

An engineered materials arrestor systemengineered materials arresting system (EMAS), or arrester bed is a bed of engineered materials built at the end of a runway to reduce the severity of the consequences of a runway excursion. Engineered materials are defined in FAA Advisory Circular No 150/5220-22B as "high energy absorbing materials of selected strength, which will reliably and predictably crush under the weight of an aircraft". While the current technology involves lightweight, crushable concrete blocks, any material that has been approved to meet the FAA Advisory Circular can be used for an EMAS. The purpose of an EMAS is to stop an aircraft overrun with no human injury and minimal aircraft damage. The aircraft is slowed by the loss of energy required to crush the EMAS material. An EMAS is similar in concept to the runaway truck ramp made of gravel or sand. It is intended to stop an aircraft that has overshot a runway when there is an insufficient free space for a standard runway safety area (RSA). Multiple patents have been issued on the construction and design on the materials and process.

FAA Advisory Circular 150/5220-22B explains that an EMAS may not be effective for incidents involving aircraft of less than 25,000 pounds weight. It also clarifies that an EMAS is not the same as a stopway, which is defined in FAA Advisory Circular 150/5300-13A, Section 312.

As of May 2017, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has been working on developing a harmonized regulation regarding arresting systems.

Research projects completed in Europe have looked into the cost-effectiveness of EMAS. Although arrestor beds have initially been installed at airports where the runway safety areas are below standards, their ability to stop aircraft with minimal or no damage to the air frame and its occupants has proven to bring results far beyond the cost of installations. The latest report, "Estimated Cost-Benefit Analysis of Runway Severity Reduction Based on Actual Arrestments" shows how the money saved through the first 11 arrestments has reached a calculated total of 1.9 Billion USD, thus saving over $1 B over the estimated cost of development (R&D, all installations worldwide, maintenance and repairs reaching a total of USD 600 Million). The study suggests that mitigating the consequences of runway excursions worldwide may turn out to be much more cost-effective than the current focus on reducing the already very low probability of occurrence.

Higher EMAS bed with side steps to allow aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) access and passenger egress.

The FAA's design criteria for new airports designate Runway Safety Areas (RSA's) to increase the margin of safety if an overrun occurs and to provide additional access room for response vehicles. A United States federal law required that the length of RSA's in airports was to be 1,000 feet (300 m) by the end of 2015, in a response to a runway overrun into a highway at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.[ At airports built before these standards were put into effect, the FAA has funded the installation of EMAS at the ends of main runways. The minimum recommended overall length of an EMAS installation is 600 feet (180 m), of which at least 400 feet (120 m) is to consist of the frangible material.

As of July 2014, 47 United States airports had been so equipped; the plan was to have 62 airports so equipped by the end of 2015.[ As of May 2017, over 100 EMAS have been installed at over 60 US airports.

As of May 2017, there were two recognized EMAS manufacturers worldwide that meet the FAA requirements of Advisory Circular 150-5220-22B, “Engineered Materials Arresting Systems for Aircraft Overruns.” (The FAA must review and approve each EMAS installation.)

The first, original EMAS was developed in the mid-1990s by Zodiac Arresting Systems (then known as ESCO/Engineered Arresting Systems Corp.) as part of a collaboration and technical acceptance by the FAA. EMASMAX® (fourth generation EMAS) arrestor beds are composed of blocks of lightweight, crushable cellular cement material, encased in jet blast resistant protection, designed to safely stop airplanes that overshoot runways. Zodiac’s latest, most durable EMAS is installed on over 110 airport runways at over 65 airports on three continents. Zodiac's EMAS has undergone intense testing, including several live aircraft test runs at speeds up 55 knots and is the world’s first and only EMAS that has safely stopped aircraft in real emergency overrun situations at commercial airports.

In October 2016 EMAS saved Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence's B737 from a runway overrun at La Guardia Airport, and in December 2018 EMAS saved a Southwest Airlines B737 at Burbank Airport.

Runway Safe EMAS (second generation EMAS) is a foamed silica bed made from recycled glass and is contained within a high-strength plastic mesh system anchored to the pavement at the end of the runway. The foamed silica is poured into lanes bounded by the mesh and covered with a poured cement layer and treated with a top coat of sealant.[

Runway Safe EMAS has been installed to replace older EMAS at Chicago Midway. Runway Safe has also installed an EMAS at Zurich airport 2016.

There is a third manufacturer, certified by the Chinese CAAC, with a product that is very similar to the original one of Zodiac ESCO.

Dec 31, 2018

The road to becoming an airline Captain starts long before you get hired by an airline. You should start planning on earning the left seat in the same way you plan a cross-country flight:

SELECT YOUR DESTINATION. This might be the left seat of an airliner, a business jet, crop-duster, whatever. Know where you want to go, and, just like on a cross-country flight, you may have to divert around unexpected weather or even land at an alternate.

CHECK THE WEATHER. Be aware of conditions along your route and at your destination, and be sure to check NOTAMS. In this case, learn about hazards along your route and be ready to change destinations (airlines) if conditions aren't favorable.

CHECK THE DESTINATION FACILITIES. Just like knowing your airport destination runway lengths and widths, elevation and available services, you should know what the airline expects of its pilots. Specifically, airlines are VERY conservative, and plan ahead to not have ear-rings for men, visible tattoos, or extreme appearance. Get that degree to make yourself more competitive.

KNOW THE MILESTONES. Just like checking your visual check-points along your route, plan ahead for the ratings you need.

CONFIRM YOUR LEGALITY. Make sure you have the certificates, and the medical, you will need for the career. It would truly be a shame to spend many thousands of dollars on ratings only to then discover you have a disqualifying condition, such as color-blindness.

CHART YOUR PROGRESS. Keep track of your progress along your journey to a professional pilot job.

BRIEF YOUR APPROACH. Be totally ready when you are called in for an interview. That means having your appearance exactly as you want it, including an interview suit/outfit that fits perfectly. Read Molloy's Dress For Success and Molloy's-Live For Success.

Dec 27, 2018

Visual illusions are familiar to most of us. As children, we learned that railroad tracks—contrary to what our eyes showed us—don’t come to a point at the horizon.

Aerial Perspective Illusions may make you change (increase or decrease) the slope of your final approach. They are caused by runways with different widths, upsloping ordownsloping runways, and upsloping or downslop ing final approach terrain.

Pilots learn to recognize a normal final approach by developing and recalling a mental image of the expected relationship between the length and the width of an average runway.

A final approach over a flat terrain with an upsloping runway may produce the visual illusion of a high-altitude final approach. If you believe this illusion, you may respond by pitching the aircraft nose down to decrease the altitude, which, if performed too close to the ground, may result in an accident.

A final approach over a flat terrain with a downsloping runway may produce the visual illusion of a low-altitude final approach. If you believe this illusion, you may respond by pitching the aircraft nose up to increase the altitude, which may result in a low-altitude stall or missed approach.

A final approach over an upsloping terrain with a flat runway may produce the visual illusion that the aircraft is higher than it actually is. If you believe this illusion, you may respond by pitching the aircraft nose-down to decrease the altitude, resulting in a lower approach. This may result in landing short or flaring short of the runway and risking a low-altitude stall. Pitching the aircraft nose-down will result in a low, dragged-in approach. If power settings are not adjusted, you may find yourself short of the runway, needing to add power to extend your flare. If you do not compensate with power, you will land short or stall short of the runway.

A final approach over a downsloping terrain with a flat runway may produce the visual illusion that the aircraft is lower than it actually is. If you believe this illusion, you may respond by pitching the aircraft’s nose up to gain altitude. If this happens, you will land further down therunway than you intended.

A final approach to an unusually narrow runway or an unusually long runway may produce the visual illusion of being too high. If you believe this illusion, you may pitch the aircraft’s nose down to lose altitude. If this happens too close to the ground, you may land short of the runway and cause an accident.

A final approach to an unusually wide runway may produce the visual illusion of being lower than you actually are. If you believe this illusion, you may respond by pitching the aircraft’s nose up to gain altitude, which may result in a low-altitude stall or missed approach.

A Black-Hole Approach Illusion can happen during a final approach at night (no stars or moonlight) over water or unlighted terrain to a lighted runway beyond which the horizon is not visible. When peripheral visual cues are not available to help you orient yourself relative to the earth, you may have theillusion of being upright and may perceive the runway to be tilted left and upsloping. However, with the horizon visible you can easily orient yourself correctly using your central vision. A particularly hazardous black-hole illusion involves approaching a runway under conditions with no lights before the runway and with city lights or rising terrain beyond the runway. Those conditions may produce the visual illusion of a high-altitude final approach. If you believe this illusion you may respond by lowering your approach slope.

The Autokinetic Illusion gives you the impression that a stationary object is moving in front of the airplane’s path; it is caused by staring at a fixed single point of light (ground light or a star) in a totally dark and featureless background. This illusion can cause a misperception that such a light is on a collision course with your aircraft .

False Visual Reference Illusions may cause you to orient your aircraft in relation to a false horizon; these illusions are caused by flying over a banked cloud, night flying over featureless terrain with ground lights that are indistinguishable from a dark sky with stars, or night flying over a featureless terrain with a clearly defined pattern of ground lights and a dark, starless sky.

Dec 24, 2018

Taught to fly in high school by his father, a combat-decorated Air Force pilot, Greg has gone on to fly professionally in aircraft ranging from crop dusters to corporate aircraft to airliners and has piloted more than 50 aircraft types (and counting).  His immediate family includes pilots for the Air Force, Navy, Army, and airlines, as well as a NASA Space Shuttle Commander.  What another company might refer to as a board of aviation experts, the Bristol founder just calls the dinner table. 

Dec 20, 2018

The first step in planning your cross-country VFR flight is to check departure, enroute and destination weather to confirm that you can safely, and legally, conduct the flight. Remember, VFR weather is 1000/3 and you must remain at least 500 feet below, 1000 feet above, and 2000 feet laterally from clouds.

Now, mark your departure airport and your destination on your sectional aeronautical chart.

Consult the Airport Facility Directory for both airports to determine runways and other airport information. Check NOTAMS for both airports to see if there are any changes to the Directory information.

Now, use your plotter to draw a straight line between the departure and destination. You may need to alter the course around restricted airspace and other areas you need to avoid.

Place your plotter on the course line you have drawn and measure the course with respect to true north by measuring at the mid-meridian - the true north line closest to the middle of your route. The reason for this is that the meridians converge at the poles.

Now, convert this course with respect to true north to a course with respect to magnetic north. You perform this conversion by finding the isogonic line that represents the variation from true north along your course. Subtract east variation and add west variation.

If you REALLY want to make this calculation easy, fly your cross-country along the east coast of Florida, along the agonic line where the variation is zero!

To calculate your compass heading to fly along the route, use the mnemonic TVMDC: true heading adjusted for variation equals magnetic heading; magnetic heading adjusted for deviation equals compass heading. Deviation adjusts for compass installation, and is typically a small number. It is marked on the compass correction card in your airplane.

To remember the mnemonic, think of: True Virgins Make Dull Company. Learn this quickly, because as soon as the PC police learn of this podcast, it will be banned!

Note checkpoints along your route that you can use to measure your course progress. Typically, these will be objects, such as bridges, towers, and distinctive river bends. You will use these to gauge your flight progress regarding your groundspeed and course maintenance.

Now, consult Chapter 5 of your Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) to determine your true airspeed at your cruise altitude. Your cruise altitude for a VFR flight at an altitude above 3000 AGL must be at an odd altitude plus 500 feet heading east and at an even altitude plus 500 feet heading west.

Look at the FD Winds Aloft Forecast to determine the prevailing winds along your route closest to your planned altitude.

Now, use the wind side of your E6B computer to determine your groundspeed (for a refresher, listen to RFT episode 146) and then use the calculator side (RFT episode 148) to determine the time to reach each checkpoint.

Complete a navigation log, such as, for the flight and your preparations are complete.

Finally, file a flight plan (not REQUIRED, but really RECOMMENDED), and have a great flight!

Dec 17, 2018

From Jeff's website ( 

Jeff Berlin began his creative career chasing models down the streets of New York City… with a camera. They knew he was there, it was cool. He liked this so much he spent five years shooting in Milan and Paris before moving back to NYC to continue his career. Over the years, he’s collaborated with top fashion magazines and brands like Vogue Italia, L’Oreal, British Elle, Estée Lauder, Esquire, Bloomingdale’s, Miss Vogue, Macy’s, Vogue Pelle, Madame Figaro and many others.

Recently, Jeff transitioned to motion pictures. He was producer and camera operator on the feature film Three Days in August, which played at multiple film festivals and ran in select theaters nationwide. It’s now available on major streaming platforms. Jeff has both shot and directed an online spot for the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), a fashion brand film for noted designer Norma Kamali, as well as a number of short films and online spots for Sony. His latest film project, Stormchaser, a short with an award-winning director, was shot on the new Sony VENICE motion picture camera and is currently in post production.

Jeff is a Sony Artisan of Imagery and an experienced aviator. He is also a published writer and was editor of three national consumer aviation magazines -- Plane and Pilot, Pilot Journal and PilotMag.

Dec 13, 2018

Before you brief your instrument approach, WAIT!

W - obtain the Weather, typically from ATIS, and confirm that it is suitable for your approach.

A - perform your Approach Checklist

I - set up your Instruments for the approach, and load it into the FMS

T - now Talk about the approach

Confirm you are on the correct approach page.

Confirm the proper localizer frequency and approach course are entered into the FMS/navigation system.

Confirm the airport elevation and runway elevation.

Verify your flight path to the final approach course.

Confirm the glide path angle. A normal glide path is 3 degrees.

Confirm the minimum safe altitude and any obstructions.

Confirm the Outer Marker or Final Approach Fix crossing altitude.

Confirm the Decision Height or Minimum Descent Altitude.

Brief the Missed Approach.

Brief the runway exit plan.

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

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.

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