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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Jun 1, 2020

Erik Lindbergh, a commercial pilot and certified flight instructor, is the grandson of Charles and Anne Lindbergh and son of Jon Lindbergh and Barbara Robbins. As 2002 marks the 75th anniversary of his grandfather’s Spirit of St. Louis transatlantic flight, Erik Lindbergh will recreate this 1927 milestone, illustrating the human spirit’s ability to dream, innovate and achieve one’s goals against many odds.


Though he leads an active lifestyle, Erik also suffers from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a progressive autoimmune disease marked by pain, tenderness, and inflammation of the joints, that nearly caused him to give up his passion for aviation when he was diagnosed at the young age of 21. RA crippled Erik for 15 years and only recently has he been active again. During his worst years with RA, Erik was forced to use a cane due to the severe pain that made it almost impossible for him to walk. Today, with the help of a breakthrough biotech drug, Enbrel, Erik has his life back and is in pursuit of his dreams. Using his experience with RA, he now serves as a spokesperson for the Arthritis Foundation, working to educate others about RA.


A graduate of Emery Aviation College where he received his Aeronautical Science degree, Erik serves as a Trustee and Vice President of the X PRIZE Foundation, a non-profit organization that stimulates the creation of a new generation of launch vehicles designed to carry passengers into space. The X PRIZE is fashioned after the Orteig Prize, the aviation incentive prize won by Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight in 1927, which created the now $250 billion aviation industry.


Erik is also a Director of the Lindbergh Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering his grandparents belief in creating a balance between technological advancement and environmental preservation. The Foundation promotes gives grants, does educational programs and gives the Lindbergh award each year for work dedicated to “Balance” concept.

Aside from aviation, Erik is an artist and owner of Lindbergh Woodworks, which creates unique furniture and wood sculptures. He is known for his sculptures of rustic planets, spacecraft and aircraft within the community of astronomy and aviation.

May 28, 2020

Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;

We will grieve not, rather find

Strength in what remains behind:


Many of us have faced, or will soon face, employment disruptions, layoffs and job insecurity. No one can forecast what the aviation industry will look like in the future. In the short-term it will undoubtedly be different. It may be that airlines and employers go out of business, and your dream job no longer exists.

At this critical juncture, don't lose sight of what is important in your life. Your loved ones will stand by you long after your employer has cast you aside.

If you are considering suicide, please call the National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255.

If you are a veteran considering suicide, visit here.

It takes an entire crew to get an airplane aloft. Don't handle this alone.






May 25, 2020

Judy helps coach pilots as they transition in their airline career paths. She has been successfully conducting interview preparation services for 17 years, including 10 years as Lead Interview Preparation Coach and Vice President, Global Strategies at

For over 40 years Judy has worked as an aviation consultant, writer and speaker specializing in the field of pilot selection and recruitment. Her career started with a American Airlines where she was responsible for facilitating the hiring of over 7,100 airline pilots. From AA, she was employed for six years as the President of a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Air Line Pilots Assn. (Universal Pilot Application Service). Since that time, she has consulted with several major air carriers along with government and industry aviation associations. She has been on two FAA Aviation Rule Making committees on pilot selection and has presented before organizations such as the NTSB, FAA, DOD and DOJ.

Author of Expert Witness: Wrongful Death and  Flight Plan to the Flight Deck:  Strategies for a Pilot Career and several magazine articles that have appeared in Aviation for WomenFlight TrainingAir Line Pilot and Airline Pilot Careers.

May 24, 2020

Armed Forces Code of Conduct:

Article I:

I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

Article II:

I will never surrender of my own free will. If in command, I will never surrender the members of my command while they still have the means to resist.

Article III:

If I am captured I will continue to resist by all means available. I will make every effort to escape and aid others to escape. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy.

Article IV:

If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information or take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not, I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.

Article V:

When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.

Article VI:

I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. I will trust in my God and in the United States of America.


On both Memorial Day and Veterans Day, it’s customary to spend time remembering and honoring the countless veterans who have served the United States throughout the country’s history. However, there is a distinction between the two holidays:

  • Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. In other words, the purpose of Memorial Day is to memorialize the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  We spend time remembering those who lost their lives and could not come home, reflecting on their service and why we have the luxury and freedom that we enjoy today. We might consider how we can support and safeguard their grieving families and loved ones who are left behind.
  • Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL who served—in wartime or peacetime—regardless of whether they died or survived. Veterans Day is always observed officially on November 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls. Read more about Veterans Day.

May 22, 2020

Five thousand feet up, pilots are flying some very important cargo across the country. It’s not people or packages these men and women have loaded into the back of their planes: It’s puppies – squirmy, soft and sometimes sad homeless animals who need a new leash on life.

In recent years, rescue-pilot programs have taken off in the South and Northeast. Pilots, almost all of them volunteers who give their time and money to the cause on the weekends, shepherd homeless animals from high-kill shelters in states where adoption rates are usually low, like Alabama and South Carolina, and fly them miles away to animal rescues in the northeast or Central Florida. The animals, many of them young dogs, are adopted or fostered in places where more people are looking to find a furry friend to take to enlarge

Given their wings and the selfless mission to save lives, it might seem apt to compare these pilots to angels. But Michael Young, an Orlando rescue pilot who’s been transporting dogs via plane for the past seven years, says it’s all in a day’s work.

“It’s a chain of people working together and us pilots are just one cog in the big wheel,” Young says. “We’re not the angels. We’re just the bus drivers. The angels are the people who pull the dogs and the people who foster the dogs and put them up for adoption.”

Young has transported almost 1,000 dogs as a volunteer, flying the animals from Alabama to rescues around Florida. It’s a labor of love – one that doesn’t come cheap.

Pilots usually end up spending $10,000 to $12,000 a year maintaining their planes, and Young says it costs around a dollar a mile to fly due to fuel costs, although many of the expenses are tax-deductible because of the charitable cause.

Despite the cost, Young says it’s worth it to save the lives of animals who might otherwise not have a chance. Young says he even adopted two of the dogs he’s flown.

It’s this type of dedication that Kate Quinn, executive director of Pilots N Paws, a South Carolina-based organization that connects pilots with shelters looking for volunteers to transport animals, says she sees in all her pilots.

“These people are huge animal lovers. They’re so concerned with the animals and making sure they’re comfortable,” Quinn says. “We’ve learned that pilots are looking for a meaning to their flights. They’re looking for a reason to fly.”

Saving the lives of 4 to 6 million animals that would otherwise be euthanized every year sounds like a pretty good reason. Quinn says that without the planes swooping in to pick up the animals at the 11th hour, many of them would have to be put down.

There’s also an advantage to using planes as opposed to ground transportation to move the animals. When there are no pilots to help, dogs must be transported in car relays, constantly switching drivers and traveling in crates. On the planes, many pilots allow the dogs to roam freely. The trip by plane is much more consistent and comfortable for them.

“The animals do really well,” Quinn says. “People are surprised to hear how well they do in the plane. The sound of the engine seems to lull them to sleep.”

While the plane experience is better for the animals, the trips do present their own unique challenges, especially in Florida.

“Flying in thunderstorms during the summer here is a challenge. It’s like Florida has the measles if you look at the weather radar, with all the red pimples,” Young says. “But I’ve learned to do it. The best analogy is like a soccer field full of snapping turtles. … We go fast. We go around it. We don’t go through them.”

That’s not the only obstacle to getting the job done. Quinn points out that it takes a lot of hours and a lot of people working together just to save one dog.

To improve the process, Milwaukee rescue pilot Chris Roy invented a software platform to connect animal rescues with volunteers.

Doobert, named after Roy’s cat, includes a smartphone app to connect ground and airborne volunteers.

“The idea came to me because it was so difficult to keep track of which transport requests I was involved with, which animals were on which transport, and who to contact,” he says. “I kept thinking there has to be a better way to do this, and so I decided to create it.”

Even though he also works during the week as an IT project manager, Roy says that there is a major reason he and the other pilots give up their free time for this cause – to spread the puppy love.

“The pilots and ground volunteers donate their time, vehicles and gas because they know that these animals deserve a chance at a better life,” he says. “They don’t ask for anything in return.”

Young and Roy agree that the joy in the job comes from the love they receive from the animals they’ve saved. The thanks they get is spoken in the universal language of a wagging tail or a slobbery grin.

“Many people may think I’m crazy, but these animals in a rescue-relay transport know you are saving them and bringing them to a better place,” Roy says. “You can see the look of relief in their eyes, and see the smiles on their face when they meet you.

May 18, 2020

Many have called her a vanguard as one of the first women fighter pilots for the United States Air Force and the first woman to fly in the elite USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, better known as the “Thunderbirds”. Titles and accolades aside, Nicole Malachowski has lived life according to a simple mantra – “Live an unscripted life.”

Throughout her career ranging from combat fighter pilot to commander, to White House Fellow, and duty as a personal advisor to the First Lady concerning military service members, veterans and military families, Nicole sought opportunities that she had passion for, rather than ones that followed the expected progression in her career field.

While that passionate, adventurous us spirit yielded a successful military career, Nicole’s flight path was not always smooth. Along the way, she learned how to use undaunted determination to overcome adversity, break some barriers, and live with a higher compassion for humanity. Sometimes you have to yield to a big obstacle in order to be able to overcome it.

Nicole is a leader, an igniter of passion and purpose. She is an advocate for those who have chosen to serve their country and for those who have endured personal challenges, to include complex medical journeys.

In this new chapter of her life, as a retired Colonel from the U.S. Air Force, Nicole looks to share her stories and what she has learned, to help others find and ignite their own unstoppable spirits in order to succeed far beyond what they had dreamed.

May 14, 2020

When you apply for a medical certificate, you are required to complete FAA Form 8500-8. Falsifying any information on this form can subject you to a five of $250,000 and five years in prison. If you have concerns about your ability to obtain a medical certificate, I recommend consulting an advisor before applying for your medical. One such advisor is David Hale, who you met in RFT 364.

There are several situations in which a pilot can find himself/herself without a medical certificate. One such case could be where the pilot has simply allowed his/her medical certificate to lapse. Another case could be where the pilot applies for a certificate and is denied due to a medical issue that the FAA considers disqualifying. In that case, the pilot may not use any of the other strategies, such as BasicMed or Sport Pilot medical.

Even with a denial, the pilot may continue to fly with a certificated pilot acting as Pilot In Command (PIC), as long as the aircraft does not require a copilot. The pilot may operate the controls, from either seat, but the pilot without a medical is officially a passenger. Many aircraft owners who have lost their medicals use this strategy.

If there has not been a denial from the FAA, there are other avenues available to General Aviation (GA) pilots. The pilot may operate as a Sport Pilot, flying a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA). An LSA is an aircraft that:

Has a maximum gross takeoff weight of 1,320 lbs.

Has a maximum stall speed of 51 mph (45 knots)

Has a maximum speed in level flight of 130 mph (120 knots)

Has two-place maximum seating

Has single, non-turbine engine, fixed propeller, fixed landing gear.

With a Sport Pilot certificate, the pilot may use his/her driver’s license in place of a medical certificate. See more at

One step up from the Sport Pilot medical is BasicMed. Under BasicMed, pilots can get an authorization from their personal medical providers rather than from FAA Airman Medical Examiners (AMEs). The pilot completes a BasicMed Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklistand gets a physical exam with a state-licensed physician. The pilot then completes a BasicMed Online Course. That’s it – nothing else required.

Under BasicMed, the pilot may operate an aircraft with:

a maximum gross weight of 6000 lbs

up to 6 seats

capable of flying at a maximum speed of 250 knots

maximum altitude 18,000 feet


Using BasicMed, the pilot cannot operate for compensation or hire.

One additional avenue for a pilot is to fly a glider, since no medical is required to fly a glider.

Above all, common sense should prevail – if you’re not healthy enough to fly (whether or not you have a medical), don’t fly!

May 11, 2020

Captain Pamela Carel, a Dallas, TX, native, graduated from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1986 with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. Commissioned in December 1986, she was designated a Naval Aviator in 1988. She holds a MBA of Business and Management from Webster University, St. Louis, MO., and a M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from Naval War College, Newport, R.I. She completed Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) I with distinction through the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, 2008, and JPME-II at the Naval War College, 2011.


Captain Carel completed her first assignment as a Selectively Retained Graduate (SERGRAD) Instructor Pilot with Training Squadron (VT) 23. Her next two operational assignments were with Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 34 and Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, flying the A-7E and F/A-18C, becoming the first female to qualify in combat in the F/A-18C. Operational tours included deployments in USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and USS Kitty Hawk(CV 63)  for combat Operation Southern Watch.


Captain Carel served two shore tours as a flight instructor. She transitioned to Selected Reserves in 2001, serving tours in Mine Counter Measures Squadrons (MCMRON) One and Two and as Officer in Charge (OIC) of Naval Information Bureau Detachment 310. She returned to active duty for Commander, Navy Region South (CNRS) as OIC and Battle Watch Captain in support of JTF KATRINA and HURRICANE RITA (2005), subsequently serving as Commanding Officer (CO) of CNRSE ROC (West), 2006. She reported to NR COMSEVENTHFLT (C7F) where she served as OIC of Manpower and Readiness; OIC, Intelligence and Information Operations, and directly supported C7F as Maritime Operations Center (MOC) Chief in USS Blueridge (LCC-19) 2007-2010. Captain Carel completed her in-residence Master’s degree at the U.S. Naval War College, Newport, R.I. Captain Carel then served as Chief Staff Officer of Naval Reserve Naval Mine and Anti-submarine Warfare Command 0194 in San Diego, CA. 2011-2014. In her final assignment, she served as MOC Chief for COMPACFLT, Pearl Harbor, HI. Captain Carel retired 1 January, 2017.


Captain Carel accumulated over 3400 flight hours and 352 carrier landings in Navy aircraft. Her awards include the Meritorious Service Medal (3), Combat Strike Air Medal (2) and Navy Commendation Medal (2).

May 7, 2020

Leeham Co LLC was formed by Scott Hamilton in 1999 after the sale of the company he co-founded, Linkraven Ltd. Linkraven was formed in 1989 and published Commercial Aviation Report and Commercial Aviation Value Report and produced global conferences under the name Commercial Aviation Events. Commercial Aviation Report quickly became a leading source of news in airline and aircraft finance while Value Report brought to the forefront the world of aircraft appraisals. Events produced 60 conferences in 10 years, including the first aviation finance conference in Eastern Europe following the fall of the Iron Curtain; the first in Moscow; and the first in Beijing.

Leeham is a globally recognized expert in aerospace issues, focused on the Big Four airframe Original Equipment Manufacturers (Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Embraer) and the engine OEMs. Leeham provides aviation consulting focusing on business strategy, competitive intelligence. Clients seek industry trends and forecast for their strategic planning. The Washington State Dept. of Commerce retained Leeham in 2009 to create an aerospace policy. Leeham Co. services only the aerospace industry.

Hamilton was on the Board of Directors for the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance, Seattle, from 2010-2013. PNAA is a supplier trade group servicing Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia and Alberta. Hamilton created PNAA's first Business Plan that enabled the group to increase its revenues and cash position by 1,000 percent in three years and position the association to employ its first executive director. The annual conference attendance increased by 300%.

Leeham Co. ( also publishes Leeham News and Comment (


May 4, 2020

When Jessica was born, both of her parents were shocked to find out that their baby did not have arms. They had no idea that she would be born differently because the pregnancy tests all showed average results. With the shock and unexpected news, Jessica’s mother Inez had a tough time accepting the truth and became quietly anxious about Jessica’s future.

Jessica’s parents decided to integrate her into a regular environment as much as possible. She was enrolled in a public school, not a private or special needs school. Never thinking she was different, she did whatever the other children would do. But on the playground during recess, Jessica felt limited as people around her were overprotective and prevented her from climbing up the slide. In anger and frustration, Jessica sat on the swings dreaming of flying.

Jessica graduated from the University of Arizona with a
degree in Psychology and Communication. From the challenges she has overcome, she became an inspiration to many. Jessica realized her words and experience are a natural source of encouragement and optimism for many, which gave rise to her motivational speaking business. Around the same time, she decided to pursue flight lessons to overcome her greatest fear: flying. After an arduous three years, Jessica became a certified pilot, earning the title of the first woman to fly an airplane with her feet.

For almost 20 years, Jessica has initiated many inspirational connections with people with disabilities, especially children, through one-on-one mentoring and more recently through her YouTube show Toe Talks. To date, Jessica has personally mentored over 100 children with disabilities and touched more than half a million people with Toe Talks. In January 2017, the US government legally recognized her efforts with the approval of Rightfooted Foundation International (RFI) as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Tucson, Arizona.

Apr 30, 2020

The aviation environment is now flying in uncharted territory. Many airlines are flying empty airplanes and losing millions of dollars every day. Some will go out of business, and at others may enter bankruptcy. The airline landscape will surely look different this time next year.


During the past year, airline hiring was going gangbusters. Many of these same new-hires will find themselves receiving furlough notices. At the same time, pilots are retiring at record numbers. this will result in numerous upgrades at the airlines that survive.


General Aviation(GA) flight training has dried up as student pilots are either sheltering at home or social distancing, which precludes sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in a GA airplane. Flight Instructors are finding themselves without students, and without anyone to train they have no income.


These are tough times. And it's going to be stressful for a lot of us in the aviation community.


In 1967, Holmes and Rahe developed a Table of Life Stress Values. The table attempts to assign numerical values to potential life events, with higher numbers representing greater stress. For example "death of a spouse" is 100 points. If you look at the table in our Show Notes you will see numerous potential stressors for people in the Aviation industry.


If you get furloughed, you will get 47 stress points for losing your job (item 8). Additionally, you will probably be "changing to a different line of work" (item 18) for 36 points. There's a good chance you will have a "major change in living conditions" (item 28) for 25 points and "major changes in working hours or conditions (item 31) for 20 points. Look through the table and you may find other stressors.

Apr 28, 2020
In 1979, I left the Air Force and was teaching at a major U.S. airline when a student approached me to create a home video ground school. At that time, traditional ground schools cost an arm and a leg and took a month of your time. The release of 727 Systems Review spawned the beginning of the Aviation Video Industry. This current pandemic has forced us to re-evaluate the Aviation industry business model.
There will be layoffs. There will be cutbacks. Robust skillsets become valuable commodities for businesses that are forced to take on fewer employees.
I have decided to release the entire archive of Nolly Productions training videos at no cost during this crisis. These videos were created between 1979 and 1991.
Video technology has changed a lot in the last 40 years, but the fundamentals of Aviation are still the same. I will be releasing three series of courses in the coming weeks at Ready For Takeoff Podcast.
Today, I will be releasing our Career Path videos (originally $49.95 each), which will cover how to enter the Airline Industry and take your first career steps.
Next week, I will be releasing the FAA Collection (originally $39.95 each), which will cover General Aviation knowledge from how weather affects flying conditions, to how altitude affects response time.
And finally, starting in May, you can access our highly-acclaimed Systems Review Videos (originally $74.95 each), which offer much more comprehensive training for jumping into new equipment or preparing for your Proficiency Check.
These videos will be available to stream at your own pace for the duration of this crisis. In times like these, staying safe and investing in your education is the best way to prepare for the future.
Apr 27, 2020

Colonel Scott C. Campbell is the Assistant, Manpower and Operations, Headquarters, United States Air Force Academy where he assists in the oversight of aviation and summer programs, cadet assignments and course of instruction development.


Prior to assuming his current assignment, he served as Commander of the 355th Fighter Wing, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. He was responsible for one of the largest installations and flying operations in the United States Air Force, with more than 7,500 Airmen, 3,000 civilians, and more than 100 aircraft. He was responsible for organizing, training, and equipping a wing comprised of 20 squadrons, two of which were fighter squadrons. The wing provided A-10C aircraft for close air support and forward air control, combat support, and medical forces for combatant commander requirements worldwide. The 355th Fighter Wing was also responsible for training A-10C pilots for the entire Total Force and was the Air Combat Command executive agent for Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces and Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty compliance. 


Colonel Campbell earned his commission in 1995 from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He has commanded at the group and squadron level, and served as an Aide-de-Camp and weapons school instructor. Colonel Campbell served as the Afghanistan Country Director in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.


Colonel Campbell is a command pilot with more than 3,400 hours in the T-34, T-38, A-10 and MQ-9. He has flown in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM.

Apr 23, 2020

If you plan on having a career in Aviation, it would be a wise move to have an alternate way of generating income, a Plan B. In this episode, General Borling shares an aviation story of his Plan B during a challenging overwater flight. One possible avenue of additional income is through the SOS America program of County Chairmen. General Borling explains how the program works and describes the potential for an additional source of income.

Apr 20, 2020

Linda Maloney is an award winning author, business owner, leadership development professional, speaker and former military aviator and officer. She spent 20 years in the Navy, first as an enlisted air traffic controller and then as a Naval Flight Officer, flying both the A-6 “Intruder” and EA-6B “Prowler.” She was one of the first women in U.S. history to join a combat military flying squadron and received numerous military awards, including the distinguished air medal for combat, awarded for flights flown over Southern Iraq in support of the no-fly zone during her deployment to the Arabian Gulf. She also was the first woman to eject from a Martin Baker ejection seat from her A-6 aircraft in 1991 over the Atlantic Ocean. Linda speaks throughout the country on topics such as Passing Down a Legacy, Leadership & Women, Women & Non-traditional Careers, Margin & Life Balance, Transitioning from Military Leadership to Business Leadership, and Aviation for K-12 Groups.

Linda established Women Veteran Speakers in December 2015, inviting exclusively women military veterans – speakers, coaches, trainers, and facilitators—from emerging up-and-comers to polished experts, covering a wide array of business, corporate, military and defense expertise.

Linda’s award winning book—Military Fly Moms ~ Sharing Memories, Building Legacies, Inspiring Hope [Tannenbaum Publishing], was published in 2012, and is a biographical collection of the inspiring true stories and photographs of seventy women who shared the same two dreams—becoming aviators in the military, and being moms.

Apr 16, 2020

SOS America (Service over Self) is a patriotic, membership organization that supports a military service program for our young adults. It will require broad public support (polling is very encouraging). Congressional legislation (previous draft legislation died in committee) and Executive Branch support are required. The plans for 2019 address all these matters.

Increasingly, the high costs of the All Volunteer Force (AVF) raise legitimate questions as to shortages in many career fields and the need to have such highly qualified people in the many support roles. SOS America contends that a specialized one-year enlistment program can be of great benefit to our young adults and the nation. Designed to augment the AVF, it would have these characteristics:

Its name is: The United States Military Service Corps (USMSC)

  • It will take advantage of small unit identity and loyalty.  Volunteer recruits will enlist, train and serve together in small units.
  • The Units (roughly 100 recruits) will be led by 6 active duty personnel–2 officers and 4 experienced sergeants.
  • Open to recruits ages 18-25–the units will mix geography, ages, economic and educational backgrounds.
  • Physical and Mental requirements are based on the ability to ‘take care of (look after) oneself’ vs current AVF requirements that eliminate an estimated 85% of our young adults.
  • Yearly recruit numbers will be based “on demand.” The Services, Guard and Reserve plus Federal and State Agencies will forecast their needs to allow for planning and accession.
  • Proposed legislation will identify the Department of Defense as the executive/responsible agency.
  • The selective service system will be used, in part, to help administer the program
  • The program is highly encouraged but voluntary for young men and women (18-25).
  • The costs of the program, part of the Defense budget, will return 3 to 4 times program cost investment in a given year.
  • Recruits will be subject to the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.
  • Recruit remuneration will be at a basic enlistment rate.
  • An educational (mustering out) stipend will be awarded upon honorable completion of the year of service.
  • The honorable year of service should also secure citizenship (if needed), expunge police records, ensure English language and GED or better achievement and like benefits.

These program characteristics are essential elements of the proposed program and legislation.

Apr 13, 2020

Neil Hansen began his aviation career as a pilot for Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa. He spent more than a decade in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War era as a captain for Air America, the CIA's airline that operated there during the Vietnam era and the 'Secret War' in Laos. Neil reveled in the risky flying that fed his adrenaline addiction.  Upon returning to the States, ultimately unable to find work and unable to let go of the Air America exhilaration rush, he saw the profession he loved come to an end when his trajectory veered off course.


Neil Hansen's engrossing memoir FLIGHT avoids the standard pilot cliches -- there is nothing stereotypical about the exciting "war stories" deftly recounted in this book.  Hansen's riveting prose describes his adventures as an Air America civilian pilot for the CIA's clandestine Southeast Asia airline during the 1950--76 "secret air war" in Laos and Cambodia -- officially neutral countries, but the scene of countless U.S. covert operations. There is "an allure so mystical it borders on madness for those who play the game of war with abandon," he writes.  "Machismo propelled those whose existence was spurred by the bursts of excitement that pushed life to its apex." Hansen flew for Air America from 1964 to 1975, logging 29,000 hours (9,000 of those dodging anti-aircraft fire in the secret combat zone).  He was nicknamed "Weird" by fellow pilots for his bizarre behavior (although in the cockpit Hansen was "all business, all the time"), and his irreverent memoir certainly validates that sobriquet. Co-authored by veteran aviation writer Luann Grosscup, FLIGHT offers readers Weird's detailed page turning account of flying undercover "spook" missions with "a motley crew of aviators in Southeast Asia. "FLIGHT also recounts Hansen's "descent" as he struggled to return to "normalcy" in the States.  He couldn't cope with the sudden lack of his daily adrenaline fix.  "I didn't learn about the idea of adrenaline addiction until much later, when the damage had already been done." FLIGHT is a wonderful slice-of-life book, filled with dark humor that allows us to psychologically endure bad things that happen, mundane and boring bits we put up with, and the moments of stark terror that confront us.  Some 240 Air America pilots and crews died in the secret war in Indochina.  Hansen's memoir is a tribute to all those civilians who fought on the war's "spook side" in now-forgotten places our government prefers to ignore.

Apr 9, 2020

Major General John L. Borling is the chief of staff, Headquarters Allied Forces North Europe, Stavanger, Norway. As the principal architect for this new tri-service and integrated North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Norwegian National Command, he is responsible for assets in excess of $500 million and 600 people. He also serves as the senior United States military officer in Scandinavia and NATO's Northwest Region.

Born in Chicago, General Borling studied at the University of Illinois and Augustana College prior to graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1963. He received his pilot wings in August 1964, then completed F-4 fighter training. In 1966, after 97 combat missions in Southeast Asia, he was shot down by ground fire northeast of Hanoi, North Vietnam. Seriously injured, he was captured and spent 6 1/2 years as a prisoner of war. He returned to the United States and resumed his military career to include command of fighter, bomber, tanker, missile and support units at squadron, group and division level. He is a command pilot and has flown many different aircraft. High level staff experience includes the White House, the Pentagon, Strategic Air Command as director of operations for the conflicts in Panama and Iraq, and Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE).

Apr 6, 2020

John Borling was a fighter pilot during the Vietnam War, where he was shot down by ground fire. Seriously injured in his crash, Captain Borling still attempted to commandeer a Vietnamese supply truck for his escape. He was able to gain control of a supply truck, but the truck was carrying Vietnamese regulars.[3] Borling was soon overpowered by the soldiers and would spend the next 6½ years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi.[2] John Borling was released on February 12, 1973.

Subsequent to his return, Borling was an F-15 Eagle fighter pilot and commander of the "Hat in the Ring" squadron. He was an Air Division commander at Minot AFB, and Head of Operations for Strategic Air Command (SAC) in Omaha. In that position, he directed SAC's support of hostilities in the first Gulf War and Panama and was charged with execution responsibilities for the nation's nuclear war plan. At the Pentagon, he led CHECKMATE, a highly classified war fighting think tank and was Director of Air Force Operational Requirements helping initiate a new family of guided weapons. In Germany, he commanded the largest fighter and support base outside the United States and later served at NATO's Supreme Headquarters in Belgium working directly for the Supreme Commander and Chief of Staff. He was central to the creation of HQ North in Norway and served as Chief of Staff of that integrated NATO/National command.

Apr 2, 2020

Major General John Borling shares his thoughts about resilience and dealing with adversity, based on his experiences as a Prisoner of War (POW) in North Vietnam. His views help put our current situation in perspective.

As a POW, he composed (and memorized) poems, which have now been published in his book, Taps on the Walls.

Mar 30, 2020

Major Lee has 9 years of experience flying both the F-16 and F-35. In 2016, he was selected as the 'Top Instructor Pilot of the Year' for the Air Force's largest F-16 Combat Wing. In 2017, he returned from Afghanistan where his squadron dropped the most ordnance since the opening days of the war. He's flown 82 combat missions and has 4 Air Medals.

He also hosts a '2019 Top Podcast' called "The Professionals Playbook" where he interviews world-class experts on their keys to success.

Major Lee also speaks on human-performance, decision-making, mental-toughness, and how to debrief.

Mar 26, 2020

Major General John Borling has flown the f-4, F-16, SR-71, U-2, B-52 and B-2. In this episode, General Borling shares another hangar flying story you're going to love!

Mar 23, 2020

Interview expert Kirsty Ferguson is a dynamic business writer and inspiring interview coach. She was awarded the 2005 Telstra Micro Business Award for her work in Recruitment. In 2000 Kirsty created Pinstripe Solutions solely to support job seekers. She brings a diverse business background in advertising, publishing, recruitment and in a much earlier life as a government employee. Her first client was a 23-year old pilot with zero interview experience who struggled to string a sentence together. His interview was with elite airline, Cathay Pacific. Yes, with her help he got in!  From there she became a specialist in aviation, but quickly expanded the business to support Professionals from diverse industries; Finance, School Leavers, Emergency Services, Government, ADF and Pharmacy candidates, to name a few. Her ability to build confidence, finesse communication skills, develop unforgettable CV’s and propel candidates into the employers spotlight has to be experienced to be believed.

Mar 19, 2020

Major General John Borling has flown the f-4, F-16, SR-71, U-2, B-52 and B-2. In this episode, General Borling shares a hangar flying story you're going to love!

Mar 16, 2020

Tom Carlin started his aviation career as an Air Force navigator, flying KC-135 airborne refueling tanker aircraft. On his own, he obtained a Private Pilot certificate and bought an airplane.


Often, his commander needed tom’s assistance with air transportation issues that oould not be accommodated with Air Force aircraft, and he quickly became the “hero” of the unit. this visibility was instrumental in his getting an assignment to Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT).


Following UPT, he remained as an Instructor Pilot, then became an Aircraft Commander in the C-141. He had numerous missions that involved air refueling and extended crew duty times, sometimes exceeding 24 hours.


Later, he flew the RC-135, again on extended missions.


After Air Force retirement, he started his airline career with a major airline, and purchased another airplane, this time a retired Air Force T-41 Mescalero trainer. It turns out this is the EXACT airplane your humble podcast host flew as a student pilot in Air Force UPT at Laughlin Air Force Base in 1967!

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