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Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career

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The Ready For Takeoff podcast will help you transform your aviation passion into an aviation career. Every week we bring you instruction and inspiring interviews with top aviators in their field who reveal their flight path to an exciting career in the skies.

The Ready For Takeoff podcast will help you transform your aviation passion into an aviation career. Every week we bring you instruction and inspiring interviews with top aviators in their field who reveal their flight path to an exciting career in the skies.
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The Ready For Takeoff podcast will help you transform your aviation passion into an aviation career. Every week we bring you instruction and inspiring interviews with top aviators in their field who reveal their flight path to an exciting career in the skies.




RFT 318: Warbird/Airline Pilot Lorraine Morris

Lorraine Morris started flying as a young child in the front seat with her father in a General Aviation airplane. She earned her Private Pilot certificate during the summer between high school and college, and continued to fly, working her way through college as a CFI. Lorraine hired on with a major legacy airline, and rose to Line Check Airman (LCA) on the B777. In addition, she started flying warbirds with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and is now an Aircraft Commander on the...


RFT 317: Airline Seniority

From You’ve probably heard the saying, “seniority is everything.” Well, in the airline piloting business, that’s absolutely correct. Every day you’re not on the roster is another day someone else gets above you. Surely, seniority isn’t everything, right? Yes, it pretty much is. Let’s start with pay. The sooner you get hired, the sooner you can accrue longevity pay increases. Most airlines top out at 12- to 15-year pay, and you enjoy a raise on your hire date every year until you hit the top...


RFT 316: Air Traffic Controller Kendra Kincade

Kendra is the Founder and Chair of Elevate Aviation and has been an air traffic controller for 19 years at the Edmonton ACC. Her early life did not start her down a path for success. In her adult life she took control and created her own success story. She has a passion for sharing her story and motivating others to live outside of their comfort zone in order to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. She has raised thousands of dollars for charitable causes by producing and selling...


RFT 315: The C6H12O6 Threat

Just this past week several aviator careers have been ruined by alcohol, so it may be time to review what the alcohol limits are for operating an airplane. 14 CFR § 91.17 states: (a) No person may act or attempt to act as a crewmember of a civil aircraft - (1) Within 8 hours after the consumption of any alcoholic beverage; (2) While under the influence of alcohol; (3) While using any drug that affects the person's faculties in any way contrary to safety; or (4) While having an alcohol...


RFT 314: Blue Angel/Airline Pilot Scott Kartvedt

DURING HIS CHILDHOOD IN EL CENTRO, CALIFORNIA, SCOTT KARTVEDT (’90) WATCHED THE BLUE ANGELS NAVY FLIGHT DEMONSTRATION SQUADRON SWIRL AROUND THE SKY AS PART OF THEIR TRAINING EXERCISES. “I saw them practice while I was riding motorcycles,” says Kartvedt, now a commanding officer in the Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron 101. Twenty-five years later, it was Kartvedt who was in the pilot’s seat, flying a few inches away from a neighboring aircraft at 800 mph while taking a six-plane vertical delta...


RFT 313: Smoke Goggles

An in-flight cabin fire is one of the most serious emergencies a crew can encounter. In my blog (Open Ocean, No Comm, On Fire) several years ago I related my experience with an in-flight fire while over the ocean out of radio contact with Air Traffic Control. In 1998, as the result of an airline accident, the FAA mandated installation of smoke goggles on air carrier aircraft. Until fairly recently, many airline aircraft provided separate smoke goggles, stored near the crew oxygen masks....


RFT 312: World Traveler Lisa Marranzino

Lisa Marranzino was a therapist in Denver when she realized something was missing in her life. It might have been mid-life crisis. Whatever it was, she decided to explore the world and find what made people happy, both for herself and her patients. That started a five-year odyssey in which she traveled to over 40 countries, spoke to scores of strangers in intimate conversations, and tried to find a common theme to what brings people happiness in all cultures. She documented her...


RFT 311: Takeoff Alternate

Operations Specifications (OPSPECS) are the specifications that the FAA assigns to airlines for such things as authorized routes, types of equipment, VFR and IFR operations, and alternate requirements. OPS Spec C055 discusses the requirement for alternate airports. From One area that is sometimes difficult for new Part 121 pilots to comprehend is the exclusivity of takeoff minimums from landing...


RFT 310: The Space Race

November 18, 1956: "We will bury you!" (Мы вас похороним!) is a phrase that was used by Soviet First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev while addressing Western ambassadors at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow Sputnik - Oct 4 1957 - beginning of space race Sputnik II w/ dog Laika: Nov 3, 1957 NASA: Oct 1, 1958 1959: Khrushchev visits America 1961: JFK says "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country". On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard piloted the...


RFT 309: UAL Flight 232

United Airlines Flight 232 was a regularly scheduled United Airlines flight from Denver to Chicago, continuing to Philadelphia. On July 19, 1989, the DC-10 (registered as N1819U) serving the flight crash-landed at Sioux City, Iowa, after suffering a catastrophic failure of its tail-mounted engine, which led to the loss of many flight controls. At the time, the aircraft was en route from Stapleton International Airport to O'Hare International Airport. Of the 296 passengers and crew on board,...


RFT 308: Military/Airline Pilot Tiffany Behr

Tiffany Behr comes from a long line of military aviators, and was introduced to flying at an early age when she want flying with her father. She attended Kansas University and then entered Air Force Undergraduate Pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas. Her initial flying assignment was to C-130s, where she deployed on combat missions in Afghanistan. Her next flying assignment was in the RC-135, OC-135 and WC-135. Following that, she was selected to fly Presidential...


RFT 307: Tailstrikes

A tail strike can occur during either takeoff or landing. Many air carrier aircraft have tail skids to absorb energy from a tailstrike. On some aircraft, the tail skid is a small bump on the aft underside of the airplane, while on others it is a retractable skid that extends and retracts with the landing gear. Most tail strikes are the result of pilot error, and in general, landing tail strikes cause more damage than takeoff tail strikes. In 1978, Japan Airlines flight 115 experienced a...


RFT 306: Combat Flight Nurse Nikki Selby

Lt. Commander Dominique (Nikki) Selby was a Critical Care, Trauma and Enroute Care Nurse for the US Navy. She deployed to various regions to include Haiti, Afghanistan and various countries in the Middle East as an in-flight critical care nurse, ICU, trauma and Fleet Surgical Team nurse operating in austere conditions (Role II and Role III facilities). She is currently a Course Coordinator for the Advanced Trauma Course for Nurses and a Training Site Facilitator for ACLS, and teaches classes...


RFT 305: Hypoxia

There are four types of Hypoxia: Hypoxia means “reduced oxygen” or “not enough oxygen.” Although any tissue will die if deprived of oxygen long enough, the greatest concern regarding hypoxia during flight is lack of oxygen to the brain, since it is particularly vulnerable to oxygen deprivation. Any reduction in mental function while flying can result in life-threatening errors. Hypoxia can be caused by several factors, including an insufficient supply of oxygen, inadequate transportation of...


RFT 304: F-18 Pilot/CEO Morri Leland

Morri Leland is the Chief Executive Officer of Patriot Mobile. He assumed the role of CEO in 2017. As CEO, Morri is focused on helping conservative consumers and businesses throughout the United States protect and defend their rights and liberty and ensure these freedoms remain for generations to come. For more than 30 years, Morri has led global teams to excel and exceed growth expectations. Prior to joining Patriot Mobile, he served as Deputy Vice President for International Business at...


RFT 303: Postflight Debriefing

From AVweb: Pull the mixture or condition lever and the propeller comes to a stop. Turn off the switches and what had been saturated with noise and vibration becomes still and quiet. After removing your headset and while sitting in the momentary silence that follows a flight, perhaps you’ll hear the engine ticking as heat dissipates. It’s time to pack up and leave the cockpit: Your work is done, right? No, not quite. To get the full benefit of the experience you just had, to learn from...


RFT 302: NASA/Airline Pilot Craig O'Mara

Craig O'Mara didn't start out intending to be a pilot. He was a bird-watcher, and became more interested in flight as he watched the birds, and started flying as a teenager. He soloed as a 16-year old, and received his Private Pilot certificate on his 17th birthday. In 1979 he joined the Air Force Reserves as a C-9 pilot, flying air ambulance missions all over the United States, as well as overseas. He flew the C-9 for a total of 20 years. In 1985 he was hired by United Airlines, and...


RFT 301: Preflight Briefing

Your preflight briefing will depend on what type of flight you are planning - a training flight briefing will be quite different than an airline brief. But there are some factors that will be common to all flights: Mission Objective Weather NOTAMS Aircraft Performance Aircraft Maintenance Status Route of Flight Fuel Takeoff Briefing (PF) Departure/Arrival Airports Rejected Takeoff Automation Crew Member Duties/Expectations Arrival/Approach/Missed Approach Risks Training...


RFT 300: Air Force/Airline Pilot George Nolly

Special thanks to Shreenand Sadhale for suggesting this episode! Cliff Notes version of my career: Air Force Academy Undergraduate Pilot Training O-2A Forward Air Controller, Danang, Vietnam B-52 copilot, Mather Air Force Base F-4 Aircraft Commander, Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base F-4 Aircraft Commander, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa T-39 Aircraft Commander/Instructor Pilot, Kadeena Air Base, Okinawa O-2A Instructor Pilot, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida B727 Flight Operations...


RFT 299: Get Out Of Jail FREE

FAR 91.25 refers to the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting Program, and Advisory Circular AC 00-46E Explains the program. AOPA has an excellent article about the program. The Aviation Safety Reporting System, or ASRS, is the US Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) voluntary confidential reporting system that allows pilots and other aircraft crew members to confidentially report near misses and close calls in the interest of improving air safety. The ASRS collects, analyzes, and responds to...