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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 325: Failure of Imagination

Secretary Rice: “I don't think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile”1972: Southern Airways Flt 49 threatened to crash into Oak Ridge National Laboratory1974: S. Byck attempted to hijack Delta DC-9 to crash it into White House1993: Iran training pilots to fly into buildings1994: Air France Flt 89691994: FedEx Flt 7051994: Terror 20001995: Bojinka plot included crashing planes into Sears Tower, Transamerica Bldg, WTC, John Hancock Tower, U.S....


RFT 324: Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team CEO Jonathan Plesset

What began as one dog on an airplane several years ago has evolved into a team of over 100 volunteers who fly or drive animals from danger to safety. Founded in 2009 by pilots and friends Brad Childs and Jonathan Plesset, the organization become a recognized 501c(3) entity in 2012. Since then our teams have conducted a wide range of missions including hoarding cases, saving animals from dog fighting rings and natural disasters, and helping overcrowded shelters. We now have the capability...


RFT 323: Climb Segments

mmonly known as “takeoff safety s The second segment requirement is often the most difficult one to meet. Segment two begins when the gear is up and locked and the speed is V2. This segment has the steepest climb gradient: 2.4 percent. This equates to a ballpark figure of around 300 feet per minute, and for a heavy airplane on a hot day with a failed engine, this can be a challenge. Often, when the airlines announce that a flight is weight-limited on hot summer days, this is the reason (the...


RFT 322: Fighter Pilot Discipline

This week we're having a flashback to hear Brigadier General Steve Ritchie tell his story. Steve shot down five enemy aircraft in Vietnam, making him the first (and only) Air Force pilot ace of the war. Most striking is his description of almost getting a sixth MiG, and the iron discipline involved. Before you listen to Steve Ritchie's interview, please read this passage from Hamfist Over Hanoi, based on a true story: “Now before I tell you what I consider the most important quality of a...


RFT 321: SOP

From Skybrary: SOP is a Standard Operating Procedure. Many industries use SOP’s as a common way of ensuring tasks or operations are completed correctly, however SOP’s are essential in aviation. They ensure that aircraft are flown correctly in accordance with the manufacturers guidelines, but also it allows 2 pilots that have never met before who may be from different crew bases and different cultures or backgrounds to fly together as a flight crew team on the same aircraft fully...


RFT 320: Pilot/Airline Executive Steve Forte

Steve Forte got his introduction to flying by sitting next to his father in the family airplane. After seeing The High And The Mighty, he was fully bitten by the aviation bug, and took flying lessons while still in high school. Steve "paid his dues" in civilian aviation, working various jobs and finally becoming a pilot, with Cochise airlines. One of his jobs was collecting the airsick bags at the end of every flight! After serving as an air ambulance pilot and flying Metroliners, he was...


RFT 319: Sleep Apnea

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea? OSA affects a person’s upper airway in the area of the larynx (voice box) and the back of the throat. This area is normally held open to allow normal breathing by the surrounding muscles. When an individual is asleep, these muscles become slack, and the open area becomes smaller. In some individuals, this area becomes so small that breathing and resulting normal oxygenation of the blood is impaired. The person may actually choke. This causes some degree of...


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...