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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 335: Pilot/Author Beth Ruggiero York

At thirteen years old, Beth’s heart was broken when her father died suddenly. But there was a bigger challenge ahead when doctors told her she probably had multiple sclerosis at 22 years old. Beth vowed that this new challenge would not put restrictions on her life and embarked on a lifelong dream to fly for the airlines. Starting at the small local airport, the aviation world swallowed her whole, and the next five years of her life were as turbulent as an airplane in a thunderstorm, never...


RFT 334: Navy Pilot/LSO Brad "Brick" Conners

In a Career that was 99% pure exhilarating fun balanced by 1% of pure terror the lessons of leadership, survival, faith, love, perseverance, and camaraderie were plentiful, direct, and changed his life. As a Navy Strike Fighter, Brick amassed over 4500 hours and nearly 1000 arrested carrier landings during multiple combat deployments. His tours of duty include F/A-18 Hornet Squadron Command and he also provided leadership and instruction to two of the Navy’s elite air power training...


RFT 333: PRM Approach

Simultaneous Close Parallel Precision Runway Monitor (PRM) Approaches are independent approaches conducted to runways with centerline spacing of less than 4300 feet (1310m) but at least 3000' (915m). PRM is an acronym for the high update rate Precision Runway Monitor surveillance system which is required to monitor the No Transgression Zone (NTZ) for specific parallel runway separations used to conduct simultaneous close parallel approaches. PRM is published in the title as part of the...


RFT 332: Navy/Airline Pilot Paco Chierici

During his active duty career in the U.S. Navy, Francesco “Paco” Chierici flew A-6E Intruders and F-14A Tomcats, deployed to conflict zones from Somalia to Iraq and was stationed aboard carriers including the USS Ranger, Nimitz and Kitty Hawk. Throughout his military career, Paco accumulated 3,000 tactical hours, 400 carrier landings, a Southwest Asia Service Medal with Bronze Star, and three Strike/Flight Air Medals. Unable to give up dogfighting, he flew the F-5 Tiger II for a further ten...


RFT 331: Helios 522

When the aircraft arrived from London earlier that morning, the previous flight crew had reported a frozen door seal and abnormal noises coming from the right aft service door. They requested a full inspection of the door. The inspection was carried out by a ground engineer who then performed a pressurization leak check. In order to carry out this check without requiring the aircraft's engines, the pressurization system was set to "manual". However, the engineer failed to reset it to "auto"...


RFT 330: Airline Pilot Anna Rice

Anna Rice fell in love with aviation as a child, as she accompanied her flight attendant mother on trips to Europe. She attended Metro State College of Denver (now Metropolitan State University of Denver), majoring in Aviation, and was selected as an intern at American Airlines. After graduation, she became a CFI and then a pilot for a small airline, and was on track to become a pilot with American Airlines when the attacks of September 11th crippled the U.S. airline industry. She continued...


RFT 329: AQP

The introduction of the Advanced Qualification Program (AQP) in the early 1990s marks another stage in the evolution of error management. Under AQP, a voluntary program, the FAA allows air carriers to develop training programs specific to their individual needs and operations. A condition for AQP authorization is the requirement to have a CRM program that is integrated into technical training. To accomplish this objective, air carriers began to “proceduralize” CRM by incorporating desired...


RFT 328: NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt

Under Chairman Sumwalt’s leadership, the agency’s ranking in the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government has advanced 33 percent to the agency’s current position of Number 6 of 29 small federal agencies. He is a fierce advocate for improving safety in all modes of transportation, including teen driver safety, impaired driving, distractions in transportation, and several aviation and rail safety initiatives. Before joining the NTSB, Chairman Sumwalt was a pilot for 32 years, including...


RFT 327: Go Around

In RFT 086 we discussed Stabilized Approaches. According to AINOnline fully 96 percent of all airline flights conclude with stabilized approaches. Of the 4 percent that are not stabilized, virtually NONE of them (3%) result in a go-around! FAA recommends that approach stabilization start as far out as possible. Simply stated, a stable approach is a 3-degree glide path, executed on-speed and fully configured for landing. It's easy to calculate a 3-degree glide path - simply take half your...


RFT 326: Thunderbird/Author/University President Chris Stricklin

From LinkedIn: Chris “Elroy” Stricklin is an award-winning leadership author, a highly sought after motivational keynote speaker and a Combat-Proven Senior Military leader retiring after 23 years which culminated with CEO-Level leadership of a 7,000-person strong, $7B worldwide organization. During this time, he was responsible for 11,383 personnel, $323M Payroll, $160M Contracts, Creation of 1,891 jobs and local economic impact of $566M. His style combines the skills acquired as a...


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...