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Welcome to the SimpleFlight Radio show! We are here to help you define your personal aviation lifestyle. We've got the tips, pilot hacks and introductions to the people who give their aviation secrets.

Welcome to the SimpleFlight Radio show! We are here to help you define your personal aviation lifestyle. We've got the tips, pilot hacks and introductions to the people who give their aviation secrets.
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Welcome to the SimpleFlight Radio show! We are here to help you define your personal aviation lifestyle. We've got the tips, pilot hacks and introductions to the people who give their aviation secrets.




Plane Shopping, October 13, 2019 (S8E5)

Whether it's Trade-A-Plane or, many GA pilots spend a fair amount of time window shopping for their dream plane. It's fun and results in a smile. But then the spreadsheet comes into play as the prospective plane owner starts to rationalize and compare rental costs vs. the cost of ownership. Soon, the math starts to make sense and it's time to take next steps. Hey, this can happen! But what are those next steps? What questions need to be asked and where are the answers found....


Archie League Awards, October 6, 2019 S8-E4

Since 2004, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) has been recognizing its members for extraordinary performance in turning a potentially bad situation into a "non-event". Or as they call it, "A Save". Named after the first Air Traffic Controller, The Archie League Medal of Safety awards are announced each September to controllers across the various regions in the US. See the link below. The award winners commonly remark, they were just doing their job. While true, no one...


Al Palicki, Making A Difference For 40 Years, September 17, 2019

A wise person once made the statement that if your smile is bigger on Friday than it is on Monday, it's time to find a new job. Big smiles on Monday aren't that common, but neither is tonight's guest, Al Palicki, General Manager for Signature Flight Support, at Chicago Executive Airport. Al tells us he feels like he hasn't had a day of work in the 40 years he's been coming to the airport. Brandon and Marc sat down with Al, to talk about how his journey got started and the path he took to...


Getting Personal. Meet Brandon Anderson, September 3, 2019

The speed at which September arrived is indicative of the whirlwind summer the SimpleFlight crew experienced. Our tight schedules impacted the quantity of shows, but quality remained high. As we planned for the upcoming months it was clear that available free time for Al, was limited at best. For that reason, Al has decided to step away from SimpleFlight to focus on his many responsibilities at work and at home. Marc and Joby sat down to create a short list of potential co-hosts. One of the...


Getting To Know You - Boldmethod, August 4, 2019

Oshkosh 2019 is in the books!!! It was a record breaking event, with many noteworthy outcomes that are sure to fuel an exciting year in aviation. One item we like, is that OSH represents the anniversary of our first show, 7 YEARS AGO!!! We can't think of a better way to kick off Season 8, than with a repeat guest and a SimpleFlight favorite, Boldmethod!!! Boldmethod ( co-founders, Aleks Udris and Colin Cutler, join Al and Marc to give all of us a peek behind the scenes of...


Why Not Me - Andrew Holmes, July 7, 2019

For some of us, our aviation dream started with a goal to earn a private pilot certificate. On this week's SimpleFlight Radio episode, you'll meet Andrew Holmes, whose dream was to buy a jet, but knew that the process must start with him learning to fly, and to do so with dedication, patience, and no short-cuts. What Andrew learned during his training, is that flying is a skill that is acquired through practice. What Al and Marc learned about Andrew, is that he is someone who is dedicated...


Point A to Point B, "The Experience" - June 15, 2019

Sometimes getting to sporting events is quite the hassle, often taking multiple days to enjoy a 3 hour game. Well now, the game has changed. Listen in to this week's episode of SimpleFlight Radio as Marc and Al sit down with Todd Rubin, of Big Game Air ( Todd and his business partner wanted to go see a college football game and for reasons you'll hear, had to do so via a business jet. Finding others that could help pay for the flight turned out to be an easy task, which...


A General Aviation Journey, Kirke Machon, May 27, 2019

Pilots and Avgeeks share a special bond which can usually be described in one word.... Passion. In today's world, it's not uncommon to find pilots that are making their way back into the sky after an extended hiatus. What is less common is to come across a pilot that after being "bitten" by the flying bug, immersed himself into the journey that included earning his private and instrument ticket, the purchase of a plane, and taking trips that previously were only dreams. That's when the story...


The People Behind an Airport - Jaime Abbott - Executive Airport Director

We often think of airports as just pieces of concrete, maybe a control tower, and a place to land. Its easy to forget about the people behind the scenes putting their best foot forward to make your airport run! This week, we sit down with Jamie Abbott, the Executive Director at our home airport - Chicago Executive (KPWK). Jamie has some incredible stories on how he and his team work hard to keep the airport safe, valuable to the community, and make a home for your favorite Aviation...


Navigating The Process; Kseniya Polinsky, April 28, 2019

Ask most pilots, and they will tell you that learning to fly was one of the most rewarding and challenging things they have done in life. And while similarities exist, each pilot's journey is unique. Something that can be depended on are the many challenges that will be faced throughout the training process. This week's episode of SimpleFlight Radio has Marc and Al talking with Kseniya Polinsky, a friend of the show, who recently earned her Private Pilot certificate. Like all of us,...


Airline Dispatcher, James Tochihara, March 31, 2019

As a General Aviation pilot, many of us think of flight planning in terms of weather, NOTAMs, fuel planning, altitude selection, routing, timing, and ensuring the pilot and plane are capable of making the flight. From there it's executing the plan. Simply, Plan The Flight and Fly The Plan. The burden is on the PIC. In the world of the airline pilot, many GA pilots assume the Dispatcher does all the flight planning and then delivers the plan to the Captain, without further discussion. Nothing...


Field of Dreams, Steve & Tina Thomas, March 24, 2019

It's a surprise to no one that the most common conversations in aviation, center on people and planes. And why not... it makes for great hangar flying. This week, Al and Marc were reminded of another very important aspect of aviation... The Airport. We're not talking about the runways, but how the airport serves as a hub for bringing people and planes together. Airports have personalities that are born out of the stories and the people who make them happen. This week, the SimpleFlight crew...


Beautiful By Design, Chris Custer, March 10, 2019

Ask a pilot, which is their favorite plane, and they may answer with a plane they've never flown before. We know that sometimes an airplane "speaks" to a person. It may be the history, the sound, the performance, or maybe it's because of it's lines and appearance. LIN 2010, Cirrus continued its streak of innovations by introducing the Xi appearance option. It gave owners the option of making their plane a truly personal "one of a kind" experience. Chris Custer, Lead Xi Designer for Cirrus...


We More Than Me - Captain Nathan Dial

As President of the Leading Edge Flying Club in Chicago, Marc meets a lot of "avgeeks"; each with a story that connects them to our special aviation family. Recently Marc met Nathan Dial, an Air Force Captain who moved to Chicago on a 3 year sabbatical to earn his PhD. Prior to coming to Chicago, Nate was flying C-130's as a Flight Commander of Group Current Operations, 55th Electronic Combat Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, in Tucson. His resume of accomplishments and decorations is...


ADS-B - Its more powerful than you think! January 22nd, 2019

It feels like ADS-B is almost about ready to get started. We only have one year left before the FAA mandate in 2020 for ADS-B Compliance! Did you know that ADS-B has been an old idea built up of multiple technologies? Steve Bussolari was one of the original thought leaders and key contributor of building out the ADS-B system. He has so many stories to share from his time developing this new network while working in the MIT labs. We take it for granted the amount of weather information,...


Go / No Go, December 16, 2018

This past week, Marc found himself at his airplane at 6AM in anticipation of a 7AM departure for some minor maintenance at an airport some two hours away. The only issue was his home airport (KPWK) was fogged in with forward and vertical visibility near zero. When it became apparent the fog would not lift, he canceled. He posted the situation on Facebook and Instagram, @simpleflightradio, kicking off a diverse set of opinions. The Go / No Go decision comes with every flight, regardless of...


Cockpit Complacency, December 9, 2018

This week, Al confesses to some troubles in the cockpit, that ultimately point to an enemy of a pilot .... Complacency! Marc and Al take the conversation to a deeper level and come to the conclusion, that the very things pilots strive for as part of a safety culture, including process, standardization, and a rigid acceptance of checklists, can contribute to routines that may detract from the quality of a flight and potentially, its safety. But fear not, the crew brainstorms strategies and...


The Flying Club Community, December 2, 2018

This week, Marc and Al had some special guests that made their way to the SimpleFlight studio at KPWK. Gavin Black, Andrew Haefner, Pierce Lane, and Bill Engelking flew from their respective home bases in Knoxville and Duluth for the show. That, in and of itself, epitomizes what flying clubs are all about. It's all about adding a social aspect to our flying and infusing some energy into the aviation experience. What's different about their flying club, is that they are part of the Cirrus...


Final Approach - Bob Schmelzer, November 25, 2018

This week, we speak with Bob Schmelzer, who has spent the last 40+ years, flying for United Airlines. Just this past week, Bob turned 65, which by FAA rules, required him to retire from the airlines. With 27,000 of his 37,000 hours being at United, it is certainly an end to an era. The good news for GA is that Bob has never stopped training primary and advanced students working towards a rating, and even evaluating pilots while acting as a FAA designated pilot examiner. He stands as a role...


Jason Schappert of MzeroA, November 18, 2018

This week's show features Jason Schappert of As pilots around the world know, Jason Schappert is a CFII and ATP rated pilot. He is the founder of, and author of eight aviation flight training books. In 2008, Jason was named AOPA's Top Collegiate Flight Instructor, which was followed by being named an Outstanding Flight Instructor in both 2014 and 2015. Having amassed over 8000 hours of in-flight instruction since learning how to fly, he now provides help to many...