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.

Captain George Nolly


    • Jan 30, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • every other week NEW EPISODES
    • 24m AVG DURATION
    • 599 EPISODES

    4.6 from 129 ratings Listeners of Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career that love the show mention: hangar flying, chariots, freeland, helicopter pilot, aviators, skilled interviewer, aviation podcast, vietnam, civilian, pilots, larry, sky, military, interesting and informative, commercial, seasoned, author, informative podcast, dr, interviewing.



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    Latest episodes from Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career

    RFT 595: Aviation Photographer/Author Scott Dworkin

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 30, 2023 76:16


    Scott Dworkin is an aerial photographer, contractor, and photojournalist based outside Los Angeles, California. He has had a lifelong passion for aviation and photography, and after honing his skills as a photographer for many years, he decided to combine the two interests professionally in 2010. Since 2010, Scott's work has been published in numerous international aviation magazines and websites. As a photographer and writer, he has flown with and covered every branch of the US Armed Forces, as well as worked with many Department of Defense contractors, civilian aviation outfits, and law enforcement aviation units. Scott embedded with the US Air Force 452nd Airlift Wing from March Air Reserve Base in California, traveling with them to Afghanistan to cover their aeromedical evacuation missions. He also traveled around the United States extensively, documenting various other military and civilian units in action. Scott is one of only a handful of civilians in the world who is privileged to fly as an aerial photographer in high-performance military aircraft. Scott's freelance work led to him being hired by the 412th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, as a full-time flight test photographer. While there, he provided aerial multimedia, both air-to-air and air-to-ground coverage, including still photography, high-definition videography, high-speed video, and postproduction. Scott routinely flew in various air force aircraft to document ordnance and weapons testing, drop tests, aircraft flight performances, and other operational missions. He delivered the final products to the Air Force Flight Test Center, the Department of Defense, and various other customers. While at Edwards, Scott was trained in accordance with Air Force Instruction flight aircrew rules and regulations and was qualified as aircrew in numerous aircraft. He attended the USAF Physiology Training Program at Beale Air Force Base in California. In addition, he was granted the designation of US Navy Project Specialist, and with that carried Navy Aviation Physiology Training and Aviation Water Survival Training Program qualifications. Scott was recruited by and worked as a contracted flight test photographer/videographer for the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Naval Test Wing Pacific at Point Mugu and China Lake in California and other locations. The creation of Mach 91 Aerial Photography and this book are the culmination of Scott's dream and passion to deliver the finest quality, dramatic aerial photography possible, to bring the aircraft to life in its natural environment, and tell the story of the men and women who serve. He is the author of Becoming The Rhino. Scott Dworkin is an aerial photographer, contractor, and photojournalist based outside Los Angeles, California. He has had a lifelong passion for aviation and photography, and after honing his skills as a photographer for many years, he decided to combine the two interests professionally in 2010. Since 2010, Scott's work has been published in numerous international aviation magazines and websites. As a photographer and writer, he has flown with and covered every branch of the US Armed Forces, as well as worked with many Department of Defense contractors, civilian aviation outfits, and law enforcement aviation units. Scott embedded with the US Air Force 452nd Airlift Wing from March Air Reserve Base in California, traveling with them to Afghanistan to cover their aeromedical evacuation missions. He also traveled around the United States extensively, documenting various other military and civilian units in action. Scott is one of only a handful of civilians in the world who is privileged to fly as an aerial photographer in high-performance military aircraft. Scott's freelance work led to him being hired by the 412th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, as a full-time flight test photographer. While there, he provided aerial multimedia, both air-to-air and air-to-ground coverage, including still photography, high-definition videography, high-speed video, and postproduction. Scott routinely flew in various air force aircraft to document ordnance and weapons testing, drop tests, aircraft flight performances, and other operational missions. He delivered the final products to the Air Force Flight Test Center, the Department of Defense, and various other customers. While at Edwards, Scott was trained in accordance with Air Force Instruction flight aircrew rules and regulations and was qualified as aircrew in numerous aircraft. He attended the USAF Physiology Training Program at Beale Air Force Base in California. In addition, he was granted the designation of US Navy Project Specialist, and with that carried Navy Aviation Physiology Training and Aviation Water Survival Training Program qualifications. Scott was recruited by and worked as a contracted flight test photographer/videographer for the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Naval Test Wing Pacific at Point Mugu and China Lake in California and other locations. The creation of Mach 91 Aerial Photography and this book are the culmination of Scott's dream and passion to deliver the finest quality, dramatic aerial photography possible, to bring the aircraft to life in its natural environment, and tell the story of the men and women who serve. Scott is the author of Becoming The Rhino. Scott's website is https://www.mach91aerialphotography.com/ Scott Dworkin is an aerial photographer, contractor, and photojournalist based outside Los Angeles, California. He has had a lifelong passion for aviation and photography, and after honing his skills as a photographer for many years, he decided to combine the two interests professionally in 2010. Since 2010, Scott's work has been published in numerous international aviation magazines and websites. As a photographer and writer, he has flown with and covered every branch of the US Armed Forces, as well as worked with many Department of Defense contractors, civilian aviation outfits, and law enforcement aviation units. Scott embedded with the US Air Force 452nd Airlift Wing from March Air Reserve Base in California, traveling with them to Afghanistan to cover their aeromedical evacuation missions. He also traveled around the United States extensively, documenting various other military and civilian units in action. Scott is one of only a handful of civilians in the world who is privileged to fly as an aerial photographer in high-performance military aircraft. Scott's freelance work led to him being hired by the 412th Test Wing, Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California, as a full-time flight test photographer. While there, he provided aerial multimedia, both air-to-air and air-to-ground coverage, including still photography, high-definition videography, high-speed video, and postproduction. Scott routinely flew in various air force aircraft to document ordnance and weapons testing, drop tests, aircraft flight performances, and other operational missions. He delivered the final products to the Air Force Flight Test Center, the Department of Defense, and various other customers. While at Edwards, Scott was trained in accordance with Air Force Instruction flight aircrew rules and regulations and was qualified as aircrew in numerous aircraft. He attended the USAF Physiology Training Program at Beale Air Force Base in California. In addition, he was granted the designation of US Navy Project Specialist, and with that carried Navy Aviation Physiology Training and Aviation Water Survival Training Program qualifications. Scott was recruited by and worked as a contracted flight test photographer/videographer for the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, Naval Test Wing Pacific at Point Mugu and China Lake in California and other locations. The creation of Mach 91 Aerial Photography and this book are the culmination of Scott's dream and passion to deliver the finest quality, dramatic aerial photography possible, to bring the aircraft to life in its natural environment, and tell the story of the men and women who serve.

    RFT 594: Goals for 2023

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 14, 2023 11:30


    I'd like to tell you about a great new podcast called Air Traffic Out Of Control. The show brings you curated ATC recordings that are funny, interesting and downright unbelievable. The show publishes a full episode every Wednesday and short 'fly by' episodes throughout the week. Check out Air Traffic Out Of Control wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts As we start a new year, I'm reviewing my goals for 2023. Goals should be SMART: Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Time-bound My goals for 2023: Increase podcast frequency Shop out script Launch speaking business. Mentors: Hurler Weaver Jason Harris Waldo Waldman Lee Ellis Nicole Malachowski Jessica Cox Dave Carey KC Campbell Complete novel Guns Away Complete Crash and Learn Write memoir TEDx talk        

    RFT 593: Steven Myers

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2022 49:06


    The cornerstone of courage is optimism. In 1992, at the end of the Cold War, Steven Myers became the first American since Charles Lindbergh in 1931, to pilot an aircraft into the Russian Kamchatka peninsula. There he formed one of the first post-Soviet era joint ventures - a pioneering, expansive, business enterprise with the potential to transform the lives of the people of the Russian Far East. Steve's remarkable true story recounts the dramatic adventure, courageous entrepreneurship, and intrigue in the creation of a breakthrough business in a remote corner of the world, a wonderous place few people have been to or know anything about. The underlying theme of the story is the clash of two vastly different cultures: Americans, with go-for-broke, entrepreneurial “can do” attitudes, and Russians with a long, painful history of constraining rules, risk aversion, and fear. After years of hard work, just as the enterprise is about to achieve breakthrough success, an unexpected warning by US government agents alerts Myers that his life is in danger if he continues with his business activities in Russia. How he reacts, and what he does next, provides a gripping, dramatic climax to the story. A timeless exploration of human conflict, determination, and power, this audiobook will inspire adventurers, aviators, entrepreneurs, business leaders, politicians, and diplomats to push past their fears and take command of their dreams. After all, “the cornerstone of courage is optimism”. Steve's website is www.stevenmyers.com. His article describes being the oldest Captain upgrade paired with the youngest First Officer on the B777. An article Steve recently wrote for Fear of Landing.

    RFT 592.1: POW Dave Carey

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2022 51:05


    Dave Carey was born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, in 1942. He entered the U.S. Naval Academy in June 1960, and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy on June 4, 1964. Carey next attended flight training at NAS Pensacola, Florida, and was designated a Naval Aviator in 1966. After completing A-4 Skyhawk Replacement Air Group training he served as an A-4 pilot with VA-163 at NAS Lemoore, California, and deployed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany (CVA-34) from 1966 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on August 31, 1967. After spending 2,022 days in captivity, LCDR Carey was released during Operation Homecoming on March 14, 1973. He then returned to flying status and served as Operations Officer, Maintenance Officer, and Safety Officer with VF-126 at NAS Miramar, California, from 1974 to 1979, followed by service as Commanding Officer of Fleet Composite Squadron 7 from 1979 to 1981. His next assignment was as Commanding Officer of VF-126 at NAS Miramar from July 1982 to 1984, and then as Commanding Officer of the Naval Amphibious School, Director of the Navy's Leadership and Management Effectiveness Program, and Lead Facilitator in the Leadership and Management Seminar for Prospective Commanding and Executive Officers at Coronado, California, from 1984 until his retirement from the Navy on January 1, 1986. Since his retirement from the Navy, Dave has been a professional speaker, consultant, and trainer. He is the author of the book "The Ways We Choose, Lessons for Life from a POW's Experience".

    RFT 591: Airline Pilot John Barton

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 7, 2022 66:08


    As a Captain, John F. Barton Jr. has been a Captain on the Boeing 767-300/757 and 737 Aircraft. He taught as an instructor the Boeing 777 aircraft, at the United Airlines Training Center from 1997 till 1999, He began his flying with a Major International Airline as a Boeing 727 first and second officer. His most recent position is Captain on the new Boeing 737-900 aircraft flying out of San Francisco. Captain John F. Barton Jr. was chosen by his airline Flight Operations to “Captain” the historic chartered flight (prior to taking office) of President Barack Obama and family on January 1, 2009 from Honolulu international airport to Chicago International. Only the Obama family, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and daughter, Secret Service, and limited press were on the flight. Captain John F. Barton Jr. has dedicated his life to the political fight for American jobs in the aviation sector, and has worked with the DOJ, Congress, and Senate to achieve these goals. In 2012, Captain John F. Barton Jr. helped work the timeline in Washington, D.C. with Senators, and Congressional representatives, and committees on the Hill to expedite negotiations under the RLA. He developed a plan with Captain Heide Oberndorf to accomplish this task. They then worked closely with Patton-Boggs to accomplish this task; specifically Jon Yarowsky (Former Senior policy Advisor to President Bill Clinton); navigating the cumbersome RLA for collective bargaining. Together through networking they helped secure a contract in less than eight months through out of the box thinking and utilization of Congress.

    RFT 590: Pilot/Author Roger Johnson

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2022 60:48


    Roger Johnson is a Captain with a major airline and a former Fighter Pilot in the USAF. He has been flying for 48 years and has flown throughout the world. He is the second generation of being trained and operating in the civilian, military, and airline realms of aviation with his father giving him his initial flight instruction when he was 15 years old. As a summer job while in college he towed banners up and down the South Jersey Beaches in a Super Cub and then entered the USAF after graduating from college. He went on to fly F-4s and F-16s for 14 years. Concurrently, while flying F-16s in the Air National Guard, Roger began flying for the airlines in early 1988. He was hired as a Flight Engineer on the venerable B-727 and then, after a year, went to the back of the DC-10. In !993 he was trained as a First Officer on the MD-11 and based in Anchorage, AK. After flying the MD11/10 for 16 years, as both a F/O and Captain, he was qualified as a Captain on the B-777 in 2009. In 2017 he decided to checkout in the B-767, whereupon he also flew the B-757. As of this writing he continues to fly the B-767 on domestic US routes of intra-Europe. Roger has been an instructor in the F-4 RTU, training new recruits in the aircraft and then went on to instruct in the prestigious USAF F-4 Fighter Weapons School. He also was a longtime instructor in his airline, 23 years, training crews on both the MD-11/10 and B-777. He was a FAA Designee on the MD-11 and a Standards Check Airmen on the B-777. Though his professional life has been rewarding, his personal life has reads like a Shakespearian tragedy. He has been married and divorced a few times, has five grown children, though one of them past away at 17 months years old due to an automobile accident. His hobbies include, SCUBA diving, snow skiing, and working out in the gym. He has a strong, non-judgmental or self righteous Christian Faith. Finally, both of his sons, are pilots; His oldest flying F-18s in the Marines and his youngest working on his ratings in the civilian pipeline. He has spoken on several podcast/radio interviews and is available for speaking engagements.

    RFT 589: Operation Linebacker

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2022 13:51


    Operation Linebacker, the code name for the new interdiction campaign, would have four objectives: to isolate North Vietnam from its sources of supply by destroying railroad bridges and rolling stock in and around Hanoi and north-eastwards toward the Chinese frontier; the targeting of primary storage areas and marshalling yards; to destroy storage and transshipment points and to eliminate (or at least damage) the North's air defense system. With nearly 85 percent of North Vietnam's imports (which arrived by sea) blocked by Pocket Money, the administration and the Pentagon believed that this would cut its final lines of communication with its socialist allies. China alone shipped an average of 22,000 tons of supplies a month over two rail lines and eight major roads that linked it with North Vietnam. On 10 May Operation Linebacker began with mass bombing operations against North Vietnam by tactical fighter aircraft of the Seventh Air Force and Task Force 77. Their targets included the railroad switching yards at Yên Viên and the Paul Doumer Bridge, on the northern outskirts of Hanoi. A total of 414 sorties were flown on the first day of the operation, 120 by the Air Force and 294 by the Navy and they encountered the heaviest single day of air-to-air combat during the Vietnam War, with 11 VPAF MiGs (four MiG-21s and seven MiG-17s) and two Air Force F-4s shot down.[45] Anti-aircraft artillery and over 100 surface-to-air missile firings also brought down two U.S. Navy aircraft (one of which was flown by aces Duke Cunningham and William P. Driscoll). By the end of the month, American aircraft had destroyed 13 bridges along the rail lines running from Hanoi to the Chinese border. Another four were destroyed between the capital and Haiphong, including the notorious Thanh Hóa Bridge. Several more bridges were brought down along the rail line leading to the south toward the DMZ. Targets were then switched to petroleum and oil storage and transportation networks and North Vietnamese airfields. There was an immediate impact on the battlefield in South Vietnam. Shelling by PAVN artillery dropped off by one-half between 9 May and 1 June. This slowdown was not due to an immediate shortage of artillery shells but rather to a desire to conserve ammunition. U.S. intelligence analysts believed that PAVN had enough stockpiled supplies to sustain their campaigns throughout the autumn. The intensity of the bombing campaign was reflected by the sharp increase in the number of strike and support sorties flown in Southeast Asia as a whole: from 4,237 for all services, including the RVNAF, during the month preceding the invasion, to 27,745 flown in support of ARVN forces from the beginning of April to the end of June (20,506 of them flown by the Air Force). B-52s provided an additional 1,000 sorties during the same period. The North was feeling the pressure, admitting in the official PAVN history that "between May and June only 30 percent of supplies called for in our plan actually reached the front-line units." In total, 41,653 Linebacker missions dropped 155,548 tons of bombs. In addition to interdicting the road and rail system of North Vietnam, Linebacker also systematically attacked its air defense system. The VPAF, with approximately 200 interceptors, strongly contested these attacks throughout the campaign. Navy pilots, employing a mutually supporting "loose deuce" tactical formation and many with TOPGUN training, enjoyed a kill ratio of 6:1 in their favor in May and June, such that after that the VPAF rarely engaged them thereafter. In contrast, the Air Force experienced a 1:1 kill ratio through the first two months of the campaign, as seven of its eventual 24 Linebacker air-to-air losses occurred without any corresponding VPAF loss in a twelve-day period between 24 June and 5 July. Air Force pilots were hampered by use of the outdated "fluid four" tactical formations (a four-plane, two element formation in which only the leader did the shooting and in which the outside wingmen were vulnerable) dictated by service doctrine. Also contributing to the parity was a lack of air combat training against dissimilar aircraft, a deficient early warning system, and ECM pod formations that mandated strict adherence to formation flying. During August the introduction of real-time early warning systems, increased aircrew combat experience and degraded VPAF ground control interception capabilities reversed the trend to a more favorable 4:1 kill ratio. Linebacker saw several other "firsts". On the opening day of the operation, Navy Lieutenant Duke Cunningham and his radar intercept officer, Lieutenant (j.g.) William P. Driscoll became the first U.S. air aces of the Vietnam War when they shot down their fifth MiG. On 28 August, the Air Force gained its first ace when Captain Richard S. Ritchie downed his fifth enemy aircraft. Twelve days later, Captain Charles B. DeBellevue (who had been Ritchie's backseater during four of his five victories) downed two more MiGs, bringing his total to six. On 13 October another weapons officer, Captain Jeffrey S. Feinstein, was credited with his fifth MiG, making him the final Air Force ace

    RFT 588: Sterile Cockpit

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2022 11:29


    by Robert L. Sumwalt It's no secret. When a flight crew's attention is diverted from the task of flying, the chance of error increases. Over the years there have been dozens of air carrier accidents that occurred when the crew diverted attention from the task at hand and became occupied with items totally unrelated to flying. Consequently, important things were missed. Things like setting the flaps prior to takeoff, or extending the landing gear before landing. Things like monitoring altitude on an instrument approach, or using engine anti-ice for takeoff during a blinding snow storm. In 1981 the FAA enacted FAR 121.542 and FAR 135.100 to help curb the number of these accidents. Commonly known as the "sterile cockpit rule," these regulations specifically prohibit crew member performance of non-essential duties or activities while the aircraft is involved in taxi, takeoff, landing, and all other flight operations conducted below 10,000 feet MSL, except cruise flight. (Click here to go to FAR 121.542 and 135.100 .) It's unrealistic to expect a crew to fly together for several days and never discuss anything except items related to flying the aircraft. In fact, experts have demonstrated that in order to be most effective, crews need to talk -- even if it is just merely "get to know you" sort of chat. The sterile cockpit rule is a good rule because it clearly defines when it is time to set aside non-essential activities and tend strictly to the task at hand -- that of safely operating the aircraft. In spite of the existence of the sterile cockpit rule over the past decade, pilots have continued to have accidents and serious incidents that perhaps could have been prevented. For the most part, disobeying the rule is not intentional. It just happens. But as this review shows, the consequences of non-compliance can be very serious. Truly, the sterile cockpit needs to be cleaned up. This reviewer used the ASRS database to find specific examples of problems related to non-compliance with the sterile cockpit rule. We carefully reviewed 63 reports that had been previously coded by analysts as having some relevance to the sterile cockpit rule. Here is a synopsis of the problems that we found that could be attributed to sterile cockpit violations:48% were altitude deviations 14% were course deviations 14% were runway transgressions 14% were general distractions with no specific adverse consequences 8% involved takeoffs or landings without clearance 2% involved near mid-air collisions due to inattention and distractions. The Culprits The way in which the sterile cockpit rule was broken in each report was tallied and analyzed. Some reports contained more than one culprit. Many of the reports contained acknowledgments like this: "If we [had] adhered to the sterile cockpit, this situation probably would not have occurred." (ACN 118974) Following are the four most common reasons for non-adherence to the sterile cockpit rule: Extraneous Conversation The most habitually cited offense was extraneous conversation between cockpit crew members. Cited one First Officer: "Although VMC on the approach, the new special weather was... [indefinite ceiling, 200 obscured, visibility 1-1/4 mile in ground fog], snow falling and some snow on the runway...I was flying and Captain viewing PIT stadium and various sights out the window, chatting incessantly...Captain then reviewed procedures for short ground roll on snow covered runways and returned to miscellaneous conversation." The crew believed that they then landed without contacting the tower and receiving landing clearance. After some serious soul searching, this reporter continued "...the potential for disaster scenarios should be apparent...The bottom line: lack of professionalism. Captain habitually rambled from push back to block-in through a four day trip. This was the first of two incidents on the same day...Below the line: lack of courage. F/O and F/E were not willing to ask the Captain to please shut up so we could fly the airplane." (ACN 102595) The Captain of an air carrier aircraft admits to conversation not pertinent to flying duties: "...Both the F/O and I became distracted because of a conversation that was started before the level-off. At 4300 feet our altitude alert system went off...Our sterile cockpit procedures should have eliminated this problem if properly followed." (ACN 168474) Five reports detailed extraneous conversation with jump seat riders. The ability to ride on an air carrier's jump seat is quite a valuable privilege, but it is important that the additional cockpit rider not be allowed to create distractions. A look at two of these reports: "While descending into a broken deck of clouds, unannounced traffic appeared at 12 o'clock and less than a mile, climbing up our descent path. In my best estimation we were on a collision course. I immediately, without hesitating, instinctively pushed the aircraft nose down and to the right to avoid impact. The Captain was engaged in a conversation with [somebody] on the jump seat." (ACN 167026) And in the other ASRS submission: "This very senior Captain was about to leave on a Scuba diving trip and talked nonstop to the female jump seat rider upon discovering she was also a diver...This [altitude deviation] could have been prevented entirely if this particular Captain...[had paid] attention to his job and observe[d] some approximation of the sterile cockpit below 10,000 feet." (ACN 119289) The connotation "extraneous conversation" does not always have to imply just those persons on board the aircraft. Look at how extraneous chatter with air traffic controllers introduced problems for these crews. Air traffic controllers, take notice: "We turned base to final. Tower talked about mutual acquaintances and local weather. On final, at about 2500 MSL, we realized we lined up for the wrong field...First mistake: getting involved in conversation with [the] Tower operator..." (ACN 108035) And in another incident: "At the outer marker...with thunderstorms in progress, reported wind shear and heavy rain ...the tower insisted on knowing if our gate was open. We told him we were too busy to find out, he persisted with claims of needing to know where to put us on the ground once we landed. We attempted once to try to contact the company but failed due to frequency congestion... We were distracted by the tower's request for non-pertinent info during the sterile period... This [practice]...(of the controller needing to know if a gate is open at the most intense and critical phase of flight) must not be continued. It is an unsafe practice and deters us from conducting a safe flight." (ACN 114244) Distractions from Flight Attendants Distractions caused by flight attendants visiting the cockpit or calling on the interphone were noted in almost one quarter of the reports in our data set. This was our second highest source of deviation from the sterile cockpit rule. "As aircraft approached Runway 18, Flight Attendant 'A' entered cockpit with coffee for the crew. Crew attention momentarily diverted...Aircraft penetrated hold line approximately six feet for Runway 18...Small single engine aircraft on final for Runway 18 was instructed to go around by Tower...Probable cause of this was short taxi distance to hold line and crew's interruption by [the] Flight Attendant." (ACN 149054) In another incident, the crew was surprised when they lined up with the wrong runway -- and doubly surprised when they noticed they were in an unplanned formation with a jet landing on the same runway! "...Flight Attendant came into the cockpit and asked what gate we were going into as we had a passenger with a wheelchair going to another flight...I advised approach we had our traffic [in sight]. Approach now cleared us for what I thought was a Runway 26L visual approach, call tower at the outer marker. As we proceeded to Runway 26L, which was the closest runway to our arrival side,..I looked over [at] my First Officer and out his side window and saw the [other jet] at our altitude, approximately 100 feet away...I'm sure that, with the Flight Attendant interruption, I heard what I expected to hear, 'cleared to the left runway.' " (ACN 98883) Non-Pertinent Radio Calls and PA Announcements Several reports we examined indicate that problems arose when non-pertinent company radio calls and PA announcements were made below 10,000 feet. Remember, below 10,000 feet if it's not directly related to flight safety, it's in violation with the sterile cockpit rule. "Beautiful day making approach into familiar station, Captain elects to make a PA announcement to passengers while flying the aircraft. Resulting distraction of the passenger announcement [caused us to over-shoot]... altitude 500 feet." (ACN 54741) While being vectored in a busy terminal area, the Captain in the following report called on the company radio frequency to notify maintenance about a minor cabin discrepancy. As the reporter soon discovered, his absence from the ATC frequency caused an overload with his First Officer. Several ATC radio calls were missed. The controller growled a little, they lost their landing sequence, and the pilot's pride was hurt. But a valuable lesson was also learned. "...My thinking, however irresponsible it was, was that I should call maintenance with this item to save us time on the ground...I realize that the incident and this report is the result of very poor cockpit management on my part...It was most unwise and unfair of me to put the work load I did on that Controller and the First Officer...I hope I have learned the importance of giving my undivided attention to Approach Control, as opposed to reporting maintenance items [while flying below 10,000 feet]." (ACN 92145) Sight-seeing Nowhere does Webster's define "sight-seeing" as an activity that is essential to the safe operation of aircraft. When sight-seeing is conducted by flight crew members below 10,000 feet, not only is it potentially dangerous, but it is illegal, as well. Two reports demonstrated that a cockpit full of sight-seeing crew members is an ASRS report looking for a place to happen -- possibly even an accident. "Assigned the PORTE SID from SFO. I missed the 4 DME turn point due to preoccupation with a [special purpose aircraft] below and to our right, landing at NAS Alameda. The Captain (flying) missed it too...Bay Departure queried us and advised us to maintain visual separation from [another aircraft] off OAK, paralleling us below and about 2 miles to the right. Preoccupation with the visual environment caused us to neglect the IFR procedure." (ACN 189397) In another incident report: "...Descending through 5000 feet to my assigned altitude of 4000 feet. The Captain discontinued his running commentary of the sights...to state that we were only cleared to 6000 feet." (ACN 83932) Recommendations and Considerations The sterile cockpit rule was designed to help minimize many of the problems that we just annotated. Judging from these reports, a safer operation can be achieved by simply abiding by the rule's guidelines. In the Beginning A good time to establish the desire to maintain a sterile cockpit environment is before beginning a trip. In briefing cockpit and cabin crew members the captain can politely say, "I think the sterile cockpit rule is really important, so we'll adhere to it. Okay?" Setting the Standards During the preflight briefing the captain should also inform the flight attendants how they can determine if the flight is above or below 10,000 feet. Many companies have already established procedures for this, such as a "10,000 foot PA announcement," or a call to the flight attendants on the interphone. However, these procedures require one crew member to be "out of the loop." And as evidenced by literally thousands of ASRS reports, the potential for problems (such as misunderstood clearances and altitude deviations) increases when a crew member is out of the loop. Some airlines have installed a cockpit-controlled "sterile cockpit light" that can be illuminated when descending below 10,000 feet and extinguished when climbing above 10,000 feet. For those who develop company procedures, consideration should be given to developing something that doesn't create its own set of distractions. With the increased use of two-crew member cockpits this consideration is increasingly important. Unexpected Entry Unexpected calls or cockpit entry by flight attendants during the sterile cockpit period can be distracting and potentially dangerous. It is recommended that the Captain, during the pre-departure crew briefing, emphasize the importance of the sterile cockpit rule and request that flight attendant calls or entry during this time be undertaken only for reasons of great urgency. As one reporter resolves: "The next time a flight attendant enters a sterile cockpit, I will immediately ask if there is an emergency." (ACN 109249) High Altitude Airports Another reporter offered a good suggestion involving high elevation airports, where 10,000 feet MSL for the sterile cockpit boundary may be too low. "The First Officer and myself were involved in a conversation with the company pilot riding jump seat. Although I subscribe to the sterile cockpit rule below 10,000 feet, I failed to realize that, due to Denver's high field elevation, 17,000 feet MSL would have [been] a more appropriate time to discontinue our conversation and be sure that our affairs were in order...Unfortunately, because of our conversation, I failed to slow to 250 knots until passing Kiowa...The main reason I am filing this report is that I was habitually using 10,000 feet MSL for focusing my attention on the terminal/approach procedure and maintaining a sterile cockpit. A better method would certainly be 10,000 feet AGL or 40 to 50 miles from destination." (ACN 65327) Low Altitude Flight This reporter, a commuter pilot who often has cruise altitudes below 10,000 feet MSL, offers a similar worthwhile suggestion following an altitude deviation. "I believe this situation occurred because our cruise altitude was 8000 feet, and we were accustomed to conversation and other activities along the route and were not observing the 'sterile cockpit' environment. Would suggest that, in these flight circumstances where cruise altitude is less than 10,000 feet, crews make a specific DME mileage their beginning for 'total concentration-sterile cockpit' procedures." (ACN 173707) No person about to undergo major surgery would think too kindly of the surgical team who failed to sterilize themselves and their operating instruments before the operation. After a series of air carrier accidents and serious incidents, the traveling public feels the same way about their crew members. Keep the sterile cockpit "clean." Your fellow crew members and passengers are hoping that you will.

    RFT 587: Air Force Pay Cut

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 19, 2022 8:06


    Enlisted airmen who work in some of the Air Force's most difficult jobs will receive from $900 to $5,400 less annually beginning next month as the service faces financial challenges that affect the ranks. Hundreds of service members will see cuts to their Special Duty Assignment Pay, known as SDAP, in fiscal 2023 -- which starts Oct. 1. Those monthly payments, ranging from $75 to $450, were an extra incentive "to compensate enlisted service members who serve in duties which are extremely difficult," according to budget documents. "The Air Force saw an overall reduction of over $3 million to the FY23 SDAP budget based on fiscal constraints," service spokeswoman Laurel Falls told Military.com. "Due to the reduced funding levels, SDAP rates for 44 functional communities saw reductions." In the fiscal 2023 budget, the Air Force is asking the federal government for 30,845 airmen to receive the more than $90.2 million worth of Special Duty Assignment Pay. It's a lower figure than the last two years, being cut by $1.5 million and around 500 airmen, according to budget documents. For 2022, the Air Force asked for 31,334 airmen to receive $91.7 million; in 2021, the service asked for 30,967 airmen to receive $90.8 million in Special Duty Assignment Pay. The Air Force is facing a $3 million shortfall to the Special Duty Assignment Budget for 2023, according to the service. Air Force Headquarters held a meeting this past November to address the problem prior to crafting the 2023 budget, Falls told Military.com. To avoid the cuts, lawmakers would have to reinstate the Special Duty Assignment Pay difference in the 2023 budget proposal before it's approved by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden. The military's annual budget could be finalized later this year. Dozens of Air Force career fields will be affected by the cut to Special Assignment Duty Pay. One of those is recruiters. Air Force Recruiting Service recruiters are set to lose their $75 in special duty pay each month for fiscal 2023, which would add up to nearly $900 a year in lost wages. Losing the pay could be a blow to recruiters' morale as they face difficult challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic inflation and a shifting workforce. Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, the head of the Air Force Recruiting Service, promised recruiters he would push for the extra pay to be reinstated in the next fiscal year. The general "recognizes the unique challenges Air Force recruiters and their families experience and he is working to have the monthly $75 payment restored in the future," spokesman Randy Martin told Military.com Here's a list of all the Air Force's special duty pay that would be reduced in fiscal 2023, according to budget documents: Recruiters Basic Military Training instructors Human Intelligence debriefers Combat Controllers Pararescue operators Command chief master sergeants First sergeants Defense Attaché Office (DAO) liaisons Nuclear Enterprise airmen Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) agents Air Traffic Control (ATC) supervisors Postal and National Defense Advisory Commission (NDAC) enablers Tactical Air Command and Control Party (TACP) operators Enlisted pilots and weapons directors Parachute instructors and those with test parachute program Flight attendants Mission system specialists Load masters USAF Honor Guards Special Reconnaissance operators Phoenix Raven Security Forces defenders Forward Area Refueling Point enablers Flying crew chiefs Defense couriers Airmen who support various commands Enlisted airmen who work with special government agencies Public affairs airmen assigned to recruiting squadrons Air transportation airmen Airmen assigned to special classified Air Force projects. PJ Roy Benavides: https://www.youtube.com/embed/i3nncd4sxaM Combat Controller John Chapman

    RFT 586: September 11th Retropsective

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 12, 2022 18:16


    The minimum age to obtain an Airline Transport Pilot certificate is 23, which means that it is possible that new airline pilots were as young as two years old when the attacks of September 11, 2001 occurred. The world changed forever on that day, and it's worth looking back at the airline industry before, during and after the attacks. Although Secretary Rice stated that no one could have foreseen such an attack, in my Doctoral dissertation I documented 13 attempts to fly aircraft into buildings as terrorist attacks prior to the attack on the World Trade Center. Prior to the attacks, the airline industry had a cavalier attitude toward hijackings. Instructions to pilots were to "comply". After the attacks, flight crews were operating by the seat of their pants. Until the implementing of fortified cockpit doors, pilots improvised on securing cockpit doors. It was easier for inward-opening doors, but everyone was resourceful. Finally, fortified doors were installed, but it was clear to everyone that secondary barriers were required, and they still have not been mandated. Ellen Saracini, widow of United Airlines pilot Victor Saracini, has been advocating for secondary barriers for over 20 years. https://youtu.be/zV3iLanISlw The Federal Flight Deck Officer Program allowed armed pilots to occupy airline cockpits. As an interim measure, some pilots were armed with tasers. In the past nine months, 81 known terrorists have been apprehended at the southern border.

    RFT 585: Airline Pilot Art Ziccardi

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2022 41:06


    Art Ziccardi learned to fly as a teenager after participating in Civil Air Patrol for four years. He attended an aviation college and accumulated thousands of hours as a SFI while there. He later obtained a Master's Degree and held several jobs in aviation until getting hired by United Airlines in 1969. During the airline downturn he was 4 pilots from the bottom of the seniority list during the extended United pilot furlough, and when he retired at age 60 he was 4 pilots from the top of the seniority list. After retiring from United he was a B777 flight instructor at Cathay Pacific and a B777 pilot for Jet Airways in India. He is now an author, and has published the first of many aviation-themed novels.

    RFT 584: The Cautionary Tale of Abel Castillo

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 29, 2022 35:07


    Abel Castillo worked his way up to 1500 hours as a CFI and was hired by a regional airline, rising to the position of Captain on a Regional Jet. His goal was to advance to a legacy airline, and he had just been hired by another, better-paying, regional airline. He had completed all pre-employment documentation and was given a five-day window to complete his pre-employment drug screening. He showed up for the drug screening on his way to catch a flight home to see his daughter. Unfortunately, he could not produce the required volume of urine required for the test. He drank more water and tried again, but again came up short. He advised the testing facility that he needed to catch a flight and would return in a few days during the drug test window. The facility reported that he had "refused" the test, and his nightmare began. The FAA immediately revoked all of his flight certificates and he was terminated from his airline job. He must now wait up to two years before attempting to regain his certificates by taking written and practical tests for Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot, Instrument, Multi-engine and Airline Transport Pilot certificates. He gets to keep his flight hours. Abel hopes that sharing his experience can help other pilots avoid this experience.

    RFT 583: Great Balls of Fire

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2022 12:45


    I turned off my Big Ben alarm clock at 0230, the usual wake-up time for our Linebacker mission. When the scheduling board simply indicated “Special”, we knew it would be a 0400 mass briefing at Wing Headquarters for a bombing mission over North Vietnam. We wouldn't know our target until the mission briefing. The schedule was normally posted at the end of each day's flying, and the previous day I had seen my name listed for the number four position in Jazz Flight for today's Special. My Weapon Systems Officer would be Bill Woodworth. F-4 pilots quickly become creatures of habit mixed with ritual, and I walked the short distance to the Ubon Officer's Club to have my standard breakfast: cheese omelet, toast with butter, and coffee. I had successfully flown thirty-one Counters – missions over North Vietnam – and I wasn't about to change anything without a pretty compelling reason. A few weeks earlier, the Thai waitress had misunderstood me when I had ordered, and brought me a plain Omelet. I politely ate it, and the mission on that day was the closest I had come – up until then – to getting shot down. After breakfast, I walked to the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing Headquarters building, and performed my usual routine of stopping by the Intel desk and checking the Shoot-down Board. The Shoot-down Board was a large Plexiglas-covered board that listed the most recent friendly aircraft losses, written in grease pencil. We could tell, at a glance, if any aircraft had been shot down the previous night, the call sign, aircraft type, and survivor status. There were no friendly aircraft losses over North Vietnam to enemy action in the previous day. That was not surprising. The Special for the previous day had been canceled when the strike leader, my Squadron Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Brad Sharp, crashed on takeoff when his left tire exploded at 160 knots. He aborted, taking the departure end barrier, and his aircraft caught fire when pieces of the shredded tire pierced his left wing fuel tank. Brad's emergency egress was delayed when he got hung up by his leg restraint lines. As he sat in his seat, seeing the canopy melting around him, his WSO, Mike Pomphrey, ran back to the burning aircraft and pulled him out, saving his life. As Mike dragged him to a drainage ditch 100 yards away to hunker down, the ejection seats, missiles and, eventually, bombs cooked off. Ubon's only runway was out of commission, and the entire Linebacker mission, for all bases, was canceled. Overnight, the runway at Ubon was repaired, and our mission was on for this day. The mission briefing was in a large auditorium. The Wing Commander led the Mission Briefing, followed by an Intel Briefing and Weather Briefing. Slides were projected onto the screen to show the targets on a map of North Vietnam, then reconnaissance photos of the individual targets for the strike flights. Jazz Flight's target was POL (Petroleum, Oil, Lubricants) storage near Kep Airfield, north of Hanoi. During the briefing, we all received our mission line-up cards, showing our Estimated Times Enroute (ETE), fuel computations, strike frequencies, and flight de-confliction information. A mass strike over Route Package Six, the area of North Vietnam covering Hanoi, Haiphong and points north, required a massive orchestration effort. The run-in directions, Time Over Target (TOT), and egress plan for each of the sixteen four-ship strike flights, plus all of the same information for support flights, such as MiG-Cap, were designated to exacting specifications. After the mass briefing, we assembled in our respective squadrons for our individual flight briefings. When I walked into the 25th Tactical Fighter Squadron, my first order of business was to check the Flight Crew Information File Book. The FCIF was a book that had last-minute changes to procedures and other instructions for aircrews. After reading the latest entries in the book, each crewmember would initial his FCIF card and turn the card over in the vertical card file so that the green side of the card was facing out, instead of the red side. That way, the Ops Officer could instantly see if all the crews were flying with the most current information. The briefing for Jazz Flight lasted about 45 minutes. Our Flight Lead briefed engine start and check-in times, flight join-up, frequencies, tactics, and our munitions load. Today we would each carry two 2,000-pound Mark-84L laser-guided bombs. After the briefing we waited our turns for the most important part of the preflight. The building that housed our squadron had not been designed for a mass launch of 32 crewmembers all needing to use the latrine at the same time. It was a three-holer, and everyone always badly needed to use the facility before a mission up north. It was a major bottle-neck to our individual plans. After that essential stop we went by the Life Support section to leave our personal items, such as wedding rings, wallets and anything else we wouldn't need for the flight, in our lockers. The only thing I would carry in my pocket was my ID Card and my Geneva Convention Card. And, of course, I had my dog tags around my neck. Then we would pick up our G-suits, helmets, survival vests and parachute harnesses and board the “bread truck” for transportation to the flight line, with a quick stop at the armory to retrieve our .38 caliber Smith & Wesson revolvers. Our Thai driver always had a cooler stocked with plastic flasks of cold water, and we would grab several and put them in leg pockets of our G-suits. I also grabbed several piddle packs. The F-4 did not have a relief tube, so we carried piddle packs. The piddle pack was a small plastic bag with a 2 inch by 6 inch sponge inside and a spout at one end. When you used this portable urinal, the entire assembly would expand to about the size of a football. This flight was scheduled to be a bit longer than the standard mission, so I grabbed three piddle packs. There were two ways to get to Pack Six from Ubon: right turns and left turns. With right turns, the missions are about 45 minutes shorter. Head north over Laos, refuel on Green Anchor, make a right turn at Thud Ridge and proceed to the target. Left turns takes us to the east coast of Vietnam, and proceed north “feet wet”, then make a left turns toward Vinh to strike our targets. Today we would make left turns. We launched off at dawn and headed into the rising sun. Our route of flight took us east across Laos to DaNang, then north to the Gulf of Tonkin, then northwest to our target in the area of Kep. Our refueling would be along Purple Anchor as we headed north for pre-strike and south for post-strike. One of my rituals during every refueling, in between hook-ups, was to break out one of the water flasks, finish off an entire pack of Tums, and fill one of the piddle packs. Using the piddle pack in the seat of the Phantom was easier said than done. It required a bit of maneuvering.  I handed the jet over to Bill, my WSO, as I loosened my lap belt, loosened the leg straps on my parachute harness, and unzipped my flight suit from the bottom. Then I did my best to fill the piddle pack without any spillage. Our route was already taking us feet wet, and I wasn't looking forward to becoming feet wet in any other respect. Bill flew smoothly, and I finished my business with no problem, and took control of the airplane again for our refueling top-offs. We conducted our aerial ballet in total radio silence as our four airplanes cycled on and off the refueling boom, flying at almost 400 knots, as we approached the refueling drop-off point. When we finished refueling, we switched to strike frequency and headed north-northwest to the target area. Typical for a Linebacker mission, strike frequency was pretty busy. There were “Bandit” calls from Disco, the Airborne Early Warning bird, an EC-121 orbiting over the Gulf of Tonkin. And SAM breaks. And, of course, the ever-present triple-A (Anti-Aircraft Artillery)that produced fields of instant-blooming dandelions at our altitude. We pressed on. In the entire history of the Air Force, and the Army Air Corps before it, no strike aircraft has ever aborted its mission due to enemy reaction, and we were not about to set a precedent. Weather in the target area was severe clear, and Flight Lead identified the target with no problem. We closed in to “fingertip” formation, with three feet of separation between wingtips.  “Jazz Flight, arm ‘em up.” We made a left orbit to make our run-in on the designated attack heading. Then a left roll-in with 135 degrees of bank. My element lead, Jazz Three, was on Lead's right wing, and I was on the far right position in the formation. Our roll-in and roll-out was in close fingertip position, which put me at negative G-loading during the roll-out. During negative-G formation flying, the flight controls work differently. I was on the right wing and a little too close to Element Lead, so I needed to put the stick to the left to increase spacing. Totally unnatural. At the same time, I was hanging against my lap belt, which I had forgotten to tighten when I had finished my piddle-pack filling procedure. My head hit the canopy, as dust and other detritus from the cockpit floated up into my eyes. But I maintained my position. We rolled out on the correct run-in heading, and reached our delivery parameters right on profile. Five hundred knots at 20,000 feet. Lead called our release.  “Jazz Flight, ready, ready, pickle!” We all pushed our Bomb Release “pickle” buttons on our stick grips at the same time, and eight 2000-pound bombs guided together to the target that was being illuminated by the laser designator in the Lead's Pave Knife pod, guidance performed by his WSO.  Immediately after release, we performed the normal 4-G pullout. And I was instantly in excruciating pain. I screamed out in pain on our “hot mike” interphone.  “Are you okay?”  Bill called.  “I think I've been shot in the balls!” I screamed. Then, I realized what had happened. I had carelessly neglected to tighten my lap belt and parachute harness leg straps after relieving myself during the refueling. My body had shifted, and my testicles had gotten trapped between the harness and my body. With a 4-G pull, my 150-pound body was exerting 600 pounds of pressure on the family jewels. As soon as I knew what the problem was, I unloaded the aircraft to zero Gs, to try to readjust myself. But I was still headed downhill, and Mother Hanoi was rushing up to me at 500 knots. And I was getting further out of position in my formation. So I gritted my teeth and pulled.  When we got onto the post-strike tanker, I adjusted myself, but the damage had been done. I was in agony all the way back to Ubon. As soon as I landed, I went to see the Flight Surgeon and told him what had happened. He told me to drop my shorts and show him my injury. “Wow! I'd heard you guys had big ones, but these are even larger than I expected.”  I looked down, and saw that my testicles were swollen to the size of large oranges. The Flight Surgeon put me on total bed-rest orders, telling me I could only get out of bed to use the bathroom until the swelling subsided. While I was flat on my back, waiting for the pain to subside, I couldn't get that stupid old joke out of my head, the one where the kid goes into a malt shop and asks for a sundae with nuts, and the clerk asks, “Do you want your nuts crushed?” And the kid has a wise-crack answer. All of a sudden, it didn't seem so funny. After about five days I was feeling much better.  The Flight Surgeon had offered to submit my injury for a Purple Heart, but I declined. For starters, my injury was not due to enemy action, it was due to my carelessness. And I wasn't too keen on standing in front of the entire squadron at my next assignment while the Admin Officer read the citation to accompany the award of the Purple Heart. “On that day, Captain Nolly managed to crush…”. No thanks! A few months later, the Flight Surgeon showed up at our squadron.  “You're famous, and made me a famous author,” he beamed, as he held up the current issue of Aerospace Medicine magazine. In the article, he recounted how a 27-year-old pilot had experienced a strangulation injury to his testes that came very close to requiring amputation. Castration!  “There was no use in telling you and making you worry, when there was nothing we could do for you other than bed rest, and wait to see if you healed,” he commented. Well, it's been 41 years now, and I'm at an age where I don't embarrass as easily. More important, I sired three healthy children several years later, so the equipment works just fine, thank you.  Lots of guys have great “There I was” stories of their time in Vietnam. I racked up 100 missions over the north, and had some exciting missions.  This mission was not the most exciting, but was certainly the most memorable.

    RFT 582: Protecting Taiwan

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2022 13:51


    The 18th Tactical Fighter Wing based at Kadena AB, Okinawa maintained two Squadron of McDonnell F-4C Phantom II aircraft from November 1972 until May 1975. On 6 November 1972, the 18th Wing dispatched the McDonnell Douglas F-4C/D Phantom II fighters of 44th Fighter Squadron and 67th Fighter Squadron to the Ching Chuan Kang Air Base until 31 May 1975, to assist Taiwan's defense against aerial threats from China. The following are the units that the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing once stationed at Ching Chuan Kang Air Base in Taiwan: 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron (Tail Code: ZL) (6 November 1972 – 10 April 1975) (F-4C/D) 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron (Tail Code: ZG) (6 November 1972 – 31 May 1975) (EF-4C, F-4D) In March 1973, the number of US troops stationed at CCK was about 5,000. 16 September 1973 - A 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron F-4C aircraft crashed during a temporary duty assignment in Taiwan; the crewmembers safely ejected. 15 October 1973, an EF-4C 63-7462 of the 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron crashed shortly after takeoff from CCK AB. On 13 November 1973, the 374th TAW was reassigned to Clark AB Philippines. On November 15, 1973, the 6217th Combat Support Group was reactivation. On 1 September 1974, the 6217th Combat Support Group was renamed the 6217th Tactical Group. On 10 April 1975, the 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing withdrew from Ching Chuan Kang Air Base in Taichung, Taiwan, total of 24 McDonnell F-4C/D Phantom II fighters and 450 pilots and ground crews to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. In May 1975, the 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron was withdrawn from CCK AB, Taiwan, with the final squadron of 18 F-4Cs departing for Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, between 27 and 31 May. From 1 June 1975, Due to the withdrawal of F-4 fighter jets, the 6217th Tactical Group was reorganized to the 6217th Air Base Squadron, and CCK AB had been placed in caretaker status. On 31 July 1975, the number of US troops stationed at CCK AB was 571. From 1977, the number of US troops stationed at CCK AB has been reduced to 100. On 1 January 1979, the US normalized relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC). on 25 April 1979, which resulted in the lowering of the national flag by US Air Force personnel and their withdrawal from the base.

    RFT 581: Airline Pilot Murder/Suicides

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 26, 2022 13:39


    Preliminary evidence suggests the crash of a China Eastern Airlines Corp. jet in March may be the latest such tragedy, a person familiar with the investigation said. If confirmed, that would make it the fourth since 2013, bringing deaths in those crashes to 554. So as aircraft become more reliable and pilots grow less susceptible to errors, fatalities caused by murder-suicides are becoming an increasingly large share of the total. While intentional acts traditionally aren't included in air-crash statistics, they would be the second-largest category of deaths worldwide if they were, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. By comparison, 1,745 people died as a result of pilot error, mechanical failures or other causes on Western-built jets from 2012 through 2021. “It's scary,” said Malcolm Brenner, a former human-behavior investigator with the US National Transportation Safety Board who worked on the probe of the 1999 EgyptAir Flight 990 crash, which was found to be an intentional act. “It is a major cause of concern. It's one the industry needs to address.” So far, however, these rare but deadly acts have defied simple solutions. While improving mental-health care is a priority, those who have chosen to kill themselves and scores of others at the same time on jetliners mostly didn't reveal any clues beforehand to coworkers, friends or family. And because of the taboo nature of suicide, the cases create unique political and cultural challenges, at times leaving such events shrouded in mystery or open to dispute. The probe into Malaysia Airlines Flight 370's disappearance over the Indian Ocean in 2014 found it was likely flown there on purpose, for example, but the Malaysian government's report contains no information on who may have done so or why. The risk of dying on an airliner has declined significantly in recent decades as a result of innovations in safety equipment, aircraft reliability and pilot training. After 5,005 people died on Western-built jets from 2001 through 2010, the total fell to 1,858 the next decade, according to data compiled by Boeing Co., AviationSafetyNetwork and accident reports. The odds of being on a plane involved in a fatal accident was about one in 10 million, according to Boeing. But deaths attributed to pilot suicides bucked that trend, actually moving upward, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. If the China Eastern crash is confirmed as the latest such suicide, it will mean that deaths due to intentional acts have exceeded all other causes since the start of 2021. So far, Chinese authorities have revealed few specifics about what led the China Eastern jet carrying 132 people to crash March 21. The flight, a Boeing 737-800 from Kunming to Guangzhou, was cruising at about 29,000 feet when it suddenly dove at high speed, according to Flightradar24 data. Surveillance videos show it hurtling nose-down toward the ground.  Government authorities and Boeing haven't announced any potential safety issues with the plane since then, suggesting no systemic faults have been uncovered. Preliminary information from the jet's crash-proof data recorder indicates that someone in the cockpit initiated the dive, said a person familiar with the probe who wasn't authorized to speak about it. The likelihood the crash was intentional was earlier reported by the trade publication Leeham News and Analysis as well as the Wall Street Journal. China's embassy in Washington didn't respond directly to questions about whether the crash was intentional. Investigators are conducting the probe “in a science-based, meticulous and orderly manner” and will release information “in a timely and accurate fashion,” the embassy said in an email. As with any crash investigation, it can take months or years to conduct the tests and analysis needed to pinpoint a cause and rule out even the most remotely possible system failures. In addition to the Malaysian plane lost with 239 people aboard, a Lam-Mozambique Airlines jet with 33 people went down in Namibia in 2013 after the captain locked the copilot out of the cockpit. In 2015, a Germanwings GmbH copilot also locked out the captain before slamming into the side of a mountain in France with 150 aboard. Four other intentional crashes occurred on airlines around the world prior to 2013, killing another 389 people, according to AviationSafetyNetwork and accident reports. The incidents don't include terrorist acts, such as the planes that crashed on Sept. 11, 2001.  After the Germanwings crash, which French investigators found was caused by a copilot suffering from mental-health problems, US and European aviation regulators expanded programs to give air crews access to more psychological treatment and encourage them to come forward without fear of losing their jobs. Surveys of airline pilots have shown that about 4% to 8% have contemplated suicide, which is roughly the same rate as the population at large. Far fewer people actually attempt to carry it out -- and the handful of successful pilot murder-suicides on airliners is infinitesimally small by comparison. Airline pilots must pass periodic medical exams to maintain their licenses and have been reluctant to report depression or other mental illness for fear of losing their livelihood, said Quay Snyder, a doctor specializing in aviation medicine who is co-leader of the US Aerospace Medical Association's mental health working group. The association has joined with regulators, airlines and unions to create peer-to-peer counseling and other programs to allow pilots to receive treatment while retaining their licenses. Safety Measures But a panel advising the US Federal Aviation Administration in 2015 found there was “no convincing evidence” that screening for suicidal tendencies would prevent incidents such as Germanwings.  “It is quite difficult to predict who is going to commit a murder-suicide,” Snyder said.  Other possible ways to prevent pilot suicides run counter to long-standing safety or security measures.  The sophisticated locks on cockpit doors that allow pilots to keep out other crewmembers were put in place to prevent hijackings. French authorities recommended against changing the door designs in the wake of the Germanwings crash, saying changes could undermine security. One idea -- adding automated limits on a pilot's actions in the cockpit -- would require a dramatic shift in the philosophy of aviation safety.  “I'm a firm believer in the pilot who's on the flight deck being the ultimate person or device in charge of the aircraft,” said Benjamin Berman, a former airline pilot who also worked as an accident investigator. “I don't see technology supplanting that role. But that leaves the pilot in control, allowing him or her to do whatever they want.” Multiple Pilots  Even the simple solution to always have at least two people in the cockpit, which was recommended by European regulators after Germanwings, is no guarantee that someone bent on bringing down a plane couldn't do it. While details of what happened aboard the China Eastern jet remain unclear, it had three pilots in the cockpit -- a captain, copilot and trainee -- according to Chinese media reports.  For now, aviation groups are calling for expanding pilot access to mental-health treatments while acknowledging that routine psychological care might not make a difference in the extreme murder-suicide cases.  “It's so rare,” said David Schroeder, a former FAA psychologist who along with Snyder leads the Aerospace Medical Association's mental health efforts. “That's the difficulty. How do you try to predict that? How do you intervene when almost all flights are not like that?” 943 total fatalities: 1982 JAL 350 24 fatalities 1994 Royal Air Muroc 630 44 fatalities 1997 Silk Air 185 104 fatalities 1999 Egypt Air 990 217 fatalities 2013 LAM Mozambique Airlines Flight 470 33 fatalities 2014 Malasia 370 239 fatalities 2015 GermanWings 9525 150 fatalities 2022 China Eastern Airlines Flight 5735 132 fatalities From NPR: People experiencing a mental health crisis have a new way to reach out for help in the U.S. Starting Saturday, they can simply call or text the numbers 9-8-8. Modeled after 911, the new three-digit 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is designed to be a memorable and quick number that connects people who are suicidal or in any other mental health crisis to a trained mental health professional. "If you are willing to turn to someone in your moment of crisis, 988 will be there," said Xavier Becerra, the secretary of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, at a recent press briefing. "988 won't be a busy signal, and 988 won't put you on hold. You will get help." The primary goal of the new number is to make it easier for people to call for help. Lawmakers and mental health advocates also see this launch as an opportunity to transform the mental health care system and make care easily accessible everywhere in the United States. The Biden administration has invested more than $400 million in beefing up crisis centers and other mental health services to support the 988 system.  

    RFT 580: Author Matt Lohmeier

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 11, 2022 45:46


    Matthew Lohmeier is author of the bestselling book Irresistible Revolution: Marxism's Goal of Conquest & the Unmaking of the American Military. His book Irresistible Revolution was published in May 2021, at which time Matt was a respected active-duty commander in the newly formed US Space Force. For publishing and speaking about his book, then-Lieutenant Colonel Lohmeier was relieved of his command and subjected to an Inspector General investigation launched from the Pentagon. He subsequently joined the nation's biggest media personalities to discuss the proliferation of Marxist-rooted critical race theory (CRT) in the military and its divisive impact on the force and mission. Matt separated from active duty on September 1, 2021, and is now a highly sought public speaker and private consultant on matters of Marxist ideology and tactics, CRT, the betterment of military culture, and the preservation of our liberties. A 2006 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, Matt began his active-duty military career as a pilot, flying over 1,200 hours in the T-38 as an instructor pilot followed by flying the F-15C. After flying, he cross-trained into space operations and gained expertise in space-based missile warning. Matt promoted two years below the zone to lieutenant colonel, graduated at the top of his classes earning him the distinguished graduate (DG) award at four different Air Force schools, and served as aide-de-camp for a four-star general for one year. In October 2020, he transferred into the United States Space Force and was placed in command of a space-based missile warning squadron in Colorado. Matt has two master's degrees—a master's in military operational art and science, and a Master of Philosophy in military strategy from the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS), considered by many the Defense Department's premier strategy school. He lives with his wife and children in Idaho.

    RFT 579: Miami Air Flight 293 Flight Attendant Melissa Gonzales

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 27, 2022 46:12


    On May 3, 2019, Miami Air Flight 293, a Boeing 737 that took off from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, attempted to land at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. The jet overshot the runway and eventually settled in a shallow part of the St. Johns River. There were seven crew members and 136 passengers on board the plane at the time of the crash. Of that, 21 people received minor injuries and three pets were trapped inside the plane's cargo hold.  On Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board released its full report on the crash.  The report cites weather as a big factor but cited other factors as well. In the moments before the flight was set to land at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, the flight suddenly changed its path due to the inclement weather, according to the NTBS report. However, the change led the flight through the center of the storm cell. At the time of the crash, there was heavy rain, thunderstorms and wind at about 8 knots, or around 9 mph. Wind gusts reached as high as 16 knots, or about 18 mph, according to the report. These factors also caused low visibility of about three miles. Captain Gabriel Cosentino, 55, was at the controls and had worked for Miami Air since March 2008, the report says. He had 7,500 hours of flying time prior to the crash. In an interview with investigators, he said he had flown into NAS Jax between five to ten times. Cosentino also told investigators, "There was no concern about the weather, as the flight route took them west of it," the report says.  He added he, "...did not remember the weather report received from the approach control," and called the landing, "pretty smooth," according to the report. Cosentino has not been involved in any other accidents or incidents with Miami Air and was never disciplined for his prior job performance, according to the report. First Officer Claudio Marcelo Jose La Franca, 47, and was fairly new to the company. He was hired in October 2018 and began training in January 2019, according to the report. He also had about 7,500 hours of flight experience prior to the crash. In his interview, he told investigators, "...that there were thunderstorms developing," and he, "...recalled last seeing the airspeed at 100 knots and they were getting close to the end of the runway and not slowing," the report says. It was his first flight to NAS Jax. The report also reveals one of the two evacuation door slides failed to inflate as did one 46-person life raft. There were four life rafts on board. The investigation finds the life raft's inflation hoses were not connected and states a review of the maintenance procedures where the parts were last tested is needed for a risk assessment.

    RFT 578: Congressman August Pfluger

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 20, 2022 24:33


    Serving his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman August Pfluger represents 29 counties in Texas' 11th congressional district, including the cities of San Angelo, Llano, Brownwood, Granbury, Midland, Odessa, and much of the Permian Basin—the top-oil and gas producing region in the Nation. A seventh-generation Texan, Congressman Pfluger grew up in San Angelo and graduated from San Angelo Central High School. He followed in his grandfather's footsteps and answered his Nation's call to serve—graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy and defending this country in uniform for nearly two decades as a decorated fighter pilot commanding hundreds of airmen as well as serving in the Pentagon and NATO. Pfluger also served as an advisor to President Trump on the National Security Council and is a Colonel in the Air Force Reserves. In Congress, Representative Pfluger is a strong advocate for national security, promoting our farmers and ranchers, protecting the unborn, energy prosperity, and securing our borders. He is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Committee on Homeland Security, where he serves as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism. He is also a co-leader of the Texas Ag Task Force and a member of the Republican Whip Team. Congressman Pfluger is a conservative Republican, a proud husband and father, and a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. He and his wife Camille live in San Angelo with their three young daughters, Vivian, Caroline, and Juliana.

    RFT 577: My Covid Journey

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 14, 2022 8:32


    On May 18th I was at the peak of health. Prior to my instructional period at the United Airlines Flight Training Center, I went to the company exercise room and pumped out my usual 30 reps of bench press with my bodyweight, then taught ground school and simulator for 8 hours. Like usual, I wore a mask full-time, although the mask requirement had been lifted for several months. In my opinion, the Training Center is a great petri dish to spread Covid and other illnesses, since almost all trainees have traveled by plane within the previous week, and could easily be asymptomatic carriers. Listen to The Covid Flight From Hell for more information on the potential for airline travel exposure. On May 20th I was feeling very tired, and felt like a bad cold was coming on. I was up all night coughing, and at 0230 sent an email to the United Scheduling Department advising them that I would not be able to come to work for my 0700 instructional period. On May 21, I took a Covid test and the results were positive. I immediately quarantined from the rest of my family and contacted my family doctor, who prescribed a 5-day course of Paxlovid. At the end of the five days, I was feeling much better, and tried to resume a normal schedule. I over-did it! My immune resistance was greatly weakened, and the Covid virus that was circulating in my body caused a resurgence of the illness, much stronger this time. And this time I could not take any medication, since Paxlovid is not approved for break-through Covid cases. I have finally tested negative, and am really physically weak. I've learned my lesson, and will not overdo any work until I am fully recovered.

    RFT 576: Memorial Day

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2022 28:05


    For today's podcast we are presenting the audio from an outstanding film written and narrated by previous RFT guest Major General John Borling.

    RFT 575: Gabe Evans

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2022 37:08


    My name is Gabe Evans, and I'm running for Colorado House District 48. I'm a Christian, Colorado native, husband, father, and own/operate a family farm in southern Weld County. I love my country and state. That's why, after earning a BA in Government from Patrick Henry College, I served for 12 years in the US Army and Colorado Army National Guard as a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot and company commander. I also spent over 10 years as an Arvada police officer, sergeant, and lieutenant. During those careers, I completed a combat deployment in the Middle East, responded to multiple disasters and emergencies in Colorado, and worked closely with federal, state, and local governments. Unfortunately, my ability to fulfill my oaths has been handcuffed by the failed policies of the radical Leftists who control our state. Crime is out of control. The cost of living has skyrocketed. School kids are increasingly subject to political indoctrination while actual academic performance is ignored. That's why I'm running for State House District 48. I'll fight to hold criminals accountable, empower law enforcement and citizens to work together to improve community safety, and protect civil liberties. Reducing the cost of living starts with encouraging domestic energy production, agriculture, and empowering the free market. I'll tirelessly defend those things. Finally, I know that parents (not the government) are the best people to make education and health decisions for their kids. I'll zealously support families and parental choice. I want to put my 22 years of experience to work for you and make Colorado a safe, affordable place to live, work, and get an education. As your neighbor I promise to listen to your voices and represent your concerns. Will you join my team? Together we can stand up for common sense, the Constitution, and pass on freedom, security, and prosperity to the next generation of Coloradans! 

    RFT 574: Author Kine Paulsen

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2022 22:08


    In Demystiflying, Kine Paulsen tells you what you need to do in order to become a pilot by going inside of the minds of more than 200 pilots. Paulsen deciphers the meaning behind even the most basic pilot terms and concepts to encourage everyone to give flying a try. This is pilot 101 for anyone who doesn't speak pilot. The book is for those of us who didn't grow up hanging out at the airport or flying flight simulators. This book is for you who are considering pursuing your pilot license, who might be curious what it is like to be a pilot or you may have already logged some hours. Or maybe a gift to someone you're close to who has talked about getting into the cockpit, but not sure how to. If you're already a pilot, it should be exciting to reflect on how much you had to learn in order to get to where you are today. This book is not meant to replace any educational tools, but simply to motivate and inspire. Paulsen did not spend her childhood dreaming of being a pilot, but chance had it she started her pilot journey in her mid-20s. Like many before her, she was overwhelmed by the amount of information, money issues, and scheduling aspect and stopped after only flying for a few hours. When she started years later, she was looking for a book to ease back in the process hoping she could learn some technical terms, procedures and read about other pilots' challenges. She found many great resources, but confused by the jargon she found herself even more intimated to get back at it. Her personal obsession with understanding the aviation world turned into Demystiflying, an entertaining book to prepare anyone for the first meeting with the cockpit. She was excited to learn that most pilots question whether they are cut out for the challenge. That others also got confused at first. And was surprised by how exciting pre-1940 aviation history books were. In researching her book, Kine interviewed these pilots who were prior guests of the Ready For Takeoff Podcast: Patty Wagstaff Erika Armstrong Carl Valeri Kim Campbell Jason Harris Pierre-Henri Chuet Tom Cappeletti Sharon Preszler Jessica Cox Liz Booker Peter Docker Randy Brooks

    RFT 573: Dingus Flight

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2022 17:30


    Operation Linebacker launched on May 10, 1972. It marked the first bombing of Hanoi in North Vietnam since the end of Operation Rolling Thunder in November 1968. I was a ground spare, waiting to launch in the even that any of the strike F-4 aircraft from Ubon Royal Thai Air Base aborted, either on the ground or in the air. I sat in my fully armed aircraft and waited for all of the strike aircraft to launch, then conttinued to wait until they had all reached the airborne pre-strike tanker aircraft, then I de-armed and taxied back to the parking revetment. And then I waited for my brothers to return. A few hours later, they all did. ALL of them. The next day, May 11, 1972, was my turn to fly, as Number Two in Dingus Flight. (Later, strike aircraft carried tree call-signs - Maple, Elm, Walnut, etc. - but at this point in the operation we used call signs from the VCSL - Voice Call Sign List.)  During the pre-flight briefing, Wing Commander Colonel Carl Miller made an announcement: “Yesterday, we had a close call. One of our aircraft mis-ID'd an aircraft and fired at one of our aircraft. Lucily, he missed, but we can't have that again. Effective immediately, the Rules of Engagements are changed. All MiGs are silver. You MAY NOT fire at a camouflaged aircraft. If I hear that you fire at a camouflaged airplane I'll ship your ass home the minute you land. Any Questions?” None of us had any questions. It was pretty clear. MiGs are silver. On this day, like the previous day, our Wing Commander would lead the strike. The Commander of the 25th Tactical Fighter Squadron, my squadron, would be the lead of Dingus Flight. I was put in the Number Two position because I was still a fairly new pilot, an “FNG”, and the Number Two position was a place where the flight lead could keep a close watch on the FNG. Our target would be the Bac Mai Airfield. We took off as the sun rose, headed north over Laos for our refueling, and proceeded toward our target. My back-seater was First Lieutenant Johnny Wyatt. Johnny was an “old head”: he had been on the strike over Hanoi the previous day, so he knew what to expect. We ingressed the target area in spread formation, approximately 1000 feet between aircraft. I was on Lead's right. Just as Lead rocked us in to close “fingertip” formation for our bomb run, Johnny screamed at me. “We got a SAM (Surface-to-Air Missile) at four o'clock! Break right!” I had no idea what a SAM looked like in flight, and I didn't see it. “I don't see it.” “It's a f@#cing SAM! BREAK RIGHT!” When easy-going Johnny is screaming, I knew it was serious. I broke hard right. Shortly after that, the SAM exploded right where I would have been. Listen to the podcast for the rest of the story!

    RFT 572: F-15 Pilot Chad Robbins

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2022 46:50


    From LinkedIn: 4500+ hour professional pilot (instructor / evaluator / maintenance test), educator, and aviation/leadership/organizational management consultant built on a foundation of 21 years as a fighter pilot in the US Air Force (F-15E Strike Eagle). Highly proficient in the use of basic & advanced information technologies to help plan, brief, execute, and debrief aviation-oriented solutions to even the most challenging aviation business problems. Most Current experience: + Chief Pilot of Part 91 private business flight program + Lead Fixed Wing Pilot of Part 135 air ambulance program at Children's Hospital Colorado + Affiliate Faculty at Metro State University of Denver, Aerospace Sciences Department + Consultant in air transportation planning, organizational leadership, and process improvement. Depth and breadth of aviation & non-aviation experience as: + Executive leadership/management advisor & coach + Team and organizational leader + Program & project manager + Educator & trainer + Standards & compliance evaluator International experience. + Aviation consultant and trainer in over twelve countries in > Europe > Africa > West Asia (Eastern Mediterranean & Arabian Gulf regions). + Roles included > Aviation planning/briefing/executing/debriefing training-team leader > Multi-national aviation-related cross-functional conference project manager > National defense consultant. Lauded for ability to rapidly observe, analyze, and synchronize new information in order generate innovative solutions/improvements through: + Well-developed diplomacy and consensus building skills + Leveraging of highly effective process review & improvement techniques + Optimization of team diversity by focusing individual strengths toward a common purpose + Coordination of disparate individual efforts to achieve effective synchronization Passion for helping organizations enhance individual and team relevance in an increasingly competitive globally-connected environment.

    RFT 571: Film-Maker Louisa Merino

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 25, 2022 18:54


    Directed by Louisa Merino (Managing to Win: The Story of Strat-O-Matic Baseball) and produced by Melissa Hibbard (The Glass House) and Oscar winner Ed Cunningham (Undefeated), the film tells the remarkable story of a World War II fighter pilot from New Jersey who flew the last combat mission over Japan. On August 14, 1945, fighter pilot Jerry Yellin flew the last combat mission of World War II to attack airfields near Nagoya, Japan, carrying with him instructions to continue the assault unless he heard the word “Utah,” a code signaling the Japanese surrender, which never came. It was Yellin's 19th mission over Japan. Yellin returned home to a dark life of survivor's guilt and daily thoughts of suicide. Married with four sons, he was forced to face his ‘enemy' once again when his youngest son moved to Japan and married the daughter of a Kamikaze pilot. Through deep agonizing and soul-searching reflection, the two fathers eventually open their hearts and their arms to each other. By the time of his passing in 2017, Yellin had become an outspoken advocate for veteran mental health and co-founded Operation Warrior Wellness, a division of the David Lynch Foundation that teaches veterans TM to better cope with the effects of PTSD. Producer Ed Cunningham said: “Jerry's journey from the depths of post-war depression to his late life transformation, which included him tirelessly advocating for peace and Veteran's care, will inspire and resonate with everyone who sees this film. Add in the unbelievable twist of his son marrying a Kamikaze pilot's daughter and the friendship the two fathers developed late in their lives, and this is a story we felt had to be shared.” The movie is being released on home ent platforms this year.

    RFT 570: 21-Plane Owner John Hanson

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 18, 2022 71:33


    There were more than 400 people on board the Boeing 747-400 that unexpectedly rolled into a left bank in Russian airspace over the Bering Sea, forcing pilots to maneuver to keep the airplane from rolling over and diving into the ocean.   The senior captain on that airplane was John Hanson, who helped maintain control of the plane and fly it while also trying to determine what was wrong with the plane and how to make adjustments. Landing in Russia would not be ideal, and the decision was made to change course to Alaska. Hanson, a Northwest Airlines captain, was recently honored for helping to prevent this potentially catastrophic aircraft accident and saving hundreds of lives Oct. 9, 2002. He was presented with the Superior Airmanship Award by the Air Line Pilots Association, International during the association's annual Air Safety Forum.   Although the situation above the Bering Sea that day could have been a scene out of an action-packed movie, the difference with the actual event was that there was no super hero -- there was teamwork, Hanson said. "Teamwork got us through this thing," Hanson said. "I'll take compliments for the landing, but I'm more proud of being a team leader." Hanson has flown for Northwest Airlines for 35 years and during that time has never experienced a situation in the air that has been so dramatic. "That malfunction -- the manufacturer said it could never happen," Hanson said. "We had no procedure to follow." What the crew found out later was that a mechanical malfunction resulting from equipment blowing apart caused the problems. "Experts in structures have since analyzed the parts -- they can't find the cause," Hanson said. "Obviously, it blew apart." There is no suspicion of foul play, Hanson said, but was rather a "freak deal." Working with Hanson during the ordeal was another captain and two co-captains -- the plane had two sets of pilots since the flight from Detroit to Tokyo was so long. Hanson credits his co-captain with a quick recovery "that probably saved the plane." Hanson was reading in his bunk in a private room for the pilots when the malfunction occurred. "We were in smooth air and suddenly there was a violent shift," he said. There were no windows in the room. Hanson quickly put his uniform on to go assess the situation. When he arrived in the cockpit, the pilots were fighting to control the plane, he said. The cockpit operating manual was open and the pilots were desperately trying to find information on the problem.   Hanson and his co-pilot starting going through the manual as well but they could find no information that pertained to what was happening. An emergency situation was declared and the decision was made to head back to Anchorage. Because of their location, communication with the ground was difficult and contact was made through San Francisco to Minneapolis using what Hanson calls the "old fashioned type of radio." A conference call was held to discuss the problem. "We needed to work as a team and put all our heads together," he said. As senior captain, Hanson decided he should be the pilot who landed the plane, and after discussion with the other pilots he took over the controls. The pilots actually had to take turns handling the plane since managing the controls required strength and stamina because of the malfunction. To counteract the highly technical problem, pilots manually applied pressure to a foot pedal. At this point, the pilots were still not sure about the exact nature of the mechanical failure. "I would have given $1,000 for a rear view mirror to have just looked at the tail," Hanson said. A subsequent National Transportation Safety Board investigation revealed that the lower rudder failed in left hard over position at 17 degrees of travel, which was full deflection for their airspeed in cruise flight. It remained fully deflected for the rest of the flight.   The decision was made to fly at a lower altitude where the air is not as thin, Hanson said, and they did not have to operate as "close to the edge." They went down to 28,000 feet but could not go lower because of the mountains.   Early in the crisis it was decided to make the flight attendants part of the team, and information was shared regularly with them. They were told by the pilots that being able to land safely was in question, and once the plane was landed it might not be able to stay on the ground because of the problem. The lead flight attendant received the information about the problem so plans could be made for an emergency landing. Hanson then brought the plane down to 14,000 feet over Cook Inlet, where there was communication with Anchorage about the emergency landing. Hanson said they were low enough for thick air but high enough to recover if necessary. "Since we didn't know the nature of the problem, we wanted to slow down and extend the flaps very gradually," he said. "We all decided on this plan. We picked the inlet over land to have more room for recovery instead of being over the mountains." He and the other pilots had talked extensively about which runway to use based on what was happening with the plane, the wind and other factors. "All the pilots talked about the advantages and disadvantages, he said. During the landing, Hanson said the plane came in just a little bit faster than normal. He told the flight attendants it would be a "firm" landing. The pilots were also nervous the rudder would give bad directions to the plane's nose wheel. "As it turned out, it was a fairly smooth landing," he said. The flight attendants were told people could remain seated -- there was no need to evacuate. Since people on the ground had seen that the wheels and brakes "had been bright red" the plane waited in a remote spot to cool down.   The only awkward moment on the ground was that customs was not prepared to handle 418 people coming in so it took awhile to get everyone off the plane, Hanson said. After leaving the plane, Hanson went to look at the rudder where the problem had occurred. "We looked up at this huge rudder hard over to the left and we just shook our heads -- wow, what an evening," Hanson said. Another 747-400 was sent to Anchorage to transport passengers to Tokyo the next day, and though the pilots were told they did not have to go up again, all of them did. "Every single passenger also got on," Hanson said. The pilots involved with the incident have since made a training video that is being used for crews. It demonstrates that not all emergencies are in the book. Pilots at this level through their years of experience are a valuable source of information, he said, and involving people from the first moment allows them to be able to help. The Hollywood version of this story would have one pilot acting as the hero, but "in real life, heroes are ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances," Hanson said. Hanson has been flying since he was in his teens, and before he had even graduated college he was hired as a commercial pilot. Despite lucrative offers from airlines, he balanced college and eventually graduate work while flying. Hanson turns 56 this month and regulations require he retire when he is 60. When he retires as a commercial pilot, Hanson said he will continue flying as a hobby, particularly antique airplanes. Hanson said a truly successful career involves no "emergency" moments such as he had one year ago. Exciting moments for him, he said, are beautiful sunsets viewed from the plane, and traveling over the Canadian Rockies and Alaskan Wilderness.  

    RFT 568: Force Fight

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 4, 2022 8:34


    3 March 1991, UA585, a 737-200Adv crashed on approach to Colorado Springs. The aircraft departed from controlled flight approximately 1,000 feet above the ground and struck an open field. After a 21-month investigation, the Board issued a report on the crash in December 1992. In that report, the NTSB said it “could not identify conclusive evidence to explain the loss of the aircraft”, but indicated that the two most likely explanations were a malfunction of the airplane's directional control system or an encounter with an unusually severe atmospheric disturbance. 8 Sep 1994, US427, a 737-300 was approaching Pittsburgh Runway 28R when ATC reported traffic in the area, which was confirmed in sight by the First Officer. At that moment the aircraft was levelling of at 6000ft (speed 190kts) and rolling out of a 15deg left turn (roll rate 2deg/sec) with flaps at 1, the gear still retracted and autopilot and auto-throttle systems engaged. The aircraft then suddenly entered the wake vortex of a Delta Airlines Boeing 727 that preceded it by approx. 69 seconds (4,2mls). Over the next 3 seconds the aircraft rolled left to approx. 18deg of bank. The autopilot attempted to initiate a roll back to the right as the aircraft went in and out of a wake vortex core, resulting in two loud "thumps". The First Officer then manually overrode the autopilot without disengaging it by putting in a large right-wheel command at a rate of 150deg/sec. The airplane started rolling back to the right at an acceleration that peaked 36deg/sec, but the aircraft never reached a wings level attitude. At 19.03:01 the aircraft's heading slewed suddenly and dramatically to the left (full left rudder deflection). Within a second of the yaw onset the roll attitude suddenly began to increase to the left, reaching 30deg. The aircraft pitched down, continuing to roll through 55deg left bank. At 19.03:07 the pitch attitude approached -20deg, the left bank increased to 70deg and the descent rate reached 3600f/min. At this point, the aircraft stalled. Left roll and yaw continued, and the aircraft rolled through inverted flight as the nose reached 90deg down, approx. 3600ft above the ground. The 737 continued to roll, but the nose began to rise. At 2000ft above the ground the aircraft's attitude passed 40deg nose low and 15deg left bank. The left roll hesitated briefly, but continued and the nose again dropped. The plane descended fast and impacted the ground nose first at 261kts in an 80deg nose down, 60deg left bank attitude and with significant sideslip. All 132 on board were killed. More information From 737 Systems Website: The main rudder PCU contains a Force Fight Monitor (FFM) that detects opposing pressure (force fight) between A and B actuators. This may occur if either system A or B input is jammed or disconnected. The FFM output is used to automatically turn on the Standby Hydraulic pump, open the standby rudder shutoff valve to pressurize the standby rudder PCU, and illuminate the STBY RUD ON, Master Caution, and Flight Control (FLT CONT) lights. The standby rudder PCU is powered by the standby hydraulic system. The standby hydraulic system is provided as a backup if system A and/or B pressure is lost. With the standby PCU powered the pilot retains adequate rudder control capability. It can be operated manually through the FLT CONTROL switches or automatically. (Refer to Chapter 13, Hydraulics, Standby Hydraulic System) An amber STBY RUD ON light illuminates when the standby rudder hydraulic system is pressurized. The standby rudder system can be pressurized with either Flight Control switch, automatically during takeoff or landing (Refer to Chapter 13, Hydraulics, Standby Hydraulic System) or automatically by the Force Fight Monitor. The STBY RUD ON light illumination activates Master Caution and Flight Control warning lights on the Systems Annunciation Panel.

    RFT 567: Vietnam Veterans Day

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 29, 2022 12:54


    On Tuesday, March 29, 2022, communities around the U.S. will pay tribute to Vietnam veterans and their families on National Vietnam War Veterans Day. U.S. involvement in Vietnam started slowly with an initial deployment of advisers in the early 1950s, grew incrementally through the early 1960s and expanded with the deployment of full combat units in July 1965. The last U.S. personnel were evacuated from Vietnam in April 1975. Approximately 9 million Americans served during the Vietnam era (Nov. 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975). More than 6 million are still alive. The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 established March 29 as the day to pause and commemorate, remember, recognize and honor Vietnam Veterans, former Prisoners of War, those listed as Missing in Action and their families. March 29 was chosen for several reasons. It was on this date 49 years ago that the last combat troops departed Vietnam. It was also on this day, nearly half a century ago, that Hanoi freed the remaining prisoners of war the Republic of Vietnam was willing to acknowledge.https://39238b20c00c2e3c88c8778205f8a4e8.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html As part of the national observance, the Vietnam War Commemoration is interviewing Vietnam Veterans and their families and archiving these oral history interviews on the commemoration website and via the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. To learn more about this program visit www.vietnamwar50th.com or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VietnamWar50th. Our previous Vietnam veteran guests: Steve Ritchie Lee Ellis Doc Weaver Bill Driscoll Steven Bennett Larry Freeland Ralph Wetterhahn Manny Montes Vic Vizcarra John Borling Charlie Plumb Robert Shumaker Smitty Harris Randy Larsen John Morrissey Ric Hunter Charles Doryland Jim Badger George Hardy Robin Olds Russ Goodenough Don Mrosla Ed Cobleigh Dave Scheiding Don Shepperd Patrick Brady John Fairfield Lynn Damron Lawrence Chambers Bob Gilliland Brian Settles Mark Berent Dick Jonas Merrill McPeak John Swanson Dale Stovall Walt Fricke Bill Straw Son Tay Raiders Lance Sijan

    RFT 566 Medal of Honor Recipient Lance Sijan

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 25, 2022 32:51


    Medal of Honor Citation: While on a flight over North Vietnam, Capt. Sijan ejected from his disabled aircraft and successfully evaded capture for more than six weeks. During this time, he was seriously injured and suffered from shock and extreme weight loss due to lack of food. After being captured by North Vietnamese soldiers, Capt. Sijan was taken to a holding point for subsequent transfer to a prisoner-of-war camp. In his emaciated and crippled condition, he overpowered one of his guards and crawled into the jungle, only to be recaptured after several hours. He was then transferred to another prison camp where he was kept in solitary confinement and interrogated at length. During interrogation, he was severely tortured; however, he did not divulge any information to his captors. Capt. Sijan lapsed into delirium and was placed in the care of another prisoner. During his intermittent periods of consciousness until his death, he never complained of his physical condition and, on several occasions, spoke of future escape attempts. Capt. Sijan's extraordinary heroism and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty at the cost of his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Armed Forces. From Into the Mouth of the Cat: The Story of Lance Sijan, Hero of Vietnam: On the night of November 9, 1967, Sijan was ejected from his crippled fighter-bomber over the steep mountains of Laos. Although critically injured and virtually without supplies, he evaded capture in savage terrain for six weeks. Finally caught and placed in a holding camp, he overpowered his guards and escaped, only to be captured again. He resisted his interrogators to the end, and he died two weeks later in Hanoi. His courage was an inspiration to other American prisoners of war, and he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.   From Leading With Honor: Chapter 9 page 117-118 Before my deployment to Southeast Asia, Air Force 1st Lt Lance Sijan and I had been dormmates and golfing buddies. At Son Tay camp, I learned that his plane had gone down one day after mine. Badly injured, he survived in the jungles of Laos for 46 days before being captured. His remarkable story was not a surprise. Throughout our training he was always keen about his professional development. Lance stood out in survival school because he appeared to be the most highly motivated learner, both in the classroom and on the mountain trek. As Ron Mastin (1st Lt USAF) flashed Lance's painful story across the camp to our building, I put the pieces together. I remembered our first winter of captivity, when my cellmates and I had listened helplessly as someone in a cell down the hall deliriously cried out for help. I summoned the officer in charge, and a few minutes later Fat in the Fire opened the peephole in our door. “Please, will you help this man?” I pleaded. With a serious look on his face he replied, “He has bad head injury. Been in jungle too long. Has one foot in grave.” He slammed the peephole shut and left. Of course, in the isolated cells of Thunderbird, we had no way of knowing who was dying. Two years later, I realized that we had been audible witnesses to Lance's last valiant struggle to survive. After the war, we learned more details of Lance's heroic actions to evade, escape, and endure. His courageous efforts to resist, survive, escape, and return with honor were so notable that he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor (posthumously). One of the Air Force's most prestigious annual awards for leadership is named the Sijan Award.

    RFT 565: Jennifer-Ruth "Romper" Green

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 21, 2022 30:41


    Jennifer-Ruth Green continues to serve her fellow citizens in the United States Air Force Air Reserve Component and is now running to represent her fellow Hoosiers in Congress. A battle-proven leader, a trailblazer, and a selfless servant, Jennifer-Ruth Green is a candidate for Indiana's First Congressional District. Her continued experience of over twenty years of military service and her non-profit work throughout Northwest Indiana has prepared her to fight on behalf of the Region in Washington, D.C. Born to Vivian and Paul R. Green Jr., Jennifer-Ruth “Romper” Green is the youngest of six children.  At eighteen years old, Jennifer-Ruth followed in her father and grandfather's footsteps and joined the United States Air Force. After graduating from the USAF Academy in 2005, Jennifer-Ruth began her Air Force career in aviation and then transitioned to serve as a Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. She deployed to Baghdad in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM where she served as a mission commander for counterintelligence activities. After her deployment, Jennifer-Ruth assumed the role of Deputy Chief for a nuclear command post. After twelve years of full-time military service, Jennifer-Ruth transitioned to the US Air Force Reserve Component and chose to make Indiana home.  Currently, she serves as the Chief Information Officer/Commander, 122d Communications Flight, Indiana Air National Guard. She is the first African-American, or Asian, woman selected to serve in this position in the history of the Fighter Wing.     Locally, Jennifer-Ruth serves her community in Northwest Indiana as an educator, and is the founder of MissionAero Pipeline, a non-profit reaching at-risk youth that seeks to transform lives, inspire STEM careers, and set students, as young as 5th grade through college, on a path of learning in the aerospace industry. Jennifer-Ruth has been a trailblazer throughout her career. While attending the USAF Academy, Jennifer-Ruth was inspired by Lt. Col. Lee Archer, USAF, an original Tuskegee Airmen, and earned her pilot's license. Now as a civilian, Jennifer-Ruth is a Certified Flight Instructor, commercial pilot, and one of fewer than 150 African-American professional female pilots in the US.     Jennifer-Ruth earned a B.S. in Asian Area Studies from the United States Air Force Academy, an M.Min. from Golden State Baptist College, and a B.S. in Aeronautics from Liberty University. She is currently enrolled in Air War College, studying strategic leadership across military operations, in joint, interagency, & multinational environments. She is a graduate of Air Command & Staff College. She is a regular speaker at aerospace/STEM events, loves traveling, and has visited all seven continents. Jennifer-Ruth lives in Crown Point, Indiana, and is a proud aunt to fifteen nieces and nephews.

    RFT 563: World of Aviation's Al Malmberg

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 14, 2022 44:52


    Al Malmberg is a 50-year radio veteran who currently hosts The World of Aviation radio program. (AM-1280-The Patriot)  Other than this one hour a week show, Malmberg is enjoying retirement and doing lots of flying off a private strip in Colorado.  He enjoys MCing The Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame Banquet each year in the Twin Cities. Al was on the air for 17 years on WCCO radio in the Twin Cities.  Concurrently, Malmberg was the regular fill-in host on "Overnight America" on the CBS Radio Network.  He also hosted the nationally syndicated Radio program, The Al Malmberg Show on The Business Radio Network. Malmberg has been married to his wife, Kathy for 50-years. They have two sons and six grandchildren.

    RFT 562: Thunderbird Pilot Caroline "Blaze" Jensen

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 7, 2022 37:06


    Oshkosh — It was a homecoming of sorts for Caroline Jensen on Thursday. When she arrived at EAA AirVenture, it was with a bang. Actually, it was a low rumble followed by a deafening screech that prompted spectators to stick fingers in their ears as Jensen and her five teammates soared through the skies over Oshkosh to prepare for their performances this weekend. The Air Force major, fighter pilot and Wisconsin native is the third woman and the first mother to fly in the Air Force Thunderbirds flight demonstration team. "For me, this is a dream come true — who wouldn't want to perform at Oshkosh? It's kind of like playing at Carnegie Hall," Jensen, 37, said in an interview outside her No. 3 plane shortly after arriving at Wittman Regional Airport. Born in New Richmond, Jensen grew up in River Falls and got hooked on flight when she saw a plane flying in the clouds in a TV movie at the age of 5. She watched the Thunderbirds perform in Eau Claire when she was 13, sparking her dreams of one day becoming an Air Force fighter pilot. She didn't get her first flight until she was 15 — in a single-engine Cessna 172. Her second and third flights were to and from the Air Force Academy for swim camp and her fourth was to basic training after she had been accepted as a cadet. The daughter of a Marine helicopter pilot in Vietnam, she graduated from the Air Force Academy with a bachelor's degree in English and spent 10 years on active duty and the past five years as a reservist. She's the first female reserve officer to fly with the Thunderbirds Before joining the famous flight demonstration team, she was a T-38 instructor and assistant flight commander for Air Force Reserve Command's 340th Flying Training Group at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. She met her husband in glider school while they were at the Air Force Academy. He's now a commercial airline pilot and stays home in Las Vegas with their 5-year-old son while Jensen is on the road 220 days a year. With both parents pilots, it's no surprise their son has a propeller next to his bed, a Braniff Airlines poster on his wall and a bookcase in the shape of a plane tail. When she finishes this season in the Thunderbirds, she'll head to Washington, D.C., to be a congressional liaison for the Air Force. One reason there are so few female Thunderbird demonstration pilots is because only 7% of America's fighter pilot forces are female, Jensen said. "To be on the team, you have to be at the right place in your career with the right set of skills, a family who's supportive and the desire to do it. So there's a lot of things that have to happen for any pilot who wants to be part of the team," she said. She has spent quite a bit of time in the cockpit — it is, after all, her office — with 3,100 hours as an Air Force pilot, including 200 hours of combat in F-16s in Iraq. Jensen was at Disneyland with her family, standing in Cinderella's castle, when her cellphone rang in 2012. On the line were all 12 officers from the Thunderbird team calling to congratulate her. Most pilots spend two years in the Thunderbirds but because the military's flight demonstration teams were grounded last year due to sequestration, the entire team stayed together for an additional year. She flies the No. 3 plane on the right side of the diamond, sometimes as close as 18 inches from the lead plane at speeds up to 450 knots. It's not for the faint of heart. In some of the maneuvers, Thunderbird pilots feel as much as 9 Gs on their bodies and fly as low as 300 feet from the ground. This weekend AirVenture air show spectators will see Jensen and the rest of the Thunderbirds perform loops and rolls as they zoom as low as 500 feet over the crowd in their white F-16s adorned with red and blue stars and stripes. Her favorite maneuver is when the four planes in the diamond split off from each other in four directions. So is it nerve-wracking or comfortable flying in such tight formation? "It's both," she said, adding that the pilots practice their show far away from each other and gradually move closer. "It's all very controlled. I know exactly what (the lead pilot) is going to do, he knows exactly what we're going to do. There are commands we go through and we've literally done them hundreds of times," she said. "It's very deliberate, very rehearsed and very safe." This is the first visit by the full Air Force Thunderbird flight demonstration team to EAA AirVenture and because the "aerobatic box" — the air space above the grounds — is bigger than for other air show performers, convention organizers are moving spectators 150 feet back from the normal flight line. Also, residents and businesses inside the aerobatic box must leave for a few hours while the team performs.

    RFT 561: Aviation Artist Rick Broome

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 14, 2022 25:47


    Rick is one of the most unique artists in the world. He has been likened to such great artists as Rembrandt & Maxfield Parish. He is an Old World-Flemish style painter, meaning he paints using transparent colors to build depth and color. Rick's artwork has continually grown in value over the years. Although he has specialized in Aviation artwork, he has created other works from landscape to space paintings. Rick is also the master at "Starlite" painting. He has developed a technique that uses UV and fluorescent paints to change his paintings under different light frequencies. His paintings go from a Day scene to a Night scene under Blacklight. This is an incredible process that allows his works to actually become living pieces. He can make clouds move. He is an Old World-Flemish style painter, meaning he paints using transparent colors to build depth and color. Rick's artwork has continually grown in value over the years. Although he has specialized in Aviation artwork, he has created other works from landscape to space paintings. Rick is also the master at "Starlite" painting. He has developed a technique that uses UV and fluorescent paints to change his paintings under different light frequencies. His paintings go from a Day scene to a Night scene under Blacklight. This is an incredible process that allows his works to actually become living pieces. He can make clouds move... Rick has thousands of collectors around the world. Rick's first efforts with drawing and painting aircraft began as a child. He was a Boy Scout and earned the Aviation Merit Badge. As soon as he was 13 years old he left the Boy Scouts and joined the Pueblo Colorado Civil Air Patrol as a cadet. He stayed active with the CAP becoming a Senior Member when he was 18 years old. "The Civil Air Patrol was a huge help to me during my teenage years. I loved every aspect of the CAP and got to fly a lot too. I was in a Piper Cub waiting to take the active at Pueblo when a United Airlines jet airliner taxied up behind us and stopped only a few feet short of our airplane!" I took movies of that event and hope to get them on DVD sometime soon."  Encouragement for Broome as an artist began as early as he could start coloring inside the lines. At age 7 he won a national coloring contest sponsored by the Better Homes and Gardens national magazine. This was when he was drawing and coloring aircraft from every era. His passions in aviation and flying were encouraged by his parents and friends. By the time he was 15 years old he was taking private commissions for original art from pilots in both the Denver and Pueblo areas. These early sales combined with true focus allowed young Broome to solo on his 16th birthday. He was checked out in 8 different aircraft within a month of his solo and logged hundreds of hours flying time while still in high school. In 1971 Rick and Billie were also fortunate to begin meeting young officers returning from flying missions in Vietnam with new assignments to teach cadets at the Academy. The cadet leadership of the Air Force Academy class of 1974 was so pleased with his paintings that they commissioned an original painting of a USAF Cessna T-41 trainer for their Class Gift to the Academy at graduation.  This set the precedent for Broome's devotion to the Academy and their annual graduation class paintings. “The relationships we made with many of our cadets went on to become lifetime events for which we are very thankful. I know I have fed far in excess of a thousand cadets!” said Mrs. Broome during a recent interview."  Rick's final flight in the cockpit of a United airliner was on November 7, 1970 when he rode jump seat on a 4 hour training flight in a brand new United Boeing 747. “I got to fly the Boeing 747 back from Las Vegas in the left seat. Braniff Airways skipper the late Captain Len Morgan was my copilot. "Len asked me what I thought the bird felt like and I replied it reminded him of flying a C-47.”  Len's eyes got real big and he replied “You have flown a DC-3?” And then Rick told him how -- at the age of 14 -- he had indeed flown a USAF C-47 from Lowry AFB in Denver to the Academy and back as part of his Civil Air Patrol Summer Encampment activities! United Captain Ed Mack Miller and famed aviator and chart maker Elrey B. Jeppesen had begun mentoring Rick when he was 14 years old.  Rick has flown about 2200 hours in 47 different aircraft. In addition he has completed nearly 3000 original paintings which are on display throughout the world. 

    RFT 560: RAF Pilot/Author Peter Docker

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 1, 2022 31:32


     Peter Docker is passionate about enabling people to unlock their natural talents and teaches leadership that is focused on commitment and human connection. This approach harnesses the collective wisdom of teams to generate extraordinary outcomes. Peter's commercial and industry experience has been at the most senior levels in sectors across more than 90 countries, including oil & gas, construction, mining, pharmaceuticals, banking, television, film, media, manufacturing and services. His clients include Google, Four Seasons Hotels, Accenture, American Express, ASOS, EY, NBC Universal and over 100 more.   Having served for 25 years as a Royal Air Force senior officer, Peter has been a Force Commander during combat flying operations and has seen service across the globe. His career has spanned from professional pilot to leading an aviation training and standards organization, teaching postgraduates at the UK's Defence College, to flying the British prime minister around the world. Peter has also led multibillion-dollar international procurement projects and served as a crisis manager and former international negotiator for the UK government. A keynote speaker and facilitator, Peter presents around the world offering workshops and bespoke leadership programs. He also worked with Simon Sinek for over seven years and was one of the founding ‘Igniters' on Simon's team. He took his years of practical experience to co-author Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team, with Simon Sinek and David Mead. Published in September 2017, it has been translated into more than 25 languages and has sold over 460,000 copies. 

    RFT 559: Good Moral Character

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 20, 2022 13:53


    Good Moral Character VOLUME 5 (AIRMAN CERTIFICATION) CHAPTER 2 (TITLE 14 CFR PART 61 CERTIFICATION OF PILOTS AND FLIGHT INSTRUCTORS) Section 18 (Conduct an Airline Transport Pilot Certification, Including Additional Category/Class Rating) Paragraph 5-704 (ELIGIBILITY –ATP CERTIFICATE – AIRPLANE, ROTORCRAFT, AND POWERED LIFT): C. Good Moral Character Requirement: An applicant must be of good moral character. The inspector must ask an applicant if the applicant has been convicted of a felony. If the applicant's answer is affirmative, the inspector should make further inquiry about the nature and disposition of the conviction. If an inspector has reason to believe an applicant does not qualify for an ATP certificate because of questionable moral character, the inspector must not conduct the practical test. Instead, the inspector will refer the matter to the immediate supervisor for resolution. The supervisor may need to consult with regional counsel for a determination concerning whether the applicant meets the moral character eligibility requirement. From AOPA: Nothing can derail a professional flying career quicker than a revocation of an FAA airman certificate. Despite the FAA's new compliance philosophy, which makes a very good attempt at establishing a “positive safety culture”—and recognizes that inadvertent rule violations can be best addressed and remedied through education, counseling, or remedial training—there are some transgressions that command the ultimate penalty: certificate revocation. FAA Order 2150.3B. the FAA Compliance and Enforcement Program, is the guidance document that stipulates the processes FAA personnel follow when pursuing an enforcement action. Perhaps the most grievous of all “sins” committed by anyone who seeks or has a certificate or operating privilege is falsification. The order states, “In general, the FAA considers the making of intentionally false or fraudulent statements so serious an offense that it results in revocation of all certificates held by the certificate holder. Falsification has a serious effect on the integrity of the records on which the FAA's safety oversight depends. If the reliability of these records is undermined, the FAA's ability to promote aviation safety is compromised.” Here are other highly probably revocation actions: student pilots flying for hire or compensation; CFIs falsifying any endorsements; flight operations by anyone whose pilot certificate is suspended; virtually any flight operation involving the use of drugs or alcohol contrary to the limits specified by the regulations; transport of controlled substances; three convictions for DUI/DWI moving violations within three years; reproduction or alteration of a medical certificate; and conviction for possession of illegal drugs other than “simple possession.” Other illicit activities that could result in a certificate suspension, civil penalty, or even revocation are listed in the FAA's order. If you have stepped way over the legal line and the FAA has taken all your certificates in a revocation action, are you forever grounded? Not necessarily. In general, revocation actions last one year. But, recognize that you will need to reapply for every certificate and rating that you once possessed. The first suggestion: Re-familiarize yourself with the information on the knowledge tests. Study up for the private, instrument, commercial, and ATP during your yearlong hiatus. If you previously held an ATP certificate prior to revocation, then you must complete an Airline Transport Pilot Certification Training Program (ATP CTP) as required by FAR 61.156. If there is any saving grace to this predicament, it is that all previous flight time remains valid. There is no need to acquire another 40 hours of flight time, for example, to retake the private pilot checkride. But, before taking the practical test for each of the certificates and ratings that have been lost, you are required to receive three hours of instruction from a CFI. So even if the worst should happen and you lose all of those pilot privileges because of a serious misdeed, all is not lost. In a year's time you can be back in the sky, hopefully much the wiser. But, who will hire you? Well, the news there is not that good. An unofficial survey of recruiters for a few “big name” regional and major airlines revealed that those carriers have a “zero tolerance” policy. The problem for these companies is the potential risk and the fallout in the event of an accident or incident involving a pilot who has been suspended or revoked. The press would, no doubt, zero in on the fact that the airman has a “history of noncompliance” with the regulations. This kind of PR is unwelcome. However, there could be smaller operators that would be willing to give you another chance. This may depend greatly upon when the violation took place. Perhaps the “drug bust” or DWIs took place at age 20 but now, at age 35, you have led a decade of stellar living. After all, shouldn't “rehabilitation” play a role in hiring decisions? One option for returning to the industry is starting an aviation-related company yourself. Whether it is a single-pilot Part 135 operation, aircraft management, banner towing, a flight school, scenic tours, or aircraft sales, there are other avenues to the sky. For a superb example of forgiveness and redemption read Flying Drunk by Joseph Balzer. It is an inspirational story by one of three Northwest Airlines pilots who, in March 1990, flew a Boeing 727 from Fargo to Minneapolis after swigging beer at a local bar the night before. All three were arrested for intoxication, convicted, sent to federal prison, and stripped of their pilot certificates. As Balzer says, “It was horrible. I didn't want to live anymore. I was so humiliated, embarrassed, ashamed.” Of course, he feared that he would never fly again. However, American Airlines—in an exceptional and laudable extension of second chances—restored his career where he returned to the cockpit. As an aside, the industry has a tremendous resource for commercial pilots who suffer from alcohol or substance abuse: the Human Intervention Motivation Study (HIMS) program. As stated on its website, “HIMS is an occupational substance abuse treatment program, specific to commercial pilots, that coordinates the identification, treatment, and return to work process for affected aviators.” Good to know, just in case. We humans make mistakes, sometime serious. In the case of FAA certificate revocation, second chances are possible. From WGRZ.com: In terms of a state offense, DA Flynn says someone with a fake vaccine card could be charged with Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree. That's a Class "D" felony, so someone convicted could face up to 7 years in prison. New York State's attorney general Letitia James has weighed in on this as well. She's asked anyone who thinks they might be a victim of a COVID vaccination card scam to call her office at 1-800-771-7755. On the federal side of things, the FBI shared a PSA this year that explains how Title 18 of the U-S Code, Section 10-17 stipulates you cannot fraudulently use the seal of any US government agency - and if you do, you could face up to 5 years in prison.

    RFT 558: Bug Out!

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 10, 2022 14:20


    Have you ever really thought about what you might do if a super-storm, earthquake, fire, pandemic, or flood were to force you to leave your home suddenly? What would you do that first day away, the third, or even two weeks later? What would you able to grab and take with you?? What important things would you be forced to leave behind?   The Basic Bug Out Bag aka Go-Bag Lets start with the primary items needed for survival. Shelter, Clothing, Food and Water. Below is a list of the essentials you need to have ready should you have to leave your house in an emergency, and can only grab a Bug Out Bag before you go. It provides you with the most basic of provisions to get you through 72-hours away from home. You probably already have most of these things already: Print out this checklist if it helps you to have a paper copy of the items below.  Backpack Bottle(s) of water Flashlight Pen and notepad Snack bars Cash Emergency Blanket Change of clothes Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant Beach Towel Dust Mask Pocket Knife First Aid Kit (band aids, alcohol wipes) Chap-Stick Work Gloves Deck of cards and/or a book Cell phone charging cable Poncho or umbrella Street Map of Local Area Sturdy Plastic Cup Fork and Spoon Keep it handy, and easy to find should you need it. If you have a family, have a pack for each person. We will get more in detail with the articles which follow and we will introduce you to The Bug Out Bag Builder Four Part Emergency System. NOTE: If you only own one of something, and you put it into your emergency kit you will ultimately wind up taking it out of your bag to use elsewhere. This means you should have a second item dedicated for your kit itself. You won't remember to grab it on the way out (or have time to). If you want to get something TODAY RIGHT NOW that at least gets you some coverage, head over to The Red Cross store and grab their basic Go-Bag. Its $55 and gives you a platform to build on. This isn't our first choice because think its better to build your own from the ground up, but its better than nothing. You will still need to add to it though.   The next most important step - and the one that will really save your life:   Staying informed You MUST to know what is going on in the world around you. You may only have a few days notice that a hurricane is going to hit your home, can you get you and your family ready in less than 48 hours? How much time will you have if you receive a tornado or earthquake warning? If cell phone service is down do you have other equipment which will help you communicate with the outside world? You have to have some way to get information delivered to you quickly about local events - especially when a catastrophic one is heading your way. Local TV, AM radio, Emergency officials, are the most obvious, but we've added some below which will also help you get timely and accurate information: Wireless Emergency Alert System   For those of us in the US with a smart phone made after 2012 the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system automatically sends severe weather, AMBER, and Presidential alerts to your mobile device. There's nothing you need to do to enable it, its part of all phones made in the last few years. You will hear an alert sound from the phone and see a message on the screen. You can disable the weather and Amber alerts it if you'd like but not the Presidential alerts.

    RFT 557: Spread New Year Joy, Not COVID

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 1, 2022 12:40


    What You Need to Know Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated. Check your destination's COVID-19 situation before traveling. State, local, and territorial governments may have travel restrictions in place. Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required in indoor areas of public transportation (including airplanes) and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs (including airports). Do not travel if you have been exposed to COVID-19, you are sick, or if you test positive for COVID-19. If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, get tested both before and after your trip. Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated. Getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect yourself from severe disease, slow the spread of COVID-19, and reduce the number of new variants. CDC recommends you get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose if you are eligible. People who are not fully vaccinated should follow additional recommendations before, during, and after travel. Before You Travel Make sure to plan ahead: Check the current COVID-19 situation at your destination. Make sure you understand and follow all state, local, and territorial travel restrictions, including mask wearing, proof of vaccination, testing, or quarantine requirements. For up-to-date information and travel guidance, check the state or territorial and local health department's website where you are, along your route, and where you are going. If traveling by air, check if your airline requires any testing, vaccination, or other documents. Prepare to be flexible during your trip as restrictions and policies may change during your travel. vial light icon Testing    RECOMMENDED If you are NOT fully vaccinated, get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip. Check COVID-19 testing locations near youexternal icon Do NOT travel if… You have been exposed to COVID-19 unless you are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. You are sick. You tested positive for COVID-19 and haven't ended isolation (even if you are fully vaccinated). You are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test. If your test comes back positive while you are at your destination, you will need to isolate and postpone your return until it's safe for you to end isolation. Your travel companions may need to self-quarantine. Top of Page During Travel Masks    REQUIRED Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and train stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like on open deck areas of a ferry or the uncovered top deck of a bus).hands wash light icon Protect Yourself and Others    RECOMMENDED Follow all state and local health recommendations and requirements at your destination, including wearing a mask and staying 6 feet (2 meters) apart from others. Travelers 2 years of age or older should wear masks in indoor public places if they are: not fully vaccinated fully vaccinated and in an area with substantial or high COVID-19 transmission fully vaccinated and with weakened immune systems If you are not fully vaccinated and aged 2 or older, you should wear a mask in indoor public places. In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings. In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated. Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol). Top of Page After Travel You might have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels. You might feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still be infected and spread the virus to others. People who are not fully vaccinated are more likely to get COVID-19 and spread it to others. For this reason, CDC recommends taking the following precautions after returning from travel.vial light icon ALL Travelers    RECOMMENDED Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get testedexternal icon if you develop symptoms. Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel. vial light icon If you are NOT fully vaccinated    RECOMMENDED Self-quarantine and get tested after travel: Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after returning from travel. Check for COVID-19 testing locations near youexternal icon. Stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if you test negative at 3-5 days. If you don't get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel. If Your Test is Positive Isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected. Learn what to do and when it is safe to be around others. If You Recently Recovered from COVID-19 You do NOT need to get tested or self-quarantine if you recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. You should still follow all other travel recommendations. If you develop COVID-19 symptoms after travel, isolate and consult with a healthcare provider for testing recommendations.

    RFT 556: December Crashes

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2021 7:53


    1 December 1993; Northwest Airlink (Express Airlines) BAe Jetstream 31; Hibbing, MN: The aircraft had a controlled flight into terrain about three miles (five km) from the runway threshold during an an excessively steep approach in conditions of snow and freezing fog. Both crew members and all 16 passengers were killed. 3 December 1990; Northwest DC9-14; Detroit, MI: The DC9 was taxiing in fog and strayed onto an active runway where it was hit by a departing Northwest 727. One of the four crew members and seven of the 40 passengers were killed. There were no fatalities on the second aircraft. 13 December 1994; American Eagle (Flagship Airlines) BAe Jetstream Super 31; Morrisville, NC: The aircraft crashed about four miles (seven km) from the runway threshold during an approach at night and in icing conditions. The flight crew incorrectly thought that an engine had failed and subsequently followed improper procedures for single engine approach and landing. Both crew members and 13 of the 18 passengers were killed. 20 December 1995; American Airlines 757-200; near Buga, Colombia: The aircraft crashed into Mt. San Jose at night at about the 9,000 foot level while descending into Cali, Colombia after its flight from Miami. All eight crew and 155 of the 159 passengers were killed in the crash. Colombian civil aviation authorities report that at the time of the accident, all navigational beacons were fully serviceable and that the aircraft voice and data recorders did not indicate any aircraft problems. 20 December 2008; Continental Airlines 737-500; Denver, CO: The aircraft, which was on a scheduled flight to Houston's Intercontinental Airport, departed the runway during takeoff and skidded across a taxiway and a service road before coming to rest in a ravine several hundred yards from the runway. The aircraft sustained significant damage, including a post crash fire, separation of one engine and separated and collapsed landing gear. There were about 38 injuries among the 110 passengers and five crew members, including two passengers who were seriously injured. 26 December 1989; United Express (NPA) BAe Jetstream 31; Pasco, WA: A combination of an excessively steep and unstabilzied ILS approach, improper air traffic control commands, and aircraft icing caused the aircraft to stall and crash short of the runway during a night approach. Both crew members and all four passengers were killed. 28 December 1978; United Airlines DC8; Portland, OR: The aircraft ran out of fuel while holding for landing and crashed landed. Of the 184 occupants, two crew members and eight passengers were killed.

    RFT 555: December Gear Problems

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2021 8:57


    All December proceeds from the sale of Hamfist novels and the proceeds from the audiobook Hamfist Over The Trail will be donated to charity to help the victims of the tragic midwest tornadoes. December has a bad reputation for airline landing gear accidents. As an airline Captain, during every December flight I would brief my crew that, in the event of a landing gear indication problem, we would not delay the landing to trouble-shoot our issue. There is no record of airline fatalities due to LANDING the airplane with a gear problem, but 114 passengers and crew lost their lives from accidents in which airline crews attempted to deal with unsafe landing gear indications. All three of these accidents occurred in the month of December. The first was Eastern Airlines Flight 401, which occurred on December 29, 1972. The next accident was United Airlines Flight 2860, on December 28, 1977. The most recent was United Airlines flight 173, on December 28, 1978.  

    RFT 554: Frozen Chosin Rescue

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 11, 2021 6:29


    Frozen Chosen: With the path to Hungnam blocked at Funchilin Pass due to the blown bridge, the US Air Force stood tall to deliver the means for the Marines to continue their fighting withdrawal. At 9 am on 7 December, eight C-119 Flying Boxcars flown by the US 314th Troop Carrier Wing appeared over Koto-Rl and were used to drop portable bridge sections by parachute. The bridge, consisting of eight separate 18 ft long sections, were dropped one section at a time, using two 48 ft parachutes on each section. Each plane carried one bridge section, weighing close to 2,500 pounds. The Marines needed only four sections, but had requested eight in case several did not survive the drop. The planes lowered to eight hundred feet, drawing fire from the Chinese on the surrounding hills, and the cargo masters began dumping their precious cargo. Each bridge section had giant G-5 parachutes attached to both ends for security if a single chute failed. A practice drop with smaller chutes at Yonpo airfield near Hungnam had failed, but there was no time for more experimentation. It was now or never for the 1st Marine Division. By 1530 on 9 December, four of these sections, together with additional wooden extensions, were successfully reassembled into a replacement bridge by Marine Corps combat engineers, led by First Lieutenant David Peppin of Company D, 1st Engineer Battalion, and the US Army 58th Engineer Treadway Bridge Company enabling UN forces to proceed.  Outmaneuvered, the PVA 58th and 60th Divisions still tried to slow the UN advance with ambushes and raids, but after weeks of non-stop fighting, the two Chinese divisions combined had only 200 soldiers left. The last UN forces left Funchilin Pass by 11 December.

    RFT 553: Maj. Kinsley Jordan

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2021 38:07


    My team and I are passionate about connecting people to their passion, for a purpose and creating fulfillment in their lives. I, personally am so passionate about this because I walked through a stage in my life where I stopped dreaming. Though that season was scary and unknown, it was the start of The Winning Network. Check out the story below! I remember the moment very clearly. I was 1.5 years away from being done with my 12 year Pilot commitment with the United States Air Force. It was at this point in my career that my peers, Commanders, and friends began to ask you the same question: are you staying in for 20, or are you getting out? I remember it so vividly because the question hit me like a brick to the chest. If it is possible for 1000 epiphanies to hit you in a single millisecond, that would have been my moment.   I realized in that instant, I didn't know what was next in my life. I was a man with no plan, no goal, no aspiration, no dream. I remember standing there dumbfounded with these life-altering thoughts storming my mind. Somewhere along the way, I had become so focused on accomplishing the “here and now” and the Air Forces approved “next steps to success” that I had stopped listening to the dreams that dwelt in my own heart. I had allowed those visions for the future to be silenced by the well-intended advice of what I “should be doing” to “stay the course for Command.” It was at this moment I realized, I had stopped dreaming years ago. I was a man who had accomplished all I had set out to do and had nowhere else to go. I lacked vision, expectation, and even a single goal. In my own rush to accomplish the day-to-day, I forgot where I was going in my life.   As terrifying as this moment was for me, I have grown to realize, I am not the only one to have experienced such a life-changing moment. As I have shared my experience with friends, family members, and co-workers, I have grown to see that this significant emotional event or one like it has impacted almost everyone I have come across.  All of us who have been speechless in its wake have unfortunately suffered these mind-melting realizations seemingly alone with few places to turn for help, but not anymore! That is where The Winning Network was created. What started as a need I longed for in a season that I was so lost, turned into a business to help others facing similar struggles plus so much more. At The Winning Network, our focus is not to help our family reach a peak of accomplishment, raise a victory flag and walk off the field of life, but instead to redefine what it means to “Win” altogether. At The Winning Network, “Winning” is not about reaching a desired state of being or result, but instead establishing a continued process of personal improvement and growth in which there is never an end state of success, however a continued state of fulfillment throughout the iterative process of constant growth. Those who merely desire to wage the war of goal setting, defeat the objective and raise their personal banner of “Mission Accomplished” will find no satisfaction, nor fulfillment in the grassroots of The Winning Network. Victory is not found in a result, but instead, in the process. 

    RFT 552: Hamfist Meets His Soul-Mate

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2021 23:55


    Just then, the apartment door opened. I heard a soft-spoken female voice, “Tadaima!” “Miyako is here, and she brought our lawyer from the airport,” Tom remarked. A very attractive Japanese lady entered the room, walked right up to me, held out her hand, and bowed slightly. I had expected her to be wearing a kimono, but she was wearing a conservative, grey dress. She had a slight accent, “I'm Miyako. Thank you for saving my husband's life!” She gripped my hand with both of hers. “It's a real pleasure to meet you, Miyako. I'm not so sure I saved his life, but I'm glad I was there to help.” Tom interjected, “Here comes my lawyer.” A gorgeous Eurasian woman, about my age, entered the room, rushed over to Tom, and hugged him. “Daddy!” Tom hugged her back, then introduced me, “Samantha, this is the Hamilton I've been telling you about.” She held out her hand. “Call me Sam.” I shook her hand, and said, “Sam, it's a real pleasure to meet you. I'm Ham.” “Sam I'm Ham,” she responded, “sounds like we're reading a Doctor Seuss book.” Tom beamed. “That's my girl. Sharp as a whip. She finished at the top of her class at Harvard Law School last month. We're so proud of her.” Sam appeared to blush. “Now,” Tom said, “let's go have a great dinner. Do you like steak?” He didn't have to ask me a second time. While I put on my suit and tied my tie, Tom changed to an equally outstanding outfit. We all got into the car, and Tom said something in Japanese to the driver. “The absolute best steak in Tokyo is at the Misono Steak House, in Akasaka,” Tom announced. We drove through narrow streets for about a half hour, and pulled up outside a small restaurant front. We went into a dimly-lit, elegant restaurant, and sat at a table with a large skillet built into the surface. Tom and Miyako sat on one side of the table, and Sam sat next to me, on my right. I think she purposely positioned herself there to help me with my chopsticks if I had trouble. A chef appeared with four thick steaks, some shrimp, and an assortment of vegetables, and he proceeded to cook them in front of us. He put on an incredible performance, slicing and dicing the steaks and then tossing the pieces of meat over his head and catching them in the rice bowls in front of each of us. “This is Kobe beef,” Tom explained. “Every minute of their lives these animals are massaged, and they're fed beer all day long. The meat is tender enough to cut between your chopsticks. You'll see.” “And, by the way,” he continued, “from now on, we're not calling them chopsticks. They're hashi.” “Got it. Hashi,” I answered. “Ham went to the Air Force Academy,” Tom explained, looking at Sam. “Where'd you go for undergraduate?” I asked Sam. “I graduated from Northwestern in 1966.” We ate in silence for a few minutes, with me trying my best to impress my hosts, and especially Sam, my facility withhashi. I was getting pretty good, getting almost every bite to my mouth without dropping anything. Then Sam ventured, “You know, I almost dated a cadet once.” “Sounds like you dodged a bullet,” I replied. “No, I was actually really looking forward to it. In the fall of 1963, when I was a sophomore, the Army and Air Force were playing their first-ever football game, at Soldier Field in Chicago.” I remembered it well. I was a doolie at the time, and the entire cadet wing was going to travel to Chicago by train to watch the game and then have a post-game formal ball. We were going to have a joint ball with the “Woops” – the West Pointers – who had also come to Chicago en masse. As a doolie, I had never gotten the opportunity to leave the base since entering the Academy in the summer, and this was going to be a real treat. After the game, we would have about four hours to be out on our own to explore Chicago before the ball. I was really looking forward to it. Then, the day before our departure, my appendix burst and I had peritonitis. I had emergency surgery, and couldn't go on the trip. I was stuck in the Academy hospital, to watch the game – Air Force beat Army – on television. The only cadet in the hospital. In fact, I was the only patient in the entire hospital, other than a Math instructor's wife, who was only there for about three days to deliver her baby. “There was a formal ball after the game,” Sam continued, “and they wanted local college girls to be blind dates for the cadets. It sounded like it would be fun, and I volunteered. I bought a beautiful gown and gorgeous long, white leather formal gloves. And shoes. Remember?” She looked over at Tom and Miyako. They nodded. “I showed up at the ball, and I was as dolled-up as I could be. I'd gone to the hairdresser and had my hair done in the morning, and had my nails done also. And the cadets were so handsome in their mess uniforms. Is that what it's called?” “Mess dress,” I answered. “That's right, mess dress. And I'm not just saying this, Ham, I thought the Air Force cadets looked a lot sharper than the West Pointers.” “It goes without saying,” I answered. “So, I went to the reception hall where all the girls were assembling, and one by one the social director called out the names of the girls and they would go through the door to the ballroom and meet their blind dates.” She paused, took a deep breath, and swallowed hard. “And then I was left all alone. I didn't have a date.” “What!” I exclaimed. “Were they crazy?” “No, it was just, the blind dates had already been pre-arranged, and the cadet I was supposed to be paired up with was in the hospital. I went back to my dorm room and cried myself to sleep.” Tom and Miyako were staring at me. “Ham! Are you all right? You're white as a sheet.” I found myself frozen, with my chopsticks, okay, myhashi, half-way to my mouth, and I couldn't move. Finally, I regained my composure. “That was me! I was the cadet in the hospital!” Now it was Sam's turn to be speechless. Tom looked at Miyako and said, “Sore wa narimasu”. She nodded. Then he looked at me. “I'm sorry for speaking Japanese, Ham. What I said to Miyako was that when something is meant to be, it will be.” My eyes locked onto Sam's and I remembered: that was exactly what Colonel Ryan had said.