Sun, 5 February 2017
One of the best kept secrets in the Airline Industry is the Aircraft Dispatcher career field. These are the men and women who do the preliminary work of planning your next airline flight. They go to work hours before flight time analyzing the factors that will lead to a safe and comfortable flight.
The FAA requires that the Dispatcher and the Captain agree that a flight can be operated safely and conform to Federal Air Regulations. Both the Captain and the Dispatcher must certify that they are in agreement with the plan before the flight can depart.
Mr. Tom Lynch has been a Aircraft Dispatcher for Alaska Airlines for 30 years. He is also a FAA Designated Dispatch Examiner, and he administers the FAA practical checks to graduates of training programs in the Seattle area.
Tom started in the airline business as an airplane cleaner for Huges Airwest. His work ethic and positive attitude helped him to move up and ultimately rise to the level of Aircraft Dispatcher.
Please join us as we sit down and have a great conversation with Mr. Tom Lynch.
For more infrmation on the Airline Dispatcher career field, check out the following link:
Mon, 30 January 2017
John Steinnes almost flunked out of The University of Washington. His Dad was very worried. He encouraged John to enroll in the Air Force ROTC program that was offered by the University. He was hoping that the ROTC program would motivate John to do better in his studies. It turns out that Father knows best, and John turned his performance around and began to excel.
After graduation from college, John entered the USAF and went to Air Force Pilot Training at Randolph AFB near San Antonio, Texas. He worked his way up the ranks, and later became the commander of the 1st Military Airlift Squadron. That is the squadron that is the home of Air Force 1. The Presidential Aircraft.
After retiring from the Air Force, John went to work as a Pilot for Alaska Airlines. He had a rapid rise to Captain, and he later was qualified as a Instructor/Check Airman. He was forced into retirement from Alaska by the FAA's age 60 rule.
John then went on to work for the Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company as a simulator instructor. He is now the 737 Flight Training Manager for the Boeing Company.
This podcast has a lot of great stories about the Air Force, Alaska Airlines, and The Boeing Company. We hope that you enjoy it!
Wed, 11 January 2017
We visit with Retired American Airlines Vice President/Corporate Communications John McDonald. His fascination with airplanes started when he was a boy spending summers with his family in Cape Cod. He hung around the airport watching airplanes come and go, while waiting for this father to return from business trips.
John started his airline career as a Flight Attendant with TWA. After a few years on the line, he became a Flight Attendant Supervisor and ultimately worked his way into the TWA Corporate Communications Department.
John served as as the TWA Corporate Spokesman during some of the most difficult times for this legendary airline. He tells us what it was like dealing with the aftermath of the crash of TWA 800. That crash resulted in some major operational changes to the entire airline industry that are still in effect today.
Mr. McDonald also held corporate communications positions with General Motors and United Airlines before moving to America West Airlines, which later merged with American Airlines. He shares his experiences and lessons learned from all of these great companies.
Wed, 14 December 2016
Captain Mike Swanigan sits down with Captain Carlos Zendejas to talk about his life and his career.
Carlos moved to the Untied States from Mexico with his family when he was a 5th grader. Spanish was his first language,but he found out by accident that he could speak and read english. Their new home was in the traffic pattern of Laughlin AFB Texas, and he was amazed by the T-37 jets flying over him. He decided then and there that he was going to figure out a way to fly them.
In this podcast, Carlos tells us about the hard work that it took for him to get through USAF Pilot Training, and what it was like to be the Aircraft Commander on KC-10 refueling mission.
Carlos inherited his parents amazing work ethic and applied it to all areas of his life.
Carlos is now one of the Seattle Base Chief Pilots for Alaska Airlines. He serves the 1000 Alaska Airlines pilots based in Seattle Washington. We get an inside look at what it takes to keep an airline operation running smoothly and safely.
I came away from this interview inspired and amazed by this amazing person.
Tue, 22 November 2016
It is just Captain Mike Swanigan on today's episode. He offers some training tips to help the beginning pilot.
This Podcast is a close cousin to Ace Your Next Check Ride. That program was designed to help the advanced aviator get through military or airline training. This Podcast is designed to help newer pilots ease the learning process, and to advance through their beginning flight lessons at a faster rate. Mike's theory is that you can learn some of the hardest parts on the ground while "chair flying".
We hope that our brnad new pilots will find this podcast to be helpful
Thu, 22 September 2016
Our guest on this Podcast is Garin Tentschert. He is the Seattle Base Chief Pilot for Alaska Airlines, and he is currently serving as a Colonel in the USAF Reserve.
Garin shares his remarkable journey that started when he was a "Surfer Dude" in Southern California.
He mistakenly enrolled in an Aviation class at San Diego State University. On the first day of school, he realized that the class was actually an Air Force ROTC course. He immediately knew that he was going to drop that class as soon as he could. But the Professor saw something in Garin, and talked him into staying. As they say, the rest was history!
Garin tells us about the leadership lessons that he learned along the way, and the struggles that he had early on in Air Force Pilot Training.
Captain Tentschert says "Part of being a great leader is knowing how to follow. Sometimes, you have to shut up and listen".
Thu, 3 December 2015
Bob Bonjukian joins us on Talking Flight and introduces our audience to the Airline Dispatcher and Flight Control Career Field. He just finished an amazing career at Alaska Airlines.
Bob dreamed of becoming a pilot when he was in High School, but life got in the way. So he found a workaround and entered the prestigious field of Airline Dispatching and later became one of the "Field Generals" who makes the critical minute to minute decisions to keep the Alaska Airlines operation running smoothly.
We learn about the behind the scenes efforts of our Dispatcher to assist the Pilots in making their flights safe and efficient. The Dispatchers begin to work on a flight long before the pilots arrive at the airport. They are a major reason why the Airline Business has built such a great safety record.
Bob says "Don't let anyone tell you that you can't achieve your dreams".
Thu, 8 October 2015
Captain Mike Swanigan visits with his boss, Alaska Airlines Chief Pilot, Captain John Hornibrook.
They have a great conversation about John's aviation journey, and what it takes to become a pilot for Alaska Airlines.
John shares his adventures as a young pilot flying for Great Lakes Aviation in the upper midwest of the USA. We learn about the people who mentored John, and we talk about the importance of relationships in aviation.
Tue, 10 March 2015
We visit with Empire Airlines Captain Mark Holden. Mark is one of our regular listeners, and he reached out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark graciously agreed to appear on this episode of Talking Flight and he is the very first Regional Pilot to appear on our program.
Mark talks about his early days flying as a Student Pilot at the Redmond Roberts Field in Redmond Oregon. He met the Airport Manager, Carrie Novick, and she encouraged him to persue his dream of becoming a Professional Aviator.
After getting his Private Certificate as a High School kid, Mark went on to Embry Riddle University to obtain his advanced certificates and his College Degree.
Mark tells us about his varied flying background, including his time as a Freight Pilot, and later progressing into the Medical Airlift Business.
Mark is currently a Captain for Empire Airlines, and he is flying ATR42-500 in the Hawaiian Islands. The Airlines serves as a feeder for Hawaiian Airlines under the brand name of "Ohana by Hawaiian".
When I asked Mark what advice that he had for beginning pilots, he said "Don't be shy, ask a lot of questions".
Mon, 23 February 2015
Captain James "Zip" Trower visits us at Talking Flight. Zip is a Retired Naval Officer and a Retired Alaska Airlines Captain.
My friendship with Zip goes back more than 30 years. He is an amazing leader with a wicked sense of humor!
In this Podcast, we talk to Zip about his Naval career. We learn about the rigorous training, and what it is like to land a jet on an Aircraft Carrier. Zip also tells us about his duties as a Landing Signal Officer (LSO), and what happens when you have a fake Admiral on your plane.
After leaving the Active Duty Navy, Zip went to Alaska Airlines to begin his civilian career. He had to learn the differences and nuances between Military flying and flying a Commercial Airliner with 140 passengers on board. Captain Don Fox took him under his wing, and showed him the real way that an airliner should be flown.
Zip was part of the Check Airman team that indroduced the MD-83 Aircraft to Alaska Airlines. He later became the Fleet Captain on that jet. We discuss the challenges that they faced in bringing a group of hard core stick and rudder pilots into the digital flight guidance age.
Alaska Airlines spent several years flying into the Russian Far East, and Zip shares some of the challenges of flying into that part of the world.
Zip says "Put your ego aside, and learn and practice, learn and practice."
I hope that you will enjoy our time with Zip as much as I did. Pure Magic!
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