Fri, 15 December 2017
Today we are visiting with my longtime friend, Captain Barry Copeland.
Barry and I were hired into the same Alaska Airlines Pilot Class in April of 1980. It was the beginning of a long friendship as we both progressed through our careers.
We learn how Barry started his work life as a Electronics Salesman in Southern California after graduating from The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) with a degree in Asian Studies and Business.
Barry became interested in Aviation during his transition from High School to College. During his time working in the Electronics Industry, he became more and more intrigued by the idea of becoming an Airline Pilot. He had been advised by one of his pilot mentors to avoid the Airline Pilot profession because of the stringent medical requirements. But Barry decided to follow his heart and go after his dream.
Early in his flying career, Barry made a major mistake, and severly damaged a turboprop engine. But he took responsibility for the mistake, and it did not hold him back from a brilliant career.
We hope that you will enjoy the story about Barry's wonderful life as a Captain for Alaska Airlines.
Tue, 29 August 2017
Today's program is an interview with Alberto Arroyo. He is a Senior Program manager for Microsoft and has had a long and distinguished career in the Software Business.
A couple of years ago, Alberto was inspired to persue his Private Pilot's license. Most people begin their flight training in a basic airplane like a Cessna 152. But he fell in love with the Cirrus SR20 and decided that he would start his training in that airplane.
The SR20 is a high performance single engine airplane with a very sophisticated glass cockpit display. When Alberto told me that he was going to start his training in the Cirrus, I was concered that it would be too much airplane for a beginner. But he proved me wrong, and he did just fine.
I thought that it would be fun to have Alberto as a guest on the show to tell us about his experiences training on the Cirrus. It is a great interview that looks at flying from the perspective of one of our new members of the pilot community. We hope that you enjoy it!
Fri, 7 April 2017
Our guest today is Retired Alaska Airlines Captain David Crawley, MD.
David folllowed his mother's advice and spent years in school preparing to be a Doctor. He finished school and started his working career as a Medical Doctor, practicing Emergency Medicine and Aeromedical Medicine.
But a childhood adventure had a profound effect on David. A visit to his Grandmother's house planted a dream that would not go away. Grandma's neighbor, Braniff Airlines Captain Warren Larsen invited David to join him when he went out to the airport to clean the plane that he had flown the night before.
Captain Larsen put little David in the Captain's seat and told him that he could play with the controls, with the exception of a few buttons and levers. That day was the start of a journey that would lead him to Medical School and ultimately to the Flight Deck of an Alaska Airlines MD80.
David's adventure is chronicled in his latest book "Steep Turn: A Physician's Journey from Clinic to Cockpit". You can find his book on Amazon or wherever books are sold.
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".