Sat, 18 August 2018
Captain Tom Crank tells us about his life as a Military and Commercial Aviator.
Tom tells us about his struggles at the USAF Academy, and how he unexpectedly became an Air Force Pilot.
Captain Crank began his airline career at Eastern Airlines, and he flew the Boeing 727 until the airline started to fail as a result of financial difficulties.
After Eastern Airlines, Tom headed west and went to work for Alaska Airlines.
Tom also tells us how he handled some leadership challenges that he had as a Captain.
Tom's motto is "It's not the mistake, it is the recovery."
Wed, 1 August 2018
One of the most feared aspects of being a pilot is the requirement to pass an FAA Physical exam to keep your license active.
Doc Greenblatt is a Senior FAA Aeromedical Examiner, and he has conducted thousands of medical exams on pilots. He has a successful Family and Sports Medicine practice in Bellevue Washington.
A family tragedy changed his life forever, and his path to becoming a Physician was not always easy. But he never gave up, and he has been a vital source of support for his patients.
We discuss the FAA medical examination process, and we talk about some of the issues that can affect the status of a pilot's application for a medical certificate.
Dr. Greenblatt gives us some strategies for staying healthy, and he tells us why it is vital for a pilot to deal with potential health problems early.
Mon, 30 July 2018
Alaska Airlines Flight Attendant Mary Kesselring joins Captain Mike Swanigan to tell our audience about her 34-year career with the Airline.
Mary grew up in an Airline family. Her dad was a Veteran Captain and Check Airman for United Airlines. He Mom was a former "Stewardess" (that is what they were called at the time) for United.
When she was in College, the realization came that she was about to reach the age where she would lose the travel benefits from her Dad's employment at United Airlines. Mary decided to solve that problem by entering the airline career field and began applying for Flight Attendant positions at United Airlines and Alaska Airlines.
Alaska hired her, and the rest was history.
This interview is a wide-ranging discussion about Mary's journey and the rewards and difficulties of being in the Flight Attendant field.
Thu, 31 May 2018
We sat down with Captain Debbie Waingrow two days before her retirement flight at Alaska Airlines.
Captain Waingrow made history at Alaska Airlines by becoming the first Woman to be selected as a Check Captain to train, evaluate, and certify her fellow pilots.
Debbie comes from a family with deep roots in aviation. As a child, she was always at the airport hanging around with her cousin, Jill Richardson, who also later became an Alaska Airlines Captain. They spent a lot of time riding horses near the airport and hanging around their family's aviation business. The two girls were always taking flights in the family airplanes, and they had their solo flights on the same day.
Please join us as Captain Debbie Waingrow shares the story of her amazing career in aviation.
Mon, 19 February 2018
Captain Rick Jones is the first Corporate Pilot to appear on Talking Flight.
I first met Rick when I was working as a Flight Engineer Instructor for Alaska Airlines. We were in Vancouver, British Columbia, and we were using the B727 Flight simulator at Canadian Pacific Airlines. My good friend, Captain Dick Jones was the Captain Instructor, and he brought his 12 year old son, Rick, along to watch us at work training flight crews. We became very good friends, and I began to mentor Rick towards a career as a professional pilot.
Rick tells us about his remarkable journey into aviation, and the lessons that he learned along the way. I know that you will enjoy his sense of humor as he tells us about his interesting adventures.
Fri, 2 February 2018
Our Guest today is Retired American Airlines Captain Greg Jones. He is the first pilot from American Airlines to join us on Talking Flight.
Greg's interest in aviation began when he flew with his family on a Martin 404 from Ohio to New Jersey when he was just 5 years old. His fascination with airplanes continued when he began building and flying model airplanes as a teenager. When he was in High School, he joined the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program, and learned more about airplanes, navigation, and aviation weather.
After graduating from The Ohio State University, Greg served in the USAF as a pilot. He later made the decision to leave the active Air Force to pursue his ultimate dream of becoming a Commercial Airline Pilot. But he ran into several setbacks, including a gear up landing incident that almost derailed his efforts to be hired by a commercial airline. But Greg relied on his religious faith to keep him motivated, never gave up, and he ultimately achieved his goal.
Captain Jones tell us about his adventures flying the T-37 (Tweetie Bird), the T-38 Talon, the C-141 Starlifter, the Boeing 737, and The Boeing 757.
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: