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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Sat, 22 November 2014
Alaska Airlines Captain George Bozlinski joins us on this episode of Talking Flight. We have a great conversation about George's journey into a flying career and his adventures at Alaska Airlines.
Here are some of the things that we covered in this episode:
This is a great conversation that we know everyone will enjoy. George says "Don't Give up!....Believe in yourself!"
Thu, 23 October 2014
We spend time talking to Harold "Mitch Mitchell. He tells us about his journey from his childhood on a farm in South Carolina to the Captain's seat in an Alaska Airlines 737. As a young child, Mitch would hide in the bushes and watch the Crop Duster airplanes fertilize the nearby farm fields. Those Crop Dusters also planted the seeeds of the flying dream in Mitch's mind.
We talk about how Mitch was able to transfer from US Army ROTC, to the USMC, and ultimately to the USAF Reserve, where he attained the two star rank of Major General. In his civilian life, Mitch's promising career as an airline pilot almost ended with the bankruptcy of Continental Airlines. But his reputation as a strong aviator was enough to get him hired as an Alaska Airlines Pilot. The rest was history, and now Mitch is one of Alaska's most respected Captains.
Mitch says "Sometimes you have to pedal a little faster, be humble, and allow people to help you".
Mitch worked hard to never let down the people who took a chance on him. We know that he made all of them proud!
Wed, 13 August 2014
Mike Swanigan visits with Alaska Airlines Captain Blake Gibson. Blake describes his exciting journey growing up in a small town in Texas to the life of an Alaska Airlines Captain.
Blake is a respected Check Airman and an Aircrew Program Designee (APD) for Alaska Airlines, and he is a role model and mentor for the Alaska Airlines Pilot Group.
We learn how he was inspired by his late father, Braniff International Captain Art Gibson, to become a pilot. Blake tells us about a gear up landing he made as a young pilot in a light twin many years ago. We also talk about the challenges of flying a jet into the airports of rural Alaska. Blake also shares his approach to training pilots in the Alaska Airlines flight simulator environment.
Sun, 9 February 2014
Captain Mike Swanigan interviews Alaska Airlines Flight Simulator Engineer DeMarco Best about his journey into the world of Flight Simulation. It all began on a 6th grade field trip to the JFK airport in New York.
Demarco tells us what he had to do to overcome his initial difficulties in getting through the challenging USAF training environment.
Later, they talk about the upcoming shortage of Simulator Engineers and Simulator Technicians.
"In Technology, you have to keep learning, or you will be left behind." DeMarco Best.
Tue, 26 November 2013
Mike Swanigan interviews Alaska Airlines Captain Philip Parish. They talk about Phil's journey from the world of a child fascinated by airplanes, to his present life as an Alaska Airlines Captain.
Phil talks about his days as a flight instructor and the challenges of teaching a novice pilot how to fly. Later, he talks about his days flying an air ambulance, transporting premature babies around Colorado.
Phil spent several years flying in Acrobatic competitions, and he tells us about his days of flying in air shows around the U.S.
We also talk about Phil's approach to training Alaska's pilots in his present position as a Check Airman.
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