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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.

Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career Captain George Nolly

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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.

    RFT 537: Fatigue Risk Management

    RFT 537: Fatigue Risk Management

    From Code 7700:
    Fatigue. Fatigue refers to a physiological state in which there is a decreased capacity to perform cognitive tasks and an increased variability in performance as a function of time on task. Fatigue is also associated with tiredness, weakness, lack of energy, lethargy, depression, lack of motivation, and sleepiness. Sleep Inertia. Sleep inertia (also termed sleep drunkenness) refers to a period of impaired performance and reduced vigilance following awakening from the regular sleep episode or nap. This impairment may be severe, last from minutes to hours, and be accompanied by micro-sleep episodes. Window of Circadian Low (WOCL). Individuals living on a regular 24-hour routine with sleep at night have two periods of maximum sleepiness, also known as “WOCLs.” One occurs at night, roughly from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m., a time when physiological sleepiness is greatest and performance capabilities are lowest. The other is in the afternoon, roughly from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sleep-Related Processes
    [AC 120-100, ¶7.]
    Sleep Regulation. The drive for sleep increases over time since the last sleep period and with any cumulative deficit in sleep relative to the average 8-hour day requirement. As a consequence, the sleep drive is at its lowest point in the morning, upon awakening, and as the day progresses, the drive to sleep increases and the ability to sustain attention and engage in cognitive activities decreases. Once sleep begins, this drive gradually decreases until awakening. Elevated Sleep Drive. For the average person, the daily upswing in alertness produced by the circadian system tends to offset the decrease in alertness produced by depletion of the sleep regulatory process. The result is roughly constant reaction time and lapses during the first 16 hours of the day 85. After about 16 hours of continuous wakefulness, most adults begin to notice reductions in the speed of performance and in alertness levels 87. However, a prior history of insufficient sleep quantity and quality can magnify the changes in behavior and alertness. Desynchronization. The timing of sleep and wakefulness of most humans, under natural conditions, is consistent with the circadian control of the sleep cycle and all other circadian-controlled rhythms. However, people working in a developed society override their internal biological clock and attempt to sleep at times that are not always consistent with the biological drive to sleep. For example, when individuals travel rapidly across time zones or work the night shift, the sleep/wake cycle is out of phase with the biological rhythms controlled by the circadian clock. This can adversely affect both alertness while awake and at work, and the ability to achieve restorative sleep. Sleep Inertia. This sleep-related process causes a temporary degradation in performance immediately after awakening. The degradation or loss of alertness is dependent on depth of sleep at the time of awakening. The degradation dissipates, after awakening, on a time scale ranging from minutes to a few hours. Sleep inertia causes a feeling of drowsiness or lethargy and can be measured as a noticeable change in reaction time and potential for lapses in attention. The duration and severity of sleep inertia is related to the depth of sleep at the time of awakening. It tends to be greater after short sleep periods of an hour or two, when the need for sleep is not fully satisfied, or after sleep when the person is carrying a large sleep debt from prior sleep restrictions 10. Fatigue Factors
    Figure: Window of circadian low, from Duty/Rest Guidelines for Business Aviation, §1.0.
    [Duty/Rest Guidelines for Business Aviation, §1.0]
    1.1 Sleep
    Sleep is a vital physiological need. Sleep is necessary to maintain alertness and performance, positive mood, and overall health and well-being. Each individual has a basic sleep requirement that sustains optimal levels of performance and physiological alertness during wakefuln

    • 14 Min.
    RFT 536: Pole-to-Pole Pilot Robert deLaurentis

    RFT 536: Pole-to-Pole Pilot Robert deLaurentis

    Robert DeLaurentis, “Zen Pilot,” is a successful author, speaker, pilot, real estate entrepreneur, philanthropist and Navy Gulf War Veteran. His books include the best-selling Zen Pilot: Flight of the Passion and the Journey Within; Flying Thru Life: How to Grow Your Business and Relationships Through Applied Spirituality; and the forthcoming, Citizen of the World: To the Ends of the Earth and Beyond.
    In 2019, Robert will undertake his second circumnavigation, this time from the North Pole to the South Pole in the “Citizen of the World,” a 1983 Turbine Commander 900 aircraft with the powerful global mission of “One Planet, One People, One Plane: Oneness for Humanity.” This trip is a real-time example of going after the seemingly impossible, not giving up while “Flying Thru Life” and making the dream of connecting our humanity through flight a reality.
    Founder and president of the inspirational publishing company Flying Thru Life and the charitable organization, DeLaurentis Foundation, Robert’s mission is to inspire people and organizations to live their impossibly big dreams through the wonder of aviation and the power of courageous action.
    A notable pilot listed in Wikipedia, Robert has flown his single engine Piper Malibu Mirage to 53 countries and territories in three years, including Europe, Central America, Southern Africa, Asia, Siberia, Mexico and the Caribbean. Flying solo, Robert has crossed the Polar Ice Cap, the North Atlantic Ocean, Bering Sea and Gulf of Mexico.
    In 2015, Robert successfully completed an equatorial circumnavigation, single plane, single engine, single pilot, across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans to 23 countries in his Piper Malibu Mirage named “Spirit of San Diego.” He survived an engine-out at 14,000 feet over the Strait of Malacca and dead sticked 19.6 nautical miles into Kuala Lumpur International with 600 pounds of fuel in the cabin and oil spraying on the 1500 degree exhaust. He lived to tell the story in his best-selling book, Zen Pilot.
    In recognition of his courage, resourcefulness and contribution to the San Diego community, the San Diego Mayor’s Office and City Council awarded Robert the “Spirit of San Diego Day” Proclamation.
    An AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association) Opinion Leader Blogger with 400,000 followers and more than 100 media interviews, Robert is a recognized social media influencer. In addition to his media and speaking appearances and books, he has recorded the video, Overcoming the Fear of Flying, Unleashing Potential, to be released to 26,000 high schools across the US and created the Citizen of the World Pole to Pole Flight Coloring and Activity Book for children of all ages.
    Robert’s real estate business, Innorev Enterprises, Inc., includes over 300 real estate units, acquired over twenty-eight years. Starting with one condo in 1990, his road to success, much like flying, was not a straight path. The lessons he learned and the success he experienced along the way funded his dream of becoming a pilot and owning a plane, and is the basis of his book, Flying Thru Life.
    Robert has an undergraduate degree in Accounting from USC, and an advanced degree in graduate studies in Spiritual Psychology, a three year program with an emphasis in Consciousness, Health, and Healing from the University of Santa Monica.
    Robert was in the Navy for 14 years – four years active duty and 10 years reserves, leaving in 2003 as a Lieutenant Commander.
    Born in Salamanca, New York, Robert grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area until he was 10 years old, followed by three years in Indonesia. His family returned back to the Bay Area, where Robert lived until attending college at USC. After his initial tour with the Navy, he settled in San Diego where he currently resides. However, watch his Google Map to find out where he is flying to today!

    • 29 Min.
    RFT 535: National POW/MIA Recognition Day

    RFT 535: National POW/MIA Recognition Day

    POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed on the third Friday of September, on September 17 this year, to recommit to full accountability to the families of the more than 80,000 veterans captured or still missing from wars that the United States has participated in. According to accounts, during the first ceremony of POW/MIA Day at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., fighter airplanes from the military base in Virginia flew in the ‘missing man formation’ in their honor.
    National POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed annually in September around a central theme to show commitment to full accountability to the families of captured service members and missing war heroes.
    The term POW and MIA mean prisoner of war and military personnel who went missing in action.
    Many service members suffered as prisoners during the several wars that have happened throughout the history of the U.S. National POW/MIA Recognition Day was initiated as the day to commemorate with the family of many of the tens of thousands of service members who never made it home.
    The day was first observed in 1979 after Congress and the president passed a resolution to make it official following the demands of the families of 2,500 Vietnam War POW/MIAs who asked for accountability in finding their loved ones.it is also mostly associated with service members who were prisoners of war during the Vietnam War.
    Regardless of where they are held in the country, National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremonies share the common purpose of honoring those who were held captive and returned, as well as the memory of those who remain missing in service to the United States.
    Until 1979, there was no formal day set aside for these important men and women and the first observance of POW/MIA day included a remembrance ceremony at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Since then, the Pentagon is where the official observance happens, with other celebrations happening at military bases around the country and elsewhere.
    On the Ready For Takeoff Podcast, we've had the honor of speaking to the following POWs:
    Lee Ellis
    Smitty and Louise Harris 
    John Borling
    Charlie Plumb
    Robert Shumaker

    • 9 Min.
    RFT 534: The Greatest Generation

    RFT 534: The Greatest Generation

    The term The Greatest Generation was popularized by the title of a 1998 book by American journalist Tom Brokaw. In the book, Brokaw profiled American members of this generation who came of age during the Great Depression and went on to fight in World War II, as well as those who contributed to the war effort on the home front. Brokaw wrote that these men and women fought not for fame or recognition, but because it was the "right thing to do."
    I have had the honor of interviewing numerous members of this generation, pilots who bravely served in World War Two. Many people are not aware that casualties in the war were higher among aircrews than among Marines.
    The people who served during World War II were from a different generation, at a time when patriotism was the order of the day and national service was expected and respected. Major movie stars put their careers on hold to serve their country. Athletes like Ted Williams continued to serve in Korea.
    Today, the environment is different. There is no longer a draft. Military service is totally voluntary. As a result, only 1 percent of Americans new serve in the military.
    I believe that the military members of today are truly the greatest generation. A perfect example of this is Pat Tilman, who gave up his four million dollar salary to serve his country.
    I recently worked with a retired Marine pilot who had served two years in Iraq and five years in Afghanistan.

    • 5 Min.
    RFT 533: Aircraft As Missiles

    RFT 533: Aircraft As Missiles

    Attempting to crash an aircraft into a building was not an entirely new
    paradigm. Despite Secretary Rice stating, “I don't think anybody could have
    predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile” (Brush, 2002, para.
    24), there had been numerous prior attempts to utilize aircraft in this manner
    (CNN, 2001). In addition, there had been a significant number of warnings
    suicide hijackings posed a serious threat.
    In 1972, hijackers of Southern Airways Flight 49 threatened to crash the
    airliner into Oak Ridge National Laboratory if a $10 million ransom was not paid
    (CNN, 2001). Copilot Johnson reported, “The demands at Knoxville were that if
    we didn't have the money by 1:00 that we'd crash into the nuclear reactor there”
    (CNN Transcripts, 2001, para. 151). The hijacked airliner was placed in a dive
    toward Oak Ridge, and was only pulled out of the dive at the last minute when
    Southern Airways agreed to pay $2 million to the hijackers (Allison, 2004).
    In 1974, S. Byck attempted to hijack a Delta Airlines DC-9 aircraft to
    crash it into the White House (Cohen, 2009). During the hijacking, Byck killed a
    security guard and the copilot before committing suicide after being wounded by
    police. Also in 1974, Private R. Preston stole an Army helicopter and flew over
    the White House and hovered for six minutes over the lawn outside the West
    Wing, raising concerns about a suicide attack (White House Security Review,
    Following the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, Jenkins and
    Edwards-Winslow (2003) conducted an exhaustive threat analysis for the World
    Trade Center. They concluded that an aerial attack by crashing an aircraft into the
    Center was a remote possibility which must be considered. Reports indicated Iran
    was training pilots to hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings: “Trained
    aircrews from among the terrorists would crash the airliner into a selected
    objective” (Bodansky, 1993, p. 15). Senator S. Nunn was concerned terrorists
    would attempt to crash a radio-controlled airplane into the Capitol during a State
    of the Union address, possibly killing the President, Vice President, and all of
    Congress (Nelan, 1995).
    In 1994, four Algerian terrorists attempted to hijack Air France Flight
    8969 (Air Safety Week, 1995). The group, identified as Phalange of the Signers
    in Blood, killed one of the passengers, planted explosives on the plane, and
    planned to crash the aircraft into the Eiffel Tower (Bazerman & Watkins, 2005).
    French police stormed the aircraft and stopped the hijacking. R. Yousef, the
    architect of the first World Trade Center attack, was associated with these
    Algerian terrorists (Lance, 2003).
    Another attempted airliner suicide hijacking occurred in 1994. Flight
    Engineer A. Calloway boarded Federal Express Flight 705 as an additional jump
    seat crewmember, intending to overpower the crew and crash the DC-10 aircraft
    into the Federal Express corporate headquarters in Memphis (CVR Database,
    1994). Calloway attacked the flight deck crew with a hammer, inflicting serious,
    permanent disabling injuries to all three pilots (Wald, 2001).
    On September 11, 1994, F. Corder attempted to crash an aircraft into the
    White House (Wald, 2001). Experts had been concerned the White House was
    highly vulnerable to an attack from the air (Duffy, 1994). Former CIA director R.
    Helms expressed concern a suicidal pilot could easily divert from an approach to
    Washington to crash into the White House (Duffy, 1994).
    In 1995, FBI informant E. Salem revealed a Sudanese Air Force pilot’s
    plot to bomb the Egyptian President’s home and then crash an aircraft into the
    U.S. Embassy (Berger, 2004). Salem also testified about Project Bojinka, which,
    in addition to the aforementioned bombing of 11 American aircraft, included
    crashing an airplane into CIA headquarters. In addition to CIA headquarters, this
    second Bojinka wave was planned to target the Pentagon, an unidenti

    • 13 Min.
    RFT 532: Rescue At Chavane

    RFT 532: Rescue At Chavane

    This is a special Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah gift for our listeners.
    This is a fictional account, taken from Hamfist Down!, the sequel to Hamfist Over the Trail. Available soon as an audiobook.
    Strong language!
    December 21, 1969
    I was scheduled for my Champagne Flight – my final mission – in the morning. Things had been uncharacteristically quiet on the trail for several days, and I wanted to get some target photos for Intel to find out what was going on. Also, I wanted some photos of the AO as a memento of my Vietnam tour.
    The O-2 actually had the provision for a belly-mounted KB-18 aerial camera, but we didn't have any KB-18s at DaNang. So, if we wanted to take photos, we relied on hand-held cameras. There were a bunch of beat up old Nikon Fs at the squadron, but they were really heavy and difficult to use with one hand. It was really tough to fly and take pictures at the same time.
    Then, about two weeks earlier, we got new cameras, Pentax Spotmatics with motor drives. Each camera had a pistol-grip mount with a trigger to activate the shutter, and the focus was set at “infinity”, so there would be no problem with single-hand operation. I was really looking forward to giving them a try. I signed one out on a hand receipt and carried it to the plane.
    Task Force Alpha had provided Igloo White information from the seismic sensors that indicated a lot of truck activity along highway 165, near Chavane. I headed directly to the Chavane area to see if I could find anything.
    Chavane was an old abandoned grass airfield. Reflectors still lined the edges of the runway, and it almost looked like it could support aircraft operations at any moment. I'd heard that it was an old Japanese airfield from World War II.
    There was a dead truck parked out in the open, off to the south side of the east end of the runway. About a year ago, it had been used as a flak trap for unsuspecting FACs, but the word had been out for a long time and nobody paid any attention to it any more. There were no longer active guns, that we knew of, in the area.
    I followed highway 165 away from the airfield, and kept my camera on the seat next to me, ready to use if I found anything of interest. I put the highway on the left side of the airplane, and made gentle turns right and left. It was during the left turns that I would be able to see gomer activity, if there was any. The gomers thought we always looked ahead of the airplane, and they would frequently conduct their movements after we passed, thinking we couldn't see them once they were behind the wing. 
    Sure enough, back at my seven o'clock, I saw a truck cross the road, from the cover of the jungle on one side of the road to the cover of the jungle on the other side. I kept my eyes on the exact location and began a steeper turn back toward that area. 
    I picked out a distinctive landmark, a small bend in the road, and then looked further away to see if there were any other landmarks that could point my eyes back to the target. I used the runway at Chavane for a yardstick. The target was exactly one runway length north of the east end of the runway. The bend in the road sort of pointed to the target. Okay, now I could leave the immediate target area and find my way back.
    I flew off to the east and set up an orbit over an area a few klicks away, to make the gomers think I was interested in something else. I turned on the gyro-stabilized binoculars, locked onto the target area, and zoomed in to the highest setting.
    Sure enough, I saw some vehicle tracks in the dirt alongside the road that indicated truck activity. I was pretty sure there was a truck park there, I just couldn't determine which side of the road it was on. I flew back to the target area and made a wide sweeping circle, taking pictures from every angle. If I couldn't get any air assets, I would at least have photos to give to Intel.
    I switched my transmitter over to VHF and called Hillsboro.
    “Hillsboro, Covey 218, vicinit

    • 20 Min.


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