"So - There I was." It's how ALL great aviation tales begin! Join hosts, Fig and Repete, as they bring in some great aviation raconteurs to relate the glamorous, hilarious, poignant, tragic, and incredible tales of aviation. Fig and Repete met more than 30 years ago as Marine Attack pilots in Marine Attack Squadron VMA-223 flying the AV-8B Harrier II. Both have since gone on to careers in the majors. Realizing that they are around the most accomplished professionals in aviation with amazing stories to tell, they decided these stories are too good to be kept quiet. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll laugh until you cry, but you won't ever be bored!
You Could Hear the Schrapnel Hit the Airplane Episode 95
This is an incredible week as our guest “Rosie” recalls his experiences growing up on a Kansas farm during the “Dust Bowl” years in the 1930s and going from austere beginnings to enlisting in the Army Air Corps on his 18th birthday. Not wanting to be an infantryman, Rosie passed the tests necessary and convinced the medics to let him fly when it looked like they might ground him. After training, he describes a brief respite home before going by train to the East Coast and boarding a ship for Italy; recounting an experience in Chicago that remained with him for the rest of the war.
He opens the show with a tease of one of his missions, which he was certain would be his last. Only a few months earlier he had been a Kansas farm boy and now he found himself occupying the nose-gunner’s turret on a B-17 Liberator. Ride along with us as we hear how he and his other very young crew members—boys, really—raised their hands together and became men, flying in a Liberator to defeat the greatest threat to the freedom of mankind in the 20th century.Riveting, funny, poignant—Rosie brings it all and lays it in our laps. It’s no wonder he is part of that “Greatest Generation.”
Fins on Pigs Episode 94
In this riotous saga, a quartet of RePete, Fig, Sticks, and the impossibly chill pilot Ice (who's cooler than a yeti's icebox) - embark on a whirlwind of sky-high shenanigans. Ice, a maestro of the skies, has tamed both SH-60 helicopters and UH-1s in realms chillier than a snowman's handshake—yep, Antarctica. He unveils tales of aerial school antics, including how to auto-rotate and that jaw-dropping moment when SH-60 float bags decided to throw a surprise party mid-air. Ice's adventures span the globe, from a raucous initiation in Rota, Spain, that likely bent a few international rules, to onboard frolics that make pirate life seem downright orderly. Ever heard of the Great Potato Count during the Gulf War? That's Ice's unique take on military strategy. He reveals some of the hilariously bizarre tradition of pilot call signs and pranks that would give sitcom writers a run for their money, alongside stunts that laugh in the face of physics. Venturing into Antarctica wasn't just flying; it was a blend of sorcery and survival, especially mastering the "Happy Camper School," which was anything but a walk in the park. And for what was almost the grand "finale," Ice shares how he once tamed a helicopter with no tail rotor authority, and describes the Antarctic version of slinging 'livestock' - hence "Fins on Pigs.” Buckle up for a hilariously turbulent journey that showcases the uproarious, untold tales of aviation bravado in the wintry wilds.
As for comebackyoga.org, it's a beacon of zen for veterans, turning downward dogs into upward spirits with yoga mats as magic carpets. Who knew bending could be so mending?
Explaining Space to Neil Armstrong Episode 93
In an engaging episode, Gallo shares more unforgettable tales from his time as a test pilot. He tells of his first time flying a two-seat “T AV-8” marked by a canopy incident that almost ended disastrously. The conversation takes an unexpectedly humorous turn when Gallo finds himself explaining the nuances of space travel to none other than Neil Armstrong, the pioneer of lunar exploration. This moment, filled with irony and laughter, highlights Gallo's unique ability to bridge generations and disciplines. Through this story, listeners are given a rare glimpse into the challenges and the importance of mentorship and humility that marked this exceptional aviator’s career.
Got Me a SAG Card Episode 92
Dive into an extraordinary tale of survival with Guvna as he shares his heart-stopping experience of cheating death by mere milliseconds. From an unassuming start on a routine flight, fate takes a dramatic turn, thrusting him into a pulse-pounding showdown against the odds. Witness the incredible interplay of sheer luck, piloting prowess, masterful engineering, and the unforgiving forces of nature, all converging in a moment that could have been his last. Discover how Guvna emerged from the depths of a treacherous swamp, greeted by a couple of Bubbas... Really! This is not just a story; it's a testament to the thin line between life and death. Tune in for an episode you simply don't want to miss!
Sweet Tweet - "I had one moment in time during the (mishap) sequence where if I hadn't let myself be distracted, I would have probably had an opportunity to fly (the jet) out. ... But that incredible failure is key to who I have become." — Lt. Col. Bo McGowan (photo by Tech. Sgt. Matthew Hannen)
Lt. Col. Bo McGowan and Maj. Jeff Grayson, members of the 97th Flying Training Squadron, prepare for their four-ship formation flight Oct. 2. This will be the last such formation flight at Sheppard for the T-37 Tweet as the transition to the T-6 Texan begins in 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tonnette Thompson)
Treetop Level Across Gabon Episode 91
Fasten your seatbelts and prepare for a high-flying adventure with Kerry McCauley, the intrepid author of "Ferry Pilot" and "Dangerous Flights" as well as star of the Discovery Channel show by the same name; "Dangerous Flights." He's touching down on our show to share his thrilling and often unpredictable experiences in ferrying light civilian aircraft over oceans and through remote, challenging landscapes. These are places where these planes are as out of place as a penguin in the Sahara! Kerry's stories are packed with suspense and surprises, reminding us that making it to the other side in one piece is more of a hope than a guarantee. Don't miss out on episode 91 - it's an aerial journey that promises more twists and turns than a roller coaster! 🛩️🌍
Blues Brothers Episode 90
Get ready for the finale of our chat with the one and only Gallo! This isn't just any interview - it's a rollercoaster ride through the epic tales of a man who practically became one with his Harrier jet. Picture this: a career so gripping, Gallo didn't hang up his Harrier flying even after bidding adieu to the Marine Corps.
Oh, and remember "Kaos" from episodes 45 and 46? He and Gallo go way back and the reference to Art are about him!
Strap in for this episode. It's not just enlightening; it's a peek into the life of a Marine aviation icon who climbed to Major General. Spoiler alert: he originally thought he'd just do four years and vanish into civilian life.
Thanks for the laughs, education, and camaraderie!
As a retired Army Aviator I look forward to each and every episode. I always know I will get a hilarious, genuine and unvarnished look into the world of some of aviation greats!
I spend a lot of time on the road commuting to and from work. Your podcasts take up a good portion of those drives. Without fail they keep me going on a long drive home after flying a Transcon. It’s great comic relief after a long day of work.
Like all of us who served I miss the people the most. I miss that bond everyday. Hearing y’all’s podcast makes me laugh a lot (I mean, A LOT!) and I remember all of the good times, banter and shenanigans we pulled on each other. If someone wants to know what it’s like to be in a front line, tactical military aviation unit, all they have to do is listen to you guys go back-and-forth with each other and your guests. I almost feel like I’m in my 20s again listening to you guys and laughing.
All of my life I’ve been enthralled with military history, and I have never stopped reading, studying, and learning. Listening to you guys interview some of the great legends in aviation feeds this addiction. Hearing it right from the sources like General Spicer is a tremendous gift. I just downloaded his first book and *I am hooked*. I’m sure I will be finishing all five of his books.
Please keep doing what you’re doing. The average American needs to know what her sons and daughters did and continue to do for them in the service of their nation.
Bravo Zulu Jarheads!
A Former Grunt Attack Helicopter Aviator turned indoor cat…
Excellent podcast which keeps getting better with each episode. The history, stories, and guests are both informative and entertaining. Repete and Fig, as military and commercial aviators themselves, take a conversational approach in their interviews with guests, intermixing humor and seriousness where appropriate. Their commitment to honoring each guest and provide understanding to listeners is clear.
It’s like being on a trip!
Hands down the best part of trips is the knowledge exchanged amongst aviators and one could argue the best forum is pre-dinner side bars. Whether you’re a pair of dart drivers or part of a dirty crew aircraft, everyone appreciates the stories shared as much as those lived together. Fig, Repeat, and the STIW crew are like A/C’s through each show, they ensure nobody gets behind the aircraft. Thus, making this show easy for anyone to follow and providing humorous insight to lessons in and out of aviation. Thanks for what you guys are doing; stay classy, check six, and happy fruit bowls!