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53 minutes | Dec 29, 2021
Episode 54: Captain David Glick
Captain David Glick is one of the most respected Pilots at Alaska Airlines. David tells us about the mindset it took for him to earn an Engineering Degree and graduate from USAF Pilot Training (UPT) near the top of his class. Our listeners will enjoy the positivity that Captain Glick brings to work every day as he flies to the many destinations served by Alaska Airlines. He also served in the Alaska Air National Guard, where he flew into the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq. David has a passion for helping prospective Alaska Airlines pilots prepare for the intimidating Pilot Hiring Board.
42 minutes | Sep 2, 2021
Episode 53: Horizon Seattle Base Chief Pilot Captain Kisa Wiley
Captain Kisa Wiley is the Chief Pilot at the Seattle Base of Horizon Air. Horizon Air is a subsidiary of the Alaska Air Group, and the airline coordinates its schedules and traffic feed with Alaska Airlines. Captain Wiley is a third-generation pilot. Her Dad, retired Captain Jim Wiley, had a long career with Alaska Airlines. Her Grandfather, the Late Colonel Jim Wiley, was a Tuskegee Airman who flew combat missions in Europe during World War 2. Kisa had no interest in becoming a pilot until she was in college. Then, one day, her younger sister, Ali, talked her into attending private pilot ground school. Kisa fell in love with flying, and the rest was history.
66 minutes | Jul 26, 2021
Episode 52: Pilot Hiring Boards
Getting hired by a Major or Regional Airline is often a difficult and drawn-out process. The most intimidating part is facing a Pilot Hiring Board (Sometimes called a Captains Board). Mike Swanigan asked Captains Mike Dibello, George Boslinski, and Michael Hendrix to join this episode to discuss the pilot hiring process. If you are aspiring to be a Major or Regional Airline Pilot, there is a lot of helpful information on this program.
61 minutes | Jun 21, 2021
Episode 51: Alaska Airlines Captain Millison "Mill" Fambles
Alaska Airlines Captain Millison Fambles joins us on this episode of Talking Flight. Millison is from Longview, Texas and he was awarded a college scholarship from the Lady Bird Johnson Foundation. Lady Bird was the wife of President Lyndon Johnson, and she served as First Lady of the United States from 1963 unit January of 1969. When her Foundation awarded this scholarship to Millison, they had no idea that Mill would ultimately step up and mentor hundreds of inner-city children, and change their lives forever. Captain Fambles had to endure a period of racial discrimination while he attended USAF Pilot Training, but he prevailed and ultimately became a C-141 Aircraft Commander. After leaving the USAF, Millison got a tip about a great airline headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Of course, that Airline was Alaska Airlines. He applied, and before he knew it, he started class as one of Alaska's newest pilots. 29 years later, He is now a senior Captain. Mill has built a reputation as a great pilot, but he is better known for his success in starting a flight camp for inner-city children.
69 minutes | Apr 24, 2021
Episode 50: Retired Alaska Airlines Captain David "D.R." Smith
Captain David “D.R.” Smith is the second guest on our podcast named David Smith. There were two pilots named David Smith at Alaska Airlines, so we called this particular David Smith “D.R.” to minimize the confusion of which David Smith that we were referring to. David “D.R.,” tells us about growing up in a small town in West Texas and that some of his earliest memories were about his dream of becoming a pilot. The dream was solidified when a small plane landed on the family farm, and the pilot asked for enough gas to continue to his destination. After college, David entered the USAF and attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Randolph AFB, Texas. He flew the KC-135Q, which was the only aircraft type equipped to refuel the SR-71. David eventually became a pilot for Alaska Airlines, where he had a distinguished career as a pilot. He played a pivotal role in helping the Airline develop one of the best safety cultures in the Airline Industry.
69 minutes | Apr 8, 2021
Episode 9: Alaska Airlines Captain Blake Gibson
This is one of my favorite Talking Flight Episodes. It was released in 2013, but it was lost due to storage problems on my podcast platform. We are thrilled to rerelease it to share with our listeners who may not have heard it. Blake is one of the most respected pilots at Alaska Airlines. He is a Check Airman and an FAA Aircrew Program Designee. He tells how he achieved his childhood dream of becoming an Airline Pilot. This a great story, and I hope you enjoy it!
69 minutes | Feb 11, 2021
Episode 49: Retired Alaska Airlines Captain Michael DiBello
Talking Flight is proud to present this interview with Retired Alaska Airlines Captain Michael (Dibs) Dibello. Mike is a former Navy Squadron Commander, and he later served as the Boeing 737 Fleet Captain at Alaska Airlines. His first exposure to aviation came when his father took him to Boston's Logan International Airport to watch airplanes take off and land. High School and College did not come easy for him, but after some Navy ROTC advisors' counseling, he improved his study habits and got his degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He was accepted into US Navy Flight Training and went on the fly the A-7 attack jet. Captain DiBello tells us how the Navy trains pilots to land on the deck of an aircraft carrier. He later became one of the most respected pilots at Alaska Airlines.
61 minutes | Dec 3, 2020
Episode 48: Retired Alaska Airlines Captain David J. Smith
Our guest on this episode is Retired Alaska Airlines Captain David J. Smith. I first met David Back in 1983, when he began training as a newly hired pilot at Alaska Airlines. That meeting resulted in David becoming my longtime friend. David has an interesting story about our first meeting, which I will neither confirm or deny. David was one of the small numbers of civilian pilots who were able to break into the airlines back in the late 1970s. At that time, more than 70 percent of the pilots hired by US Airlines had a Military background. A few years after David joined Braniff Airlines, the company fell into financial hardship. David was furloughed, and the company later went out of business. His second chance to land an Airline job came when someone told him that a small company named Alaska Airlines was hiring pilots. David did well at the hiring interview, and the rest was history.
77 minutes | Nov 14, 2020
Episode 47: Captain Michael Hendrix Returns to Talking Flight
Captain Michael Hendrix joins us on this edition of Talking Flight. He was our very first guest when we started the podcast. At the time, he was a First Officer at Alaska Airlines. He subsequently upgraded to Captain on the Boeing 737 and he retired in January of 2020. Michael made the decision to become an airline pilot at age of 40. At the time, people advised him that he was too old to be successful in getting hired by a major airline. Fortunately, he decided to go for it anyway. Captain Hendrix tells us about the various training events that he went through during his career. When he upgraded to Captain at Alaska Airlines, he was shocked at how it differed from the world of being a First Officer.
76 minutes | Jun 16, 2020
Episode 46: Air Wisconsin First Officer Hunter Bevis
Our guest today is Air Wisconsin First Officer Hunter Bevis. Hunter is the son of one of our previous guests, Mr. Bob Bonkukian, former Director of Flight Control at Alaska Airlines. Even though he grew up in an airline family, Hunter did not start his flight training until age 35. Before flying, Hunter was a US Army officer, and he tells us how his service as a Tank Commander later helped him as he transitioned into the world of aviation. Hunter is the host of the podcast Time In Flight.
54 minutes | Apr 16, 2020
Episode 45: Mr. Stefan Holt, WNBC Anchor and Private Pilot
Stefan Holt is one of the News Anchors at WNBC Television in New York City. He is also a Private Pilot with an Instrument Rating. Stefan tells us about his lifelong interest in aviation, and how he worked as a busboy in New York City to earn money for his flying lessons. His experience as a pilot has helped him in his televisions news career to report on aviation stories with a higher level of insight and accuracy.
74 minutes | Feb 6, 2020
Episode 44: Alaska Airlines Captain Elliot Wilson
Our guest on this show is my long time friend, Alaska Airlines Captain Elliot Wilson. I have known Elliot since he was a young child, and he has always had the goal of flying jets for Alaska Airlines. His father was a close friend of mine, and sadly, he passed away several years ago. Elliot tells us about growing up with his Dad and about his journey to becoming a successful Airline Captain.
51 minutes | Feb 2, 2020
Episode 43: Mr. Tom Clark, General Aviation Pilot
Mike sits down with his long time friend, Tom Clark, to talk about his passion for flying airplanes. Tom has had an amazing broadcast career and he is presently working as the Film Commissioner for the State of South Carolina. He has a Commercial Pilot Certificate and a Certified Flight Instructor License. Tom does a lot of flying and he instructs pilots on how to fly vintage "Tail Dragger" airplanes.
109 minutes | Dec 31, 2019
Episode 42: Retired Alaska Airlines Captain Mike Swanigan
Mike Swanigan is his own guest on Talking Flight. His longtime friend, Tom Clark, interviews him on this podcast. Tom is a veteran broadcaster and he is the voice on the intro to Talking Flight. He is presently serving as the Commissioner of the South Carolina Film Commission. Mike tells us how his aviation dream was almost derailed when he was a 16-year-old High School Student, and how he overcame many obstacles in his quest to become an airline pilot.
77 minutes | Nov 7, 2019
Episode 41: Alaska Airlines Captain Kevin Kay
Captain Kevin Kay is the first former Fighter Pilot to join us on Talking Flight. Kevin took an unusual path to become a USAF pilot. He was accepted to Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) after applying through the Air National Guard. Kevin tells us about how he built a network of connections at Air National Guard units around the country to help him figure out what it took to be selected for the program. This is a great story about how hard work and perseverance helped Kevin to Achieve his dream job of flying the F-16.
67 minutes | Sep 30, 2019
Episode 40: Beth Ruggiero York Tells Us About Her Book, Flying Alone
We sit down with writer Beth Ruggiero York and talk about her new book Flying Alone, a memoir. Beth's aviation journey begins in the mid-1980s when she started taking flying lessons and started a job as a line person at the local airport. Her book takes us on a wild ride that shows the exhilaration of flying airplanes and the dangers of having to work for a few unscrupulous aviation companies. Beth shares her story with a striking level of honesty. She was not afraid to write about some of the flying mistakes that she made that could have taken her life. The underlying theme of this book is how a young woman did all of the hard work that it took to be hired as a pilot for a major airline.
57 minutes | Aug 29, 2019
Episode 39: Alaska Airlines Captain Ron Limes
Today's episode is an interview with Alaska Airlines Captain Ron Limes. He is one of the two Chief Pilots at the Seattle Pilot Base. Captain Lines shares his story about growing up in New York City, and how his 5th grade teacher got him interested in flying airplanes. It was his High School Guidance Counselor who told him how to get his aviation dreams off of the ground. Captain Limes also had a brilliant career in the USAF Reserves, ultimately commanding a C-17 squadron.
65 minutes | Jul 24, 2019
Episode 38: Nigel Sargent, Alaska Airlines Director/Flight Simulation
Mr. Nigel Sargent is the Director/Flight Simulation at Alaska Airlines. He is considered to be one of the foremost experts in the field of Flight Simulation. Mr. Sargent grew up in England and worked on Simulators all over the world before joining Alaska Airlines. He started his career right after high school when he landed an intern position with the British company, Redifon. The company later changed its name to Rediffusion Flight Simulators. Nigel tells us about his career and the exciting changes happening in the world of Simulators.
57 minutes | Jun 10, 2019
Episode 37 Retired Alaska Captain Phil Pope
Captain Phil Pope joined Alaska Airlines in 1964. He started in Ground Operations and worked his way into becoming a Flight Engineer on the Lockheed Super Constellation. He later flew the Lockheed C-130, the Boeing 727 and the Boeing 737. Phil tells us about his part in helping to build Alaska Airlines into the Major Carrier that it is today.
8 minutes | Apr 18, 2019
Voice Blog 2: Do Next
Captain Mike Swanigan talks about how he helped his Niece get through a stressful day. He would sometimes use the same strategy near the end of a long day of flying.
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