BizAvJets Spring 2022 Special NBAA S&D

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A BizAvJets Inc./In FlightUSA Joint Publication • Volume 1, Number 5 • Spring 2022


Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2022)


Spring 2022

Spring 2022

A Letter from the Publishers

Dear Readers, It is with great excitement that we present to you our Spring 2022 issue of BizAvJets USA. This is our fifth edition, and we are just as thrilled as ever to be sharing great stories in the business aviation community. This season, we have many airshows and events, including the NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference in San Diego and Sun ‘n Fun in Sebring, Fla. That is why Scott Morrison, JAXJetPort commissioned and will debut aviation artist’s, Hank Caruso’s whimsical ‘JaxJet Biz Buzz’ piece, seen as this issue’s cover, at NBAA’s SDC2022, April 5th. These events bring pilots, enthusiasts, mechanics, and other business aviation users and professionals together. These are great opportunities to network and hear great stories. Since we started our publication in 2020, our focus has been on the charitable use of business aviation. This quarter, we feature a story about how aviation aided a fire effort. We also feature the adventurous stories of Threshold Aviation’s Mark DiLullo. We have another story on the last Learjet from Flight Global. Co-Publisher Annamarie Buonocore delves into aviation career planning and had the opportunity to talk to Jenny Showalter, a career coach who focuses on the business aviation industry. Business aviation is a growing field with many amazing opportunities for those looking for something greater in this world. From charitable uses and medical aid to making headway into the world of crypto currency and NFTs, our industry has an exciting future and one that we are proud to be a part of. People from all walks of life aspire to utilize business aviation. Comedian Doug Williams is one such person. He shares insights of his career. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed creating it. For more information on submitting articles or to read our publication online, visit Sincerely, Annamarie Buonocore & Eli Stepp Co-Publishers BizAvJets USA Magazine

P.O. Box 5402, San Mateo, CA 94402 (650) 358-9908, Fax (650) 358-9254 Co-Publishers Annamarie Buonocore and Eli Stepp Managing Editor Vickie Buonocore Production Editor Matt DuBois Associate Editor Paul T. Glessner Columnists John Goglia, Mark DiLullo and Matt Odenbrett Advertising Sales Paul T. Glessner ( Business matters, advertising and editorial concerns should be addressed to In Flight USA, P.O. Box 5402, San Mateo, Calif. 94402 or by calling (650) 358-9908–fax (650) 358-9254. Copyright © 2008-2021 In Flight Publishing. BizAvJets USA is not responsible for any action taken by any person as a result of reading any part of any issue. The pieces are written for information, entertainment and suggestion – not recommendation. The pursuit of flight or any action reflected by this paper is the responsibility of the individual and not of this paper, its staff or contributors. Opinions expressed are those of the individual author, and not necessarily those of BizAvJets USA. All editorial and advertising matter in this edition is copyrighted. Reproduction in any way is strictly prohibited without written permission of the publisher. BizAvJets USA is not liable or in any way responsible for the condition or airworthiness of any aircraft advertised for sale in any edition. By law the airworthiness of any aircraft sold is the responsibility of the seller and buyer.



Spring 2022

Family, friends and employees gathered in KCNO upon our arrival. (Photo courtesy of Michael DiLullo)

How I Became the Owner of the Largest Privately Owned Jet Fighter Air Force By Mark DiLullo, Founder of the Threshold Aviation Group

In this part three of a four-part series, the crew assembled in Anchorage, were briefed by the mechanics, reviewed the paperwork and pre-flighted the jets in anticipation of the next morning departure. It was previously decided that launching eight aircraft was a heavy lift that involved too much risk and impractical logistics. The chance of a mishap increased substantially and the team was unwilling to accept this level of complexity. Therefore, it was decided that a four-jet transcon would be the plan. In October, the sun rises late in Alaska and sets early, low on the horizon. This compresses the window of opportunity and added additional stress to the mission. We awoke to a howling wind and dry snow flurries, accompanied by low ceilings and limited visibility. We checked the weather at the FBO. This was 2007 and the first iPhone had only just been released the previous January. In those days, we were still obtaining weather briefings from landline phones, desktop computers and in person visits to Flight Service Stations. We went to breakfast and discussed our options. Each crew member was assigned duties; this is a standard protocol which increases efficiency, reduces friction and promotes a culture of teamwork. At this point, local weather was controlling our ability to depart. A high-pressure front was

rapidly approaching with improving sky conditions and visibilities for the Alaskan peninsula. We had a window if we could be airborne by 1400 local. This would allow us to complete the first leg of our flight with an RON (Remain Over Night) in White Horse, Yukon and then continue on to Chino (KCNO) the following day. We had originally planned to RON in Spokane, but knew that flexibility was needed for our plan to be viable. All four jets were loaded with as much fuel as they could carry, we completed final checks and strapped in. The Aero Vodochody L-39 has an internal fuel tank and two non-jettisonable tip tanks, which combined carry approximately 331 US gallons of Jet-A. Both the “C” and “ZA” models had under-wing pylons which were fitted with jettisonable fuel tanks. All four jets had the larger 92-gallon external drop tanks. The additional fuel was beneficial as it provided more range and/or endurance. It is important to understand that range refers to distance while endurance refers to flight time. The compromise is that the added weight and drag from the tanks penalized us with longer takeoff runs and slower rates of climb. Additionally, under-wing drop tanks have tremendous parasitic drag penalties. For example, 100 gallons of underwing fuel equals approximately 50 gallons Continued on Page 5

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JET FIGHTER AIRFORCE Continued from Page 4

of internal fuel with respect to range. The penalty for endurance is not quite as high as the lower speeds result in lower parasitic drag. I signaled the flight and instructed them to start engines, completed the checklists, retrieved the ATIS and performed a flight radio check with each aircraft. Aircraft two, three and four advised they were “good to go.” I took a deep breath and keyed the microphone to call Ted Stevens clearance. I advised the controller that Tiger Flight was ready to copy their instrument clearance. With all housekeeping completed, I pushed the flight to ground control. We were cleared to taxi to runway 2-5R via Alpha and instructed to hold short and to contact tower. I pushed the flight to tower with a “check in.” I advised tower that the Tiger Flight was ready for takeoff and tower instructed us to continue to hold short for arriving 747 traffic on three mile final. Due to Anchorage’s strategic location, it offers the shortest midpoint for many transpacific cargo flights between Asia and North America, allowing carriers to maximize their payload to fuel ratios. I watched the nearly 900,000-pound aircraft descend and touchdown. For a brief moment, I was mesmerized by the sheer size of the Boeing. The feeling was short lived as tower cleared 397ZA (Tiger Flight) plus three for takeoff. The four L-39’s took a staggered po-

Final leg with California’s High Sierra’s in the distance. (Photo courtesy of Michael DiLullo)


sition on runway 2-5R and prepared for the briefed section takeoff. Jets one and two would takeoff followed by a ten-second delay before three and four would release brakes and follow. I gave the powerup signal, held the brakes and selected mil power, verified the engine instruments and that my wingman was heads up. This was followed by a quick nod of the head and brake release. In the cold air, the L-39 accelerated surprisingly well, especially when considering its payload. In my peripheral vision I could see my wingman in perfect position. A good lead always reduces power a couple percent to assure that the wingman has a slight advantage to keep his jet in position. The L-39 rotated, broke ground and climbed with authority. Gear and flaps were raised and Wing stayed in position throughout the transition. I established a low bank, right turn, thereby giving an advantage to jets three and four which were rapidly closing. The sky was already beginning to clear from a dreary gray to bright Carolina blue. I ensured that the ATC clearance was followed precisely both in lateral and vertical requirements. We climbed out over the Alaskan inlet towards Mount Susitna or “The Sleeping Lady,” as she’s known locally. Anchorage is surrounded by six different mountain ranges including the Chugach, the Talkeetna, Tordrillo, Kenai, Aleutian and the Alaskan Range. The most notable, Mount McKinley (AKA: Denali) is the highest peak in North America, rising over 20,320 feet above sea level. Our route crossed several of these mountain ranges. Sooner than expected, ATC passed the flight to Canadian control. In front of us lied the Yukon Territory. We were issued an unrestricted climb to Flight Level 260 and told

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JET FIGHTER AIRFORCE Continued from Page 5

White Horse, Yukon Territory (Photo courtesy of Michael DiLullo) position reporting was “not required, advise upon safe landing in White Horse.” No radar services were offered for our route of flight and altitude. This reduced our workload but added to the idea of alone, unarmed and hopefully unafraid. The terrain below us was a series of river drainages consisting of expansive flats covered with snow and ice leading up to sheer granite cliffs, lines of mountains and glaciers for as far as the eye could see. The landscape seemed a dull contrast in light and shadow, it is a world of gray, black and white, a beautiful frozen hell. It was not a place that a rescue or survival would be likely. The flight easily topped the Wrangell Mountains, the highest range in eastern Alaska at 16,390 feet. There was a cloud layer stacking up over the mountains which was building in elevation. Our altitude was now leveled out at 26,000 feet. We were enjoying a slight tailwind and I could see we were making good time; our fuel burn rate was also squared with our planning. Occasionally, we were in the weather. It was well below zero and free of ice. The L-39 is not an all-weather aircraft, in that it does not have the ability to counter icing. Therefore, it’s necessary to plan around this issue. Before long, White Horse was in the windscreen and we began an aggressive penetration descent as the surrounding terrain was ominous. I established the flight on a ten-mile final and led them to the initial point, followed by an overhead approach. Following the landing, we taxied as a flight to parking and shut down the jets, climbed out and congratulated one another on completing the long-awaited first leg. Our flight time from Anchorage (PANC) to White Horse, Yukon (CYXY) was 1.7 hours and we covered some 503 miles. On this leg of the trip, we flew over the worst of the worst as far as terrain and minimum

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enroute altitudes are concerned. Once in White Horse, we secured the aircraft, ordered fuel and checked in with Canadian Customs. We completed the required paperwork and headed to the hotel for some needed sleep. The next morning, we were up early and after cleaning several inches of new snow off the airplanes, we were rolling down the runway again. Our next destination was Fort Saint John, British Columbia (CYXJ) for a quick fuel stop and then onto Spokane, Wash. (KGEG). After landing in Spokane, we checked in with U.S. Customs, filled out some more paperwork and ordered fuel. The Customs agent refused to believe we were not military. We assured him we were civilians and he left shaking his head in continued disbelief. We had a great steak dinner that night and began to relax. The rest of our trip would be easy sailing to SoCal. We departed early and stopped at Reno Stead (4SD) for a final refueling. While checking the weather ahead of us, we were informed of several “Notices to Airmen’’ (NOTAM’s) about low visibility in the Chino area and throughout Southern California due to large widespread wildfires. As we approached the eastern side of the 10,000 foot San Gabriel Mountain Range, we could see a thick yellowish haze of smoke pouring over the mountain peaks. Upon our descent into the Inland Empire, we began to smell the thick arid burning wood and chaparral. Approach Control handed us off to Ontario Airport so the flight could transition their airspace. Thick smoke and near IFR conditions were encountered during the final minutes of the mission. It felt apocalyptic as we flew over Ontario’s twin 12,000 foot runways in an impressively tight formation. Upon contacting Chino Tower, we “took spacing” and flew a standard traffic pattern. The visibility was far too low to fly the overhead approach. We taxied to the old Lockheed hangars where a crowd of people were gathered for our arrival. Family, friends and employees had waited to greet us and celebrate our safe return. As exhausted as I was, I had a big smile on my face and was satisfied knowing that careful planning, discipline and an expert team created this outcome. Mark DiLullo is the founder and Director of Operations of Threshold Aviation Group. He has 20,000 + flight hours and is rated in 32 jet aircraft, ranging from the Boeing 747 to the Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter. He can be contacted at

Spring 2022


Interview with Comedian Doug Williams By Elijah Stepp

BizAvJets USA recently had the pleasure of BAJ USA: How old were you when you started interviewing comdian Doug Williams. doing stand-up? His story is a fascinating launch into the world of DW: I started in my first year in college so I must’ve comedy and now, a production company called DNA been 20 years old, maybe 19. All clubs or most comedy Media Productions. Doug is looking forward to his first clubs have an open mic night to this day and they flight in a private jet! allow new talent to come in and get started. I was in BizAvJets USA: It’s a pleasure to Huntsville, Alabama, going to a Seventhhave this opportunity to talk with Doug Day Adventist college, named Oakwood Williams. Doug, please tell us a little bit College, my first year. So, I had just gotten about yourself. there and I looked up comedy clubs. When Doug Williams: Hi everyone, I am I went to inquire about open mic nights at a stand-up comedian. I’m actually the the local comedy club, it just so happened first and so far the only black comedian they were having a contest and the winner – and this is Black History Month so this of the contest would be the house MC for is par for the course – to host, produce the club. and create a stand-up comedy series that So I went in and didn’t do well in the launched the STARZ network, called contest at all. But the owner of the club Martin Lawrence presents the First liked me, he like my personality, liked my Amendment Stand-Up. You can go online persona, and he gave the first-place prizeand look at it on YouTube. I was the host winner the opportunity to host and all that and I created it and produced it. came with it but then he allowed me to I’ve been doing stand-up comedy for come in and host the club in my first week over 33 years and recently I wrote the new Doug Williams (Photo at the club. Harlem Globetrotters Show called Spread Steve Harvey was the first comedian Game so, now the Harlem Globetrotters courtesy of Doug Williams) at the club in 1990. He came through and have a new show. was my first mentor. He worked with me I teamed up with some people to write the show. They and I have a picture of it, too. It was my first week of (the Globetrotters) didn’t want the players to provide comedy. all of the comedy so we wrote a script and we wrote in BAJ USA: So I’m curious, because I’m your average two new characters for the Harlem Globetrotters. The guy, do you find doing comedy very gratifying? show is on tour right now and it includes a grandmother DW: It truly defines that proverbial staying, “find character and a character called Dr. Broken Ankles. I co- something you love to do and you’ll never work a day wrote that show with another gentleman. in your life.” Comedy is quintessential. It embodies That’s me in a nutshell. that quote. It is therapeutic and at least for me, when BAJ USA: How did you get started in comedy? the pandemic hit and I wasn’t able to do it, I became DW: I initially started out doing rap back in the 80s. depressed for a long time. I hadn’t realized just how I was trying to rap and it was when DMC was out and a therapeutic it was. You talk and you make people laugh lot of socially conscious rappers but all of my raps came every time you’re on stage, and you’re isolated… you out funny. I was rapping about fat women in Spandex step out of whatever world you’re in you step into this and you know my partner was rapping about hard times, fantasy world. I would definitely say it is very therapeutic. trying to pay bills and those types of things. I just wanted BAJ USA: I can relate a little bit… we love to cruise to rap about fat women eating chicken and stuff like that. and you get a little bit out of the box when you’re on the So he suggested to me, “I think you’re more suited for boat. You can be a different person for a few days and comedy.” I thought about it and, you know, it was still in then you come back, and go back to your job and the the same wheelhouse. You still have a microphone and real world. Have you been exposed to business aviation, still expressing your feelings and so, I gave it a shot and fell in love with it. Continued on Page 16


Contact this Expert Witness

Company: Botta Aviation Expert Witness Phone: 707-658-2880 Cell: 415-320-9811 Fax: 707-658-2880 Website: Specialties & Experience of this Expert Witness

General Specialties: Aviation & Aerospace and Human Factors Specialty Focus: General Aviation Accidents, Loss of Control, Pilot Error, CFIT, Unintended Flight in IMC, Low Altitude Accidents, Power Plant Failure, Human Factors, Flight Crew Performance, Safety Culture, Pilot Fatigue, Pilot Performance, Emotional Intelligence, Corporate Flight Crews, Flight Crew Psychology Education: MA Counseling Psychology, John F Kennedy University; BA Social Science, San Francisco State University; Post Graduate, Advanced Human Studies Institute Years in Practice: 7

Additional Information

Current March, 2022: Captain Botta has 35 years Aviation Experience with a General Aviation background, as an International Airline and Corporate Pilot and 10 years in Private Practice and Group Leader as a former Licensed Professional Counselor. Captain Botta’s specialty is: The Opining of Pilot Psychological and Emotional Fitness As It Relates to Judgment That May Have Led to an Aircraft Accident or Incident • Captain Botta assesses and opines on individuals in a Corporate, Airline or General Aviation case that may have • Involved pilot error, inter-personal conflict or other “human factor” related issues • Based on his Experience as a Licensed Professional Counselor • And as a TWA FAA Designated Check Airman • TWA/ALPA & NetJets Professional Standards Committee Chairman • Experience in Aviation Expert Witness Cases involving Professional Aviator Medical and Flight Fitness Issues • Experience with Rebuttal, Written Reports and Deposition • Certified Leader of a Personal Leadership Training General Specialties: General Aviation, Flight Crew Human Factors, Pilot Judgment, Safety Culture Adherence, Pilot Behavior Analysis, Accident Analysis Education: • Masters Degree, Counseling Psychology, John F Kennedy University, Orinda, CA, 1984 • BA, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA, 1964 • Post Graduate Studies in Human Behavior, Advanced Human Studies Institute, Miami, FL, 1985-1989

Spring 2022

Aviation Expert Witness: • SEAK Expert Witness Directory, 12/21 • SEAK Expert Witness Training, 2/22 • Aviation Expert Witness Experience, Opined on pilot competency and medical issues

Aviation Experience:

• General Aviation Background • Airline Pilot/Captain at Trans World Airlines (TWA) 19661993 • FAA Designated Check Airman, TWA, 1989-1993 • NetJets, Corporate Jet Pilot/Captain, 2000-2009 • Licensed Professional Counselor in Private Practice, St. Louis, MO, 1989-1996 • Chairman, TWA/ALPA (Airline Pilots Association) Professional Standards Committee, 1987-1992 • Chairman, TWA/ALPA Pilots Professional Standards Report, The Catalyst, Spring, 1987 • Chairman, Family Awareness Committee, TWA/ALPA, 1990 • Chairman, Family Awareness Committee Seminar, August, 1990 • Chairman, NetJets Professional Standards Committee, 2000-2004 • Certified Leader, Men’s Personal Leadership Training, ManKind Project, 1992 – 1998 • Search and Rescue, Instructor Pilot, Taos NM, Civil Air Patrol Composite Squadron, August, 1996 - June, 1998 • Seminar/workshop leader, St. Louis, MO 1992 – 1998 • Airline Pilot Interview Prep Specialist: Aviation Consulting Services. 2000 – 2001 • Speaker, 5th International Aviation Psychology Symposium, Columbus, Ohio, 1989 • Author, Pilot Sinking Spells, Flite Facts, September, 1979 • Author, Air Safety and Mental Health, Airline Pilot, March, 1989 • Author, Sanity, Common Sense and Air Safety: Keys to Understanding Pilot Error, 1989 • Author, Power Trip, Family Awareness Committee, May, 1990 • Author, Flying Beyond Retirement, Airline Pilot Careers, July, 2001 • Author, Soul-Searching: Thoughts on Life and a Flying Career, Aviation International News, November, 2001 • Author, Can Pilots Find Peace in Turbulent Times, Aviation International News, March, 2002 • Author, A Fractional Pilot’s Life Comes Full Circle, Aviation International News, May, 2002 • Author, USA Today: Fatigue, Understaffing Threaten Runway Safety, January 10, 2008 • Author, Seven Secrets to Eliminating Worry and Insecurity in Your Flying Career, Ebook, August, 2010 • Retired, NetJets, 2009 Captain Botta has a unique, in-depth perspective on the Emotional and Psychological Fitness of Pilots and Aviation Professionals that will prove valuable to any case that he opines on.

Spring 2022


Author in front of his assigned Gulfstream IV. (Photo courtesy Matt Odenbrett)

GALLEY FIRE IN A GULFSTREAM By Matthew Odenbrett, President of Odenbrett Pilot Services

On some days, the life of a charter pilot is more eventful than others. I was acting as Captain on a GIV-SP. My crew consisted of First Officer John and Cabin Attendant Amanda. Our mission that day was to deadhead from Van Nuys airport to San Jose, where we would pick up a single passenger and then continue to Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington. Our first leg was uneventful and we were ready to go when our passenger arrived on another private flight from elsewhere. Our passenger was settled into his seat and I gave the safety briefing to him, then went to the cockpit to begin our next leg. We had just finished starting engines when I noticed a faint burned paper odor. Before I could comment on it, Amanda came to the cockpit and said, “Hey guys, I left something in the microwave oven for a bit too long and it overheated so it is a little smoky back in the galley right now.” Say what? John and I looked at each other. I sniffed the air again and the smell of burning paper was more pronounced. I said to John, “Do me a favor, can you go back to the galley and let me know what you find.” “Sure, Matt.” John unbelted himself and left the cockpit. I could still smell the odor of burning paper, but I went ahead and began my memory items for the After Starting Engines checklist. I didn’t want to waste time if it wasn’t needed, and I was confident that whatever had

happened was very minor. Still, it is always a good idea to have someone double check. As the old saying goes, where there is smoke, there’s fire. After a minute or so John came back to the cockpit and said to me, “We had a fire in the galley waste bin, but I managed to put it out. The cabin is very smoky and needs to be aired out.” Oh man! This is not good! I restarted the APU and once the auxiliary power was online, I shut down the main engines. Once secure, I asked John to open both the main cabin door and the baggage door. As I exited the cockpit and went aft, I realized the smoke was visible throughout the cabin, and it was thick enough to sting my eyes! This had been a full-on fire! I went to my passenger - who was seated in the forward part of the cabin and was busy on his phone. I said to him, “I am very sorry about this! We had something overheat in the microwave, so we are letting the cabin air out and we will be on our way in just a few minutes.” My passenger - an elderly gentleman – didn’t even look up from his phone. “That’s fine.” He replied. I went back to the galley and I met John who was coming forward from the baggage area where he had opened the baggage door. I could not identify anything that had been burning but the smoke in the air was thicker and the burning smell much stronger. I said to John, “Ok, please tell me what you found?” Continued on Page 10


Galley Fire

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voice, “Amanda, please tell me what happened.” Amanda said, “I had placed a moist towelette into the microwave to warm it up for our passenger. It cooled Continued from Page 9 off when I went to get our passenger a drink, so I warmed it up again. When I went back to the microwave the towelette’s wrapper was black and it was smoking so I threw John replied, “When I came back to the galley the it out.” waste bin was open, and smoke was billowing out of it. I I was incredulous. I said to her, “It was smoking, looked in and saw a black object on top of some burning and you dumped it into the waste bin?” newspapers. The flame Amanda dropped her was only a couple inches head and replied, “Yes tall, so it was clear to me I did. Am I going to be it had just ignited.” fired?” Geez, we really were I thought about my on fire! I looked at the response carefully before waste bin. It was empty. I I spoke up. “No. We are asked, “What did you do going to treat this as a with this burning object?” learning experience. First “I scooped it out of off, you did the right thing the waste bin, dropped it by coming to the cockpit into the galley sink and Looking at the left side of a typical Galley in a and alerting us that you doused it with water.” had something overheat Gulfstream IV. The Microwave Oven is forward of I looked at the galin the microwave oven. the sink. Beneath the Microwave Oven is the trash ley sink. It was empty In the future, should you too. Damn! Where is this bin. Aft of the trash bin is a Convection Oven. All are open a microwave oven thing now? I asked John, hidden behind wooden doors.(Photo courtesy of Matt and discover something “All right. What did you Odenbrett) has overheated, instead of do with this object after dropping it into the waste you doused it?” bin you should either “After it stopped leave it in the microwave smoldering and giving off or drop it into the galley smoke, I placed it back in sink. The metal of the the waste bin. I then resink will isolate any burnmoved the plastic bag lining object and allow us to er from the waste bin and extinguish it before it can tied it off. It is back here ignite something else in in the baggage compartthe galley.” ment.” On the right side of the Galley, crystal glasses have We waited another I went back to the bag- individual brackets to protect them from breaking five minutes on the ramp gage compartment. There to allow the residual during turbulence. A cold storage area is below the was the plastic trash bag. smoke to clear, and I went It was nearly empty, but counter, and other drawers contain porcelain plates, forward to explain to my it was tied off. I was not utensils, and bins for sodas and juices. Hidden forward passenger what was hapgoing to take any chanc- of this area is the mini bar. (Photo courtesy of Matt pening. As I approached es; I wanted this thing off Odenbrett) him, I could see what had my airplane immediately! his undivided attention on I turned to John and said, “Let’s get this trash bag off the his smartphone – he was engrossed in a game of Tetris! airplane right now. Under no circumstance are we going I said to my passenger, “Sir, we have removed the to leave this on board where it may potentially reignite. overheated galley items from the airplane, and we will Besides, it stinks of burned and wet newspaper.” now restart engines and be on our way to Seattle.” John went back to the baggage compartment to drop He didn’t even look up from his smartphone, “Ok, the stinky mess out of our baggage door onto the FBO that sounds fine.” Wow, I wish all my passengers would ramp. I took the opportunity to speak to Amanda, who was nervously waiting next to me. I asked her in a calm Continued on Page 11

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Galley Fire Continued from Page 10

be as easy going as this guy! The rest of our trip was uneventful, but I did have to write a report to my company while we were enroute. I stated that the smoke had permeated the cabin and the airplane would need an interior detailed cleaning before we carried more charter customers. No one wants to spend money to sit in an airplane the smells like an ashtray. I also recommended that the company review what training is given to cabin attendants regarding in-flight fire safety as well as possible firefighting training. It wasn’t until after we had completed the flight that I began to question just how a moist towelette could get so hot that it would ignite paper. If it was simply moistened by water, the water would boil out at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and the towelette would never reach the necessary 842 degrees Fahrenheit to ignite the paper in the waste bin like this package did. A few days later I reached out to the company Director of Safety, and I asked point blank what was in these towelettes that would cause them to get this hot. He replied that the towelettes we use are infused with “essential oils” which gives them a lavender fragrance, and it was the essential oils that made the towelette overheat. I was told that these are preferred by passengers. Aviation safety experts often describe accidents as a chain of events. All it takes is for one link in the chain to be broken and the accident doesn’t happen. In the case


of the galley fire, we had a few errors made that allowed a fire to begin but quick communication on the part of my cabin attendant prevented this from getting out of control. Training kicked in for both my FO and I, and as soon as we were alerted to a problem in the galley we acted immediately. John and I estimated that if we had delayed our response by even 60 seconds, we would have had to do an emergency evacuation of the airplane and the fire department would have been called to put out the fire. This would have likely gutted the airplane, and it may have even destroyed it. In the end, the old expression still holds true – where there is smoke, there’s fire. My advice for flight crews: In any fire, whether on the ground or in flight, at the first indication of a potential fire the steps to take are 1) Investigate, 2) Isolate, and then 3) Extinguish. Do not Hesitate. Time is of extreme importance and will make the difference between a minor inconvenience, or a ruined airplane and/or injuries or fatalities to crew and passengers. Matthew Odenbrett is a 12,000 hour ATP and CFII with Gulfstream IV and Citation type ratings. During his 22-year career, Matthew has served as Chief Pilot, Check Airman, and Flight Department Manager for various companies. Matthew currently serves as Captain on a Gulfstream IV for a charter company, and is a Contract Captain on both the GIV and Pilatus PC-12.


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Pilots performing a preflight aircraft inspection

Jaxjet Biz Buzz (Image courtesy Hank Caruso)

Aviation Artwork Aplenty as Jacksonville JetPort Commissions AerocatureTM By Paul T. Glessner, M.S.

Scott Morrison serves as the Government Liaison and Director of Marketing for the Jacksonville JetPort at Cecil Spaceport which in April will become Million Air Jacksonville. He will continue to coordinate military training conducted at the airport and advises the company on specific military requirements as well as directing advertising and marketing strategy for the location. Scott is a 1979 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He served more than 20 years as a Naval Aviator flying the A-7E Corsair II and FA-18 Hornet aircraft

in a number of squadrons, mostly based at Naval Air Station Cecil Field. Scott was the last Executive Officer of Cecil Field before the base was closed and turned into a civilian airport. Following his Navy retirement, Scott was a pilot/ instructor at United Airlines where he flew the Airbus A320. He subsequently served as a Captain flying Hawker 800 and Gulfstream G200 corporate aircraft prior to assuming his duties at the Jacksonville JetPort. Continued on Page 13

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Aviation Artwork Continued from Page 12

Scott Morrison, Government Liaison and Director of Marketing-Millionair Jacksonville (Photo courtesy Scott Morrison) BizAvJets USA: Scott, why Hank versus other aviation artists? Scott Morrison: Paul, thank you for the opportunity to add some personalization to the story. I’ve known of Hank’s wonderful Aerocatures for decades but had not actually met Hank until about ten years ago. I called him to discuss commissioning a piece commemorating the history of Cecil Field and I had a few ideas that I ran by him. He came up with a fabulous Aerocature™ called Jet Juice and it depicted a group of characters huddled around a bar which served jet fuel. I’ve used that art in numerous applications from the Tailhook backdrop to brochures; I get so many comments! Serving as a Naval Air Station since 1941, NAS Cecil Field was closed in 1999 and ownership was passed to the Jacksonville Aviation Authority. Since that time, Cecil Airport and Cecil Spaceport traffic has grown steadily to include not only military aircraft but general aviation, corporate aviation and horizontal launch of spacecraft as well. “JaxJet Biz Buzz” recognizes the incredible Cecil Field success story and the variety of

aircraft which operate from Cecil on a daily basis. BAJUSA: Scott, why this Hank guy (haha) vs a Stan Stokes or other aviation artists? SM: Fast forward about eight years. I had been using a very successful drawing, actually a crayon drawing, as the theme for my civilian marketing. You see, many civilian companies seem to use a corporate jet sitting on a wet ramp with the sun setting and I wanted something different. The crayon stick figures were very different and very distinctive. But after eight years, that was getting a little old. I decided to call Hank to ask if he had ever drawn any civilian aircraft and he had not. I knew Hank would come up with something spectacular and after reading his thought process that went into creating “JaxJet Biz Buzz”, you can see that I wasn’t wrong! The detail that goes into every aircraft is exquisite and I can stare at this for a long time just picking out the specifics. BAJUSA: Scott, how will this artwork add or complement your work efforts? Will it be used in more and more upcoming brochures and advertising into the future? SM: I used this as the main feature in a new backdrop for the NBAA Schedulers and Dispatchers Conference in San Diego April 2022 and for other NBAA functions going forward as well as printed brochures and on the website. I know this will attract attention since it is so different from what any other FBO would use. BAJUSA: Anything else you would like to add, Scott? SM: While military aviation is the core of our business, general and corporate aviation is also vitally important and this new campaign centered around “JaxJet Biz Buzz” will certainly get the message out. Continued on Page 18

Aviation Artist Hank Caruso on the deck of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) during X-47B carrier trials (Photo courtesy Hank Caruso)


Aviation Artwork Continued from Page 13

Hank Caruso’s Aerocatures are among the most novel and distinctive images in aviation art today. Trained as both an artist and engineer, Hank Caruso’s familiarity with aviation technology and aircraft operations enable him to convincingly show how flight crews feel about their aircraft and how the aircraft feel about themselves. His careful draftsmanship and attention to detail add a strong sense of realism to his dynamic portrayals of each aircraft’s unique personality. The credibility of Hank’s aviation art is enhanced by his first-hand flying experiences as a backseater with Navy and Air Force tactical, test, and training organizations, including the Blue Angels, Topgun, and the US Naval Test Pilot School. An Artist Fellow in the American Society of Aviation Artists (ASAA) and a contributor to the Air Force Art Program, Hank’s creations appear regularly in Naval Aviation News. His art has been displayed in juried shows in art museums and galleries throughout the country. Many military aviation squadrons and civilian aerospace organizations have commissioned original Aerocatures for use as logos, special presentations, and limited-edition commemorative prints. He currently resides in southern Maryland. BizAvJets USA: Hank, what excited you about this project? What difficulties might you have run into? Hank Caruso: Paul, thank you for giving me the chance to offer a bit of back-story regarding “JaxJet Biz Buzz.” Scott and I had collaborated on a couple of other projects, so I knew he is creative, flexible, and he is very easy to work with. To be honest, I’m not sure I was excited about this project initially. First, it involved business and general aviation aircraft, which I’m not as familiar with. They do not have the there-I-was stories that accompany military aircraft and the personalities are less extreme. However, since the Aerocature was to depict a formation fly-over, there was the opportunity for interactions between aircraft. The other source of concern was the need to show the JetPort reasonably accurately and in the proper perspective for the altitude. I wanted a good portrayal of important features, but only to the point where the supporting elements didn’t compete with the aircraft. There is also a good deal of geography surrounding the runways and hangars that contributes nothing to the story, so I didn’t want to spend time recreating all of that terrain, especially since the reference photos were a bit dodgy on details.

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My solution was to add cloud forms over the parts that I didn’t want to include. I used a somewhat artificial cloud form that resembles contrails. These allowed me to add a bit of perspective and dynamism into the Aerocature™ by having them all emanate from an appropriate vanishing point (the Lear Jet’s nose). I also had high-altitude clouds radiating outward from the same vanishing point for a bit more energy. BAJ USA: Hank, what did you add to this project that maybe you hadn’t in previous projects, if that is a good question? HC: The colors of the aircraft are somewhat representative of what shows in the on-line photos. Showing white aircraft against white clouds is always a challenge. I had the sun shine in from the left so that I could add a lot of shadow to contrast the aircraft against the light background. The sun angle also let me add a shadow under the clouds to develop more visual separation between them and the ground. I also avoided making any of the aircraft an extreme solid color to avoid giving it more attention than warranted. The cast of characters was determined by Scott, as was some of the “posing.” The Gulfstream was to be the center attraction, with all of the others surrounding it in one way or another. Showing the smaller aircraft in a somewhat distressed state was Scott’s idea. When drawing propeller aircraft, I don’t like showing blurred black smudges for individual prop blades. Instead, I prefer to show complete circular forms because they look prettier and I feel have more energy than blades frozen in midspin. The crown on the KingAir needed to be King’s Crown and not the subtly different Queen’s Crown. (The top of the King’s crown bows upward (convex), while the Queen’s Crown bows inward at the top. BAJ USA: What is your final assessment of something you never ventured to do in the past? HC: Ultimately, I was very happy with the final rendering, both in composition and color palette. I was especially pleased that the background worked out as an identifying element without overwhelming the aircraft. I think the balance works very well. This is definitely an image I never would have thought to develop on my own. Hank’s work and contact information can be seen at History of The Jacksonville JetPort at Cecil Spaceport Naval Air Station Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida was closed in late 1999 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission decision in 1993. Following closure, the entire 17,864 acres of property Continued on Page 15

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Aviation Artwork Continued from Page 14

was ultimately transferred to the Jacksonville Aviation Authority. The Fixed Base Operator at Jacksonville International Airport opened a new location at Cecil Field to service commercial aircraft that would be flying into the airport. That FBO was ultimately sold to a large FBO chain and the former base operations building was partially converted and upgraded to house the new FBO. In 2005, a new competitor, Air One FBO, entered the Cecil Field FBO market and opened a small operation on another ramp. Air One started with a small fuel farm and two 10,000-gallon trucks and slowly grew the business through superior service and lower fuel prices compared to the large FBO on the airport. In 2008, the two FBOs merged and formed a single entity, The Jacksonville JetPort. The leadership of Jacksonville JetPort, wanting to take advantage of the base infrastructure which includes a number of hangars, large ramps, the longest runway in the southeast United States and the strategic location, started marketing the Cecil Field location to military units throughout the country and developed a thriving niche business. Today, the Jacksonville JetPort not only caters to


corporate aircraft customers but specializes in support of military aircraft through rapid refueling and training detachment services. Units from all branches of the military visit Cecil Field continuously for training opportunities, fuel and support while corporate flight customers enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and the best prices and service available. This April, as Cecil Field continues to expand operations, the Jacksonville JetPort will become the new Million Air Jacksonville-Cecil and will remain center stage providing unparalleled support to all tenant activities, corporate flight customers and military aviation units. Paul T. Glessner, M.S. is both an FAA certificated commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings, SIC G-IV and an aerospace engineer with 30+ years of experience having worked for Boeing, Lockheed, Grumman Aerospace, the F-22 CTF and the F-35 ITF and others in flying/handling qualities, aerodynamics and flight testing. Paul currently works for Virgin Galactic.

Continued on Page 20


Doug Williams Continued from Page 7

business flights? DW: No, just from the standpoint that I travel a lot. I’ve been flying for more than 30 years and every time I fly, it’s like the first time… especially when you hit turbulence because it is hard for my mind to concede if something goes wrong at 30,000-feet in the air, you know that’s the wrong time to stop and pop the hood to see what’s wrong. It’s a no-mistakes-allowed thing, so yeah, I’m still dealing with the concept that resonates in my mind; we’re 30,000-feet up in the air and if something goes wrong, we can’t just pull over. BAJ USA: Would you like to fly privately in the future? DW: Yes, you know, that’s always a big dream, especially in my community – you know, it’s called “the mile high club.” I’ve never flown on a private jet. BAJ USA: Tell us a little bit about the routine you do a cruise ship, I believe it is called Section 8? DW: It’s a thing that I came up with it. It really

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embodies just common people who don’t have a lot of money. They don’t come from “the establishment,” they just want to get together and have a good time. It’s almost like a backyard picnic or reunion of common people from all backgrounds having a good time. I found out you don’t have to have a lot of money to have a good time and I think the misconception is that people think that in order to enjoy life you have to have an exorbitant amount of money. That’s one of things I like about the cruises in particular since the pandemic has hit. They are practically giving these tickets away and this is what all cruise lines are doing. In comedy, they call it “papering the room.” They would rather have people in for free and give you drinks and gamble, as opposed to having an empty ship – so they give away a lot of the tickets. I have found that on those cruises, and I call them the Section 8 cruises, people will just have a good time. You come aboard and forget about your problems and just have a good time. I gave it a name: the Section 8 cruise. It is something that’s catchy and people have embraced it but in no way is it a demeaning term. It is actually a term Continued on Page 17

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Doug Williams Continued from Page 16

of endearment and people of all backgrounds – you have white people, we have black people, you Asian people, you have Spanish people… and we’re all having a good time. There are no politics, no discrimination; it literally embodies that we’re all in the same boat together. BAJ USA: I have heard that you do something with Walmart as well. I have used some Walmart humor in my writing career, so tell me how you use that in your comedy. DW: That is the same concept. All people go to Walmart. You pull into a town or you live in a town and you need something, Walmart is the first place that pops up in your mind. So you see Walmart and cruises are synonymous in that sense. It’s a gathering of all people and of all backgrounds. I find that no matter how much money you have or whatever status you have, everybody’s looking for a deal… everybody’s looking for the best deal for the best product so this is similar to that. BAJ USA: What are your future plans? Do you want to focus on cruise ships or do you have other ideas? DW: As you know, the pandemic really slowed things down in Hollywood. My wife and I own a production


company called DNA Media Productions. We’ve been trying to get out and pitch different projects. I really want to get into film and television. We’re a mom-andpop production company and we’re trying to get that off the ground with a few projects that we’ve written and hope to sell. BAJ USA: Excellent… Can we say that you’re a future business aircraft passenger. DW: Yes, yes you can! BAJ USA: We’re excited to get to know you and what you do. Just to let you know, I am very excited about your wristband… It’s a wristband with a USB cord. It’s really cool and we’d like have them to put BizAvJets USA Magazine on there. We’d also like to invite everyone to visit your website. Learn more about Doug, his comedy and his production company at Thank you Doug… It’s been a pleasure! Eli Stepp has served the Business Aviation Industry for more than 40 years. In addition to founding BizAvJets Inc., and co-founding BizAvJets USA Magazine, he continues to serve the BizAv Industry on a full time basis in multiple roles.


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Tony Kaufman

Email Address: Phone Number: Toni Kaufman: 832-545-4050

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Guidance for Takeoff

Jenny Showalter Offers New Aviation Career Consulting Service By Annamarie Buonocore Choosing a career can be a challenging experience. very strong legislative bent. Fortunately, there are many careers for those interested I later served as a recruiter in the industry and in aviation. From flying for the airlines to aerial photog- worked with new recruits getting into the workplace and raphy, there are many paths to choose from, but where businesses looking for candidates. I worked in recruitdoes one begin in the search for the perfect aviation ca- ing during the pandemic and helped displaced employreer? ees get ready to work in the industry again. After that Jenny Showalter is an experienced aviation profes- and with all this experience, I decided it was my calling sional who recently started an aviation career consulting to help aviation professionals to work on their resumes, practice in sunny, aviation-heavy Florida. She applies build their LinkedIn profiles, and give them interviewing her diverse background to skills. I really enjoy prohelping students and caviding one-on-one conreer changers of all ages sulting. and locations find their BAJ USA: We have dream job. This is her stoheard a great deal about ry, and she looks forward pilot shortages and other to working with new cashortages of professionals reer seekers today! in the industry. What do BizAvJets USA: Tell companies need to do to me about your backattract top talent? ground. Why did you start JS One of the things career consulting? that companies really Jenny Showalter need to do in this market Some people accidentally that we’re in is look at trip into this industry; I their standards or guidewas born into this induslines and make sure those try. I came into this indusare in check. Our main try as a third-generation competitors are the airmember of an aviation lines. The airlines are very family. We owned an FBO transparent when it comes at Orlando Executive Airto requirements, salary, port (ORL). It was in our and benefits. Because our family since 1945. industry is a little more diCareer Coach Jenny Showalter works hard to help When I graduated students achieve their aviation dreams. verse, it sometimes strugfrom college, I had a dif- (Photo courtesy of Jenny Showalter) gles to speak directly to ferent career path planned the talent that’s out there. for myself, but my parents asked me to come and help I would say that they have to reassess how they present for one year because we had a big convention that we their open positions and exactly what they’re looking for. were hosting the static display for. I decided to do it beBAJ USA: What advice would you give to students cause my parents had never asked me for something so who desire a career in business aviation? big. I agreed to do it for one year, but I ended up stayJS It’s hard. I acknowledge that it’s hard for students ing for 20 until we sold the business. This was where I in business aviation or those wanting a business aviation learned about customer service. I really got a great foun- career. The airlines will take you by the hand and say, dation there. “Come with me. I’ll show you the way.” In business aviWe sold the business in 2015, and at the time, I was ation, you have to be a little more aggressive. You have volunteering for the Florida Aviation Business Associa- to be willing to network and find your local and regional tion, one of our state’s regional groups. I ended up being groups. You should start meeting with other professiontheir executive director for a period of time. They have a als, be active on LinkedIn, and really start developing Continued on Page 20



Continued from Page 19 a network to provide you with mentors and assistance as you come into the industry. I have met many young students and professionals who have found their way to an NBAA student membership and to their local and regional networking group. It’s hard for them to do it, but it does pay off. You just have to be more resourceful. BAJ USA: What kinds of jobs have you helped people land? JS I want to make clear that I am not working as a recruiter. I am simply a coach who can guide clients to an aviation career that they have in mind. I have helped many Part 91 operators find talent for their teams. We’re talking about pilots, mechanics, and schedulers and dispatchers. I have also assisted with some of the leadership roles that we worked on. BAJ USA: What would you say is your strongest skill in aviation? JS I would say customer service is really where I cut my teeth. I enjoy providing one-on-one service with people, and I value confidentiality. As we all know, confidentiality in this industry means a great deal. I cut my teeth on both of those things at the FBO, and I pride myself on those things today. BAJ USA: How would you say we are doing in the area of diversity? Have we opened the doors to more women and people of color? JS I would say we have made great strides in doing that. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done. I recognize, having worked for corporate HR departments that have tried hard to create more diversity. But I also realize that we can’t just snap our fingers and create a qualified candidate. It’s going to take some time to really show results. BAJ USA: What age group of students or career changers do you work with the most? JS Here in Florida, I am uniquely positioned. We have a wealth of aviation universities and high schools. My son is actually a junior at one of the aviation high schools. He is in their aviation ROTC program. He already has his drone license, and those students will finish their four years with their ground school completed. There are a lot of programs like that here in Florida. Embry-Riddle is close by, and I have worked with many of their students over the years. The University of Central Florida is right up the street. They are not an aviation school, but they have very industrious students who go out of their way to find someone locally within the in-

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dustry that they have an interest in. That has been very rewarding. The ones that really have that passion and drive are the most fun to work with. BAJ USA: Is the coaching done virtually or in person? JS The coaching is done largely over Zoom. I offer free 15-minute consultations for those who just want to get to know me. I welcome the opportunity to meet people in person. I live in a busy part of Florida. I don’t think Zoom has replaced in-person meeting; it has just widened the scope. I can consult people from anywhere via Zoom, but I love doing in-person sessions. BAJ USA: Whom in aviation do you admire the most? JS Wow! You know, I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that question. I think I would have to say my parents. My dad was born into the industry and got his pilot’s license right after he got his driver’s license. It was in his blood. My mom got into it… well, because she married my dad. Together, they grew a tremendously successful business with a far reach and a great reputation. As their daughter, I can’t think of anything better. BAJ USA: How important is social media presence in getting hired? JS That’s a great question, and it has been even more important since the pandemic. To me, social media is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… not so much LinkedIn. I know it gets lumped into social media, but for me, LinkedIn is your personal brand and image that you want to portray to the industry. With so much remote work during the pandemic, I think your LinkedIn profile has become more important than ever. That is how many people are finding jobs, getting hired, and how they’re learning to connect as people. Not having a LinkedIn will be a red flag. Recruiters probably won’t look at your other social media as much, but you want to make sure it’s clean. Politics have become a big issue everywhere. Some things just need to be carefully reviewed before you put yourself in job-search mode. For information and consulting rates, visit www. Showalter looks forward to working with existing and aspiring aviation industry professionals. She knows the language, the lingo, and how things work, so visit the website today! Annamarie Buonocore is the co-publisher of BizAvJets USA magazine. She enjoys writing, everything aviation, and spending time with her two dogs. She can be reached at annamarie@

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Is Your Parked Aircraft Properly Chocked? By John Goglia, President of John Goglia, LLC.

A short time ago, I watched a video on a news chan- FBOs, realizing that often the press of hurried operations nel showing an airplane moving on its own at an airport. can have an impact on their ability to comply with these The video clearly showed an airplane rolling across the procedures. In the time since I watched that news video, ramp – with no tractor or tow bar attached and nobody in I have made it a point to observe how aircraft are secured the cockpit. The news was making quite a joke of it, not as I travel to different FBOs around the country. My obrealizing the seriousness of what they were watching. servations indicate that some improvements are needed Well, it may be amusing to poke fun at the airline in the attention that is paid by the FBO personnel, as well and aviation for this type of event but what they were as the flight crews. watching can have very serious consequences for the While most corporate operators require their pilots airlines and especially to monitor and ensure for business aviation. that procedures are folCorporate jets are often lowed, judging from my required to spend time random observations, in very crowded parkI’m not sure how diliing areas. Uncontrolled gently these procedures movement at an airport are followed or whethis not a joke and, unforer flight crews make it tunately, is not an isolata point to emphasize ed occurrence. I have to FBO personnel the seen this happen on requirements in their more than one occasion operations manuals for in my time working in securing their aircraft. corporate aviation and Making it a point to obat fixed base operations. serve how your aircraft The consequences of are secured and corhaving an airplane movrecting any deficiencies ing freely on the ramp might save your airusually in congested craft from unintentional spaces can be very costdamage. Or save you ly, even if no injuries or from liability for damdeath result. age to other aircraft or So how does this injury to persons on the Window Placards (Photo courtesy happen and how can ramp. these situations be prevented? As with many incidents and accidents in aviMr. John Goglia has worked ation, the causes are usually related to either someone in both the private and public being in a hurry and just forgetting to properly secure the sectors, from leading the Deaircraft or sloppiness in properly following procedures partment of Transportation to to chock the aircraft or a combination of both. Procerunning his own aviation busidures have been established for some time by organiness. With more than 40 years zations such as the National Air Transportation Associin the aviation industry, he is ation. In addition, many corporate operators have their the only A&P mechanic ever named to the National own procedures in their operations manuals for securing Transportation Safety Board, where he served from their aircraft. Usually, this is accomplished by requiring 1995 to 2004. He has proven to be a true leader, adat least the main landing gear tires to be chocked both hering to the highest professional standards in the front and rear. Some FBOs even require the nose landindustry and is president of John Goglia, LLC. ing gear tires to also have chocks both front and rear. It takes discipline on the part of all FBO personnel to follow the proper procedures established by their



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By Matthew Odenbrett, President of Odenbrett Pilot Services

SMS Text Messages from my phone: Jim: Since we’re empty…are civvies ok for tomorrow? Still new here so not sure. Me: Fine by me. Charlie will be flying and I’ll be in the back pretending to be Mr Big Jim: I will refer to you as Mr. Big until KVNY Me: LMAO! These text messages are how I began my friendship with Jim Alcido. It was the night before Thanksgiving 2021 and I had flown into Austin, Texas to help with a crew swap on a company Gulfstream IV. Charlie was a company Captain who was due to go home and I was there to take over for him. Since Charlie lived in SoCal, he and Jim were going to fly us on Thanksgiving Day while I rode in the back. For the next two weeks that Jim and I flew together, we shared our life experiences and developed the usual strong bonds that come from working closely together. Jim and I were only six months apart in age, he was a 32 -year career veteran of the Marine Corps and Air Force, while I had been a simple enlisted man in the Navy for a single hitch. Jim brought his experience as a Flight Engineer on the C-5 Galaxy from the Air Force and 747 First Officer for a large freight operator to the cockpit, and I brought my down-home simplicity of doing things in small 135 operations. Together, we made a pretty decent team. We told each other about our families, our our hopes and dreams for our children, and our ambitions and concerns for our flying careers. We parted ways promising to keep in touch, and we did. I texted Jim a Happy New Year, and he replied HNY to me too. Several weeks later – Jan. 12 to be exact – I sent Jim a link to one of my stories that had just been published. He texted me back the next day, “Great Story, came down with Covid. In Hospital, should be OK eventually.” I replied, “Ouch! Get well soon Jim!” Since I was out on the road I figured he would recover, but I became wrapped up in both work and family issues of my own and did not follow up with him. This is normal for flight crews. We can go months without communicating and we do not take it personally. I was at home on Feb. 7 when I sent Jim another link to a new story that had been published. I figured he

would like it. I was surprised when a few moments after I sent the link my phone rang from an unknown number in Texas. Curious, I answered. “This is Matt.” “Hello Matthew, this is Jim’s wife Michelle Alcido. I saw you texted my husband and I thought I would phone you with the news. Jim passed away last week from Covid.”

Jim Alcido with youngest son flying around south Texas. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Alcido) Continued on Page 23

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ural immunity would prevent reinfection. This appeared to be Continued from Page 22 the case, because when the Delta variant swept through I did not contract it. In December of 2021 the Omicron variant appeared and swept around the world like Jim Alcido. (Photo courtesy wildfire. I did contract of Michelle Alcido) it that time, but my symptoms were actually milder than my first infection. In fact, my entire family contracted Covid in December despite being vaccinated. If I recall correctly, Jim told me he was vaccinated as well. For better or for worse, the vaccines were less effective against Omicron. Two months after Jim’s passing I am still trying to come to terms with his untimely end. We were close in age, had our families and desires and ambitions. Yet today, I am here and Jim isn’t. I know, I know… some of you will say, Fate is the Hunter. Sorry but that does not apply here. This Pandemic has hit everyone hard, and in the end one can only accept the devastation it has wrought and move on. Pilots everywhere have borrowed a phrase from the English vernacular to describe a fallen comrade. The phrase is “To Fly West.” The original phrase, “To Go West” has been used in various ways going as far back as the 14th century. Whenever pilots gather off duty for an adult beverage or two, occasionally someone will propose a toast to our fellow flyers who have Flown West. All in the group will stand as one, facing west, with our heads bowed in remembrance, for about one minJim Alcido with sock monkey in Kuwait in his Air ute. When the minute is over, we raise our beverages Force days. When his children were young Jim would towards the western sky in toast, and drink to the memsend pictures to his family from around the world of ories of our friends and comrades. himself and his sock monkey in various destinations. We all hope that when we too fly west, those who (Photo courtesy of Michelle Alcido) are left behind will raise a toast to our memory in comradeship. I mentally doubled over from the kick to the gut. I So here’s to you, Jim Alcido. Shots facing west. sat back on my sofa, ran my hand through my thinning hair and said, “Oh my God, I am so sorry to hear this.” Matthew Odenbrett is a 12,000 hour The rest of our conversation is now a blur in my ATP and CFII with Gulfstream IV memory. After I ended my conversation with Michelle and Citation type ratings. During his I just sat and kept wondering the same thing over and 22-year career, Matthew has served over; How could this have happened to someone who as Chief Pilot, Check Airman, and appeared robustly healthy? Flight Department Manager for varI tested positive for Covid 19 in May of 2021. I had a ious companies. Matthew currently high fever, but I kept it under control with ibuprofen, and serves as Captain on a Gulfstream I drank lots of tea to help prevent the virus from spreadIV for a charter company, and is a ing from my throat to my lungs. I recovered within two Contract Captain on both the GIV weeks. I have not taken any of the vaccines because and Pilatus PC-12. most medical publications had been reporting that nat-


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The last Learjet – a 75 delivered to Northern Aircraft Management on 28 March 2022 (Photo courtesy of


The Learjet brand has stepped into the sunset, with the famed business jet manufacturer delivering its final aircraft on 28 March. The Wichita airframer, a division of Bombardier, delivered the last jet – an eight-passenger Learjet 75 – to US customer Northern Jet Management, bringing some 60 years of production to a close. During those decades, Learjet produced more than 3,000 aircraft, of which more than 2,000 remain in service, Bombardier says. The move follows Bombardier’s decision, disclosed in February 2021, to shutter Learjet and focus all its attention on producing larger, more-profitable business jets.

Launched by innovator Bill Lear in the early 1960s, Learjet quickly became a cultural icon – a symbol of luxury associated with customers like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. Learjet’s first model – the six-passenger Learjet 23 – took to the skies on its maiden flight on 7 October 1963. The airframer went on to produce six- and eight-passenger models like Learjet 24s, 25s, 31s and 35s. Change came in 1990 with Learjet’s acquisition by Bombardier, which backed the airframer’s development of types like Learjet 40s, 45s, 60s, and, more recently, Continued on Page 27

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The Learjet 23 led the way, first flown in October 1963 (Photo courtesy of



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LAST LEARJET Continued from Page 25

the 70/75 pairing, which entered service last decade. But the company fumbled last decade with its Learjet 85, a composite-skinned aircraft that was to propel Learjet into the era of advanced materials. Amid delays and production problems, Bombardier cancelled the 85 programme in 2015. The brand seemed to stall since then, with only the 75 remaining in production and seemingly little innovation other than the 2019 launch of the Learjet 75 Liberty, a discounted variant of the baseline 75. Meanwhile, Bombardier was busy pulling itself from a financial hole created by development of its CSeries commercial aircraft. That programme proved so expensive that Bombardier eventually washed its hands of the effort, handing majority ownership of CSeries (now called the A220) to Airbus. That was only the beginning. Bombardier then set out on a plan to become a business-jet-only company. Not only that, but it would only sell medium-cabin Challengers and its line of large-cabin, ultra-long-range Glo-

Picture Yourself on a “JetColleagues” Networking Event 702-465-2027 •


bals. To get there, Bombardier sold its Dash 8 turboprop programme in 2019 and its CRJ regional jet programme in 2020. It divested aerostructures businesses in 2020, and sold off its train business in 2021. In 2021, Bombardier chief executive Eric Martel told FlightGlobal that Challengers and Globals generated 90% of Bombardier’s business jet revenue. He described Learjet as sitting in a “more-competitive, more-crowded market” than Bombardier’s other types. “When I have $1 to invest, where do I put that dollar? Today, it’s pretty clear… It’s either on the Global, either on the Challenger, or in the service business,” he said. Though Learjet production has ceased, Bombardier has big plans for Wichita. It intends to make the site a Learjet “Centre of Excellence” – an aftermarket hub specialising in servicing the 2,000 Learjets still flying, Bombardier vice-president of OEM parts and services Chris Debergh said in 2021. Bombardier would transition its Learjet production hangars into service bays and expand Wichita’s aftermarket capabilities. The space would also give the company better ability to service Challengers and Globals, he said.



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