Yesterday was all about the Journey to Redmond/Bend Oregon. Today... is what happened when I missed my flight and diverted through Portland.
I forgot to bring a book. So I watched the crowd. First thing I noticed everyone, less four people, were playing with their electronics. Two commuting pilots: One Alaska pilot was reading. Another Delta pilot was writing notes with actual paper and pen, no less. And then there was a Horizon Captain walking through the terminal, who grinned broadly as he hugged a man. Then they grabbed a coffee and talked in the waiting area.
Hmmm. Good friends? Worked together? I wondered.
I took my seat and soon the man, recipient of the hug, sat beside me. What are the odds?
I said, "Do you work for the airline?"
He said, "Yes."
"What do you do for them?" I asked.
"I'm the President of Horizon Airlines."
I handed him one of my cards, and said, "Then you need to read my book Flight For Control." What else do you say to a President of an airline? I also warned him to not be terribly afraid of what goes on in my mind after reading my book.
The reality is, he is very like minded with inspiration and positive attitude and working toward the same goals: Inspiring the future aviators, and safety. His pilots hug him. That speaks volumes. I have yet to see that happen at any of my eight airlines.
I had a great flight and enjoyed our conversation immensely. What an accomplished man. He was the VP of finance at Horizon, Senior VP of customer service at Alaska, VP of finance and treasurer of Alaska, Executive VP Airports, Maintenance and Engineering, Executive VP finance and CFO at Alaska, and now the President at Alaska/Horizon. Experience is a good thing.
More than all this, he is yet another Alaska/Horizon executive giving back to the community. He has been visiting colleges and universities looking to address the pilot shortage. He is inspiring the students. I'm telling you, the executives at Alaska give back tenfold. Remember what Bill Ayer did in March?
We discussed many things, and of course the crash in San Fransisco and why it happened. He mentioned how their pilots hand fly visual approaches, such as SFO, many times a day, honing their skills. I have also noticed the Airbus pilots who also fly general aviation are the best. They disconnect everything and can fly. This is the greatest challenge, maintaining skills with automation.
Then we discussed how pilots would earn their flight hours, expense being one of the major issues, in combination with the increased hour requirement. What are we going to do in the future?
Thanks to a conversation with an inspiring individual... Glenn Johnson... I know what I am going to do with my Ph.D. And... I now know what my thesis will be.
I am enrolling in Embry Riddle's
Aviation Ph.D. Program in Fall of 2014!
What I intend on doing is implementing an idea that will change the world of Aviation as we know it. This means changing the FARs.
I have figured out how to lower the new pilots' expense in building their flight hours, while solving the pending problem with the future of aviation: Pilots deteriorating skills, and the inability to fly their planes when they lose, and/or disconnect their automation.
Flight For Safety will be released in August. That means I have one year to get Flight For Survival, Flight To Success, and my children's books done. And at least one of my movies on the big screen to fund the adventures.
Sounds like I might be headed for a busy year. But good things to come. When the trilogy is complete, we are headed for pure motivation, inspiration and creating change.
Thank you Glen for being the inspiration to the dream, and for all you do for the future of aviation.
What am I going to pursue with my degree?
Can you guess how I plan to reduce the expense for new pilots building their flight hours, while making the industry safer so accidents like AF447 and Asia 214 won't happen in the future?
I will write about it next Tuesday.
Enjoy the Journey!