A video and podcast series interviewing industry professionals, aviation enthusiasts, and fellow ForeFlighters to get an inside look at their lives Between Two Wings
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Episode 35: Ernie Meeks
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with Ernie Meeks, creator of the Flying with Big Ern YouTube channel. Ernie is a Captain at Southwest Airlines and regularly takes his viewers behind the scenes of flying the Boeing 737 and his Cirrus SR22 Turbo. Learn what inspired him to start his YouTube channel – Flying with Big Ern – and how he used his knowledge and experience in aviation to start his own business. Ernie also shares what makes a Southwest pilot candidate stand out in the interview process and his favorite GA destinations to fly for food.
The biggest advice I could give someone starting out is that it is filled with challenges. ... Aviation will humble you big time and it is difficult; it's not easy. And the way to get through it is to persevere and to just not take failure as an option because you're going to fail. You're going to fail a checkride. You're going to fail at some point in your life and it's just having that determination, that 'You know, I only fail if I don't get back up.'
— Ernie Meeks | "Flying with Big Ern"
MEET THE HOST
Emily is a Community Marketing Specialist at ForeFlight and leads our Social Media and Influencer efforts. She is currently a Private Pilot working towards her Instrument Rating and plans to continue on to learn as much about flying as she can! Her favorite aviation related activities include introducing people to general aviation and flying around Texas with her Dad in their Piper Warrior.
Episode 34: Michelle "MACE" Curran
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with Michelle “MACE” Curran, who flew as a Lead Solo for the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds’. Learn what led her to become a motivational speaker after a successful career in the military, how the Thunderbirds selection process became more challenging during her time with the team, and how their series of flights across the U.S. at the height of COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 all started with a group text and why it was some of the most stressful flying of her career.
Episode 33: Melvin Williams
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with Melvin Williams, better known as Mel the Traveler on social media. Learn about the training he had to undergo before taking a flight with the USAF Thunderbirds. Mel also describes how he ended up in a training program to become an A&P seemingly by accident, which led to his career as a maintenance instructor on the Boeing 737. And even though he knows the 737 inside and out, being a mechanic for over a decade may not help much if he became a pilot.
Episode 32: Kevin LaRosa II
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with Kevin LaRosa II, the Aerial Coordinator and Camera Pilot for Top Gun: Maverick. Learn how Kevin broke into filmmaking as a pilot, the types of aircraft he’s used to shoot films like this one and Iron Man, The Avengers, and Transformers 5, as well as the unique challenges the crew faced while shooting Top Gun: Maverick.
Episode 31: WomenVenture
On this special episode of Between Two Wings recorded live at EAA AirVenture 2022 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, we talk with Olga Custodio, a retired American Airlines and US Air Force Pilot; Claire Schindler, a corporate pilot; Kerry Smith, Deputy Chief Pilot for Product Development at Boeing Commercial Airplanes; and Annie Vogel, a GA pilot and aviation journalist. The panel discussed how women across different sectors of the aviation industry can find success and fulfilling careers.
Episode 30: Dick Knapinski
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with Dick Knapinski, Director of Communications at EAA. Hear what’s happening in and around Oshkosh ahead of EAA AirVenture 2022, the choreography that goes into managing the airspace and grounds at KOSH, and how EAA prepares year-round to keep hundreds of thousands of attendees safe.
Episode 29: Drew Holcomb
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with musician Drew Holcomb of Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. Drew also performs with his wife, Ellie, and is an instrument-rated pilot. Hear about the similarities Drew sees between music and flying, what brought him back to aviation nearly 20 years after earning his PPL, and how he was able to build time while on the road.
Episode 28: Petter Hörnfeldt
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with Petter Hörnfeldt, creator of Mentour Pilot and a Boeing 737 line training captain for a major European airline. Hear what he thinks makes a good instructor, why he started Mentour Pilot, how his mother helps make sure his content reaches the right audience, and how a government program helped him learn to fly.
Episode 27: Jason Miller
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with Jason Miller, CFI and creator of The Finer Points. Hear about how he got his first job in aviation, what he views as the most critical aspect of new pilot training, and how he thinks YouTube has positively impacted aviation.
Episode 26: Steven Curry
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with Steven Curry, a CFI and U.S. Army Veteran. Despite losing his leg in combat while deployed, Steven still achieved his dream of becoming a pilot with the help of the non-profit organization Able Flight. Hear about the challenges Steven has faced and how Able Flight helps pilots like him take to the skies.
Episode 25: Chelsea Smith
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with Chelsea Smith, an A&P mechanic and commercial-rated pilot who strives to bridge the gap between pilots and mechanics. Hear why she thinks every pilot should actively participate in their own aircraft's annuals and about her journey as one of the few female mechanics in the industry.
Episode 24: Pete Zaccagnino
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with World Champion race pilot Pete Zaccagnino. Learn about the process to become an air racer and maintain a competitive aircraft, and hear about the unexpected danger he faced after an engine failure forced him down in the desert.
Episode 23: Gabriel Wertman
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with Gabriel Wertman, better known as Avionazzo on YouTube, a general aviation pilot who flies in both the US and Mexico. Learn about what inspired him to share his passion for aviation with followers in Latin America as well as how flying differs between the two countries.
Episode 22: James Fallows
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk to James Fallows, a renowned journalist who has used his Cirrus to report on hundreds of stories, write a book, and even film an HBO documentary. Learn about his career and how working on Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign in 1976 helped drive his interest in aviation.
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Episode 21: Bernhard Fragner
On this episode of Between Two Wings meet Bernhard Fragner, CEO of GlobeAir, which operates the largest fleet of Cessna Citation Mustangs in the world. Hear how 9/11 influenced the rise of the air taxi industry and why it rapidly grew in popularity amongst commercial and larger jet charter passengers, as well as three things Bernhard says are keys to success in any business.
Episode 20: Kate Gunderson
On this episode of Between Two Wings meet aerospace engineer and National Test Pilot School student Kate Gunderson. Hear about her role as a flight test engineer, how this next endeavor could help her achieve her dream of becoming an astronaut, and why she is passionate about encouraging women to pursue STEM careers.
Episode 19: Bill McGlynn
On this episode of Between Two Wings meet Recreational Aviation Foundation President Bill McGlynn. He explains how a $100 pancake run led to his passion for backcountry flying, how the RAF advocates and fundraises to preserve, improve, and create airstrips for recreational access, the history behind many of the places the RAF is protecting, and why you should get into backcountry flying.
Episode 18: Jason Rabinowitz
On this episode of Between Two Wings we get to know Jason Rabinowitz, an aviation journalist and blogger who specializes in the passenger experience. Hear what nearly a decade in the industry has taught him about how pilots and airlines can put passengers at ease with better communications practices, as well as his thoughts on how the COVID-19 pandemic could change commercial travel in the long run.
Episode 17: Katy Birkelbach
On this episode of Between Two Wings we get to know Katy Birkelbach, a licensed commercial pilot whose goal is to share her experiences and inspire her followers to get into aviation. Hear how she describes the differences of training at both ATP and Part 61 flight schools, how becoming a pilot gave her the self-confidence to achieve anything, and how she helps many of her 135,000 followers overcome anxiety about flying.
Episode 16: Mark Henley
On this episode of Between Two Wings, we sit down with the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team's lead pilot, Mark Henley, to learn about the team’s history and the pivotal role of each pilot, how the Aeroshells are able to perform for more than three decades while other teams come and go, why the T-6 is called "The Pilot Maker", and more.
Episode 15: Mark Baker
On this episode of Between Two Wings get to know AOPA President Mark Baker, the aviation enthusiast behind the organization protecting your freedom to fly, and hear about the unique challenges they've faced upholding that mission from 1939.
Episode 14: Robert "Uncle Bob" Martin
On this episode of Between Two Wings hear software engineer Robert "Uncle Bob" Martin talk about the similarities between pilots and developers, how important it is that many of ForeFlight's devs are pilots, and answer some questions submitted by our team.
Episode 13: Rebecca Shaw
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Shaw, a NOAA Hurricane Hunter pilot. Hear what it’s like to prepare for and fly into the eye of a hurricane to gather life-saving data, how personal minimums keep all pilots safe, and more.
Episode 12: Matt Johnson
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with Matt Johnson to get an inside look at the life of an air medical helicopter pilot, how ForeFlight's BYOP feature enhanced their operations, and more. Watch now, or listen wherever you find your podcasts.
Episode 11: Daniel Baker
On this episode of Between Two Wings, hear FlightAware CEO Daniel Baker talk about what inspired him to start the company, learn about their new tracking product for piston aircraft, and more!
Episode 10: Tyson Weihs
On this special episode of Between Two Wings recorded at #OSH21, ForeFlight CEO and Co-Founder Tyson Weihs talks about ForeFlight’s history, what’s next for the app and aviation industry, and more!
Episode 9: Emily Rhudy
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with ForeFlight Pilot Support Team member Emily Rhudy! Tune in to hear about her experience volunteering with the Commemorative Air Force, giving back to the aviation community, and a few things she wishes all ForeFlight users knew.
Episode 8: Susan Bell
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with Competition Aerobatic Pilot Susan Bell about all things aerobatics, and why every pilot should practice spin and upset recovery training
Episode 7: Travis Ludlow
On this episode of Between Two Wings, we talk with UK pilot Travis Ludlow, who is currently enroute to become the youngest person ever to fly solo around the world!
Episode 6: Jenn Pierce
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with Houston Center Air Traffic Controller, Jenn Pierce! Tune in to hear about her experience controlling the skies and a few things she wishes all pilots knew.
Episode 5: Adrian Tegler
On this episode of #BetweenTwoWings we talk with ForeFlight Pilot Support Team member Adrian Tegler! Tune in to hear about his experience leaving a CFI job in Canada to flying commercially in Indonesia, the challenges he faced, and the incredible flying experience he gained.
Episode 4: Laura Laban
On this episode of Between Two Wings we talk with Infinite Flight CEO and pilot, Laura Laban! Hear how creating scenery packages for Microsoft Flight Simulator helped her pay for flight training, the similarities between software engineering and flying, and as always, more avgeek talk.
Episode 3: Justin Siems
On this episode of Between Two Wings we chat with Citation Latitude pilot, Justin Siems, about his journey to becoming a corporate pilot, why he chose corporate over airlines, and how hosting his own aviation podcast @pilottopilot has impacted him.
Episode 2: Matt Swee
On our second episode we talk with Matt Swee, an Airforce and Airline Pilot, about transitioning from civil training, to military, to a major airline, and how organizations like The Pilot Network make this process easier for pilots.
Episode 1: Chris Palmer
Join us and Chris Palmer from Angle of Attack as we talk about flying in Alaska and its unique aviation community!