Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday Tweeter: @BlainPlanes

By Jeremy Carlisle

During my Grand Rapids, Michigan visit last week, I had the opportunity to take a drive down to nearby Kalamazoo, Michigan to visit the most amazing Air Zoo Museum.  Kalamazoo is also the home of someone I came across on Twitter and who has been a valued follower/supporter.  

Along with my acquaintance with this valued supporter, I didn't realize that over time how much the aviation community has grown substantially in West Michigan, thanks to Western Michigan University (WMU) and the efforts of the person I am about to introduce.  (Also noting the new Aviation High School I saw being installed right next to Ford Airport/GRR shortly before my untimely departure.)  Because of the advancement of the aviation community and also my trip to "The Zoo" this past week, I decided to make Josh Blain this week's TUESDAY TWEETER.

Follow him at

Photo Courtesy of Josh Blain

More about Josh:
Love Aviation, Airlines, and Airplanes. Pilot- CSEL CMEL CSES. Manage social media for AHP and Western Michigan University College of Aviation. AKA: The Flying Nice Jewish Boy.

Thank you Josh for following this website on Twitter.  Your support not only to this site but the greater West Michigan Aviation community is greatly appreciated.  Have an awesome time at OSH13 and I hope to see, if not fly with you, during the next visit to West Michigan very soon! 

Monday, July 22, 2013


"There isn't a letter 'I' in 'T.E.A.M."

Jeremy Carlisle

There is so much truth in this statement.  Ask any pilot that advocates strongly for CRM (Crew Resource Management.)  Having given this topic some thought, I was thinking of how a pilot in training can start to train the brain to develop the methods of teamwork.

As many know beginning flight training in and of itself can be a financial difficulty.  Many apply for scholarships and others take to creativity to discover a way not only to fit the budget, but also develop this mentality, that beginning mind training stage of CRM.

For those who take flight lessons privately and are networked with other flight students of the same instructor, some have developed a method of sharing lessons and/or splitting the costs.  That way one could fly more frequently at a fraction.

So, my question to all of my readers of this post is this:  Are you a student who "time shares" with another classmate?  Has it proven effective for you?  Please feel free to leave a reply below and share your experiences with this topic.

Your input is most appreciated.

"T.E.A.M."work is the most effective way to accomplish any mission anywhere.  This is a thought that carried me overnight into this morning.

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Force Within

This week was filled with excitement as I flew to Grand Rapids, Michigan (by way of O'Hare) to visit family and to celebrate a special birthday.  Due to the significance and common denominator of this birthday (we both like planes) we went somewhere where no one would ever think of to go and see planes - The Zoo.  Yes, really, we went to the zoo...

Kalamazoo, Michigan that is...

            We went to a very special place located there called:


Luckily, despite the peak summer season, the place wasn't a zoo with crowds and we got a lot accomplished there.  Space shuttle rides, simulator rides, balloon rides, you name it.  It was one special day on so many flight levels.  

On a personal note, it was also a great day for me to get work done - aviation photography and article planning at its best.  But, alas, I was photographing everything and I shot over 200 photos from the day that I couldn't possibly combine them into one mega post.

So this.. happened for a reason.  The reason is that I am breaking up the photos in order to dedicate this week's FRIDAY FOTO or FOTOto a topic which needs to be mentioned so many times.  It is a special topic which this air museum decided to dedicate a special space for.  Not only did they dedicate a special space for it at the museum, but I am dedicating a special space for it on this website.

With these words, I present to you

July 19th, 2013


CaptainAboard.com commemorates all the women who not only served in the commercial industry but also in the War Services as pilots, heroes for our beloved United States of America.  Please have a look at the visuals below..

Enjoy the VFR flight..


I was first introduced to this fine lady.  Do you know who she is?  Like many I saw at this exhibit, she definitely had a success story to share..

Some of the various aircraft 
flown by these fine pilots:

Aligned at the top of the walls perpendicular with the ceiling was a roll of film that circumnavigated the display room with all of the female WASP pilots.  There were two individuals who stuck out among them...  Do you know them?



Thank you for your devoted service to this great nation.

Saluting you!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Monday, July 15, 2013

The Utlimate Search

The day yesterday started out early.  Arriving at Newark at around 11:50, I came to a security line that stretch all the way back to LA and it was barely moving.  Boarding time was 12:15, or at least it said on the pass, but I assured myself that if things didn't pick up, I would be doomed.

To my advatage, an extra line was added near where I was standing and I ran over.  After security I made a mad dash all the way down to my gate to discover that the 757-200 that I was to take was still clearing customs and changing over from Edinburgh, Scotland.

Even though my phone battery was almost dead, I managed by short of a miracle to get an outlet somewhere to charge it to do the photo shoots.

Despite the fact we had a delay getting out to O'Hare..  that didn't mean that the party ceased..

Cheers to you, Daddy!
The perfect inflight beverage..

A timely Chicago landing, was successful minus ten minutes, however, getting into Grand Rapids was a different story.  After a malfunctioning APU and sitting inside a small Regional jet with minimal venting for about an hour in 90 degree weather outside, suffice to say, every passenger on the flight expressed the IATA code for our final destination: GRR.    Once we pushed and got rolling, the taxi was just as long.. Despite this fact, we were airborne and I was ready to be laying on my mother's couch already.  Thank goodness the O'Hare - GRR run is only a 15 minute hop.

Even though I was sitting inside of a cabin that was literally a sauna, I saw my very first sighting of the

Boeing 787

Even though the taxi was enormously long, it was well worth the sights airborne, especially over Lake Michigan.

Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR/KGRR)
I finally made it to spend sometime with former President Ford for what would have been his 100th birthday.  And yes,.. they had a party at GRR about 4 hours before my arrival.

Airline travel, whether as crew or passengers, can be stressful, but you have to learn to appreciate the good - to experience the joy within the stress in order to get through it..

 The joy within the stress, for that is the ultimate search.

Lake Michigan at FL 110

Have a GRReat week!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Where are you going?

"You have to know where you come from 
in order to know where you are going."

JULY 5TH 2013

Do you know where you are going? 

While you are at it,  make a stop by the Twitter and Instagram accounts of 


and click "FOLLOW" 

I am sure you will get a follow back

You also might be greeted by a very familiar face. 

Hope everyone is enjoying the Independence Day holiday weekend here both in the States and abroad! 


Monday, July 1, 2013

Understanding AF 447

Last month I wrote about two pilots who wanted to share a story that so many are unable to tell.  The voices of one fatal airplane crash which occurred on the late night of May 31st early morning June 1st sending F-GZCP, an Air France Airbus A330 operating as AF 447 into the Atlantic waters hundreds of miles off the northeast coast of Brasil. One of these pilots tells the story through fiction (fiction which mirrors truth) the other through writing a book about the tragedy itself.

I recently received an e-mail and a tweet yesterday from Airbus A330 Captain Bill Palmer about his up and coming book "Understanding Air France 447."  Not only an update but also a website link (below) which is replete with information for every prospective reader to get their eyes and minds on.  This is something you don't want to pass up for sure.

Please also sign up for updates if you haven't done so.

Thank you so much Bill for not only giving us a sneak peak but also for sharing your vast wealth of information on this topic.

Have a great week everyone,