Simpleflight Radio



Welcome to the SimpleFlight Radio show! We are here to help you define your personal aviation lifestyle. We've got the tips, pilot hacks and introductions to the people who give their aviation secrets.


  • Reflections 2019, December 19, 2019 (S8E9)

    20/12/2019 Duración: 01h13s

    Happy Holidays!!!  With the end of the year in sight, Brandon and Marc reflected on different areas of general aviation that have an opportunity to improve with just a little effort from all of us that love the industry so much.  Certainly there are many highlights as well, so the guys touched on some of the things aviation got right. All of us are interested in making aviation better, so we'd love to hear your thoughts on the good, the bad, and the ugly from your perspective.  What are your pet peeves?  What should General Aviation Stop Doing?  Start Doing?  Continue Doing? We're interested to have you join the discussion with your opinion and any questions you have of the SimpleFlight crew.  And at the same time, share your thoughts with the rest of the SimpleFlight Facebook and Instagram community @simpleflightradio Thanks for being a part of the SimpleFlight Family!!!

  • From Plane Shopping To Purchase, December 1, 2019 (S8E8)

    02/12/2019 Duración: 45min

    If you haven't listened to the October 13 podcast, we suggest you take a few moments and do so now.  You'll get a chance to meet two members of the Leading Edge Flying Club (KPWK), who each have a dream of plane ownership.  During the show, we learned they each brought a different mission, budget, and philosophy to their decision making process.  Both have made significant strides towards their goal.  There's a lot we can all identify with. On this week's episode, we'll reconnect with Andy Thome to get an update on his progress (spoiler alert  - he bought a plane).  Yet, other than a picture, he still has not had a chance see the plane in person, as "she" goes through a series of steps before she can be flown to her new home.  It's an interesting story and quite an education for the rest of us.  We hope you enjoy the show. We're interested to have you join the discussion with your opinion and any questions you have of the SimpleFlight crew.  And at the same time, share your thoughts with the rest of the Simpl

  • Carbon Cub To Chicago, November 17, 2019

    18/11/2019 Duración: 58min

    For those of you that read Rinker Buck's memoir, "Flight of Passage", you'll understand the romance associated with a cross country flight in a Piper Cub.  If you haven't read the story, you only need to love General Aviation to understand the smile that comes with a low and slow flight of 1500 nautical miles across the Western and Midwestern United States.  Imagine a pilot that has been flying for close to 50 years and amassed 39,000 hours, but never achieved a goal to make that kind of trip, until now.   This week on SimpleFlight Radio, Marc and Brandon welcome back Bob Schmelzer for his third visit to the crew's Chicago studio.  Two and a half years ago, one of Bob's students ordered a brand new Carbon Cub (LSA).  When it became clear the plane would be delivered in November of this year, the owner asked Bob if he would fly out to Yakima, Washington to pick up the plane and fly it back to its new home in Chicago.  Seeing an opportunity to fulfill a goal of making such a flight, Bob jumped at the chance.  A

  • Brrr, It's Cold Outside - Cold Weather Operations, October 27, 2019

    02/11/2019 Duración: 49min

    With a forecast for snow on Halloween in Chicago, the topic of winter has entered our vocabulary too early this year.  Yet, with its arrival, the topic of cold weather operations seems right on schedule.  Non-pilots commonly ask if GA pilots fly in the winter.  After all, won't icing be an issue.  These same people are amazed to hear that its often the best flying of the year.  Clear skies, smooth rides, and performance that can't be matched.  And the scenery.... Pilot and non-pilot alike, will always be amazed at the beauty of flying under a full moon above a snow covered landscape.  To see the ground light up as the moonlight reflects off the white snow is a life changing moment.  Of course, on the other side of the coin, it's best to not talk about freezing preflights, snowy runways, and that ice thing we don't want to think about! Winter flight operations has a lot of implications that go beyond airframe icing.  This week on SimoleFlight Radio, listen in as Brandon and Marc discuss the special aspects of

  • Plane Shopping, October 13, 2019 (S8E5)

    15/10/2019 Duración: 01h05min

    Whether it's Trade-A-Plane or, many GA pilots spend a fair amount of time window shopping for their dream plane.  It's fun and results in a smile.  But then the spreadsheet comes into play as the prospective plane owner starts to rationalize and compare rental costs vs. the cost of ownership.  Soon, the math starts to make sense and it's time to take next steps.  Hey, this can happen! But what are those next steps?  What questions need to be asked and where are the answers found.  Will my "significant other" support me?  How do I broach the subject?  All of a sudden the simple finance question has turned into a long and unknown journey into the abyss.  Well, maybe not.  This week on SimpleFlight Radio, Marc and Brandon sit down with two members of Leading Edge Flying Club (KPWK), who are part of a larger group of members that are asking for some answers on how to go about buying a plane.  Andy Thome and Edward Forman have similar missions, but different budgets and goals for what they are tryin

  • Archie League Awards, October 6, 2019 S8-E4

    08/10/2019 Duración: 01h02min

    Since 2004, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) has been recognizing its members for extraordinary performance in turning a potentially bad situation into a "non-event".  Or as they call it, "A Save".  Named after the first Air Traffic Controller, The Archie League Medal of Safety awards are announced each September to controllers across the various regions in the US.  See the link below.       The award winners commonly remark, they were just doing their job.  While true, no one can argue with the positive results they achieve in the face of impending disaster.  It's noteworthy that it goes beyond situational awareness and the ability to solve complex problems in the face of a ticking time clock.  Being able to communicate as a reassuring voice to a distressed pilot cannot be overstated.  On this week's episode of SimpleFlight Radio, join Marc and Brandon as they listen to multiple replays of the radio transmissions between ATC and pilots. It's no surprise there is plenty to learn from t

  • Al Palicki, Making A Difference For 40 Years, September 17, 2019

    24/09/2019 Duración: 01h04min

    A wise person once made the statement that if your smile is bigger on Friday than it is on Monday, it's time to find a new job.  Big smiles on Monday aren't that common, but neither is tonight's guest, Al Palicki, General Manager for Signature Flight Support, at Chicago Executive Airport.  Al tells us he feels like he hasn't had a day of work in the 40 years he's been coming to the airport.    Brandon and Marc sat down with Al, to talk about how his journey got started and the path he took to get to where he is today.  In addition to learning about Al, the crew also delved into FBO operations, including the constraints, strategies, and philosophies Al brings to the job.  What Brandon and Marc learned, is that in addition to rules that ensure a safe and customer first experience, it still comes down to the people and the culture created by an organization's leadership.   We're interested to hear your thoughts, so please share them with the rest of the SimpleFlight Facebook and Instagram Community @simplefligh

  • Getting Personal. Meet Brandon Anderson, September 3, 2019

    04/09/2019 Duración: 50min

    The speed at which September arrived is indicative of the whirlwind summer the SimpleFlight crew experienced.  Our tight schedules impacted the quantity of shows, but quality remained high.  As we planned for the upcoming months it was clear that available free time for Al, was limited at best.  For that reason, Al has decided to step away from SimpleFlight to focus on his many responsibilities at work and at home. Marc and Joby sat down to create a short list of potential co-hosts.  One of the first names on their respective list, was Brandon Anderson.  Brandon, a former guest of the show, brings all the attributes our audience wants, starting with a passion for aviation.  We're excited to have him join the crew.  WELCOME BRANDON! There is so much more, as you will hear listening to this week's episode of SimpleFlight radio.  In addition to learning about Brandon's background, the conversation touched on philosophical topics, like personal minimums.  We're interested to hear your perspective on the items di

  • Getting To Know You - Boldmethod, August 4, 2019

    05/08/2019 Duración: 59min

    Oshkosh 2019 is in the books!!!  It was a record breaking event, with many noteworthy outcomes that are sure to fuel an exciting year in aviation.  One item we like, is that OSH represents the anniversary of our first show, 7 YEARS AGO!!! We can't think of a better way to kick off Season 8, than with a repeat guest and a SimpleFlight favorite, Boldmethod!!!   Boldmethod ( co-founders, Aleks Udris and Colin Cutler, join Al and Marc to give all of us a peek behind the scenes of the brand they've built and the life they lead.  There are lots of surprises related to the time and effort required to get to the end result.  What isn't surprising is the quality, energy, and insight they bring to all their followers. With this episode, whether you are familiar with Boldmethod or not, you're going to learn something you didn't know.  We enjoyed the discussion and hope you do too.    As always, we love hearing from you and ask you share your ideas with the entire SimpleFlight Facebook and Instagram commun

  • Why Not Me - Andrew Holmes, July 7, 2019

    09/07/2019 Duración: 53min

    For some of us, our aviation dream started with a goal to earn a private pilot certificate.  On this week's SimpleFlight Radio episode, you'll meet Andrew Holmes, whose dream was to buy a jet, but knew that the process must start with him learning to fly, and to do so with dedication, patience, and no short-cuts.   What Andrew learned during his training, is that flying is a skill that is acquired through practice.  What Al and Marc learned about Andrew, is that he is someone who is dedicated to being a safe pilot and brings a significant respect for the learning process, and it goes without saying that if Andrew sets a goal, he will achieve it.  With this episode, our goal for you, is to have you ask yourself the question, "Why Not Me?"     As always, we love hearing from you and ask you share your ideas with the entire SimpleFlight Facebook and Instagram community  @simpleflightradio ​ Thanks for being a part of the SimpleFlight Family!!

  • Point A to Point B, "The Experience" - June 15, 2019

    20/06/2019 Duración: 49min

    Sometimes getting to sporting events is quite the hassle, often taking multiple days to enjoy a 3 hour game.  Well now, the game has changed.  Listen in to this week's episode of SimpleFlight Radio as Marc and Al sit down with Todd Rubin, of Big Game Air (  Todd and his business partner wanted to go see a college football game and for reasons you'll hear, had to do so via a business jet.  Finding others that could help pay for the flight turned out to be an easy task, which gave them the idea of making a business out of getting people to sports venues.  But it is so much more.  Todd understood the travel was only a small piece of the puzzle.  Listen in and learn how this "accidental entrepreneur" put it all together to create an Experience!       As always, we love hearing from you and ask you share your ideas with the entire SimpleFlight Facebook and Instagram community  @simpleflightradio ​ Thanks for being a part of the SimpleFlight Family!!!

  • A General Aviation Journey, Kirke Machon, May 27, 2019

    29/05/2019 Duración: 50min

    Pilots and Avgeeks share a special bond which can usually be described in one word.... Passion.  In today's world, it's not uncommon to find pilots that are making their way back into the sky after an extended hiatus.  What is less common is to come across a pilot that after being "bitten" by the flying bug, immersed himself into the journey that included earning his private and instrument ticket, the purchase of a plane, and taking trips that previously were only dreams.  That's when the story makes a 180 degree turn.  Because in this case, the pilot voluntarily decided it was time to walk away.    Listen in to this week's episode of SimpleFlight Radio as Marc and Al sit down with Kirke Machon, a Chicago-based GA pilot that embarked on and completed a journey that most only dream about.  And once the dream was complete, had the strength and conviction to walk away.     We found the discussion empowering and uplifting.  We hope you do as well. As always, we love hearing from you and ask you share your ideas

  • The People Behind an Airport - Jaime Abbott - Executive Airport Director

    14/05/2019 Duración: 54min

    We often think of airports as just pieces of concrete, maybe a control tower, and a place to land. Its easy to forget about the people behind the scenes putting their best foot forward to make your airport run! This week, we sit down with Jamie Abbott, the Executive Director at our home airport - Chicago Executive (KPWK).  Jamie has some incredible stories on how he and his team work hard to keep the airport safe, valuable to the community, and make a home for your favorite Aviation Podcast, SimpleFlight Radio! As always, we love hearing from you and ask you share your ideas with the entire SimpleFlight Facebook and Instagram community  @simpleflightradio

  • Navigating The Process; Kseniya Polinsky, April 28, 2019

    06/05/2019 Duración: 54min

    Ask most pilots, and they will tell you that learning to fly was one of the most rewarding and challenging things they have done in life.  And while similarities exist, each pilot's journey is unique.  Something that can be depended on are the many challenges that will be faced throughout the training process.   This week's episode of SimpleFlight Radio has Marc and Al  talking with Kseniya Polinsky, a friend of the show, who recently earned her Private Pilot certificate.  Like all of us, Kseniya, had to answer the questions of how to go about getting started, finding a school, a CFI, and establishing a timeline that made sense for her, while life around her continued to change.     Kseniya's story serves as a reminder that the path is not always straight, but it is within the student's ultimate control.  The crew enjoyed hearing about her strategies for understanding and navigating both the human and technical factors that come into play during the process.  Of course, establishing, and when necessary, rees

  • Airline Dispatcher, James Tochihara, March 31, 2019

    02/04/2019 Duración: 58min

    As a General Aviation pilot, many of us think of flight planning in terms of weather, NOTAMs, fuel planning, altitude selection, routing, timing, and ensuring the pilot and plane are capable of making the flight.  From there it's executing the plan.  Simply, Plan The Flight and Fly The Plan.  The burden is on the PIC.  In the world of the airline pilot, many GA pilots assume the Dispatcher does all the flight planning and then delivers the plan to the Captain, without further discussion.  Nothing could be further from the truth. This week's episode of SimpleFlight Radio has Marc and Al  talking with James Tochihara, former International Dispatcher for United Airlines.  One lesson learned is the Dispatcher is an essential crew member responsible for the safe and comfortable completion of the flight.  That means, their vigilance, communication, and decision-making continues until the plane is parked safely at the destination gate.     James takes us through the role, responsibilities, and skills that come into

  • Field of Dreams, Steve & Tina Thomas, March 24, 2019

    25/03/2019 Duración: 01h06min

    It's a surprise to no one that the most common conversations in aviation, center on people and planes.  And why not... it makes for great hangar flying.  This week, Al and Marc were reminded of another very important aspect of aviation... The Airport.  We're not talking about the runways, but how the airport serves as a hub for bringing people and planes together.  Airports have personalities that are born out of the stories and the people who make them happen.  This week, the SimpleFlight crew visited a shining example of the perfection that happens when it all comes together. Poplar Grove Airport (C77) is a very special place.  It's not because of chance, but rather the owners of the airport, Steve and Tina Thomas, designed it that way.  They built a culture years ago, which they protect, strengthen, and live  7 x 24 x 365.  After a tour of the field, which was too short for their liking, the guys had a chance to sit down with Steve and Tina and talk about how they make the magic happen.   When you listen

  • Beautiful By Design, Chris Custer, March 10, 2019

    12/03/2019 Duración: 51min

    Ask a pilot, which is their favorite plane, and they may answer with a plane they've never flown before.  We know that sometimes an airplane "speaks" to a person.  It may be the history, the sound, the performance, or maybe it's because of it's lines and appearance.  LIN 2010, Cirrus continued its streak of innovations by introducing the Xi appearance option.  It gave owners the option of making their plane a truly personal "one of a kind" experience.    Chris Custer, Lead Xi Designer for Cirrus Aircraft, joins the SimpleFlight crew in this week's episode to discuss the program from the designer's point of view.  This includes the challenge of working with an owner to help them vocalize and translate their vision into a reality that takes the ownership experience to a higher level. Chris' passion for design, combined with the pride he takes in helping customers navigate the many decisions they must make, comes through with "flying colors" in the discussion.  We hope you enjoy Chris' story as much as Marc and

  • We More Than Me - Captain Nathan Dial

    18/02/2019 Duración: 01h01min

    As President of the Leading Edge Flying Club in Chicago, Marc meets a lot of "avgeeks"; each with a story that connects them to our special aviation family.  Recently Marc met Nathan Dial, an Air Force Captain who moved to Chicago on a 3 year sabbatical to earn his PhD.  Prior to coming to Chicago, Nate was flying C-130's as a Flight Commander of Group Current Operations, 55th Electronic Combat Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, in Tucson.  His resume of accomplishments and decorations is lengthy, and especially impressive, considering its all happened in less than 10 years.   Not surprisingly, Nate's success has been the result of his intelligence, hard work, and understanding that the successful completion of every flight is based on how well the crew works as a team, and not due to any single crew member. We know you will enjoy getting to know Nate.  Let us know if you have any other questions you'd like us to ask him.   Also, please share your ideas with the entire SimpleFlight Facebook and Instagram

  • ADS-B - Its more powerful than you think! January 22nd, 2019

    22/01/2019 Duración: 59min

    It feels like ADS-B is almost about ready to get started. We only have one year left before the FAA mandate in 2020 for ADS-B Compliance! Did you know that ADS-B has been an old idea built up of multiple technologies?  Steve Bussolari was one of the original thought leaders and key contributor of building out the  ADS-B system. He has so many stories to share from his time developing this new network while working in the MIT labs.  We take it for granted the amount of weather information, traffic information and resources available in our flying. Imagine in the early 1990's having an LCD screen in a Cessna 172 displaying traffic through an ADS-B device. You look out the window at 12 o'clock and 3 miles there is traffic in the exact spot that is displayed on the screen - you would probably be really excited!  Please share your ideas with the entire SimpleFlight Facebook and Instagram community  @simpleflightradio   Here is to a great start of 2019!!                                 *   *   * Congratulations t

  • Go / No Go, December 16, 2018

    17/12/2018 Duración: 27min

    This past week, Marc found himself at his airplane at 6AM in anticipation of a 7AM departure for some minor maintenance at an airport some two hours away.  The only issue was his home airport (KPWK) was fogged in with forward and vertical visibility near zero.  When it became apparent the fog would not lift, he canceled.  He posted the situation on Facebook and Instagram, @simpleflightradio, kicking off a diverse set of opinions.  The Go / No Go decision comes with every flight, regardless of weather, equipment, pilot experience, passengers, or reason for the trip.  Getting to an answer is not always straight forward, but a great discussion topic.  Enjoy the show.  We are interested to hear what you think and how you come to a decision.  Please share your ideas with the entire SimpleFlight Facebook and Instagram community  @simpleflightradio   Please note, Al, Marc, and Joby are participating in many holiday events over the next three weeks, so we're going to hold off posting any shows until January 7th.  In

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