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April 2022 Issue

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April 2022 / Volume 5/ Article 65www.usaeronaut icalhistory.comCommer c ial Pil o tb r ian s c h if fBOEING 727 Nicole Perry

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1 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comUSAHCONTENT1. Featured Article-Pgs. 3-13....... Commercial Pilot-Brian Schiff by Jimi Simmons2. Flight Brief Segment-Pgs. 14-16........ The Boeing 727 by Jimi Simmons 3. Women In Aviation-Pgs. 17-25........ A & P Mechanic, Nicole Cain by Jimi SImmonsStaffUnited States Aeronautical History (USAH) is a non-profit organization that was established and dedicated to preserve, educate and maintain the history of aviation in the United States and abroad. USAH is committed to making sure the history is kept alive, archived and accessible for the next generation. We are devoted to the aircraft, aviation equipment, and the stories of those men and women; from the 1903 Flyer with the Wright Brothers, to present day aviation, both Military and Civilian.We feel it is imperative to keep the existence of our Military and Civilian Aviation alive to allow our youth to explore and gain the knowledge of the great history that would otherwise be forgotten. At USAH, we are able to provide this through monthly digital magazine issues, documentaries, photos and videos. We work to support the collection and archive of information as it pertains to aviation.Here at USAH we cover many aerial events such as; U.S. Military/Military Decommissions, Commercial Aviation, Pilot, Air Shows, Experimental, Air Racing, Aerobatic, Expos and simply put...everything aviation.USAHP.O. Box 56Claymont, DE 19703(302) 927-1133 We want our Military of All Branches........those serving currently and veterans that you are never are always in our thoughts and prayers to keep you close to God's angels and to protect you while protecting our freedom and bring you home safe.Jimi Simmons: V.P.Photographer/Videographer & JournalistShawn Byers Senior Editor Photographer & Guy Spumoni Chief EditorHarry Bristow/U.K.Videographer &PhotographerDave "Hey Joe" ParsonsMilitary Liaison &Contributing Editor

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2 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comYOU CAN FOLLOW US ON If you or your company is interested in being a corporate sponsor in the production of "Flight Life Magazine", please contact us ! We have many avenues of advertising through USAH! USAH would like to thank our advertisers in this issue for their support and confidence in Flight Life Magazine:* Britt Lincoln Aerobatics * IAC Chapter 38 * Author Steve Snyde * Geneseo Airshow

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3 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comArticle by Jimi SimmonsPilotBrian Schiff

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4 In April?s edition of Flight Life Magazine, we are proud to bring you Commercial Pilot, Brian Schiff. Brian grew up in Santa Monica, California, and attended high school at Los Amigos High in Fountain Valley, California. While in high school he was on the track team, yearbook, school newspaper and photographer club. Brian resides in Moorpark, California and is Based in LAX for his airline, which is a major U.S. airline and he also has his own plane at KCMA airport (Camarillo). As with most pilots, whether they are military or commercial, there was someone that had an inspiration for their career. ?My father was an airline and avid GA (general aviation) pilot. I first knew I wanted to become a pilot when I went to the airport with my stepmother to pick up my dad from work when I was 11 years old. We stopped under the final approach to Runway 24R at LAX. When the aluminum overcast of a Boeing 747 passed overhead, my stepmother pointed to it and said, ?that?s your dad flying that airplane,? that?s when I knew. When I was 14 years old, I finally summoned the courage to ask my father what I needed to do to learn to fly. He took me to a cabinet in the garage where he stored a special box full of flying supplies that he had saved for me. I never knew. I began lessons at the age of 14 and soloed on my 16th birthday before going to the DMV to get my driver?s license. I took my PPL checkride on my 17th birthday. It took me three years because I had to wait until my 16th birthday to solo, and another year for my 17th birthday to get my certificate. The most difficult part was waiting until I was old enough", stated Brian.As with many Commercial Pilots, there are many avenues to obtain your license; some go to college and others go through the private route. Brian took lessons from his father in a rental Cessna 152 until such time as his father knew Brian was serious about it. Then his father bought a Citabria, and Brian finished his training in that airplane. Brian?s Commercial certificate was obtained similarly through the use of rental aircraft and his father. ?He did, however make me pay for it because he only wanted me doing it because I wanted to?not because I could?, stated Brian.Brian's Father Barry left , and Brian right.

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5 The current endorsements Brian holds are: HP, Complex, Hi Alt., Tailwheel, CFII, MEI, seaplane, glider and ATP with 8 jet type ratings. He has flown 96 different types of aircraft, but he is currently flying the Airbus A320 for work and an American Champion Citabria 7GCAA for fun.Brian's resume is pretty impressive for a commercial pilot. "I have flown for a number of Part 91 corporate flight departments and Part 61 flight schools. I?ve flown for Clay Lacy Aviation, Hewlett Packard, Apple Computer (ACM Aviation), Trans World Airlines, American Eagle Airlines, American Airlines. I currently am an Airbus A320 captain for American Airlines and flight instruct in a number of light GA aircraft. I?ve been actively flight instructing in one way or another since my 18th birthday ? when I obtained my CFI. I?ve been a designated examiner (and plan to become one again), check airman. Notably, I?ve flown all three seats (flight engineer, copilot and captain) on the Boeing 727".Brian also has a website called ?I started my website many years ago and manage it myself as a storage location for the aviation education content that I have created and other that I deem worthy of sharing. It also contains the materials (handouts) for my seminars and webinars. It serves as a billboard of my speaking schedule and also as a point of contact and networking locale for my consulting business. I consult with flight schools, corporate flight departments and provide support as an expert witness in aviation accident litigation?, stated Brian.Brian is also a Board Member at National Association of Flight Instructors. "Over 35 years of flight instruction has afforded me the opportunity to help and support flight instructors become better and more professional. In a career, one has three phases: earn, learn, and return. I have had a wonderful career and learned so much in my 20,000+ hours flying and teaching and my position on the Board of NAFI provides me the opportunity to give back to aviation training and learning community", stated Brian.Brian's American Champion Citabria 7GCAA

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6 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comIn today?s time and age, it appears safety for flight crews and passengers has become a very apparent issue with the assaults on FA?s, other passengers, etc. I asked Brian how he has handled this as it appears airlines expect the flight crews to be police as well."In light of the annihilation that the airlines have experienced during the COVID pandemic, the airlines have had to lower fares to attract a different breed of passenger? many of whom have never been on an airplane and would normally go Greyhound. Because they are not familiar with our ?unique? rules and federal regulations, we?ve had the problems to which you refer. Nowadays with social media and as many video cameras as there are passengers with YouTube accounts, we are trained not to engage with passengers. On one flight, an extremely disruptive passenger engaged with me at the gate during boarding. When I began speaking to her, and her yelling back at me, I noticed all the cell phone cameras rise to record. Rather than continue engaging, I feigned a mechanical issue and had the agent deplane all passengers from the airplane. After the ?repair? I told the agent to reboard the aircraft ? ?without her'. The no tolerance policy the airlines are taking towards disruptive passengers is helping as our ?no-fly? list is growing. Fortunately, the problem is not as prevalent as the media would have you believe", stated Brian. I had asked Brian how the Covid-19 pandemic affected him personally and how has it affected him as a commercial pilot and the list was pretty extensive.Flying during Coronavirus:?The Terminals were empty, and we had more police, law enforcement and crew members than civilians. Loads were light, frequencies quiet, all retailers in the airport closed and the hotels only handed out pre-packaged food. All TSA had minimal staff, all wearing masks and gloves. Ran out of soap in the lavatory and never in my 31 years of airline flying have I had this happen. Hand sanitizer everywhere and we are supposed to take our temperatures twice a day while working. Special vans/hotel rooms ? cleaned and sterilized. No sharing of transportation?, stated Brian.

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7 Brian mentions how he always looked forward to flying. Now he just wanted to stay home with his family, as his daughter was home from college and his son?s high school closed? online only. ?Each layover, each pass through a city other than my domicile had me fearing airspace would be closed, air travel would be shut down and I?d not get home. Afraid of contracting the virus, then bringing it home to my family. Do I hug them when I get home? Do I sleep in the same bed as my wife? Use same bathroom? Kitchen? At times it felt like I was in the middle of an other-worldly science-fiction movie. All this made you scared you were going to get the virus?, stated Brian.?It is surprisingly noticeable how much less runway I need to stop the airplane on the runway when it is so light because of having so few passengers. I?m having difficulty putting into words how surreal it is ?out here in the world? when there is nobody else. I?ve been downtown Chicago, St. Louis and Ft. Worth. Nothing. Nada. Nobody. When you walk around it?s like you?re the only one in the world. Nothing is open. People crossing on the sidewalk, albeit rare, experience an awkward feeling wondering how to pass and not get near one another. More important was to compartmentalize our tasks and flying and not get distracted by all the bad news. Incumbent upon all pilots to remain as focused as possible at the task at hand. Very easy to get caught up in the hoopla of the hype that was affecting us, our industry, our family and the world. Flight attendants on edge ? having to work among the passengers and unable to maintain ?social distancing??, stated Brian."During taxi-out in JFK, ATIS reporting 1/8 mile viz. Looks like a mile. Asked tower for RVR: 6,000. We could only see the lower half of the tower. Top was in the low clouds. Strangely, GC would only clear you 2 taxiways at a time, then a hold short. Report holding short. We thought because tower was in the fog, but they said they had no ground radar. Me & F/O commented how stressed and mean/curt the controller sounded. They later admitted to other aircraft that they were ?relocating?. Weird. Visibility? We later learned they were evacuating tower because a controller tested positive for CV19. We got out just in time", stated Brian.It was views like this that Brian would see everyday to get past the negative pandemic worries.

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8 I had asked Brian what the pros and cons are of his job, as a Captain of a commercial airline."I would have to say the Pros are: pay, retirement, schedule, support, and you don?t take the job home with you. You have a dispatcher, mechanic, loadmaster, rampers, etc. to help you accomplish your task. Also, Part 121 rules help to keep pilots from doing stupid things. The Cons are: instability with the economy, less engaged with all aspects of the flight, unions can negatively affect your job/seniority in mergers". As a Captain of a major airliner, I asked Brian to describe to our readers what a normal day is like from sunrise to sunset, and his responsibilities for his passengers, crew and aircraft."First of all? I look forward to going to work every day. When it has been a while since I?ve flown, I miss my job. Airline flights operate around the clock ? so sunrise to sunset may not work. Sometimes the end of a very long workday (night) for the airlines is at sunrise".Barry Schiff , along with Brian and son Brett Schiff.

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9 "Typically, a workday begins before the day. When I know that I am flying somewhere in a day or two, I begin watching the weather trends and thinking about how it might affect my flight(s). Before leaving on a trip, I need to pack. Even if only going on a one day out and back trip, I need to be prepared to spend the night somewhere in the unlikely event the return flight is cancelled. In fact, crew members will chastise another crewmember who comes to work for a ?turn? without a suitcase because it is thought that they jinxed the flight and we?re going to get stuck. To pack for a trip, I need to check the weather where I?m going to go. Just because it?s sunny and 72 degrees in Southern California, doesn?t mean it won?t be snowing if you?re flying to Boston or Canada. Then I could be in Cabo or Cancun the next day. So, packing a heavy coat and a bathing suit in the same suitcase is not unusual".I also begin a self-assessment of my own health and rest condition. Sometimes my sleep pattern must be modified a day or even two in advance of a trip, depending on the time of day that I will be flying. Special attention must be given to a flight that will operate during the window of circadian low (WOCL). I determine what time I?m going to leave the house by considering how early I want to arrive, traffic, etc. Then I back up from there and make sure I get enough sleep. During the drive to the airport, I compartmentalize distractions and focus on where I?m going and any factors that need to be considered.Arrival at the airport: During the bus ride from the employee parking lot to the airport, I review the latest company bulletins and safety alerts. When I arrive at the gate, I talk to the agent and discuss any special situations for our flight and assure that they know I am available if they need my help for anything. I introduce myself to my crew and make sure that they know I am approachable. They are my eyes and ears in the cabin. I say hello to my copilot and brief him/her on how we will operate our flight and our trip. At this point,Brian's smile says it all and the love he has for his job as a commercial pilot.

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10 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comI?ll determine who is flying which leg. I make certain that they know there is nothing that they can tell me that will offend or upset me. I need them to know its ok to tell me something? that is critical for safe flight. "I review the flight plan, route, fuel, weather and NOTAMS and contact the dispatcher, if needed. I perform my functions of the aircraft pre-flight, these are standards that are set forth in our operating procedures, and each crew member should know their own duties"."Once the door is shut and we get to play pilot ? the rest is just going flying and staying inside the envelope. By the way, I never rush. I believe, teach and brief that a pilot has two speeds at which he/she can operate: 1) slow, or 2) ?Screw-up?. I choose #1"."From this point, it?s a flight from A to B, however I do communicate with my passengers. If anything, out of the ordinary or unexpected happens during the flight, I will explain it to my passengers. For example, if we encounter a wake turbulence that causes a momentary upset of aircraft attitude? I will not let that event go unexplained to my passengers"."After landing and saying goodbye to all of my passengers, it?s a van ride to a hotel or a drive home. When I get to either, I look at all the pictures that I took that day because of all the beautiful things I get to see from my office. I?ll share the best of them with family and friends"."If my flight had any anomalies, I will spend this time reviewing what happened for self-reflection or reports to company and/or FAA, if required", stated Brian.So folks, next time you are on an American Airlines flight, you now know some of the routine of what a Captain does before he rotates the aircraft in the air. Brian's career is something to use for you younger pilots looking to take the career path in the commercial industry. From his start with his father at TWA to American Airlines, is a great one.

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11 I had asked Brian if he ever saw himself going into the private sector (charter/cargo/corporate) or staying in the Commercial passenger sector, and here is what he had to say.?I don?t see myself flying cargo ? I enjoy my passengers. I interact with them during boarding and deplaning. I used to enjoy mingling with passengers in cruise. But that right was snuffed after 9-11?.Corporate and Charter: ?I?ve been there, done that. The destinations are more exciting, and the layovers are both longer and more fancy (more money spent on food/hotels/transportation). It?s fun to plan your own flight, load your own aircraft, and be engaged with all aspects of the flight. The schedule, however, is unstable and difficult to plan around your work schedule as often you are on a relatively short leash. I can see myself flying corporate/charter after I retire from the airlines, but for now? the more reliable schedule, operational support and stability of the airlines works better for my consulting schedule and GA activities?.?Corporate pilots are compelled to fly when they are sick, airline pilots have sick benefits and reserve pilots to fly when they call in sick, so they are less likely to work when sick (or fatigued)?, stated Brian. Brian Schiff , when he flew as a private/corporate pilot.

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As in every interview with every pilot, whether military or civilian, I ask him or her in their opinion, what makes the ?ideal? professional pilot."The ideal professional pilot gives the utmost consideration to their passengers (or cargo). You consider their safety, comfort and adhere to the rules, policies and regulations (in that order). For this to happen, you must have empathy and understanding for your passengers and communicate clearly with them. You must hone your skills so as to fly smoothly and accurately as you can. You must take pride in your own skills and experience by learning and training as much as you can. You must have excellent situational awareness and know how to manage all of your resources", stated Brian. Every pilot has their favorite destination, and Brian?s is Hawaii. ?I love flying to and from the islands. It is so rewarding to head out over the most expansive body of water and be able to accurately find, navigate to and end up at a specific location in the Pacific Ocean. (I must add that this was more of a feat and rewarding before GPS)", stated Brian.On Brian?s down time, ironically, when not flying for a living, he likes to fly for fun and fly to teach. "I really enjoy teaching, so I spend a great deal of time preparing and administering webinars, seminars, and classes. I hope to begin a podcast and have more articles published in the future", stated Brian.As we came to the end of the interview, I asked Brian what he would recommend to any young woman or man looking to start a career as a pilot and what steps they should first take.?TAKE THAT FIRST LESSON! Usually that will set the hook, and the rest is self-motivating. Go to a local airport, find a flight school, and talk to an instructor. During flight training ? STUDY, STUDY, STUDY. I can?t emphasize enough how much knowledge is power. Take your time ? don?t be in a rush to get there. It?s a building block process that should be taken one rewarding step at a time?, stated Brian.You can follow Brian on FB and IG at, and @ProficientPilot as well as his YouTube Channel at The Proficient Pilot.Brian also has a great website at

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13 Brian getting his wings pinned by TWA Captain Tom Irwin, Chief Pilot, Brian at age 1 in the cockpit of a Boeing 727. Little did he know 32 years later he would be a captain for TWA flying the 727.Buz Aldrin, Barry Schiff and Brian Schiff.. Brian & Lynn Schiff, Treat Williams and Barry SchiffBrian and his Father, Barry Schiff.Brian and Father Barry Schiff plotting their course.

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In this months segment of World Flight Brief, we found it only fitting to highlight the Boeing 727, in honor of Captain Pilot, Brian Schiff. Brian stated that out of all the equipment he has flown commercially, he loved the 727.The Boeing 727 was an American narrow-body airliner that was developed and produced by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. After the heavy 707 quad-jet was introduced in 1958, Boeing addressed the demand for shorter flight lengths from smaller airports. It was the first commercial airplane to break the 1,000-sales mark, but it started out as a risky proposition. The 727 was designed to service smaller airports with shorter runways than those used by Boeing 707s. U.S. companies already working to compete in this market included Lockheed, Convair and later Douglas, with what would become the DC-9. Boeing also faced overseas competition from such airplanes as the de Havilland Trident, Sud Aviation Caravelle and British Aircraft Corp. BAC 1-11.14 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comArticle by Jimi Simmons THE BOEING 727

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15 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comAdding to Boeing?s challenges were conflicting demands from customers: some wanted four engines, another wanted a twin, still others were satisfied with prop planes. Boeing was also still grappling with the startup and production costs of the 707. The decision to go forward on a new commercial plane was a risk that many at Boeing advised against. On Dec. 5, 1960, Boeing announced the three-engine 727, with 40 orders each from launch customers United Airlines and Eastern Air Lines.Of all the early Boeing jets, the 727 had the most distinctive appearance, with its rakish T-shaped tail and its trio of rear-mounted engines. It carried billions of passengers on everything from short hops to cross-country flights.The 727 was the first Boeing jetliner to undergo rigorous fatigue testing, the first to have completely powered flight controls, the first to use triple-slotted flaps and the first to have an auxiliary power unit (APU). The APU was a small gas-turbine engine that eliminated the need for ground power or starting equipment in the more primitive airports of developing countries.The first 727 rolled out Nov. 27, 1962, bearing a lemon-yellow and copper-brown color scheme similar to the livery of the Dash 80. However, by the time of its first flight, on Feb. 9, 1963, orders were still below the estimated break-even point of 200. To help spur sales, Boeing sent a 727 on a 76,000-mile tour of 26 countries.Originally, Boeing planned to build 250 of the planes. However, they proved so popular (especially after the larger 727-200 model, which carried up to 189 passengers, was

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16 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comintroduced in 1967) that a total of 1,832 were produced at the Renton, Wash., plant. Variants included a convertible passenger-cargo model with a Quick Change (QC) option ? seats and galleys attached to removable pallets.In September 1984, after 22 years of production, the last 727 was delivered (a 727-200F to Federal Express). The once ?very risky? 727 had become one of the greatest selling commercial jets in history. The 727 was used for many domestic flights and on some international flights within its range. Airport noise regulations have led to hush kit installations. Its last commercial passenger flight was in January 2019. It was succeeded by the 757-200 and larger variants of the 737. As of February 2022, a total of 38 Boeing 727s were in commercial service. There have been 118 fatal incidents involving the Boeing 727. Production ended in September 1984 with 1,832 having been built. The Boeing 727 CharacteristicsVariant(s): 727-100 727-200Flight crew of three: pilot, copilot, and flight engineerTwo-class seats: 106:16F@38", 90Y@34" 134: 20F@38", 114Y@34"One-class seats: 125@34" 155@34" Exit limit: 131 189Length: 133 ft 2 in 153 ft 2 inHeight: 34 ft 3 in 34 ft 11 inCabin width: 140 in 140 inWingspan: 108 ft 108 ftWing: 1,650 sq ft, 32° sweep 1,650 sq ft, 32° sweepMTOW: 169,000 lbs. 172,000 lbs. Adv. 209,500 lbs.OEW: 87,696 lbs. 97,650 lbs. Adv. 100,700 lbs.Fuel capacity: 7,680 gal. 8,090 US gal., Adv. 10,585 US gal.Engines ×3: Pratt & Whitney JT8D-1/7/9 JT8D-7/9/11 (Adv.: -9/15/17/17R)Thrust ×3: 14,000?14,500 lbf. 14,000?15,000 lbf., Adv. 14,500?17,400 lbf.Range: 2,250 nmi. 1,900 nmi., Adv. 2,550 nmi.Take-off: 8,300 ft8, 400 ft, Adv. 10,100 ftMMO: Mach 0.9 Mach 0.9Cruise: 495-518 kn 467-515 knCeiling: 42,000 ft 42,000 ft

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17 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comIn April's issue segment of Women In Aviation, we bring you the beautiful and talented, Nicole Cain. Nicole was born in Simi valley California, but soon moved to the east coast of Massachusetts. At a young age, she had some medical issues with her legs so her mother moved them so she could go to the Shriners Hospital and they just ended up staying there. "So I grew up in the City of Chicopee, and went back to California as often as we could. I went to Chicopee Comprehensive High School", stated Nicole."Growing up in Chicopee, I lived down the road from Westover Air Force Base. When I would hear taps playing at night and watched C-5?s flying over the house all the time I was mesmerized by their size and noise. My uncle also worked on the base which I thought was so cool. Every time we flew back to California, I was so excited to get on a plane. I definitely didn?t know any better when I was younger, that this plane, was definitely NOT the ones that fly over my house nor was it the one that my uncle worked on. But I still thought it was wicked cool to be so close to these magnificent military aircraft", stated Nicole.A&P Mechanic NICOLE CAINArticle by Jimi Simmons

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18 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comAfter graduating from Chicopee Comprehensive High School, Nicole then attended Holyoke Community College in Massachusetts for 2 years. "After college I kind of became a gypsy for a bit. I was always traveling and moving all over the US. It was exciting and fun, but eventually you have to grow up an make a decent living. So I signed my life away to the U.S. Navy at the end of 2010, an off to boot camp I went! After boot camp and 'A' School, I was stationed in Norfolk, VA. in 2014 and when I was honorably discharged in 2017, I decided to stick around for a bit. I currently live in Chesapeake Virginia", stated Nicole.Nicole has been working since she was 13. When most girls are playing with their barbie dolls and looking for the next best dress to wear, she was eager to break into the world. ?Almost none of the jobs I had, had anything to do with aviation lol. I coached and refereed basketball games, managed a subway, babysat and so on. You know?the normal high school jobs. I did love to work on cars though! Between my dad, brothers, and having a lot of guy friends, I became a gear head pretty quickly. So picking a job for the navy was a no brainer for me. GIVE ME AVIATION!!!?, stated Nicole.Being a former squid, I could relate to Nicole and her service in the U.S. Navy. I asked her to tell our readers what her job was while she served."My military career was a roller coaster of a time. I signed my contract to be an AT (aviation electrician?s technician). However when I became pregnant, they didn?t let me finish my last 3 weeks of the 5 month schooling and they took my rate from me. I wasA&P Mechanic NICOLE CAINPictures of Nicole while serving in the U.S. Navy.

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19 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comthen assigned to Air Ops in Pensacola, FL where I studied and worked my butt off to get back into the aviation section. When the tests came around I took the AD (aviation machinist mate) exam and scored high enough to where I not only struck and obtained the rate, but I also picked up 3rd Class Petty Officer. Received orders to a helicopter squadron in Norfolk, VA. and hit the ground running. I met some amazing people, had so much fun and learned so much. I even made second class my first time up. Obtained all the qualifications I could and couldn?t wait for deployments. Unfortunately, I had an unfortunate event, as some females do. The lack of support I received altered my view on the Navy. I quickly changed commands and was discharged when my term was up and out of the Navy", stated Nicole.Currently, Nicole works for the Fighter Factory out in Virginia beach Virginia, in the town of Pungo. "It is by far THEE best job I have ever had! I get to work on WWI and WW2 aircraft every day. They are just not just display birds...these babies fly, and with the wide variety of aircraft I get to do something different very day as well. Fabric, sheet metal, landing gear, props, engines, magnetos, pumps, hoses, canopies, painting, electronics, inspections etc?literally every part of the airplanes", stated Nicole.When Nicole was in the Navy, she worked on the MH60S (Sikorsky MH-60S Knight Hawk Helicopter). When she was discharged back to the civilian world, she realized you needed a special certificate to work on aircraft in the civilian world, she immediately started looking up schools. Being a former squid myself, it is very frustrating that the civilian companies do not bend to former military workers as they have the best training and education the US can offer. To make them go and pay for more college in certain avenues is a waste. I too had to do this when it came to Commercial Diving? you did it and now in the civilian world they want you to spend more money on education you already have. So I can feel Nicole's pain and frustration.Nicole removing pistons from the Mosquito.

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20 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comI asked Nicole to explain to our readers and potential women that are looking to take an A&P course, and here is what she had to say?The Aviation Institute of Maintenance just happened to be in Nicole's home town. ?I requested information online, and within a couple weeks I was starting classes. The school was a 21 month program, not too bad I guess. It?s something I wanted to learn so I figured it would fly by. It didn?t. Going to school, working and taking care of a child, is no joke! Individually, those three things aren?t hard, but man oh man was it exhausting. Which I?m certain plenty of people already know that. The schooling itself was not bad, some of it was a little boring, but for the most part it was very hands on which made it wicked fun. First couple months of school I had all general classes. Obtained the basics and fundamentals down and out of the way. Then came the airframe and powerplant classes. We would go back and forth between class room and the shop completing projects and learning the paperwork. None of the topics were particularly difficult. The instructors gave you everything you need to know and were very helpful in explaining it in different ways so you can get it. Electricity was the most difficult for me to wrap my head around. You can not see electrons leaking from a wire. I mean, I ended up doing very well in that class, but it was rough for my poor teacher explaining it to me like I was 5 years old so I could try to understand why I am doing what I am doing. Overall, the school was easy. I graduated with a 4.0 GPA and even won the James Rardon Aviation Maintenance Technician Student of the Year for 2020?.Nicole on a flight in the front of the nose of a WWII B-25 Bomber.

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21"I honestly don?t know what part of this field I want to end up in. I know a few friends that work for corporate places and they seem to enjoy it. Then I have a lot of friends that work for the airlines. When I ask any of them about it, it?s usually the same answer. ?The money is good?, etc. I guess what I do now is closer to general aviation. Just way cooler planes. But if anyone at any time were to ask me how I like my job. I can go on and on. I don?t ?seem? to enjoy it, I love it. And I?m definitely not here (in general aviation) for the big bucks, as I love what I do here. I love that it?s a different job almost every day. Different aircrafts; British, German, American, Russian, single and double radials, v12?s, inverted or regular, opposed and inline. I get to learn it all. I love the people I work with. It?s a small shop and I?m seriously so close with everyone. They?ve taken me and my son in as family. THAT in itself is extremely rare and the most important thing to me. They know my son comes first, then my job, and they all understand and agree with my outlook. And honestly, because of this, the Fighter Factory is definitely the closest thing to a stress free job that I?ve ever had. You stress about the normal mechanic things. Trying to get the job done quick and efficient and by the book and meet any deadlines. But none of the stress from life has to interfere with it. If I have a life issue, I inform them and they do everything they can to help me out, and I would do the same for any one of my coworkers. In my best Vin Diesel voice ?I don?t have friends, I got family?, stated Nicole.I asked Nicole what her favorite plane to work on is and she stated it was a really hard one to answer. "I don?t think I have an absolute favorite plane or job to do at work. I very much enjoy fabric work. It?s like working on a piece of art. However, replacing pistons in v12 Rolls Royce Merlin and hearing her start up and run has its own sense of satisfaction as well. But I will tell you that my least favorite is being upside down under a cockpit getting my hair ripped out by anything and everything it catches on and having all Nicole working on lapping the rear cone so it fits properly to the prop before putting it back on the Corsair.

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22 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comthe blood rush to my head, barely able to move, trying to remove , install or rewire and even clean is something I have to seriously and mentally prepare for lol. Can?t eat a big lunch, need to drink plenty water because you never know how long you?re going to be stuck in that position, gotta stretch, and definitely need to take my boots off so I don?t break anything trying to shimmy out of there. I?m the smallest one in my shop so it happens more than I?d like", stated Nicole.I asked Nicole to give our readers what a daily routine is for her as an A&P Mechanic."My daily routine, now that I think of it, is pretty boring. I get up, then go wake my kid up in the most annoying way I can think of, get ready for work, make my son?s lunch for school, and head out. The work load changes all the time. If I don?t have a project that takes a couple days like fabric repair, engine change or an annual, it?s whatever is on the list to fix. Could be a bad prop seal, leaking carburetor. Busted hoses, seized actuator or broken pump. If for some reason there?s minimum work, we clean the aircraft. The radials especially like to spit oil. I can spend a solid 4 hours giving our Corsair or our SkyRaider a good cleaning. Then after work it?s back to mom life. Go home, clean the smell of 1944 off, make dinner and review my son?s homework before we both get ready for bed", stated Nicole.Nicole hanging the new engine in the

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23 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comI had asked how the Covid Pandemic affected Nicole in both her work and personal life. "Covid didn?t really affect our shop too much as far as having work to do. We all showed up every day and did our job. No one was allowed in the shop unless you worked there. We sanitized a lot, cleaned everything, and went through so much soap, lol. Personally, my life didn?t change that much. I don?t really go out much to begin with. Did lose someone dear to me due to covid. Other than that, I made sure NOT to watch the news and wasn?t on social media much. The division between everyone drove me crazy. My son and I tried to make the most of it staying home and watching movies, playing games and having epic nerf gun fights", stated Nicole. As in any profession in aviation that we cover we always ask them what the 'idea' professional is in their industry. "Most mechanics I know aren?t complete professionals 100% of the time. We?re usually a crazy rowdy bunch who joke on each other regularly. But i can tell you, in my opinion, what makes a GREAT mechanic... Someone who LOVES WHAT THEY DO! They take pride in their work. They understand what is at risk when doing our job. My boss always says, 'When a doctor messes up, they kill one person. When we mess up we can kill hundreds'. And that?s really stuck with me. Even in the military, I?ve always treated every aircraft I have ever worked on like my son was going to be flying in it. I would never and will never release a bird I wouldn?t put my son in", stated Nicole.Nicole?s future plans are still up in the air. ?I really need to get myself together huh? Hahaha. I just hope I am still doing what I love, working on aircraft. Working at a job where I still look forward to going to everyday. I?m sure the Fighter Factory will not be around forever. Maybe I?ll find another shop working on war birds. Maybe I will chase the money. But I know when I am ready to leave, or have to leave, its going to be a hard decision as to where I want to work next?, stated Nicole.Nicole painting the engine cowls of the ju52.

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24 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comMost of Nicole?s down time revolves around her son. ?He?s almost ten, so he?s at the fun age where we can go out and do anything and he still enjoys my company. He?s not that into sports like I am, but he?ll still play with me. Basketball has always been my first love. I?ve played almost every sport growing up, but I can be on a court from sun up to sun down. My second is art. Drawing, painting, sculpting, using any medium really. Then it?s the usual, Dave and Busters, rock climbing, amusement parks, kayaking, going to the beach, bike riding, watching movies even just going for a walk around a nearby lake. I try to get out of the house as often as I can afford it?, stated Nicole. At the end of our interview I asked Nicole what she would recommend to any young women looking to get into A&P Mechanical Aviation. "If you?re looking to start a career as an aviation mechanic, I say go for it! Find a school near you or find someone you can work under and get your sign offs. Study for the 3 written tests: General, Airframe, and Powerplant. Then prepare for an oral and practical exam, where you answer questions face to face with a DME and show you know how to do maintenance and paperwork. Not only does having and A&P certification give you the opportunity to work anywhere in the US. It also doesn?t limit you to just aircraft. It?s right in the name. www.geneseoairshow.comFor tickets please go to the site below.Nicole and her son Garrett.

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AIRFRAME and POWERPLANT. You can work on wind turbines, trains, subways, roller coasters, boat engines, fixing medical devices, the list goes on. I?ve been told so many times that this is a ?license to learn.? And they are absolutely correct!! There are companies all over the US and the world that are in need of the skills you will be able to perform/learn to perform after getting your A&P. So I guess you could say, the sky is not the limit for us", stated Nicole.We thank you Nicole, and wish you and your son nothing but safe and beautiful travels in the future!You can follow Nicole at 25 www.usaeronauticalhistory.comNicole looking beautiful and working at the same time. You have to love a women with smarts and grit!

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