"Jeb Burnside" Avstry #16

Jeb Burnside from the UCAP Podcast. Tells us about his time in working in Congress, his time as Editor-In-Chief at Avweb and Aviation Safety and some reflections about UCAP.

Published Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2013

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Show Notes

J.R. Warmkessel: I think I've told you this is as long or short as you want. It's really much like what you guys do is very topical. This intentionally is not. This is sort of to get the deep back story. Who you are.

Jeb Burnside: If it's all about me, it's going to be a pretty short episode.

J.R. Warmkessel: I doubt it. I think you're an interesting guy and I think you.

Jeb Burnside: We'll see.

J.R. Warmkessel: We'll see. We'll see. So why don't we start by I always like to ask people tell me about their pilot's license, certificates. That kind of thing. So why don't you start there.

Jeb Burnside: Let's see. I have a commercial, single and multi-engine land, single engine C, instrument rated, and I have an advanced ground instructor ticket.

J.R. Warmkessel: Alright. Well Jeb, thank you so much for being with us today. It's a real honor to talk to. I'm going to classify you as a fellow podcaster.

Jeb Burnside: Okay. Yeah. That's right.

J.R. Warmkessel: I think you're much more than that actually.

Jeb Burnside: Well depends on which convenience store I'm just walking out of, but.

J.R. Warmkessel: Well so take me back to the beginning. Where did you learn to fly? Why did you learn to fly? Give me the back story.

Jeb Burnside: Well it's fairly, fairly easy. When I was growing up, my father had learned to fly and my earliest recollection he had already had his license and he had a VFR only commercial for some reason. I don't know why. This was dating myself here a little bit, but this was the early 60s and he had gotten a bug, if you will, from a close family friend of his who had moved to Anchorage, Alaska, and apparently learned to fly. Bought into an airplane partnership. I think it was a Taylorcraft and he used it, it was on wheels, to go hunting and fishing in the summer time up there. Dad had gotten, had had, the hunting bug for a long time before I came along and he started making trips to Alaska in the summer time to do the hunting and fishing thing and saw the utility of the aircraft and however just even if it was just quote unquote a Taylorcraft. One thing led to another and he got his pilot's license and over the years up until the time he died actually he tried to get to Alaska every summer. Some summers he didn't make it. Some years, he went twice.

J.R. Warmkessel: It's always been my dream to fly by airplane to Alaska. I have never quite done it yet and I keep looking at the milage and go wow. It's a long way.

Jeb Burnside: Yeah. It's a hike. It's a hike and it's something I would certainly want to do also. I've not flown in the Pacific Northwest. I was just kind of looking at that earlier today coincidentally. Never really flown myself in the upper Midwest or the Pacific Northwest. I've flown in Alaska, but not flown to or from Alaska.

J.R. Warmkessel: Now I do know a little something about your father and I know that he served in the military. Can you tell us about that?

Jeb Burnside: What little I know. He was just out of high school or a senior in high school, something like that, on Pearl Harbor Day and enlisted along with a lot of other young men in that era. He enlisted in the Marine Corp and before the smoke cleared, he had served a year on Guadalcanal as an armorer for a dive bomber squadron, a Marine dive bomber squadron.

J.R. Warmkessel: Now what's an armorer?

Jeb Burnside: Takes care of the weapons. Takes of the guns, cleans the guns, loads the guns, sights the guns, loads the ammunition belts. Things like this. I'm sure also loads bombs and other ordnance on the airplane.

J.R. Warmkessel: So he would have been ground support?

Jeb Burnside: He was ground support, exactly.

J.R. Warmkessel: You said you got your license in the 60s.

Jeb Burnside: I got my license. Actually I got my private in 74.

J.R. Warmkessel: So tell me about that.

Jeb Burnside: Growing up of course I'd been exposed to airplanes through my dad's activity and I basically just thought that was about the coolest thing a human being could do. Especially with your pants on and it was, I don't know, kind of assumed that when I was old enough I would get to learn how to fly. It was just one of those things. My high school graduation gift from my parent's was flying lessons.

J.R. Warmkessel: That's a fantastic gift.

Jeb Burnside: It's a fantastic gift and I don't know that they could have picked anything that changed my life or has been as valuable to me over the years as that single thing.

J.R. Warmkessel: Now where were you living at the time?

Jeb Burnside: I was living in a small town in South Georgia called Tifton.

J.R. Warmkessel: So tell me about those first flights. What were you flying? What were you in?

Jeb Burnside: It was a 150. At the time, this was 73. Doing this through the local Civil Air Patrol squadron, which was a very well equipped squadron at the time. I believe it was just a senior squadron because I don't remember any cadets or anything like that, but we had a 150, a Cherokee 140, and a 182.

J.R. Warmkessel: That's a pretty well-equipped squadron.

Jeb Burnside: It's a very well equipped squadron for a town of maybe 10 thousand people.

J.R. Warmkessel: In the middle of the United States.

Jeb Burnside: Yeah. Basically, you're going to love this. I got the 150 for 3 dollars and 25 cents an hour dry and 80 octane fuel was .479 a gallon. So that's how I could afford to learn how to fly.

J.R. Warmkessel: So this serve as a warning to all the people who say, "I'm going to do it next year." That maybe this is the cheapest year it's ever going to happen.

Jeb Burnside: It ain't going to get cheaper.

J.R. Warmkessel: Yeah. That's long been my opinion as well. So you got your license. Then where did you go from there?

Jeb Burnside: I got my ticket. Let's see. I was a freshman in college. I got the private ticket. Didn't really do a whole lot of flying because the high graduation gift only included three private. So after that, I was kind of on my own to buy flying time but I kind of kept my hand in when I was in college and took a couple of flights every now and then. Sometimes I'd just go, "Hey. Let me go get a flight review or let me go get some dual and get snappy on a new airplane or something like that." By that time, I graduated to 172s. I had a little bit of aero-time. I had time on the Cherokee. The CAP squadron when I was still living in Tifton, had somehow divested itself of those three particular airplanes in exchange for a 172 and every now and then, especially on the holidays. Holiday weekends and things like that, they had some gig with the state patrol where they would supply an airplane and a pilot to fly up and down the interstate and look for problems. Now I had and am in fact flew several of these missions. I'd swing by the state patrol headquarters and grab some kind of walky-talky thing that I'd didn't have a clue how to use and I'd go fly up the interstate at 80-90 knots for 30 minutes. Turn around and fly back past home plate and go another 30 minutes and turn right back around and go land. Turn the radio in and go home and have dinner. It was a great way to build flying time. Although I didn't do that much of it.

J.R. Warmkessel: When you left college, you kind of sounds to me like you chose a career in aviation.

Jeb Burnside: Well I did and I didn't. I got out of college and moved to Washington, D.C., and was working for my home town Congressman at the time. He's in the economies forte down in that district was agriculture. So there wasn't a whole lot of policy activity in aviation, but over the years I did make some contacts and got to know a few people and one thing led to another. Kind of started to do some policy work. Mainly political kinds of things using aviation as a backdrop. One thing led to another, changed jobs, changed Congressmen, and I ended up working for one who was on the aviation sub-committee. Mostly by accident as opposed to design and he interacted a little bit with the sub-committee staff. That was not my area of responsibility for that particular member, but I got to know some of the people over there. Moving right along, one thing led to another and I ended up with what was then the National Business Aircraft Association. Now the Business Air Aviation Association.

J.R. Warmkessel: When about was this?

Jeb Burnside: This was mid-83 I want to think and that's when it got hot and heavy as far as getting into aviation policy.

J.R. Warmkessel: So anything that you worked on that would effect us today or that was really memorable that you'd like to share with our listeners?

Jeb Burnside: It goes back a long way. That time frame was the early years of implementation of the first major consolidated aviation bill which was enacted in 82. That was bill that J. Lynn Helms asked for that pushed through a bunch of infrastructure and FAA technology developments. Five year funding bill, aviation fuel taxes in the mix, yadda yadda yadda. Worked on a lot of the implementation of that. Working to try to get up some of the airport funding numbers. Perhaps less so on the facilities and equipment side of the FAA budget. Worked with customs. Worked with the IRS a lot on various regulatory proposals. I remember I think I singlehandedly saved Loran-C one year.

J.R. Warmkessel: Are you sure you want to be proud of that?

Jeb Burnside: Well back in the day, keep in mind this was the 80s. Okay. This was well before GPS and I was walking into this I won't say the names. I walked into this specific member of Congress's office and, "Hey. What's going on?" His staffer was, "Hey. We just zeroed out Loran-C." And I'm like, "Why would you do that?" I'm like, "No, you've got it all wrong. Back up." And I explained to him why Loran was something that they should be thinking about retaining and maybe no expanding, but it certainly should be in the budget and

Jeb Burnside: I think we were talking about just general support from within the FAA budget for Coast Guard operation of the chain and maybe some charting and maybe some operational money to you know, do flight checking on the land approaches and things like that.

J.R. Warmkessel: They put the money back in?

Jeb Burnside: One and a half million dollars- something like that, really. Maybe even less than that. It would have gotten back in some other fashion. I just happen to be first to answer the door. You know, things like that.

J.R. Warmkessel: So, one of the things that you probably didn't work on, but I've always been very interested in and I'm going to get the name wrong, so bear with me. It was the Airplane Revitalization Act.

Jeb Burnside: Right.

J.R. Warmkessel: Didn't that happen right about that time?

Jeb Burnside: That enacted. I think that was '94, '96.

J.R. Warmkessel: Did you work on that at all?

Jeb Burnside: I did not, not directly. By that time I had long since moved on from NBAA and was in fact working. Tell you what, let's take a time out here and use this magical machine that's sitting in front of us.

J.R. Warmkessel: Oh, are we going to lose the internet?

Jeb Burnside: No, no.

J.R. Warmkessel: [laughs]

Jeb Burnside: No. I have fiber now, man.

J.R. Warmkessel: Oh.

Jeb Burnside: I've got better internet than you do.

J.R. Warmkessel: [laughs] Yes, you do and I live in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Jeb Burnside: GARA, G-A-R-A, the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994, that's correct. This was the product liability reform law that Congress enacted specifically for the General Aviation Industry. Clinton signed this into law in '94. I was not, as it turned out, directly involved in any of that. I had years earlier. This was something that had been around for a while and it took the industry not quite 10 years to develop this concept, to refine it, to find some support and you know, pick the right I don't know, the right circumstances to get it through the House. I'm sorry, to get it through the Congress.

J.R. Warmkessel: I don't know very much about the bill and maybe our listeners don't either, but it seemed like it was a very important piece of legislation. Can you explain why it was important?

Jeb Burnside: One of the reasons it was- I'm starting to get a little bit of meta here. Looking at it from strictly what are its provisions? What is its value? Basically, GARA ended the long, long tail of chronic liability that accrued to aircraft manufacturers. There are all kinds of horror stories being bannied about throughout the industry and the industry media about you know, 20, 30 year old airplanes that were somehow involved in an accident and for some reason a jury found some manufacturer liable for a specific accident that perhaps clearly a pilot error problem, clearly a weather problem, clearly you know, some other kind of issue other than a product liability problem. Slowly but surely they managed to sell this on the Hill. The main feature of GARA was- they call it an 18 year statute of repose. After 18 years, a product liability suit could not be brought against a manufacturer if in fact that manufacturer had not touched none of his parts, were on that airplane, put on that airplane within the preceding 18 years. So, Cessna for example, a 1970 model Skyhawk, somebody crashes. All of a sudden they no longer had to pay liability insurance on that risk. So that was a big deal. There were other provisions in there relative to ok, so when does the clock start ticking again if you put a new engine in it? Or, if you put new parts on the airplane does that re-expose you? Yeah, it kind of sorta does as far as the specific part you might put back on the airplane, but it doesn't start the clock all over again on the entire airplane.

J.R. Warmkessel: And one of the side effects of this was that Cessna started producing single engine airplanes again.

Jeb Burnside: Exactly. I forgot who it was. I think it was Russ Meyer, who was President of Cessna at the time, who had gone during Congressional consideration of the legislation and had gone on record saying if you pass this bill, Cessna will start making single engine airplanes again. Anybody who has you know, kind of kept up with the history of this industry- 60s and 70s were big, big years for the industry. That started tapering off in the late 70s and really took a hit in the early 80s with the economic downturn and some changes in tax laws. One of the major problems at that time that was clearly identified was the product liability tail. Russ Meyer- again, don't hold me to this- I think it was Russ Meyer who was President of Cessna at the time publicly said, you pass this bill, we will start making airplanes again, and sure enough two years later the first quote, unquote new Cessnas rolled out of the factory in Independence, Kansas.

J.R. Warmkessel: Well, and then we got a whole variety of new airplanes.

Jeb Burnside: Sure.

J.R. Warmkessel: I'm thinking the 162 came out, you know?

Jeb Burnside: Sure. To Klapmeyer directly, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to learn that GARA and it's enactment played a major role in the two Klapmeyer deciding to forge ahead with their plans to build a serious fleet.

J.R. Warmkessel: When you see the news you hear about the lobbyists, about these bad lobbyists or those bad lobbyists, but you know, we can take this example and say look, lobbyists impose an important role in our government about bringing their interests, or their constituents interests to the front and this is an example of one for the saved the industry.

Jeb Burnside: Lobbyists can be good or bad depending on whose side of the issue they are lobbying for, shall we say.

J.R. Warmkessel: Sure, well on which side you're on.

Jeb Burnside: Exactly what I mean. Clearly this was, you know an example where the industry did something that was for its own benefit, which you know, I'm shocked that an enlightened business community would do something directly in its own benefit. It also had the added benefit, however, of providing a lot more jobs for a lot more people, stimulated the industry. The 90s were a big deal in general aviation and a lot of the otts were also. It wasn't until 2007 when things started cooling off a little bit, and of course with the LA crash things cooled off a lot, but 90's was rock and roll as far as GA was concerned.

J.R. Warmkessel: We're also seeing a lot of activity with the light sport. That's really created a lot of excitement in the industry again.

Jeb Burnside: You mention light sport and you're absolutely right. If GARA didn't exist there might not be a light sport industry like we know it today.

J.R. Warmkessel: Well, I think the light sport category- one of it's effects is to address the cost of fuel and the price of fuel and try to get airplanes that are more economical and consequently more available to the general public.

Jeb Burnside: Sure, absolutely.

J.R. Warmkessel: It sounds like then you left Congress to- where did you go from there?

Jeb Burnside: Well, in the mid 90s I started getting into freelancing, ended up among some other gigs working as a writer for AVweb. AVweb at that time was this startup publishing outlet on the internet and no one really, this was again the 90s, so no one had really figured out how to use this new medium called the intertubes and AVweb was one of the first to try to, I won't say, it was certainly the first in the industry, in the aviation industry, one of the first anyway to try to build a presence, to try to build a brand, and try to become something of a force in the industry through the internet.

J.R. Warmkessel: I was going to ask you, so this would have been with Mike Busch?

Jeb Burnside: That's correct.

J.R. Warmkessel: I don't know if you're familiar, but Mike was one of our early guests.

Jeb Burnside: Good for you.

J.R. Warmkessel: Yeah.

Jeb Burnside: I did not know that.

J.R. Warmkessel: Yeah. It was a very interesting conversation. I don't- I didn't realize. I had followed Mike for a long time. I didn't realize that Mike was brilliant.

Jeb Burnside: He's one of the smartest people in the room, period.

J.R. Warmkessel: Yes, he really was. In fact, can you take a minute? What are your reflections of Mike? Just tell us a little bit.

Jeb Burnside: Well, Mike and I remain good friends. First of all, Mike is a stone aviation junkie. When I say he is one of the smartest people, if not the smartest person in the room, he has a math degree, a couple of math degrees I should say. One is at Cornell, something like that.

J.R. Warmkessel: I think that's right.

Jeb Burnside: Yeah. He started flying early on in his career, I wouldn't say flew the wings off, but he put in a lot of hours on a 182. One of his business endeavors involved writing software- flight planning, pilot oriented software for a precursor for some of the PDAs with which you are familiar. I don't remember the hardware platform he was writing all this for, but it was wildly popular and he made a lot of money on this, and a lot of that money he folded into starting up AVweb. He did so with another entrepreneur by the name of Carl Marbach. Carl was more into the internet publishing business, although he was a pilot and aircraft owner. Mike clearly knew the aviation business, but also knew how to write and the two of them met on CompuServe's old avsig. One thing led to another and they started up AVweb. That was- they started AVweb I guess in '94 and I came along and started writing for them in '95 or '96, one of the two.

J.R. Warmkessel: So, is there anything that you remember at that time that you worked on that you were especially proud of? Or, is there anything that really sticks out in your mind at that time?

Jeb Burnside: Yeah, several things. I guess what I am most proud of- let me preface this a little bit. I started out just as a news writer for AVweb and slowly kind of worked my way up the ladder there, as such as was by a the end of 98, I guess, or mid-98 and they named me executive editor which put me in charge, daily charge, of the whole enchilada.

J.R. Warmkessel: Congratulations.

Jeb Burnside: Thank you. Thank you. It was a lot of fun. I look back on those days with great fondness and it was an incredible learning experience and it was just incredibly fun all the way around too but I was also executive editor on September 11, 2001 and I think what I'm most proud of is Avweb's coverage of those events and subsequent restrictions on general aviation over the next several months.

J.R. Warmkessel: Give us the details.

Jeb Burnside: I don't remember them all, but you might recall something called- I forget what the airspace designation was, but it was something like Super Class B or Enhanced Class B or something like that where a bunch of nonsensical restrictions had been placed on personal aviation. Of course for three or four days, general aviation was grounded in the aftermath of September 11th.

J.R. Warmkessel: I remember that.

Jeb Burnside: Along with all other operations. I was in Las Vegas as it turned out when I woke up that morning and I was there to do a flight test on an airplane. Kind of a before and after thing with a power flow exhaust system. We were take the baseline measurement to flying on basically a stock 172. Then put a power flow exhaust on it and we fly the same mission and see what happens. We were going to meet the power flow guy at the North Vegas airport about 8 a.m. that morning and of course that became a non-starter. We ended up I guess it was Thursday of that week before they announced that certain aircraft operations could again take place. It had to be done IFR and it had to be done under certain various rules and so the power flow rep and I put our heads together and said let's give this shot. So I got on the phone, called the Las Vegas trade con and told them who I was and what I was doing and what I wanted to try to do the next day and worked it out with them. We had to, again under the rules in place at the time, leave one facility's air space and go to another facility's air space. That was what they considered to be an IFR flight and you couldn't do pattern work. You couldn't do practice approaches. You couldn't fly out in one direction and turn around and go back. You had to go from point A to point B and land and point B had to be in a different facility's airspace. So we worked out a route and managed to get the mission in on the same day thanks to the great help of the Trade Con there in Vegas. Ended up flying that I was, I guess, Friday-Saturday. Something like that. Stayed in Vegas over the weekend because I had deadlines for the web site. Ended up not getting back to home plate, which at that time was Manassas, Virginia, until Tuesday evening. It was already dark when I landed and that was a week after the terrorist attacks. The D.C. area of course had gone stark raving nuts. Tse tse fly couldn't take off getting looked at very closely. The Manassas airport which at that time had been relatively sleep little reliever although it did have a tower at the time. All of a sudden, all of the aircraft that had been at National and at Dulles and some other airports that were closer into the city. All of these airplanes had been flushed in a very organized and very restricted manner. I say flushed with for a reason because that's what they were called among the operators and the FAA at the time. They had to fly straight line out of the airport as far away from D.C. Never turn towards the city or anything like that. A lot of them flew out to say Richmond or maybe Charlottesville, Lynchburg, something like that and then landed in under the other rules that were put in place in time. Like the Enhanced Class B air space I mentioned a moment ago were allowed to come back under certain various again very specified, very detailed restrictions and Manassas was just wall-to-wall airplane. I was surprised I still had a tie down spot.

J.R. Warmkessel: So I remember that Avweb was a very calming voice at that time. It was a very frightening time for the nation and I think that Avweb basically said, "Hey. We're not all crazy."

Jeb Burnside: Yeah. It was an interesting time for the industry, for me, and here's this thing that I hadn't really decided at that point to make it a career but all of a sudden here's something that I enjoy doing that I took a great deal of satisfaction from and many of my friends were in that same situation and all of a sudden we were being told that life as we knew it would cease to exist. We had to do this. We had to do that. We had to do the other thing and we didn't do anything to precipitate any of this. We were literally innocent bystanders and to this day I still have that visceral reaction when any of this gets really non-discussed in detail.

J.R. Warmkessel: Yes. So you left Avweb and where did you go from there?

Jeb Burnside: I went to the National Air Transportation Association. This was in late 01, early 02. I was a there for a couple, three, years doing much the same kinds of things I'd been doing at NDAA. Mainly though working on the policy side of the security equation. I didn't have any- Let me think back to the exact timing. A lot of the legislation that we all know and love from that period; the Patriot Act legislation, creating the TSA, creating the Department of Homeland Security. I didn't have any direct role in any of that, thankfully, but I did have a lot of role in some of the implementation of those new laws. One thing that comes to mind is the so-called Twelve Five security rule which applies a level of security to aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds in commercial operations.

J.R. Warmkessel: Not to armchair quarterback, but let's just imagine for a minute-

Jeb Burnside: Go right ahead.

J.R. Warmkessel: What do you think that they could have done differently that maybe would have made things better or how could they have responded and still have hit the mark maybe better than they did? I'm talking about the Congress and the legislators. What should they have done in your opinion?

Jeb Burnside: I'll give you the best example of how some of this came out that I can conjure up on the spur of the moment. A specific Senator, a Democrat from an Upper Midwestern state who I will not name, started throwing his- I don't know how much weight he had the time. He had some weight and although he was in a minority at the time in the Senate, but he was on one of the aviation committees or a security committee or something like that. He basically wanted every single general aviation aircraft. Let me see if I can restate this. I don't remember the exact terminology, but if it was a non-scheduled private flight he wanted it to go through airline style security and my favorite example in talking with him and his staff about this. I said, "Look. I've got a friend of mine who lives in Anchorage, Alaska. He's a preacher and every now and then he gets in his Cessna 180 on straight floats and he goes to a lake and does some salmon fishing. Do you want to put some TSA gestapo out on that lake? Do you want to force him to have to clear airline-style security at the side of a lake, where there is no electricity to power up your magnetometers, every time he flies that Cessna 180?" "Well no, we can't do that. We can do this." "Where are you going to draw the line?" And that thankfully, again I'm not trying to pat myself on the back or anything like that but thankfully that kind of nonsense did get beaten back. So when you say what could we have done to make this come out better? I would simply point that it could have been a lot worse.

J.R. Warmkessel: Please don't get me wrong.

Jeb Burnside: No, no, no. I understand.

J.R. Warmkessel: It could have been a lot worse.

Jeb Burnside: Yeah.

J.R. Warmkessel: But it could also be better.

Jeb Burnside: It could also be better and I think in this country right now we've got a lot of things working against us. One of those is the media and they way they pump up things and they talk about the horse race when they rarely talk about the details and the impact of policy changes and everybody, of course, who's flown on an airliner since 9/11 is familiar with TSA, familiar with taking your shoes off.

J.R. Warmkessel: Taking your shoes off.

Jeb Burnside: And not taking any liquids and all of this is of course reaction to what has already happened. It is fighting the last wars as it's something called. No, here we go with blanket statements. It's highly unlikely that any terrorist is going to put explosives in his or her shoe in the future. It's highly unlikely that he or she is going to use a binary liquid explosive and mix it up in the bathroom. It ain't going to happen. Let me put it another way, it's not very likely for it to happen. So if you look at it from that kind of standpoint, this system has been made safer. It's been made more secure. The bureaucratic mind set of course is, "Hey. I've got a nice job. I've got a pension. I'm going to do anything to upset this apple cart." So when some proposal comes down the pike to lighten up if you will, to roll back some of this, it just gets bucked up the line and not acted upon.

J.R. Warmkessel: There has to be some argument made for the uneducated public that's flying that says this thing happened. This horrible attack happened or these events happened and there has to be some perception of addressing that particular thing.

Jeb Burnside: Absolutely.

J.R. Warmkessel: How are we going to ensure that this never happens again?

Jeb Burnside: Well we can't. First of all, anybody who thinks about this soberly is going to come to the realization that we can not prevent something like that from happening again. We can minimize it. We can make it difficult. We can make it so difficult that only a very few handful of people would even try to do it again, but eventually they will succeed.

J.R. Warmkessel: Because anyone who's determined enough to succeed will ultimately succeed.

Jeb Burnside: Law of averages as not trying to blow the TSA's horn here, but TSA and other security officials would say, "Look. We've got to be right every day. They only have to be right once." That's not an untrue statement when you think about it, but at the same time we've given up so much in our liberties and our ways of life since then. The old joke is there's some guys in a cave in the Middle East who are laughing their asses off was the old joke about how this country, in my mind, over-reacted to some of this and I still feel very firmly about it.

J.R. Warmkessel: As much as the TSA makes me crazy too, they have stopped a number of real attacks or at least a number of real attacks haven't succeeded until their watch.

Jeb Burnside: There have been. You see various statistics. There have been some interceptions shall we say of potential terrorist plots overseas. In my and I'm certainly willing to be educated, but I'm not aware of the TSA domestically or for that matter any of the restrictions placed on general aviation since, I don't know, mid-02. I'm not aware of any of those having stopped, uncovered, highlighted, brought to light, resulted in the arrest and/or conviction of any quote unquote terrorists. Again there have been some interceptions overseas that appeared to have been fairly well-designed and fairly well thought out plots. A lot of that involved a good old fashioned intelligence gathering of law enforcement as opposed to check points and magnetometers and taking your shoes off.

J.R. Warmkessel: It's easy to show where they could do better and it's hard to show where they have succeeded because of the rules.

Jeb Burnside: Right and again as I said earlier, having these mechanisms in place makes it more and more difficult for the quote unquote bad guys and they know that. We know that. So just because neither you nor I can point to a specific instances of someone being arrested at a domestic check point and having box cutters and all these other implements of terrorism on their person with this definitive plan. Five guys trying to get on the same airplane. That kind of nonsense. Just because that hasn't happened, doesn't mean that someone hasn't thought about making it happen and tried and/or failed and/or postponed.

J.R. Warmkessel: Regardless of the specific policies, the people in the trenches do really try hard and I always want to make sure that we talk to those people to express that we understand how hard of a job it is.

Jeb Burnside: Right and there's no question about that and the vast majority of the people, especially on the policy levels. People with whom I became familiar over time. The vast majority of those people are highly professional, extremely dedicated and very, very serious about their role in this and my hat's off to them. I have a great deal of personal and professional respect for them. That doesn't mean that the policies developed and implemented are the correct ones.

J.R. Warmkessel: I agree 100%. We can differ on the policies, but we always should appreciate the people. Anyways, so let's step on for the TSA.

Jeb Burnside: Yeah.

J.R. Warmkessel: So you left, was it NATA? Was that where you were?

Jeb Burnside: I was at NATA at that particular point in time in the early aughts and left them in late 03, early 04.

J.R. Warmkessel: So where did you go from there?

Jeb Burnside: I went to freelancing. Straight back to freelancing and one thing led to another and I was working again for Avweb on kind of an ad-hoc basis. I picked up a consulting client to do some government relations work with and doing some odd job writing on aviation topics and along the way picked up a gig as editor-in-chief at Aviation Safety Magazine.

J.R. Warmkessel: Okay. That's a pretty cool magazine.

Jeb Burnside: Thank you. Go on.

J.R. Warmkessel: I was going to ask this would have been right about the time that Mike had left Avweb. Is that kind of?

Jeb Burnside: Yeah. Mike, I left Avweb in late 01. Mike and Carl parted ways and Avweb was acquired as it turned out by Belvoir Publications. The same company that owns Aviation Safety. I don't know. Maybe mid to late 02.

J.R. Warmkessel: You became the editor-in-chief of Aviation Safety. So tell us a little bit about that.

Jeb Burnside: Right. Well Aviation Safety is a monthly 32 page subscription only magazine. As the name implies, we look at the safety aspects of- I put it this way, we look at the safety aspects of personal aircraft operation. The masthead says the Journal of Risk Management and that's kind of what we do. Look. We know you're going to scrape some minimums. We know you might try to duck under. We know you're going to overload the airplane a little bit. We know these things because we might have been nearby when it happens. Here's how to do that and not bust the airplane. Here's how to take off 50 pounds over gross and not bust your ass. We don't recommend this. We're not going to approve of you doing it, but we know you're going to try it and this is what we think. This is the kind of information we think you should have before you try this and maybe, once you figure out that it's really not a good idea, you won't do it again.

J.R. Warmkessel: You could learn from someone else's lesson.

Jeb Burnside: Exactly. Exactly.

J.R. Warmkessel: So if you had to put your finger on the one thing that maybe you get asked this question a lot, but I like to go to the one thing that really you would want to tell someone, a pilot, in this arena. In the safety arena, what would tell them? What would be the one thing to say you've got to really watch this thing?

Jeb Burnside: The one thing that I've always felt that a pilot should keep his or her finger on and monitor 100% of the time and know exactly everything or know as much as he or she can is simply one word: the weather. This of course presumes that the aircraft is well-maintained. That we have fuel in the airplane.

J.R. Warmkessel: Fuel. That's important.

Jeb Burnside: I'm constantly amazed at the number of people that run out of gas.

J.R. Warmkessel: They instantly become a glider, though.

Jeb Burnside: Yeah, but they didn't plan it that way.

J.R. Warmkessel: That's true.

Jeb Burnside: So it's not the sudden stopping of the engine. It's the disruption of the plan that really hurts them, but more than anything I would say weather. Because whether it's severe clear or a bunch of white puffies, of course great thing, but even some of the most benign weather. A gentle breeze across a runway creating a cross-wind. A head wind that cuts into your fuel reserves. All of these little things and again it could be very, very benign things as far as weather is concerned can wreak havoc on these planes that we've made and of course bad weather can create a lot more havoc. So that's the one thing that I tell people to keep their eyes on and not play around with because mother nature can be a real bitch if she wants to.

J.R. Warmkessel: If she wants to, absolutely. Do you think that the new ADSB in let's bring weather into the cockpit? Do you think that's going to dramatically improve the safety aspects in this arena?

Jeb Burnside: No. Not really. It's another tool and it's as good a tool as some of the tools we have now. It has one, well two, things going for it. This official [XXXX] of a thorough government on it and it's also free. You still have to go out and buy the hardware, but it's not like having to go out and buy the hardware and subscribe to WSI or subscribe to XM weather to get this data into your cockpit. It's the same basic information. Some of it might be presented a bit differently. I'm not saying it's better or worse. It's just different, but we've always- I won't say always. We've had these capabilities now for going on ten years just for the average general aviation pilot to have this kind of information in his or her cockpit. So having ADS be in FISB, flight information system dash broadcast, and TISB, traffic information system or service I guess it is dash be broadcast. TISB, traffic information system. Having both of those data feeds in our cockpits is not that much different from what we have today and whether it's the mode S type of traffic information, an active TKS hardware set up or WSIs and XM weather. Will it help? Absolutely it will, but we're seeing a lot of people nowadays who are looking at right now I'm going to go ahead and get the V-80SBN solution and I'm kind of in that boat. I'm in the market for something like that and they may put off, as I am with my airplane, getting the ADSB out equipment. Of course it's a lot cheaper right now to pay 800 dollars and get a receiver for your iPad that gives you all this data. Not so easy to drop eight grand and, for example, upgrade your existing avionics to give you the whole ball of wax.

J.R. Warmkessel: Well certainly the iPad has brought a lot of technology to the masses.

Jeb Burnside: Absolutely.

J.R. Warmkessel: GPS maybe before was really one of the best tools for making sure that you didn't get lost and really nowadays pilots rarely get lost.

Jeb Burnside: Yeah, it's not that common.

J.R. Warmkessel: It's just not that common anymore and my hope is that, as ADSB and the iPad and other devices, start to take advantage of that weather that it will be easier for pilots who should be in a better position to get themselves in that better position. That's kind of my hope.

Jeb Burnside: Right. Yeah. It's we still have to have the technology and still have to have the hardware. Still has to be working and receiving in the cockpit and the biggest problem is they still have to know how to use it and interpret what they're seeing.

J.R. Warmkessel: Yeah, but I think that we're going to see that this information is going to get overlaid on a before flight on a Garmin map or some similar interface where it doesn't take a lot of smarts to know that that's a big thunderstorm you're flying at.

Jeb Burnside: Yeah. I would tend to agree with that. I would want to agree with that, but we saw within the last year where the NTSB made a big announcement or had a big policy statement saying, "Look. Here are two or three accidents involving aircraft, personal aircraft, equipped with in cockpit nexrad weather. These are airplanes flew into thunderstorms and came apart and they had this technology and the pilots, generally speaking, knew how to use it."

J.R. Warmkessel: They should have known better.

Jeb Burnside: They should have known better or they got complacent or you'd have to go back and peel the onion on a specific circumstances but one of the points that, not to overly critique the flight crews involved here, the NTSB was trying to make is the latency involved in some of this data. Just because you're flying through an area of weather and the XM or the the ADSB nexrad presentation on your devices says you're in clear air and there's no storms in front of you. That data can be 10, 12, 15 minutes old by the time you're looking at it.

J.R. Warmkessel: Or it could be wrong.

Jeb Burnside: Or it could be wrong. I think we've all seen temporary hiccups in the presentation of some of this data where it wasn't really where the data said it was. The storms really weren't there. They were somewhere else. They were displaced, but more importantly what the NTSB was trying to say is that this data can be rather dated. It's not yesterday's data, but it's not real time. It's what we call near real time. Just as I'm sure you know that term. 10-15 minutes old and thunderstorms and other weather can develop a whole lot faster than our data systems could keep up with it.

J.R. Warmkessel: Room for improvement.

Jeb Burnside: Yeah.

J.R. Warmkessel: So one of the things that you and I have in common was that I had a privelege to write an article for your fine magazine.

Jeb Burnside: Yes.

J.R. Warmkessel: Which I am so proud of. You will never know how much I appreciate you taking your time to edit and publish my piece. So maybe can you, it's my piece, but maybe I'll let you tell our audience a little bit about it.

Jeb Burnside: Well I'll kind of let you talk about it the events that led up to it, but J.R. you put together a nice little piece on something that you uncovered the hard way during some ground operations and the lessons that you learned from all of this and, more importantly, were able to translate that into some cautionary thoughts for people who may not have experienced this kind of a problem.

J.R. Warmkessel: Yeah and just to talk about what happened is I had an induction fire in my aircraft and the induction system is the part that the air scooped from the outside into the engine right before it goes through the throttle body or through the part that meters the fuel and I had a fire there and ultimately what happened was that my air filter, which was impregnated with oil, caught on fire. I don't want to go through the whole article today, but if people are interested in reading that article how would they find that on Avweb or how would they?

Jeb Burnside: It's generally not going to be on Avweb.

J.R. Warmkessel: I'm sorry, aviation safety.

Jeb Burnside: Yeah. is the magazine's website and you generally have to be a subscriber to read that content. You could probably get, let me while we're talking here quickly type this in.

J.R. Warmkessel: Well that's certainly something that if people wanted to read my article and perhaps wanted to become a subscriber, they could go to your website. We'll link to that from our website as well for the show that's for this episode and I hope that you guys read it and hope you enjoy it.

Jeb Burnside: It's on the front page of the website right now.

J.R. Warmkessel: Is it really?

Jeb Burnside: Actually there's two entries for it. Someone did it twice, but I have no input and no control over the website but there's on the title and the lead in phrase or text on it and part of the opening paragraph of the story but to get much more than that you'd have to subscribe to the magazine. That's just the way the pay wall is set up.

J.R. Warmkessel: One of the other things that I know that you do is that in the past you have edited a certain daily magazine for one special week a year. Can you tell us about that?

Jeb Burnside: Yeah. Thank you very much. I've had the great fortune and magnificent opportunity over the last several years to work on a daily newspaper called Air Venture Today. It's the daily newspaper that is run by the Experimental Aircraft Association to cover literally the goings on at their annual extravaganza in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, called Air Venture. It's some of the most fun that I've had in this business. It's really the only opportunity that one will have to work on a daily newspaper and still do this within the aviation industry. At least for eight issues straight. A great bunch of people to work with, excellent organization behind this all, and no shortage of topics to write about. It's a target rich environment there at Oshkosh.

J.R. Warmkessel: So how did you get involved with it? Tell me about the beginning of that.

Jeb Burnside: After I left NATA, I was looking around for some freelance projects and Dave [XXXX] a name that you'll recall of course had been working on that project with EAA for a number of years. The previous year, they had developed an opening at the managing editor spot and Dave was aware that I was looking for something. Dave played his cards correctly and recommended me for the job and they took a risk and I managed to pull it off. So I joined that team and I'm very happy to be there still. I was the editor for a couple, three years. I think it was 05, 06, and 07 editions of the newspaper. Shortly there after in 07, I left the freelancing realm and took a full time position with Bellmore publications to work on Aviation Safety, work on Aviation Consumer, and some of the other Aviation titles. That lasted a couple, three years, and involved my relocating from the D.C. area down to Florida. That lasted a couple, three years, and I went back to freelancing. During that two or three year period, I'm a salaried employee for Bellmore and they don't want me working on other publications. So I had to let the Air Venture Today gig slide. Once I went back to freelancing, I managed to get back on with Air Venture Today. Not in the managing editor role, Dave has that now but in a couple of other roles.

J.R. Warmkessel: At this time or during kind of these early years, you met the third member of your triumvirate. Can you tell us about that?

Jeb Burnside: You're asking about Jack or you're asking about Dave?

J.R. Warmkessel: Well, I was asking about Jack but I... the whole thing. Can you tell us... Tell me the whole story, you know. How did Uncontrolled Airspace or, what's called, the unnamed podcast begin?

Jeb Burnside: I didn't know Jack at all before my first year at AirVenture Today in the managing editor role. I knew Dave. Dave and I had met for the first time back in the '80s in D.C. Variously, he was with the Journal of Commerce as their aviation reporter and/or their OPA and/or doing some other things around town, and our paths crossed on several occasions and we got to know each other. Never really hung out together but we knew each other professionally and enjoyed the relationship. Dave was... I don't remember which came first, the chicken or the egg, but when I started writing for AVweb, Dave was part of that also, and we started kicking off. I started editing him on a regular basis on that and we kinda competed back and forth, had some really good times doing that AVweb back in the day. When I started with AirVenture Today, Jack Hodgson was one of the staff members on the newspaper. And Dave and I would get together and hang out a little bit in the evenings, Jack would join us as well as many other people. And one of the rituals, if you will, of that particular endeavor, the newspaper production, was after the first full day, when the first issue of the newspaper has been put to bed, to drive up 41... US-41, from Oshkosh to Appleton, to a Japanese steak house and sushi restaurant called Ikiba, up in Appleton. And so, we are driving up the highway and Dave and I are going at it tooth and nail, you know, the genuine XXXX conflict, fully and totally good natured, about stuff that we'd seen during the show or about people or something like that. And Jack's in the back seat saying, literally, "You know, this would make a great podcast". And we both kinda turned around at him and looked and said, "What's a podcast?'. And he said, "Well, I'll explain it to you later but we gotta talk about this". And we're like, "I don't even understand what you're talking about, much less can I render an opinion on it". And we would go on, you know, genuine XXXX and go get some sushi and some sake and have a great evening. So, he might have brought this up once or twice again during the rest of the week there at Oshkosh and...

J.R. Warmkessel: What year was this?

Jeb Burnside:This was... This would have been '04. This would've been '04. So, we didn't do anything about it. Didn't really register on us, I guess, that year. Skip forward to '05 and same thing. First night, after the first edition is in bed, we pile in a car and we go smoking up the highway to Ikiba to get more sushi, and it's like a carbon copy. Dave and I are going at it hammer and tongs one more time."Yeah, you can't even... You're just so full of crap, you can't even see straight. I'm surprised you can even get in the car. Where do you get this nonsense?"... da...da...da...da...da. And Jack's sitting in the back seat again and he's like, "No, guys, listen to me. Seriously, we gotta do a podcast. The three of us, especially the two of you, we gotta do a podcast". And we're like, "Oh yeah, you said something about this last year. What are you talking about?" And I don't know if it was over dinner that night or probably that time and probably subsequent occasions during the rest of the week, he would hammer this thing really hard. And he's like, "No, people will wanna listen to you". And I'm still flabbergasted that people would listen to us talk back and forth like this. But we kinda, Alright, fine. You know? If he's gonna do this every time we come up to Oshkosh and ruin and kill our buzz like this...OK... we're gonna have to humor him because he's not gonna shut up.

J.R. Warmkessel: No.

Jeb Burnside: He's not, no. Not gonna happen. So, we said, Alright, fine... and made arrangements. Everybody got their Skype, you know, installation tuned up and made a date to get together on Skype and conducted the first episode of this... at the time it was called the No-Name General Aviation Podcast because we hadn't thought up a good name for it yet. And that was late... I won't say late '05, it was like September of ‘05... Yeah, let me go look at the folder over here... '06.

J.R. Warmkessel: So it took him a while to...

Jeb Burnside: Yeah, it took him a while to sell it... It might have taken him two years to sell it to us. And even back then, it was every other week, something like that. We were very cautious about this and first several episodes weren't even under the UCAP banner, under the Uncontrolled Airspace banner, because we hadn't thought of the name by that time.

J.R. Warmkessel: So take me back to those first episodes. What do you really remember, you know? Was it too serious? Was it too fun, you know? I mean, I know what it became but what was it then at the very beginning?

Jeb Burnside: It became, at that time and still it is today to a great extent, an opportunity for the three of us to get together. Well, we can't do it physically but we could certainly do it virtually. Get together and kinda talk about, you know, what's going on in this community, in this industry and, you know, share some thoughts, Hey, what have you heard about this? What do you know about that? Hey, what about this accident, you know? Have you ever flown that kind of airplane, you know, what might have been the problem? What about so and so leaving such and such job and going, you know, to a new one. Things like that, just, kind of, the buzz within the industry. Some of the things going on. Some the neat stuff that people do, some of the stupid stuff people do. We all fill landing of the week, which we all hope... we've kinda defined as where an airplane lands on the road or field or, you know, there's no major damages or major injuries or anything like that. Just, you know, trying to get a feel for what's going in the industry and what's going on with the community and what's important.

J.R. Warmkessel: I think that the one thing I would tell you is that one of the reason that I think that your podcast has been so successful is that it's not the three of you, it's the four of us. It's Jack, Jeb and Dave and that listener who is there shouting at his podcast or listening but is engaged, you know. When we listen to you, we are always engaged in that flight or in that activity or that discussion. And, you know, you bring something real to us that I think that most other places don't do so well. There are exceptions and not to say that...

Jeb Burnside: Sure...Sure. Yeah.

J.R. Warmkessel: ... but I think that to me, that's one of the things. I've listened to every one of your episodes...

Jeb Burnside: Wow!

J.R. Warmkessel: ... from the very beginning to the future and beyond, and I think that, you know... I would say that your podcast has inspired me to do this podcast. I wanted to something in aviation but I wanted to do something very different than your podcast. But...

J.R. Warmkessel: Sure...Sure.

J.R. Warmkessel: But when I think about your podcast, I think that, you know, they're always telling me about something that I didn't know or, you know... or maybe I'm not agreeing with you. So every once in a while, you'll say something that I'd, like, Oh no, you're completely wrong.

Jeb Burnside: And we're wrong just like about a stop clock is, that is often. But it's based on the information we have, that's sometimes the best we can do.

J.R. Warmkessel: Sure. And not to, you know... I don't mean necessarily be wrong, factually wrong but, you know, maybe you have an opinion that I disagree with.

Jeb Burnside: Right.

J.R. Warmkessel: But you know, I can always get on the website or the forum and say, Hey, I think you're wrong or, you know...

Jeb Burnside: And it's... We frequently come back and say, "Hey, you know, remember when we talk about such and such and so and so? Well, we, you know... We got some new information that's come to light and, you know, we didn't have a full picture of what was going on when we talked about this and we'd like to, you know, correct some of the record here".

J.R. Warmkessel: You never the whole story especially as it unfolds so coming back...

Jeb Burnside: Exactly. I mean, you know, there's lot of stories we'll never know. We'll talk about them anyway.

J.R. Warmkessel: Fine plan, and I hope you don't stop.

Jeb Burnside: I appreciate it.

J.R. Warmkessel: Talk to me about, you know... I think that the podcast has afforded you some opportunities that really stick out in your mind. What really is the, you know... the ones that really are special to you?

Jeb Burnside: Well, I... This is not come as a revelation. The opportunity to get on the deck at both Sun 'n Fun and AirVenture, but especially the AirVenture... to be out there at the flight line during the radio show, doing live broadcast episode recording right there, you know. Sometime you're out there and we're... hopefully on our opening day and on closing day. And then the closing day episode, we're generally doing it from the deck of the radio station building there, looking out on 1836, watching...

J.R. Warmkessel: Well, it's not there anymore.

Jeb Burnside: It's not there anymore. I don't know, we're gonna have to reinvent a new tradition here next year because they have torn that building down and the radio station's gonna be moving to another venue, and we'll, you know, be back up there in July. But that's always been the high point, not just of the week, perhaps of the year and a high point for the podcast too. And I'd have to... I'd be... It would we wrong if I didn't point out the instrumental assistance. Dave Shallbetter, who's the Chairman of Sun N Fun Radio, has been doing this. Dave's radio station, Dave's radio program at Sun N Fun is the first time that we ever did a live episode. And that was in part, in a great part due to Dave Shallbetter and his encouragement and his acquiescence of letting us on the air. He didn't know what to expect either, but that was really the first time and it's only been all downhill from there.

J.R. Warmkessel: I think some times are also special in my, my recollection, for the 200th episode, I know that EAA had a big event for you.

Jeb Burnside: Yeah, that was very special too. Tom Poberezny who at the time was still President and CEO of EAA, stopped by and shared the stage with us, and congratulated us. And that, that was just a big deal. That was just a really big deal and certainly, you know, every time I get to now I want to thank Tom for that, but also some of the people who made that happen: Charlie Becker, who at the time was one of the grassroots types at EAA is now with AOPA, and so many others there within the EAA staff who helped make all that happen.

It was, it was quite the thing. It was a really big deal for us and I'm, I'm just happy that so many others felt the same way.

J.R. Warmkessel: I think also one of the ones that sticks out in my mind are these beer bashes or...that you seem to have or host every year. Tell us about those.

Jeb Burnside: Well, we got to the point a couple of years ago I guess now, where we wanted to try to do a little bit more--yeah, we wanted to blow our own horn a little bit, but we also wanted to try to give back to some of our listeners and occupy them while they're at the show more than simply saying hey, stop by the radio station tomorrow morning on the last day of the show, we're doing the podcast and we'll wave at you or something like that. We wanted to do a little bit more than that.

And one of the perennial activities for us at Oshkosh any ways, drinking beer, at least when we're not working. So we decided a couple of years ago to try, you know, you gotta start a tradition and build a tradition to have a tradition. And we ultimately had you know in the back of our mind that we wanted to make something in the way of tradition out of this...and started this, initially we called it a beer bash. Now we're called it the UCAP tie down party.

J.R. Warmkessel: The tie down party, that's right.

Jeb Burnside: The tie down party. And this is for anybody who's, who's listening, you're invited. This will be probably I don't know, Tuesday or Wednesday, maybe Thursday night during the air show at Oshkosh each year. It'll be on the north side of the north 40, there's a gate that opens in the fence, the chain link fence there behind the Super 8 motel. And we will be in the grass there under a tree maybe with I don't know, you know, maybe 20-30 of our closest friends.

And we'll try to slap a beer in your hand and figure out where you're from, how you got there, what stories you have to tell us about your Oshkosh experience. And J.R., I'm sure you'll be there and

J.R. Warmkessel: Well, I hope so. I

Jeb Burnside: Yeah, I hope so too, while recording some of the stories.

J.R. Warmkessel: You know, as I said earlier, you know the UCAP was the inspiration, but that tie down party, I guess it was two years ago now, you know, and I said to you, you know, Jeb, I want to do something that talks about the real aviation, not the media and not the stories,

Jeb Burnside: Right.

J.R. Warmkessel: but you know, what it's really like.

Jeb Burnside: Right.

J.R. Warmkessel: And that was sort of the germ of the aviation story and it started right there in that conversation. And here we are today on the radio, and I'm a published author and I'm happy as a clam about it.

Jeb Burnside: Well, as I say, you've gotta build the empire to have one. You didn't get there overnight and you didn't get there without any hard work.

J.R. Warmkessel: No, it's an incredible amount of hard work, but it's been really rewarding and I'm really happy. There's one more thing I want to talk to you about, at least one more thing.

Jeb Burnside: Sure.

J.R. Warmkessel: You won an award, a pretty prestigious award in aviation. Tell us about that.

Jeb Burnside: Yeah, the Bax Seat Award, named after Gordon Baxter, longtime columnist for Flying Magazine. I forget the--well hang on a second because I've got it on the wall right behind me.

J.R. Warmkessel: Okay.

Jeb Burnside: And it's the Bax Seat Trophy, Flying Magazine is proud to recognize EAA member Jeb Burnside on Uncontrolled Airspace broadcast for perpetuating the Gordon Baxter tradition of communicating the excitement and romance of flight.

And Dave, Jack and I each got, got that trophy. And I remember the day when I got the letter. I got the letter in the mail and had an envelope in my stack of mail from Tom Poberezny, EAA, Oshkosh, WI.

And being cynical Jeb,

J.R. Warmkessel: You were gonna throw it away, weren't you?

Jeb Burnside: No, I wasn't gonna throw it away. Being cynical Jeb I, I did not open it immediately thinking well, it's a fundraiser, it's you know, looking to some contributions maybe to Young Eagles or maybe to the museum or something like that. Put it aside, I didn't open it.

And got a call or, I don't remember if it was an email or a call from Dave saying call me, or did you get a letter from Tom P. at EAA or something like that? And I was busy with something else that afternoon. Eventually hooked up with him and he said dude, dude, have you gotten anything or talked to the EAA lately? I said no, why?

This was I don't know, was months before the show was to start. He says wait a second, I got a letter here today from them. He says yeah, yeah, yeah, go open it, quick, quick, quick 'cuz he had already gotten his, and knew what was going on and wanted to be there when I opened mine.

I opened the letter and starting reading it, and what? What the? Holy, know that kind of thing. And we got Jack on the phone or Skype, whatever it was, and said have you gotten this too? And he had just gotten his.

And so we're like what did we do to deserve this? And just very shocked to our toenails that we would be so honored. And just very grateful to EAA and again, to their staff for, for making that happen to us to Flying Magazine for their sponsorship of the Michael Mayan Charles who at the time was editor at Flying Magazine, and longtime acquaintance and friend of mine back from the old AdWeb days.

And he was the one who presented the award. So again, it was a, it was very humbling and just a very, very huge surprise for all three of us.

J.R. Warmkessel: Well, I can't think of someone who I think deserves it more than the three of you

Jeb Burnside: Well, thank you, J.R.

J.R. Warmkessel: because I think that, well I think that it's important that we talk about aviation, that we engage in aviation. If we're gonna do it, if we're gonna become pilots and stay in aviation, I think we have to have something that we look to that really keeps us engaged and keeps us interested.

And I know that one of Jack's missions is trying to increase the pilot population and pilot community, so with that in mind, you wanna give us your last thoughts and final thoughts on how we can do that.

Jeb Burnside: How we can do that? Well, Jack maintains that free flying lessons would be a way to, perhaps the way to increase and foster the pilot population. I certainly don't disagree with that and in fact, just last week, not this last weekend, but the one before, was up at Sun N Fun in Lakeland, FL, which is about an hour-15 minute drive for me.

And spent some time with some of Sun N Fun's staff. They had another in a continuing series of events that Sun N Fun is sponsoring throughout the year, that allows them to leverage the property, the area there that they have at the airport in new and different ways.

It doesn't have to be Sun N Fun every weekend. It can be some other kind of event and this particular event was a classic and antique car show, motorcycle show, airplane show and fly-in, built around a BBQ theme. So they had a BBQ cooking contest, cook-off kind of thing.

And it was, it was a great way to spend an afternoon. And I was very surprised at the turnout. A lot of turnout was local, people in the Lakeland area, Tampa area looking for something to do on a nice, warm Saturday afternoon. That's okay, let's you know, whether their interest, what brought them there was BBQ? Maybe it was Harley Davidsons, I don't care.

Get them out to the airport, show them some current general aviation planes up close and personal, get them interested in this. Get them at least familiar with it so that the next time so local politician rants and raves about closing the local airport, they won't jump on that bandwagon and at least they'll sit back at home, maybe they'll take up the banner on our side of the equation.

Maybe they'll say no, we don't need to close that airport. There's a lot of fun stuff that goes on out there...not that Lakeland of course is slated for closure or anything, but it's that kind of, that kind of mindset of you know, make them familiar with this activity. Maybe they'll want to participate in it, at least they won't oppose it.

J.R. Warmkessel: Yeah, it sounds to me like what you're really saying is stop waiting for the people to come to the airplanes.

Jeb Burnside: Exactly.

J.R. Warmkessel: Get the airplanes to the people and show them what, what, what the possibilities are.

Jeb Burnside: Exactly. And one of the things that I, I picked up in talking to some of the Sun N Fun staff is a program that they're working on that would in fact provide some free flying lessons to certain qualified people. And I think that's a wonderful thing and I'm optimistic we'll be able to talk some more about that on a future episode of UCAP.

So that's, that's certainly one thing and Jack is I think 100% correct that if the goal here is to increase student starts and increase the number of people who continue their training and obtain their private license, and become participants in this industry, in this community, that's certainly one way to go about it.

Being the cynical old cuss that I am, my solution to all this is air conditioning because you got a guy who maybe drives up in a $50,000 BMW and says yeah, I wanna learn how to fly. And let's say he even gets in to a brand new Cirrus. Let's say or a brand new Skyhawk as opposed to some 20-30 year old ragged out 150.

And he's just gotten out of his BMW and you know, is accustomed to you know, certain creature comforts. He's accustomed to maybe leather seating surface and a clean windshield and various other things.

But one of the things that he's really accustomed to, and especially his wife and kids are accustomed to, is air conditioning. And you want me to get in that hot airplane in FL or even VA in July and go somewhere? No, it's too hot, it's uncomfortable, I don't like it.

But if it was air conditioned it wouldn't be that big of deal, would it?

J.R. Warmkessel: Sure.

Jeb Burnside: So you know, that's my touchdown is we've gotta bring to our airplanes and our airplane operations, the same basic kinds of creature comforts people are accustomed to in their automobiles. And some manufacturers are doing that. The Cirrus is another great example of how they've tried to make the interior of that airplane as much like the car or the people got out of when they drove to the airport as they can. And that's a great thing.

It's again, a far cry from the clapped out 30 year old Skyhawk that so many FBOs want to offer up to people as the, the training aircraft that they should learn how to fly.

The average guy these days with the money and the time to learn how to fly also has this, this vision. He knows what he wants to do with an airplane. He knows where he wants to go and he also has this image of how it's going to be. And looking at steam gauges, and looking at ripped upholstery, and looking at faded paint and bare medal on an airplane is not confidence inspiring.

But even beyond that it's not the kind of airplane that he wants to rollup to at his mother-in-law's for Thanksgiving dinner.

J.R. Warmkessel: Right, it's gotta look the part.

Jeb Burnside: It's gotta look the part.

J.R. Warmkessel: Right.

Jeb Burnside: And we don't come very close to hitting that mark often enough in this industry.

J.R. Warmkessel: I think that's a really interesting observation. Should I ask you anything else? What, what

Jeb Burnside: Whatever you need.

J.R. Warmkessel: Now you told me that you were not gonna be interesting and you were only gonna go for 10 minutes,

Jeb Burnside: That was an hour and a half

J.R. Warmkessel: That was an hour and a half ago. And I don't want

Jeb Burnside: You're a good interviewer because you ask good questions and you let the person run-on and answer it.

J.R. Warmkessel: Well, I appreciate that, thank you. So if there's nothing else I think I should probably let you go. I don't want to intrude on your time anymore than I already have

Jeb Burnside: No strain at all, it's been a pleasure.

J.R. Warmkessel: Thank you so much.

Direct link to mp3 audio file of show (right-click to download/save).

Show Notes