"Max Trescott Part 1" Avstry #6a

Max Trescott, 2008's CFI of the Year talks about getting his Multi Engine ATP Rating. We also discuss some of the advantages of using a glass panel displays used in modern aircraft, as well as the Flying Doctors organization.

Published Date: Sun, 12 Aug 2012

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Show Notes

J.R. Warmkessel: Max, thank you for being with us. I really appreciate it.

Max Trescott: Well, thanks for inviting me. Nice to be here.

J.R. Warmkessel: I like to start these interviews by asking our guest to talk about the licenses and certificates and qualifications that they have in aviation. So, with that, I'll give it to you.

Max Trescott: Well, let's see I've been flying for I think around 37 years. Started when I was about 15, so I started off getting the private license, and since then I have upgraded so that I've gone up to every fixed wing rating at the ATP level, which basically I've maxed out every airplane rating you can get, so I'm an ATP Airplane, Single Engine, Land, Airplane Muti Engine, Land, Single Engine Sea Plane, and also Multi Engine Sea Plane. So there's no more ratings left for me to get from an airplane standpoint.

J.R. Warmkessel: That sets the bar high.

Max Trescott: Well, and the reason, when I got the last one, the Multi Engine Sea Plane, I thought, "Well, I could've gotten it at the private or commercial but this way, with the ATP, if PanAm decides to start flying the clipper ships again, I'm first in line as a captian."

J.R. Warmkessel: Now have you toured the clipper ship that they have over in Oakland?

Max Trescott: You know, I haven't. I need to do that.

J.R. Warmkessel: You should do that at the aviation museum over at the Oakland Airport. They have City of Carlisle, I believe it is?

Max Trescott: I'll see if I can start the engines and get it out on the bay.

J.R. Warmkessel: It's a beautiful airplane and it's partially restored and they actually have a bar in it.

Max Trescott: Oh, dear.

J.R. Warmkessel: So if you have a chance, really stop by that museum.

Max Trescott: Maybe a mixed message there or at least mixed drinks.

J.R. Warmkessel: Only for the passengers. Yeah, mixed drinks. So that being said, tell me about your first flight. Where did you learn to fly? Why did you learn to fly?

Max Trescott: Sure. I always looked and I always watched airplanes since I can remember, and always wanted to be up there and fly. I don't know why. It just always seemed attractive to me. My folks on my mother's family had flown. My grandfather had a solo though never got his license. My mother had taken flying lessons but never got her license so I think I may the first person to actually have gotten a license, and I started taking lessons when I was 15, and I finished my license I think when I was 18 or 19. I was in college.

J.R. Warmkessel: So when your mom, that flight, those lessons, when was that?

Max Trescott: Well I think it was in the Stearman. I think it was back in the '40s.

J.R. Warmkessel: So that would've been...

Max Trescott: Post-World War II.

J.R. Warmkessel: Post-World War II so...

Max Trescott: Yeah, my grandfather was soloing a Piper Cub in '46 and '47.

J.R. Warmkessel: But where'd you get your license?

Max Trescott: November of '38. The Wellsboro Johnson Airport way up in Northern Pennsylvania near Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, and it's named for the town Wellsboro, but also for my flight instructor, Dick Johnson, who was the Pennsylvania state flight instructor of the year, which I think was probably one of the things that inspired me.

J.R. Warmkessel: Tell me about your first flight. What were you flying and...?

Max Trescott: Well, the first flight was, you know, just kind of the nickel tour, if you will. Five bucks, sit in the back, and, you know, get flown around town and take a look down and see what things look like. The first lesson I do remember at age 15 was exactly 0.5 hours in a very old Cessna 150. It was a 1967 Cessna 150, and the other one that I learned in was a '64. The difference was the '64 had manual flaps and the '67 was very fancy electric flaps.

J.R. Warmkessel: And then from there you got your...they would've had an instructor rating back in that time.

Max Trescott: Sure.

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

Max Trescott: You know, it paralleled a career in technology, so I went to college. I got degrees in engineering and psychology and ended up at Hewlett-Packard for 25 years and, while working at HP I just acquired more and more ratings on the side, including my flight instructor rating.

J.R. Warmkessel: Yeah, I've often been told that that flight instructor rating is the hardest rating to get.

Max Trescott: It's certainly the most satisfying one to get because, you know, when you get it your really feel like you've really, you've worked hard and you've been very successful.

J.R. Warmkessel: Tell me about the sea plane airline transportation multi engine license. That must've been an experience, finding a sea plane to get that in.

Max Trescott: Yeah, there aren't too many multi engine sea planes available to train in. I looked at all the ones that were available, there are probably four or five scattered around the country, and I picked the one that had the most number of aircraft available, so that if the airplane I trained in would be the one that I'm most likely to encounter and that was the Grumman Widgeon. So it's a six passenger, fairly large, multi engine sea plane.

J.R. Warmkessel: So and where was that?

Max Trescott: It was in Florida.

J.R. Warmkessel: Oh, okay, and so flying in the Keys then or...?

Max Trescott: No, it was in the middle part of the state. Oh, fantastic. Imagine that I wanted to follow in your footsteps, what was the process? You know, you already would have had a fixed gear license, or a wheel license, at this time.

Max Trescott: Sure.

J.R. Warmkessel: Tell me about it. What was it like?

Max Trescott: You know, I think it's the old, "Follow your dream, young man" story. Just do whatever it takes to make it happen. I didn't think that aviation was going to be my first career and I wasn't even sure that it was going to be my second career. I always kind of knew that there would be some life after HP because, you know, the dirty secret of technology is that usually by the time people have gotten to their 50s, you know, the tech companies kind of like to, you know, push you out the door and find someone who is younger and cheaper and so on, and I knew that from very early on. It was kind of happenstance that, you know, when I was ready to leave HP that I had been teaching very actively for four or five years, and it just seemed like kind of a logical next thing to do. So I can't say that I had a grand plan, but it was just, you know, when the opportunity presented itself I said, "Hey, you know what? I have so much fun teaching. I've been teaching eight hours on Saturdays and five or six hours on Sundays for years," and I just thought, "Hey, let's just go ahead and make this a full-time gig." And then it was about a year later where I ran into my first kind of book opportunity. I thought, "Oh, wait a minute. Here's something that sounds like a lot of fun to do."

J.R. Warmkessel: So tell me about the book.

Max Trescott: So let's see. The Garmin G1000 glass cockpit came out in 2004, and in 2005 I went back to the factory and got training on it and brought, you know, a brand new airplane back home with an owner, and we spent three solid days in training and, you know, when I came back I kind of, I kept wondering, why does this seem so difficult? Why does this seem, you know, I'm a smart guy. I thought, why does this seem so hard? And after noodling on it for a week or two I realized, you know, that there was very little training available and so, you now, people were struggling. So I took the 20 pages of notes that I came back with from the factory, and in about two and a half months I turned it into a several hundred page book. Granted, there were still a couple more months of editing and, you know, some other things as well, but that was really the germ of the idea, the fact, you know, I was struggling with the G1000. I had a lot of notes, and realized there are probably other people in the same position, and the book has gone on to be phenomenally successful. The fifth edition will be out later this year, so, you know, had five editions in eight years and sold thousands and thousands of copies around the world.

J.R. Warmkessel: That's really impressive and congratulations for finding a need.

Max Trescott: And it was just luck, and I don't claim any special insight. It was the right place, right time, good idea.

J.R. Warmkessel: Never turn down good luck.

Max Trescott: Yes, indeed.

J.R. Warmkessel: Obviously, going from a steam gauge aircraft, that's traditional instruments, to a glass cockpit, I could imagine that would be a learning curve for the average pilot, but, you know, give us the flavor of what you might expect the first couple of flights.

Max Trescott: Sure. Well, let's just first talk about the benefits, you know, why is glass so cool? When I took my first flight in a glass cockpit aircraft, I honestly came it at it from the perspective of, boy, this is going to be a waste of a good computer. You know, why would they take away my six round gauges which work perfectly well and put in computer screens in the front? And I was a guy with technology and an engineering degree. You'd think I would be the one who was saying, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Do it. Do it," but I'd seen too many times in my career where I saw solutions that were in search of a problem to solve. You know, "Yeah, we threw a microprocessor at it and, you know, we don't know if anybody would ever want to do this but..." and to me my first reaction was that seems what the glass cockpit would be, something that was really unnecessarily superfluous. I took a one hour flight here out of Palo Alto Airport. I came back and I was trying to synthesize in my mind, what was the core essence of the experience? And I went home, and I thought about it, and what I finally came up with, and later in the day, was, and I'd knew I'd seen something special and unique and different, but I wasn't exactly sure what about it was the critical, you know, issue, and what I realized was it was the first aircraft cockpit I had ever seen where you could aviate, navigate, and communicate and never take your eyes off of the instrument panel. And that's really unique. If you look at a variety of the accidents that have happened, you know, people are reaching over to access the transponder, which is three feet away from their instruments and they've got a little tiny attitude indicator which is two and half inches wide. It's very easy to get into an unusual attitude in a traditional cockpit. Yet, in the glass cockpit aircraft, that same attitude indicator is ten inches wide. You know, you could be sitting in the back seat and see that the aircraft is banked one or two degrees, so it's inherently safer just because you're going to see instantly if the aircraft is not in the attitude it should be because the instruments are so much larger and you don't have to look away from them because your radios and your flight planning is combined on the same screen with your instruments.

J.R. Warmkessel: You have the ability to overload on all of this new information that's coming at you, right? I mean, is that...

Max Trescott: And I think that's what I view as one of my chief roles as an instructor, is to help people prioritize and understand what they should be focusing on at different points in time. So yes, until you start to realize, you know, what's the most important at any given point in time, yeah, it is possible to get overloaded.

J.R. Warmkessel: It seems also that they definitely bring a lot of that information into one place, maybe two places I guess, a multifunction display.

Max Trescott: So you're concerned that maybe it's a little dense in terms of information?

J.R. Warmkessel: Well certainly there's a lot of information there and I could imagine that, you know, you start from the steam gauges, the dial indicators that have just the right amount of information, or maybe too few depending on your perspective. And then you go into this very rich world where you have a lot of information. You know you got to look at the right place of the screen to get that piece of information you're looking for.

Max Trescott: Now here's something that really surprised me in something that most people who flies these systems don't even understand. And that is that the design is set up so that it's from kind of a psychology standpoint. You're able to suck that information in through your eyes much faster and easier than you can with the round gauges. Imagine this if you are scanning suppose you're flying instruments and you've got round gauges, to get information from each of those gauges, your eye has to focus on the center of an instrument then it has to jump a barrier, which is the edge of that instrument, then jump the edge of the barrier of the next instrument, and then refocus on the center. That is a lot of work as your eye moves from one instrument to another. Now imagine a glass cockpit, where you have all four pitch related instruments on a single line, now your eye just slides from left to right and in that single sweep you've caught everything which is pitch related. Plus, you have bugs things like altitude bugs for example, which are analog dots, if you will, that tell you where you need to be. So now you don't have to read the altitude and if I'm supposed to be at 4,500 feet, I don't have to read four, five, three, zero, all I have to see is, oh my bug is a little bit low, I need to push forward on the yoke, re-center the bug, and I'll be back at 4,500 feet. So the ergonomics, the human factors that have gone into the glass cockpit are phenomenal. They just make it so much easier and in my mind, pleasurable to fly an airplane.

J.R. Warmkessel: Almost, almost like the old grease pencil.

Max Trescott: How so?

J.R. Warmkessel: So, well the instructor would say, I want you at this altitude and take a little grease pencil and put a mark on the, the altimeter, or the window, or wherever, wherever he said hey that's where I want you be, so.

Max Trescott: This is many fold advanced above the experts.

J.R. Warmkessel: Of, of course, but you know our trusty, our trusty grease pencil has to come from somewhere.

Max Trescott: Indeed, and by the way just to let me kind of expand on one other aspect of the glass, I think that the big objection that people have within their mind is, oh my gosh this thing runs on electricity, and I've flown little airplanes before and man I've had so many electrical failures. One of the flight instructors here are Palo Alto told me he'd had nineteen electrical failures in his career and I thought, boy you know, I've probably had at least a dozen I never bothered to count them. But the problem with the traditional aircraft, are that when the alternator fails, a little tiny red light goes off you know down way below your left knee, it's totally out of, you know, sight. Usually when I've had electrical failures in the past, the first warning I had was about fifteen minutes later when the battery had totally discharged and the radio stopped working, and now I suddenly realized, oh the reason the radio isn't working is cause the battery started dying fifteen minutes ago. Contrast that with the glass cockpit where, within one to two minutes of the alternator kicking offline, you'd hear a very loud chime, which will go away when you push the button, or it'll drive you crazy, you know, there's no way to not know that you're having an issue with the electrical system. Plus they're dual batteries, so even after the alternator goes away, and the main battery eventually dies, then you've got a stand-by battery which is going to work for a minimum of thirty minutes powering your basic flight instruments. And then if that were to die, we still have three round gauge, you know, back up type instruments. So, we have back-up upon back-up, upon back-up, we have warning systems which give us far greater insight into the health of our, of our cockpit, and it's a very robust system.

J.R. Warmkessel: It does sound like, but again, you've written a book to help use this there must be some complexity that, that you're addressing.

Max Trescott: Yeah, right. So if, if this system were as easy to use as it should be, I'd be out of business. No. This is, the glass cockpits which are out here have phenomenal capability, what they still lack are some of the usability that we've come to expect in our cell phones, for example, and that's, I think that something that's something that's still a challenge that the aircraft avionics industry is still working on and still has a way to go. And I hope they don't get there anytime soon because I'm, you know, enjoying selling a lot of books.

J.R. Warmkessel: Well the other side of the coin is that this is all software right? You can always patch the software.

Max Trescott: Yeah, and in fact that is part of the reason that, you know, I've had five editions of the book. Every year there's a dozen new features.

J.R. Warmkessel: I remember when I started looking at glass cockpits, downloading the simulators and going through the simulator and having a really good experience of imagining a flight and what I'd be doing and, and, and learning those.

Max Trescott: And, and the reality is most the time when people are going on trips, they punch on the autopilot, and what that does, is it now get's your eyes out of the airplane, and get's them outside where they really need to be. So in a sense, by having you know, a robust system with a very precise auto pilot, it now frees us up to do what we should have been doing all along, which is looking outside.

J.R. Warmkessel: Looking for traffic and.

Max Trescott: Exactly.

J.R. Warmkessel: Figuring out where we are.

Max Trescott: Mid air collisions, you know, continue all the time. Someone postulated recently, and I don't know if there are any data to back this up, but there's been an increase in mid-airs, and I don't know if this is true, perhaps because people are spending more time looking at moving maps inside the cockpit, so I haven't checked that out, but it's certainly, you know, a possibility.

J.R. Warmkessel: And it's possible but I'm skeptical, really skeptical. Any really interesting fights in the recent past, long term past that, something that you might want to share with our listeners?

Max Trescott: Well, I used to do a lot of flights to Mexico with flying doctors group, Los Medicos Voladores. So you look up kinda flying doctors, and I was the president of that organization for a long time and we would, not that I was a doctor, but I would take volunteer doctors and dentists down to Mexico and we would go to underserved areas in Baja where they would, and also Sonora, one of the northern states in Mexico and provide medical services to folks who couldn't afford services elsewhere. So a lot of those you know were fun and interesting flights.

J.R. Warmkessel: That's a really great organization. I've looked into it and never quite been able to get myself all the way engaged there, but I've always wanted to.

Max Trescott: It's, it's, there are a few you know, hurdles to get over because obviously you don't just walk off the street and fly an airplane into Mexico with you know, a couple doctors and dentists in the back. You'd need the right airplane, you'd need the right training, they certainly want folks, I don't know what the minimum amount of hours are anymore, but it used to be 250 and I think they might have pushed it up to 500.

J.R. Warmkessel: Give us an example of one of those flights, so what, what, what would you do, where would you start up, and how would it, how would it come together?

Max Trescott: Yeah, so typically we would put out, you know, a message, you know, six, eight weeks ahead of time and let folks know, hey there's an airplane, going to this destination and we need a crew. And then we would, from within the organization find a volunteer translator, and a volunteer dentist, or a volunteer you know, optometrist, or M.D. and often we would find the co-pilot to come along if we could and you know, then we had about a half a dozen different destinations that we would go to fairly regularly. Endsandauto was actually, you know, one of the northernmost ones, it was pretty common, and then other places, further south as you get down toward Car, Gar, I can't say it properly, Guernegro. If only I spoke Spanish, which is about halfway down the elbow of, of Baja. And we would typically leave on a Thursday morning, you know, eight, eight thirty, something like that. If we were going any further south we would stop at Ensenada and grab lunch and head on down. And then the doc's and dentists would set up shop that evening, and then it would be, you know, full, full day of business on Friday and at least half a day on Saturday with folks lined up, you know, for hours. It was routine to see more than 100 patients, fewer if it were dental, you know, more possibly if it were medical or you know, optometry. And then we would usually have, you know, Saturday evening as a quiet getaway spot somewhere. We'd either stay at the same location, or we'd fly to some other location to kinda relax and kick back and enjoy the evening. And then Sunday morning we would head back to the states, usually cross the border right around noon, make our first landing at either Collixco or Brownfield in San Diego and then fly a couple hours, you know, from there back to the United, to, to northern California. So it was a four day weekend, a lot of planning that went into it, and very satisfying work.

J.R. Warmkessel: But I think also there's a certain aspect of giving back.

Max Trescott: Exactly. Yep.

J.R. Warmkessel: Well that, that's really interesting, that's really impressive, I really like that organization, there's a number of organizations out there that you can give back and.

Max Trescott: There are yes, for example, Flying Samaritans does similar type of work. League does similar work and Flying Doctors does, you know, certainly one of the ones that's big here in northern, northern California.

J.R. Warmkessel: Tell me, any other flights that really, ring the bells?

Max Trescott: Well, well everyday I go flying my airplane, I.

J.R. Warmkessel: Okay, well tell us about your airplane.

Max Trescott: Oh, sure I have to tell you, years ago I had a, I was a partner with somebody with a Cesna 210 and then I got that specifically for the trips to Mexico cause I needed something reliable that could haul a lot of weight and when I stopped doing those trips, I got rid of that, didn't have an airplane for many years, and was teaching and renting and, but, finally decided that the common theme that I heard from folks after they got their C-plane rating was, yes I got my C-plane rating, I loved it, it was the most fun I've ever have, and no I haven't flown a C-plane since. And I heard, I probably heard that story a hundred times from, from different pilots and I thought, well that's silly, if it's that much fun, why not buy a C-plane? So a couple years ago, I bought a Lakin Fabian buccaneer, which is a 200 horsepower engine, mounted on a pylon on top of.

J.R. Warmkessel: Right, that's the one with the engine on top.

Max Trescott: Exactly, well exactly, it's the most probably the best well known that is mounted on top. And there are probably about 500 of these floating around in the U.S. and Canada. We actually have four of them here at Palo Alto, which is pretty remarkable.

J.R. Warmkessel: It's a, it's a very popular airplane in northern California, I've seen a lot of them.

Max Trescott: It, it's quite, it's quite fun. There are fewer of these than there are float planes for example you know folks have the pontoons or the floats on a normal aircraft so a land base aircraft that you know is mounted on, on floats. And those aircrafts tend to be better for going into docks. So for working aircrafts you know typically we're gonna be the, the float planes. Our airplanes are very difficult to bring into a dock just because of the way that some of the pieces of the airplane are located it's very easy to bend the airplane by docking it. So usually they get used mostly for fun so we beach them, you know we'll either put the wheels down and drive it up a ramp out of the water like a boat launch ramp or just leave the wheels up and kind of nose it in the shoreline somewhere and have a small picnic and things like that.

J.R. Warmkessel: So where might you go? Northern California, are e you going to South Lake Tahoe or?

Max Trescott: Well so for example we had solar eclipse here this year and looked at the map to find where the eclipse you know was going to be centered across California. Low and behold it went right across the middle of Trinity Lake which is up near the California, Oregon border.

J.R. Warmkessel: I've often times wanted to stop at Trinity Lake.

Max Trescott: Well guess what they have a beautiful lake for sea planes as well as a runway next to it.

J.R. Warmkessel: Yeah it's right next to the lake.

Max Trescott: Yeah so we had a gentleman up there, a former lake owner who hosted us at his house and a lot of us flew up there on a Sunday, hung out on the deck, watched the sun as it got totally covered up by the, you know by the moon. And also did some flying in the water with our sea planes as well so. So yeah just as there are fly ins for a land based aircraft there are splash ins for seaplanes.

J.R. Warmkessel: Interesting, I never would have guessed.

Max Trescott: Well these planes are all about having fun so we find ways to do that.

J.R. Warmkessel: So you, you mentioned your first book, did you write any books after that or is this?

Max Trescott: Yes, I got an IFR book, Max Trescott's WAS and GPS instrument handbook. And the whole idea behind that is that if you look at what it takes to fly instruments in a monoglass cockpit aircraft it's a different set of skills and it's a different set of knowledge than what it took to fly IFR in traditional cockpits which might have had you know ADF receivers you know to fly into the approaches and you know things like that. And so this particular book is you know a lot of books are you know, most instrument books I find are a mile wide and an inch deep when it comes to GPS, mine is quite the opposite. Mine is a mile deep when it comes to using GPS to fly instruments so it's applicable not just to glass cockpit aircraft but anyone whose flying with you know a Garmin 430, 530 that's been put into their airplane, or things like the king radios that Caylan 94s that you find in the newer sky hawks. So basically we don't waste time on Ndbs because you don't find them in the newer airplanes but we go into great detail on every aspect of GPS which is you know can't really find that in any other book out there.

J.R. Warmkessel: If you had to pick one aspect of that book that you felt that, that pilots really needed to hear or maybe they didn't know or they would forget what would you what would the one thing that you focus on?

Max Trescott: Wow the one thing. You know I guess probably the one thing is that it talks more in detail about what is WAS, the wide area augmentation system, how does it work, and what are the limitations than just about any other book out there. So it, it lets people know about some of the behind the scenes things going on with WAS. And it also highlights some of the, the mistakes that people will make when flying these WAS based approaches when they don't really truly understand the differences. So I think a lot of folks are going to go oh it's just another GPS approach, but if they don't understand some of the details about well where is the missed approach point and when do you start flying the missed, and you know can you continue to fly the airport level looking for the airport and you know things like that. These are the kinds of details that can be, make a big difference in successfully flying. So we go into every little nuance every little detail that a pilot should know about these approaches.

J.R. Warmkessel: Now you certainly have ported all these books to mobile devices right?

Max Trescott: Not yet actually. No that's a project that's very high on the list.

J.R. Warmkessel: Okay. I'm a big proponent of the Ipad and, the such.

Max Trescott: Yes, and I had an Ipad on day one and I was really amazed to see how pilots, you know adopted it. I was speaking at Oshkosh last year and I asked a group of mostly Midwest pilots how many of you folks have the Ipad? 50% of them raised their hand, it really surprised me. Silicon Valley I would expect that, Oshkosh I was surprised.

J.R. Warmkessel: I was, strangely I was at Oshkosh last year as well, and it was clearly the year of the Ipad.

Max Trescott: Yes I agree.

J.R. Warmkessel: it was just; if you weren't on the Ipad you were going to get on the Ipad and an amazing device. Not to say the other devices aren't good but the Ipad is just a really good execution of a really good idea.

Max Trescott: Yeah it's really interesting that a general purpose device could be adapted so well for something a niche area like aviation. Speaking of Oshkosh shouldn't we talk about Oshkosh?

J.R. Warmkessel: We should talk about Oshkosh.

Max Trescott: How many times have you been?

J.R. Warmkessel: I've been twice. I've been in 2007 and 2011.

Max Trescott: Okay and would you go every year if you could?

J.R. Warmkessel: I would go every year if I could

Max Trescott: And how long would you stay?

J.R. Warmkessel: I would stay for the whole show.

Max Trescott: Okay, then you'll be happy to know I've been living your dream.

J.R. Warmkessel: I hate you.

Max Trescott: For the last I think it's 8 years in a row now I've been there. 8 years ago I was doing it five days, the last few years I've been doing it for 7 days. And I'm imagining that there are a lot of folks who are listening right now well okay I've sort of heard about Oshkosh and yeah it's a big air show, but what's the big deal? Right I mean is that sort of what you thought before you went?

J.R. Warmkessel: Yeah. You know I've always wondered how big could it be?

Max Trescott: How good could it be?

J.R. Warmkessel: How good could it be?

Max Trescott: How much could it surpass my expectations? Let me ask you this, how many things in life greatly exceed your expectations?

J.R. Warmkessel: Not very many.

Max Trescott: Okay did this exceed your expectations?

J.R. Warmkessel: Without a doubt.

Max Trescott: By a lot?

J.R. Warmkessel: I can tell you the two times I've been staying for the whole show I still didn't see most of the show.

Max Trescott: Yeah and it was all good right?

J.R. Warmkessel: Every aspect was good.

Max Trescott: Good

J.R. Warmkessel: There was no part of Oshkosh that I would not want to go and do again.

Max Trescott: Right. I've heard people talk about Oshkosh and say yeah I've got to put it on my bucket list. I tell them no, no, no that's not right. You need to go there now cause you'll want to go back every year after you go. That's how good it is. I think people just don't understand, and I didn't get it until I went. And I read in the magazines oh yeah Oshkosh and you read the four pages of information in flying magazines and you know you see all the pictures and you go yeah it's pretty cool. And then you get there and you realize that it is on a scale that is just totally unimaginable and which is totally impossible to communicate in any vehicle except just being there and seeing it. It's that bit, it's that good; it's that just great experience.

J.R. Warmkessel: It seems to me that my recollection the primary runways are round about 10,000 feet long and the runway that's perpendicular to that is about oh you know 5,000 feet long plus or minus I don't remember exactly. But the show happens in that two miles by mile.

Max Trescott: Good description right.

J.R. Warmkessel: And it is an opportunity to see an airplane that you'll never see again, or to see airplanes that you've seen all the time in quantities that you did not think exist.

Max Trescott: Exactly. Yeah I tell folks that Oshkosh is the best of everything that there is in aviation all brought together in one spot. So if for example you love sea planes, you're going to find more sea planes there than anything else. If you love war birds the last time I heard a number and I don't recall which year this was they had 420 war birds. Just to give you an example I remember walking down the flight line and counting 13 P-51 Mustangs in a row, and that was just a year ago or two ago. I mean what percentage of that is of the flying fleet in the United States? Probably most of it.

J.R. Warmkessel: Yeah the P-51s the P-40s they're just every airplane is represented in some fashion. And then there's also groups that fly in. I'm thinking the Cessna to Oshkosh.

Max Trescott: Yup you've got like a hundred beach crafts coming in at a single time or I think there's a group of Cessna 140s that fly in, yeah all kinds of flying groups. Oh you know you raise a really good point there as well. Which is I think a lot of people think that if they're going to go to Oshkosh they have to fly themselves you know in an airplane. Did you fly yourself out there?

J.R. Warmkessel: I did. I was fortunate enough the first time I flew myself I camped underneath the wing which was an experience. The second time was actually maybe a little more special because I took my wife and my two year old. We were very fortunate to be able to stay in a hotel

Max Trescott: Oh yes

J.R. Warmkessel: And although it was not cheap, I don't think it would have been practical with a toddler to go to Oshkosh without a hotel.

Max Trescott: I've come along the same kind of evolutionary path. I did the camping for a number of years and there's something very special about the camping by the way and that is that you're just totally immersed in the experience 24-7. And it's really nice to be able to you know to go to sleep way too late surrounded by airplanes and wake up way too early surrounded by airplanes.

J.R. Warmkessel: We're like-minded people

Max Trescott: Yeah exactly. And you by the way by doing that you miss the hassle of having to drive to the show and you know get to the show and whatever. Cause you're just there and they've got the showers there and they've got the places where you can get breakfast or you can cook your own. And it's just unbelievably well organized and coordinated so you're going to have fun on just about any level you want. Now the last few years I've actually gone commercial and I like that.

J.R. Warmkessel: Now give me a little flavor on where do you fly into how do you get to the show?

Max Trescott: It is so easy you would not believe it. So you could for example take one of the limited flights into a place like Appleton or Milwaukee has more flights. Green bay, Green Bay is not terribly far away but not a lot of flights into there. My theory has been, for any of those places it's going to be an aircraft change, right, so you're talking two flights, you're talking a minimum hour on the ground, plus the hassle of reloading a second aircraft. I figured I would rather be on one flight, and spend the time driving. So I fly typically into Chicago, and then it's a three hour drive from either of the airports from Chicago up to Wisconsin. So the total time is about the same as if I were to fly into Appleton, but those last three hours to me are a lot more pleasurable looking at the green rolling hills of southern Wisconsin than stuffing myself into some tube of a regional jet and going through all the pat downs and all that baloney.

J.R. Warmkessel: No problem getting a car?

Max Trescott: No. No, in Chicago it's not a problem getting a car. Now Appleton, you know, if you don't reserve early you're probably not going to get a car.

J.R. Warmkessel: Yeah, my hope is to go to Oshkosh, as much as practical. I very much would like to go this year. We're recording this about a month before Oshkosh, more or less. I don't know if this episode is going to make it out before Oshkosh is over but we're going to make a real commitment to be there in 2013, if I don't make it this year.

Max Trescott: Let me go ahead and put a quick pitch in for When I'm at Oshkosh the last few years they have hired me to produce videos and so I've got a camera crew and team that I get to run around with for the entire show, for the entire week, and we have a great time. So we've got a camera man who spent many years filming in the NFL, so he's outstanding. We've got a sound guy who is a local person who knows everybody at the show and we'll typically put together probably about 60 pieces over the course of the week, interviewing folks that have new products, people that have new airplanes, and just running around the show. So that's how I spend my week, and I love it. It's my most enjoyable week out of the year and I really look forward to it. In fact, just the other night I was putting together kind of the first pass hit list of who are the must-interview people that I want to see this year.

J.R. Warmkessel: Wow, that's really amazing. You know, I've been to, I believe it's the same site, where they have the tips for home builders.

Max Trescott: Oh, sure, yeah.

J.R. Warmkessel: And I've watched many of those videos, interviews, and reviews, and this and that, and I've always been really impressed with that site, so I'm really glad to hear that EAA is continuing on with that fine tradition.

Max Trescott: Well, you know, you're talking about the tips and things. Where did I learn to rivet? By seeing the videos at, because I was looking to figure out how to replace and rebuck some rivets in my seaplane, because obviously seaplanes can start to leak. It's a wonderful place to learn about all the different technologies involved in building airplanes. EAA is the definitive source of that kind of information.

J.R. Warmkessel: And they also have some seminars during the show, I believe, that you could.

Max Trescott: Yes, they have more than 100 forums at the show, of which some of them are practical hands-on kinds of things, where you can do some welding or you can learn about flaring fuel lines, and things like that.

J.R. Warmkessel: I've always been impressed. The forums, I really think, are an unsung part of the show. There's so many people with so many different ideas talking about every aspect of aviation, everything that you could imagine will be talked about somewhere in those forums.

Max Trescott: Exactly. No interest that you have is going to be left untouched there. If you're interested in the most obscure aspect of aviation, someone there will be an expert on it that you can go listen to.

J.R. Warmkessel: And you can sit down in the shade and take a rest in the afternoons if you've had enough.

Max Trescott: Sure, or have the local beer or the bratwurst or some of the local fare.

J.R. Warmkessel: And they also have an air show, don't they?

Max Trescott: You know, I've noticed that. It's funny you should mention that. To me, the air show is probably the part that I don't tune in quite as much to, because, you know, they're just airplanes. The people at Oshkosh, I find, really make the show. And I'm kidding a little bit, because the air show is outstanding, and it's always really excellent and people come specifically for the air show. I was standing in the back of the National Association of Flight Instructors' tent about two years ago.

J.R. Warmkessel: NAFI.

Max Trescott: Talking with some people, and they kind of yelled over and said, hey Max, there's an air show going on, because they could see that we weren't paying any attention to the air show.

J.R. Warmkessel: I remember my first year, and I was walking from one of the hangars, which was the exhibit hall, to the next, and the sky darkened.

Max Trescott: And we're not talking solar eclipse.

J.R. Warmkessel: We're not talking solar eclipse. We're talking the B-17.

Max Trescott: Oh, okay.

J.R. Warmkessel: No, it was the B-17 and then formed up off the B-17 were all the RV experimental aircraft. It was the first time that it really hit me that this was what it could have been like. And the sky got very dark as the shadow passed over that area. It was amazing to see.

Max Trescott: Yeah. Another amazing aspect of it is they have a total of more than half a million people who pass through there over the course of a week and yet it doesn't feel crowded at all. And I think part of this goes back to where you started from, which was describing the two mile by one mile area that all this is in, and I think it's probably actually larger than that because that's the part that encompasses the air field, but there's another part which is probably half again that size where all the campgrounds are. So when you have that many people spread over that many square miles, it just never feels crowded.

J.R. Warmkessel: There's so much to see and do, there's so many people to talk to. If you're thinking about buying an aircraft or thinking about upgrading a piece of avionics or learning about a piece of software, there is everything there.

Max Trescott: Well, and all the people are there too. I've seen both of the Rutans there, they've been there signing books. I remember watching Scott Crossfield give a presentation, the famous Lockheed test pilot. Harrison Ford, I've been right next to Harrison Ford when there were like only two guys standing next to him, nobody at the show realized that here he was, hanging out next to the Cessna caravan in the Cessna booth, and he was, for that day, he was just another pilot.

J.R. Warmkessel: And Harrison, wasn't he, obviously a famous movie star, but he was also the Young Eagles chairperson for many, many years.

Max Trescott: Yes, he was, yep, so a lot of good work there helping to organize flights for kids to get their first exposure to aviation. Harrison spoke a couple years ago and he was asked how many airplanes do you own, and I think he said more airplanes than anyone should own, or something like that.

J.R. Warmkessel: Than anyone ought to own.

Max Trescott: Yeah, exactly. He started ticking them off and he named about maybe nine or 10. Then later on in the presentation he mentioned some other airplane that he owned, and they said, oh, you didn't mention that one. This man truly loves aviation and has the airplanes to show it.

J.R. Warmkessel: We appreciate his effort towards the EAA, towards the Young Eagles, which is a very important program, I'm a big fan of that. And as Harrison said, force yourself.

Max Trescott: I'm sorry?

J.R. Warmkessel: Harrison would often be told "may the force be with you."

Max Trescott: Oh, right.

J.R. Warmkessel: And I heard an interview where Mr. Ford would always say, "You know, force yourself." Force yourself to do it. Force yourself to do better. And it was something that always stuck with me so I've always been very impressed by him.

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Show Notes