Friday, January 30, 2015

Interview with an Alaska pilot: Mark Madden

By  Colleen Mondor
January 30, 2015

UAA Flight Technology Professor Mark Madden holds numerous certificates and ratings, including airline transport pilot multi-engine, commercial airplane single-engine land and sea, instructor certificates for CFI, CFII, MEI, AGI, IGI, is tailwheel-endorsed and has been designated a Master CFI by both the National Association of Flight Instructors and Master Instructors, LLC. He is a member of the Federal Aviation Administration's FAAST Team Safety Program and was named National FAA Safety Team Representative of the year in 2013 by the General Aviation Awards program.

Madden has been a part- and full-time pilot, instructor, and program developer for the FedEx Cessna Caravan contractors, is a freelance aviation technical writer, an officer of the board of directors of the Alaska Aviation Safety Foundation and board member of the Lake Hood Pilots' Association.

Mark Madden answered questions about Alaska flying via email late last year.

Q: What item (or items) in your flight bag do you consider to be the most indispensable?

• Headset. Prefer noise cancelling;
• Hand held standby VHF transceiver and spare batteries;
• Nomex gloves (yes, I really do wear them when I fly);
• Electronic scale to obtain accurate baggage/cargo weights for performance calculations. This scale is hand held and can also be attached to a wing strut tie-down ring;
• Current FAA approved navigation charts and Alaska Supplement. These are hard copy paper charts that do not require an electrical source to operate (see next item for night operations);
• Small flashlight with batteries stored separately i.e., batteries are never stored inside the “dead battery case”. Also spare batteries; and
• Small first aid kit. This one is in addition to a larger first aid kit in my survival vest.
Madden carries all of these items in his flight bag, and not in his survival vest, which is also carried on board.

Q: What is your favorite place to fly to (or over) in Alaska and why?

A: This is a difficult question to answer since there are so many. I always enjoy flying through Lake Clark Pass. I consider this mountain pass to be one of the most beautiful passes I’ve ever seen. Flying around Denali is at the top of the list as well.

Q: What is the best flying advice you ever received?

A: Never pass up an opportunity to take on more AvGas (load permitting of course) or use the men’s room!

Q: What type of aircraft do you most enjoy flying and why?

A: I enjoy flying my Maule M5-210C. It’s a great airplane and perfect for off-airport and STOL operations. It’s also owned free and clear.

Original article can be found at:

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