Episode 209 – Ravi the Raviator

Ravi the Raviator

Our guest this episode is Ravi, also known as The Raviator. Ravi gives motivational presentations designed to encourage people to become involved in aviation. Ravi has presented at AirVenture, Sun ‘n’ Fun, AOPA Summits, ATAC (Air Transport Association of Canada), Embry-Riddle, University of North Dakota, and many other places.

He’s a sport pilot and also a musician who has played his guitar on the Letterman and Leno shows, not to mention Madison Square Garden and the White House. He’s also produced AirVenturous, a song about discovering and participating in one of humanity’s greatest achievements, Aviation, and how it is showcased by the greatest air show in the world, AirVenture. Find more Ravi at his Facebook Page.

We talk about the inspiration for AirVenturous, pilot shortages and how that issue might be addressed such as dealing with the cost of becoming a pilot, wages paid to pilots, actions some airlines are taking, scholorships, and more.

Phil Derner from NYCAviation is guest co-host.

The week’s aviation news:


David’s Aircraft of the Week is the Grumman F6F Hellcat.

In this week’s Australia Desk report:

Exercise Pitch Black providing some excellent plane spotting opportunities in Darwin, the Red Bull Air Race is planning to re-launch in 2014 and several Australian cities are bidding to host a round, Australian researchers have invented a laser system to augment pitot tubes, Virgin Australia & Sky West announce the establishment of a joint training scheme based in Adelaide. We also offer a clarification of the carbon tax cost increases to agricultural aircraft, which we talked about in Episode 207.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

Pieter welcomes back the AviationPlatform.com team to discuss the latest Benelux news focusing this week on Luxembourg. Frenchez Pietersz and Carmen Van Boeckel gives us their views on Cargolux, the Boeing 747-8F and who’s using social media tools to improve their customers experience (or not)! Aviation Platform is a very different and innovative aviation website so do have a look at their content and activities.

Find Aviation Planform on Twitter as @AviationPlatform. Carmen Van Boeckel is @iCarms and he blogs at icarms.wordpress.com.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on his blog Alpha Tango Papa, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.


Opening music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.

Closing music is AirVenturous by Ravi.


13 thoughts on “Episode 209 – Ravi the Raviator

  1. Ed

    I am not well versed on the many, many facets of the European carbon tax vs the airline issue, however I do know that a lot of Americans in the industry feel that the proceeds from such a tax will do nothing much more than line the pockets of an overly large European environmental bureaucracy with US dollars as opposed to actually removing carbon from the environment. And justly these people have a big issue with this for many reasons not to mention the fragility of the industry when it comes to the cost of operating and airline. I found the AG discussion to be persistently biased and surprisingly unflattering to the role the USA plays in the world. I think David tried to get a contrary point in edgewise but was neatly muted by the desire to move on to talk about Ravi’s campfire music.

    What really gets me and makes me mutter W.T.Frac is how your discussions and views in this episode made you look like the champions of rainbows and unicorns while presenting Americans as a bunch of intestinal parasites only interested in profiteering and plundering the globe. Step up to the plate and pay our dues? Really? Come on Rob, we’ve been stepping up to the plate for the world for many many years especially in the areas of efficiency.

    So, in closing, I have to say that I did not really enjoy this episode. Sorry, but it kind put me in a bad mood.

    PS. I think Harriet would have smacked each of you as well.

  2. Ed

    Another thing while I’m at it…Brother Love is bad stuff. I’ve got to leave my earbuds dangling while the intro plays through. Really bad stuff in my opinion.

  3. Max Flight

    Here’s my Brother Love story: The first podcast I ever listened to was PodAsia, now long gone. He used Brother Love songs in his show. This was back in the day when many musicians saw the Internet as a threat. Brother Love understood the power of social media and was very accomodating to podcasters. I kind of got into the music and bought his CD, which I listened to over and over. I loved it.

    Fast forward to the birth of this podcast. Court did almost all the work at the beginning, including getting the intro/outtro music together. I didn’t know that he picked Brother Love until I heard it on the show the first time. What a shock! I only barely knew how to make a podcast, and there was BroLo on “my” podcast! It was an emotional moment. Seriously.

    Someday when I move on and someone else is doing the production work they can do what they want. For now anyway, Brother Love stays.

  4. Rob Mark


    I’m really sorry you found the the emissions discussion so disappointing. But if you only walked away from the computer believing I support the European carbon tax and America be damned, than you missed a few important points … or perhaps I didn’t emphasize them well enough.

    What Europe has effectively done is bring the issue to the table for discussion. You can chose to agree or not of course. I don’t agree with the tax issue in the slightest, but I do agree that the EU folks have trumped America on taking a look at the problem.

    You can debate this emissions issue ti the cows come home and I doubt conservatives will admit there’s even an issue up for discussion. But that doesn’t mean that those of us who do feel the discussion is worth having are “biased and persistently unflattering to the U.S.”

    I certainly never used the phrase “intestinal parasites only interested in profiteering and plundering the globe,” either. Perhaps you can explain to us why the mere mention of the topic made you chose these words.

    While we do try to keep politics out of the show where it’s possible, I agree with Max that this is a topic worthy of discussion, whether you believe the planet is warming or not, whether you believe the tax is fair or not and even whether you believe there is anything we can do to alter the state of our environment.


  5. Ravi "The Raviator"

    Thanks for inviting me to join in the conversation the other night. I found it very stimulating and am proud to have been part of a discussion that wasn’t afraid to put America (amongst others) under a microscope and see it within a global perspective.

    We’re very patriotic in America, and especially so within the aviation community. While I believe this is a good thing, it shouldn’t be blind. I’ve heard Americans (aviators) say that it is unpatriotic to protest, for example. In my opinion, protesting is true patriotism and one of the great freedoms granted to Americans–the finest expression of love for country. So, we should never be afraid to criticize ourselves…broader perspective and self-reflection will only make us stronger.

    In regard to this issue, I wouldn’t (and didn’t) characterize us as “intestinal parasites” either, but let’s not be afraid to admit that money is the number one motivation in America. We are capitalists by nature, and there is nothing intrinsically wrong with that. It has made America what it is today (for better and for worse) and we should be proud of the ingenuity that we have displayed and contributed to the world as a result (aviation being a great example). However, clearly, we are losing ground, and it is unpatriotic and a disservice to our country not to at least consider that possibility as a reality. America is young compared to most industrialized nations, and we should never be so arrogant that we fail to learn from other nations’ wisdom that only comes with age and experience. It is never about putting America down, but rather, it is entirely about picking it up.

    Ok, I’m getting off my soapbox and going back to the campfire to strum my guitar!

  6. Max Flight

    Let’s see where this takes us:

    Is the current EU Emissions Trading Scheme as applied to airlines a good idea or a bad idea? Click http://strawpoll.me/2169/ to take a simple (anonymous) poll.

    You can also check the responses there if you don’t want to contribute your own.

  7. Sharon Perry

    David, under “Tag Cloud” you mention Amelia Earhart. Her name is not spelled as Amelia Earheart, but rather Earhart. Please change on your TAG CLOUD, Thanks!

    Sharon Perry
    OE/AAA Specialist, Eastern Region
    FAA, 1 Aviation Plaza
    Jamaica, NY 11434-4809

  8. Max Flight

    Sharon: Whoops! I fall on my sword for not catching that. (But I’m surprised nobody else noticed until now!) I’ll have to dive into WordPress and figure out how to change keywords. Thanks!

  9. Jamie Dodson

    Rob and Benet ,

    In your interview with Benet you discuss the AOPA youth initiative. How does it dovetail with the EAA Young Eagles Program? I am involved with EAA program and would welcome the interface.

    Cheers! Jamie

  10. Hendrik

    In ep 209 you talked about what airlines do against the pilot shortage and mentioned that Lufthansa might have had a cadet program in the past.

    Actually, these days LH just about only hires pilots that come out of LH’s own comprehensive two year flight school training. That way, they can shape them to company standards, and a multi-crew operation from day one. They also offer the flight training in connection with a university course in aviation management that way qualifying the pilots beyond pure flight.
    While the theory classes are held in Bremen, Germany, the actual flight training happens in Phoenix, Arizona.
    This way, about 230 new pilots each year are prepared for the right seat in an A320 or B737.

    The LH scholarship works like this:
    LH pays the large portion of the training (about 2/3) with the rest as a loan (~75.000USD) to the student, which ONLY has to be paid back if Lufthansa hires you within two(?) years of completing your training. If for whatever reason they can’t give you a job, you received your ATPL “for free”. Now that is a great offer, isn’t it?
    But for the most part, everyone gets hired fairly close after finishing the flight school. Therefore, it is very common to see co-pilots younger than 25 in a LH mainline cockpit.
    Unfortunately, the webpage on that is only in German, but still maybe you’d like a look: http://www.lufthansa-pilot.de/

    LH’s competition, AirBerlin, does this in a smiliar way, however I believe students need to pay back their part in any case.

    Still, this kind of fast track to an airline cockpit seems unfortunately unheard of in the US. Maybe we’ll see this one day…

  11. Ravi "The Raviator"

    Hendrik, I appreciate your kind words and your giving us more insight into the Lufthansa program. I think it is indeed the right model not only to curb the forthcoming issues in the US market, but also for emerging markets to adopt in order to plan for the future. The multi-crew license makes the concept more viable, and we don’t yet have that here in the US. Personally from an aviator’s point of view, I don’t like the multi-crew training model. However, it certainly does make sense statistically and from a business point of view, and that is good for career pilots. I know the aeronautical universities here are seriously considering offering a multi-crew training program (mostly for international students), but that could soon be followed by an adoption by the FAA.

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