#11 Captain Mary McMillan: From Ranches to Runways – Innovating for a Sustainable Flight Future

About This Episode

From the rugged terrains of ranch life to the vast expanse of the aerial highways, Captain Mary McMillan’s journey is anything but ordinary. Selling off her sheep to soar the skies, she joins us to unravel the tapestry of aviation’s past, present, and future. Her tale intertwines with a discussion on the intricate dance of introducing cutting-edge digital technologies into a realm shared with trusty analog birds, showcasing the industry’s commitment to progress without compromising safety. With Captain McMillan at the helm, we navigate through the rich human elements that fortify aviation—acknowledging the shared responsibility of pilots to report mishaps, understanding fatigue’s role in errors, and fortifying an ecosystem that learns from near misses to keep our travels safe.

As our conversation ascends to cruising altitude, we scan the horizon for what’s next in the skies. With an eye towards sustainability, we dissect the transformative potential of the WBSS sensor and its promise to mitigate aircraft-induced cloudiness, ensuring that our flight paths tread lightly on the environment. The episode hones in on the brimming challenges that electrifying propulsion systems and integrating space travel into air traffic control present, while also acknowledging the monumental task of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Through Captain McMillan’s insights, we recognize the collaborative spirit propelling the aviation and aerospace community toward this ambitious goal, underscoring the necessity of overhauling infrastructure to embrace a future where our travels leave no trace in the sky.

Podcast Transcript

Chris Glass: Welcome to another great edition of the Jumpseat podcast here at Flight Aerospace. My name is Chris Glass, I am a product owner here and I am the host, and I am with Captain Mary McMillan, our Executive Chairman of the Board.

Capt. Mary McMillan: Mary welcome. Yeah, thank you.

Chris Glass: Thank you, it’s great to be here, as always, and I see you’ve had a couple of really busy days here for the last little while, so how has it been coming to Calgary?

Capt. Mary McMillan: Well, I appreciate the fact that you actually had a lot of sunshine. That was really appreciated, that we worked that out for my visit. I came from Northern California and we’ve been hit by atmospheric river after atmospheric river, so to actually dry out and not have to, you know, have my raincoat has been very pleasant and the view of the mountains is just beautiful from the lunchroom. So thanks for that. Appreciate it.

Chris Glass: It’s nice because my desk I overlook the mountains every day, so we get some pretty good sunrises if I’m here early enough, but it’s great that the weather’s been fantastic for you. I wanted to touch a little bit on something that I just found out about you, and that’s how you got your pilot’s license in the first place.

Capt. Mary McMillan: So if you wouldn’t mind telling me the story about I believe it’s sheep herding in Wyoming- yes, well, I offered to give anybody on our staff $100 bill if they could guess what I did before I became a pilot. And I didn’t. I didn’t act to fork over the $100. So I actually was a rancher for many years and I thought that I was going to do it for most of my career.

Capt. Mary McMillan: However, I’d always been interested in flying and I at one day I had the time and I had the money that it took to go to my airport and take a scenic flight and basically my first lesson, and I thought, well, this is really fun, I really like this.

Capt. Mary McMillan: So I went back for another flight and finally I said, geez, I ought to see if I could solo. And so I soloed. And then it was like, wow, I think I really ought to see if I can get my private pilot’s license. So I got to that point, but I didn’t think I was going to go beyond that and I thought that I was going to be a rancher all my life. But about three years later, it was just one of those things where you wake up one day and say to yourself, geez, I wonder what would happen, you know, if I tried to do this. So I set a goal for myself to become a commercial pilot and basically sold my herd of sheep and went off and got my ratings and certifications and you know, have been very fortunate in my flying career.

Chris Glass: So from sheep herding to the left seat that’s quite the journey.

Chris Glass: Well, one of the things I wanted to talk about because we had you on previously as a guest and we talked about all of your experience in aviation and your experience with Emersonat and how you’ve seen the industry change so much Using that experience what do you see as some of the biggest challenges that we’re looking at when it comes to? We go from a very analog world where planes were very antiquated and very mechanical, very manual. To you know, in some cases, with some of the newer aircraft, they’re basically computers that we put people in and go in the sky. What do you see are some of the concerns that we’re facing in the next 10, 20 years, with the challenges coming up?

Capt. Mary McMillan: Well, I think you actually said it. So we have those airplanes that I started out in my career flying, but many of those are still flying and they’re still in the airspace. But now we’re actually mixing in the airplanes that are rolling off of the production lines now that are flying computers, and so we have to integrate both of those into the same airspace at the same time and do that safely. So it’s a challenge.

Capt. Mary McMillan: Again, one of my good friends in this industry said that aviation is an intensely human endeavor, and I think that’s exactly right, and it’s operating in an intensely complex environment and getting more complex and getting more complex as we progress. So you know, we have to do it carefully, and one of the things that aviation has absolutely excelled at is in developing the safety programs that allows us to see this transformation and to see the transition from analog to digitalization. You know to can allow us to do that safely, but it’s a slow and steady progression. Rather than you know, we’ve got a new technology of the day and bang, we’re going to see it in the airplanes tomorrow. We have to really take into consideration that we have lots of users of the airspace and, including now we’re going to, you know, be seeing a lot of spacecraft so transitioning up and down through the airspace and you know, with a whole different set of concerns and issues and identified risks that we need to mitigate and ensure that you know everybody gets to where they’re going very unevenfully.

Chris Glass: Right, and it’s an interesting world when you think of a 737 classic operating in the same airspace, as, like as we’re recording this, there’s a mission to the moon, right now you know that rocket took off last week. At the same time, we have classics flying around and we have older aircraft. So now, in your background, you were part of developing safety systems.

Capt. Mary McMillan: Yeah, I’ve been involved in helping to develop some of those safety systems and essentially the proactive, self-disclosure, non-punitive systems that allows people that are operating in the network someplace whether it’s on the ground or in the air, you know to self-disclose and say, geez, you know, I did this today and I can’t imagine why I did that, but I did by self-disclosing it. It really helps the investigators then and the safety experts to understand, you know some of the reasons of why you know why that happened. I think certainly one of the issues that we didn’t necessarily uncover it uncover it but we exposed it is that fatigue plays a big part in some of these. You know accidents that we saw a few years ago where somebody that’s fatigued is actually operating at a level that is equivalent to having at least two alcoholic drinks. So when you think of that level of impairment, then when you look then back to some of your flight time and duty time rules and you say this is crazy.

Chris Glass: Right.

Capt. Mary McMillan: This is crazy that we actually allow this to happen, and we’ve seen some impressive changes that have increased the level of safety as a result of, again, these self-disclosure programs. But we have to get all of the perspectives. So it started out in the airlines with just the pilots, but we finally brought in the dispatchers, the flight attendants, the mechanics and some of the groundspeople so that we could look at this, any one event, in a very holistic manner. But the piece that was really missing is, you know, the piece that was on the other side of the mic, which was the air traffic controllers. Right, and I think that’s one of the programs that I’m most proud of in my life having worked on was the implementation of what we call the air traffic safety action program. So it allowed controllers to actually self-report and say, geez, I allowed these airplanes to get a little bit too close to each other and you know this was the reason why.

Capt. Mary McMillan: And so it’s by actually putting all of that information together that we get a holistic understanding of what some of the causal factors are, and when we have that information, we can basically work to prevent it.

Chris Glass: So that must take an incredible amount of trust Right. So walk me through bringing like I’m assuming unions were involved and trying to get that situation where people do feel comfortable with the self-disclosure in service to safety as opposed to worrying about keeping their jobs or worrying about that. I mean, I know I have a lot of friends that are pilots. Minimum duty days don’t include the travel to the hotel. They don’t include the fact you’ve got to have a meal and a shower and then go to bed and then get up and then get ready and get back to the airport. So how did you navigate, bringing in those different groups and building that trust?

Capt. Mary McMillan: So that’s an incredibly important point, chris, that you’ve picked up on.

Capt. Mary McMillan: It did take trust and, of course, the first step had to be taken by the regulator.

Capt. Mary McMillan: So in the US and now we’ve seen that in a lot of other states around the world but where the regulator actually said we will, rather than being punitive when we discover that a pilot busted altitude, for instance, rather than write that pilot up with some sort of a finer or citation, we’re going to understand what led to that pilot busting the altitude and, in order to do that, why they held out the carrot of having a non-punitive self-disclosure that wouldn’t result in a fine or a citation and could result in perhaps additional training, but was not a discipline that couldn’t be used for discipline and couldn’t be used in a punitive fashion.

Capt. Mary McMillan: So, basically, what you do is you set up a program where you can type out a report, give all the specifics and the details that gets collected, and then that report is redacted in terms of identifying names or features and then goes to what we used to call the three-legged stool. It is a committee made up of the representative of the union, a representative of the regulator and a representative of the management of the airline. So it’s management, labor and the regulator that are actually looking at the same report and each bringing that perspective to that report to understand again what some of those factors might have led to that.

Chris Glass: And it was completely de-identified.

Capt. Mary McMillan: So we’re just talking about data, not feelings.

Chris Glass: Correct and that was regulatory regulator led and then adopted. Did you feel any pushback from the airlines?

Capt. Mary McMillan: Oh, yeah, I mean, I think initially there was a whole heck of a lot of mistrust on a lot of parts, but we finally got the program up and running and pilots could actually see the benefit. So one of the things that we thought was key and really important was we feed that information back into the pilot group or whatever group it was, whether it was dispatchers or mechanics or whatever. We feed the information back into that group. But also, even more importantly, is we fed that information into, for instance, training, if it was a training deficiency, or I mean we fixed so many programs so like lighting at an airport or I you know the flight time, duty time rules, for instance.

Chris Glass: So one of the questions I have after implementing a system like that, how do you determine it be successful? Like, what’s the checkpoints to show success? Is there any changes that you could point to that came directly from the confidential reporting system that changed for the good? That wouldn’t have happened without that trust and without that confidence that things remain confidential.

Capt. Mary McMillan: Yeah, there’s actually a book full of changes that have been made.

Capt. Mary McMillan: I think, going back to the example of an altitude bust, which is where you’re assigned an altitude but for some reason you either fly above or below, it can obviously cause conflict issues with other airplanes that are in the area, which is why you have the assigned altitude.

Capt. Mary McMillan: I think through the reporting system, we were really able to uncover some of the reasons of why that happened, and so it resulted in checklist changes.

Capt. Mary McMillan: Excellent, and, I think, even more importantly than when we actually rolled that out to the air traffic controllers, because they’re the ones that are assigning the altitudes and they have a responsibility as well, and you know so whenever they had some sort of a and a bus for them is a loss of separation.

Capt. Mary McMillan: So, understanding, you know, putting those pieces together and utilizing some of the technology that air traffic control employs, ie radar tracks and voice calls and those sorts of things you really are able to get a holistic picture and understanding of what actually caused that. And then it’s the responsibility of each organization to go back into whether it’s their training materials, whether it’s their checklist, whether it’s actually infrastructure, I think another event that I can recall that resulted in changes to the airport architecture was a non-precision approach that that we flew that again, we had some some issues with vertical control and part of the reason was was the very poor visibility day, with some of the lighting that existed in and around the airport, which resulted in that being corrected and some of the notations on the charting actually being changed and simplified.

Chris Glass: So I think it’s remarkable air travel is one of the safest forms of travel. I firmly believe the fear of plane crashes not grounded in reality, just based on how safe air travel is, and this is a great example of why these non-blame based safety management systems can really lead to some successes there. Going forward, do you feel that technology plays a role in supplementing those systems? You know, like, as those planes get better at transmitting data and knowing everything that’s going on, it kind of helps replace a little bit of the human factor of the you know. I think this, or I think that we now know the plane can transmit that right.

Capt. Mary McMillan: Right.

Chris Glass: So how do you see that moving forward? You know that real-time reporting, working with those safety management systems.

Capt. Mary McMillan: Well, I think one of the things that we have to remember is that you know, for a perfect flight to take place, you know we go out to the airplane, we assess it for mechanical issues, we assess our weather, we assess all of the factors that actually might affect that flight one way or the other, and in order to do that, you know there’s a whole host of technology that’s behind you that’s actually helping you make some of those critical assessments. Then we get in that airplane and we actually load up a perfect flight plan that’s been developed around making sure that we have optimum performance, that we have enough fuel to get to our destination and a little bit beyond, and you know we’re going to fly perfect trajectories in terms of both our climbs and our descents and at altitude. And you know then, of course, we’re going to make a perfect approach and just kiss down on the runway and smoothly taxi into the no arm, no foul, everything works perfect.

Chris Glass: Everything works perfect, no variables come up.

Capt. Mary McMillan: Where the really interesting piece that happens is there’s. You know, at any one time in the United States and in Canada, I mean, there’s probably another 5,000 airplanes that are preparing to do exactly the same thing, at exactly the same time. So we have to have technology in order to integrate that traffic safely with each other, you know, into the airspace. And where it really gets interesting is where you actually have. Now you throw weather into the mix, which you always have weather.

Capt. Mary McMillan: Even when it’s good, you know it’s that there’s weather factors that are going to come into play. You know where we really see some exciting times is when you, you know, develop the thunderstorms and the real serious, potentially dangerous weather. And now you’re taking a perfect flight plan and you’re either funneling people one way or another, or over or below in ways, in order to ensure that, you know, we’re still as uneventful as possible and without the technology that we have both on the aircraft, so that we can see and avoid other airplanes that are in our area but that air traffic employs, in order to ensure to give us a flight trajectory that’s going to give us the best ride and the most direct routing. You know we have to have that in today’s world, or you know we’re going to cut capacity by a significant amount.

Chris Glass: And there’s not really room to cut capacity, the way the industry is growing and the way it needs to grow, quite frankly, because I know the economic lifeblood for some of the smaller cities in North America and across the world are having regular air travel, having regular flights. I know the economic development of an airport like Abbotsford, for example, once they started to get direct jet service and whatnot, made the world a different difference for that community. So it’s not like we can shrink capacity, we have to keep growing it and it’s not like we can add more sky.

Capt. Mary McMillan: Right, right, you know exactly.

Chris Glass: One of the technologies we’re really proud of here at flight is our WBSS sensor. That’s starting to go on aircraft that we have in house now it’s being used in for other airlines, but that’s really going to help us predict some of those weather changes in flight, am I?

Capt. Mary McMillan: Yeah, you’re absolutely right, and you know it’s interesting because, you know, in my career I’ve seen this move from analog to digital platform. Right, we’re actually at another inflection point where we’re going to be, you know, using those platforms, but we’re transitioning into a period where not only we pay to board the fuel, but we’re going to pay to burn it, and that’s because of environmental issues. And what the the weather vapor sensing system does is it actually is taking samples, actual samples, as we fly mainly on climbs and descents, but it’s sampling the relative humidity in any particular air mass.

Chris Glass: Yeah.

Capt. Mary McMillan: Because a humid air mass is where you actually will create a contrail. I mean, if you look up in the sky, sometimes you’ll see the demarcation of where a contrail either begins or ends. And my daughter loves them yeah.

Chris Glass: Oh, they’re beautiful. I see them up there and I see money and I’m looking for us to really change the way air travel works, but my daughter just loves seeing them in the sky. Yeah, she points them out all the time.

Capt. Mary McMillan: Well they can.

Capt. Mary McMillan: There can be some really interesting formations too, but one of the things that you’ll see is, instead of calling it contrails, now we’re calling it an aircraft induced cloudiness, where you, you know you get the right conditions, where you know that that will hang in the sky and and start to start to start to collect into where we actually have filtration of the sun and we’re trapping that underneath that cloud layer, that artificial cloud layer.

Capt. Mary McMillan: And there’s been a lot of research in this particular area, probably for the last 20 years, and one of the things that we’re discovering, or has actually been agreed upon, is that aircraft induced cloudiness is responsible for at least as responsible for some of the negative environmental effects as is the greenhouse gas emissions. Yeah, so what we’re going to see in, you know, in this next transition period, is an effort to actually suppress or reduce as much aircraft induced cloudiness as we possibly can, and to do that we have to have data, we have to have the humidity reading and that is ultimately going to be factored into the air traffic control systems to where they can help guide us around where those humid air masses are, because, you know, any individual airplane knows whether or not they’re creating a, a contrail, but you know, we don’t add at an enterprise level and the enterprise level is where we have to work and that takes technology.

Chris Glass: Right. So currently, right now, atc is not making any decisions when it comes to contrail avoidance or what levels people are flying at based on contrails, correct and the future. They’re going to have to have that fully integrated.

Capt. Mary McMillan: Yeah.

Chris Glass: So this is a really good market for us to be in at the moment.

Capt. Mary McMillan: Well, well it is. I mean, one of the things that you know, that we certainly there’s been a lot of studies, and this, some of the information that we also collect with our weather sensors, feeds into these models. But you know, predicting where we’re going to see turbulence, because it depends on air pressure. You know. You know Winsiloft and and a couple of other measures, about where we might experience some significant, significant turbulence, and, of course, air traffic control has helped us try to avoid those pockets as well, and we can also employ both, you know, trying to fly above it or trying to fly below it or trying to fly slower through it. But you know, being forewarned is forearmed and so it’s not something new, but it’s a new and different factor that really is going to require a lot of input.

Chris Glass: Besides weather, what do you see if you could put your crystal ball on for me? What do you see the biggest changes coming down the road to air travel being?

Capt. Mary McMillan: Well, I mean, one of the things we’re going to see are electric jets.

Chris Glass: Right.

Capt. Mary McMillan: So we already have some, you know, small ones, and the issue is one of scope. You know, how big can we make it? You know, can?

Chris Glass: we get it how much trust yeah exactly.

Capt. Mary McMillan: So there’s going to be a whole host of considerations of you know, I just actually got my first electric car and I’m just really focused on range. So I can only imagine, you know, when we get our first electric transport aircraft. You know, flying in the air, what we’re going to be focusing on.

Chris Glass: Range is important for a car. It’s really important for an aircraft, Really important.

Capt. Mary McMillan: So you know, again, we’re going to have to have a whole different set of inputs and outputs so that we can ensure that we’re managing that safely, because, you know, we just can’t rely upon pulling up to the nearest charging station, right? So there’s going to be a whole different set of regulation around. You know what’s comfortable as a buffer. You know how much extra battery power do you actually require when you get to your destination.

Chris Glass: Instead of excess fuel on board, you’ll be worried about excess battery power. Correct, interesting.

Capt. Mary McMillan: So that’s one of the things that I think is going to be very exciting as we move forward. But, you know, certainly the other thing is, you know, is the increase in space travel Right?

Chris Glass: So let’s talk about that a little bit. How has that been integrated so far? Maybe you can answer this, maybe you can’t. But, like with air traffic control, primarily focused on the I guess aerospace plane as opposed to the space plane, how is that being factored in now? And then, with the increase in tourism space tourism just going to be exploding in the next couple of years, especially as prices come down, that just adds just another layer of complexity. Yeah, exactly how does that fit in now?

Capt. Mary McMillan: Well.

Capt. Mary McMillan: So I’m not an expert in this, but my understanding of it is, is that, again, based on, there’s only a few space ports at this point where we’ll actually see conflict in the airspace, and my understanding is is that, you know, again, those are no fly zones for the period of time that the launch is forecast.

Capt. Mary McMillan: I would think that as it becomes more commonplace that we’re going to be looking for ways to continue to integrate that. One of the things that I wanted to mention too is, you know we’ve done this before, it’s not something that is new for us. So when we actually put our equipment on, initially in flights early days, on aircraft that were previously based only on terrestrial navigation, when we actually put satellite, the ability to navigate and communicate via satellite, we actually saw the airspace capacity of the airspace increase by orders of magnitude. So when, in my old 747-100 flying across the Pacific with an INS and an HF radio and no surveillance, you know we had 100 miles in trail, so 100 miles in front and 100 miles in the back and 2,000 feet above and 2,000 feet below.

Capt. Mary McMillan: So it was a pretty big bubble. Now, with the ability to talk with air traffic control and the ability of air traffic control to see us, you know, through satellite technology. You know we’ve reduced those separation standards to 25 miles and 1,000 feet, and 1,000 feet, you know, quadrupling the capacity of the airspace. And we’re going to see that same thing, I think, as we start integrating different travel transportation models in, you know, in the future.

Chris Glass: Wow, and I can only imagine the safety systems for integrating space into aerospace. One thing that always jumps out at me my background is an airport’s guy. You know ground ops working at the airports and with the changes that are coming when it comes to sustainable fuel hydrogen fuel cells, electric jets I don’t think our airports are ready for that change at all, like they’re so regimented to fuel and the way it works. What do you think the airports are going to need to do to adapt that level of change coming?

Capt. Mary McMillan: No, I think it’s a very good point and I agree with you I don’t think we’re ready for it, although I have to say that aviation has been incredibly proactive. So aviation came together over 20 years ago in an industry government group called ATAG. So it’s the airline transport action group that is comprised of all segments of aviation and you know, looking at these issues, and certainly airports, has been a big part of that. But when you start looking at I mean it’s something I think we’re grappling with as a society in general, because when you start looking at the need for electrification and what the power requirements will be of even one single airport once we actually introduce all electric vehicles, not to mention electric jets, you know what sort of infrastructure are we going to be required to build, and it’s big. So I think we’re. I don’t think we are ready for it, but aviation has set a goal for 2050 of net zero Net zero, yeah. So there’s definitely plans in the works to achieve that.

Chris Glass: Because it really has to be not just your departure station but your arrival station and your whole network. You know, I could see airlines having to make decisions not based on economics but based on can this airport?

Capt. Mary McMillan: sustain us, Support it yeah.

Chris Glass: So it makes sense for airports to be proactive and start looking at these things and be involved in these conversations, right?

Capt. Mary McMillan: now Absolutely, and you know, certainly through ATAG. I know that they are. So that’s a good thing. You know you have to. That goes back to the safety action programs. You know you get the stakeholders at the table and everybody brings that different perspective in and an understanding of what the requirements are and you know you come out with solutions.

Chris Glass: Yeah, there’s a concept in lean methodologies lean six sigma of going to where the work’s done to really find out how they’re doing it. You know, we can all sit around a boardroom and go, this is how it should be done. And then you get to the airport and you realize this is how it is.

Capt. Mary McMillan: Yeah, this is completely impractical.

Chris Glass: You know so it’s so important to bring people into those conversations early on and that’s good to hear as we start, I guess, computerizing everything because you know like, you have your smart watch, your smartphone, now you have your smart aircraft. We tend to move technology faster than the security side of it. How do you feel cybersecurity is going to fit into those safety management systems and keeping planes safe, because in the analog world it was about keeping the plane in the air and landing it. You know, now, with computers on board and everything being so connected, is that a level of concern and what’s the industry doing to prepare for it?

Capt. Mary McMillan: So it is a level of concern, absolutely, and again, it’s part of this changing connected world that we live in, that you know. One of the unintended consequences of that is that we you know there’s also that you know the shadow world, I guess that are looking to defeat it in various ways for different reasons. So it is absolutely an item of concern. So it comes back to this you know, developing a risk matrix. So where are your risks and how do you identify them? And there’s a lot of work in that area.

Capt. Mary McMillan: For aviation, I think we are in a good place in that there’s really only certain pipes off and on the airplane and and generally they are secure pipes, just by virtue of of the modems, of you know, of what they, of which they travel, you know how they have to go on and off. But it doesn’t mean that it you know that we can just hope that somebody else on the you know, on the other end is is the one sorting that problem out. So we’ve taken a very active interest at flight. We have, we have staff on on board, that is, you know, looking at this and working with some of the other industry groups to make sure that we create a safe portal that we can exchange information freely, because that, you know, that becomes the issue for for aviation is we have to have access to information quick and so we can’t wait for it to be decoded or encrypted and unencrypted and that sort of thing. So you know there’s challenges. There’s also some advantages, you know to, to what we do.

Chris Glass: Right, because it’s so compartmentalized. Yeah, yeah, it’s not, you don’t plug it in and just have it open, open source to everything. Right Right In the next. You said electric jets are the next big change. Where do you see the the role of a company like flight in providing the solutions to those problems that are coming in the future? Not problems, I guess, but just challenges that are coming up? We mentioned cybersecurity. We mentioned infrastructure. You know, where do you see flight fitting into that?

Capt. Mary McMillan: Well, I, you know that’s one of the things that attracted me to flight, sort of from the very beginning of of of my association with flight. But you know where flight has been always looking forward and understanding how we can better serve by future-proofing our clients. So I think our our new device, the Edge, which is a wireless quick access recorder it can also be an aircraft interface device and exchange information over different mediums and and different ways to to actually provide people with answers, and that’s that’s the whole goal. And so by utilizing the 5G networks and doing it safely, so we’re not actually causing interference, we are, we are future-proofing those airlines to ensure that, you know, data is going to move, often on the airplane, in a safe manner and in the volume. You need to be in the office.

Capt. Mary McMillan: And in the volume that you need. Exactly Right, and you know. So one of the things that and that is of interest is that you know, traditionally SATCOM was only found on trans-Oceanic aircraft or aircraft that operated, like in Northern Canada, that didn’t have access to terrestrial aircraft, so terrestrial navigation or terrestrial facilities. But now we’re seeing that, you know, we’re seeing the rise of of enabled aircraft. You know that are much different fleets, so the smaller regional jets, you know, the single-isle narrowbodies, they all have a requirement to have access to data and that can receive data, so that once again we can integrate them into this, you know, into this increasingly crowded airspace.

Chris Glass: Well, it’s such an exciting time to be a part of aviation. It is and to see where we’re going, yeah and to. There’s never a dull moment, and it’s. It’s why very few people ever get out of this industry. They all start by taking a job somewhere or working somewhere in an airport, and then they end up with a 30, 35-year career, if not more. For me it’s just such a dynamic, ever-shifting spot. I don’t think the Wright brothers would have ever recognized this.

Capt. Mary McMillan: No, and you know, I, I, I often think about that. So you know, my first job at at the airline was as an engineer on the 747, and the length of the 747 was it was longer than the Wright brothers flew, you know, and it was, you know, it wasn’t that many years afterwards, you know, which is pretty incredible when you think about it. And I, I absolutely agree with you the, I think aviation and aerospace and the adjacencies to you know, the satellite industry and the adjacencies to you know these, these subjects are so fascinating that you know you could never get, you’re never going to know it all and you could never get bored with it, because there’s always something more to learn.

Chris Glass: Well, I’m 44 and I’m still in love with the industry it’s still loving where it’s going. Captain Mary, thank you so much for spending some time with us. This has been absolutely fantastic and look forward to having you back for a third time.

Capt. Mary McMillan: You’ll be our first third time guest next time you come back and we’ll have more to talk about then, but I really appreciate you spending some time with me today. It’s been wonderful, Chris. It’s always, always a pleasure and always a joy.

Chris Glass: Excellent and thank you for spending some time with us here on the jump seat here at FlightAero Space. Thank you very much and we’ll see you next time.

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