Jan 24, 2014

Pilot Interview

Gulfstream V Cockpit 

Yesterday I went to a private hangar at McCollum Airport in Kennesaw, Georgia, (just outside of Atlanta) to interview a wonderful man named Terry, who works as a pilot for a well known resident of Atlanta.   

The interview was awesome for many reasons, Terry was wonderful. He is such a nice person, made me feel right at home. He is tall, handsome, soft spoken, the children will be so excited to meet him via the video. We focused the interview on why education is important and what aspects of what the children are learning everyday apply to what a pilot does everyday. Terry did a great job of emphasizing the importance of education and also his love of flying. 

I certainly did not know anything about Gulfstream jets and all that is involved in flight plans and preparation. Terry shared all of this information and again I could tell from all of his answers and all he does, that he loves what he's doing.  

Maybe because I was never in a private hangar, maybe because I knew nothing about the capabilities of a Gulfstream V, I told Terry, his job was like a daily adventure. The hangar just like you see in a James Bond movie, huge and brightly lit up, like being inside a stadium. The floor shiny and so clean.  The facilities at the hangar top notch, very much the look and feel of executive offices.  

I was prepared with my questions, I had my very simple camera equipment ready, batteries all charged. I had back up equipment incase the initial camera did not work. We found appropriate lighting and a very quiet place in his office. Even though we'd been introduced by a mutual friend, I provide Terry history on Mawuvio's, who I was, my involvement with the children, my visits to Ghana, etc. I wanted to be sure he was comfortable with why and how the footage would be used.  I was thrilled to be the film crew and producer, editor, and director of this tiny movie. Being there and having this experience a significant reminder for me how much I love to tell stories. 

What I learned during the interview, the aircraft that Terry flies a majority of the time is a  Gulfstream V.  It is primarily used as a private or corporate aircraft and is produced by Gulfstream Aerospace, headquartered in Savannah, Georgia.  It is also used by the US military under the designation C-37A.

The Gulfstream V first flew in 1995, was certified in 1997, and was one of the first "ultra-long range" (~6,000-nautical-mile (11,000 km)) business aircraft. Capable of carrying up to 16 people in standard seating configurations, and able to fly up to 6,500 nmi (12,000 km), the Gulfstream V became the longest range business jet ever made at the time of its introduction. 

The version of this jet today is called a G -550 or 650.  The purchase price of a new aircraft upwards of 50 million dollars. 

I did confirm with Terry that the Gulfsstream V could fly all the way to Ghana and of course I extended a personal invitation for him and his wife to come and visit the children and the school anytime.  Thanks Terry ! ! ! 

Gulfstream V