National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Wichita Area Aviation Symposium
February 9, 2019
DoubleTree Hotel - Wichita, Kansas



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Speaker Presentation
Jay Prater (KAKE-TV) BUFKIT: A Weather Model Visualization Tool for Pre-Flight Planning
Kirby Ortega (Yingling Aviation) What’s Up with Weather? Expectations for Your Next Flight Review or Check-Ride
Tom Chandler (AOPA) AOPA and Air Safety Institute Update
Tom Turner (American Bonanza Society) Making Confident Go/No-Go Decisions Based on Real-World NTSB Reports
Eric Jennings (FAA) Kansas City District Air Traffic Control: Safety, Service, and Efficiency
Tony Condon (Sunflower Soaring Foundation, US Soaring Team) Finding Lift: Forecasting for Unpowered Flight
Eric Schminke (NWS Wichita) Microbursts, Turbulence, and Wind Shear


Speaker Speaker Bio
Andy Kleinsasser (NWS Wichita) Began National Weather Service career in 2001-2002 as an intern at the Great Falls and Glasgow, MT offices. Have been an operational meteorologist at the Wichita office since 2003. Been interested in all things extreme weather since childhood.
Jay Prater (KAKE-TV) A board certified meteorologist, Jay Prater has been the Managing Meteorologist for KAKE Television and Media since 2004. He passed his first checkride in 1988, and currently is a co-owner of a 1974 Piper Arrow II. A member of local EAA Chapter 88, he also volunteers as a Young Eagles pilot.
Kirby Ortega (Yingling Aviation) 30 years at Cessna Aircraft retiring 5 years ago in a Chief Pilot role for piston engine airplanes. Has about 26,000 accident free flight hours with almost 16,000 as a flight instructor. During his Cessna years he traveled to more than 90 different countries in the Cessna Caravan, conducting demonstration and training flights. He feels good to live in Wichita because they have the worst weather factors he has seen in his travels! He flew the entire product line from the Cessna Skycatcher to the Citation X. Currently works for Yingling Aviation in their aircraft management program, flying primarily a CJ3 for Intrust bank. When not flying for Charlie, he gives checkrides as an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner and works as a CFI for pilots moving into turbine equipment.
Tom Chandler (AOPA) Often refers to himself as a temporarily displaced Kansan. Tom has a degree in Aviation Management from WSU, as well as ATP and CFII certificates. His professional flying got rolling with a decade of flying air ambulance and charter King Airs for Midwest Corporate Aviation out of Jabara. The next 8 years he worked as the Airport Manager in McPherson, while mixing in corporate flying and instruction. Along the way he also served as the president of the Kansas Association of Airports and secretary of the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education. Tom has lived in the Dallas area for four years and joined AOPA two years ago as Regional Manager in the Central Southwest region.
Tom Turner (American Bonanza Society) Thomas P. Turner holds an ATP with CFI, CFII and MEI, and a Master’s Degree in Aviation Safety. Tom is Executive Director of the American Bonanza Society Air Safety Foundation, and President of Mastery Flight Training where he writes the free FLYING LESSONS Weekly blog. The 2008 FAA Central Region Flight Instructor of the Year and 2010 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. In 2015 Tom was inducted into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame.
Eric Jennings (FAA) Eric began his air traffic control career in 1995 in the United States Marine Corps, achieving certifications in various tower and TRACON facilities through 6 years of active duty service. After returning to civilian life, he worked at a Federal Contract Tower in San Luis Obispo, CA while attending Cal Poly SLO, studying systems engineering. He was hired by the FAA in 2003, starting at New Orleans Lakefront tower. 18 months later he transferred to Houston ARTCC where he worked as an Air Traffic Controller and Operations Supervisor. In 2014, he joined the Kansas City Center team and has worked as an Operations Supervisor, Traffic Management Supervisor, and Operations Manager. He now serves as the Kansas City District Traffic Management Officer.  Eric is married and has two children in elementary school.  He's originally from San Jose, CA, and plans to stay in the Midwest near his wife’s family in the St Louis metro. 
Tony Condon (Sunflower Soaring Foundation, US Soaring Team) Tony Condon is a 2 time member of the US Soaring Team. He is President of the Kansas Soaring Association and in 2017 set a US National Record for Declared Distance on a soaring flight from Sunflower Gliderport near Yoder, KS to LaGrange, TX. Flying sailplanes is his passion. For work he flies a Beechcraft King Air.
Eric Schminke (NWS Wichita)

Served 6 1/2 years in the Coast Guard. Among the assignments were two 1-year tours on isolated LORAN stations; the first at Cape Sarichef, AK from 1973-1974, the second in Eniwetok, Marshall Islands in 1975. In February, 1976, I was accepted into the Marine Science Technician (MST) School in Yorktown, VA when & where the career in meteorology officially begin. Achieved the rank of Marine Science Technician 1st Class, where/when discharged in March 1979.

Joined the National Weather Service in January, 1980 at the Weather Service Forecast Office (WSFO) Cheyenne, WY. During the 38-year career, have worked in Topeka, Concordia, Evansville, (IN) & Wichita, where I've worked since December, 1990.

Am intensely passionate about all facets of severe weather. Several presentations have been made on historic events such as the April 3-4, 1974 Super Outbreak, the April 11, 1965 Palm Sunday Outbreak, and the January 4-5, 2005 Ice Storm. Have served as WFO Wichita's weather historian for about 10 years.

The passion extends well into the aviation realm where there's considerable attention to detail. Favorite aircraft have been all series of the Boeing 747, DC-10 & MD-11. Favorite all-time military aircraft has been the B-52.