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From Great to Jacked up

Living our lives means that at times, your life can be moving along great, then all the sudden it gets jacked up.  In this podcast episode, Jon talks about a recent vacation trip in his Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft to Monterrey, California.   The vacation was awesome!  The trip from Phoenix to Monterrey was smooth and the vacation in Monterrey was fantastic.   As a pilot and traveling with his aircraft, Jon checks the weather several times per day to see how it is looking for the day of departure.   While checking the weather throughout the vacation, Jon could see that there was a Low Front coming through.  The good news is that there was going to be a significant tail wind.  The bad news is what kind of weather might lie ahead.

On the day of departure, the skies were partly cloudy in Monterrey.   The tailwinds were forecasted at 25 to 38 knots.   That is significant as it took 3 hours and 30 minutes to get to Monterrey.  Going back to Phoenix with these tailwinds means it will take about 2 hours and 40 minutes.   So once Jon got up to altitude (11,500 feet), the tailwinds were great.  He normally cruises in the Bonanza at 190 miles per hour.  On this trip home to Phoenix he averaged 230 miles per hour.   However, as he was approaching Phoenix, the reporting weather there showed clouds, blowing dust and about 5 miles visibility.  As Jon got closer to Phoenix, he could see that the weather was deteriorating since the last automatic weather report.   As he got about 10 miles from his home airport, he could see that the visibility was going from five down to one mile visibility quickly.   He had to make the choice to either turn around or press on through to the airport.   With his experience, he chose to press on through even though it was getting less and less visibility.   All the while, maintaining a calm demeanor to ensure safety of flight was met.

Jon landed safely at his home airport, but there was some good reflection of the day afterwards.   That in our lives we could be having a great time.  No problems and the future looks fantastic.   What we can see is that everything down the road (so to speak) will be all right.   Then, some unforeseen “thing” comes along and jacks up the great time you are having.   The truth is that only life experience can get you through that moment calmly.   Jon’s main point of this podcast is that you have to take each one of these jacked up moments in stride.  Like it is a form of college education that you will learn from and move on.

When some things happen in people’s lives that jack up their plans, the point is to never give up.   Even if you are hanging on the edge of a cliff by your fingernails, you just don’t give up.   Fear of what will happen next to you can grip you so you are not effective in life.  But don’t give into the fear and as we say in aviation, keep flying the aircraft all the way to touchdown.   Don’t give into the fear or give into what your surroundings tell you as something bad.   Gain from your experiences and use it to make your life better in the future.

The Show Must Go On

Have you ever heard the phrase “The Show Must Go On”?   Many people in the show business use that phrase for multiple reasons.   Perhaps an injury, sickness, or even a death during a show by one of the performers.   What is interesting is when you are the performer who needs to “press on” during adversity.   Telling yourself that “The Show must go on”.

Recently, Jon Melby was asked to perform in an airshow that was only 10 days away.   He was not feeling well as he just contracted a slight cold a few days prior.  However, since the airshow was 10 days out, there should be plenty of time to feel better and allow room to get some extra practice in.   However, the cold persisted for those 10 days and Jon was forced to make some professional yet difficult decisions the day of the airshow.   Should he perform when not feeling 100 percent or make a safety conscious decision to stand down.

We all face times in our lives where we have to decide if we should continue when not feeling well or not.   In our day to day lives, we have to choose if we take time to rest or use a sickness as an excuse to not do what is expected of us.   As an airshow performer, Jon has accountability to those who hired him and to the fans expecting to see him perform.   Those pressures make it very difficult to make concrete decisions that are not influenced by pride or money.   Safety has to always be first, but the human factor seems to creep in making the process of “the right choice” very hard at times.

The morning of the airshow, Jon made the decision to keep moving forward and see if he improved.  The problem you see is that having a cold (sinus congestion) while pulling heavy G loads in aerobatics is painful.  It places a lot of pressure on the head as Jon has to tighten his stomach muscles during certain maneuvers.  This tightening forces higher blood pressure in his head to keep blood in his eyes so he can see.   If he didn’t tighten his stomach muscles, the blood would leave his eyes and ultimately Jon would go unconscious.   This is a normal part of being an extreme airshow pilot.   But throw in the added head congestion and now safety is of concern.   Additionally, when you don’t feel 100 percent, you may not make proper decisions that require sharp focus in just seconds.   Not making proper decisions is the number one cause of pilots crashing while performing aerobatics.

As Jon attended the airshow briefing, prepped his aircraft, and climbed in the cockpit…all the while monitoring his health to ensure safety.   With over 15 years experience as an airshow pilot, he knows what is safe and what is not.   Fortunately, the cold symptoms started backing off and he was able to circle the sky-divers with his wingman Will.   Then, perform a squirrel cage chase with Will in his Pitts Bi-plane.   After  about a 50 minute break, Jon took off to perform his solo demonstration.  As Jon states, it was one of the best airshow performances that he had ever completed.  But he was hyper-focussed to ensure safety was paramount.  All the while being the airshow performer that he is to entertain the crowd.

The question is, what do you do in your own life to ensure “The Show must go On”?   It is easy to walk away at times when you are needed, especially when you are not feeling well.  But if you can overcome the feelings and do what is expected of you, there is a sense of accomplishment that is unparralleed.

Listen now as Jon talks through what happened during the airshow.   Even during this podcast episode, Jon has remnants of being sick…but The Show Must Go On.

Dreaming the dream

Dreaming the dream.  We all do it almost everyday.   We have some sort of idea that we want to become a dream someday.   Taking that dream to reality is not always easy, but when you do, it is so rewarding!  In this episode, Jon talks about how he was recently contacted to perform in a local airshow.   The show was only 10 days away and one of the pilot’s that was committed to perform has airplane issues.   They asked Jon his performance fee rate and it was much more than what they could afford.  Jon explained to them that they are a new airshow, we are all aviation advocates, and that he has the availability for the weekend.  So Jon reduced his fee to fit their budget and they were so appreciative.

While getting all the documents ready prior to the airshow, Jon talks about how rewarding it is to stop and realize something.  That all the years of hard work of becoming an airshow pilot is being used.  That the skills, gifts, and experienced gained can be used to demonstrate to others what Jon knows how to do so well.  Perform extreme aerobatics in front of a crowd.

The message to everyone is that if you have a dream, keep pursuing that dream.  Ultimately it will be something you can share with others once you gain enough experience.   In fact, his (Jon’s) wife Joy recently took up a new hobby.   She went to the local craft store and bought an introductory water color painting kit.   Joy is awesome at decorating, party planning, present wrapping, and other giving talents.  But she rarely does something for herself.   She is always giving, but not spending her time doing something for herself.   Joy made a couple of basic paintings off from the kit’s workbook.  Then she tried making one freehand.  This picture was a silhouette of herself sitting on a bed drinking a cup of coffee.   She showed Jon her new painting and he responded: “I am so proud of you!”.   Joy actually started a new hobby from a dream, is getting better, and she can share this talent with others.   Dreaming the dream is exactly that.  Sharing your gifts, talents, skills, and experience so others can enjoy and appreciate what you know.

Balance the unbalanced Job

Okay…let’s talk about the “job” and maintaining balance.   One of the most crippling things in a person’s life is to have areas in their life cause them to be unbalanced.   In this episode, Jon talks about ensuring your job doesn’t consume your happiness or your time.   Your job should be something that is fair for your “work – life balance” so you are a happy person.

Recently, Jon went to lunch with a really good friend of his – Scott (aka “Scotty).   They have worked together for over 18 years in the same large company and find it hard even to go have lunch together.  Fortunately, they connected for some Chinese food and discussed a bunch of aspects of their lives.   During the conversation, Jon asked Scotty about his work life.  Why it seemed that he worked so many hours.   Nights, weekends, and even holidays were open game for working.   Whereas, Jon fits his work schedule into a 40 (or less) hour work week.

One of the areas that Scotty brought up is the “value system” for his own life.  That if he doesn’t dot the “i’s and cross the “tees”, that maybe he will not be perceived as valuable to his management and the firm.   Looking for perfection that everything is organized, well put together, and consistantly so.   From Jon’s perspective, Scotty is the ultimately manager-employee.   All of his work effort is top notch and he is well respected.   But the question came up about how Scotty feels regarding his balance between work and the rest of his life.  He said, quite honestly it isn’t.   That he felt compelled to really go beyond the extra mile to manage what was in front of him.  Even if it made him feel guilty that other ares in his life may take a hit due to the time.

Jon mentions that he had received some coaching from one of the podcasts that he listens to.  They said that if you are going to own your own business, then you need to be a strong leader.  A decision maker who doesn’t hesitate.   If you are not someone like that, then you need to hire someone who is or get out of business because you will fail.  One of the ways you can tell what type of personality you are is via the D.I.S.C. test.  He mentioned going to Tony Robins website and scroll to the bottom.  There you will find the DISC evaluation for free.   While there at Tony’s site, check out what he offers for coaching and self-improvement because he is awesome!

Jon took the DISC survey and found out that he is an extremely high (D)-Decision maker.   The survey stated that when not acting in a capacity of being a sole leader, he moves over to being a high (I) which is interpersonal.  Someone who has the ability to influence others if not in the leader seat.   The other two categories include S and C which are more the conservative and cautious personality types.  In this survey, Jon scored very low on both of these categories.  Thinking about Scotty, Jon feels that if he took the DISC survey, that Scotty would be higher in the S and C areas.   Interestingly, that is probably why Jon and Scotty get along so well.  They are polar opposites in many areas, yet they embrace each other’s abilities and personalities. As Jon states, it is very much like the political climate today in America.  The right and the left at odds with one-another.  But, we can all hopefully get along as it is still one country.

During the discussion that Jon and Scotty had, many thoughts were introduced.   But the main point is that working a balanced life is so important.  Whether you own your own company or you work for someone else.   Knowing that you are great at what you do also means you need to say “No” sometimes.  That other people will want to dump their work on your lap because you are so good.   Maybe they do it to work less or maybe to take credit for your greatness.  Either way, you have to have a “teflon” skin and don’t let anything stick to you.  Unless you want it to.   Keep the work life as balanced as possible.  Work smarter not harder.  Realize that if you can, work less than the required weekly hours but accomplish more.  If you paid hourly, they will want to promote you to a salary position.  As a salaried person, you will find yourself being happier than ever because you have a choice to balance your life.

For more information about how to achieve your dreams by managing your fear, go to There you will find more information on how to live a life with less fear and more happiness to achieve your dreams.   As always, please rate this podcast and leave a comment.  Share this podcast with others because you never know how or who it may help next.

Prepare for the Point of No Return

When you start out on a major life moment, make sure you know what your bailout strategy is.   Somethings don’t turn out as planned and you may be forced to turn back around.  In this episode, Jon talks about how he almost got killed flying his airplane in Canada and Alaska.   But the reference is as you plan for anything, there has to be some considerations if you know you won’t be able to make it to your “destination” that you had planned.   However, the most important consideration is if you are forced to move forward, then don’t look back.   Trust that everything will be okay.    What happens to a lot of people is they go “comatose” because what lies ahead of them is not according to the plan.   Worse yet, they can’t turn back around for whatever reason.   So they start making mistakes because what lies ahead is scary, unknown, and it wasn’t part of the plan.   The best thing to do is just relax and “press through it”.   Whatever happens, happens and you will be okay in the end.   If you don’t take this attitude approach, then what will be good about being nervous, scared, or uncertain.   There is nothing positive gained by “freaking out” when things start going south according to your plan.

Jon has an extreme example of how “the point of no return” can also be life or death related.   When traveling in his Pitts Bi-plane from Arizona to Anchorage, Alaska, he had to fly over some really high mountains over Canada.  He performed some intensive pre-flight planning for flying from White Horse, Ukon Territory Canada to Northway, Alaska.   Due to fuel limitations with the Pitts Bi-plane, he had to fly direct over some very high mountains.  If he had more fuel, he could follow the Alkon Highway for safety and to fly through passes.   So the route of flight he had to make was much more dangerous by flying direct.   Checking the weather, it just had puffy cumulous type clouds, but nothing that you could fly around.   After departure from White Horse, Jon climbed to 12,000 feet and headed on his route.   Although he had to fly around a series of clouds, it was a real issue.  However, after flying around a large cloud, he ran into a straight wall of clouds.  Since the Pitts has no instruments to tell if the plane straight and level, this was a “grave” situation.   In less than a minute, Jon was out of control with the airplane and could hear the engine oscilating as he was in a spin within the clouds heading straight for the mountain tops.  While spinning, Jon saw the sun passing through his canopy.   Using pure aerobatic experience, he stop the rotation of the spin.  Then, he centered the sun on his upper left canopy, gave the plane full power, and started climbing.   It took several minutes, but he climbed above the clouds and now was at over 16,000 feet.   Oxygen there is much less than at 12,000 feet so he was forced to pressure breath to garner as much oxygen in his lungs as possible.   Looking at the tailwinds, fuel load, and amount of time left that he could fly, he had two choices.  The first choice was to head back the way he came which would mean he might not make it back to White Horse.  The other option was to forge ahead to Northway, but there was a bank of clouds over 8,000 feet think he would have to descend through.   Again, without instruments this would be dangerous.   Since he passed the “Point of No Return”, in his mind he had to commit to the inevitable whatever that was.    He had to fly just above the cloud bank at 16,500 feet for over 40 minutes to Northway, Alaska and eventually started seeing black and white due to lack of oxygen.   He descended into Northway for several minutes through the mile and a half of clouds.   Ultimately landing at Northway recollecting the crazy adventure he just experienced.   From that point on, he knew that anytime he flight planned a flight…he had to always have that “Point of No Return” in mind and without question.

Today, Jon applies that to every part of his life whether it is life and death related or not.   He imparts this experience on to his listeners so they too might gain knowledge from his experience.

More information can be found at Jon’s website which is   There is plenty of information on how to engage with Jon and learn more about how to live outside your comfort zone and have a rewarding life in the Danger Zone.

Dealing with Fear of the Unknown – *Special* Podcast

Fear of the unknown, its is one of the most debilitating issues in a person’s life.   Even though Jon is a professional air show pilot, he has to deal with it too.   Years of experience has helped him to manage fear of the unknown, but it is still something that makes “stepping into the Danger Zone” difficult.   In this *Special* episode, Jon talks about managing fear of the unknown. As Jon is in his hangar, he is going to practice some new very complex aerobatic maneuvers. It’s an off-season in the air show industry, so it is a perfect time to look at modifying his air show performance.   More specifically, to look at what maneuvers could be changed to make the performance more entertaining.

To understand more about what Jon has to face, he explains more about the airplane he is flying today.   Why he chose that type of airplane and the specifications behind it.   One of the planes he flies is the Pitts Model S1-11-B.  It is a bi-plane with two wings, high horsepower, and not an easy plane to fly for beginners.   Jon likes flying the bi-plane type aircraft because when he was 12 years old, he saw the movie “The Great Waldo Pepper” which had a tri-plane (three wing airplane) which was black with yellow checkerboard.   That is one of the reason’s why Jon flies a black and yellow checkerboard airplane today.  That, and it looks cool in the air and on the ground.   As Jon explains about the airplane, he climbs inside the cockpit to explain more dealing with fear of the unknown.

We all face fears of the unknown and sometimes those fears make it so you don’t want to do anything at all.  In fact, Jon talks about how he would rather go play golf on this Saturday then face the fears of doing some new complex maneuvers.  The fact is Jon has been performing basically the same routine for the past 4 years.   It works, it is safe, but it is lacking some intensity.   The struggle is should Jon just leave it alone or add some new complex maneuvers to make the routine more exciting?  He doesn’t have to, maybe it is better just to leave it alone.   But complacency isn’t the solution to doing what you know is right.  Knowing in your knower as Jon explains in a previous episode.  These ones are difficult to maintain consistency and could be disastrous if not executed correctly at an airshow. Since Jon hasn’t practiced these maneuvers for a couple of years, there is a little fear setting in. But as Jon describes, there is a “Devil” on one shoulder and an “Angel” on the other. Each saying things to discourage or encourage dealing with the upcoming unknown.

When facing fears of the unknown, that “Devil” on the shoulder will tell you every possible reason why you shouldn’t do it.  This is true in every aspect of the unknown in your life.  The reality is that nobody knows how it is going to turn out.   The best you can do is be prepared for the unknown and “creep” into it.   Making sure you have as much knowledge as possible before you venture into the unknown.   As Jon explains, you have to press through and venture into the unknown.   You have this one life to live and if you never get outside of your own boundaries, you will never have the full life experience with stories to back it up.

Sticking to your dream – Know in your “Knower”

This episode Jon talks about how important it is to have “Stick To It-tiveness” or sticking to what you started. If you have an idea or a project, if you decide to move forward with it then stick with it. The fact that it becomes difficult or there are obstacles means you can take a break, but ultimately you need to press on. When you press on, you have some options.  They include to climb over, go around, or punch through the obstacle in front of you. Either way, stick to what you started and watch how wonderful you feel after what you started becomes reality.

Today Jon will be practicing some extreme aerobatics in the Pitts Bi-Plane.  On the way to the airport, Jon stops to get some chicken for lunch.   It is better flying with a full stomach than nothing at all.   Most people think that the stomach should be empty when performing aerobatics (or flying), but actually that makes you feel nauseous.   Jon recalls being “double dog dared” at an airshow to eat some pork BBQ, French Fries, and a soda pop.   When he got back down from his performance, people were amazed that he didn’t get sick.   But the worst experience was having Chinese food and Hot and Sour soup.  When flying upside down and pushing the aircraft to the vertical, all the soup went to his throat.  The spices in the soup made his throat burn so he couldn’t talk on the radio.   That experience is never recommended.

Getting back to the subject of “Stick-to-it-tiveness”, Jon talks about how much work it takes to put out a podcast series.  Plus having a day job, family, healthy living, and the airshow business.   The whole podcast series is meant to help people overcome the fears in their lives to achieve their dreams.   Coaching people on how to step out of their “Comfort Zone” and enter a rewarding life in the “Danger Zone”.   The danger zone meaning anything that is outside of someone’s comfort zone.

Setting up the podcast series, website, and formatting has to be done right.   About 3 months prior to this episode, Jon had got to the point where it was almost overwhelming.   Understanding the podcasting setup, social media, and requirements for a quality podcast is huge.  It’s like taking a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle and throwing it on a table.   With a busy schedule, it’s just a lot to do.   Like the previous podcast episode, it is so important to keep the balls of life up in the air.  Especially the glass one which is family!   Adding the podcast series means late nights and a lot of extra work leaving less time for everything else.   So Jon took a 3 month break from building the podcast series.  During this time, he was able to learn more and study during free time.   He didn’t stop the idea or the dream, instead he took a break.   The fact that there is so much to do and learn with this new adventure meant that it was an obstacle.   Obstacles, as Jon states, need to be overcome by one of the following:

  • Go over the obstacle
  • Go around the obstacle
  • Punch through the obstacle with a big bulldozer

The most important thing to do is ensure that you continue with your idea or plan.  Shelving it for a few months is considered going over the obstacle.  You need more time to climb up the wall that is in front of you.   But giving up doesn’t do you any good because you just quit.  Then you kick yourself for not doing what you set out to do.

Look, you have dreams in your life and they need to be fulfilled.   This entire podcast series is dedicated to you so you can hear how Jon and others pressed through the obstacles to achieve the dream.  None of it is easy and in fact, you probably have those around you even discouraging you by negative comments.   Jon has had to deal with others in his own life telling him he is crazy or selfish to go after his dreams.  Yet, in the end everything is perfectly fine and his life is well balanced.  More importantly, he is happy because he pressed through many, many obstacles in life to achieve all of his dreams since a young boy.

Fulfilling your dream by sticking to it is important.  Like a movie that Jon recently saw called “The Greatest Showman”.  In the movie (which is also a musical) there is a song called Come Alive.  The song is about “Dreaming with your eyes wide open”.  It’s so inspiring because the song is literally about overcoming obstacles.  You dream all the time, even with your eyes open.  That accomplishing the dream means you are pursuing it during the day or at night, because it is your dream.  Jon has a saying that you have to “Know in your Knower” which is in your core.  Listen to your Knower and follow your dreams.   Either take a break, then climb over the wall.  Go around the wall or go full speed ahead through the wall.  All the time listening to that still small voice inside, your “Knower” on what to do next.

Sharing is Caring – The importance of giving back

In this episode, Jon talks about how important it is to take the skills, gifts, and talents in your life and share it with others. As Jon states, it is just a great feeling to give back to others with something you have that is a special gift. Not everyone has the talents or gifts that you have, so why not share those gifts with others so you can help make their life more special?  In this episode, Jon takes several people flying in his 4 seat Beechcraft Bonanza airplane. These people five  winners in a raffle drawing where the proceeds for the raffle went to charity. Jon donated the fuel and the time in the aircraft to help the charity.   He will take the winners up two at a time for a 20 minute flight near Phoenix, Arizona.

It’s early on a Saturday morning and Jon is driving to his hangar at the airport.   He needs to get the Bonanza ready to fly and then fly the plane to another airport to pick up the passengers.   But first, he needs to clean the plane because there is popcorn on the floor from his last long distance flight.  Plus, wipe down the plane and clean the windows.   Flying two passengers at a time, taking turns with one in the back seat and the other in the co-pilot seat.   Then land back at his home airport and swap out who sits in the front or back seat.  What is interesting is that Jon flies so often in either plane, it is just as normal to him as it is for others to drive in a car.  Yet, for most people, flying in a small airplane is a new experience for them.   In fact, so new that they are nervous, excited, and with mixed feelings.   Jon recalls how exciting it was for his first flight and knowing how excited his passengers must feel.  Plus, going out and flying the airplane for a great cause will be fun!  Normally, it is a practice flight for an airshow or traveling with either plane to some event.   But today, he gets to take his skills and talents to a very fun level by sharing them with others in person.

The flight will take the passengers on a trip just south of Phoenix, Arizona.  Here is the itinerary:

  • Take off from Chandler Municipal airport
  • Fly south to the WWII Japanese Internment Camp
  • Fly over the ruins of the camp for a mini history lesson
  • Fly to Jon’s home private airport
  • Swap passenger seats
  • Fly next to Superstition Mountain and over Saguaro lake
  • Fly back to Chandler Municipal airport for landing

Some people feel that Jon is “crazy” because he performs extreme aerobatics hundreds of feet of the ground.  He is known by others as a “stunt pilot” which makes him, in their view, a daredevil.  But actually, to Jon it is like knowing how to drive on snow or ice with a car.  Once you master that, it’s just a normal part of what you do.   People then are worried that they will be doing aerobatics or the engine might quit.   So it is important to put them at ease before the flight, letting them know that it will be just like flying in an airliner, but smaller.

The Bonanza airplane just had it’s annual inspection completed.  So it is in tip-top shape and ready to take passengers up.   Before the flight, Jon will have a briefing with the passengers letting them know all the safety and care that is taken for each flight.   Teaching them briefly how an airplane flies and how to control the plane.  That way, when they are in the front seat they can fly the plane if they want to.   It is a cool morning and it is best to take passengers when it is cool.  When it is warm outside, then the cockpit gets really warm and it makes passengers (and Jon) uncomfortable.

Bottom line, Jon has over 40 years experience flying airplanes with no accidents.  Sharing the skills, talents, and his aircraft is just a great way to give back to others.   It’s one thing to make money with the airplane and keep the business going.  But it is a completely other thing to share the joys, excitement, and love of flying.  Hopefully, everyone will enjoy the flight and tell others about how much flying is.   Maybe one of them will want to become a pilot someday?   As an aviation advocate, Jon loves talking about flying with others, but really loves to take them flying because hopefully they will want to become one too.


Juggling the 5 balls in life

In this episode, Jon talks about how important it is to keep all the balls up in the air as you juggle through life. Some of the balls like work, play, health, and hobbies are made of rubber. Those ones you can drop, they bounce, and then you grab it to put back in the juggle. But the glass ball is your family or those who are close to you. That ball you can’t drop or you could drop all the other balls in life. As Jon recovers from the busy Christmas season, he reflects on how it is really important to keep that glass ball up in the air.

Jon has two airplanes that he owns and flies.   One is a 1969 Beechcraft Bonanza and the other is a Pitts S-1-11B Aerobatic Bi-plane.   The Bonanza is an FAA Certified aircraft while the Pitts Bi-Plane is considered experimental.   With certified airplanes, they require an annual inspection by a qualified aircraft mechanic.  Then it has to be inspected by a qualified aviation inspector.  This must be done annually.   The experimental aircraft only have to be inspected by an aircraft mechanic.

By the end of the month, Jon has to have the Bonanza annual inspection completed or the airplane is not legally airworthy.   So with Christmas time shopping, seasonal parties, work, aircraft certification requirements, and family…life becomes a juggle.   Jon has many things in Jon’s life that he is juggling, these include:

  • A day job as an IT Manager
  • Playing hockey and maintaining his health
  • Playing guitar in a band
  • Running the airshow business and podcasting
  • Taking care of the family

Each of the first four areas of Jon’s life are critical for a life balance.  But the 5th area is actually the first, because it is family and if that ball drops…it breaks.  When that 5th ball breaks all the other ones become out of balance and get dropped.   So the entire life falls apart.

The question Jon asks in this episode is How well are you juggling the balls of life?   Are you taking time out to make sure your glass ball doesn’t drop?   Ensure that you keep a balanced life, but do everything you can to not drop that glass ball.   Go the extra mile to pay attention to the needs of that glass ball.  This includes the very busy Christmas and holiday season and any other time of the year.

Jon Melby’s Danger Zone Life Podcast Introduction

Listen as Jon explains the purpose of this podcast series. The entire series is called Danger Zone Life with Jon Melby. With Jon’s amazing background in life, he is an expert in how to live outside of your comfort zone.

Jon talks about his:

  • Background in sports
  • Top Secret Special Operations in the Air Force
  • Life as an airshow pilot
  • Ability to manage fear through experience

Jon teaches how to manage fear in your life and this introduction sets the stage for the podcast series.


Hi everybody, it’s a Jon Melby and welcome to Episode one of the Danger Zone Life podcast! I’m an airshow pilot and I’ve got a lot of experience on how to manage fear in my life and I’m going to be doing some podcasts here that is basically about that.  I have a bunch of different things that we’re going to be doing throughout the series of this and a bunch of different episodes and so I’m going to go to my hangar and talk a little bit more.  But first listen this intro, I’ll be right back.

Okay, we’re back again my name is Jon Melby and welcome to Episode one of the danger zone life podcast series.  I’m a professional airshow pilot and I’ve been in one since 2002.  The reason why I’m having this podcast series is to be able to talk to you about fear management and all the different things that are associated with that.  Because as a pilot and I’ve been doing this for such a long time.  I have a lot of people ask me how can you do that how can you fly so close to the ground and tumble through the air.  Do all this stuff and not be afraid.  Well sometimes I am afraid and sometimes I have to go out try new maneuvers and it’s pretty scary. But I’ve learned throughout many years how to manage my fear just from experience.  A little bit about my background,  I’m only going to talk about this once or twice during this entire series.  Just kick it off so you understand where I’m coming from.

I started when I was younger I started playing ice hockey at four years old.  I was a freestyle skier I did slalom and giant slalom racing. I was a motocross racer and then I started flying airplanes at 19 years old.  That’s because I saw a guy by the name of Bob Hoover fly when I was 12 years old and I thought wow that is really cool!  This guy was doing grandpa type aerobatics…real basic stuff but it’s so cool!  How he did it and it just inspired me, I wanted to become a pilot and ultimately become an airshow pilot.  But that takes time and it takes money.  So prior to that I was in the United States Air Force and flew with the 8th Special Operations Squadron on the MC-130 which is a big four engine turboprop plane and I did special operations work with the CIA, Delta Force, SEAL teams 6, 7, & 8 and Army Special Forces.  That was an incredible period of time I’m very proud of that I’m proud of the fact that I was in the United States Air Force and as an American.  To be a veteran and that honed a lot of me at a young age how to deal with fear from a very young age.  All the way through the Air Force and when I started flying at 19 years old. I really started getting into it where I had to go push in and just start doing new things.  So in my life time I’ve done a lot of really unique things which is not the norm.  This whole podcast series is basically about fear management and all the different categories that have to do with fear.  That I’ve had to deal with and the areas that I’ve either dealt with or have not dealt with.   I’m going to have some of my friends and people that I know join his podcast series.  We are going to interview them we’re going to find out what is it that they did in order to become the greatness that they are.  Punch it through the fear to be able to fulfill their dreams.

Well, I’m here in the hangar, real quick, I’ll just show you a little bit.  Here’s a Beechcraft Bonanza.  This is a four seat airplane you can you can use it for aerobatics because it’s they only built 26 of these.  This is a 1969 Beechcraft Bonanza, it’s got leather interior it has all the instruments you need to fly in the clouds.  It also has an oxygen system so you can go up really high if you want.  It’s  got retractable gear so you can see the gear comes up and down.  The plane that I do most of my work in is here and this is called a Pitts S-1-11B.  Currently I’m flying for a company called Hangar 24 Craft Brewing Company. The airplane that I fly it’s a high-horsepower and it’s about 350 horsepower.  That airplane cruises about 200 miles an hour does 9 G’s positive and then it also does about 4 or 5 negative G’s.  What that means is that is 9 times my weight in gravity, so if I’m driving to the ground at 200 miles an hour and pull back on a stick, my body wants to keep going towards the center of the earth.  But the airplane does not and so it causes all the blood in my head to leave.   Ultimately if you’re not prepared for all the blood leaves your eyes believes your head you go unconscious.

So as an airshow pilot I take this one and I do about eight and eight and half minutes. I do 26 maneuvers so I’m bouncing all over the place and tumbling the airplane. But that’s just years of experience and I’ve had to press through on every single one of those maneuvers.  Over time learn how to be able to overcome my fear so that’s what this podcast series is about.  Hope you stick with it and as I improve and I get better.  I am learning how to do this so you’ll see me driving around a lot as I think more clearly and I’ve got ideas.  I’ll do it while I’m driving and then also I’ll have some sit-down podcasts with a full podcast studio.  I’ll be interviewing with some of my friends so as you just stick with me and with this.  Help me along by reviewing it, rate it on either iTunes or on Google…also on YouTube.  I want to hear what you have to say.  You can always go to with lots of resources there and ways you can communicate with me…also, on social media. All right, thanks for joining me and we’ll talk to you soon!