Documenting the Adventure
Delivering and flight testing empty airliners around the world for the last fifteen-plus years has been an ongoing saga of wild adventures and interesting stories, accompanied by breathtaking vistas from locations few get to experience in a lifetime. While the experiences of an international flight crew are interesting by themselves, the lifestyle we lead in this niche side of the aviation industry is truly unique.
Each one of our adventures begins with a general framework; a design that takes many weeks to plan and arrange, but once we board that first flight - ANYTHING can happen. Like Jazz, each trip requires skilled improvisation as we navigate both literally and figuratively through logistical challenges, social barriers, complex machines, and highly varied landscapes.
The concept of filming and documenting our adventures has been a dream of mine for a long time. The challenge has been finding the right format to capture the moments and express the true-feel of each mission we undertake. With outside-access being restrictive, we have decided to take matters into our own hands.
SpeedtapeFilms is a work-in-progress and we hope to improve production value with each new video as we learn new techniques and acquire the right equipment to tell our stories through entertaining and informative videos. We welcome you to our jumpseat and hope you enjoy the ride.
From as far back as I can remember, travel and airplanes were all I thought about. Like so many other career aviators, the dream started early and never relented. From models of every commercial airliner hanging from the ceiling of my room by fishing line, to weekend plane-spotting at the Philadelphia airport off 27R with mom, aviation permeated my very being. It didn't stop with airplanes either, I collected and read Fodors travel guides from cover to cover, and my parents routinely saved me the Travel section of the Philadelphia Inquirer every Sunday. Anybody who knew me as a child in the 1980s knew my future was sealed.
My aviation career started out much like any other; flight instructor, single-pilot night freight, the regional airlines, and then the majors/nationals. It was in 2005 that I got my first taste of the ferry business. While working as an MD-80 pilot based in Las Vegas, a colleague offered me the opportunity to participate on a DC-9 delivery over to Belgrade Serbia from the Southwestern United States. I distinctly remember looking out over the glaciers of Greenland from 33,000 feet and knowing that THIS was going to be my future.
After that first trip, I was completely hooked. I saved up for and enrolled in a Boeing 737 type rating course to broaden my marketability, and started nagging the various crew-leasing companies for work on my days off from the airlines. Initially, I worked as a freelance contract pilot and slowly started adding more type-ratings. In 2007, I joined up with a partner and co-founded a business with the intention of getting serious and making a career of it. Quickly we were not only operating our own missions, but organizing the logistics and building the foundation of what would become one of the busiest and most respected transactional flight operations companies in the world.
In 2014, I said goodbye to my seniority number and placed all my chips on the table in an effort to really grow the business into what it is today. These days my Company, The Nomadic Aviation Group, operates over 250 global flight-ops per year on six continents, with most of the world's lessors, many airlines, conversion facilities, and maintenance facilities as customers. I hold TEN pilot-in-command (PIC) type ratings and maintain currency on the Boeing 737, 757, 767, 777, Airbus A320, A330, A340, McDonnell Douglas DC-9/MD-80 and Dehavilland DHC-8. I spend about 180 nights per year on the road, and typically hit all six populated continents by February or March of each year.
Amid the constant chaos and endless demands of the job, I'm fortunate to have the loving support of an incredibly capable and patient wife Avery, four sons, and two dogs. Still obsessed with aviation, I own and operate a 1969 Aerostar 600 (six-seater, twin-engine airplane). I also co-founded and operate a Non-profit airlift charity called the Humanitarian Lift Project (www.hlpair.org) which provides airborne disaster and hurricane relief services in the Caribbean.
Aaron Van Arsdale - Robert Allen - Lydia Giordano
Aaron Van Arsdale (AVA) is a long time friend colleague of Steve's, and has worked as a line pilot at a few Major US Airlines. Ava is also one of the longest tenured ferry pilots with Jettest having flown over a hundred trips over the last 10 years. With PIC ratings on the MD-80, B737, A320, B757, and B767; and dozens of oceanic crossings under his belt as Pilot in Command, Ava is one of the most versatile and valuable pilots on the roster. An avid golfer, Ava introduced the team to the concept of golfing on flight operations, and came up with the idea of doing a video documentary covering the in-cockpit and out-of-cockpit footage from the many adventures. Essentially, Ava is one of the main reasons SpeedtapeFilms exists! Ava supplies at least 50% of the trip footage, and will narrate some of his own video for induction into the Cockpit Casual series as well as collaborate on story boards, video concepts, and future video productions. Ava can be found on Twitter as @AVAGolfs
Robert Allen (Captain Bob) is Steve's business partner as co-founder and managing director of Jettest and various other aviation ventures. Bob is an entrepreneur who essentially developed the business model for a dedicated test and ferry company, and continues to innovate in the space as we've expanded into different markets. Rated on the B727, 737, 757, 767, 777, A320, A330, A340, and DC-9 Allen is among the most experienced ferry pilots in the world having started as Avia Crew Leasing in 1997. Captain Bob is well known in social media as @captainbedbug on Tiktok where he has over 135K Followers and has been publishing short videos of his experiences in the ferry business for several years. You can follow Bob on Twitter as @SkyDogZen
Lydia Giordano who is also Steve's Sister, is a Musician/Songwriter based in Philadelphia PA. Lydia has fronted several Metal bands in the Philly area over the years and currently heading up the Metal Band "Polemicist". A guitarist by trade, Lydia writes the original score and transition music for the Cockpit Casual series in her home studio and also helps Steve with synchronizing and editing the jazz sequences for video. A Licensed Aircraft Dispatcher, Lydia is also an aviation enthusiast and has accompanied Steve on Jettest operations as well.
Lydia's latest musical release can be FOUND HERE
Steve Giordano Sr.
Steve Giordano Sr, (the father of Steve Giordano the pilot) has been a staple of the Philly Jazz scene since the 1970s. Very little of Steve's work is "straightforward jazz"; rather he favors an eclectic and inspired interpretation of classics as well as many original compositions. Tracks found on the Cockpit Casual series include originals and standards from the "Steve Giordano Spacetet" and it's 3 albums: Timeline, Utopia, and Sea Dreams. Also featured are tracks from a session with George Mesterhazy (Hammond organ), the Steve Giordano Quartet and Quintet, and avant-garde ambient works from Giordano's eclectic improvisation group: Symbiosis Syndicate. Other musicians featured on the various tracks include Bob Meashey (Trumpet), Peter Cobb (Sax), John Mosemann (Drums), Brian Howell (Upright Bass), John Swana (Trumpet/EVI/Trombone), Joe Mullen (Drums, Percussion), Gavin Mcculley (Drums), Tony Micelli (Vibraphone, Synthesizers), Tony Perillo (Cello), Chris Taylor (Piano/Synthesizers), Joe Nero (Drums/Percussion), Dave Posmontier (Hammond Organ/Keyboards), and Bobby Shomo (Drums). In October 2021 Speedtape Films organized and recorded an organ-trio studio session ("The Germantown Session") with Steve Giordano Sr, Dave Posmontier, and Bobby Shomo. The tracks will be featured on upcoming Cockpit Casual episodes and will be available for paid download on this site at some point soon!.
Although Steve Giordano (the Dad) isn't a pilot, he IS an aviation enthusiast and avid MSFS2020 pilot!
Giordano can still be found playing the Philly scene with a variety of local and international greats, and teaches both in-person and virtual advanced improvisation courses. More information on Steve Giordano can be found here: Steve Giordano or on Instagram: @SteveGiordanoJazzStudies