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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Media Gone Wild!

Where's the Truth?

Blogging in Formation is at it again and this month is Rob Burgon's choice is about integrity of media in our aviation world. This subject impacts all.

Rob's passion was sparked concerning the media coverage of the F-22s involvement in Syria. But it's more than that...

"This problem extends into the civilian world as well. You have pilot unions, aviation manufacturers/corporations, etc. trying to influence regulation and policy for their benefit. They do this by trying to sway public opinion, and all it takes for our Facebook-loving society to buy it hook, line, and sinker is to have a skilled (albeit uninformed) author pen a blog post with a flashy title and persuasive verbiage - next thing you know, Congressman X has his/her support for some stupid regulation that ties our hands and puts money in the pockets of the company backing the politician."

Where does it end?

I saw this problem when AF447 crashed. Bloggers were writing when they had no idea what happened as they didn't fly the A330 and speculated based on their Boeing or GA aircraft experience. MH37 went down and pilots were talking on CNN about "Engaging half the autopilot"... "Pilots putting on oxygen with one hand pulling the mask away from the face with the other to talk on the mic" or "The ability to land that plane in the jungle safely".... etc. 

We see this in the medical world with false claims on drugs, nutrition, and overall health. The data are skewed and the uneducated make claims on efficacy.

I'm taking statistics in my PhD class and unbiased, accurate reporting is essential for science. Why shouldn't it be for the rest of the world? It should! Rob has the courage to call people on specifics... and Rob's is one of the best posts I've read in a long time.

(Arrival into Seoul Korea, ICN, yesterday)
What do you think about Media and the Truth? 

I recommend you read Rob's powerful post: 

(Arrival into Seoul Korea, ICN, yesterday)

Enjoy the Journey and report it honestly!
XO Karlene

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Giving HOPE

I have never been busier in my life since graduate school began. Flying, writing, family, and school But we can never be too busy to give hope. I hope all of you in the Seattle area ... and commuters too... will join me in a night of hope for the families of Sierra Leone.

Hope - Dinner & Auction

Friday October 17, 2014 from 6:30 PM to 9:15 PM PDT

At Emerald Downs
2300 Emerald Downs Dr.
Auburn, WA 98001

Join us for a fun evening and help us bring HOPE 
to Sierra Leone, Africa at the same time!

You are invited to a very special evening at Emerald Downs benefiting The Bridge of Hope! We are rolling out the red carpet for you to enjoy live music, a delicious dinner, some inspiring guest speakers not to mention a chance to bid on some terrific items, including Seahawks tickets, Cougar and Husky items, a Mount Rainier climb and lots more!

Join us and become part of the team on October 17th as we gather together to help bring hope and healing to the people in Sierra Leone. You will get a quick update on the Ebola situation and how it is impacting our team, learn more about the progress that is being made despite these obstacles and hear first hand how you can make a difference!

Event Schedule:
6:30 p.m. Cocktail Reception - with live music by Jessie Houghton-Siren

7:00 p.m. Program and Dinner starts
Emcee & Auctioneer - Fred Granados

Guest Speaker
Junior Coffey

 (and more to be announced soon)

Junior Coffey grew up in the 50's and became the first African-American to play in a high school football team in the Texas Panhandle region. He then attended the University of Washington and was a three-time all-conference selection and was tabbed Honorable Mention All-American all three seasons. Coffey was drafted by the Green Bay Packers and played on their championship team of '65. He also played with the Atlanta Falcons 1966-69 and finished his career with the New York Giants in 1971. He is also a thoroughbred trainer so what a great place to have him speak than at our local racetrack. To read more about Junior Click Here 

Tickets are just $25. 
Purchase yours today by clicking 
on the link below. 

Tickets must be purchased in advance no later than October 7th. If you have any questions, be sure to contact us at the email or phone listed below. We hope you will consider inviting a friend and joining us for a fun evening that will make a difference in the lives of so many.


The Bridge of Hope

Let me know if you can make it and we can sit together! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Angel Flight West....

Invites You...
for Cocktails and Hors d'overs
With Geoff and Jill Wood
at their home on Lake Washington

When: Wednesday, October 1st
Where: 5017 NE Laurelcrest Ln, Seattle WA 98188

This is an Flight West "fun"draising event on Lake Washington. But beverages and food are free.  Angel Flight West member Geoff and Jill Wood are hosting an event to celebrate the life-changing impact that Angel Flight West is having on the lives of those the angels of the Pacific Northwest fly. 

Stories from pilots, healthcare workers, and patients will be shared over drinks and hors d'oeurves. It will be a fun and inspiring evening and Geoff and Jill would love for you to join them.

Whether or not you can make it, please share on Facebook by clicking HERE, or forward this email to invite others. They are trying to reach those that may have not heard about Angel Flight West.
The more the merrier!

Please RSVP by Clicking HERE 

so they can plan accordingly.

Enjoy the Journey!
And I hope if finds you spending the afternoon with a group of GREAT people!
XO Karlene

Friday, September 26, 2014

Troy Techau

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Troy Techau

So there I was in my first week of ERAU with an outstanding group of people and one of the students said, "I wrote a book too." And what a book he wrote. But I can't tell you about that yet because you have to meet the man behind the creation first.

Front of the Class (almost)

Troy may look like any other student, but he's a super dad, entrepreneur and all around great guy, with an impressive background. I would have dug deeper with stories... but he would have to kill me if he told me. He provided human intelligence and counterintelligence support to the Department of Defense as a career Army officer, and served in over 60 countries around the world during his career.

Transitioning to industry, Troy specializes in developing strategies to implement advanced technologies to improve operational processes. He held senior positions in several technology companies, and is currently providing consulting services through his own firm, Windrose Aviation.
Troy earned an M.S. in International Management from Troy State University, and plans to focus his research on extending current practices in safety and human factors to civil and commercial operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

Now, on the other side of life... 

Troy is a new Dad, and plans on staying at home with his little one "Piper" while he is working toward his PhD., consulting and flying. He takes little Piper flying and while she is only a few months old, she will soon be soloing I'm sure. Off the new baby and to the other, his book....

Troy created a logbook!  
But not just any logbook....

Aircraft Flight / Maintenance Status Logbook

Inspiration comes from Necessity:
"This book was the product of my searching for a logbook to record all the things that we need to keep track of as aircraft owner’s and pilots in command. For example, without carrying a maintenance logbook, which is normally best left in the hangar, do most pilots know when an oil change is due? Or when the last VOR check was conducted?

In my search for a suitable logbook, I found that many of the pilots I fly with had the same frustration, and most had a ratty notebook in the cockpit with them to jot things down. I created a section for maintenance items, and also copied the FAR that talks about owner/pilot maintenance.

Instead of just providing a place to write down the origin and destination of a flight, I created a space in the Flight Record so that the pilot could note the fuel needed, available, and reserve that should be available on the planned flight ahead. As Fuel Starvation remains a killer, I thought any little help for a pilot to think about that subject would be useful."

You can get your own Aircraft Flight / Maintenance Status Logbook at Aircraft Spruce and PilotMall!

Enjoy the journey and keep a record!
XO Karlene

Author of Flight For Control and Flight For Safety,
If you haven't read's time!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Automated Into Mediocrity

I often get questions from readers, and this one is especially interesting as the question involves aviation and the Sea. I'm unable to answer it. So, I would love if you could help my friend and see what we can do for him. 

James says... 

"55+ years in the seafaring profession with the last 30 prior to retirement as a harbor pilot in SW Alaska it has occurred to me that except for speed and altitude there are many similarities between our chosen professions.  Of course, pilotage in Alaska often involves charter flying to get to and from the job so many Alaska harbor pilots have nearly as much time observing in the “right-hand seat” as actually engaged in pilotage on the bridge of a ship.  This produces a reasonable basis for comparison of our professions.

With a part-time retirement job as a ship-handling instructor/evaluator, it has been interesting to incorporate various aviation narratives into BRM-P (Bridge Resource Management for Pilots) simulator sessions.  Pilot groups we work with at Pacific Maritime Institute in Seattle and AVTEC in Seward, Alaska find these comparisons useful as automation finds its way onto the bridges of merchant ships.   

Of particular interest to harbor pilots has been the (now dated) Vimeo of the American Airlines Automation Dependency lecture entitled “Children of the Magenta.  You, no doubt, are familiar with this.  As it turns out, the maritime industry is probably now about where aviation was nearly 20 years ago when this lecture was given. 

ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems) on some vessels (mostly passenger ships) is being integrated with the auto-pilot, AIS (Automatic Identification System), ARPA (Automated Radar Plotting Aids), course-tracking, and (in some cases) collision avoidance to produce a system that replaces thinking with “button pushing”.  Judging by your assessment of the aviation profession, we might say that both of our professions risk being automated into mediocrity.  Having learned my profession in Alaska in an era when a harbor pilot, as famously described by Mark Twain, “…was the only unfettered and entirely independent human being that lived in the earth” this transition to “button pushing” is to be viewed with a degree of skepticism.

Anyway, my question – Are you aware of any similar or updated versions of the “Children of the Magenta” That might be adaptable to the maritime profession?"

For those who have not seen Children of the Magenta, click HERE

If you have any ideas, please share them with James. Thank you!!

Enjoy the journey!!
XOX Karlene

Thank you so much for reading and sharing my novels Flight For Control and Flight For Safety with your friends. If you haven't left a comment on Amazon, please do so. It helps so very much! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Experience and Life...

"Life is not just a series of calculations and a sum total of statistics, it's about experience, it's about participation, it is something more complex and more interesting than what is obvious."

Daniel Libeskind

Last week I flew to China and was in internet lock-down. A challenge when you are attending school on line. I landed Friday morning, worked on my homework, and Saturday my husband and I drove to Bend to see the grandkids. The goal... pancakes and playtime at the park. 12 hours on the road with 18 hours there. Many wonder why the long drive for such a short visit. I say, better to go for a short time than not at all. 

How do you  place a time value on smiles?

Today I am flying to Hong Kong. I haven't been there since NWA 747 freighter days. I also feel a little behind on my reading for school, but an early wake up and marathon at the gym before I fly, and a full day in Hong Kong should catch me up on that.

About school... two weeks down and rolling into week three. I'm still here. :) Remember that drawing from the training manual where the student's head is open and the instructor is pouring information in? That's how I feel with statistics. Love it... but I wish I had more time! Human awesome. So far, so good. 

Now... Time to Fly. Enjoy your week! And make sure you drop by Wednesday, as there is an important question.

Thank you so much for reading and sharing my novels Flight For Control and Flight For Safety with your friends. If you haven't left a comment on Amazon, please do so. It helps so very much!

Enjoy the journey!!
XOX Karlene

Friday, September 19, 2014

Heide Oberndorf

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Heide Oberndorf

ALPA National President
We do have a voice... 
Pilots can impact change!

Heide began flying as a young child with her father. She received her private license in high school and soloed before she was eligible for her driver’s license. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Florida Institute of Technology, and never wavered from her goal of becoming an Airline Pilot.

After graduation if 1991, she began an aggressive pursuit of experiences which brought her to Kittyhawk Air Tours. Later that year, she transitioned to flying a King Air 200 for Landmark Communications, and then from 1992-1994 she flew for various operators in Alaska. She even transported auto parts in Casa 212’s and MU-2’s. Just short of two years at Trans States Airlines she was hired by TWA in 1996. 
In 1997, Heide was hired by United Airlines. She is currently based in San Francisco where she is a first officer on the 747, which takes her mostly to Asia and Europe.

Heide grew up in Virginia Beach, where her mother was Mayor of the city for twenty years. Her father was Chairman of the Virginia Aviation Board; Roger Oberndorf was also a pilot for United Airlines.

Politics are an important part of Heide’s family history and she is right at home in her pursuit of creating change for the pilot group. She is an active ALPA member, the largest pilot union in the world, and has served in a legislative capacity for ALPA, working to improve the labor contracts and conditions for pilots within the union.

In 2012, Heide and a small team of experts leveraged political strategy, friends on Capitol Hill, and White House insiders to expedite the Railway Labor Act process during joint contract negotiations for the United Pilots. That plan helped ensure that there were contracts in early 2013. It's hard to imagine where the 12,500 United pilots would be today without her efforts.

Heide said, "After experiencing first-hand corruption inside ALPA, I launched a campaign in 2014 to run for ALPA president."

Heide is the first rank and file, and woman, to run an actual campaign in a democratic manner versus the system currently in place: where the president is elected by the board of directors.

I've yet to meet Heide, but from our phone conversation I believe she is dedicated to bringing back great paying pilot jobs that have been lost to ever expanding international alliances, code sharing, revenue sharing, profit/loss agreements and joint ventures that affects ALPA’s more than 51,000 members.

She is passionate about "taking back the Safety department from management politicians and restore it to the preeminence that former ALPA brethren worked tirelessly to maintain."

"The ability of ALPA Safety to be autonomous and neutral will enable the membership, the flying public, and all other stakeholders to feel confident about the product that pilots deliver. Learn more about Heide’s campaign HERE." Heide

What can you do?

If you're an ALPA member, Tell your LEC leaders that
 you want them to vote for Heidi Heide Oberndorf.

Ask Heide anything! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Author of Flight For Control and Flight For Safety,
If you haven't read's time!