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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.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Brian Schiff

Friday's Fabulous Flyer 

Brian Schiff

Brian Schiff is a captain for a major US airline and is type-rated on the Boeing 727, 757, 767, DC-9 (MD-80), CL-65, LR-JET and GV. His interest in aviation safety is evident, as he regularly conducts seminars about aviation safety and teaches safety techniques to student and professional pilots alike. He believes we are all becoming a little too automation dependent, and he sent me a great video on automation reliance. A must see to acknowledge where our world is going.

With roots deeply planted in general aviation, Brian has flown a wide variety of aircraft (listed below). Variety? Wait until you see that list! His total flying time is over 19,000 hours. He also holds several flight instructor ratings and is recognized for his enthusiasm and ability to teach in way that simplifies complex procedures and concepts. He has been actively instructing since earning his flight and ground instructor certificates in 1985. 

Brian Schiff has also been an FAA-designated examiner. He attended San Jose State University, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and his Masters of Science Degree in Aviation Safety from the University of Central Missouri.

Barry and Brian Schiff ... 
Aviation Runs in the family!

For a sample of Brian's writing, he shared an article on automation dependency that was previously published, that I'm sure you will all enjoy reading. 

Automation Dependency 
Capt. Brian Schiff for Lift Magazine 

There have recently been too many accidents involving automation dependency, a pilot's over-reliance on the autopilot (and other automated systems). Modern autopilots have become so reliable that they have lulled us into a sense of complacency. Pilots have become conditioned to rely too heavily on them. The autopilot is a tool that should be utilized, not a crutch upon which to lean. 

When I began learning to fly, autopilots were so unreliable that we habitually kept a close eye on them. Even if an autopilot had a heading-hold mode, it was only regarded as a "wing-leveler," enabling a pilot to look away for only a moment or so. The Boeing 727's autopilot could be engaged in either pitch or roll mode or both. We often would disconnect only the pitch mode to manually make changes like leveling off or beginning a descent. This is because hand-flying was smoother than the autopilot. Also, the 727's antiquated autopilot could not be relied upon to level off at the preselected altitude. Some didn't even have altitude-capture capability. 

Today's autopilots are far more advanced and reliable. They rival and exceed the smooth flying of skilled pilots, so the pervasive tendency is to use them more. Excessive and reliant use of aircraft automation leads to complacency and the erosion of basic flying skills. Airline pilots, corporate pilots and general aviation pilots have become excessively dependent on automation. 

For example, while my new-hire copilot was flying the MD- 80, I made the required callout 1,000 feet prior to the target level-off altitude. He acknowledged the "one-to-go" call, but before reaching the assigned altitude, he leaned down to retrieve something from his kit-bag. He remained "heads-down" throughout the level-off. Apparently he completely trusted that the autopilot would dutifully perform as 2 programmed. He hadn't developed the healthy distrust for automation that I had. I watched this display of automation dependency with dismay. The autopilot did its job, but he never looked up to confirm it. 

To teach him not to do this, I tweaked the altitude alerter when he wasn't looking. This sounded a warning that we "busted" our altitude. His flinch accompanied by an adrenaline rush would hopefully serve to help him remember this lesson. I have seen general aviation pilots spend too much time "inside" the cockpit, distracted and fiddling with the GPS or the autopilot when they should have been looking outside. I am guilty of this as well. 

Admitting fault is the first step to correcting it. 

Sometimes, I rely so heavily on the GPS in my car, that I wouldn't be able to find my way around if it failed. Over-dependency on the autopilot during a visual approach can lead to an unstabilized approach, a leading cause of airplane accidents. Executing a visual approach using the autopilot, especially from a downwind leg, can be more complex than clicking it off and simply flying the airplane manually. 

There are two fundamental reasons for autopilot mishaps. Either the autopilot doesn’t respond as programmed, or it dutifully obeys an erroneous command. Safety is dramatically increased if both of these factors are vigilantly monitored and kept in check. A pilot's prime directive is to fly the airplane safely. This means that he or she should be proficient in operating at all levels of automation including the lowest level—hand flying. Automation should never be relied upon without constant verification and monitoring. 

While modern autopilots can do nearly everything required to safely operate a flight, there is no substitute for a well-trained, proficient pilot. The autopilot's engage switch should not be a pilot's disengage switch.

Remember that list of aircraft 
that Captain Schiff has flown?

Here you go... 

  1. Aeronca Champ 7AC 
  2. Aerospatiale Tampico 
  3. American General Tiger (AG-5) 
  4. Beechcraft Baron (BE-55) 
  5. Beechcraft Bonanza A36TC, B36TC 
  6. Beechcraft Bonanza V-35 
  7. Beechcraft Model 33 Debonair/F33A 
  8. Beechcraft Duchess (BE-76) 
  9. Beechcraft King Air C-90 
  10. Beechcraft King Air B200 
  11. Beechcraft Model 95 Travel Air 
  12. Beechcraft Sport 
  13. Beechcraft Travelair (BE-95) 
  14. Blanik (glider) 
  15. Boeing 727-100 series 
  16. Boeing 727-200 series 
  17. Boeing 757-200 series 
  18. Boeing 767-200 series 
  19. Boeing 767-300 series 
  20. Boeing Stearman (PT-17 Kaydet N2S-4) 
  21. Brittain Norman Islander 
  22. Bushmaster 2000 
  23. Canadair CRJ-700 
  24. Cessna Skyhawk (C-172) 
  25. Cessna 150/152 
  26. Cessna 172 on floats 
  27. Cessna 180 
  28. Cessna 195 
  29. Cessna 310 
  30. Cessna 421 
  31. Cessna 425 
  32. Cessna Centurion C-210/T210 
  33. Cessna Chancellor (C-414A) 
  34. Cessna Citation I (CE-501) 
  35. Cessna CutlassRG (172RG) 
  36. Cessna Skylane (C-182) 
  37. Cessna Skylane RG (182RG) 
  38. Cessna Skywagon (C-206/206T) 
  39. Cherokee 140-180 
  40. Christen Eagle 
  41. Cirrus SR22 
  42. Citabria 7GCAA, 7ECA 
  43. DC-9-10 series
  44. DC-9-30 series 
  45. DC-9-40 series
  46. DC-9-50 series 
  47. DC-9-80 series (MD-80, 82, 83/G) 
  48. Eurocopter (EC-135) 
  49. Glasair 300 
  50. Great Lakes 
  51. Grob 103 
  52. Gulfstream IV 
  53. Gulfstream 450 
  54. Gulfstream V 
  55. Learjet 24 
  56. Learjet 25 
  57. Learjet 35 
  58. Learjet 55 
  59. Lockheed L-1011 TriStar 
  60. LoPresti SwiftFury II 
  61. Merlin IIIB (SWIII) 
  62. Mooney 201 
  63. Mooney Ranger 
  64. North American T-6/SNJ Texan 
  65. P-35 
  66. Piper Apache (PA-23) 
  67. Piper Archer (PA28-181) 
  68. Piper Arrow II, III & IV (PA28-201R, 201RT) 
  69. Piper Aztec (PA-23) 
  70. Piper Cherokee Six 
  71. Piper Cheyenne II (PA31T) 
  72. Piper Comanche 250 
  73. Piper Geronimo (PA-23) 
  74. Piper J-3 Cub/Super Cub (on floats) 
  75. Piper Lance/Saratoga (PA32R) 
  76. Piper Malibu Mirage 
  77. Piper Navajo 
  78. Piper Saratoga SP 7
  79. Piper Seneca I, II & III (PA34-200/200T) 
  80. Piper Warrior (PA28-161) 
  81. Pitts S2A 
  82. Rutan Long Eze 
  83. Schweizer 233 (SGS-233A) 
  84. Siai Marchetti (SF-260C) 
  85. Siai-Marchetti SF.260TP 
  86. Stinson 
  87. Super Decathlon
  88. Taylorcraft L-2 
  89. Zenith 2000 (CH-2000) 
    90. Sabreliner
    91. Boeing 707 
    92. Space Shuttle Orbiter

To find more articles, photos, and a bunch of links 
to plane interesting stuff by Captain Brian Schiff, check out... 

Captain Brian Schiff's 

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Free Flight To Success

Be The Captain of Your Life! 

Who says nothing in life is Free?

"I'm going to be a pilot!" 

September 23rd and 24th, we gave every young lady who said, "I'm going to be a pilot" after her flight, an autographed copy of Flight to Success be the Captain of Your Life, compliments of Jet Star Publishing. We did this to help guide our future flyers into the sky. To motivate, inspire, and hopefully give some tips on the journey we call life. We gifted two cases full! Meaning sixty new lady pilots will be joining us in the sky. A few engineers and an astronaut too!

Is for anyone who wants to be 
the captain of their life! 
(Not just for pilots)

Gift of Gratitude

In heartfelt thanks for everyone who has supported my efforts in my Ph.D. research by filling out and sharing my Survey, for all those who join our flying events and donate your time by flying or helping on the ground each year, for all of you who have supported my novels by reading and commenting, for everyone who takes your time to help another person, be it a kind word, a thoughtful gesture, a helping hand, a pat on the back, or a smile... this is for you!


Many of you know that I am currently in Bend with my middle daughter to help her after a serious spine surgery. While this was an incredibly challenging surgery, it was a success! And it's time to heal. But what you may not know is Dr. Kayla Wopschall is my cover illustrator, managing director of Jet Star Publishing, and illustrates the children's books too. She is also building the Non-Profit Children's Museum of Oregon.

I cannot thank everyone who has reached out and sent prayers and messages of support during this frightening time. We will be shouting more about the Children's Museum soon, as there will be some fun giveaways for supporting the museum that you will not want to miss.

Thanksgiving is next week, 
but there is no time like the present 
to feel gratitude! 

Flight To Success 
on Kindle:

From November 16th - 20th 
Click Here 

For your Free Kindle version of Flight to Success, 
click on the link above that says
"Click Here" or you can click on the link below
with the title of the book: 

Flight to Success be the Captain of Your Life

After you read it, 
please leave a comment on Amazon.
Comments are so much appreciated. 

Please share the link to the book 
with all your friends. 

This is a gift that keeps on giving! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Photograph Your Flight To Success!

The Gift of Flight Keeps on Giving! 

Al Hurt

A huge thank you to Al Hurt

Al spent his day capturing the moments of flight... 
the gift that keeps on giving.

Last week Al Hurt wrote to me and shared the link to his photography website so I could view the photos he took of our flying event. Al is obviously a talented photographer, as these photos that were taken though a fence turned out amazing. He was taking pictures because he granddaughter flew with us on the 23rd, and he created a portfolio for Auburn Mountianview High School, with over 700 photos.

September 23rd and 24th we gave girls Free Flights! And, each girl who came back with the declaration "I want to be a pilot" I gave them an autographed copy of:

Thus we created Two Cases of Female Pilots!
If you haven't seen the photos check out
the link above. 

To check out Al Hurt's work, go to: 

To Learn how to get your free copy of

Check back tomorrow! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Good Bye B747

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Last week I received an email from a friend about the flying on the last B747, and a heartfelt message about one of my books. I appreciate emails that can be used for blog posts especially with studying. And, they mailed me a copy of the Hemispheres magazine too! 

"Jane and I read the article that quoted you in Hemispheres Magazine on a UA flight today. We ❤️ loved what you said and was said about the 747 and it's history. I flew on the 747 many times as a passenger. 

On one flight where my Dad was the Captain and I was a teenager, I listened to Glen Campbell on the headphones while in First Class traveling from Dallas to London on the upper deck. Today, I rode the 767 from LHR to ORD and that same Glen Campbell song was on the movie "Guardians of The Galaxy". It was quite nostalgic for me.

Attached are photos from the recent flight that Daniel Jane and I took from San Francisco to London

Going to London and then Scotland for a family reunion last week, Daniel, Jane and I all rode on one of the last UA 747 flights from SFO to LHR. Our daughter, Elisa and boyfriend, Max also took the last 747 flight back from London to SFO. We all loved the 747 and were so lucky to experience it's majesty one last time before the history book closed.

I am also reading and loving your "Flight To Success" book. You are so right about everything you are saying in this book! I very much agree with your thoughts as it resonates in many ways with my personal life and what I tell others." 
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Eastern Airlines Lives!

Breaking News: 
  • The 92nd Anniversary of the EAA 1929 Ford Tri-Motor Made History!
  • A Reborn World Airways
  • 747 Flies Final U.S. Passenger
  • Uber Signs With NASA to Develop Air Taxi Routes 
This is a show you do not want to miss! 

Tonight my friends  at Eastern Airlines 
Will have a great show!
They will be...
Honoring our Veterans,
Discussing where the 7s came from,
Aircraft Make and Model history 
and so much more... 

Join your Eastern Airlines Crew 
on the EAL Radio Show 
Episode 341

Monday November 13, 2017
7 pm EDT

Call 213-816-1611 

Where you can either listen or talk.
Or log on to listen at

 Captain Neal Holland  ♦ Jim Hart 
*Captain Steve Thompson *Chuck Allbright Linda Fuller
*Captain George Jehn*Dorothy Gagnon*Don Gagnon
Will be your hosts!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

A Veterans Story of Life

Thanks to Lieutenant  Bales!

The year 1968... 

Three days after the Tet Offensive started, Lieutenant Bales stood up to his commanding officer who had ordered him to take his reactionary squad into a territory with enemy activity.  The problem with this order was that a reactionary squad was not trained and properly armed to go into hostile territory, as their duty was to protect the perimeter. 

As a result of Lieutenant Bale's courage to stand up for his squad, the first calvary was called in. They went through the area with armor and engaged the enemy and a battle ensued. 

The first calvary was trained and had the equipment to fight the enemy. The reactionary squad did not. There were 26 young men who lived because of this brave Lieutenant. 

My husband was one of them. 

Bravery is also doing the right thing 
for the right reasons. 

In honor of all the veterans that were not as fortunate as this squad, who gave their lives and their futures, for the future of country, you will always be in our hearts and prayers. 

Happy Veteran's Day!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

You Know the Problems

"Ask yourself what do we do now?"

Listen to what Reese Witherspoon has to say about believing in yourself. She is a strong woman supporting world change by women and for women. I'm thinking Reese should be the person to produce the Flight For Series movies. What stronger women for the big screen than Darby and Kathryn? They would never ask a man, "What do we do now?" They would figure it out! 

Reese identified that women are under represented in leadership positions, and less than 5% of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are women and less than 19% of congress are women. 

Even in Aviation, less than 6% women are pilots. What about airline management positions? I don't think they can even they can hold a percentage point because the numbers are so low. I know a woman who was called grandiose and delusional because she thought she could be. The pilot unions are the worst. You can count the number of women on a hand. The contracts all state "He" will as the frame of reference for the pilot.

Strong women who face challenges in a male dominated world of aviation is exactly what we will see on the big screen! I always thought Flight For Control would be the first movie, and it just might, because Flight For Sanity, and the newest novel Flight For Justice (coming soon) are the sequels that cannot be missed. When Reese Witherspoon reads these novels and learns the truth behind the stories, she will be the woman to take this drama to the big screen. 

Feel free to contact to Reese,
that you want to see the Flight For Series
on the Big Screen! 
You can call or mail her office: 

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene