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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, May 18, 2018

Future Flyer

Inspiring the Next Generation 
of Aviation...

Friday's Fabulous Flyer 
Alexandra Reyes

Last week, I received the following email from Alexandra: 

"We met during a free introductory flight at the Museum of Flight and I was one of many that received your book, which is a really really great book. I am a junior and will start my private pilot training this summer.

I wanna thank you because you’re the reason why I pursue flying and because of you, it gave me a lot of motivation to break barriers and don’t be afraid to try things that scares you. I wanna be like you one day, inspiring a lot of people around the world. 

I’m starting my flight training this summer and I’m very nervous at the same time excited with what’s gonna happen, can you please me give me some tips that can help? Thank you!"

And then I thought... 

Wouldn't it be fun to follow her progress? Then Alexandra can inspire the next generation of aviation! So I asked her if she could share her story and here you go... 

Welcome Alexandra to the Sky! 

"I’m Alexandra Reyes and I’m a junior in auburn Mountainview and I really love flying, I wanna be an airline pilot."


"I grew up in the Philippines and at the back of my mind I knew I always wanted to fly but never got a courage to pursue it because I was never the smartest in the class and I didn’t know how to pursue it. When I arrived here in Seattle I looked into every flight and found out that it’s too expensive, then one day, as I was walking to my next class I saw this poster saying “first woman flyer” and it stated that if you haven’t ridden in an airplane, you could go! After reading that I quickly signed up. 

The day came and I was so excited because I have never flown in a small airplane before and I didn’t know what to expect. As I was in line waiting to go to a plane a teacher or adult ask if there were a student that is by herself and I quickly raised my hands and I got to go the plane by myself with a female pilot and as we take off, I felt it, I told myself...

 This is what I wanna do every single day!

I have always wanted to fly and I’m also amazed on how planes fly, but in that moment, it gave me some courage to pursue what I really want. When we landed I was so happy and fulfilled. At that same day I heard my principal saying that there a program [Aeronautical Science Pathway] and I got curious and when I got home, I researched it and found it. I inquired and joined and now up to this date I’m excited to go the program every single day. 

Things happened unexpectedly 
and that’s what we need to focus on.

I joined Aeronautical Science Pathway and know I will get up to 55 college credits and because of this program.  I won a scholarship to get my private pilot license which is really great. I’m planning to start during the summer. It’s so nerve wrecking but at the same time I’m so excited. 

This is the start of my career and Im lucky to have all this support. Every time I feel so down, I always read your book (Flight To Success, Be the Captain of Your Life) and it gives me hope and happiness that I can do all this things. Thank You!" 

Thank You Alexandra!
You are the reason I am pursing my PhD,
to ensure you will have all the career you deserve.

It will be so much fun watching your success! 

Note: That female pilot Alexandra was flying with, our superstar "Fidan" is also a Delta pilot! And I was that adult that sent Alexandra with Fidan. Wouldn't it be fun if one day the three of us flew a trip together? It could happen if Alexandra gets employed in the next 9 years. Or if they move the age to 67, then we'll have a little more time. 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Pilot Burnout

Fatigue and Exhaustion
Resulting in Burnout

The UK DailyMail.Com posted an online article about pilot burnout. (The above photo was from their article) They report:

20% of British airline pilots are 'clinically burnt out', 
with over three quarters starting their shifts 'fatigued'
  • Researchers from the Eindhoven University of Technology polled 1,147 UK pilots
  • They found that 20 per cent reported 'clinical burnout levels' 
  • They are experiencing 'high levels of exhaustion and disengagement from work' 
I found this article interesting in that many pilots have written to me requesting fatigue to be part of my research. While fatigue impacts how pilot utilize automation, the actual fatigue study will be coming next! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Dambusters Raid

Aviation History

May 16, 1943

My friend Mark often send sends me aviation news from Europe. Today he sent the following photos and information. Remembering our history, we can all learn lessons from understanding the past. Enjoy! 

"Today marks the 75th anniversary of the dam raids upon, Mohne , Sorpe and Eider dam. The raid happened in the early hours of the 16 May with the loss of 55 men, in the three attached pictures I have chosen, is shown the height flown across to from Dutch coast through to the dam depicted, Mohne.

Across Lincolnshire at places used by 617 sqn services will be held, and weather permitting due a cold front passing north south with windy conditions, the R.A.F. Lancaster one of only two in world is to fly down LadyBower reservoir and over the Derwent dam, of which was an exact copy of the Mohne dam and used in training at time.

Tonight they will be a showing of the Dambusters film in Royal Albert hall London. Only one original member survives to this day, Sqn Ldr Jonnie Johnson, a bomb aimer who flew in the crew of Flt Lt J. Mc Carthy upon Sorpe dam.

Out soon is the film in his own words, Sqn Ldr J Johnson, of his memories of that night in his aircraft headed for and attack on Sorpe dam, the attack upon the Sorpe took 5 attempts to get approach right before bomb release.

In separate news, atitudes and respect are changing upon bomber command, in last fortnight a memorial was unveiled near Lincoln, in form of a mound with surrounding the names of the 57,000 that volunteered never to return and a centre.

Yesterday, the first moves were made upon a site at Norton Disney Lincolnshire for the erecting of a life size Lancaster 40ft in air with poppies from bomb bay, the Lancaster is to be made from steel collected from derelict former bomber bases through out Lincolnshire, many of which still in situ with buildings, control tower, hangars and partial runways.

A tide is changing, not by public, but by those in London, public have long argued that bomber command crews should be respected, not receiving any campaign medal or recognition." 

Mark Restorik 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Airliner Down!

The Plot Thickens... 

John Etzil  is an incredible author. My goal was to read his aviation novel, Airliner Down, while in training on the B777. I did just that. If I hadn't been in training, or finishing at the oh-God early hours of the morning, I would have read it nonstop. But there was training to be done, so a chapter a night it was. 

Reading a novel while training? But of course! I learned the power of sleep during studying, as that's the time we store our memories. Therefore if you are a pilot (or student) who stays awake all night studying, and then get unrestful sleep because you are thinking about training you are not moving your memories into the storage facility. 

Try this tip: 

After a long day of studying, prior to going to bed, read something that is unrelated to your training to give your mind a break. This will enable a restful sleep, during which time you will store memories. However, the funny thing about this read, was the night I read the chapter about the rapid depressurization (spoiler alert) was the same day I actually did that in training. There were a few differences...

I'm not going to tell you those differences. You will have to read them yourself. But, it made me think about public perceptions from outside the airline world and what people think that our aircraft could actually do automatically. This is the comment that I wrote on Amazon for John's Book: Airliner Down. 

Five Stars: Action Packed!  

Airliner down was an engaging, well written, and compelling novel. Being an airline pilot I noticed some technical inaccuracies, but that didn't matter because I loved his writing style. The author is not an airline pilot, so the technicalities were overlooked. However, this is fiction and it's closer to reality than many think. Could a bomb be planted? Absolutely. Could a pilot have a relationship with a Flight Attendant? Oh yeah. I also have to wonder if he altered the reality because of the fictional aspect that made the story flow to engage the reader. He made the story fun to read and added the drama that would work well for a movie. What I liked best about his writing was his dialogue as it felt real. So many authors don't know how to write how people really talk. I also loved the humor he added throughout. From an airline pilot perspective was it far fetched in some areas? Oh yeah. But that didn't matter because it was a fun read! The rapid depressurization scene also reminded me why we should never remove pilots from the flight deck. The airplane does not have the capability to manage that situation alone, and proof proven that we need two pilots working together for the safety of the passengers. I enjoyed John's writing style so much, that I read Fatal Justice next... can hardly wait to read more in his series. 

Five Stars: Couldn't put it down!

Fatal Justice was an incredible read that made me laugh and I did not want to put the book down. I loved the characters, the plot, and let's just say that the compromising position that Jack Lambert found his girlfriend in with the other man, and her comment during the surprise was priceless. I think you have to read the book for this scene alone. Strong women and men with a sense of humor really do mix. I cannot wait to read the rest in the series! 

John, keep writing!
Thank you for the Entertainment.

But remember... don't use Flight For Justice...
I'm writing that one. 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Monday, May 14, 2018

Humor and Aviation

The Funny Side of Aviation 
With Eastern Airlines
Kitchen Talk Radio! 

"Captain: If we should have to ditch, you'll receive plenty of warning because our copilot becomes hysterical. And he'll start running up and down the isles yelling: "We're going to crash!", or something like that.
Bob Newhart 

Join the Eastern Airlines 

Kitchen Talk Radio! 

Breaking News First.... 
And then the fun begins! 

EAL Radio Show Broadcast

Episode 365 
May 14th, 2018 

Call-in number is 

at 7:00 P. M. EDT 

or listen in by clicking the hyperlink:

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Airliner Photos

By an Amazing Photographer

Sebastien Lebrigand

If you want an airliner photo of an astronomical kind, you will want to talk to Sebastien Lebrigand. He is French and lives in crepy-en-valois, 60 km east of Paris. 

At the young age of 43 years, he has 2 children. 1 cat, and a really cool camera! Not to mention an extremely talented eye. 

He begin taking photos about 35 years ago with a case photo (Canon) eos 500D in 2010. He said the small sensors allow for a smaller field (swelling). At present he uses the (Canon) eos 60D. He has been doing Astrophotography for about 15 years. 

A‌stronomical Refractor 102 mm diameter lens
Focal : 660 mm
660 X 1.4 extender
Canon eos 60 D 

Astronomical Photography!

He's used an astronomical imaging Camera CCD  for about 6 years specializing in taking photos of Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, Gulfstream,  and Bombardier in front of the MOON & SUN. His photos are now going around the world. But we all know why! They are gorgeous. 

Hi first photograph with a plane was in 2012 "Air Berlin" and he made $100 for a photo in front of the moon for a magazine. Since then he has sold over  75 photos of planes in front of the Moon, the planets and the sun.

You can find Sebastien at
Twitter : @lebribri 
Google : sebastien lebrigand

Enjoy the Journey and the view!
XO Karlene 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Pilots Worldwide


Monday was the first day of the new quarter (and perhaps my last) at ERAU, and I was about to close up data collection this week, but I am on an 8 day trip. In that I can not analyze data on the road, I am going to keep collecting data until I return on May 16th! There is still time to become part of change.

If you haven't taken the survey, 
there is still time by clicking:

If you have taken the survey... 
share it with all the pilots you know!

Pilots worldwide, 
I could not do this 
without you! 

Your support and encouragement, taking your time to do the survey, and sharing it with your friends and aviation groups has not gone unnoticed. When the results are final and the research is complete, I will be posting those results for the world to see. And acknowledging your help. 

Many pilots have reached out and emailed me comments and shared specifics at their airlines or company, or even a challenge if they had one with a question on the survey. All this will go into the discussion section of the dissertation (de-identified of course).

Comments Please

If you have any comments regarding your concerns with training, overall operations, safety culture, or have recommendations for improvement, please send them to I will work your thoughts into the discussion section, and together we can work toward a safer system. 

This research would not be possible 
without worldwide pilots caring enough
to give their valuable time.

"Someone is sitting in the shade today 
because someone planted a tree a long time ago."
Warren Buffett

Thank you for 
helping to plant that tree!

One more week! 
Let's double the responses!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene