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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.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Memory Mind and Aging

During my tenure instructing at Northwest Airlines there had been one particular year, over three months, we experienced numerous failures. These failures were by captains with an average age of 58, and who had been flying the DC-9 for most of their careers. Now they were moving to the 747 to increase their final average earnings prior to retirement. The talk of pilot management territory was they were just “too old” to learn. During this time I was also working on my masters in Human Services.

I watched many of these pilots perform, and struggle. And those who had turned 60 and opted not to retire, I watched struggle while they attempted to learn how to become second officers on the 747. These guys had been captains, many of them for over 30 years, so while did they struggle with their new position? They were brilliant and talent pilots with a vast amount of experience. And, I just didn't believe we couldn't learn after the age of 58.

An interest was sparked, and I began my research on the brain… specifically the memory and what destroys its functionality. But also what we can do to increase our learning potential.

This information, while sparked by the aging brains of pilots, is for everyone!

Over the next ten days I will delve into the breakdown of the brain and memory structure, how we process information, and the impact of our moods, nutrition, exercise, sleep, anxiety, and stress on the memory. Then, a special day for the difference between the male and female brain... and the grand finale… what can you do to enhance and keep your memory.

Whether you’re learning a new plane, learning how to fly, studying for exams, or just want to maintain strong cognitive ability throughout your life… these next two weeks are for you!

Enjoy the Journey!

~ Karlene


  1. I hope I can remember to check back every day! I'm only 40, so not quite ready for the Geritol and Ensure (or anything else in that line, FYI) just yet!

  2. Thanks for your comment Nate. And don't worry... no geritol yet. But, this is good for 20 year olds! Anyone who wants to get the most out of their brain. You know... we work hard for our bodies, our careers, and our relationships... but we forget about the most important part of the equation...our mind. When that goes... then so does everything else.
    Actually, my research was designed for pilots in training. This will keep me focused while I wait to fly!

  3. Sounds like a great series! You should make an audio story lol...that would be very cool!

  4. Thanks Pilot! There will be a test! lol.

  5. Why do u have to make this like school :P ( I think you were a teacher in another life lol)...hopefully it will be multiple choice and true and false questions :P....

    I could always think about that fact taht the test id not a typical test, but that could never be the case lol..

  6. Hey pilot, don't worry, the test will be easy...practical application. Actually I think I had many other lives. lol


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