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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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How To Be A Captain

David Wallace started upgrade class on the Monday, Jan. 30th!

“Yayyyy Me! I knew this moment was coming so I have been trying to prepare myself for it ever since I returned from furlough. I have been studying my operating manual and my systems book. However, I am sure there is more to being a captain than knowing these two books. What else should I be reading or practicing?”


Be a CAPTAIN: 

Communicative: Captains listen to their fellow crewmembers, enlisting feedback, then they communicate their decisions, decisively. They speak loud enough for all to hear, with the confidence that they have made the right decision. They create a plan with their crew, and then they communicate that plan with dispatch, ATC, and their cabin crew. They let everyone know what they intend on doing. They know there are people on the plane and in the system who need to know what is happening "after" they deal with the emergency. After they have a plan.
Assertive: Captains know that being assertive with ATC is essential. Assertive is not the same as aggressive, but more the strength to communicate what they want, and need. They do not allow controllers to lead them down the path of no return. When a captain is not ready for an approach, he or she asks for radar vectors, or a holding pattern, until they are ready. If dispatch tells them to do something that doesn’t feel right, they have the strength to override that decision.
Procedures: Captains are perfectionists in themselves and their performance. They know all procedures better than the back of their hand. They know standard operating procedures, set-up procedures, emergency procedures, departure and approach procedures, and with practice will perform them with precision. Knowing procedures, and checklist responses is essential to good performance.
Think: Captains think ahead of the plane. They plan for all contingencies before they step into the flight deck. When they brief the abort, they have taken into consideration the weather, the stopping distance, and any contingency that may limit stopping ability, as well as those that may limit the ability to fly. They think beyond the plane. Instead of being reactive, they are proactive in their thoughts and actions.
Attitude: Captains have an attitude of leadership. They are confident, communicative, willing to listen, and support their fellow crewmembers. They are positive, and encouraging and appreciate the feedback from their team. They instill in their crewmembers a feeling of importance as to the safe outcome of the flight.
Instill confidence: Captains instill confidence in others, by being confident in themselves. They instill confidence by being honest, upfront, and forthright.
Not afraid. Captains are not afraid to be human. They know that we all make mistakes and they encourage their fellow crewmembers to be comfortable in speaking out if they see something wrong. They are not afraid to say thank you, or to be humble.

David tells me his class is one week long, followed by an oral. Seven simulator sessions in the BE-1900D. His checkride might be all in the simulator, or possibly 85% in the simulator, and 15% in the plane. IOE (initial operating experience) will follow, and finally his Fed ride.


What Captain advice do you have for David?
David, you’re going to make a Great Captain! Keep me posted on your progress.

Enjoy the Journey!
XOXX Karlene

Monday, January 30, 2012

February 4th: You're all Invited!


It's a Sweetheart Fly-In and you're invited!
If you can't read the details, click HERE for more information.

I'm going to be at a Bug party so I won't be able to attend, but I know everyone will have a fabulous time!

Enjoy the Journey!

XOX Karlene

Do it Before It's too Late

Monday Motivation:

"Make time and do it today.
This moment may be your last opportunity."


A flight to someday lands at an airport called nowhere. This is a place where tomorrow never comes. You wake up, and tomorrow is always a day away. Talk about baggage fees. Carry your baggage on this flight, and you’ll be paying for the rest of your life with regret.


This year is dedicated to doing something each month that I've wanted to do, but keep putting off until next week, or month, or year, because the timing isn't right, and the scheduling hasn't worked. Sometimes, you just have to make it work. It's well worth it when you do.

So what do you get when you cross a Delta FO, with a WASP, a USAir Captain, and a Mesa Captain?

Karlene, Betty, Nancy and Mary

A really great time!

After I spoke at Nelson middle school at Impact Day, I flew to the airport and hitchhiked to Arizona. Two days off and I made the most of them. I met the most wonderful people filled with the greatest hospitality! Nancy's family was great and welcomed me to their beautiful home. Mary was so much fun to laugh with. Betty was a hoot!


If you don't know Betty Blake, click HERE. She's 91 and was one of the first WASP. She is now the last in her class still with us. But that could have something to do with her attitude.

Nancy took me for a hike to Pinnacle Peak. It has been many years since I'd hiked that trail. And the amazing thing is, Nancy and I were both hired by America West Airlines within the same time frame. She was on the line. I was in the school house. So sad our paths never crossed before, but they were bound to.


I'd heard there was a UsAir pilot helping Betty on her days off. But months later a woman contacted me because of my connection with Medicine on the Move. Nancy and her friend Gina, who is an amazing woman, wanted information on MOM to help out. Gina is a hospice nurse going beyond the call of duty. She would love to go to Ghana and lend a hand. Nancy contacted me about that connection, and realized I'd done a blog on Betty. I soon learned that she was the woman helping Betty. We've been trying to make it happen for me to go down that way for months.

It was time to just do it. I'm so glad I did. Betty said, "I'd always wanted to go to Alaska, and Africa." The reality is, she wouldn't be making it in this life. Don't put off your dreams, because you may run out of time. Make them happen sooner than later.

What have you been putting off that you should just do before it's too late?

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene




Friday, January 27, 2012

Norah O'Neill

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Norah O'Neill
747 1984

Norah’s life began the day she ran away from home to the top of Mt. McKinley after she’d learned her husband had filed for divorce, after three weeks of their working apart, and his girlfriend had become pregnant. In hindsight, I don’t believe Norah was running from anything. I think she was being pulled toward her destiny.

She’d been crushed and ready to make a change in scenery. Norah jumped at the chance to fly north and become part of a modeling shoot for skiwear. An avid skier herself, this was exactly what she needed. Being airlifted to the top of Mt. McKinley, for the five-day skiwear shoot, appealed to her on every level. But it wasn’t until she was leaving the mountain, would her life change forever.


Norah with Navajo Chieftan in Fairbanks 1974

Having flown up the mountain laying down in the cargo compartment, strapped down with the cargo, Norah insisted on sitting in the cockpit on the flight back down. That flight changed the course of her life. It gave her direction and focus.


“As I looked out the cockpit window, I felt curiosity and wonder and fear, but I did not immediately recognize the welling up of need from deep inside me…. I was in love.”

This is how Norah’s aviation adventure began.

23-years-old, and no home to return to, she’d made her decision to learn to fly. She found a nighttime job in Kodiak Alaska’s most prominent bar, frequented by prostitutes. She worked all night, slept for a few hours in the morning, and took flying lessons in the afternoon before she went back to the bar to work. Living in a furnace room of an old house, she exchanged housework for rent, so every penny could go to the airport. She learned to fly, became an instructor, then became a charter pilot.

For those of you who’ve flown in Alaska know that this type of flying either ends in death, or becoming an extremely competent pilot. Norah survived. She survived equipment failures, fatigued-filled hours of flying all night through the mountainous terrain in IFR conditions, and the torment of being a woman breaking into the male domain. To say she wasn’t accepted would be an understatement. Norah was breaking ground for all women pilots to come.

Norah's favorite airplane, the Classic 747, 1981

She eventually departed her Alaska job after she was hired by Flying Tigers—their first woman pilot. To say the boys embraced the concept of a woman would be a lie. They embraced the challenge of trying to drive her out. She was known as C-1, and the stories Norah tells in her book Flying Tigress, will shock you, make you cry, laugh out loud, and you will understand what my early predecessors went through. I know C-4 at Northwest, and those days were not fun for the ladies. But they survived, and they did make a difference for the rest of us. Those shocking stories, they're all true. And this is where truth is stranger than fiction.

Flying Tigress is one of the most captivating books I’ve ever read. It carried me down memory lane, and unearthed memories that I’d forgotten. Norah’s prose takes you into the cockpit for an instrument approach into Hong Kong, just as if you were there. If you love aviation, you will love Flying Tigress. Share a piece of history. It's a tribute and honor to the ladies who paved the way into the commercial airline world. I laughed at Norah replacing the penthouse photos with playgirl in the cockpit. I did the same at Evergreen.

The long nights. The laughter. The tears. The death of friends. She’s seen it all. She struggled with balancing motherhood and flying, marriage and trust. She fought with loneliness, the need to love and to be loved. Her story is honest, open and riveting.

Norah with children Cammie and Bren at 2009 Forest of Friendship induction

Flying Tigress is a story of adventure, humor, heart-break, sorrow, strength and survival. It’s beautiful. Her life was an adventure. We fly for many things. Sometimes we end up soaring the world in search of meaning. Sometimes that meaning is in our own back yard. We give our life to the lust of Aviation, and it strips us of everything. But it also gives back so much more that it takes.

Noah’s last flight“I contemplated the phrase I’d heard, that life was not measured by the number of breaths one took but by the moments that took one’s breath away. I thought of the other marvelous things I had viewed from the cockpit. These were God’s gift to pilots: snow crawling down the Rockies, sunrise over the Grand Canyon, the vast green mat of the Amazon jungle, the twisting silver road of the Mississippi, and the top of Everest—a cone 10,000 feet below. I had seen the Great Wall of China curving below, the harbor at Rio, the starkness of the Australian Outback, the towering plume of Mt. Saint Helen’s ash, the curvature of the earth at the North Pole the deep blue of the stratosphere. I had crossed the equator, awed by sunstreaked evenings, dappled earth, velvet night, and spun-silver clouds. I flew inside God’s weather; saw horizontal rain and contrails. On night over the north slope of Alaska, I turned off my small plane’s lights and flew, just a dark spot against the starry skies, in to the green and yellow and pink of the dancing of the Aurora Borealis.”

Wearing her favorite uniform, the cat pajamas in MD-11 cockpit over China 2002

Norah wearing her 747 flying through northern lights dress while meeting her favorite band IL Divo

Norah, it's an honor to know you. On behalf of all the women pilots, we thank you for opening the doors and standing strong while they were slammed in your face. You did make a difference in this life for many. Thank you.

Enjoy the Journey!

XOX Karlene

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tired of Driving When You Could Be Flying?

Supporting General Aviation

Brett Stokes is working with a group of technology experts on a possible solution to promote, increase, and support General Aviation. They are gathering information from pilots, travelers, and aviation enthusiasts to identify and define the market’s desires for travel.



The link at the end of this post will direct you to a ten-question survey that will help Brett and his team make some final adjustments to their design. The more feedback they receive, the better they’ll be able to cater to your needs. You didn't know you had needs. But trust me, this is something we all need.



Please contact Brett if you have any questions. He’ll provide updates as they near completion and, at that time, will share more about the aspects of this technology. They’re keeping it quiet now, but this is something that all pilots can use… worldwide. I know what Brett’s doing, and I can hardly wait until they’re up and running.


Who will this technology help?


Pilots building hours—Business Travelers—Commuting Airline Pilots—People living in remote areas—Airports—Aviation—General Aviation... and more!

Click on this link: Tired of Driving When You Could Be Flying? Take the survey, it will cost you about two minutes of your time. Then forward this to everyone you know. This is going to go global. You don't even have to be a pilot to use it. If you travel... this is for you. But if you are a pilot, you'll love what he's doing.

Thanks Brett! I know the endeavor will be a success. I only hope bring it to market sooner than later.

Please leave Brett any questions. And feel free to contact him for further updates at stokes3_99@yahoo.com

Enjoy the Journey!

XOX Karlene

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Flying With Crap

"Off the Record Q & A with a Local A.M.E."

DR. Larry

I have Obstructive Sleep Apnea and I use a CPAP machine nightly. What’s the risk if I don’t take my CPAP machine with me when I go out on trips?


Volumes of literature now exist regarding Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and its associated risks with heart and stroke disease, mental confusion, chronic pain and fatigue. Reducing those risks for pilots and the general population by using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is also well documented. For people who feel a dramatic benefit, the desire to use their CPAP machine on a nightly basis is welcomed and reinforced. Nonetheless, traveling with a CPAP machine, as small as they are, can be an obstacle to traveling light, and going through security screening makes it one more thing to carry.

With 7% or more of the population having some degree of OSA, the FAA recognizes this as a serious problem. Combined with irregular hours, long duty days and time zone changes, the effects of nocturnal hypoxia become magnified.

The question is best answered from a study undertaken a year ago by Malcolm Kohler, M.D. and reported in the American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine, August 11, 2011. They studied 40 patients who effectively used CPAP for over 12 months. When the study began, half of the 40 continued their CPAP as prescribed while the other half used sub-therapeutic CPAP levels. The following factors were evaluated before and after the trial: Epworth Sleepiness Scale tests, blood pressure, heart rate, vascular function and blood lipids.

After only two weeks, the results showed statistically significant differences in hypoxic events, a rise in morning blood pressure, heart rate, and daytime sleepiness. It was not associated with psychomotor changes or cholesterol levels.

Dr. Kohler concluded that withdrawal of CPAP was associated with a return of OSA by the first night.

We know risk is relative. Someone placed on CPAP for problems such as chronic fatigue, mental confusion or daytime sleepiness is unlikely to have severe recurrent symptoms overnight. However, if one has significant underlying cardiovascular disease, a night or two of stressful sleeping because of hypoxia may be enough to push one's body over the edge.

FAA's guidelines mandate a minimum six hours per night and 75% to 85% nightly usage. Thus, some leeway exists for not having perfect compliance. Perhaps this makes the idea of CPAP more palatable because even though the benefits of CPAP are great, some effort is involved to be compliant. Any level of sleepiness while flying is not ideal so minimizing the chance of drowsiness makes 100% compliance the best option.

To your good health and energetic days,

Dr. Larry


Dr. Larry Greenblatt

Heart Attack, Stroke and Diabetes Prevention

Sports medicine and Family Practice

http://www.cmadoc.com/


"Concierge healthcare that's all about you! "
Care Medical Associates, PLLC
1407 116th Ave. NE, Suite 102
Bellevue, WA 98004
425.637.0636

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A330: FMGEC. MCDU. FCU.

The Brains of the Computerized Airplane.

The Flight Management System, FMS, is comprised of 2 FMGEC—Flight Management Guidance Envelope Computers. Inside each of the FMGEC computers lay the operating systems that manage our A330.

FMGEC: Flight Management. Flight Guidance. Flight Envelope. Computers.

FM: Flight Management—The on-board computerized Dispatcher responsible for flight planning, performance, navigation, and communicating data via the PFDs, NDs, and MCDUs.

FG: Flight Guidance—The on-board, computerized pilot responsible for commanding the autopilot, flight directors, and authothrust.

FE: Flight Envelope—The on-board, computerized Flight Engineer, responsible for computing the flight envelope, maneuvering speeds, reactive windshear detection, and gross weight and CG computations and warnings.

Under normal operations the two FMGECs work together. Data entered into either MCDU (Multipurpose Control Display Unit) is shared with the other computer. They work together, and just like other glass planes there is a master. The selection of the A/P or A/T (first on) will determine which FMGEC becomes that master. If one FMGEC has a problem, the other can handle the operation, but the pilot must switch control on the Switching Panel. No automatic switching of a FMGEC computer.

In the example below, the number 2 FMGC failed and the pilot selects both on 1, and now the First Officers MCDU interacts with the number one FMGEC.


(Airbus) MCDU is a CDU (Boeing)

MCDU: Pronounced the McDoo, is your Multipurpose Control Display Unit, called a CDU (control display unit) on the Boeing. The long-range goal is to get to the destination, and this computer airplane can do that itself, with a little help. By programming the MCDU, the pilot can set up the plane for success to takeoff, climb, manage speed, level off, descend, and fly an arrival to an auto-landing at destination. Flying the plane in this automated manner is all about utilizing Managed Guidance—the operation is fully automated and the computer is directing the plane.

(Airbus) FCU is a MCP (Boeing)

FCU: The Flight Control Unit is nothing more than Boeing’s MCP (mode control panel). This is where the pilots intervene to deviate from their original programmed plan. ATC wants you to slow down, turn to a heading, or gives you an unexpected level off, this how you'll manage the flight. Or, the pilot just wants to fly their plane. When we intervene, we use Selected Guidance—The pilots is commanding the plane.

Normal operations is to fly the plane with a combination of both. Many pilots rely on the managed guidance. Smart pilots takes control and use selected guidance, to keep proficient at their flying skills.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rise to the Challenge

"We are like a silent mist
rising in the dawn - to the
challenges of the day."




What challenges are you facing today?

There is nothing you are facing at this moment...No challenge too great, obstacle too high, road to long, or ocean too wide... that we can't find a solution to brighten your day.

Whatever is bothering you...shift your focus and change your state, you'll continue on your quest and embrace this day. Look at problems as challenges. Challenges are opportunities to learn, and grow. Fact of life: You get what you focus on. If you're focusing on something negative... you need to break the pattern. Turn on the music, do the dishes, go flying, hit the gym, etc., it's amazing how better you'll feel by getting out of your own way.

Did you know that I am taking an instrument ground school class twice per week? I'm also writing about each class at Flying Training. If you're interested in flying little planes in the clouds drop by and check it out.

Enjoy the Journey!

XOX Karlene


Saturday, January 21, 2012

PILOT JOB POSTING:

EMB190 Captains - $15,000 USD/month + overtime + annual bonus


Earn $15,000 USD/month + overtime based on 80 hours per month. Earn an additional $150 USD per every hour flown over 80. VOR Holdings will also pay you $8,000 USD at the end of your 1st year, $12,000 USD at the end of your 2nd year, and $15,000 USD at the end of your 3rd year. Your total compensation for three years is $575,000 USD+. After completing your three year contract, you will be given the opportunity to upgrade to the A320 aircraft at the airline's expense.

You have the option of working a 6 weeks ON, 3 weeks OFF or 6 weeks ON, 2 weeks OFF + 24 days of additional leave per year schedule.

Interview in Charlotte, Phoenix, Chicago or Beijing.

If you are interested, send an email to recruit@vorholdings.com

Sincerely,

Peggy Li
Manager of Recruiting
www.VORHoldings.com

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bernice “Bee” Falk Haydu

Friday's Fabulous Flyer:

Bernice “Bee” Falk Haydu

WASP Women Airforce Service Pilots


December 15, 1920 history was being born in Bradley Beach, New Jersey, as Bernice “Bee” Falk made her entry into the world.

There’s no mystery to the impact on a child when they receive support and encouragement. Bee was fortunate to grow up under the wings of strong role models. Men who supported and encourage their women. And women who set great examples for their children.

Bee had a grandmother who dabbled in the stock market, a man’s job. Her grandmother on her mother’s side started a pleating and embroidery business. Bee’s mother established branches of the family’s hemstitching and dressmakers’ supplies business…later to own a lingerie shop. When Mom’s business closed, due to the depression, she opened the Montclair Employment business. This is a family of entrepreneurs making life happen, despite all obstacles.

Thanks to this industrious family, growing independent women, Bee’s dreams were limitless. Success was written on the horizon. But opportunity is not always given. Sometimes we have to make it through adversity.


Standing at the auxiliary field a distance from Avenger Field in her fleece lined helmet and pants.


Growing up in Montclair New Jersey, Bee graduated from high school 1938. Unfortunately the reality hit strong when she realized there was not enough money to send both she and her brother to college. Despite the strength and support within her family the rest of the world hadn’t caught on yet, and the jobs available to women were secretarial and she didn’t need college. Bee’s brother would be the child to attend college, while Bee went to work as … guess what? A secretary.


The jobs came and went. But it bothered her that she didn’t have the opportunity to attend college. You know what she said?

“Stop feeling sorry for your self and do something about it!”

Bee decided to attend night school and soon learned that they had courses in Aviation. With her Brother in Army Air Force, she wanted to do something to support the war effort and she enrolled in aviation courses.

Bee says, “This began my long love affair with flying!”


1944 in her Stearman

Wednesday, February 9, 1944 her journey began as she headed to Sweetwater Texas to learn to fly. But today her Journey continues. What inspires Bee?

“Letting as many people as possible know that there were women flying military aircraft in WWII. There are so many that have never heard of us. I give to the Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX because they are the archivists of WASP memorabilia. We are trying to raise an endowment fund to enable them to continue taking care of our records and giving information to anyone interested.”

I’m not going to share any more of Bee’s story with you. Why? I couldn’t do her life justice, but her book, Letters Home, will.

Jackie (little sister) Bee, and Mom

Bee’s mother saved every letter her children sent to her. The candid humor, language and stories she shares of her adventures, challenges, hopes and dreams during her flying experience from 1944-1945 are enclosed in Bee’s book. Not to mention the photos! I felt like I stepped into another world. Bee inspired me to write a historical fiction novel. The story came to me in my dreams the night I’d finished her book.

You too will be inspired by reading Letters Home. Bee donates "all proceeds" to Texas University, Denton, Texas.


Bee: WASP. Wife. Mother. Pilot. Racer. 99...

What defines a person’s life?

In 1977, the WASP finally received recognition as veterans of World War II. Bee was instrumental in making this happen. The struggles were many, and the team of women, and men, who contributed, as well as their efforts, can be read in Letters Home. The story is amazing. What I will tell you is, the plaque for Bee Falk Haydu hanging in the Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey is well deserved, as is her Congressional Gold Medal.


Bee in the forward right. Standing in front of the B-52.

(page 101 of Letters Home. To read the names of these fabulous women)

Bee’s life touched me, in many ways. I smiled at her attitude in training, because I share the same perspective. I felt her fear, joy, and challenges, as if they had been mine. Had I been born 42 years earlier I would have met Bee in WASP training, and we would have become life long friends. Toward the end of her book, I discovered Bee has three children born in ’52, ’53, ’54. My three were born in ’83, ’84, ’85. Her husband owned racehorses. My husband owned racehorses. As a matter of fact, Bee’s friend Jockey Eddie Accaro… (a great story in the book) My husband knew of him, and remembered his visit to Long Acres Racetrack in the late ‘50s.

Life is a journey where people and paths cross. Lives are touched. Dreams are created. Passions are lived. Opportunities taken, or given up, create different flight plans. Sometimes they take us to the sky. But at the end of the game we all get to sit back and review the movies of our life. It’s up to us to make them the best they can be.

Who would know that the baby girl, born in December of 1920, would impact the world on such a grand scale? Bee Faulk Haydu is an amazing woman, and the story of her life is remarkable. If you read anything this year, this is it.


Letters Home

1944-1945

Women Airforce Service Pilots

Thank you Bee, for all you’ve done for aviation, women, history, and our country. I'm honored to share your story on Flight to Success.

Enjoy the Journey!

XOX Karlene

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A330 Terminology: It’s All Foreign


EIS. DU. EFIS. DMC. PFD. ND. ECAM. E/WD. SD.

One of the more confusing things about understanding a glass airplane is learning the terms. But learning the fundamentals is the foundation to success.


EIS: Electronic Instrument System. Imagine this system as the brain of the flight deck that communicates and manages the data by displaying navigation, flight, engines, aircraft systems, and associated messages on six display units. This system also provides instrument switching when display units fail.




These six identical display units, known as DUs are used to display ECAM, and EFIS information for both pilots.



EFIS: Electronic Flight Instrument System (not to be confused with EIS) displays the Primary Flight Information (PFD), and Navigation Data (ND) on the out two display units. (DUs)


  • PFD—Primary Flight Display—displays heading, attitude, altitude, airspeed, vertical speed, and autoflight status.
  • ND—Navigation Data—Displays navigation data in various formats, depending upon the selection on the EFIS control panel.

EFIS Control Panel Located on the Glareshield


ECAM: Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor—Display engines data, fuel quantity, flap position, messages, checklist information, and aircraft systems on two DUs.

  • E/WD—Normally on the upper ECAM—displays fuel quantity, slat and flap position and alerts and caution messages.
  • SD—System Display—normally on the lower DU—displays aircraft systems, status messages, and secondary flight data.

ECAM control panel—used to manage data on both the E/WD and the SD.


This is just a taste of the flight deck. But once you know what terms mean, you'll be able to gain deeper understanding of the systems and how they work.


Enjoy the Journey


XOX Karlene

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pilots' Personality


Could this be part of my pilot personality? Or... is it just that I'm just perfectionist? Because I know that I'm not a procrastinator...

The proof to Flight For Control arrived yesterday afternoon. The UPS driver battled the snow on the holiday and drove his own car to make this delivery.

Holding my book in my hands was something that I'll never forget. Nothing short of spectacular. It's one of those moments like passing your checkride, holding your baby after 9 months of pregnancy and 18 hours of labor, or receiving your college diploma.

You've worked so hard, for many months or years. You've invested so much in time, energy and resources. And you did it. You had a dream. It became a reality and then you're ready to celebrate. But the reality is... the baby's diaper needs to be changed.


Back to the perfectionist part. My novel is here. The bio page is missing. It wasn't long until I discovered Princess turned into a Prince, and there was no surgical team involved. A sentence needed to be moved in chapter four. A whisper came at the wrong time. The moral of this story, I am not answering my phone, and sitting by the fire while the snow falls beyond my window and will have the edits complete tomorrow, for another upload. And proof.

Yes, I am a sick, sick perfectionist focused on detail. But then, that could be a good trait when flying planes.


Flight For Control will be available next week! Remember, good things come to those who wait. It's been 2 and a half years. I know we can wait another week.

Note: The photos were out my window. The birds danced for joy as they dined on seed. You can tell by their size, they're not starving. I had about twenty (plus) of these little guys jumping from the branches to the bird feeders all day.

Today through Wednesday? Estimating 6-11 inches of snow in the Seattle area. Winter is here... and I had already bought sleds for the kids. Life is good.

Enjoy the journey!

XOX Karlene

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday Motivation

“We must accept finite disappointment,

but never lose infinite hope.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

The disappointment today is my "proof" for Flight For Control is scheduled to arrive after 3 p.m. ... Unless UPS doesn't deliver on a holiday... and I have Instrument ground school tonight. So my reading won't begin until tomorrow morning. I was hoping to have my novel in my hands Saturday, have it read and able to approve by today. Plan A didn't happen.

My much anticipated "go date" for my novel's release may not make it's 17th debut. But like all good things, they come to those who wait. It's also been 2 years 6 months, what's another few days? I have infinite hope that it will come, all will be perfect and I can shout about the release sooner than later.

How will you deal with the little setbacks of life?

Enjoy the journey!

XOX Karlene

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Dr. King

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”


Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Fabulous Flyer: Mima

"Norhamimah Asmiera Binti Othman"


A few weeks ago I received an email from a beautiful young lady who has the dream to fly. Before we learn about her, I’m going to share her letter because her words speak volumes of who she is. So often we focus on what we “do” in life. But who we are—our dreams, aspirations, attitude, and willingness to work hard for what we want, says so much more about us.

Mima wrote:

“I found your blog when you wrote something about my friend, who happen to be my inspirational idol, MOANA ISHAK or Ona. She's one of amazing woman that manage to become a pilot and I too, want to become like her. My ambition is pilot but since my family background wouldn't allow me to follow my dream easily, I know I had to take the hardest way. And I am...Currently I'm working at Airasia as a ground crew and everyday, its awaken my heart each time I saw an aeroplane and flight... it brighten my mood when I saw a cabin crew.

I am 24 now and for most of pilot in Malaysia, 24 is the age of them start flying but me, its the age I start chasing after my dream like crazy, still not sure whether I will achieve it or not.
There's a time when I feel like giving up but no! I CAN'T !

I have that dream since I was little and let go of it without trying even harder is the same as crashing a children pure dream. How could I do that to myself?!

Your blog has taught me so much especially in 'TRUST YOURSELF' part.... I admire you.
I will keep and keep and keep trying my best to achieve my dream... I don't care if I don't have any property, look so outdated in terms of gadget...As long as I can become a pilot, it's worth.

Someone said to me, NO YOU CAN'T BECOME A PILOT, FORGET IT... I want to prove him wrong... Even my parent didn't support my dream, I will prove myself and become a good example for my sibling...

I want to taste the sweetness of success and I know, for that, I have to swallow the bitterness.”

Mima's story is one of encouragement and motivation. For all of us who think we hit walls in our life, and can't seem to get what we want, take a moment to read what Mima is faced with. The most amazing thing is... She is NOT Giving Up! She never will. She will succeed.


Mima's story:

"When I watch this video, (Click HERE to view), I will definitely feel happy and inspired to do better. He was right, while we chasing our dream, what matters is not the goal but the things that we get along the journey while chasing the goal... although at the end of the way, the goal will make everything sweeter.

I think I'm experiencing it right now. The first time I finished my study, the journey of becoming a pilot seemed hard for me. I had to take the hardest steps since my parent didn't support what I'm doing. They said, it’s impossible for woman to get married and become a pilot. I feel sad and discourage for a moment but it doesn't stop me from what I'm doing. I have been dreaming and keeping this ambition since I was kid and guess what, my parent who make me loves aviation.

Since we're coming from poor family and our house situated not far from airport, every weekend, my father will brought us to the airport as a weekend activity and since that time, I started developing this unexplainable love toward aviation. Pilot and aircraft amazed me. I started collecting all the info's since I'm 15. I bought the old magazines that cost RM1 and I watch TV, I saw Ona there and decided to write letter to her to show how I adores her for being one of the first lady pilot in Malaysia. She replied me and since that time I become her friend. She always encourages me to work hard and that's why I looked at her as my idol.

I once got an interviewed from private flying academy after being shortlisted from hundreds of applicant. I feel lucky to be part of 50 shortlisted candidates. I still remember when the admin gave us a small book of basic engine. telling us to understand and memorize it. I did! it was hard but I did it. Unfortunately I still lack of interview knowledge as it was my first ever interview experience and its related to something that I desire the most. I feel pressured and failed the interview. Those three man, they said this to me before I walked out from the room. "JUST TAKE ENGINEERING CUZ YOU KNOW FEMALE IS IMPOSSIBLE"



That time, I take that word without thinking that they actually put some test on me. If they rejected girls then why among many applicants, they only shortlisted two girls. I should have known better but I take that word as a challenge. Considering how hard it was for me to attend the interview. I only have RM50 and need to survived at Kuala Lumpur with no relatives and risk and with my father disapproved my decision. It was so hard that I cried before I sleep. The only strong support that I get was from my brother and Ona. My brother always tell me that since he can't joined cabin crew carrier due to health problem, he wanted me to continue his dream. I lived until today with his support and encouragement. When everyone looks down on me, he always lift and embraces my dream, telling me not to give up. NEVER GIVE UP!

I joined the contest made by Airasia for 'SO YOU THINK YOU WANNA BE A PILOT' blog article. I send my application and failed. I tried my luck on HONDA scholarship for aspiring student by sending my work of article and failed. I remembered when I search for my high school teacher just to ask her to proof read my article just to make sure all grammar is okay, I'm so happy that she still remember me and willing to help. I feel so sad when I failed and she told me I should try again and again and again. I told my uncle, hoping he could help me applying sponsor since he's a rich man with many influence friend but all I got was a laughter from him. Big one.



I went to second interview with different flying academy and this time, I put aside all the point of failures during first interview and try my best. I DID IT!! They accepted me. The captain even said to me among all candidates, he saw me as the most aspiring one. I prepared everything including the approval letter from Malaysian Civil Aviation letter. I received my acceptance letter and started to search for financial source and loan. This is when another failure strikes me. I failed again. I couldn't find any loan because most of previous financial source has stopped sponsor the aspiring pilot. After that, I called for my final chances which is student loan department for Malaysia and they give the same reason as the first financial loan source that I applied. NO ROOM FOR PILOT WANNABE SINCE THE COST IS TOO HIGH. Can you imagine how I feel? I don't have any chance at all anymore. The feeling of giving up has taken control of me. I feel so give up. I send a text message to the interviewer from that academy that accepted me and he felt sorry for me. But he still said 'I WILL WAIT FOR YOU, AS MY TRAINEE'.




When the chances seemed thinner, I started to think of my dream will just be a dream. All of sudden, I try out for Airasia ground intake and succeed. And here I am, become one of Airasia Ground Operation staff with a deep ambition to try out for cadet pilot. I almost forgot that I still have one more chances which is by applying as a staff. This is my last chance. Nothing more so I will struggle hard for this. My first sweet achievement is when I get the 'BEST TRAINEE' award among my batches. It does lifted my spirit as the trainer once told me ' I SEE YOU WITH BIG FUTURE'. I couldn't help but thank him with teary eyes. I know I have a chance. At least I still have tiny bit of chances.



Working here makes me happy to get to see aircraft EVERYDAY. To get to see PILOT EVERYDAY. Its like I will get to see my aspiration (I looked all all pilots as my aspiration ). I still remember before I get the job here, I will sleep at KLIA without going back home with money that only enough to pay my bus ticket just because I want to see pilot and aircraft. I don't care if I'm hungry but seeing them walking with charismatic look, all is worth. I shivered that night because I don't bring extra clothes. My friends mad at me for doing something stupid and she even cried saying that why I have to love aviation this much. I know she feel worry.

But now she told me that I can achieve what I want since I already one step closer.”



Mima tells me she is not a student who excelled at school, and she didn’t come from a wealthy family to afford to assist with her dream. But she says, “I am willing to struggle hard to achieve it. Someday, when I managed to get what I want, become what I want to be, I will walk with free steps and thank everyone. Day by day, I began to think that God gives me a long path compared to everyone else but within the journey, I gained something important. Friends, experience, motivation, satisfaction.



You are an amazing young lady Mima. Keep your dreams alive. Never give up. You will achieve everything you want, because you're enjoying the journey.

Mima shared another of her favorite videos with me. You can see what Mima fills her mind with... the good stuff in life. Click HERE to view.

Enjoy the Journey!

XOX Karlene

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A330 Overweight Landing Continues

It never ceases to amaze me the difference between company procedures and manufacturer procedures. I’ve worked for 8 airlines, and maybe one day the two will match. But operationally speaking, it’s nice to know what our planes can do, performance wise, from the people who build them. With the great fortune to live in Seattle, I have local access to the best of the best Boeing people.

But flying the Airbus, I reach beyond my neighborhood and consult with Airbus representatives, a senior Airbus Check-airman, and miscellaneous Captains—my team.


I’m thankful to have the opportunity to consult with them on actual operations of various performance issues, and captain decision-making questions. Brainstorming before the event is always a good idea.


One of these issues is:

Overweight landing, and the need to perform an auto-land, or not.


The verdict is:


Airbus says, "there is no need to perform an auto-land with an overweight landing."

This is good to know. It would be a shame to not take advantage of a long runway because the ILS was down. A long runway with a heavy airplane is always the best.


Then, there is also the choice between low verses medium auto-brakes. I was reminded that the autobrake setting is a deceleration rate. The heavier the plane, the system will be using more brake pressure to stop at the same “decel” rate as when lighter. Noting since we have a higher approach speed, it takes more distance to slow down at the same rate.


The recommendation is: If you have enough runway, use low. Or even click the brakes off after touchdown doing the initial slowdown solely with reverse, so that the brake cooling time will be minimized and you can be on your way.”

One thing to keep in mind is for medical emergencies so you can drop off your passenger and get on your way quickly. Excellent advice.


Another question:


Does Airbus recommend managed speed for an overweight landing?


YES: Managed speed is recommended.


“There is a chance during the initial configuration that green dot speed may be higher than VFE for flaps 1 because of an over-weight condition. In this case, we recommend that the crew select speed VFE-5 kts (but not below VLS) to allow them to begin configuring. As the slats extend, VLS will reduce. Once that’s completed, the speed should be returned to managed speed.”


What Does Your Company Say?


Then there is also the question of deviating from your company procedures.


If you do something as a Captain, that is contradictory to your operations manual, but you view it as a better course of action, will you be violated? How far does your Captain authority go? If everything works out, no harm, no foul. But what if…


I think we all will do whatever it takes to save the plane if in imminent danger. But what if following the procedure is not unsafe, but in your view, a different course of action would be better. Can you do it? What will the FAA say? What will your company say? What will you say during your rug dance?

Share your thoughts, we would love to hear. And, I have the "FAA" answer to the will you be violated question. To be posted next week.


Enjoy the Journey!

XOX Karlene

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Pilot’s New Year’s Resolution

(As wished for by an AME)

"Off the Record Q & A with a Local A.M.E."

DR. Larry

The beginning of a new year is often a time for making (and breaking) resolutions. While scanning the internet, I discovered the following resolution on a top-secret, AME chat board somewhere in cyberspace (yeah, right), and I'm sharing it now with the aviation community as a way to help build camaraderie between aviators and AME's. After all, pilots need AME's and AME's need pilots.

So if you will please say the following after me:

“I, (enter your name here), will work together with my AME to facilitate my medical certification in the most expedient manner possible. This will include filling out my FAA 8500-8 medical form online least 24 hours prior to my appointment.


  • I will arrive on time and bring all sets of glasses necessary to pass my vision testing.
  • I will be forthcoming with all necessary paperwork and doctor’s notes my AME will need to process my certification.
  • If I have questions regarding issues which could result in possibly delaying my certification.
  • I will contact my AME prior to my appointment to resolve these concerns rather than hoping they will vanish into thin air.
  • Furthermore, I understand my AME will do everything in his power to assist with my certification and I will (begrudgingly) understand if something unexpected arises delaying the process.
  • I will know my AME feels my pain and wishes his hands were not restricted by the regulations.
  • After my AME has waved his magic wand and pronounced my verdict, I will (begrudgingly) pay his fee, without asking for discounts and I will promote his job-saving skills to my peers.
"This I promise to do in the New Year!"

Together we can make it a win-win relationship by helping each other. Fly safe and fly healthy, my dear aviator friends, and Happy New Year!

To your good health, happiness and certification!

Dr. Larry

Please leave Dr. Larry a message that you will fulfill his New Year's wish!

"I promise Dr. Larry...but what about that pilot discount?"


Enjoy the Journey!

XOX Karlene