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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.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The NEW Captain...

Christmas Day, 2012, I was gifted with an all expense paid, surprise, trip to Amsterdam by scheduling. (Dinner and drinks excluded). The benefits of being on reserve.

But I had the opportunity to fly with a great crew, and the Captain was an example of the type of Captain I want to be. What a fabulous gift. A year ago I wrote a post on How to Be a Captain

Today I will add to that list.
What made my most recent Captain an example we should all follow?
  • He knew the systems of his plane extremely well.
  • He not only allowed the other first officer and myself to fly, but he told us all decisions were ours. Having responsibility makes one think. 
  • He told us to manage the plane how we wanted while we flew... enabling confidence to do our thing. 
  • He was optimistic, enthusiastic, laughed often, but safety always came first.
He believes that the new Airline Captain's greatest task is "how to not only manage the plane and operation, but how to manage people."

We live in an automated world and fly a automated planes. The essence of safety is how the crew becomes a team, and the ability to work together when the storm is brewing.

My gift this Christmas was to experience a great example of the type of Captain I want to be. Today I am in PVG. My all expense surprise trip on New Years Eve. I'm wrote this before my flight because I am going to the land of no blogging. I will not be able to access my own blog until I return to Tokyo.

Until then... fly safe. Be smart. And be the Captain of Your Life!

Have you met anyone that you are proud to know, 
and have learned positive lessons from?

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene


  1. You did not accidently depart on the 29th of december from Amsterdam?

    1. Lol. I Wish. But they made me leave on the 27th. I hope you had a happy New Year!

  2. Haha good stuff! I too try my best to --know the aircraft well; -give the FO full autonomy -communicate well, and -establish a relaxed, friendly, but professional atmosphere.

    I went back and read your "How to be a Captain" post as well. Excellent! Reminds me of my "Zen and the Art of Pilot Maintenance" post, which (humorously) highlights the traits of a good FO as well. Here's the link:

    Gonna link your "Captain" post to that post...good stuff!!

    1. Thank you Cap'n Aux. I better go read how to be a good FO. lol. Thank you for your comments!

  3. Karlene, I love this post. I'd rather be in AMS, NRT, less alone PVG, than here in NYC with a nice coughing cold.

    As for being a Captain, good people skills are a must, having confidence in oneself and your crew to make those decisions, always a must. And being laid back w/o compromising safety, now that would be the ultimate present. Whoever your Captain was, kudos.

    And yes, I think you know my answer to that last question. :D

    1. Oh Jeremy, I am so sorry you are not feeling well. And you are so right. I have had the opportunity to fly with the opposite of this captain, and even those people are the examples of what not to do. We're all learning. Thank you so much for your comment!


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