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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, April 11, 2014

Darby Brashaw

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Darby is said to be "every older mans regret and younger mans dream."  She is also the co-star in Flight For Control, and the leading lady in Flight For Safety. And what a lady she is.


Who is Darby Bradshaw?


Darby is sassy, feisty and lots of fun. She's loyal to her friends, drinks way too much coffee and loves to fly. She's been known to dance for her friends, play strip poker, and drink tequila shots. Her favorite game: Truth or dare. But on a serious side, when she told me her story of how she began flying, it was not unlike many women pilots who took to the sky in the early days.

Karlene: Will you tell us how and why you began flying?

Darby: Sigh. Sips Starbucks. "I began this journey trying to prove myself to everyone. But what I found in process was a family. Pilots are a pretty awesome group. They're more or less intelligent... sometime more, sometimes less... but they are funny and have brass balls. Well, some of us have brass ovaries, but that's another story...

The naked truth is, I learned how to fly and was in control of a plane far beyond feeling like like I was in control my life. But I also learned a huge lesson during those early days of flying. I realized there was nothing that I could not do. I was not worthless. I was pretty awesome and one of the elite. I also learned that I did not need to prove myself to anyone, because I had a license that said I was God.... Oh wait, I mean pilot."  (Insert a wink here that only Darby can do)


Darby Bradshaw was born to fly. She may not have known it at the time, but like many women pilots in the early years, most women took to this male dominated profession to prove something to someone. Most often it was to themselves. They fought battles of the sexes in the early years and paved the way for those who followed. Times had changed. So Darby thought. 

When her airline shutdown, as emulated in Flight For Control, and merged with another in Flight For Safety, she was stapled to the bottom of her seniority list and transported back twenty years in time. What was more painful than a stapling? As Darby says, "Ripping that fourth stripe off my shoulder."

The remainder of this story is yet to come...

While Darby is larger than life she keeps a low profile so not to cause grief at work. And while I'm able to write about her deepest secrets and sometimes most intimate moments, she still has yet to allow a real photo of her to emerge. I have already decided who will play Darby in the Movie. None other than...

Amy Adams

It's more than the fact they look like they could be sisters, but Amy's versatility would bring out the best Darby. Speaking of the best, I have a few questions for our heroine.

Karlene: Tell us what's going on in the romance department. Giving up on pilots yet?

Darby:  (Laughing) "You would think I'd learn!" (Serious) "Everyone believes that being a single captain, flying the world, and having no ties is enchanting. But you know... it gets old. There's nothing like having someone to come home to and just hang out with. They make you coffee in the morning and you don't have to get dressed up and go out to dinner first, to have sex. Ooops. I didn't just say that did I?"


Karlene: (My turn to laugh.) So tell me... since you were Kathryn's side kick in Flight For Control, but the protagonist in Flight For Safety, which story was the most fun for you?

Darby: Grinning. "That's a tough question. The reality of all our stories is that sometimes we have to go through hell before we can find heaven. We have to deal with the hard stuff to get to the good part of life. And the reality is, that hard stuff is so emotional that it's kind of a rush. So what did I like better? Every part of my story has given me something to learn. I laughed and cried, lost and loved. I liked it all. And kicking a little ass when needed was pretty awesome."


Karlene: How do you feel about the automated world with the plane you fly?

Darby: "I love it. I hate it. Both equally powerful emotions. I don't fly like I used to. I think it's making me rusty. That saying that Airbus takes excellent pilots and crummy pilots and makes them both average is so true. I'm not going to complain...as I heard rumors you are going to do something about it." (Wink)


Karlene: Before we let you go, what advice would you like to give to our readers?

Darby: "Don't be afraid to be yourself. If you want to jump on the table...do it. If you want to dance naked in the rain...do it. And whatever you do, don't fear. Don't fear failure...it teaches you humility and gives you strength. Don't fear being vulnerable. There will always be people who will be critical, so give up that thought of needing to being perfect... which is impossible anyway. And stop picking on yourself. You are awesome just how you are...Believe in yourself."

"Life is way too short to give up a moment of compassion, caring, and love. I just want to ask everyone what they are waiting for? This is your life... live it!"  (Deep breath. Sip of coffee.) "And read Flight For Control and Flight For Safety ... especially if you want to know a little more about me." Huge smile and wink.

For all of you who have read 
What do you like best about Darby? 



Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene

19 comments:

  1. Darby, Darby, Darby. You never fail to amaze me. I can't wait to see what kind of trouble that you will get into in the next book.

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    1. Lol... Yes, she's going to get into some big trouble... so I think. :)

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  2. Every older man's regret, every younger man's dream?

    I prefer to think of Darby as a fun and slightly crazy sister, the one you could call up and go out to a bar with on a Wednesday night. Or, who might show up on your doorstep at 3AM after a fight with a boyfriend, who needs to talk to her brother over a cup of coffee.

    JR

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    1. JR... yes, she is!! Okay... so you totally have her pegged. Someone actually sent her a message about the older man's regret and younger man's dream. She laughed so hard... that the saying kind of stuck.

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  3. Hello Karlene, what amazing blog!
    Congratulations!!!
    Regards,
    Vitor Breno.

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  4. So nice to see Darby here! Still disappointed she won't give me her number! Sigh...every old man's...or is that young man's--oh, heck, Darby's welcome here any time! ;-)

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    1. Lol... oh yeah... we'll have to ask Bunny about that! :) Actually, they would probably be good friends.

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  5. Well. You've picked my favorite actress. Guess I'll be going to see the movie!

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    1. She is one of my favorite too! And you better be going to see the movie! :)

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  6. Great interview! I can just picture the character in the movie.. and cannot wait to meet the legend behind it! Darby it was great to "meet" you through this blog, and I wish you blue skies and a continued life of fun in the clouds!

    Cheers from Canada!

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    1. Thank you so much Jean! Yes... one day you shall meet the star of the series. And at least we'll get her to come to her grand opening when the time comes!

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  7. Amy Adams - yes - maybe someone a little more sassy - like - Uma Thurman :) - you know - just out of the reach of the everyday average man!! :) But - certainly a great interview - or - should it be called - an education ;)

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    1. Oh... I like Uma!!! She would be an awesome Darby. And the smile across my face... Life "is" an education!!

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  8. Karlene, I have been waiting for this for a long time.. I do not need to see a real photo of Darby as what is on the inside that counts for me. She has been such an inspiration through my brief encounters with her on Twitter and her stories in both novels.

    She gives me the strength to carry on in life despite the turbulence I encounter. Fear of one's self is one's worst enemy and you two have proven to have defeated fear.

    I can not find the words of appreciate to the both of you for carrying out such a special message to the aviation community. A dream of mine would be to meet with you and Darby someday as it would be the best stress relief ever.

    Hope both of you are enjoying your weekends.

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    1. Thank you so much Jeremy! You know... I am writing my Flight To Success book with each letter being a key to success. The problem is with the F. I now have four words and one being fear. We need to make friends with it... as fear can be a gift if we don't allow it to control us.

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  9. Great article Karlene, always love the stories you share. Your my official favorite blog, sorry Eric, but don't worry my daughter has you as her number one. lol

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    1. Thanks Captain! I really appreciate the comment and support. And... tell your daughter there might be a very long line. :)

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  10. That's ok, Cap'n Kidder! There's enough room in this business for GIRL PILOTS AND BLOGGERS! ;-)

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