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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, July 7, 2015

PhD: Aviation Update

Finishing up the First Year!

It's hard to believe that we are in the final month of the first year. And what a quarter this has been! Aviation Law and Systems Engineering have kept me busy this quarter. 

Not to mention, my Law course has opened up my eyes to many issues that could impact anyone's lives. I will be posting more of what I have learned soon, but today I would like to discuss contract law. 

Did you know there are reasons that a contract may be invalid? Yes, validity of a contract could be questioned due to multiple issues. One being undue influence, and another being lawfulness. 

Undue influence:  
Someone in a dominant position or position of trust that exerts pressure to enter into a contract that benefits the dominant party.

What if a CEO sends a memo to the employees of a company who are in the midst of contract negotiations, and states something to the effect... "If you don't vote this contract in, this will not be good for you! I will not negotiate a better deal and this is not a route you want to take." 

Does this constitute undue influence? Is that a threat by an influential party who will benefit by the terms of the contract?

A contract cannot violate a law. 
 What if the contract above will mandate that all your medical records will be released to another party for assessment if you call in sick to work, violating HIPAA law? Is this a lawful contract? Would this coerce people going to work sick? What if that person was a pilot?

What do you think?

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 


  1. In both cases, I would consider the contracts to be invalid - the first is a threatening manner and the second is most definitely violation of law. Of course, the million dollar question to this is - do these particular contracts or provisions of contracts exist today - and if they do - who is actually going to invalidate them!!

    1. Mark, I agree with the conclusion. They are not enforced today...but tomorrow, who knows. The events may have happened, but the contract has yet to be voted in our out.

      If it's voted in, the question is, was it due to undue influence. The second question is... could the majority of those who were influenced, can they violate the rights of others who voted no?

      I suspect that there could be a class action lawsuit. However, if this were an airline, the process would have to be in alignment with the railway labor act.

      But... it's hard to believe in today's world either of these issues would be issues at all.

    2. It's like so many things today Karlene - I don't believe that they are issues today as they were when we were growing up! I joking said at a gathering of friends the other day - there are two basic things the world lacks today - common sense and common decency - unfortunately - everyone agreed with me!!

    3. And that's what's so sad in today's world. How do we get those two things back?

    4. I don't think I could say it any better than Mark, so I won't. I agree with his response to both examples. I'll ask a obvious question, having raised 3 kids I think it's a important one as well. Why are we seeing such a major shortage in common sense and common decency? I don't see a big change in these areas happening anytime soon and that is extremely troubling. Thanks for opening the door on that one Mark. And thanks for shining a light into the overall issue Karlene.

    5. Thanks for your comment Captain! You know, I think things will start changing. My friend just told me about the new focus they are starting with kids in kindergarten on up through grade school. stephen covey 7 habits going to the kiddie curriculum. Check this out:
      It might change things. But, somewhere money has become the scorecard for success. But it's not. There is so much more. Watch the movie McFarland... an amazing true story how we can change lives by giving up the dollar for caring about people and doing what's right.
      Thank you so much for the comment!

    6. Those two things have to be instilled in the younger generation today - by parents that believe in them and teachers that are willing to teach them. To me, that is why teachers are probably one of the most important professions in the world today - every child has to go through that - and - with those special people that are willing and able to impart the message, the younger generation can begin to bring that back into everyday life!! I just hope we don't restrict those teachers and we are able to convince the parents - that they are equally responsible!

  2. So much of this depends on location and local standards. Pressure or coercion in one city, state, or country may be seen very differently elsewhere. And any wise CEO has a legal team telling him/her exactly where that line is that can not be crossed.

    Unless you are Donald Trump....

    1. Where does location determine lack of decency? So sad! Those in power think they are exempt...and behave like D.T., thinking nothing can touch them. But when you play with peoples lives, the ultimate cost is the selling of their soul. One day they will have to live with that, and or die knowing what they did.
      Thanks for the comment!

  3. Karlene,

    I am not really concerned about a contract and what it requires us to disclose because both the company and the pilots have the same goal which is to keep the jets in the air.

    I am very concerned about the lengths that the FAA will go to as they collectively hold all of our ability to work in their hands. The current administration has a real desire to rid the industry of every pilot who might have sleep apnea probably because it is what the head doctor cares most about. What will be the next head doctor's pet disease and what lengths will they go to next? I don't know but it does concern me much more than anything that might be in a contract.

    1. Thanks for your comment Rob. Actually, I think the same goal is to make sure aviation is safe, and efficient... same goal for both. We all win! (passengers and packages too).

      And you're right on the medical..... and once we start opening up our medical records, they will find that other pet disease (or two). I'm sure you heard results.


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