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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, March 28, 2017

The Sin Of Flight


A man left home about 8:30 a.m. to do some work at his hanger at the airport with his friends. On the way out the door his wife asked, "what time will you be home?" 
He said, "About 1:30, I'll have lunch at the airport."

1:30 came & went, 3:00 passed, 6:00, still not home, finally at about 7:00 pm he rolls in the driveway, and presents his wife with a pizza, and begins the big story:

"I finished washing the plane about 11:30, had lunch, and was on the way home when alongside the road I saw this poor girl with a flat tire. I stopped and changed the tire. She offered money, but I refused, so she suggested that at least she could buy me a beer. She said there's bar just up the road, We had a beer, then a couple more, and I realized that this girl was not only pretty, she was very friendly, and before I knew it, we were in the motel next door having sex. And that is why I am so late getting home."

His wife looked him right in the eye and said, "You liar!  

Enjoy The Journey 
XO Karlene 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Atlanta Airport

History of The South Lives On!

EAL Radio Show, Episode 311 
Today, March 27, 2017 
Will start a series about the 
Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  

I had an opportunity to read a bit of the script and this is fascinating information. If you love aviation history you will enjoy this show!

The Series starts 
“From its earliest days as an automobile racetrack, 
to becoming the largest passenger 
operations airport in the world”

They will also talk about the roll 
Eastern Airlines had in its development.

If you have a story about the airport 
we would like to hear about it! 

Call-in Today, March 27th 
at 7:00 P.M. at 213-816-1611 
to join us live…or 
Tune-in CaptEddie Online Radio by CaptNeal

 Captain Neal Holland  ♦ Jim Hart *Captain Steve Thompson *Chuck Allbright
*Captain George Jehn*Dorothy Gagnon*Don Gagnon
CaptEddie Online Radio by CaptNeal 

Drop by and wish him Happy Birthday~

Airline talk radio show for airline retirees, employees, pilots, mechanics, airplane enthusiasts

Enjoy the Journey!
OX Karlene 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Jetting Through Life

Friday's Fabulous Flyer


Bringing a good thing to life! 

While we all know that Darby has been a fan of Starbucks in my novels, rumor has it in the next novel,  Flight For Justice, the fifth in the series, she will be switching to Jett Fuel Java. Why? Because it's awesome! Because Jeff is awesome. His Seattle-based, startup coffee company buys their coffee direct, and they give a portion directly back to the harvesters. He also donates profits to the URC foundation helping struggling students and single parent families. 

Jeff is a kind and giving person, and I am so lucky to know him. He has been supportive of my writing, and always has a smile to share whenever I see him. He loves aviation, and his passion has merged into his coffee company. He also has super names for his coffee, that make great gifts.

Blackbird Espresso

Photo from

Tomcat Household Blend

SOS Dolphin

Hidden Apache

Go Get'em Osprey

Life is Short... Stay Awake for it 
With Jett Fuel Java!

There are great people doing incredible things in life, and Jeff at Jett Fuel Java is one of them. Take a moment to click on the link and follow him on Twitter. He always has something great to share with aviation. And if you are a coffee drinker, you owe it to yourself try the best. 

Order Your Coffee Today! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

How Aviation Started in the USA

And the Many Connections 

This is a lengthy post, but something you should read if you want to learn how aviation started in this country and the many connections.  I received this from a friend a year ago. The information came Denham S. Scott, North American Aviation Retirees' Bulletin.  Enjoy an interesting read!

Photo From

"How many of you know that in 1910, mighty Martin Marietta got its start in an abandoned California church? That's where Glenn L. Martin, with his amazing mother Minta Martin & their mechanic Roy Beal, constructed a fragile biplane that Glenn taught himself to fly.

It has often been told how Douglas Aircraft started operations in 1920 in a barbershop's backroom on L.A.'s Pico Boulevard. Interestingly, the barbershop is still operating.

The Lockheed Company built the first of their famous Vegas' in 1927 inside a building currently used by Victory Cleaners at 1040 Sycamore in Hollywood.

In 1922, Claude Ryan, a 24 year old military reserve pilot, was getting his hair cut in San Diego, when the barber mentioned that the 'town's aviator was in jail for smuggling Chinese illegal’s up from Mexico. Claude found out that if he replaced the pilot 'sitting in the pokey,' he would be able to lease the town's airfield for $50 a month -- BUT he also had to agree to fly North & East -- not South!

Northrop's original location was an obscure Southern California hotel. It was available because the police had raided the hotel, and found that its steady residents were money-minded gals entertaining transitory male hotel guests.

Glenn Martin built his first airplane in a vacant church, before he moved to a vacant apricot cannery in Santa Ana. He was a showman who traveled the county fair, and air meet circuit as an exhibitionist aviator. From his exhibition proceeds, Glenn was able to pay his factory workers, purchase the necessary wood, linen, and wire. His mother, Minta and, two men ran the factory while Glenn risked his neck gadding about the country. One of his workers was 22-year old Donald Douglas [who WAS the entire engineering department]. A Santa Monica youngster named Larry Bell [later founded Bell Aircraft which today is Bell Helicopter Textron] ran the shop.

Another part of Glenn Martin's business was a flying school with several planes based at Griffith Park, and a seaplane operation on the edge of Watts where his instructors taught a rich young man named Bill Boeing to fly.

Later, Boeing bought one of Glenn Martin's seaplanes, and had it shipped back to his home in Seattle. At this same time, Bill Boeing hired away Glenn's personal mechanic. After Boeing's seaplane crashed in Puget Sound, he placed an order to Martin for replacement parts.

Still chafing from having his best mechanic 'swiped,' [a trick he later often used himself] Martin decided to take his sweet time, and allowed Bill Boeing to 'stew' for a while. Bill Boeing wasn't known to be a patient man, so he began fabricating his own aircraft parts, an activity that morphed into constructing entire airplanes, and eventually the Boeing Company we know today.

A former small shipyard nicknamed 'Red Barn' became Boeing Aircraft's first home. Soon, a couple of airplanes were being built inside, each of them having a remarkable resemblance to Glenn Martin's airplanes...that interestingly, had its own remarkable resemblance to the Glenn Curtiss' planes.

A few years later, when the Great depression intervened, and Boeing couldn't sell enough airplanes to pay his bills, he diversified into custom built speed boats, and furniture for wealthy friends.

After WW-I, a bunch of sharpies from Wall Street gained control of the Wright Brothers Co. in Dayton plus the Martin Company in L.A...a merger that became the Wright-Martin Company.

Wright-Martin began building an obsolete biplane design with a foreign Hispano-Suiza engine. Angered because he had been out maneuvered with a bad idea, Martin walked out taking Larry Bell, and other key employees with him.

From the deep wallet of a wealthy baseball mogul, Martin was able to establish a new factory. Then his good luck continued when the future aviation legend, Donald Douglas, was persuaded by Glenn to join his team. The Martin MB-1 quickly emerged from the team's efforts, and became the Martin Bomber.

Although too late to enter WW-I, the Martin Bomber showed its superiority when Billy Mitchell used it to sink several captured German battleships, and cruisers to prove it's worth. He was later court martialed for his effort.

In Cleveland, a young fellow called 'Dutch' Kindelberger joined Martin as an engineer. Later, as the leader of North American Aviation, Dutch became justifiably well-known.

Flashing back to 1920, Donald Douglas had saved $60,000, returned to L.A., rented a barbershop's rear room, and loft space in a carpenter's shop nearby. There he constructed a classic passenger airplane called the Douglas Cloudster.

A couple of years later, Claude Ryan bought the Cloudster, and used it to make daily flights between San Diego, and Los Angeles. This gave Ryan the distinction of being the first owner/operator of Douglas transports. Claude Ryan later custom built Charles Lindbergh's ride-to-fame in the 'flying fuel tank' christened: The Spirit of St. Louis.

In 1922, Donald Douglas won a contract from the Navy to build several torpedo carrying aircraft. While driving through Santa Monica's wilderness, Douglas noticed an abandoned, barn-like movie studio. He stopped his roadster, and prowled around. The abandoned studio became Douglas Aircraft's first factory.

With the $120,000 contract in his hand, Donald Douglas could afford to hire one or two more engineers. My brother, Gordon Scott, had been schooled in the little known science of aviation at England's Fairey Aviation, so he hired Gordon.

My first association with the early aviation pioneers occurred when I paid my brother a visit at his new work place. Gordon was outside on a ladder washing windows. He was the youngest engineer. Windows were dirty, and Douglas Aircraft Company had no money to pay janitors.

Gordon introduced me to a towhead guy called Jack Northrop, and another chap named Jerry Vultee. Jack Northrop had moved over from Lockheed Aircraft. All of them worked together on the Douglas Aircraft's 'World Cruiser' designs.

While working in his home after work, and on weekends, Jack designed a wonderfully advanced streamlined airplane. When Allan Loughead [Lockheed] found a wealthy investor willing to finance Northrop's new airplane, he linked up with Allan. and together they leased a Hollywood workshop where they constructed the Lockheed Vega. It turned out to be sensational with its clean lines, and high performance. Soon Amelia Earhart, and others flew the Vega to break many of aviation's world records.

I had the distinct pleasure of spending time with Ed Heinemann who later designed the AD, A3D and A4D. He told me how my dad would fly out to Palmdale with an experimental aircraft they were both working on. They would take it for a few hops, and come up with some fixes. After having airframe changes fabricated in a nearby machine shop, they would hop it again to see if they had gotten the desired results. If it worked out, Mr. Heinemann would incorporate the changes on the aircraft's assembly line. No money swapped hands!

In May 1927, Lindbergh flew to Paris, and triggered a bedlam where everyone was trying to fly everywhere. Before the first Lockheed Vega was built, William Randolph Hearst had already paid for it, and had it entered in an air race from California to Honolulu.

In June 1927, my brother, Gordon, left Douglas Aircraft to become Jack Northrop's assistant at Lockheed. While there, he managed to get himself hired as the navigator on Hearst's Vega. The race was a disaster, and ten lives were lost. The Vega, and my brother vanished. A black cloud hung heavily over the little shop. However, Hubert Wilkins, later to become Sir Hubert Wilkins, took Vega #2, and made a successful polar flight from Alaska to Norway. A string of successful flights after that placed Lockheed in aviation's forefront.

I went to work for Lockheed as it 26th employee, shortly after the disaster, and I worked on the Vega. It was made almost entirely of wood, and I quickly become a half-assed carpenter.

At this time, General Motors had acquired North American consisting of Fokker Aircraft, Pitcairn Aviation [later Eastern Airlines] and Sperry Gyroscope, and hired Dutch Kindelberger away from Douglas to run it. Dutch moved the entire operation to L.A. where Dutch and his engineers came up with the P-51 Mustang.

Interestingly, just a handful of young men played roles affecting the lives of all it initiated the Southern California metamorphosis, from a semi-desert with orange groves and celluloid, into a dynamic complex supporting millions.

Although this technological explosion had startling humble beginnings, taking root as acorns in -- a barber shop's back room -- a vacant church -- an abandoned cannery -- it became a forest of mighty oaks."

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Author of 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Fun and Games...

Aviation Style...

Eastern Airline Radio Show Members,
EAL Radio Show Episode 310, Today, Monday. 
March 20, 2017 has fun at the movies and radio. 

We play a game of Trivia by asking our listeners
 and hosts to identify the movie/radio 
show/or airport with the music/sounds. 

 Prizes will be awarded to winners.

Come and join this Flight of Trivia Fun Monday, 
Tonight, March 20th at 7 pm EDT

See you date the Gate. 
 Call-in number is 213-816-1611

Listen in at

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene

Author of...

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Brady Family

Friday Fabulous Flyers

Kevin Brady

Kevin Brady has a career in airline and travel management, is writing a book on his travel adventures, and he had a travel blog, photos and videos too. I'm thinking he has some stories to share. I've been snooping on his blog and found a few things...  

"I have been in six emergency landings in my life. I define "emergency landing" as a time when fire trucks, ambulances and police cars line the runway, Air Traffic Control has been notified, all airspace is cleared, and the pilot gives a reassuring platitude downplaying any danger - "everything will be fine." Pilots are usually very good at this, but we travelers know better. It's not unlike a Doctor saying, "well, we have some problems here, but don't worry."  I like the way the doctor says "we." Emergency landings are so uncommon today that it usually makes the evening news.  They were not so unusual in the past, when I was flying frequently."

John Brady 

But Kevin did not reach out to shout about himself. He wanted to share the story of his father, who has an amazing history in aviation."

John Brady 

"We are an aviation family - 
My father learned on the Stearman, 
flew the B29 in WW2, 

John Brady in B29

started with Eastern Airlines on the DC-3, 
and flew every plane they had 
except the Electra, 
retiring in 1980 on the L-1011."

Captain Brady in L1011

Unfortunately Kevin couldn't fly due to an eyesight limitation but he ended up working in sales for National Airlines and PanAm, then managing travel for Merrill Lynch for 20 years, and has had the opportunity to fly all over the world.  

Keven and traveling partner in front of PanAm B747

"I've flown on 60 different airlines. 
I've only been on about 1,845 flights in my life." 

1845 flight and six crashes. I would say that's pretty good not being a pilot. He's also flown a Cessna and flew about 10 minutes on the 727 and and L-1011 during checkrides. But, back to his father ... 

Kevin says his father is nearing completion of his 97th year on earth, and he has many great old-time aviation stories. Thankfully Kevin is writing down these stories, and recording some as his father reminisces about the good old days. I'm looking forward to reading them. 

John Brady Reminiscing 

Twice John took over for captains who lost control, he landed a prop plane with the right wing landing gear up, he even knew a captain for Eastern who wore a parachute while he flew, after an Electra had a wing separation. Kevin says, "EAL management frowned on their pilots wearing parachutes." 

Captain Brady with grandkids 

Captain John Brady had an un-contained engine explosion on L-1011 out of Atlanta on a hot summer day headed to SJU (San Juan).  He also flew with a captain that got completely lost. He has many more stories and I'm looking forward to reading them all. 

Captain Brody's Grandson 

The pilot with eyes that tell many stories...
97 and living strong! 

Captain John Brady today!

Kevin has a model collection you wouldn't believe, and says, "all of planes I have flown on with the exact livery, and a video of a Concorde flight I took from start to finish. I also have a video of the inaugural CO EWR-HKG flight, which I was told was the first twin engine plane to fly over the north pole (B777)"  

You'll have to check out Kevin's

The stories are amazing... 

Here is a taste... 

"It was a regular day in March, on a milk run shuttle flight from Newark to Boston, Eastern Airlines flight 1320.  At the controls was Captain Bob Wilber, a good friend of my father’s, a fellow Eastern pilot who visited us often to play golf.  Many years later, his arms still show two large scars from his hands to his elbows, a lasting reminder of multiple gunshot wounds he survived.

Normally, gunshot wounds to the arms would not put you in grave danger. Not unless you happen to be the captain of a commercial flight at 5,000 feet altitude after your co-pilot was mortally wounded and a hijacker was in the cockpit with a gun intent on killing you and crashing your airplane. This was the situation Captain Wilber faced on St. Patrick’s Day, Tuesday, March 17, 1970.

John DiVivo boarded the flight at Newark Airport bound for Boston’s Logan airport, with 72 other passengers and a crew of five. Everything was normal until passing over Franklin, Ma. About 30 miles south of the airport. At that time passengers paid in flight for the shuttle and were guaranteed a seat, without a reservation.  If more passengers showed up that the plane held, they would pull out another plane. When the flight attendant asked for the $15.75 one-way fare, DiVivo said he didn’t have it and pulled out a .38 caliber revolver.  He demanded to be brought to the cockpit. Captain Wilber told the flight attendant to tell the passengers they were being diverted but everything would be fine. The pilots expected him to demand to be taken to Cuba “That was the destination of choice” said Wilber. This was long before the suicide hijackers of today. But DiVivo  said “take me east.”


Enjoy the Journey
XO Karlene

Author of 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Aviation Passion

Soars through history... 

What happens when you can't fly
due to a medical issue? 

You still enjoy the journey! 

Below are photos of one of the most passionate passengers I know! 

Kevin has flown on the above aircraft- 
same livery as here

And then there was more! 

NOTE: This entire collection is not in a museum, but in Kevin Brady's home! 

The Essence of Passion! 

Meet Kevin and his WWII Aviator Father tomorrow! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Author of