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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."


PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, 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. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

New Year 2023

Happy New Year!

To Excellent Health,
Much Happiness
And all the Joy you can Imagine

Without saying, this year has ended many years of trials and tribulations. My unexpected seven year battle has taken a physical toll, but it did not take my spirit. While one of my New Year's resolutions is to restore my health, I have also decided to play more golf, improve Aviation Safety, help others fight their battles of injustice, and finish my novel Flight For Justice. 


I ended 2022 with my husband and little sister in Palm Desert. We celebrated her birthday by golfing four days in a row, followed by bringing in the new year. January 1st my hubby and I begin our drive back to Seattle. Hours on the freeway always gives me ample time to think. During this drive I will be contemplating what the New Year will look like. 

While change is often scary, it can also be very rewarding. Embrace the change in your life and enjoy every moment! You'll want to stay tuned for what is about to happen in mine. 

Happy New Year!


Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas 2022

Love is the Reason


For this Holiday Season

Enjoy Every Moment for each is Special!

XOX Karlene 

Monday, December 12, 2022

Power of Never Giving Up!

Pilots Fighting Back!  

The power of never giving up can change the world! Pilots who did not drink but have been accused of doing so at the hands of USDTL, a for profit testing center, is being charged for:

FRAUD
NEGLIGENCE 
NEGLIGENT INFLICTION 
OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS 
VICARIOUS LIABILITY


"Getting a false positive made me live the life of 
Andy Dufrane in Shawshank Redemption... 
I never thought the storm would last so long...”
Captain Mike Danford

June of 2020 I wrote a post warning pilots of the issues in the HIMS program (pilot alcohol program), primarily due to the use of a Dry Blood Spot PEth test and the history of false positives, that have been used specifically by airlines to destroy pilots' lives, despite the fact that they did not drink. Union contracts that allow for termination if they "test positive" not if they actually drank. 

"PEth is a group of phospholipids formed in cell membranes by an enzymatic reaction between ethanol and phosphatidylcholine." PEth testing is used to determine if a person drank alcohol in the previous 10-14 days. There is a preponderance of reasons that PEth can be identified in the blood, even if the person did not drink. Despite known false positives, pilots are losing their careers, and others are losing their lives. PEth is not an FDA approved test. Yet the FAA allows airlines to use this to test pilots. Can you see the problem?

In January 2022 I brought to light that pilots were being accused of drinking when they didn't. Under the Railway Labor Act, pilots are forced into arbitrations where arbitrators are paid by the very same management who is using the program to remove pilots they want to get rid of. A dynamic female captain, who received a false positive, has been fighting hard to change the program to what it should be: Help those who are alcoholics. Another pilot who lost his job due to a false positive has not given up his pursuit of fixing this problem either. He holds more knowledge on the subject of PEth than anyone I know. These two make an incredible team in fighting for justice, and today was a huge success. 

Today a lawsuit was filed against: 

United States Drug Testing Laboratories, Inc. 

“USDTL” CASE NO. 22-CV-62325.

"United States Drug Testing Laboratories, Inc. (“USDTL”) is a for profit Illinois corporation with its principal place of business is in Illinois. USDTL is a business-to-business specimen testing laboratory that does substantial business with, and depends on more than 50 partners or clients, in Florida."

USDTL does not reasonably: 

a. provide any training to donors on how to provide samples; 

b. oversee a donor’s provision of samples; 

c. have a system or process in place to ascertain whether a donor has received any training at all; 

d. provide any training to collectors-observers on how to observe donors to ensure collection protocol is complied with; 

e. have a system or process in place to ascertain that retrieval, storage, packaging, and shipment of samples back to USDTL is done in compliance with USDTL instructions or protocol; 

f. have a system or process in place to ascertain whether a collector-observer has any training at all.”

(Page 17)  

"Drug Testing is a Profit Center. The defendants know drug/alcohol testing is a “profit center.” “Drug Testing, the Technology of Recovery for Professional Health Monitoring Programs” on their website. They do commercial DBS PEth testing to generate profit." 

"No other laboratories do commercial DBS PEth testing." 

(page 31).

Lewis, their “lab guy” says he doesn’t “deal with people”, but he “steals ideas” he doesn’t come up with them on his own. He looks to other’s research and tries to “weasel them into our work.” 

(Page 32). 

Believe in the Power of Perseverance!
Know that when something is wrong, you can fix it!
Have Faith and Never Give up.

Justice may feel slow... but trust me, it will be served! 

I am so proud of the pilots who gave their time, energy or their career to make this litigation happen and hold USDTL, and those individuals involved, accountable! I want to give a  huge thanks to attorneys Jordan Redavid and Keyla J. Smith for seeing the truth, having faith for taking this most important case, and the ability to write one hell of a complaint! We will be following this all the way to completion!

Read the full case here:

Enjoy the Journey! 
XO Karlene 




Sunday, December 11, 2022

The Power of Money

Airline Safety with a Price Tag 

What is Your Price?

A man walks into a bar and sees a beautiful woman. He buys her a drink. He's cute. He's charming. He says, "Would you sleep with me for a million dollars?" She smiles and says, "Of course." He says, "Would you sleep with me for twenty-five dollars?" She says, "Of course not! What do you think I am?" He responds, "We already established what you are, now we're just negotiating a price." 

Do you Change Your Values Based Upon the Price Tag?

In Flight to Success, be the Captain of your Life I discussed the need to establish a safety line before you are confronted with a situation that results in a decision that was justified in the moment due to external pressures. Our safety standards must be engraved in cement, because a line in the sand is easily moved. It can even disappear with a light wind, the flow of the ocean, or a stack of hundred dollar bills. It's important to have a plan of action before you are faced with an ethical dilemma. It's important to know who you are, set your standards, and don't waiver. 

Over the previous seven years I have witnessed deception, deceit, federal violations, and people doing the most horrific and illegal things for money. I am certain ego and power had something to do with this behavior, but the financial reward cannot be overlooked. 

Yesterday I received an honor from the Giraffe's Hero Project for sticking my neck out. This highlighted my thoughts on what we do for money, but also what we would not do to avoid losing it. 

I would have been the person hiding Jewish people during the Holocaust. I would have been running the Underground Railroad. I challenged the bullies in the schoolyard who were picking on the little kids. I would be the first person to intervene if someone was being raped, and not hesitate jumping into a river to save a drowning person. While working for Tower Air, my first instinct and step was toward the aftermath a screeching of tires, a car hitting a body that flew into the air like a ragdoll. My captain grabbed the back of my shirt to stop me and said, "He's gone. There is nothing you can do." 

What I am saying is there is no amount of money for me to look the other way, don't help someone, or worse yet-- harm them. 

What are your standards? 

I've been watching the old series Ozark. The best thing about waiting years to start a series is that you can watch the episodes sequentially and see the cause and effect of the behaviors in a compressed time. If you've watched that series you should remember that the very first decision that set the course of action in motion, was simply a justification in response to the amount of money Marty and Wendy would receive and their perceived need. 

When an entire airline culture believes it's okay to justify wrongdoings for money, this becomes normalized deviance. This is when airline safety is challenged. The airline industry needs each individual. working within the system to do what is right. Don't look the other way. Stand beside those who come forward to do the right thing. Don't accept financial enticement to fly an additional trip that pushes you over your limit of fatigue. If you are feeling anxious, or stressed about something, use your sick leave and stay home. Put your oxygen mask on first. Make those decisions as to how you'll deal with your emergency or crisis before it actually happens. 

“Have the courage to say no. 
Have the courage to face the truth. 
Do the right thing because it is right. 
These are the magic keys to living 
your life with integrity.”
W. Clement Stone


Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

 

Monday, November 7, 2022

Airline Safety!

How Safe Is Your Airline?

The most interesting thing about the aviation industry is that management grades themselves on being a "safe airline" in relation to their accident rate. You'll often hear of self-professed safety because they have not had an accident. But what they don't tell you is how many close calls they've had. Pilots falling asleep on short final, lining up to land on the taxiway, missed communications, errors due to lack of automation understanding, etc. Yet, they've haven't had an accident, thus they assert they are safe. 

I pose this question to anyone 
who thinks safety is determined 
by an accident: 

Scenario:

After work you stop by a bar to unwind and throw back a few drinks. Then you climb into your car and don't bother buckling your seatbelt. It only dings at you for a minute, until it silences. Your low tire pressure light illuminates, but it's been like that for years. One day you'll get it fixed. You still have some tread on at least two of your tires. No sense replacing them until you have to. You'll get it all checked out the first chance you get. You back out of your parking spot feeling the warmth of your alcohol, finally relaxed from your long day, and head home. Your wife would be furious if you're late, but you've learned a shortcut through a residential area. Doing 45 in a 25 mile per hour zone, running stop signs because most families are having dinner at this time nobody is on this road, you pull into your driveway. You've made it! This pattern of drinking, driving a car that needs work, no seatbelts, and speeding in an area that puts others at risk, has been ongoing for three years and you have never had an accident. 

How Safe Are You?

A few facts about fatigue and alcohol: If you are a 160 pound man who has had two drinks, that will put you over the FAA Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) regulation of .04%. If you have three three drinks you'll be up to .08% for men and a 140 pound woman will have a BCL of .11%.  What if the same individuals had four drinks? Men and women would have a BAL of .11% and .15% respectively.  

This is significant because pilots are flying fatigued. Pilots are being pushed beyond limits of legal alcohol consumption. Research identifies that seventeen hours awake is equivalent to a BAL of .05%, 21 hours awake is equivalent to a BAL of .08%, and 24 hours awake is equivalent to BAL of .10%.  It appears that "pilot pushing" is nothing short of downing 2-4 drinks prior to short final. 

Combine fatigue with substandard training, negative safety culture, and lack of systems understanding.  How safe is this industry? My doctoral research spoke volumes. While very few dissertations are read, I turned my dissertation into a book:  Normalization of Deviance, A Threat to Aviation Safety.  


Find your ebook by clicking on Kindle. If you would like an autographed copy, order off this website. 

Without a full understanding of the problem, 
there cannot be a solution.

How safe is the Aviation Industry?
Normalization of Deviance 
might just answer that question!

Heartfelt gratitude to the 7400 pilots who took their time and energy to participate in this research, and for the numerous comments and stories you shared that found their way into this research and the book. Your comments are priceless and explain so much. Thank you! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 



Wednesday, November 2, 2022

H is for Human Factors

Share the Love of 
Human Factors
With the Little Ones in Your Life!

An incredible lady sent me this book...and I thought it was so cute that you might want to share it with your kids. Education improves lives as it opens its door to a variety of experiences. 


This is the second in their series. "'H is for Human Factors' breaks down the concept of designing products to work better for people. Written by human factors experts from Bold Insight, a Chicago-based user experience (UX) and human factors research and design agency, the book playfully illustrates the industries and products that kids find in their lives which have been designed with human factors concepts in mind. We hope you enjoy sharing your passion for human factors research and design with the children in your life!"


To Learn More or Order 
Your Copy by clicking on: 

Enjoy the Journey!!
XO Karlene 


Monday, October 24, 2022

Whistleblowers

Fighting Back! 



Jackie Garrick
Whistleblowers of America

With all the talk about a Whistleblower in the news last week, there is no better time than now to explain the impact on whistleblowers. 

Jacqueline Garrick is the Founder of Whistleblowers of America, Workplace Promise Institute. She is compassionate and has dedicated her life to helping others. Jackie was a whistleblower herself who had been retaliated against and suffered the grave consequences. She was terminated, and without financial means to employ an attorney she took on the legal battle herself, and she succeeded. But not without enduring the consequences. Retaliation is bad enough, but standing up to right the wrong has consequences all its own. 

 "The financial ruin, defamation of character, social ostracism, public humiliation, and the loss of belonging and a lost sense of purpose, impact employees who become depressed, anxious, and suicidal. They suffer from the symptoms of PTSD. They have nightmares, intrusive thoughts, flashbacks and become guilt-ridden, avoidant, and angry. They face divorce, homelessness, and poverty as they struggle with their emotional decline and stagnation because of workplace traumatic stress." Jackie Garrick

While I was conducting a search as to the impact to whistleblowers, I came across the following article, based on Jackie's research. This is a must read if you have suffered the consequences of retaliation, harassment, or discrimination of any kind or know someone who has. 

                            Whistleblower Retaliation Checklist

Abstract: 

Whistleblowers are an often misunderstood and miscategorized group of employees who suffer retribution for being relators of organizational wrongdoing. They step forward because they feel compelled to speak out against illegalities, improprieties, or injustices that could cause harm to the public welfare or to other individuals. But, when whistleblowers take on powerful, entrenched systems whose leadership has perpetrated or condoned these injustices, retaliation, harassment, and discrimination often ensues.

These workplace traumatic stressors have long-term psychosocial impacts on these ethical individuals, but the toxic retaliatory tactics used against them are not well documented, classified, or quantified. The mental health profession needs to have a trauma-informed framework for understanding the taxonomy of workplace retaliatory tactics and the means to help their patients mitigate the psychological distress these individuals face. This is especially important when conducting forensic exams for treatment or compensatory damages. Furthermore, organizations that want to be salutogenic for their staff, effective in their missions, and conserve their public and often global reputations need to incorporate whistleblowing protective practices into their management structure and social cultures. 

This article analyzes the Whistleblower Retaliation Checklist (WRC) survey results, hundreds of peer support conversations with whistleblowers, and it offers a comprehensive literature review. It is meant to give insight into the psychosocial impacts of life after whistleblowing and the need for a new mental health paradigm to emerge for all employees, first relators, and their employers. 


Not only has Jackie conducted extensive research,
but her book is about to be released!



Jackie understands that those who have faced retaliation often suffer from PTSD.  If you have been retaliated against and need assistance you can reach out to Jackie here: 





Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene