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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.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fly it Forward!

Fly it Forward is a 7-week challenged to create a miracle for one woman, and to change the life of thousands of others. And you could be the winner of a $100 bill!

January 1, 2011 update: I am holding the $100 drawing on January 6th to allow everyone to get their flights logged. I will announce the winner on the 7th!

To enter, you need to click on the link and follow this blog. Then leave me a message with your first and last name and how many women you flew. 

Example: Karlene Petitt, I flew 2~  (I'm not counting my A330 passengers) 

Then check back on the 7th to see if your name is posted.

This is my part in a grassroots effort by women, for women, but we need MEN to help, too.

It's been 100 years since the first woman earned her pilots license. To celebrate this anniversary, Mireille Goyer had a vision of introducing "2010" new girls and women to aviation this year. For all who signed up, only 25% followed through. She's a bit short of her goal with only a little over 500.

Did you know that in 1910, Raymonde de Laroche was the first woman pilot to earn her pilot's license? During that year, only 3% of all pilots were women.

 Raymonde de Laroche

100 years later, Ari Fuji of Japan becomes the first female captain of a major Japanese commercial airliner. Way to go Ari!

 Ari Fuji

Throughout the years there have been a multitude of firsts for women. But, today, women still only represent 6% of all pilots.

With 7 weeks until the end of the year, I'm asking for your help.

In honor of the 100 years of licensed women aviators, I'm holding a drawing and giving a $100 bill to one "Man or Woman" who introduces a girl or women to flying.

  • Fill up your plane with a women or girls. Balloons. Gliders. Blimps.
  • Take them to work, if you teach in a Full-Flight Commercial Simulator. 
  • Take a photo of your logbook entry of the flight.
  • Take a photo of your passengers, or the women in the seat of the simulator.
  • Write up a flight report in word format with women/girls names, the uniqueness of your flight, and a little about you.
  • Sign up to follow this blog and then....
  • Email "Everything" to me at and to Mireille at   

    Mireille would love for you to sign up and register on her website so she can send you information and track your progress. But for the sake of the contest she said emails are just fine.

    To register go to:

    You can see how you're doing in her contest, plus she has incredible facts on the history of women in aviation.

    Every entrant, pilot and passenger, will receive a digital certificate. Your flight will be posted on her websight. Trophies will be given for:
    • Most women friendly airport.
    • Person who introduced the most non-pilot women and girls to aviation.
    • Most unusual introduction, aircraft type, location, registration, or passenger uniqueness. 

      From now until the end of the year, I will have a link attached to this post on the top right of my blog to reference this post. When you meet your the qualifications, your name will be added to the list of entries for the $100 drawing. Drawing will be held December 31st. Multiple entries welcomed and encouraged!  For each women or girl you introduce, you'll get an entry. Stuff the ballot! Take up 100 women!

      • Go to your FBO and enlist support. Encourage them to create their own contest. 
      • Meet with the airport manager, can they help?
      • Not a pilot? Email this link to pilots you know! 
      • Work for an aviation related company? Sponsor a contest.
      • Get creative. Pass the word. Let's make Mireille's dream come true. 
      • If you want me to make your a flyer, ask. 

        We don't have much time! Fly it Forward and let's make the goal of 2010 new women and girls in the air, in the year 2010, become a reality for the 100th anniversary!

        What can you do to help? Post your ideas below.

        If you are planning an event, let us know-- and email me at and request a "Flight Proof Sheet"  --- The easiest way to log your flights.

        Enjoy the journey!

        ~ Karlene


          1. Hi Karleen- thanks for telling us about this. When I was located in DFW, the local 99's did the Girl Scouts aviation badge seminars- great exposure for the girls. We each did a little activity with them. (I did one on careers in aviation other than pilots- scientist, atc, safety investigations, etc..)
            With all of us spread out across the US- if we each contacted our local girl scouts and offered to talk to them about it- I bet we could expose lots of girls to the love of flight :)

          2. What a fantastic cause Karlene! Have I told you how much you rock lately? I'm on it! You should get Darby to tweet about it too!

          3. Thank you Karla! Yes. Wait until you read tomorrow's Friday Flyer. Lesley impacted her troop! We don't have much time... but I know we can do this! Thank YOU!!!

          4. Thank you Heather! She is going to be my poster child! YOU are too sweet.

          5. This is great! Even though I managed to "get into this" all by my self. Back in Norway, I had to, almost daily, "defend" my career choice. People thought I was insane, and said I would never make it. Friends and even some family members didn't have faith in me, but to see the small steps I take every day towards my dream, is proof enough for me that this is what I love, and this is what I want to do. What a better year to start my training than 2010, 100 years after Raymonde de Laroche got her license.


          6. What a great idea to bolster the record attempt. In fact, we have already started! Yesterday, we (the First Canadian Chapter of the Ninety-Nines) held a fly-out for this very purpose - to celebrate the "Centennial of Women Licensed Pilots" by flying non-pilot women and girls to Edenvale for the proverbial $100 hamburger. 11 airplanes flew in, 8 of those airplanes contained 16 non-pilot women. A total of 33 people joined us for the fun!
            Good luck, Karlene and Mireille!
            Lesley P - November 12 Friday Fabulous Flyer

          7. Way to go Lesley!!! You now have 16 entries in the contest! Yeah!!! Updating the total. You are a superstar. I was bragging about you tonight to my crew.

          8. Karlene, I was so happy to see you get behind Mireille's passionate cause and help her reach her goal. I host the blog and have a new post encouraging our ladies & visitors to link to your site, register & participate. Thanks so much for pitching in and spreading the word. A lot can happen in a few short weeks!!


            One side note; The Centennial of Licensed Women Pilots website is full of interesting information but not the most user friendly. It is not immediately obvious how to participate and might take a little effort to register but is well worth it.

          9. Judy, Thank you so much for the posting. And thanks for the reminder about the website being full of great information. I have learned so much from Mireille. Thanks so women like yourself, I know she will make her goal.

          10. Karlene, I placed an image-link on the index-page directing our visitors to your blog.

            I'm looking forward in seeing the positive results.

          11. That looks excellent! Thank you. I know we'll get positive results. Thank you so much!

          12. Hello!
            I'm not a female pilot, but I'll be there with a Cessna 172 giving rides. I'll hopefully bring a few women along also to help set the record.



          13. Hi Karlene,
            It was a treat to see you and your team orchestrating this fabulous event!! At last count today, I heard there were over 115 woman/girls that had taken their first flight from the Renton Municipal Airport, me being one of them!! Now, I'm writing you back to have you enter my name in the $100 drawing and keeping my little fingers crossed! My experience in the Cessna Cirus flight with the former VP of Boeing was an AMAZING experience!! We had some butterbly deliveries from air pockets, he was so kind and let our little 10-yr old "co-pilot"participate in his flight explanations, and we even got to do a second pass at the airport because we were too close to landing with another airplane. The colors and details from the air were breathtaking!! We also enjoyed the way the descending sun caused a sliver of clouds to glow, like they were on fire!!! Thank for you pulling this grand event together and I aplaud you and your team for a successful "1st" in women-in-aviation!! Yours truly, Patti Delaney ( 12-5-10, 4:37pm

          14. Karlene, thanks for a wonderful experience and the awareness of the cause. Memorable!

          15. Patti, your description of the sky is phenomenal. Something everyone should see! Thank you.

            Paula, I'm glad you enjoyed the experience! We loved to have you.

          16. Hey Karlene, on the COWIA website in the participants list for December, I just noticed that quote that's listed with my name on Jackie's flight in the December 2010 participants, isn't my words at all. Those must be Zyola Mix's words, who is also a co-host of the Mile High Flyers podcast, and coordinated having Jackie come out to the airport for the flight. That cheesy line about "nibble" of aviation and trying to get Jackie to take a "bite" comes across as very awkward, especially considering that we had a frank discussion over dinner after the flight about how chauvinistic males can sometimes be about aviation! I'd rather see it attributed appropriately to Zyola. Coming from Zyola with her writing skills and island girl nature, it's a great line. Coming from me... not so much!

          17. Hi Nate, can you email Mireille at the centennial of women pilots? She's the person on that... I'm thinking. Because I'm not sure what this is in reference to. But... I'm really tired, so who knows what my mind is doing. We'll figure it out!

          18. LOL no problem. So my first comment disappeared... sigh... I shouldn't run computers this late at night. We had a great time taking Jackie, her boyfriend, and Zyola Mix (one of the co-hosts of the Mile High Flyers podcast and herself an aviator but with her struggle to find a job right now, not actively flying), up for an hour flight in N1279M, my STOL-equipped C-182 on Sunday from CENTENNIAL Airport (KAPA) near Denver, CO! Quite the appropriate Airport name, eh? ;-) Jackie is a morning on-air personality at KOSI Radio here in Denver. Since we were also recording audio for the podcast, I talked too much (gee, a podcast host talking too much -- who would have guessed?!), but dead air doesn't make for good podcast material, ya know? Jackie was fairly quiet, taking it all in, but I handed over 79M in cruise to Jackie, complete with proper control hand-off and explanation, and then got some great "That's amazing!" moments on the recording from Jackie. I had a GREAT time participating in this, and look forward to any other flights that "need" to be made! Taking new folks up to the sky is awesome. Jackie's website for her work at the radio station is here: -- Both Jackie and her friend were super nice folks, and big thanks to Zyola for finding Jackie and setting up the flight. I can only wish that we didn't have the oh-so-lovely 1970's "Goldenrod" colored and aged interior in our poor old 1975 Cessna, but as I mentioned during the pre-flight... 79M is well-maintained and flys great. Just kinda ugly on the inside! (New rule: Rent a Cirrus for these things! Ha! Nah... 79M is our "baby".) The other co-owners of 79M have said they're up for flying some folks too, so if you hear of more interest in the Denver, CO area... send 'em our way! We'll be putting up the audio as a special podcast episode of Mile High Flyers soon, too! (Now you probably understand... 'cause this comment should have shown up before the one above... but somehow I clicked wrong and goofed it all up! LOL!)

          19. Nate, your comment is up... I must have posted it...but didn't see it now until Lipopilot came in with a comment. Thank you Lipo!

            And... Thank YOU NATE!!!! You are awesome for doing that and got some great coverage too!

          20. Great contest! I got my private pilot cert last month, just in time to fly one woman on her first single engine flight. We had a great time!

            I run an aviation forum for Cessna 172 enthusiasts, and I'll post a note about the contest there.

          21. Thank you Susie! Looking forward to visiting your forum! Happy Holidays!

          22. Hi Karlene, love your blog and the contest is great!
            I took my niece for her very first airplane ride on Christmas Eve. We had a blast and she may even have caught the bug!

          23. Hi Judith, thank you so much!!! This is one good bug to catch! Good luck on the contest!

          24. Happy New Year Karlene. It was a lot of fun meeting all the gals that flew with me on the 18 flights. 54 was my total for the day and what a super opportunity to give back to the aviation community. Wishing everyone safe travels for 2011. Carpe Diem Dick

          25. Yeah Dick! 54 entries. And... did you know that's my lucky number? :)

          26. In the hopes that this is where I am supposed to leave my info, here it is:

            I flew 3 women on 3/8/10
            I flew 1 woman on 9/10/10
            I flew 2 women on 12/31/10

            Grand total: 6 women

            Thanks for sponsoring the $100 for this great idea!

            I look forward to meet you one day.

            Monika Petrillo

          27. Doug Devries flew 41 women between the 5th and the 30th.

          28. Hi, Karlene,

            This is Peter Morton. Best I can count, I flew 16 women before the December 5 event, 21 (seven flights at 3 each) on December 5, and 6 women on December 28. Total would be 43.

            See you Thursday January 6 at AHS.

          29. Thank you Peter!... 43 it is! Great.

          30. Karlene, I flew 22 girls and women. I think the women appreciated the flights even more than Young Eagles do, so this event turned out to be lots of fun !
            Jeff Page

          31. Hi, my name is Amanda Sargent and I have a flying problem... but I don't want that to change.

            I flew 117 lovely ladies :) (...and couldn't have done it alone!)

            Thanks Karlene and Mireille!

          32. ...well, make that 119, I found two more. :)

          33. Hi Karlene, fabulous contest. I got back into flying 8 years ago, with a female instructor. Joined the CYOO Oshawa crusade led by Lesley Page and flew 18 non pilot females this past year, and hopefully lot's more in 2011.
            Ed Johnston C-GKVK, CYOO

          34. For the glory of KRNT...

            My flying totals were
            12/5 21 gals
            12/31 4 gals (1 may be repeat--another flight that day, I think)
            elsewhere during the year, 3 gals

            that ends me up with 28.

            -- Mark


          Thank you for your comment! If your comment doesn't appear immediately, it will after I land. Enjoy the journey!