Contract Airline Services

"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.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I Want to Be a Pilot!

31 years ago I stood in front of my high school counselor's office, waiting patiently to discuss my future. When she finally had time for me, I excitedly said, "I want to be a pilot! What do I need to do?"

Moments of "the stare" and she said, "Women can't fly in the military, so I'm not sure what to tell you." And off I went. Lost. Unsure. Flying without a flight plan.

Today I had the incredible opportunity to meet with two young ladies who inspire to work in aviation. Below are photos from their Young Eagle flights. 

Katie McConville

Lauren Crom

These 16-year-old students are attending Aviation High School. Mature. Articulate. Brilliant. And they're focused on careers in the Aviation Industry. We're going to be seeing much more of these young ladies, and I'm excited to share what they're up to. But not yet. Plans are formulating.

The world has come a long way since I began flying. There are incredible education opportunities available, but students need mentors. Not many kids are as fortunate as Lauren and Katie whose parents are completely involved in their education. These lucky ladies are also being mentored by Peter Morton

If you have the chance to mentor a student--- do it! The rewards are many, for everyone involved.

I'm off to Tokyo this morning. Flying Fifi to Asia for the holidays. An exciting holiday season it is-- Santa is coming! 

Happy Holidays!!!

Enjoy the Journey~

~ Karlene


  1. Great story Karlene .. I remember 27 years ago, being asked by the principal of my high school "Hey Mr Flores, won't you take the career test?".. my answer was always the same "I alraedy know that i want and what i will become, a pilot!"..And he stared at me not so sure about my determination.. I made the test, as it was mandatory.. I didn't remember the results and i couldn't care less! hehehee..

    Good luck to these fine young ladies, fly to your dream! Enjoy every minute of it, i guarantee you'll never forget these times..

    Greets everyone

  2. From my experience of having no pilot mentor when becoming a pilot (and through my instrument training), it makes a great difference to have support and encouragement from pilots like these girls have. With a great mentor, they are more likely to succeed. These girls sound great!

  3. That's the way to take a stand Carlos!!! Some people just know what they want to do. You stick to that. Happy Holidays!

  4. These are a couple of superstars. While they'll have their licenses... I suspect they'll be building the planes we fly, one day.
    Happy Holidays Vic!

  5. What a horrible thing for a counselor to say! Though my meeting of that sort went much the same way. It's fantastic that you can now encourage others to pursue their dream and know no limits. Best of luck to Katie and Lauren! I'm certain they'll make it!

  6. It's fabulous that young women don't get the same level of skepticism they used to. What a great story, Karlene, and I know you're doing everything you can to smooth the road ahead for more women to fly. Mentoring sounds like a win-win for sure. Have fun with Fifi!

  7. I have a friend where I work that is taking lessons over at Boeing Field. We chat back and forth over he computer at work about flying questions and I have been meeting her the next day for a coffee break and debriefing. I think I have helped her a lot with questions and concerns before and after her lessons. I think I've helped a lot being a second instructor!
    Always fun to talk about airplanes, so I don't mind answering a questions while fixing broken computers. :-)
    (yes, she is counted as a RNT friendly passenger too).

    When you say you are flying Fifi, what plane is that? The only Fifi I know of is the Commemorative Airforce B-29! Or is Fifi the name of your office? ;-)


  8. Heather, I think back then they just didn't know any better. But look at us now! XOX Happy Holidays!

  9. Thanks Linda! Fifi and I had a good flight last night. And looking forward to mentoring in my life too. Happy Holidays!

  10. Hi Tom... You are a mentor! And at work too. Not a better thing to chat about when working. Okay... Why do they call the Airbus Fifi was a blog from September 21st. Here is the short link to it. Or... you can scroll down the right to the date. I think you'll like that one. :)
    PS... you're right!
    Happy Holidays!!!

  11. Amazing Karlene ... Aviation High School ... something like that does not exist in Germany at all. It is such a pity.
    And interesting ... it looked as if they were flying a Cirrus ... something quite difficult to afford here. Flying is so expensive in Germany due to insurance and regulations. This is the reason why so many Germans go to the US to collect hours.

  12. Hopefully someone will start an Aviation High School in Europe. Yes, I know students are coming our way to learn. Oh... and Aviation High School doesn't own a plane. That plane was thanks to Peter Morton, who is involved in Young Eagles and rents the plane to take the kids flying. He is mentoring these two young ladies as well. Check out Friday Flyer. We need to encourage people in Europe to sponsor kids to fly!

  13. That's a bit unsettling! I wonder how many high school girls gave up their airline pilot dream - before it even got started. Yes, the "experts" often think that they know what is & is not possible:
    E.g. In the publishing field, it was believed that "no one makes money writing children's books." And, then came along the author of the HARRY POTTER books... :)
    So, experts should never say, "It's not possible." Instead, they should say, "It's just never been done - YET!

    1. Dan... I was told this when I was 9. Those stubborn girls who don't take no for an answer didn't quit. But I am sure many did. Keep those dreams alive!


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