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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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

It's About The Tailwind!

Tailwind Cellars, that is.

Robbi and Doug DeVries invited my husband and myself to the first release part of Robbi's wine---Tailwind Cellars, and Doug's Grumman Goose project. What a night it was.

I happened to be in Reno at the Women in Aviation conference and flew home a day early for the party of the year. I lured my friend Kathy McCullough to join us with promise of music by Billy Joel. Yes, she shopped, changed her airline ticket, skipped town a day early, and flew to Seattle with me. So what's in a "L" anyway? ;)

Bill Joe--- and the Dusty 45's were incredible. As was the food, the company and especially Robbi's wine.

Billy, Jeff, Kathy, Tom and Jerry

Not only did everyone dance the night away in Doug's hangar at Paine field, but we were surrounded by airplanes. And guess what I found? Three more incredible pilots who will fly at our Fly-It-Forward Event on March 13th. Thank you Kevin, Craig and Mike! How many Beavers will we have at Renton? I'm thinking 3 or 4. (Don't ask Kathy)

Women, click Here to register and join us for the flight of your life. Follow the link to events, United States, and Renton Airport.

Mike's Beaver ... Come Fly with me March 13th at Renton
Doug's Grumman Goose project is well underway. I can't wait until she's complete! You can watch the progress here. It won't be long until she has wings to fly.  Bunky was definitely flying the night away.

Bunky promised to fly!
Bunky may be lusting after the Goose above--- the Grumman, not me--- but he's going to bring his Stearman to Renton. Similar to Doug's below... but a 1920's version. We're going to have the most eclectic group of planes!

Karlene and Doug and the Princess who flew Australia
The dilemma of the evening was how to get into this plane for a picture... in the dress. Yes... women pilots do have extra challenges. The 1942 Stearman that I'm lusting after was the star in the Great Circle Air Safari. Yes, there is a video! Click Here to purchase the journey of this incredible flight. Will I give a video away? Count on it.

Austin and his lovely wife, Mary, joined us for the evening too. Planes, women, wine and music... Austin was in heaven. Look left, look right, look behind you... I think he found his dream. Austin will be flying his 172 on floats for our Renton Event ... unless of course he makes an offer that Doug can't refuse on the King Air. This gorgeous plane is for sale. Whoever buys her and flies her in the Renton March 13th event, I'll buy a tank of gas, and give you a free T-shirt, too. There are some offers that can't be beat.

We had a wonderful time and met incredible people.
Doug and Robbi--- Thank you both!
Mike, Craig, Kevin, Bunky, and Austin... looking forward to the photo shoot as you take to the sky no March 13th.

Enjoy the Journey!


Friday, February 25, 2011

Monika Petrillo

Friday's Fabulous Flyer! 


Life is all about the journey. The best journey's are those that we learn something about ourselves in the process. 

Monika's journey began the day she decided to get her pilot's license at the age of twenty-four. Quite often we follow in our parent's footsteps, but this time Monika's father followed in her's.  A year after Monika got her license, her father, at fifty-eight, got his license too. Dad came to came to California, slept on her floor and flew during the day.

Then the adventure began. Together, with a group of planes and pilots, they flew a single-engine Cessna around the continent of Australia. Monika documented their trip the film FLYABOUT 

Dad and Monica in Front
With family in the backseat, and Monika and Dad in the front, Monika faced more challenges than just flying the plane, bad weather, and unfamiliarity with the terrain. The switching of roles between father and daughter--- Who is in command?--- was as interesting as the gorgeous scenery of Australia. Well, almost. The views couldn't be beat. It won't be long until I take this trip myself. 

Monika told me that she and her dad "safely made it to the other side. But it wasn't easy." Now, eleven years later, Monika has two children of her own. Last year her six-year-old daughter realized that mom flies planes, and had been begging for mommy to take her flying. 

It appears Monika had been waiting for the perfect time to take that flight. Thanks to the Centennial of Women Pilots campaign last year, Monika knew it was time. She introduced three women to flying. Two of them were six-years-old. Monika says...
"They were VERY excited about the experience of flying in a small airplane over their own house, school and past the Hollywood sign. But they were probably most excited when I handed them their certificate and told them that they had just contributed to setting the "World Record of Most Women Introduced To Flying In A Single Day. When I asked them what their favorite part was about the flight, Lauren Galles said: "The landing!". My own daughter, Louisa Petrillo, smiled and said: "The moment when the plane went up and then down. That felt a little bit like being in a roller coaster."

Monika's favorite part?  "Finally being able to share my dream of flying with my daughter."

Monika's journey continues. She's no longer reading to kangaroos, but sharing stories with her children. Teaching them that they too have wings to fly, no matter what they choose to do in life.  To see a clip of Monika's documentary, FLYABOUT, click: HERE

Thank you Monika for sharing your story. I am giving away "2" of these movies in a drawing to be held on April 1st  for "ANYONE" who leaves a comment. No April's Fools Joke--- An amazing video can be yours.

Enjoy your Journey wherever it takes you! 

~ Karlene

Thursday, February 24, 2011


My plane is not certified for RNP—yet. But when it is, I’ll be ready to go.

RNP (Required Navigation Performance) utilizes GPS (Global Positioning System), the aircraft FMS (Flight management system), and procedures that enable pilots to fly to lower minimums in areas of critical terrain or obstacles.

How can RNP do this? RNP, unlike RNAV (Area Navigation/Radar Navigation) takes into consideration “containment” where the airplane proves it can fly tighter tolerances utilizing GPS, FMS and trained pilots, enabling us to use lower landing minimums.

RNP in a quantitative value is .3 NM or less, and defines the accuracy limit of the approach. Containment is the protection limit, and is two times the RNP value. For example, with a .3 RNP value there can be no obstacles within .6NM of the course. Observing Actual Navigation Performance, ANP, is accomplished on the MCDU PROG page where we will monitor the aircraft's accuracy.
A key term in the RNP world is the RF (Radius to Fix) leg. The significance of the RF leg mandates a prescribed ground track to be flown, where wind, true airspeed…etc., have no impact.

RNP Reminders:
  • "Special Aircraft and Aircrew Authorization Required."
    • The aircraft must be certified.
    • Pilots must be trained.
  • High/low temperature restrictions are to be adhered to and found on the Jeppesen briefing strip.
    • See the above information: NA below 6 degrees C and above 59 degrees C.
  • Autopilot use is mandatory from the initial approach fix (RF leg) until visual reference with the landing runway. In the example above the RF leg begins at GLRIA.
  • A maximum of 165 knots is required on the RF leg.
    • Remember the A330 has groundspeed mini and could increase speeds above 165 knots, vigilance is necessary.
  • Do not proceed direct to a fix that begins the RF leg. Excessive approach angles may take the aircraft beyond the containment airspace.
Now the mystery--- I'm told there is not a Maltese cross on the RNP chart, and the FAF (Final Approach Fix) is identified by “GP Intcpt” on the profile view. However, I'm finding just the opposite information. In the example above, there is no Maltese cross but there is also not a "GP Intcpt" note. In the example below, I clearly see the cross over WIDGA. What gives? Does anyone have the answer?

If you're certified for an RNP or have been trained to fly this type of approach, I would love to know the tricks. Or my friends in the tower--- do you have anything you could add to increase our knowledge of this type of approach? Thank you all.

Enjoy the Journey!

~ Karlene

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Opening Doors to The World of Aviation

    I am off to my first Women in Aviation Conference. Click HERE for conference details.

    And happy to say that Delta Air Lines is a proud sponsor of WAI, and donates scholarships annually. I hear that a couple of scholarship recipients actually fly for Delta Air Lines! I'm really looking forward to meeting them.

    Thank you Delta for your support!

    As you also know, I'm also highly involved with Women of Aviation Worldwidweek. We like to call WOAW!

    What is the difference between WAI and WOA?

    "Women in Aviation, International is a nonprofit 501(C)(3) organization dedicated to providing networking, education, mentoring and scholarship opportunities for women (and men) who are striving for challenging and fulfilling careers in the aviation and aerospace industries."

    Women Of Aviation Worldwide is the support system of WAI.

    Women of Aviation is opening doors and exposing women to a world they otherwise wouldn't be part of. They're creating an excuse for women and girls to FLY---opening the door to the sky.

    Last year Women of Aviation introduced a l,647 girls and women, in 29 countries on 4 continents to flying. WOAW for sure! The current worldwide female pilot population is estimated at 80,000, and with last year's numbers we introduced over 2% more. How many more this year? Thanks to the support of Pilots worldwide the sky is not the limit. Thanks to WAI those women have mentors, education opportunities, scholarship programs, and a place to network. Thanks to nintey-nines we have pilots supporting their local communities.

    I guess you could say, everyone involved in Women "OF" Aviation is not only recruiting future pilots and members for WAI, but for the ninety-nines too! Women of Aviation is recruiting future Private Pilots, Future Airline pilots, future Aviation Enthusiasts.

    Who are the ninety-nines?

    Click Here to learn all about them. But who are "my" ninety-nines?

    The GREATER SEATTLE CHAPTER SOARS! See what we're doing at my local chapter. Click HERE.

    Thank you ladies for the warm welcome!

    I am very excited to be part of this group! These women pilots are helping their communities. The same communities that support aviation.

    Join me Sunday, February 27, 2011 ~ Northwest Aviation Conference & Trade Show ~ Showplex Exhibit Hall ~ Puyallup Fair & Events Center (enter through Orange gate) ~ Puyallup, WA 98371. I will be there from 2-4 p.m. I would love to meet you! For more information click HERE

    "Be it on the ground or in the sky, you too can fly!"

    Educating. Motivating. Inspiring. One flight at a time...

    Together, we can make a difference!

    Enjoy the Journey!

    ~ Karlene

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    A330 Answers to limitations!

    Day two of studying for A330 recurrent, and just as advertised--- the answers for those limitation questions posted yesterday.
    How well did you do?

    If you missed yesterday, you get to play Jeopardy! When you get to questions 29 and 53,  I'm thinking there should be a prize for the most creative question to,"What is No?" If you don't know what Jeopardy is, you'll have no clue as to what I'm talking about. I'm sure that won't be a first...for me either. ;)

    What is?
    1.     41,100 feet pressure altitude

    2.     10 knots

    3.     32 Knots with gusts to 40

    4.     240 KIAS below FL200
    260 KIAS/.78 Mach (lower) at or above FL200

    5.     240 KIAS below FL200
    260 KIAS/.80 Mach (lower) at or above FL200

    6.     Takeoff and go-around not engaged below 100 feet AGL and at least 5 seconds after liftoff.

    7.     Headwind: 35 knots
    Tailwind: 10 knots
    Crosswind: 20 knots (15 below CAT I minimums)

    8.     20,000 feet

    9.     12,500 feet

    10.  Not above FL210

    11.  TAT -53 C 

    12.  40 knots while operating (50 if nose is in the wind) and 60 knots while open.

    13.  330 KIAS

    14.  .86 Mach

    15.  7 knots while turning

    16.  3 knots and nosewheel steering angle to not exceed 30 degrees

    17.  300 degrees C

    18.  Below 20 knots

    19.  1.15 EPR

    1 = 240 knots
    1+F =  215 knots
    2 = 196 knots
    3 = 186 knots
    Full = 180 knots

    21.  250 KIAS

    22.  203 Knots

    23.  230 Knots

    24.  230 Knots

    Taxi        515,656
    Takeoff   513,671
    Landing   412,260
    ZFW        385,805

    Taxi         515,656
    Takeoff    513,671
    Landing   401,237
    ZFW        385,805

    27.  8.85 PSI.

    28.  -.73 PSI.

    29.  NO.

    30.  Before more than 50 feet below the DA/DDA

    31.  Before descending below 160 Feet AGL.
    32.  Not Authorized below 500 Feet AGL

    33.  CAT 3 DUAL or CAT III

    34.  CAT 3 DUAL or CAT 3 SINGLE

    35.  504,800 pounds

    36.  Full or 3 with both engines. Or flaps 3 with one engine inoperative

    37.  Moderate or greater rain, turbulence and standing water or slush on the runways.

    38.  Five minutes

    39.  3 starts within 15 minutes

    40.  30 minutes

    41.  35%

    42.  620 degrees for 5 minutes

    43.  16 quarts

    44.  50 degrees C minimum
    163 degrees C maximum

    45.  70 psi

    46.  177 degrees C

    47.  +40 degrees C or a reduction of 25% of full rated

    48.  Certified pressure altitude of 41,100 feet

    49.  25,000 feet

    50.  1 pack:   22,500 feet
    2 packs: 17,500 feet

    51.  3 starts, 1 minute cooling between attempts. 60 minute cooling after 3rd attempt

    52.   75 feet (Either Captain’s for First Officer’s)

    53.  NO

    54.  Above 82 degrees north (73 degrees north between 90 and 120 west Latitude), or below 60 degrees south.  Reference TRUE

    55.  +55 degrees C

    56.  11,500 and “no” WING TNK LO LVL message

    57.  -40 degrees C

    58.  3,300 lbs

    59.  Main tanks must be full

    60.  If the fuel is considered part of the ZFW

    61.  3000 psi +/- 200 psi

    Enjoy the Journey!

    ~ Karlene

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    A330 General Limitation Review

    It's been 9-months since I joined the flight-line on the A330. What does this mean?  It means that it's time to visit the schoolhouse for recurrent training.

    My nose is buried in the books to see how many facts I actually remember from initial ground school. I've created a study guide for limitations, that when printed can be folded in half. Questions on the front, answers on the back. If anyone wants them, leave me a message and I'll email it to you.

    But for now... test your A300 general limitation knowledge. How many of these questions can you answer?

    1.     Maximum operating Altitude?

    2.     Maximum Takeoff and Landing Tailwind component?

    3.     Max demonstrated takeoff and landing crosswind component?

    4.     Turbulent Air penetration Speeds-300: Below FL200At or above FL200?

    5.     Turbulent Air penetration Speeds-200: Below FL200At or above FL200?

    6.     Minimum altitude and time limits for Autopilot use?

    7.     Maximum wind for autoland operation:
    Headwind, Tailwind, and Crosswind?

    8.     Max altitude for flaps and slats?

    9.     Max takeoff and Landing Altitude?

    10.  Max Landing Gear Extension Alt:

    11.  Minimum Operating Temperature

    12.  Ground wind limits for doors

    13.  VMO

    14.  MMO

    15.  Max taxi speed with deflated tires, one per gear with max three:

    16.   Max taxi speed if two tires are deflated on same gear:

    17.  Max Brake temp for takeoff:

    18.   Do not use differential brakes at what speed?

    19.  Max EPR with parking brake on:

    20.  Max operating speeds for Flaps

    21.  Max gear operating/ extended speed

    22.  Gear limit tire speed

    23.  Max speed for wipers

    24.  Max window open speed

    25.  Weights for -300

    26.  Weights for -200
    27.  Max Positive Cabin differential PSI

    28.  Max Negative Cabin differential PSI

    29.  Is it okay to use any ground air simultaneously with air from packs?

    30.  Non-ILS, disengage autopilot before what altitude?

    31.  CAT I ILS approach disengage autopilot before:

    32.  Alt restriction for OPEN DES or DES:

    33.  FMA must display what for CAT III automatic landing

    34.  FMA must display what for CAT II automatic landing

    35.  Max weight for Autoland:

    36.  What flaps setting is required for an autoland:

    37.  Ignition must be on when?

    38.  Max continuous engine starter operation time:

    39.  Max engine start cycles:

    40.  How much cooling time after exceeding max start cycles

    41.  No starter engagement with N2 RPM above what?

    42.  Max EGT for Takeoff and Go-around, limited to what time?

    43.  Minimum oil quantity for engine start:

    44.  Minimum and maximum oil temp for takeoff:

    45.  Minimum oil pressure:

    46.  Maximum transient oil temp and time:

    47.  Max FLEX temp and Max Reduction:

    48.  APU started and operated to what altitude?

    49.  Max altitude for battery start of APU:

    50.  Max altitude for APU bleed air, 1 and 2 packs:

    51.   APU starter duty cycle, and cooling required:

    52.  RVSM operations: Max difference between altimeter and field elevation.

    53.  Does the standby altimeter meet accuracy requirements for RVSM?

    54.  What latitudes does the IRS NOT provide magnetic heading info?

    55.  Maximum fuel tank temperature:

    56.  Minimum fuel quantity for departure:

    57.  Minimum Temp for Jet A fuel:

    58.  Max fuel imbalance between outer tanks:

    59.  What is the condition before center tank fuel can be loaded?

    60.  When can the center tank have up to 3000 pounds of fuel without the mains full?

    61.  Normal hydraulic operating pressure:

    Answers tomorrow... 
    Enjoy the Journey!
    ~ Karlene 

    Friday, February 18, 2011

    Chris Findley

    Friday's Fabulous Flyer 

    Chris Findley

    Aviator glasses in place. Throttle in. Accelerate. Rotate.
    At nine-years old Chris Findley was hooked! Another pilot was released to the world, thanks to friends who opened the door to the sky.

    1982 Chris Findley

    At fourteen Chris joined the Civil Air Patrol and when he was sixteen he took his firs solo flight. What did it feel like to solo? "Adrenaline pumping... heart racing... excitement..."

    Chris earned his private license in Texas, and furthered his aviation education at Auburn University where he majored in Aviation Management. It was here where he earned his instrument, commercial, and flight instructor licenses. 5 years in the Army and he was free to return to his passion--- flight.

    When you love something as much as Chris loves flying you need to share it. It wasn't long until Chris pulled that instructor license out of his pocket and began teaching at Gallatin-Sumner County Regional Airport north of Nashville. He's now teaching at Wings of Eagles School of Flight

    Happily married to Sheryl for fifteen years in June, they are raising two kids -- Aidan (9) and Evan (6).  Evan loves to fly!  Aidan isn't so wild about it, but he'll find his own passion. 

    Chris, Evan, Sheryl  and Aidan
    First Officer Evan

    Chris also partakes in "Pinch Hitting" where he teaches non-flying partners of pilots the skills to know what to do in a "pinch."  But when his wife's friend, Melissa, was afraid to fly, and her husband had just purchased a 172, Chris took her up to help overcome her anxiety. It worked! She may be taking more lessons. 

    Pinch Hitter
    A secret about most general aviation instructors... most are on a mission to build hours. But when you can find an instructor like Chris, who is there because he love to teach, you've found yourself someone special. They're more than an instructor, they're a mentor. They have a passion for what they do, and will do anything they can to help you reach your goals.

    Why I fly?

    "I was nine years old when I first went flying. A friend of our family had an old and tired Piper Warrior. I don't remember much about the flight, other than being almost too small to see over the instrument panel. But I know that my love of flying began that day. That short flight was all it took for me to realize I loved the air. I loved the planes. I knew I wanted to be a pilot."  

    Chris Findley, You Can Be a Pilot, pg. 17.

    Born a pilot, he became a pilot, he now teaches and inspires pilots. I recently finished Chris's book and I loved it. Not only does he provide a step by step outline of what you'll do during the journey to your license, but Chris provides links to "Sites of Interest" that I'll reference. 

    Do you want a copy? Sign up to follow my blog and leave Chris a comment below. Tell him why you want to be a pilot--- you're entered. I'm giving a book away in a drawing, March 31st to one lucky winner. 

    Chris' generosity keeps growing. He's just DONATED 10 of his books to WOMEN OF AVIATION Worldwide Week

    Chris is one of those outstanding people building pilots. He's making dreams come true one flight at a time. Thank you Chris for sharing your gift with the world, and for your generous donation!

    You can find Chris, and his book via the links below.
    Enjoy the Journey!

    ~ Karlene