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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, April 4, 2011

Aviation Winners!


Lauren Martino, March 31st winner of Chris Findley's You Can Be a Pilot!

Katie McConville and T.J. Shanbekar, April 1st winners of Monika Petrillo's Flyabout Video.

The Essay contest was a challenge because every entry was incredible. I, and my readers, have read each entry numerous times. Some resonated within me, some embraced the heart and soul of a pilot, but all were filled with passion. For the next four months, I will share each story or poem with you on Wednesday. You are all winners, because you have a passion!

The Flight To Success $100 winner goes to Ciara Thompson from Kpong, Ghana. When I read her essay I thought, "I could have written this." Ciara knows exactly how I feel about flying. Her essay will be posted this Wednesday. She will also receive a "Today is My day to Fly" T-shirt.

Torrance, CA: 

The top 3 essay/poem writers will each win a Pacific Skies Aviation VIP Discovery Flight (a $225 value). These prizes are offered by our Bronze Sponsor, Pacific Skies Aviation, located at the Zamperini Field, Torrance, CA, USA.

One lucky winner: Daniella Molina will take a discovery flight. She will also win a "Today is my Day to Fly" T-shirt!

Seattle WA:

The top 3 essay/poem writers will each win a one-hour introductory flight lesson in a new Diamond DA20 airplane with one of Galvin Flying’s highly qualifed flight instructor (a $220 value). These prizes are offered by our Bronze Sponsor, Galvin Flying, located at Boeing Field in Seattle, WA, USA.

Three lucky winners:  
Kimberly Weiss, Abby Jarve and Kandyce Crandall
You each won a Flight Lesson at Galvin~ An invitation to a Free Flight in May, and a Today is "My Day" to Fly T-shirt!

Congratulations to our semi-finalists! Semi-finalists? That wasn't announced. Yes, the seven lucky winners below will receive a $20 bill and a T-shirt. Why? Because their poems and essays are incredible, and my birthday is just a month away. My gift is giving the gift of flight. And for those with the passion to fly, every bit helps. Of course you are all invited to take a free flight on our day in May.
  • Olivia Fowler
  • Emalyn Hall
  • Lydia Wetsi
  • Juliet Kuruwaa
  • Nyekodzi Emmanuella Mawunyo 
  • Jennifer Dybell
  • Lauren Martino
Three more winners will also receive T-Shirts and an invitation to take a free flight this May.
  • Stephanie Stanton
  • Kaylee Cleveland
  • Karina Baum
Congratulations everyone! Be sure to email me your mailing address and your shirt size! For everyone who entered, thank you all for taking the time and sharing your reasons why you want to fly.

Enjoy the Journey!

~ Karlene


  1. Wow, Karlene, my mind is blown at this great array of contest winners and prizes. I look forward to reading their essays and poems on Wednesdays! Congratulations to each of them, and my hat's off to you for your generous spirit and amazing support of those who want to fly.

  2. Great to see my daughters name as a winner :) Thanks Karlene, you are so generous, can't wait to read some of the essays.

  3. Thanks Linda, I'm excited to post them too. Amazing stories. And poems. You'll enjoy them. I think you could have written one too.

  4. Hi Jo, Lauren's name is on here twice! She gets a book too!

  5. Congrats to all the winners! And wow Karlene, you are amazing for doing such fantastic giveaways!

  6. Very Nice Karlene!!!! And Congrats to the winners at Kponge field!!! They inspire every day.

  7. YAY!!! I am extremely excited to see that I was chosen as a winner for a flight lesson. Thank you so much to everyone involved. Congrats to all the winners! YEAH!!

  8. Thanks Heather. It's been so fun. There has been screaming and jumping out of their seats too! Makes it all worthwhile.

  9. Thanks for your comment Stol Jockey. Yes... they do inspire every day! Amazing people down there.

  10. Kandyce you are so welcome. But you forgot to mention jumping out of the chair. :) I loved that email!

  11. Congratulations to the winners! I'm jealous of the chance to fly a Diamond, I haven't flown one of those yet. Good fun!


  12. From all the girls at Kpong Field, and all the staff, THANK YOU! At the airfield meeting today we announced the results, and all the girls thanked the builders, tractor drivers, night and day staff, kitchen staff and teaching staff for being a part of their prize... for we know that it is a team work - without our runways, fencing and facilities none of this happens...

    Seeing the look in the eyes of the men from the villages that work here, I am wondering about a competition for them... but sadly, none of our men can read and write well... so we may have to have some other creative competition --- Thanks for the inspiration to inspire others! Take care...

    Capt. Yaw
    Kpong Airfield
    West Africa

  13. Capt. Yaw, you are so welcome and to all the girls, a great success. Yes, a team effort! So... what about a competition to learn how to read? Wouldn't that be something if we could have a prize for any of the men who learn how to read? That could be inspirational!

  14. Hi Tom, I think we should get you in a Diamond. Me too! You know...they are a girls best friend.

  15. Karlene, there is a reason why we work principally with girls and sponsoring girls.... boys are not motivated towards learning in the same way... and often those that are have a 'get rich quick attitude'. Give me 5 illiterate men over one cheat who can read and write anyday! Culture and change are different in different parts of the world... (BTW we offer FREE reading and writing classes to all of our team members...)

  16. I am looking forward to reading essay of them:) Their passion what you will share would motivate me:)
    Every wednesday.I won't forget to check on wednesday.Thanks Karlene san

  17. Wow. Okay, I vote for the illiterate men verses the cheat. And we can write about them and they won't know what we're saying.

    I'm very curious if there is any jealousy of the young men growing up down there, over the girls. I don't believe it's necessarily a genetic thing to steal and cheat. There has to be a young man who has the yearning to learn, read, write, and help others just like yourself.

    Maybe your team members need motivation to read. And if they learn, do you think it will change them?

    How many would love to read a story to their children? Wow... what if there were a reading class for men to bring their kids and learn how to read with them, by reading to them.

  18. Come and see... understanding is a challenge... I can explain ice-cream to you, but until you taste it, you can only speculate... and believe you me, there are more reasons than you and I can ever, ever imagine for the status quo of today... it runs very deep... deep indeed!

    That is why we are changing lives... one flight at a time!

  19. Hi Jun, Thank you! You will love their essays too. Each one is special. They will all appreciate your comments too.

  20. Capt Yaw, I like that...because I love Ice-Cream... and I understand. I can hardly wait to come and see.

    You are changing lives... on flight at a time!

  21. speachless) Thank you Karlene, Thank you so much.

    Daniella Ruby Molina


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