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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.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Osaka... Home of Jun!

For one who talks about the journey so often, today the destination made my day!

But first let me tell you a bit about the challenges of having 200 plus passengers in a confined area for 10 hours or more. Throw in fatigue, alcohol, and emotions… there will always be something going on. But sometimes it’s what and when we least expect...

Mt. Fuji

How many times can the lavatory fire detection go off in a flight? If it’s a flight attendant spraying hairspray—probably once. If it’s a group of disrespectful 21-year-olds bucking the system it could be two or three times, or more. From the flight deck we only see the lavatory fire warning. The flight attendants know the exact location.

How does the lavatory fire system work? The A330 has smoke detectors in the lavatories, which pick up particles in the air. Any particles. But when it’s smoke count on a $2000 fine and a police escort.

The arrival into Kansai International airport was gorgeous. The ominous sky was paved with layers of clouds. The temperature 31degrees centigrade/ 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The wind calm, and the runway long.

Did you know the Osaka runway is built on a manufactured landfill, and is sinking? And faster than expected. So true… click here to read more.

The Awaji Daikannon is a great image of Buddha, and sits on Awaji Island. They are trying to figure out how to tear it down. Privately built, the owner died seven years ago and there is no one to maintain it. There is also no one willing to put up the funds to tear him down. So there Buddha sits, monitoring our approaches into Runway 24L.

Now to the best part of the day…

One of my favorite people, whom I met on twitter—a future pilot, student, and all around wonderful young man—Jun, came to the airport and waited for my arrival. Unfortunately we were late exiting the terminal due to a bit of detainment resulting from the not so fun in the lav shenanigans across the ocean.

The flight attendants had been sitting on the bus waiting for the flight crew and the lead flight attendant for about 30 minutes, and the drive was an hour long. I wish I could have stayed and visited more with Jun. Five minutes is not enough time.

I’m honored Jun took his time to come all the way to the airport to say hello. He is beyond an exceptional young man. On the way to the hotel, the crew and I discussed what a wonderful young man he is, and how those boys on the plane could learn from his example.

Jun also brought me a gift of Japanese snacks. I'm still amazed he traveled so far to meet me, for such a short time. Thank you Jun!! He also told me some great news, that he will be attending Flight Safety in Florida soon to begin his journey to becoming a pilot. He is also going to come visit me in Seattle, too.

Our flight coming in from the "viewing spot" at Kansai, from Jun

What a day. It started at 0600, and it’s 0300 in my homeland. I'm overdue for a nap. So many things made today special, and I’m so lucky to be living the dream.

Jun, a special thanks to you for your visit! I am so sorry it was so short. But I will make it up to you! And thank you for the snacks. Delicious!! Come and visit me in Seattle, I am looking forward to you meeting my family!

Enjoy the Journey!

XOX Karlene


  1. Thanks for the opportunity to have time with me at kansai international airport! You inspired me,and right now I really wanna learn english to get English certificate(english as second language test)to start journey in USA to become airline pilot:) Having dream is source of our power.
    Also thank you for sharing Flyabout DVD,and The power of ATTITUDE BOOK.
    I am sorry about lavatory fire accident..Anyway I am happy to land.
    I hope you enjoy staying in Osaka.
    Have a great night!

  2. Wow, what a flight, and what a great experience meeting Jun. So glad he came out to greet you! Yes, it sure sounds like those rowdy young men could learn a few things. No one wants to be around people like them at all, let alone in a confined space.

  3. Sounds like an interesting flight, but great trip overall! I love Osaka. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  4. Karlene.....My good will ambassador daughter, how wonderful to make a new friend such as Jun. Please tell him, I would love to meet him when and if he comes to Seattle. Have a safe trip and I always love your blog and all the information included. Love, Mom

  5. The runway's probably sinking from too many A380s on it. I bet as soon as they take off, it bobs back up again.

  6. Hi Jun, Thank you again for coming out!!! Such a long way too. It was so nice to meet you. Yes... Lavatory fire "incident" was just kids being bad. They needed you for their mentor! For me, I spent the night sleeping. This trip on the tail end of a 13 day trip was a bit exhausting. It was so nice to meet you!

  7. Such a flight to a happy landing Linda. It was very nice for Jun to come out. Thanks for your comment.

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  9. Thanks Daniel, Osaka is a great place. And soon, you'll be having this kind of fun too!

  10. Hi Mom, I will tell Jun that you want to meet him. And... you will. You can come downtown and wander the city with us. :) Or... come for dinner. Thanks for the comment!!

  11. Karlene san's mam!!!
    Thank you for the wonderful words.I am happy when I read your comment:)Yes I am looking forward to meeting you when I move to USA to learn how to fly.
    Take care always,and thanks again.
    Have a great day,


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