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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, October 3, 2011

Fulfillment Of My Destiny: Monday Motivation

"It is in the fulfillment of all that I wish for or want -

that my life's destiny begins to unfold."

~ Eleesha

This weekend I received an email from a young lady looking for advice. Not just any lady, but one of our “Why I want to fly” essay contest winners. She also volunteered at one of our Fly It Forward events last year. This is what Kandyce Crandall wrote:

I am writing with the hope that you have some solid advice for me.

I volunteered at the fly-it-forward event in Renton, WA back in December. Since then, I have had several flying lessons. The passion that I feel for flying is soo strong that I've decided to enroll in Central Washington University's commercial pilot bachelors degree program.

This is a huge, exciting new adventure for me, and I have to admit, a little frightening too. I will have to uproot my home & quit my job of many years~ get completely out of my comfort zone!! By the time I graduate from the university I will probably be close to 36yrs old and have around 400+ hours of flight time.

I have received some really positive and exceptional feedback from my CFI's when I have flown. I've also gotten some negative comments from dream crushers out there and it's fueled my fire even more to do this, but it's also made me doubt the reality of my dreams.

I just want to know, from a woman in the industry, if I have realized my calling too late and would I be going deep into debt for an aviation career that is merely just a dream? (Although, there are a ton of scholarships for woman that I will be applying for too!!)

I'm going to do this no matter what but I feel I need some realistic encouragement. Any knowledge you can pass on is appreciated.

Thank you so much for everything! You are an inspiration to me and many others!!


P.S. I LOVED my flying lesson at Galvin!

How could anything be more motivating that finding your passion, uprooting your life and fulfilling your destiny?

Kandyce, you are not too late to follow your dream. I applaud you for realizing that this is the only life you have, and you're not afraid to make the most of it. You will “do this no matter what,” I have no doubt. With your resolve, how could you fail? You can’t. You’ll graduate with 400 hours, at 36 years old, and the adventure will have just begun, again.

You’ll soon learn that your goal of becoming an airline pilot will be second to the joy of the journey to achieve it... flying planes. Enjoy every moment. This is your life—it’s the only one you get—make the most of it. You can do anything under the sun, and over the clouds.

Graduating at 36? You’ll still have 29 years to fly commercially. Give yourself another four years to build your hours then you’re looking at a 25-year career before retirement, with the company of your choice.

Can you do it? Absolutely! Your destiny has just unfolded. Believe. There is nothing you can’t accomplish.

Does anyone have any encouraging words for Kandyce? I know this courageous lady would love to hear from you.

Enjoy the journey!

XOX Karlene


  1. I am 31 years old and will be pursuing my commercial airline pilot degree. Your story has has inspired me to get it done. I have been having my doubts as of late due to my age. I thank you for this story and I have your back 100%.

    Kieran Christian
    Student Pilot

  2. Fascinating. 40 is a great time to begin a new career.

    Astronauts take their first trip to space at around 40.

  3. Kandyce - Go For It! I would have/should have at your age, but didn't. I can't really say I made the wrong choice, I made the choice that seemed right for me and as a result, had an interesting career in telecoms, and have a great and settled family. But becoming a commercial pilot is the "road not taken" for me, and I wonder what it would have been like if I'd done what you are doing. Follow your dreams.

  4. I was thirty-five when I uprooted my life and left everything I'd built in my career behind to follow my dream. I moved overseas and loved every second of my new life. I'm not saying it's all wine and roses when you follow transformative dreams, but I've never regretted that choice, and there's not doubt in my mind, from the way you express your feelings, Kandyce, that you're making a great choice.

  5. Kandyee..if and when a person feels dedicated enough to bring the sacrefises to really archieve to goal he or she' s searching for..we should respect that'!!
    If you feel that this is what you want.. Just go for it!!!
    I love flying and aviation very much myself, but never had the guts to archieve my goal, in those days women didn't become pilot's, certainly not in Europe, so I never had the chance or the opportunity to become one.
    And sad to say that it's to late for me now.
    If this is your dream, you really should do it!!!!
    Make your dream come true!


  6. Yes,actually I have many lists what I want to do in my life,and I have this feeling sometimes too.Yes,as Karlene san said,we have only one life,and should use this life with full power.if we give up something,we will regret forever.I believe we will be able to achieve our dream if we really want to achieve.

    Never give up!! Never give in!!

  7. Kieran, do not think you're too old. I actually didn't get hired by Northwest until I was 35. And... half the class was older than I was. You, too, can make this happen!

  8. Sachi, thanks for the comment! I didn't know that about astronauts. That's interesting!

  9. D.B. Thank you so much for the great comment and words of encouragement. Yes... Go for it! Follow your dreams is the best message we can give.

  10. Linda, Thank you so much for sharing your story with Kandyce. And... look how much fun and the great experiences you had with life. And now you can write about it.

  11. An, Thank you so much for the great comment. Life is too short and then one day we're at the other end and think... what if. She's so brave to just go for it. An example and role model for everyone!

  12. Thank you Jun! Don't ever give up all your dreams either. I know you'll be a huge success. Keep dreaming. Thank you for the great comment to Kandyce.

  13. As someone who started life in Africa and ended up living my dreams in the wilds of Idaho, I'm all for pursuing dreams.

    And I'm all for positive affirmations, but I'm also one for a pinch of reality here and there. This wonderful lady who's caught the flying bug needs to realize there will be days that she'll think she's wasted her life in pursuit of a very difficult career. Depending on the strength of her convictions, that too, shall pass.

    For many, that strength will wane enough times that dreams get abandoned. This can be avoided by an unrelenting hold on what reality may throw her (and her family's) way. Yes, all the more important because she's got a family.

    Sam, a commercial pilot who blogs at, has some very interesting and very realistic ideas about what it's like to fly in modern aviation. I would suggest the lady read his posts on careers in aviation so she doesn't get surprised by the vagaries of flying today.

    Good luck (luck, because a lot of it depends on pure, blind luck).

  14. Fred... the reason things are hard, is because they are worth it!

    Dreams are to be cherish. Life is all that we have. If you give it away doing something you don't love, you don't it a bad job or ugly marriage, then you've given up your life. The question I ask is why?

    All we have is today. Live it the best you can. Don't "not" do something because you think it's going to be hard, embrace it because it is.

  15. Hi Capt.Karlene,

    Thanks for posting the note about an another would be Lady Pilot Capt.Kandyce Crandall.

    This is what I want to tell you Kandyce.

    Dont look at the age or the money you are gonna spend.
    Have a purpose, means will follow.

    I want to remind you that you are full of incredible potential. When God created you, He deposited seeds of greatness inside of you. He’s given you your own dreams and desires. You have something to offer that no one else has. But too often, we allow adversities, disappointments and setbacks to push these things down, until one day, we find that we’re not pressing forward anymore. We’re not stretching; we’re not believing to rise any higher.Negative dream crushers are meant to be ignored..You can stay on frequency with positive uplifters like Karlene and like minded friends..

    Flying: It is clearly an indicator that you are in tune with your destiny..Enjoy the journey..Flying is something that you delight the most again also means, thats what God has in store for you...So now the future is clear and you are cleared for takeoff and as Karlene says "thats just the begginning..

    Do what you love.Whatever brings you the most fulfillment is an important key to your life.God wants you happy.Thats a settled issue.Now find what makes you happy. You will have extraordinary success with something that becomes your obsession.

    Look Straight ahead with Honest confidence,,Plan carefully what you do and whatever you do will turn out right.I surely wish to be flying with you someday on board your plane,and would love to
    hear you say,
    "This is you Captain speaking..Capt.Kandyce Crandall. How do you like that.Capt.Karlene wrote to me twice abt yr article and thinks you might like to keep a copy of this note for much longer with you.If you do Kandyce, I would be honoured if this letter flies with you on yr flightbag while you give wings to your dreams.
    Nice to know there are others as passionate as I am about Aviation. Flying & Aviation are my first Love after God and My Family.

    A Fellow Flyer on a similar weather & airspace & frequency..

    Warm Regards & God Bless..
    Denzil Kareesheril (INDIA)
    Cell: +91 986 718 3630.

    Some lines are thoughts shared from Biblical verses , Dr.Mike Murdoch & Joel Osteen.

  16. Denzil, What an in incredible message you sent to Kandyce. When you have a purpose, means will follow. She will succeed, and I know that she'll carry your message of confidence. Thank you so much for sending her such an inspiring message.

  17. Karlene, you should work for Hallmark!

  18. When I decided (at 43) that I wanted to fly learjets more than anything else - I asked myself one question - did I want to be the girl who could have tried, but didn't? Or did I want to be the girl who at least tried? I was 14 years older than the next oldest person in training. But - am flying Learjets as a professional pilot 2 years later! And - to Fred's point - I am about to be furloughed - but I won't give up unless it becomes something I am no longer excited about. You gotta at least try!

  19. Anonymous Leer Jet Pilot, congratulations! You are the girl who did. But trust me... 8 airlines later, every time one job ended it just meant time for you to move on to the next journey. Always something worked out better. Send me an email and we'll find you that next door to go through.

  20. I think the "am I too old" game is an impossible one to win, because you will NEVER be as young as you are right now. Stop questioning and start doing! Eventually, you will look back and see that age is the least important factor in all of this. I've enjoyed reading the comments :)

  21. I love this! We are never as young as we are right now. "Start doing!" Yes!!! Thank you for the great motivation.

  22. It is so wonderful to see people who are a little more mature pursuing their dreams! It's also encouraging to those of us in the same boat as all of you!!! I am 39 and just passed my medical today after 23+ years out of the cockpit, I'm climbing back in!


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