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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.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Supporting Friends

Some of us fly planes, and others fly in the wind on the back or their horse and then they write about it. We write about what we know, and to know the love of a horse, is an amazing thing.

Please join me today in the success of yet another Heather McCorkle novel.  Heather's historical young adult fantasy, To Ride A Puca is now available in eBook and hardback at B&NAmazon, and other retail sites.

Note: This is for a mature YA audiences... as story that everyone will love it.

 Invaders are coming to take what isn't theirs, again. 

Neala wants to stand and fight for her homeland, but as one of the last druids, she may be standing alone.

Persecuted, hunted down, forced to live in obscurity, the druids have all but given up. Can the determination of a girl who has barely come into her power bring them together? Or, just when she finally finds her place among her kind, will they end up losing a homeland their very magic is tied to?

I had the opportunity to read a few chapters during the creation of To Ride A Puca, and  I'll be the first to tell you that this book is a definite: Wow!

As writers we strive to instill feeling with the words we paint across the pages, and Heather has done that. Her connection to animals and horses comes through in her writing of this fabulous story. The book opens with Neala on the back of her beloved friend, and their first ride will start your heart pounding with the beat of each hoof as she carries you through a touching adventure of acceptance and survival, life, death, and eternal love. 

Would you be willing to stand up for what rightfully belongs to you? Even if it means death? Join Neala as her world is turned upside down, and share her journey. 

Thank you for another lovely story Heather. I hope everyone will keep an eye out for this one. 

Get your copy of ToRide A Puca today!

XOX Karlene  

In mention of the love of a horse, please join me in loving memory of An's Dear friend Nikki. While time moves forward, and another horse will join An's life, nothing will ever replace the loss of a loved one. Only time will ease the pain.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Airline Humor

Last night as I lay sleeping,
I died ... or so it seemed,
Then I went to heaven,
But only in my dream.

I was greeted by St. Peter,
Standing at the Pearly Gates,
He said, "I must check your record",
Please stand right here and wait.

He turned and said, " Your record ...
Is covered with terrible flaws".
On earth I see you rallied
For every losing cause.

I see that you drank alcohol
And smoked and partied too,
Fact is, you've done everything,
A good person should not do.

We can't have people like you here...
Your life was full of sin.
Then he read the last line of my record,
Took my hand and said, "Come in."

He led me to the Lord and said,
"We'll take him and treat him well,
He used to work for an Airline...

He's done his time in hell.

Author Anonymous

Remember: One person's hell is another's heaven. It's all about perspective. 

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene

Flight For Safety update: 25483 words

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A330 Descision Making Testing

What sounded like a great idea at the beginning of a 12-day-trip, was looking pretty bleak on the last day when I missed my commuter flight to OKC and the next flight left 4 hours later. I watched the Seattle flight depart and told myself, “It’s a good thing I honor my word, or I would be on that flight home.” Instead, the hours rolled into a 22-hour day. 


Operating on 5 hours of sleep, my alarm rang as I was getting picked up at 630 for my adventure at the FAA training center. 

What was I getting into? I had no idea.

However, I am so glad that I went!

There are studies going on behind the scenes that impact us all. While I can’t tell you specifically what we did, I can tell you I did more approaches in four hours than I have in a year on my plane. This study tested decision-making, and that’s all I’m going to say in the event that you’re a pilot and want to partake. I found it fascinating, on so many levels. 

What I will say is I would highly recommend you getting your name on the list of volunteers. The $400, $99 perdiem, plus hotel expense, was an added plus. The testing is deidentified. Non-threatening. Non-actionable. Not only will the data be used for new technologies, procedures, and standards, but this testing can provide insight into your thought process. 

Like all tests, I learned a lot. I participated in a good thing, and everyone was accommodating to get us out on the next day to make our flights home. A great group of guys organizing, participating and discussing from every aspect of the decision making process.

If you would like to be part of this, or future studies, and you fly an Airbus or B737, please contact: 

Brian Townsend at:
or Derric Hedrick at: 

Tell them what position you fly, for what airline, and on which aircraft type. You'll be glad you did. 

If you want to be an extra in Flight For Control the movie...
send an email to

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

In memory of all those who gave their lives
for the freedoms that we embrace
To the parents who've lost their children, 
and the loved ones that can't be replaced

To the past, the present, and the future
may peace be with us all.
To a vision of one world living together
Live strong, fly straight and never fall.

Enjoy the Journey and never forget...

In memory of the many who gave their lives
In honor of all.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Flyer...

Celebrating The Future...

 Grandson Carter

To all future pilots ...

This is to honor your passion, effort and potential. May the gift of flight take you farther than your wildest dreams, and the pot of gold be waiting under your rainbow.

It's memorial day weekend and I'll be spending it with my grandchildren. But as promised I needed to select a winner for the mug with attitude, and discover where in the world I'll be going with the five copies of Flight For Control. Last night Carter selected a couple winners out of my Northwest Airlines hat.

 And We Have A Winner!

The Mug with Attitude goes to:  
John Franco

 And Where in the World am I going?
Looks like New York.

Jeremy Carlisle!

Despite the drawing, I would love to join anyone at their book club, event, or social gathering. You plan it, and I'll be there. We just have to coordinate schedules. 

Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend!

XOX Karlene

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Road Trip

Tuesday morning started with the last mentor breakfast of the year, at Aviation High School. And I had the honor of being guest speaker. And then my husband and I climbed in our suburban and drove south.

We drove 5 hours south to Lincoln Beach, Oregon. If you have the opportunity to visit the Oregon Coast, I would highly recommend it. There is nothing more peaceful than listening to the waves crash upon the shore. The next morning we walked the beach with our backs to the wind, picking up rocks along the way. We soaked our feet crossing a stream, laughed in the rain, and enjoyed every step.


Our drive back to Seattle we stopped in McMinnville, Oregon, at Evergreen's Museum of Flight. An amazing place if you have never been. The home of the Spruce Goose. More to come on this amazing airplane.

The funny thing while there, one of the employees asked my husband and asked him if he use to fly for Delta. For those of you who know him, he's not a pilot. But it was fun to tell them that I used to fly for Evergreen. We beat the traffic, and returned home in time to pick up my youngest daughter, her husband, and our grandson from the airport.

This weekend I will have three of my six grandkids, so I'm not counting on getting anything done. But, I do plan on drawing the winners for the mug, and where in the world I'm traveling to, for the book signing party. Thank you all for your patience. It's been a crazy busy month. 

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What it Takes to Become A Pilot

"Perspective and Brilliance”
Alex Wood, a 16-year-old student wants to become a pilot and will be attending a University in the UK soon. He recently sent me an update and said that when completing the program, he will receive a fATPL… frozen ATPL. He tells me a frozen ATPL enables the student a guaranteed job with an airline. I asked how they choose who gets this honor, as they can’t award it to everyone. His response concerning college, flying, and the future of aviation is amazing. 
Remember, he is just 16-years-old. 

“The University prepares for the theoretical exams, and provides the fATPL if the student passes all 14 exams on their first attempt. You are 100% right, they can't take everyone.

Perhaps those who want to be pilots are very passionate to aviation, but this may "generate" a false illusion due to the fact that many of them don't even think about how complex this subject is, and, consequently, they think Aviation is just flying beautiful iron birds with normal flying procedures and say: Hey, I'm a B777 captain.

It goes beyond that. It's more than simple navigation calculations and basic technical knowledge. You need to be the soul of the aircraft, take care of it as if it's a member of your family, and know how it's brain works, all the systems, be the leader, the headmaster of the airplane. So that's why it's not everyone that will make it, because it requires more than you as a person, it requires your eagle vision (it's not everybody that has one), your competence, hard work, ambition & humble, strength psychologically/physically. 

 A good pilot is the one who was born to fly...    

I don't want to be selfish with them, but if our future pilots do not attend to all of those elements mentioned above, for sure they may put the future in grave danger.
The reason?
Iron Birds aren't just Iron Birds anymore, they are Thinking Iron Birds. Nowadays airplanes are getting more and more complex (B787 is an example). Most of the schools are forgetting the word: Safety. Those who aren't capable of taking control, especially in case of emergency, will put flight on the black list. I'm pretty sure I did not exaggerate, it's the reality! 
A College degree is one of the keys for the difference and success. It will take me to the big airlines and to the most elegant, glorious and complex super jets. To be honest, the 1500 hour requirement for ATPL is more than a right decision, it even makes sense. We are in the XXI century, globalized world! The cue words for Globalization is capitalism and connections! Obviously you know what I mean! Connecting cultures and countries requires a high standard version of yourself, that's why you are in the market Karlene!


So I believe that I can do it and I will do my best... It's just sometimes it is still far away, but looking with another perspective, it's just behind me and it will, for sure, be a super fun ride! But like you said, one step at a time because good things takes time... 


Do you think this young man will go far with his studies and career? I do. Not only the thought process, but his ability to convey his words so eloquently is amazing. I see a future pilot, and more. I have no doubt he will find success wherever the wind blows.

Thank you Alex for your words of wisdom. I know you can do it.
You can follow Alex on Twitter @CenterAviation.

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Justifying College

Recently someone commented on Linked In about why pilots didn't need a college degree, saying it didn't make them better pilots. That comment always comes from pilots who didn't attend college. But the reasons why an airline would want a college graduate are many.

Airlines Look For College Graduates Because:

When an airline employs a pilot, they have made a huge financial investment. It's extremely expensive to lose a pilot during training because the pilot didn't have the aptitude to get through the books and pass the tests. A college degree assures a higher chance of success.

Like "Bill Jacobs" said, "You can teach a monkey how to fly, but you can't teach it how to think." A college education provides the next level of assurance that our pilots know how to think.

A college degree shows the pilot has the commitment to follow through, despite the struggles. Those of us who have gone to college know how expensive and difficult it is to go to school, and fly too. If we can handle that, we can handle the struggles of junior pilot schedules.

When there is a surplus of pilots, it creates another benchmark to help with the hiring decision.

College also teaches you how to formulate thoughts as well as communication and decision making skills. These are all important captain skills.

Are there good pilots that haven't been to college? Of course! Absolutely!

But now, more than ever, in the world of computer operated airplanes a higher level of management and communication skills are essential, especially with this increased automation.

Sadly, stick and rudder skills are going wayside because they are not needed under normal operations... When operations become non-normal we'll see AF447 all over again. But that is another issue that must be dealt with. Training of a different kind is essential.

Honestly, if you had to hire a group of strangers... wouldn't you want the best you could hire overall? Does a lot of hours mean the best individual? Does sitting with the Autopilot on across the Atlantic for 5 years mean the best communication and piloting skills? Does flying a corporate jet one leg, the same leg, an hour a day... 15,000 times make 15,000 hours of experience quality? Is it better than a 500 hour military pilot?

The 1500 hour rule may have been arbitrary and a reaction to a problem the FAA didn't know how to fix. But experience is priceless. And college... that is completely understandable for so many reasons. If I had an airline, I would hire college graduates, who could fly. Of course nobody will be hired if they can't fly. But to have a solid education behind the candidate... that is essential for both the employer and pilot.

This post was from the employer perspective. Why this is a good idea from a pilot perspective is if the job fails you... you have a backup plan. 

Can you think of any reasons that you should get a degree, or not? Tomorrow, you must read Alex's words of wisdom on this career called aviation.

Tomorrow hear what a brilliant young man thinks about education.

Enjoy the Journey!

XOX Karlene

Flight For Safety: 24050 words 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Motivation: Abundance

"Today, let me be willing to face up to all the lack and limitation I have grown to believe surrounds me. And within it, let me come to realize and appreciate the true abundance of all that - not just surrounds me, but is within me too."


During my last trip, I had the opportunity to fly with a Captain I'd flown with a year ago. This situation is amazing for a few reasons. I am based in Seattle, and he is in Detroit. I have flown so little, for me to fly with the same pilot twice, out of base, is unusual. This wasn't his scheduled trip... Something happened in the universe to unexpectedly delay the regularly scheduled captain's passport from arriving.  What are the odds? 

Note: If you haven't figured it out yet... until we learn the lessons presented to us, they will keep coming at us. I'm not sure what my lesson was, but hopefully I faced it and I won't fly with him again. 
It's standard practice for the crews go out to eat together on their layovers. The last trip it took me 8 days and about $60 out of pocket to figure out why the bill was continually being shorted. I covered it. I would never allow a waitress to be stiffed. It wasn't long until I learned the other First Officer was doing the same, and he had a severely handicapped son at home going in debt with medical bills.  I promised myself if I ever flew with this person again, I would tell him, "I'm not going out with you because I cannot afford you." Or... "I'm not your wife."

Guess what... I didn't say anything, and I went out with the crew! Our student, and the other First Officer were wonderful people. As is this Captain... except one small flaw. He's flawed. 

He took advantage of the table again. Shuffling bills, and making it appear that he'd done a math error. I was watching. Each of us had put in 20 Euros and he put in a 50 and took out two 20s. I immediately pulled out two 10 Euros, took one of his 20s that he took from the pot, gave him a 10 and put an additional 10 in the pot. This at least held him accountable to put 20 Euros in like the rest of us. I didn't have dinner, but I didn't mind sharing. I believe and live with a generous heart. We cannot take it with us.

I'd also loaned him money for bus fare. Normally not a big deal, but on the return, I asked him for the 1.50 Euros to repay me. And mentioned that I hadn't eaten dinner and that our other First Officer, had purchased appetizers and refreshments for all and was out and additional 10 Euros. He asked if I wanted some money. I said, "yes." He laughed, and that was the end of that conversation.

Note: He had told the student to get a debit card with a 1% fee verses 2% because he'd figured out he could save $200 a year. I was so tempted to ask him how much he saved stealing from his fellow crew members...but I didn't.
Captain's financial Status:
This "captain" told me on our first trip that he flies on average 130 hours per month. He's learned how to manipulate the system to get high time. He's married to a wife "with money." He also makes an additional rather large stipend from having students each month.

Concerns with his behavior:

My concern with his cheating on the check has nothing to do with his lack of integrity, greed, or ethics, but everything to do with his positional power. He is a check airman. He has the power to take a pilot's license from them, or to make their life hell if he chooses. Thus, making it difficult for anyone to say anything to him. Their job will be on the line if they do.

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.
3. a sound unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship's hull.
  • What makes a person behave this way?  
  • Could this be a sickness like a kleptomaniac?  
  • What makes a person believe they don't have enough wealth and abundance, when they brag about their life being overly financially abundant?  
  • What would you do if you were faced to fly with this pilot in a situation similar to this?
  • When your company values integrity as a core philosophy, would this lack of integrity be grounds for dismissal?
  • Have you ever been faced with a situation like this?
  • Is this a game of power, control, or he who dies with the most wins? 
Enjoy the journey and remember to live with abundance, because abundance will come to you. 
XOX Karlene

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Flyer: Darin Scines

Darin Scines
Owner / CEO

Just Launched on April

I met Darin on LinkedIn, and noticed that he was advertising aviation businesses on his site. What a great idea. I wrote to him and said, “Hey, you should put Flight For Control” on your site. Guess what? He did. As I snooped around, curiosity got the better of me.

When I asked Darrin what his purpose for was all about, he said:

Darin: There are a few reasons I started this site. I wanted to keep in touch with and become a leading source of information not generally known to the public. The news media doesn’t cover much aviation and there is so much great stuff out there going on. You can't quite catch everything as no one site covers everything. I would not be able to cover everything either but perhaps as I get bigger I can help to bring some things to one location for us all to enjoy.

Karlene: But wait Darin, I see you’re in real estate in California… But are you a pilot?

Darin:  “I have a unique aviation background. I was part of the Voyager World Flight Project as strictly a volunteer. I was in Civil Air Patrol as a teenager. I was in enlisted in the Air Force and was injured and am a veteran of the first Gulf War.”

I have worked for Chuck Hall P51 Pilot, Air Race pilot for Miss America years ago and an Apollo astronaut. You will be interested to know Chuck retired from JAL after flying 747's as well. 

Karlene: Your past is impressive, and I’m sorry to hear about your injury. But now you are working real estate, but you’re being pulled back into the sky?

Darin: I am currently a student pilot and have soloed. With the ups and downs of Real Estate it has been a struggle to finish and financially keep flying. Having the desire and appreciation for everything aviation I know how it pulls at the heart strings of so many. 


Karlene: Tell me how is going to help you reach your dreams.

Darin: My goals and hopes for this web site have to do with my experience. I hope to make this site very big and very successful. With that and the products, which are how I can make revenue, I can reach out and touch many many people.

Karlene: Is this all about making money to fund your flying?

Darin: I would like to give a portion of the proceeds to schools scholarships and more. I want to fund speakers, demonstrations, field trips etc. I believe hands on learning, sites and sounds, the roar of an engine, the rumble from the ground inspires more than books with no inspiration. 

Why do the math if one thinks ill never use it?… This is a result of uninspired kids. No dreams, goals or aspirations. I think if we can inspire and get this in front of students we give them direction. This can be done with all things…Cooking, Aviation, Medicine, Animals, etc. Hands on is always better. My passion is aviation so that’s what I do. 

Karlene: You’ve got very admirable goals. Is this your own business? 

Darin: Yes, I work the business on my own. I hope that people from all over in the aviation community will pitch in with their stories and experiences. Maybe send pictures so we can share with people.

Karlene: What is your long-term goal with

Darin: I truly hope to make this so big that I am giving away a $100,000 a year to educate and inspire. That’s a small number to me. I honestly want to do much more. I hope that I can do this, but right now it is a start up and I realize it may be a hundred dollars this year and 100,000 next Ha Ha.. But it is real to me and can be done.

Karlene: How many products have you made for people?

Darin: Right now just me. The more successful and more products I can get out there the more I can do. Hire a person to help bring the web site to be much more. A graphic artist etc. I hope to have 50 designs by year end. Well on the way.

I would love to sell some shirts for efforts to find Amelia. Send some of the profits to the project heading that up. It is all an Idea right now… and how far I can take it will be determined by how much help I can get from aviation people like you. I cannot do this on my own.

Karlene: We all need help. Somewhere along the line. We receive, and then hopefully give back. I think this is a brilliant idea you’ve got going and I hope you receive the ultimate success.

Darin: The other part of the proceeds may help me to continue in aviation myself. I have waited years to fly and it’s my turn. But that said I will never stop telling people about the sensation that two brothers spent their lives working on and shared it with us....Wright Brothers.

Karlene: Darin, thank you for ordering my book. And I know you will have great success with your business. I’ll be getting one of my own cups and t-shirts made soon.

Darin: I am looking forward to reading your book and putting it on my shelf right next to the autographed Dick Rutan, Jeanna Yeager, and Burt Rutan’s Voyager Book. I completely admire anyone who takes the aviation challenge.


Ahhhh… I am honored to be on the shelf with the greats! 

Check Airman  Bob has a great attitude!

Now… for the rest of you.  This Attitude mug has been flying the world with me... Rome, Athens, Barcelona... and one lucky winner is going to receive it.  Yes, I will mail it to you.

Here is how to Enter to Win this Cup:
It's simple as 1, 2, 3.

1.     Leave a message for Darin under comments.
2.     Follow Darin on Twitter @UpElevator1 He just signed up last night!
3.     Tweet this blog.

The drawing will be sometime next week.
Don't forget to stop back and check to see if you're the winner~ Good Luck.

Enjoy the Journey! 

Flight For Safety update: 19411 words

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Where in the World???

Today is the day that I said that I would announce where in the world I will be traveling to, for a book signing party. However, due to the fact that I’m somewhere between Barcelona and Atlanta, then on my way to Oklahoma City for some FAA A330 testing… I’ve decided to wait until next Wednesday so I can be sure I do not leave out any names in the drawing. 

But with that said… I’ve also decided to do an additional giveaway. This person will be removed from the next drawing, as today she is a winner.

Why am I doing this? Because, the person I’m gifting these five books to, and scheduling a visit with, is an aviation enthusiast who continues to give back to her community by hosting fly-it-forward events. She’s defied health and financial obstacles to continue her pursuit in aviation. She blogs at Toriaflies She Podcasts at StuckMicAvCast  She tweets @Toriafly And she shares the dreams of all of us looking toward the sky for adventure, careers, fun, or just plane passion. Besides today is her birthday. 


Happy Birthday Victoria Neuville!

Blow out all the candles on your cake,
and make all your dreams come true. 

We’ll coordinate when I can deliver your books to you in person. Until then… keep sharing the dream.There will be another winner announced next week when I'm on the ground organized.

Who is going to receive the cup of Attitude? 
Join the Friday Flyer behind it all tomorrow. 


Enjoy the Journey!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Writing, Flying, Eating, Enjoying... The life of a pilot. Keep track of the cup with attitude.... tomorrow, learn how it could be yours.

Enjoy the Journey!

Flight For Safety: 14,890 words.