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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, July 31, 2012

A330: Intercepting a Course

Study Time!

I will be visiting the simulator for my recurrent training starting Friday, so it's time to put the very cool airplanes on the back burner, and open the Airbus manuals. 


This will be an emotional weekend for many reasons. Not only will I will miss SeaFair weekend, but this visit to Minneapolis will be the last time I go to NATCO, NWA Training Center. The simulators are moving South, and the building is going away. 

Now... getting my head into A330 stuff.

In the simulator pilots get to see a radar vector with a request to intercept a radial in or out of a fix during their training/checking event---something we don't normally do on the line. But the "how to" becomes a challenge because we lose what we don't use. Not to mention course confusion can muddy the waters.

ATC clears you on a heading of 190 to intercept and fly inbound on the 217 degree radial to the waypoint DUDIS. How do you do this?

Step one... use the heading select knob and fly the plane on the initial heading, then program the MCDU.

The best way to eliminate confusion is to ask a “good” questions. How to start begins with the first question: What do you want to do?
You want to go direct to a point in space that will intercept the 217 radial to DUDIS. What we really want to do is go to DUDIS, the 316 is just the path. How do you go to DUDIS?
Select the DIR key then type DUDIS into the scratch pad (or in this case it's part of your flight plan you can select it) and select 1L (One Left). If we were going direct, we would select 1L again. But our clearance was to intercept a radial to DUDIS.
Note: Radial IN and OUT are on the right side. The selections are both "radials" and not courses.

I think the confusion lies in the fact that we as aviators know that radials are "out" and courses "in" and in our mind we're thinking this is a radial, and we need to create the opposite of the radial to fly the course inbound. Confused yet? You shouldn't be. 

Airbus made it simple. They view everything as a radial. 360 of them radiating away from or "to" any fix. All the pilot needs to know is whether they are flying to the station, or away from the station.

In this example we are flying "to" the station. We place 217 on the RADIAL IN ... into DUDIS... on 1R. But we're not done yet. We need to put it in the flight plan by selecting 1R a second time.  

The second part is what everyone forgets: Pressing 1R twice. Remember, the first selection is inputting the data into the computer. The second selection is adding the data to your route of flight. 

Sounds simple? It is if you don't over think it. 

Enjoy the Journey!

XO Karlene

Flight For Safety coming soon: 78,425 words 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

OSHKOSH 2012 Continues

Women Soar... the ladies are learning, dreaming, !

Enjoy the Journey!

XOX Karlene

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Live From Oshkosh

What happens when you dream about flying a jet naked? 


Someone tells you, "don't do it." But then again, you're running around with a bunch of women who got where they are by not limiting themselves because someone told them no.

I'm having way too much fun. And today was no different. After I get through recurrent training next week, there will be more on OSH. But now... enjoy the journey as a Kodak moment!

 Happy Sweet 16 Gayle


Have a great weekend!
XOX Karlene

Friday, July 27, 2012

Women Soar You Soar

Friday Flyer(s): Young ladies taking the step beyond the normal, stepping out of their comfort zone, and into an exploration of a career in Aviation.

July 26-29 2012, at EAA Oshkosh

EAA's Women Soar You Soar is the ideal place for high school girls to find out what it's like to fly an airplane, or soar into space.  This unique program in the heart of Oshkosh introduces girls with women, from engineers to fighter pilots, working in a variety of aviation and aerospace fields. It's an event filled with career exploration, discover, inspiration, and fun. And the reason I’m in Oshkosh this week.

Counselors and Mentors are striving to engage, inspire, and educate young women to pursue their dreams in aviation and beyond. The women I met yesterday were an inspiration—both mentors and students. But for today, meet some of the ladies from our first session..

The smiles speak volumes. More to come...

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Oh Gosh, More at Oshkosh!

Okay... this could be a trick question but... 

What is better than being at Oshkosh 
and watching cool planes?

Watching the B-17 "Aluminum Overcast" taxi up.
But what is better than that?

Linda, Amanda and me. Three Northwest Airlines Pilots

Having your girlfriend text you,
 and ask if you want to take a ride!

Does it get any better than this? Yes!
 Karen and Austin have a seat too!

The Most Awesome Experience flying with the canopy open 
for that perfect Kodak moment.  

A HUGE THANK YOU to the crew: 
Neil, Rick, and Hollywood Bill1

 Neil and Rick

Bill and me

 One... maybe two or three...Happy Campers.

 The day wouldn't be complete without gifting our gracious hosts with a copy of Flight For Control.

A gorgeous plane. Part of History. It wasn't possible to wipe the smile off our faces. The smell of the plane was somewhat erotic. I'm thinking I could have a love affair with this machine. Which Rick lovingly called a pig with the a big ass who apparently runs out of rudder. But I think she's beautiful.

Linda and Neil, thank you both for a great day. And Maria and Lilly... you're both growing up way too fast. It was great to see you all the way across the country!

Tomorrow... Women Soar. Time with the teenagers...more fun to come.

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene