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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, August 13, 2012

Monday Motivation: Acknowleding Fear

"Let me look upon my
as something that
I need to confront - not
that I must
away from."

By investigating airline accidents we've come to learn that someone in the flight deck always knew there was a problem, but didn't speak loudly or assertively enough. With AF447 we had a pilot who was extremely uncomfortable with the environment, and he wasn't assertive enough to tell the captain, "I think you should stay until we pass this storm." The question is why?

I have spoken of this book before, and feel it important enough to suggest again... The Gift of Fear.

We all have this gift, and that's exactly what it is... a gift. Our intuition and our bodies know when something isn't right before our minds do, but our minds deny and rationalize the messages away. This book could was written from the perspective of personal attacks on the ground. 

But I think we should all take the concept into the flight deck. I contend we know when something is wrong. It's our duties to have the confidence to speak out, and tell someone. Even if it means hitting them over the head with a purple flashlight. 

Don't shy away from fear, learn to understand it. Learn when to confront it. Confronting it doesn't mean ignoring it. It also doesn't mean chasing the man with a gun. But it does mean speaking out, and being assertive in the flight deck. It means listening to that voice gnawing at you. 

Confronting fear means:
Identify. Understand. Respond accordingly.
It could save your life and your passengers as well.

We are all super busy, trying to cram everything into our already over-packed days. This is when mistakes will be made. Accidents will happen. Our defenses will be down. Use this message to remember to slow down long enough to listen to your intuition.

Travel plans changed a bit, and I'm not home yet. But if the non-reving Gods are on my side, I will be home sometime tonight.

Enjoy the Journey!

XOX Karlene

Flight For Safety first draft: 87, 504 words 


  1. Wow! Love this post! You are totally right!

    1. Thank you Alex, always listen to that little voice in the back of your head. It may keep you from being dead. :)

  2. Fear is something many do not want to face ever. And yes, we all have to because if we choose to take the easy way out, it will not only harm us in the long run, but others as well. Facing fear should be the pre-req for every pilot. Have a safe trip home and excited that you are now first draft status. Before you know it, you will have your second book. Looking forward!

    1. Thank you so much Jeremy! I am having fun and so close to the end of the first draft. Then... the work will begin. Such a great process! BTW... we made it to SLC. Then we were 4 and 5 on a plane that that had 5 seats remaining. For some reason, we shifted to 5 and 6. So we wait. And two minutes before the door closed, as they are calling for paying passenger Timothy... he no-showed and we got the seat! There was a bit of magic there too...but can't write about it. Will tell you when I see you.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. It's a great book (thank you for giving me a copy!!) and this is an excellent post. Thank you! I'm so glad that someone flying a plane has honed her instincts to this level and trusts her gut.

    1. Thanks Linda, I think that with in invent of technology, we tend to trust. When we don't understand it, we loose that feeling of I know more. Many pilots think the plane will take care of them.'s the other way around.

  4. We could really use more pilots like you! Loved to read this post!

    1. Thank you so much An. This means a great deal! And... I am so excited to see you. Either you'll hate your gift... because it's too big. Or you'll cry. But, we'll see. And I know a place you can put it. :) Have a wonderful day. Counting down the days.

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks Cecilie, and for you the woman of the world... watch those instincts when you travel. If you feel someone is watching you; they are. If you feel you're being followed; you are. Just respond accordingly.

  6. When I was learning to fly the King Air in late 1970's, my wise old CFI told me to "...count to ten if you have a will need that pause to 'see' the real issue." The gut reaction requires the same moment of clearing the mind-it is your brains way of saying 'sumptin ain't right with this picture.
    Get control of the picture...then act on it in a positive way. Jumping before seeing generally results in a less than positive result

    Tim (TDY MT Mountain top)


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