"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.
Today, as the last day of 2012, it's time to reflect on our past and our future. I've heard over the previous few months of the concern for what type of world we are leaving our children.
Perhaps we should be as equally concerned about the examples we are setting for our children concerning integrity, morals, and values.
Perhaps if we, as the guardians of the future, decided to teach our children to feel pride, compassion, concern, and how to care for their fellow human and the earth...
The future will be brighter.
What if we resolute that our footprints are those we would be proud to
have our children follow. Footsteps of making a difference in the world,
and setting an example of taking care of ourselves, so we can take care
What if we set an example to take action if something is unjust. To
respect differences, and embrace the future with all the possibility of
hope, challenge and excitement, instead of complaining that life isn't
fair or how bad we have it. Perhaps we should no longer live in fear.
But live with gratitude.
Life is all about perspective, and depending upon your view it is
beautiful. We just have to look outside ourselves, and live with health
and passion. With love and concern. With education and growth. With Joy.
Gratitude. Appreciation. Curiosity.
May 2012, I visited Oklahoma City for a little Decision Making in the A330. A great time was had by all, and the data went to the future of flight. A330 and 737 Airline Pilots are need once again.
We're invited again and this time in the face of NextGen.
The FAA is planning a sim study
In OKC on the days
Jan 22-25 and 29- Feb 1.
They need a different A330 Captain and First Officer
for each day of the study.
You will need to Jumpseat or
nonrev to OKC the day before. The hotel will be set up for you at the
Wyndham Garden. The FAA shuttle will pick you up around 0630 the
morning of the study. Show time at FAA security is 0700. You will be
met and escorted to the simulator building. The task should be
completed by noon and you will be free to depart.
will receive $400.00, plus $99 per diem, hotel reimbursement; and
airport parking or cab fees, if necessary.
Once your date has been
established, you will receive detailed information regarding hotel
reservations, directions and other logistics.
of course, is a non-jeopardy event and your participation is important
to future research.
Please pass this along to any fellow captains you
believe would be interested. There are numerous studies
planned for next year, so you can be added to the contact list.
Please note, they have a crew committed for Jan 25 at this time.
Please welcome a talented, aviation enthusiast, soon to be pilot, and my friend from Brazil, Alex Wood, as my guest blogger. He's written quite a post... the only thing I can say now is Thank You Alex! For everyone else, sit back, buckle up and enjoy the flight. He's created quite the end of the year journey.
evening ladies and gentlemen, this is your First Officer speaking...
We've reached our cruising altitude of 36.000 feet and we are now
heading oceanic, leaving the coast of
Paradise. I am going to switch off the seat-belt sign as we are now
entering a safe zone of happiness and laughter. This is a non-stop
flight to success operated by this beautiful A330-300 commanded by
Captain Karlene Petitt.
Good weather forecast for this flight, we will
fly through the clouds of wisdom and inspiration and we will also be
flying through tailwinds that will take us to great opportunities. Our
cabin crew will begin the on board services within moments offering a
delicious variety of food and beverages and soon you will be able to
rest on our comfortable reclined seats. We thank you for choosing Flight
To Success Airlines and we wish our passengers a pleasant flight. Thank
It's been two years already... Almost three actually, that we have been
trying to catch up this flight. Flight To Success... It started smaller
than it is today, like some things in life, with a very looking and
rich with very professional contents, but now when related to success,
leadership and aviation, Google has to mention Karlene's blog.
to myself this is the best aviation blog I have ever visited, not
because aviation is it's main subject, but it has it's own wonder side.
Most websites has only "airplanes stuff" as it's main subject, it is
rare to find blogs like hers, but I've seen a couple already. Flight To
Success has a vast gamma of subjects related to
the field... I like to think here as the place for the" new ones" to
help them create their own flight plan for their lives warning
the downdrafts and the reality of the industry, and also the place for
the most experienced to help them see what's happening with the
industry, to discuss with the technical side of the field.
Many of the
visitors come here and have the illusion, yes illusion, that nowadays
it's still fine to just obtain their commercial and instruments license
and afterwards they will have the job of their dreams... Like if it's
that easy, but is it still possible? Well, never loose hope and faith on
your career, but be more realistic. Having contacts is very important,
but in my case, I didn't know that having contacts on the field could be
advantageous on your success six months ago! - I mean, that somebody
could put you on the cockpit. And a year ago me and Karlene we've became
friends! And of course, most of you know already: nothing better than a
real friendship rather than "Oh okay, he/she is a Pilot, I will do
everything to keep in touch"... Actually that's not
a good start at all.
Flight To Success gives you
inspiration, situational awareness, opens your eyes, helps you see the
industry and the market, helps you find the aviation bug inside you...
Generally helps you grow and opens your eyes to become a "Pilot on
demand". Also, what I've found really special here, is the possibility
to comment, discuss, defend your own statements, debate, explore with
your own words on every post! And guess who replies to most comments? An
experienced Pilot with a great background and holds what the market
needs nowadays, I call this "Pilot on demand". Karlene not just replies
with her own words of wisdom and gives her precious words of advice, but
she learns with us too.
She's also a mother, so sometimes she gives us
an advice of a "Mother Pilot". I think this relation between Pilot and
"AvBlogger" is fundamental. One of the most precious lessons that I've
learned from this blog was to hold a degree at least.
Agreeing and having the obvious in front of me, I've wrote an e-mail to
Karlene about holding College Degree in Aviation, she liked it and
created a related post... Then an idea came up (I was reading Flight For
Control for the second time at the time), but before I continue with
this statement, I would like to remember of a case when a user said "Oh
no... You don't need college degree, just get your license (...)",
Karlene gave her own advice, and what advice!
After these moments, I came up with an idea: what if I propose to our
Pilot something new to spread the word? I came up with the Flight To
Success Facebook Group with the intention to put many airplanes on the
same Charlie Airspace as possible so we could spread the word and help
others to obtain situation
awareness of themselves and of the industry. The idea was approved and I immediately created the Group and now we have 69 members already!
Well, for me it's a good start!
Even if many don't think it's a lot of
members. Flight To Success Facebook is the place where you can create
arguments and show what are your own opinions, and maybe you could
change opinions by seeing what others has to say. What did help me to
have this idea? The idea of spreading the word? Mainly Flight For
Control added with other facts. The novel is simply best industry guide
around, should every Pilot and Future Pilots have on on hand. Fiction
Mirrors Truth. This book is helping me tons... Opened my eyes. Then came
the idea of partnership!
Karlene and I became internet and blogging partners and we are working
on making Flight For Control a worldwide known
book. We have already started by the way. Something really cool is
coming for you reader to watch. I also asked Karlene's permission to use
the Flight To Success name to become a Network. Now Aviation Center and
our good friend publisher of Jeremy's Flight Deck are now a Flight to
Some of you can think this is a way to promote
ourselves, well, it is! But we are promoting ourselves on the way that
we help spread the word and offer Karlene's followers a great service
from what Karlene taught us, from what her book taught us, from what
Flight To Success itself taught us, added by our own knowledge! The idea
of Networking is part of the concept of what we call "New Frontiers"
for the website... Which is expected to be released in 2013, it's the
codeshare of the three blogs having here our "Headquarters". We have the
ambition to make Flight To Success become even bigger and well known
throughout the internet also!
What a journey huh? What I wrote above is our history and story of what
happened within two years. Every new day is a story to tell, a journey
to fly, a history to create, a lesson to learn, a challenge to defy. I
have finally graduated from High School this month, what a year! Despite
the turbulence zones I flew, but is always a lesson to take with us to
the future. Also, this year, many of you followers helped me create my
own flight-plan that will be followed this next year... I have received
many great and precious advice! Wow, thank you so much to you all! I am
more than thankful! Karlene, God bless you and your beautiful family and
may life keep giving you love, because you deserve! Thank you for
everything... You see, words sometimes aren't sufficient, but you know
A wish from the Flight Deck:
2013 come with positiveness, strong, and at full throttle, may the
positive rate of climb be reached and the gears come up...
May the wings flex and the engines roar...
May our A330-300 head oceanic and draw the bright white line scratching the skies of our lives...
May our intercontinental flights teach how to be leaders and professionals on the most severe weather...
May our diverts teach us a lesson...
May our fuselage become stronger, and our engines become even more
powerful and silent...
May our jet fuel burn, but make it worth...
May us arrive at our destinations safely and intelligently, and let's
give our cockpit companions the best example of leadership, passion,
management, friendship and professionalism...
May God bless us, give us light, and protect us...
May our knowledge be learned and help us reach our dreams...
May 2013 be much better than 2012 and the previous years."
morning ladies and gentleman, this is your First-Officer speaking and
within moments we will be descending to 3.500 feet for our final
approach to our connection at 2013 Intl. Airport for New Year
celebration and then we will start boarding again. Soon our cabin crew
will collect your blanket and headphone, and will give you a hot wet
smile towel. We understand the Airline is a passenger's choice, but we
hope to have you on board on this one class A330-300 commanded by
Karlene Petitt and on the
Flight Deck we have Jeremy Carlisle with us and me (Alex). We all wish
you a fantastic new year! Thank you for flying Flight To Success
Airlines." Alex Wood.
Eric Auxier—better known as Cap’n Aux, is an A320 Captain,
author, and as my grandson says, “ a funny guy.” He has found the humor and
lightness in life, and believes that there is good in the world and there are many good
people doing wonderful things.
He's right—because he's one of them.
Cap’n Aux graduated from Cochise College in 1983, AZ, with
an AS in Pro-Pilot and all his ratings, and then from Arizona State in 1986
with a BS in Aeronautical Engineering. While he tells me that he was “blessed
with parents who liked to spend money on their kids' education” he built his
flight time the hard way—civilian route, paying for it himself.
How fun it is to follow the career path of a professional
pilot who chased the dream, and caught it. Cap’n Aux not only filled his logbook with hours, but he filled it with memories and experiences more colorful than most.
“I flight instructed
while attending ASU, then flew charters for several years, including Grand
Canyon tours. My big break came when I moved to Juneau to fly for Wings
of Alaska. From there, I went straight down to the U.S. Virgin Islands to
fly for the V.I. Seaplane Shuttle. They flew mostly Grumman Mallard
amphibs, but I lucked straight into the left seat of their land based Twin
Otter. I flew there till they got wiped out by Hurricane Hugo in '89 (of
which I just wrote a couple posts.) From there I went to Rocky Mountain
Airways/Continental Express in Denver, where I flew the mighty fun 4-engine
Dash 7's for a year before being hired at my current airline at the end of '90.”
His ‘current’ airline happens to be one of my eight, and we had relatively the same hire date. Despite the fact I am one month older than him, he would have seniority on me because I was locked in the training department without any seniority. But unfortunately our paths never crossed.
More than flying, he's an author too! Cap’n Aux is no novice to writing. He was a staff writer and columnist for his school newspapers at both Cochise and ASU. He’s sold several articles over the years to publications such as
Arizona Highways, Plane & Pilot and AOPA Pilot. You can imagine my gratitude when I opened the mail to an autographed copy of his novel, The Last Bush Pilots. What a fabulous read. I
will be reviewing it soon. But today this is all about the man behind the
One of the greatest things about inviting an author to be a Friday Flyer is when they write an incredible story, I can call it the post. Writing is all about voice, and today you get to hear Cap'n Aux's.
Please meet Cap’n Aux:
“I like to call myself an airline pilot by day, a writer by
night, and a kid by choice.
I dreamed of flying since before age 5.Riding on a Boeing 737 from PHX-LAX to
visit cousins each summer was always the highlight of my year.But even before I learned to fly, I
loved to write and draw.My buddy
Alan and I would constantly doodle pictures of WWII dogfights through
class.I wrote my first “novel,”
Little Froggie and the Golden Transmitter, at age 6.It is now available, well, in my mom’s baby book!
At age 14, I read Richard Bach’s, Illusions: Adventures of a
Reluctant Messiah.It transformed
my life.I can still remember a
quote from it:“We are all.Free.To do.Whatever.We want.To do.”I have tried to live by that mantra ever since.
Born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, I was blessed with
the most stable life of anyone I’ve ever known.My parents never moved, never fought, nothing.This stability made for a wonderful
childhood, but by the time I turned 18 I was ready for adventure.I kinda went crazy, using my flying
dream as an excuse to chase the career all over the country.I’ve lived and flown in Juneau, Alaska,
St. Thomas and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Denver, Colorado, and
Washington, DC, among others.
I now live back in Phoenix with my nearly-grown kids, Desi
(21) and Tim (17), so I’ve kind of come full circle. I have an adopted daughter, too, Sheraline. She's now 27, married
with two girls. So, technically I'm a grandpa!
Also at age 14, I got my first idea for a novel.I thought, “Gee, James Bond is so
cool.He can do all these awesome
things.He must have started his
spy training as a kid!”And then I
Ten years later, I finished writing, Code Name: Dodger,
about a teen orphan searching for his father’s killer, an evil spy who is also
searching for him.The spy
is a mole in the CIA, so in order to protect him, they give him all this
self-defense and spy training.He’s a street kid, so he’s already developed skills at pickpocketing,
computer hacking, etc.So the CIA
doesn’t realize they’ve created a little monster!
My new novel, The Last Bush Pilots, was inspired by my very
real flying adventure as an Alaska bush pilot.I met so many incredible personalities, heard so many tall
tales, learned so much about flying and lived a life so fully on the edge, I
just had to write about it!
While the book is a fiction tale, many of the characters and
subplots are inspired by real events.For example, the pilots band together and hijack and rescue a load of
orphaned bear cubs, and exact divine revenge on the poacher that kills their
momma.This tale was inspired when
I flew—you guessed it—a load of orphaned bear cubs whose mother was killed by a
Another real-life experience inspired a scene that sets the
theme for the book.An eagle flies
over the boys with a freshly caught salmon in its talons.Awestruck, the main character, DC,
says, “I’ll take that as an omen.”But then another pilots says, “Yeah.But are you the eagle, or the salmon?”
I chronicle much of my flying and travel experiences in my
blog, Adventures of Capn' Aux. One of the most important things I try
to impart is to keep the magic of the adventure alive, both on the ground and
in the air.So many pilots tend to
burn out and become cynical about this extraordinarily brutal business.But, day by day, we are blessed with
slipping the surly bonds of earth, putting out our hands, and touching the face
The following is an excerpt from my June, 2011 post:
The cockpit of my machine has afforded equally grand sights
and adventures. I’ve seen the full moon rise over the Juneau Icefield,
and witnessed a 360-degree rainbow in an Alaskan rain shower. I’ve seen a
comet blazing across a moonless night amidst the ethereal shimmers of the
Aurora Borealis. The Andromeda galaxy, the farthest object visible to the
naked eye, is doubly so from the clear, thin air at 39,000 feet. I’ve
seen countless meteor showers, gorgeous sunsets and amazing sunrises.
Lightning storms are incredibly awe-inspiring when viewed
from above. I’ve piloted over 250 'flightseeing' trips over the Grand
Canyon, each one different and equally spectacular. In the Virgin Islands
I’ve spied eery, slate grey waterspouts—tornadoes on the sea—snaking across the
water. On countless Alaskan flights from treetop level, I’ve seen moose,
bear, eagles, and endless pods of whales, from humpback to Orca to
beluga. I once spotted a giant brown bear a few hundred feet below as he
took an angry swat at me.
Unfortunately I have scant photographic evidence of these
spectacular sights, other than that which is indelibly etched in my mind’s
Life is an adventure.And a pilot’s life is exponentially so.As comedian Luis CK aptly put it, “You’re sitting in a chair . . .
in the sky!”
I’ll finish with my favorite inspirational quote of all:
“The world is a Disneyland just for you!”—Cap’n Aux