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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, January 28, 2013

Monday Motivation: Attitude

"You can't do anything about the wind.
You can't do anything about the weather.
But you can adjust the attitude of your plane."

I can't take credit for the photo... and not sure who sent it to me, but this shows the power of vortices.  

Last week I was on a flight home, 80 miles out of Seattle, and a rumble began like moderate turbulence. And then our 737 rolled about 40-45 degrees left, then back to the right about 20, and then left about 10, before the wings leveled. A plane had flown overheard and tried to flip us.

Can pilots be scared on a plane? 
Yes, when they are passengers and have no control.

I arrived home from Hawaii around midnight last night. Photos from the trip were non-existent because my camera wouldn't talk to my computer. That shall be solved later in the week. This morning, I'm on my way to Oklahoma City for some NextGen testing.

How do I manage this busy and full life? One day at a time, and with a great Attitude. We have the control of our Attitude in a plane and on the ground. 

When it's bad... Fix it!

What do you do to adjust your Attitude?

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene


  1. I was once in a C-23 Sherpa--military version of a Shorts 330 (I think)--flying an approach to Edwards AFB. We happened to be about five miles or more behind a C-17 on approach as well. After rolling about 90 degs to the right then back to the left I developed a new found respect for being slightly below on glide path behind a heavy lift aircraft like the C-17. At least I only have myself to blame for putting myself into that situation. Live and learn.


    1. Tom, 90 degrees? Wow! That's the best part of learning... when we can live through the lessons. I bet that was a surprise.
      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Hi Karlene. I really like this post.

    Adjust attitude !!! :)

    Yeah I wonder how did you manage to have such a busy life and full with hectic schedule but you still manage to do all things accordingly and enjoy it nevertheless. That wasn't something easy. More and more reason to admire you Captain! :)

    1. Ahhh... you are so sweet. Sometimes the overload tries to take the attitude the wrong direction. Exhaustion does that. But then I have to remember... it's all good. Thank you for your comment. I LOVE your attitude!!!

  3. Karlene, now that is scary. Reminds me of a flight I was on coming back from ORD into NY LGA and we were T/D all I can say was thanks to Captain Joe and his FO that baby bus showed her strength. Even more impressive they did the Long Island "Expressway Approach" during moderate turbulence. This experience and yours have reinforced the notion that an attitude adjustment is always necessary. Thank you so much for strengthening and motivating my day. Reading 6 starts tonight.

    1. Yes... we must thank those stars up front. 6 readings... you're my hero! I learned something fascinating about the movie business. I will write post about that soon. As soon as I catch up with life. :)
      Thanks for your comment! And... have a great time.

  4. Great post Karlene! What do we do to adjust our attitude? Living in the moment is what we practice; for the present moment is all we have. Looking forward to reading your blog.

    Sylvester & Darin

    1. Sylvester and Darin, Thank you so much for the comment. Yes... living in the moment is all we have. Too many people live in the future of what might happen, and not what is happening. Excellent attitude! And thank you for reading.

  5. Good post! Reminds me of the cute aviation t-shirt with an attitude indicator out of whack and the caption, "I have a bad attitude!"

    Isn't it funny, when deadheading in back, in uniform? With every little rock of the wings or funky sound, all the passengers look to you to see your reaction! I'm tempted to jump up and scream, "My God, we're all gonna DIE!"

    I love riding in back and hitting the wake turbulence--fun thrill ride, lol!

    Flying is so much safer than driving, I NEVER get scared in back. I usually sleep thru it! But, riding in back of some ppl's cars...that's a WHOLE 'nuther story!

    And I'd like to add one more saying to your post: "When it ain't bad--DON'T fix it!"


    1. I must say I love this response. The way some people drive, I would never enter in a car with them... Planes I feel more comfortable with - seriously. I live for turbulence... I will send a video of mine to you on YouTube.. of that very flight I cited above..

    2. Hey Capn Aux, I have the 'Bad-Attitude" t-shirt. lol. So, there is more to this story. Minimal sleep. Second leg of a commute. And the FA and I had just been talking about AF447 and how many people missed that flight because of an auto accident. We talked about the decisions and forcing issues and sometime you have to flow with life. Know it's the right path.

      Then she stowed my bags in the first class cabin so I could rush off the flight to make my connect. But we were late. My flight was on the other sides of the airport...I had 20 minutes, but not a positive seat. But good news, SWA had one leaving in 10 minutes, a couple gates down... the opposite direction.

      I hesitated a couple minutes deciding which direction to go. And zipped on down to SWA. They put me on and I was in the last seat of the plane.

      So... I had my mind thinking about the what ifs... as this could be a set up to a novel. And then the pilot takes the wrong flight. I'm tired. Dozing...and then, all of the sudden...

      But all turned out fine. Yes... the safest. But I would so much rather be in the front flying through that, that in the back being surprised.

      Thanks for your comment!

  6. Karlene,

    Attitude is how you attack life. We all have hectic lives; the issue is how you deal with it. I don’t like riding in the back of the airplane either. But I have full trust in the training and abilities of the pilots driving the airplane. If I didn't I should never walk on board.

    I learned to stack 50 feet from flying formation airdrops in the C-130. 500 feet AGL, 130 KIAS, 2000 feet in trail of a C-130 will give you a ride that never ends unless you stack or slide horizontally. But when you do that, it can quickly put you out of the window to get the equipment on the drop zone. Like life, it takes a balance.

    There is something uncomfortable about hitting the wake turbulence of a jet at FL390 and Mach .84. It just doesn’t feel good. I think respect is the proper word.

    1. Respect it a great word.... and the Attitude of attacking life the right way... is so true! Life is so much of balance. I'm working on that this year. Searching for balance. Maybe I'll find it next year. Lol. Now, I'm plugging along, doing the best I can. And seriously, that's all we can do. Thank you so much for your comment!

  7. It's all about how we compensate for those up- and downdrafts, the crosswind and the wake turbulence. It can be one heck of a ride, but if we are prepared and ready to tackle it, the attitude will help you.

    I don't really have any bad-bad turbulence stories to tell. I usually just sleep through the turbulence on transatlantic flights (east bound, that is)
    One time though, I was flying from CLT to DEN, and we had light to moderate turbulence, the entire flight. Even though it wasn't severe, just the duration of it (close to 3,5 hrs) made me walk like a drunk person, when we landed on terra firma ;)

    Thank you for yet another great post!

    1. Cecilie, what a great visual on life. Attitude is all about how we deal with life... even when it's Mother Natures wrath.

      3.5 hours of turbulence? Wow... what a ride.

  8. Love what you had to say about attitude Karlene. You've helped explain to me a whole lot about attitude and what makes certain pilots happy/some not so much. It ALL comes down to your ATTITUDE.

    Thanks for sharing that story. I laughed when you spoke about how pilots can be scared on a plane :)


    1. Yes... it is all about attitude! And yes... for those who are afraid of snakes, I heard they can be scared on a plane too. :) It's a scary world out there. But that's what stories are made of.


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