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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, February 28, 2013


THursday's with Tom Hill 

I have a co-worker who is in charge of our flight operation - he’s our Operation Officer, for those that know USAF vernacular. He’s a great kid (everyone is a kid who is more than 10 years younger than I), and an extraordinarily good aviator in my book. In his time in the USAF, he earned many accolades, graduated at the top of several of histraining programs, and performed awesomely (is that a word?) in combat. I think his best characteristic is that he has a down to earth life philosophy. How do I know any of this? When you’re flying across the country in a Beech 1900--i.e. C-12J or stretch KingAir--you have lots of dead time to talk about things.

One topic we covered was what motivated him to do well in pilot training. He eventually simplified his philosophy to this: “I just didn’t want to suck. No kidding, when I finally got to pilot training I didn’t want to be known as that guy who sucked.” He told me one story about his early days in pilot training: Instructors can be grueling.

This can be personality-dependent, meaning some instructors are more "intense" than others. A standard USAF pilot training classroom is a big open room with about 10 little tables set up in a circle forming a perimeter around the room. On the outside of the circle sits an instructor. On the inside are his students, usually two. Most classes have about 20 students, two per table. An instructor is responsible for most of his student’s training, which includes grilling them with whatever question he thinks of. Of course, the situation is wide open. Everyone in the room can see or hear what’s going on.

Early in his training, he was suffering through one of these grilling sessions. His instructor was really giving it to him. The questioning even goes off the beaten path into regulations students are responsible for yet are not normally evaluated on. Some “special” instructors go off like this simply to be abrasive or to show how little a student knows. Of course, my friend is missing questions, which makes the grilling even more intense. Even though his knowledge level is commensurate with any of his classmates, this instructor is making him feel like an idiot because of the many questions answered incorrectly.

Back at home that night, he cracked open those regulations and studied them all. He tackled other regulations his instructor hadn’t questioned him on, thinking they were next. My friend told me all he wanted was to not appear so unintelligent the next time this instructor put him through the ringer--he didn’t want to “suck” as bad. This meant putting in a way over-the-top study effort that night and not getting much sleep. The next day, the instructor starts the grilling on esoteric regulations, yet this time my friend is answering questions correctly. This doesn’t stop the instructor. He just keeps pressing to find anything my friend doesn’t know until the instructor runs out of energy, a bit unsatisfied with not showing how little his student knows.

With the open classroom it was clear to everyone what was going on, what this instructor was doing, and how my friend was being picked on and despite this was performing well. He told me afterwards his classmates came up to him asking “Hey man, how did you know all that stuff?” To which he replied, with desperation in his voice, “If you stayed up all night reading this stuff, you’d know it, too.”

I had my share of “special” instructors over the years. I had one in pilot training who was particularly snarky. This guy was our flight commander. As a result, he usually flew with the most senior student--i.e., me. This meant I flew with him all the time. When asked what it was like to fly with that guy I usually responded “the best thing is he didn’t have to fly with anyone else.” I kept myself as well prepared as possible, even though I was well-versed in military aviation knowledge from my previous training as a Weapon System Officer. My whole objective was to prevent giving this snarky instructor the satisfaction of showing off how little I knew by missing some tiny knowledge detail. I
think I succeeded.

There are many sources of motivation people can tap into for achieving excellence. I can definitely connect to not wanting to “suck,” as my friends mentions. I figure whatever works, works. If it has to be not “sucking,” good. If it’s something else, so be it. Just have anything to motivate you, to focus on. If that helps you move forward, even if it's a gigantic effort, it’s a good thing.



Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How To Build Flight Hours

 "I want to be a pilot, 
how do I get the hours?"

"I am 30 years old, 
am I too old to become a pilot?" 

"How can I afford flying while I'm working 
to support my family?"

These are examples of many of the emails I receive daily.
I say.... Do the math.

Let's pretend you are a 30-year-old professional who was contemplating shifting careers to flying. But you're not sure of the future, how to build hours, how to survive... and what if it doesn't work? What if you quit your job, spend your money and can't make the dream come true?  

I am going to share a couple secrets with you:

Time flies, and perseverance pays off. 


Let's look at that thirty year old who is thinking about changing careers. This process will work for anyone younger. 

What if you spent your vacation, starbucks, clothing, movies, and playtime money on taking flying lessons, and flew two hours a week and earned an instructor's license. You continue to earn your instrument, commercial, multi-engine ratings... etc., while working at your normal job to fund this.

If you make a commitment to fly two hours per week, you would have 104 hours your first year with an instructor's license. Then you could teach on the weekend. If you instructed ten hours a week, you would have an additional 520 hours per year. At the end of ten years, you would have 5304 hours. During this time you'll get an instrument, commercial and multi-engine rating. All this training will go to total time.

You could write your ticket to whatever flying job you wanted with that kind of time. There is going to be a pilot shortage. I suspect you would get hired with half that time.

Reality is, once you get flying you can become a part time instructor you'll make connections and more flying opportunities will arise to build time more quickly. If you're working, you'll be exposed to people, and connections to a possible flying job. This is the unwritten law of the world... Opportunities are there, you just have to keep your eyes open and meet people.

If it took ten years, and you got hired at 40, you could have a 25-year career as an Airline Pilot. How awesome is that?

So here you go... 

Do the math... 
Fly every week for ten years and
you can become an Airline Pilot.

How easy is that? If you think ten years sounds a lifetime away... just blink and ten years will be gone. Don't be sitting in that future saying, "Wow... I should have."

Enjoy the journey, and enjoy every day. One flight at a time!  Click HERE to see how I build Flight Hours. Times have changed...but get creative.

XO Karlene

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Women Fly! March 5-10

Women of Aviation Week March 4-10, is one week away! The Museum of Flight is celebrating from the 5-10th.

There are exciting things happening all over the world, but nothing more exciting than in my home town at the Seattle Museum of Flight. Not only will we be taking women and girls for airplane rides on Saturday and Sunday, but there is an entire week of aviation fun for everyone.

Tuesday March 5

Program 12:00 Murdock Theater

Bridget Cooley & Helen Cernik

“Adventures Across the Atlantic” The story of Bridget & Helen’s flight from Seattle WA to Edinburgh, Scotland in a single engine Bonanza

Wednesday March 6
Program 12:00 Personal Courage Wing. History of the WASP Program

Join Deb Jennings, one of the individuals who assisted in developing our WASP display, for an informative walk through the exhibit. Learn more about the WASP program and the women who have shared their priceless mementos with the museum.

Thursday March 7th

Army CH-47 with crew in lot (tentatively)

Meet and greet pilots throughout the day

Free Thursday 5:00-9:00

Women of Aviation! 
Aerospace Community Resource Fair (Great Gallery)
Representatives from local schools, aviation groups, and military recruiters will be on hand  

Friday March 8th

Education Programming 8:30-1:30 (Panelists Ashley Stroupe, Kavya Manyapu, Karlene Petitt)

Resource Fair (Side Gallery)

Army CH-47 with crew in lot (We Hope!)

Meet and greet pilots throughout the day

6:00 Women Fly Reception (CSSG)

Saturday March 9th

Fly it Forward 9:00-3:00 Women and girls take flight (and Sunday too.) Details below.

Public Programs:

11:00 Bessie Coleman Story with Beverly Armstrong

2:00 Space Panel (Ashley Stroupe, Sunni Williams, Kavya Manyapu)

1:00 Member Reception in Weyerhauser Room

Sunday March 10th 
Flight Attendant’s Day

Flight Attendant's, past and present, we would love for you to wear your uniform. But either way, show us your ID and you are in for FREE.

Fly it Forward 9:00-3:00 Women and girls take flight

10:00-2:00 Hospitality Room, in the View Lounge, for coffee and tea and to visit. 

2:00 Public Program—Flight Attendant Panel

3:30 “Flights of Fancy” Concert


Ever since the first human gazed upward to birds soaring aloft has flight spurred the imagination. Eric Whitacre’s "Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine" brilliantly depicts the Renaissance thinker’s visionary struggles. Those inspirational birds appear in Stanford’s "The Blue Bird". 
The humorous buzzing of mosquitoes is rendered into music by Vancouver composer Stephen Chatman. Cascadian Chorale's Composer-in-Residence Greg Bartholomew provides music for "Three Gnostic Poems" by his father, a pilot in World War II. We are also excited to present a new work by Joy Porter, who trained as a pilot and who now sings in our alto section. A motet by the Renaissance Spaniard Tom├ís Luis de Victoria and a spiritual arranged by William L.  Dawson round out the program.

Gary D. Cannon, Artistic Director

Founded in 1964, Cascadian Chorale is a Bellevue-based, mixed-voice chamber choir dedicated to the performance and promotion of fine choral music. The Chorale’s membership comprises thirty-five of the greater Seattle area’s most skilled choral singers. Since 2008 Cascadian Chorale has been conducted by its Artistic Director, Gary D. Cannon. The Chorale regularly performs some of the most engaging and challenging works for chamber choir, ranging from Renaissance madrigals to new premieres. Cascadian Chorale performs in venues throughout the greater Seattle area, including Benaroya Hall, Town Hall, St. Mark’s Cathedral, and Meydenbauer Center. 

We hope to see you at the Museum of Flight March 5-10th!

9th and 10th... 

"Want to send your daughter, granddaughter, mother, grandmother, sister, niece, cousin, or any woman you want to experience the gift of flight on a FREE flight? 

Leave a comment and then....

Email me at
Subject line: Free Flight
Weight: Weight and balance issue
Age: Special plan for the little ones.
Time: That "won't" work for you if any. 

Today I'm off on a 6 day trip. Minneapolis. Tokyo. Guam. Tokyo. Seattle. But I will see you next weekend!

XO Karlene

Monday, February 25, 2013

Learning: Monday Motivation

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever.”
Mahatma Gandhi

The Love of Learning Leads to Success.

Whether you are learning to fly a plane, investing in the stock market, earning a new type rating, switching from a Boeing to an Airbus, transitioning from a PC to a Mac, or writing a novel... Success comes from the ability to learn. And the greatest asset to learning as an adult is being teachable.

Successful people know better than to accept everything someone tells them as truth. They also know that much of what is taught is opinion. But successful people open their minds, and know that in every situation there is something they can learn. They park their ego outside the hangar and identify truth from opinion, and fact from fiction. They take what works, and leave the rest behind.



The love of learning opens the door to brilliance.

Experience is something Pilots gain by making mistakes.

Focused on learning, successful people shift their mind from one of fear from making mistakes, to one of confidence in doing the best they can. When a mistake is made, they are not incapacitated... they deal with it. They know that mistakes are nothing but learning moments. 

Threat and Error Management identifies that mistakes will happen. Every person has the capacity to make mistakes. The goal is to not allow those mistakes to compound into unrecoverable errors. Pilots mitigate catastrophes by keeping their eyes open, accepting responsibility, and knowing they are not exempt from learning.

Successful people do not deny they will make a mistake. Nor are they fearful of making them. They embrace errors for the gift of education that follows.

Pilots are perfectionists by nature, striving to do everything right. But if a pilot makes an error and shifts her focus to the fact she failed, verses the power of the education on what she had just learned, performance degrades. The lesson is lost.

Pilots retain all lessons learned until their last flight... and beyond.


Successful people embrace their failures and use them for learning moments.

Every person you meet has something to teach you.  Sometimes the lesson may be nothing more than what not to do.

Pilots know that they do not hold all the answers. Every person they meet, experience they live through, and opportunity that presents itself is a learning moment, awaiting to be embraced.      

Successful people focus on what they can learn during times of failure. They shift their mindset from a fear of making a mistake, to one of confidence of doing their best and being aware if they do make an error, they can recover and learn. They listen and question, and accelerate their learning through the experiences of others. They never make the same mistake twice.

Embrace Learning as if Your Life Depended Upon it
It just Might. 

Enjoy the Journey, And may your life be filled with many learning moments. 
XO Karlene 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Major Dave Montgomery

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

 Dave Montgomery 

Pilot. Author. Search and Rescue Expert. 
Type rated: C-130, B727, B707, C-212, GIII and G-IV

Dave currently flies as a Captain for Net Jets, but his aviation experience reaches beyond the sky. And while I know that we are all influenced by the experiences of our lives, I have to ask how often any of us have we been put to test on one of those lessons? 

In 1991 Captain Montgomery was one of four special ops pilots to conduct operational tests and evaluations of amphibious aircraft in the Atlantic Ocean. Then, while on Active duty from 1995-1998, he served as the Air Force liaison as an advisor for the Civil Air Patrol in search and rescue. 

What are the odds that a pilot who had been involved in landings and takeoffs on parallel swells in choppy Seas, who had been working on search and rescue, would actually get to experience one?

It was August 2004. Dave was the aircraft commander of a USAF Gulfstream, and what started out as an ordinary flight turned south quickly when the main door seal failed at 40,000 feet. His experience during this rapid depressurization, and the successful outcome, did more than spark an interest...
it ignited a passion.  

His research as to what happens in a ditching while crossing an ocean was not a wasted effort, and he is sharing his knowledge. 


Training Profession Crewmembers For the Unthinkable Disaster.

This is a must read. From successful ditchings, to training and how to survive. You think this might never happen to you? Never say never. I spent Tuesday night flying over the Atlantic thinking about the "what if" and "how to," thanks to Dave.

Dave will be at the Northwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show, signing books in Booth 513. On Sunday at 1pm he will present a powerpoint presentation that covers highlights of the book, with emphasis on new concepts that overwater operators should plan and discuss. 

I will be in Booth 707 with Flight For Control, and Syd Blue with Fly Girl and Circle

Join us all at the conference...and make sure you attend Captain Montgomery's presentation! It may just save your life.

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene 

Thursday, February 21, 2013


 Black Foot Albatross Taken by Tom at Midway Island. 

I realized something incredibly basic 20 years ago when I was attending Air Force Test Pilot School (TPS). It was kind of a gigantic epiphany for me. When I look back, I think I should’ve known this before. I figured out: planes really fly just like each other. Once to you get past minor differences, planes take-off, cruise, and land mostly like each other regardless of the type. Aircraft pretty much fly the same.

Some of you are probably thinking I’m absolutely cracked to say this; regardless of the aircraft, whether Cessna or B-1, they all act the same. How I can say such a drastic thing? Well, from a certain perspective the following is always true: stick forward, houses bigger; stick backwards, houses smaller. It’s as simple as that.

In my experience, the basic action of flying is always the same. For take-off, you push up the throttles. At some point, you rotate the stick back with a certain “feel.” If that’s not enough, you pull a little more until the aircraft lifts off the ground. After you escape ground effect, you take care of the after take-off checks. While the particulars are a bit different for each type, the general process is consistent for all fixed winged aircraft: you rotate at a certain point, you pull the aircraft to a certain rotation picture, then you hold things until you’re safely away from the ground.

After you’ve flown about 10 different types of aircraft you realize the mechanics are not very different from one aircraft to the next. The desired “feelings” aren’t too different. The physical motions are relatively common. It’s consistent among all the different types of aircraft. You might wonder, “How can this be?”

Aircraft are designed with a relatively common characteristic: they are based on their predecessors. If you look at the design of aircraft over the years, improvements were mostly incremental. What you can see are evolutionary changes from one version to the next. When a design team finds relative goodness in a design philosophy, they tend to stay with what works. Revolutionary advances are not the norm in aviation. As a result, aircraft tend to act very similarly to each other.

That’s why between the C-12 and T-38, control movement during take-off is about the same. Even though one is a supersonic trainer that lifts off at 160 KIAS, and the other is a mini cargo plane taking off at 120 KIAS, they’re interestingly similar. There’s only so much movement a body can do in a cockpit. Within these limitations, designers only have so much to work with.
It’s a common technique to teach flying the T-38 with the pilot’s feet on the floor in the landing phase. The issue is the T-38’s rudder with the gear down is extremely effective. If you used a wing-low landing technique, it’s entirely possible to roll the aircraft upside down with minimal rudder use--i.e., bad common student mistake. As a result, the approved landing technique is to land in a full crab with no cross controls. Since rudder isn’t needed to land, instructors teach their students to leave their feet on the floor to avoid the risk of them accidentally applying rudder at an inopportune time. But, you don’t have to. The T-38 lands wonderfully with a little cross control in a crosswind. With a little judicious use of rudder and aileron, you can avoid the crab landing issues by simply flying the aircraft. The key word is “judicious.” Once you get that perspective--you’re flying the aircraft versus just doing “procedure”--you can safely do a wing-low landing technique in the T-38, just like a Cessna. The mechanics are essentially the same; rudder to point the nose down the runway, aileron to stop the drift--easy-peasy.

Why is this important? When teaching with this knowledge you can avoid having students memorize power settings and aircraft parameters. Instead of getting wrapped up in the nuanced differences of an aircraft’s physical uniqueness, and the cockpit environment where blind procedure seems to prevail, use a teaching philosophy that improves a pilot’s cross-check. Simply use the controls at hand to make the aircraft perform the way it’s supposed to. Sure, there are nuances to learn when mastering the characteristics of a new aircraft. That goes without saying. But, I think you can get there faster if you bring forth basic piloting skills to make the new aircraft perform as it needs without having to inundate your brain with tons of memorized numbers and techniques. After all: planes really fly just like each other.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

FLY GIRL and Syd Blue


As Chief Pilot at an aerial surveillance company, Syd Blue flies throughout the Southwest in the turbulent, hot low-level skies. More than loving the magnificent views, she is on a mission to encourage young people to become pilots. Syd conducts pilot interviews and resources in videos and blogs on her website and she’s written a book to inspire teens to go for their dreams.

Syd's book, Fly Girl, is an amazing story. We were doing a little blog hop awhile ago, and she hopped on over to mine. So... here you go. Her answers the questions everyone wants to know.


Where did the idea for the book come from?

A photo of my 5-year-old niece behind the yoke of her grandfather’s airplane. It’s still considered an unusual concept – females who can fly. After all this time, the statics haven’t changed much. Women comprise only 6% of the pilot population. I like that there’s still a frontier to breech. It can be fun to be the anomaly: a woman pilot? Yes! My niece is now in college and working on her pilot’s license. She’s interested in a flying career, too.



What genre does your book fall under?

Pre-teen and Teen (Young Adult) Action (with romance, of course)


Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Lofty fantasy #1 is Angelina Jolie because she’s a pilot. In fact, she’s the only living, famous actress pilot. And the reason she became a pilot is incredible. I explain it at HERE


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A 16 year old learns to fly an airplane – the hard way – and in the process becomes Pilot-In-Command of her life.


How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

10 years in development. 6 months for the 1st draft. 6 months for the 2nd rendition. 6 months for the 3rd rendition. Etc. When I had the final story, 1 year for edits, and presto, a book is born. Finding time to write while running a business and flying is difficult, but I love to write about flying, especially.

Syd and Hubby


What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The Princess Diaries because FlyGirl Jill has to get herself together to handle the challenge before her. She has to stretch and grow into the shoes she’s trying to fill. People often say that learning to fly is the hardest thing they’ve ever done. There are times when Jill is so scared her feet are shaking off the rudder pedals, which makes her victory even more of a feat to celebrate.



 Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Flying and all the kids who wrote me and said they are dying to fly but their parents told them they were too stupid, or they aren’t good at math or all these horrible things that discouraged them. That’s so sad. I wanted them to know that often pilots face obstacles but overcome them. FlyGirl Jill has a ton of problems and she makes it worse, getting herself into all sorts of messes and terror in the skies, but she works through it. She doesn’t give up. No matter what you face, you can make your dreams come true if you believe in yourself. I didn’t know how else to communicate this to the kids who wrote me for encouragement other than telling them the story of FlyGirl.

Inspiration from Hubby... Flowers and Plane


What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Along the way, people who have never flown before enjoy learning a bit about flying. Jill starts off wanting to become a pilot because she hears her crush, Robbie, say he thinks a woman who can fly is hot. I picked up that idea from an editor at AOPA who told me she became a celebrity at high school when she was learning to fly. Her interview and others are at “Fearless FlyGirls."

It’s also interesting that FlyGirl Jill has so much fear to conquer in order to be able to fly. As I say in Karlene's blog many student pilots drop out during training and often it is because they encounter a difficulty. A friend of mine put 4 grand into training and then a scary crosswind caused her to quit. Being terrified is not a reason to quit. You can work through it. It’s just another part of your process to overcome.


The journey to becoming a pilot is life-changing and worthwhile for everyone – not just those who want to fly but for those who want a boost to their self-esteems. It is awesome to be able to call yourself a pilot. Not just because pilots are a terrific community to belong to but also because it means you have determination, skills, focus and confidence. It teaches you the value of confidence. You’ll see a direct connection between your mind control and your result. There are so many important reasons to learn to fly!

Even if you have no interest in flying, FlyGirl is a fun ride as we watch Jill learn what porpoising is or the surprise Robbie has waiting for her at the airport.



The Next Big Available!

My next book, Circle, is geared for everyone, boys included. A cross between Indiana Jones and E.T. It’s not about flying like FlyGirl, but it has flying in it, of course. It’s about a 14 year old, Spencer, who discovers an extraterrestrial girl, Mandy, hiding out in his house. She’s lost and alone since the jet she stowed away on crashed in the desert behind Spencer’s home.


After the pilot is captured by military, Mandy needs Spencer’s help to rescue him from Edwards Air Force Base and help them get back home with the one thing their civilization needs to survive. On the run from soldiers, fighter jets and attack helicopters, Spencer’s family falls into crisis when they discover what it is that Mandy and the pilot have really come to Earth for. Coming soon, you’ll be able to find its link at

Syd will be in Seattle February 23-24th at the Northwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show. Drop by and say hi and get your copy of Fly Girl and Circle

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Aviation: You're Invited to

The Northwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show

2013 NW Aviation Conference and Trade Show
Feb 23 & 24, 2013
Puyallup, WA

SAT 9-5:30 | SUN 10 - 4 PM
ADMISSION: $5.00/day
Tickets available at the door
FREE parking FREE kids 17 and under

"For three decades the Washington Aviation Association has been pleased to present the Northwest Aviation Conference & Trade Show in Puyallup, Washington. This event has grown to over 75 hours of safety seminars and 122,000 sf of aviation displays with an annual attendance of over 10,000!" 

Among the many exhibitors, forums, and events...  Jet Star Publishing will have a booth, and you can meet Karlene Petitt, (me) and get your autographed copy of  Flight For Control. I will have a special guest: Syd Blue! She's flying in from California and staying the weekend, and will be selling her book, Fly Girl

Find us at Booth 
Booth 707!  

You can also meet Captain Dave Montgomery, this week's Friday Flyer. He will be autographing his book, Blue Water Ditching at booth 513, and will be conducting a seminar on Sunday. Friday you'll learn more about Major Montgomery, and his book.

There is an all star line up. Women In Aviation, 99's, ... Museum of Flight and more! Check the link below...

This weekend is a must at 
the Puyallup Fair Grounds. 

I  am looking forward to seeing you there. 
XO Karlene

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Motivation: Focus

“Focus on where you want to go,  
Not on the fear of failure
or the runway left behind.” 

Focus: The Power Within 

Successful people bathe in the power of focus. They grasp the challenges of life and use them to their benefit. They focus on the picture the 3000 pieces will create after they solve the puzzle. Not on the difficulty. They have the ability to thread their mind through the eye of a needle and sew their life together in a tapestry of perfection. Pilots know that each test they face is one that will strengthen their wings enabling them to soar higher.

Challenges—Nobody is exempt from a rainy day.

A successful person knows where to focus. Pilots know how to fly in the rain. They use the water to grow and nurture their life and talents. They have the wisdom to know that the rain will not last forever, and they use this time to regroup, rebuild, and strengthen their wings. They do not focus on the pain of getting wet and being locked inside, nor do they complain the rain will never end. Successful people know it will. Pilots wait out the rainy days while they study for their instrument rating. If the storm lasts a little longer than they had hoped, they are ready to fly through the cloudy days.


Shift the Focus—change your state.

Successful people know that all a blue day needs is a splash of red to turn it purple. Pilots look forward to the blue days, knowing they are far and few between. Successful people know that whatever is bothering them, they can change their feelings by shifting their focus. They can turn sadness into joy. If pilots have a bad day they take off and leave their problems behind.


Shift your focus to anything other than what plagues you. 

Sing, paint, run, read, and get out of your mind. Pilots know how to leave their problems on the ground. They know how to navigate the weather. They know how to spread their wings and fly, even on the darkest days. They also have the wisdom to wait out the greatest storms, because they do not last forever. 


Focus on the solution, not on the problem.

Successful people do not see problems—they see challenges with solutions. A challenge provides opportunities to learn and grow. Pilots know that problems drown a person in negativity, but a challenge teaches them how to fly.

When a pilot loses an engine, they do not focus on the failure. They focus on how to restart their engine, and where to land. Pilots focus on the solution, not the problem.

Worry—The antichrist to Focus.

Worrying about what has happened before, prevents success of the future. A pilot never focuses on the runway left behind. A successful person lives in the now, and focuses on the present. That is why they call it a gift. 

Single-minded focus—The key to Success.

Successful people know that the only reason they will fail is by allowing their mind to drift to someplace other than the task at hand. Pilots possess the technical skills to fly their plane despite what happens en-route. They know how to focus on the task. If they experience something new, they focus on how to handle the experience and create a solution, not on the fear of the unknown.
If a pilot’s mind wanders to what if I don't succeed, instead of flying the plane, they have just taken their focus from where they want to go, to fear. Pilots do not fly in fear. They fly in confidence with decisive direction.
Focus on the success you deserve,
And achieve it.  

Friday, February 15, 2013


Friday's Fabulous Flyer

 C.J. of Parker Jets

Last week we met a Planespotter, today we will meet another kind of aviation enthusiast that started out as a hobby, and morphed into a business—ParkerJets.

But first the man behind the mission…

CJ:   I suppose my interest in flight, which has translated into small scale radio controlled hobby, was no doubt planted by my father.  He was in the U.S. Air Force for something like 28 years as an instructor pilot and continues to train pilots as a simulator instructor on an Air Force base.  So growing up, we lived around military jets, sonic booms and flight suits.  As a kid, you certainly take that lifestyle for granted.  Like any child, you just think your father's job is just normal but of course my father's a job let him fly jets around, all over the country at the speed of sound.  

Now as an adult, I have a great appreciation for what he accomplished in his career.  He served in Vietnam, flew over 100 combat missions, and trained countless pilots and loved every minute of it.  That doesn't even take into account the pride I have in his service.  So I grew up in that Air Force culture, squadron parties, and flight patches.  For a long time I couldn't tell the difference between a Buick and Toyota, but I could name every plane in the sky as it zoomed overhead.  

That's where an appreciation and interest in flight started.

 C.J. with Dad

As a kid, we had the opportunity to fly with my dad when he could get a plane rented or got some flight time in a small commuter type airplane like a Cessna. I can remember climbing in this small airplane, a little nervous of course, but my father is the pilot so you have to trust he knows what he is doing.  After all, he flies jets for a living.  Well, I will never forget getting in that co-pilot seat and as we are rolling on the tarmac, he is reading the flight checklist, knee on the stick, looking up and down, and making sure he is pushing and pulling all the right levers and buttons.  He was so casual about the whole thing, but my anxiety level was climbing faster than we were.  Of course looking back on that experience, I never appreciated a couple of things; his level of experience and the simple principles of flight.  

So to fast forward a bit, a few years ago, I started working on my website, ParkerJets and started going to a few radio controlled (RC) flight events around the Southwest and really started to get inspired to be a hub for the RC flight community.  

 C.J.'s Dad T-38

One thing really stands out if you get around a bunch of people and their RC planes; they love flying. Now many of them are pilots in the real sense of the word, but many are not, but they experience some level of freedom and wonder that pilots of real airplanes experience, all while having their feet on the ground.  I think that's one of the foundations of the hobby, having a wonder for flight.  Now if you are not familiar with RC airplanes, you might be thinking, "those are just toys" and in some ways you are right, but in others ways, you might be amazed at the direction the hobby has moved in the last few years and the similarities the hobby has with real aviation. 

While ParkerJets focuses on small scale and pretty inexpensive end of the RC hobby, one segment of the hobby deals exclusively with actual turbine engines.  These RC airplanes are huge, complete with retractable gear, jet fuel, and trailers for transport.  Listening to them fly around the field, you would swear you are at a real air show.  More traditional RC airplanes rely on propellers and are stapled firmly in the exact same principles of real flight.  Thrust to weight ratios, wing loading, lift, stall speed, flaps, and just about everything else you can think about how a real plane flies applies to their smaller counterparts.  Hobbyists set up their control surfaces the exact same way and perform the same stunts and maneuvers as pilots do everyday.  The one main difference is that when something goes wrong you don't have to bail out.  You just have to watch as your plane noses into the ground.  

For your readers, they might be surprised to know that just like aspiring pilots, new RC pilots often start out on simulators, specifically designed for radio controlled flight.  You can even change the type of plane in the simulator to give you different experience and change the weather, just like a real simulator the military uses.  You might be wondering why you have to have a specific simulator just for RC, well, its simple really, when the plane is flying away from you, the controls are intuitive, but when that plane is coming at you, right is left and left is right and getting your brain to switch back and forth takes some training.  

One really exciting development in the RC world is bringing a whole new excitement to RC flying. While many RC pilots get a lot of joy in watching their plane fly around a field, the view from the ground is nothing like a real pilot experiences. But now, with HD cameras becoming small, and virtual reality glasses coming into the mainstream, some RC pilots are hooking up an HD camera, controlled by a swivel servo, and then streaming the live video feed right back to a set of virtual reality glasses so the pilot on the ground feels like they are right on board.  Right now those set ups are expensive and bulky and don't always work as advertised, but give it a few years and those RC pilots, will experience the views and thrill of flying right on the ground!

Unlike a lot of real pilots, you get to be your own production line, mechanic, and pilot.  That's one thing that ParkerJets really lets people do, download and get plans to build your own airplane.  Not to sound like a broken record, but much of the building process is very similar to the real thing.  Bulkheads, firewalls, outer skins and paint.  It's all basically the same thing, just on a smaller scale and with different materials.” C.J.

C.J.’s passion flies off the page with his excitement, and I’m thinking for all you aviation enthusiasts… this might be the next best thing to flying inside a plane.

Thank you C.J. May your success continue to soar!

Enjoy the journey!

OX Karlene

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines Day

This Valentines Day, 
Have a Love Affair With the Sky!

Every day can be a day of love, if you make it that way. 

If you don't have a Valentine... 
Pamper yourself!

What are you doing today? 

For me:
0600: Yoga, for the love of Health.
1300: Meeting at the Museum of Flight for Fly It Forward, for the love of flight.
1600: See the movie Safe Haven, for the love of Entertainment, and time with my Valentine. And for my hubby to share a chick flick with me... That speaks volumes.

I have ulterior motives...
1.  See how they do the flashbacks for my movie. 
2.  Do nothing but enjoy the moment. 

Have a wonderful Day of Love, and enjoy every moment.
Next week we'll be back to Tom Hill THursday. 

XO Karlene