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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, April 22, 2013

The Greatest Respect For Pilots

“There is no such thing as a small act of kindness. 
 Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”

Scott Adams

Last week I returned home from a long trip. Exhausted. Feeling a bit behind on life. And as I dug through my many neglected emails, I came across one that warmed my heart. Nobody wanted anything! They just wanted to give their gratitude. Not necessarily to me, but to all the pilots out there. So if you fly an airplane, this is for you:

"You are all my Heroes!"

"My dad was an airman flying in the China Burma Theater. He flew the 'hump' in a converted B-24-which was a dangerous trek. When I was a kid his stories were enthralling and I always wanted to be a pilot. That never came to be and I ended up as an architect-which I love. 

The flying DNA is still in my blood and I have the greatest respect for what you do, your profession and dedication. It is a joy to follow your work and I really want to just say thank-you! You and your colleagues are at the top of my list for admiration of a job well done. I never enter and exit a plane without tipping my hat to the pilots, copilots and staff. Wow, you are all fantastic. 

Maybe its' odd to say, but the thing I learned from my dad is that flying is more an art than it is a job. While I hold pilots in the highest possible status regarding your profession, I will forever value the craft and artistry of flying. It is so much more than just pushing buttons, steering and following procedures. We, the public, too often take for granted your marvelous gifts and talents as you gracefully guide these machines across the sky. You make it look easy...and its' not!

Thanks again for what you do- you all are my heroes."

David Fox 

Thank you David! 
XO Karlene 


  1. What a great e-mail from David and it is so nice to receive those types of e-mails. I remember reading about "the hump" missions and seeing them on television on the Discovery channel. Those were tough because of the altitude. Pilots who risked their lives.

    As for those who only email when needing something, I say push those e-mails to the back!!

    Have a great week all.. Jeremy.

    1. Thank you Jeremy! And... you must put yourself into this category. You are a pilot! And you are awesome!!! (Even if you weren't a pilot you would be awesome.) But this message was for you too.

  2. What a great email to receive Karlene! Isn't it the best feeling waking up to an email or emails from around the world, not knowing what to expect? Every so often, it comes in the form of a daily gift--just like this email.

    That's a cool surprise, one I'm sure you'll treasure.

    “All really great flying adventures begin at dawn.” ― Stephen Coonts

    Have a great week!
    Swayne Martin

    1. Yes... it was great. And more than a gift. He made my day. Perhaps we all need that little wind underneath our wings to keep going. Sometimes the journey becomes a struggle. We will always hit a storm, or even a maintenance problem that might hint we should give up. But those gifts arrive and keep us going. Thanks so much for your comment.

  3. Wow, the power of gratitude is AMAZING. I got tingles just reading that, and I'm not a pilot. :)

    1. Thanks Linda. Tingles for sure. And something we all need to hear. Thanks so much for your comment.

  4. Wow! Now that is something I didn't expect. Too often, as of late, people are quick to insult or negate the training, prowess and definitely artistry of flying. Quite surprising and humbling actually, to receive praise and thank you for our sleepless nights, frustrated tears and happy jigs that have accompanied our journey to the front seat. A very heartwarming read. Mahalo, Jeremy for the recognition and mahalo Karlene for sharing it.

    1. Zyola, isn't that the truth! Yes... a very heartwarming read. And I'm thinking that every pilot needs to print and post. Then read often when they feel they aren't anything. They are everything. Imagine the power of carrying 300 people in your arms to safety. The work and challenges just to get there. Then the responsibility. It's all amazing stuff. Thank you so much for your comment.

  5. When I was flying, if I didn't like something about the weather, I could wait a little while or just stay at home. You airline pilots don't have that luxury. Except for truly extreme conditions, you guys just plod on through. I appreciate and respect that about all of you.


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