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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, November 25, 2013

Evergreen International Airlines

Takes their last flight...

"At the end of the day, 
be thankful that we had the gift to fly"

This month is a sad day in Aviation History for many. Evergreen officially shutdowns November 30th, 2013. Putting aviation history month to bed.

My first airline job was flying as a 727 first officer for Evergreen in 1987. It wasn't too long ago I was reflecting on my life, wondering if I had never left Evergreen how my life would have turned out. At the time a  friend was applying to them, and I thought... I could have been his captain.

In 1988 I had the choice to go to Braniff or upgrade to a first officer on the 747. I chose Braniff. I thought that flying for an passenger airline would be more conducive to raising a family. Well, we all know how well that worked out. Shortly thereafter Braniff filed bankruptcy.

That started pattern for my career of starting over for multiple airlines. But mere months ago I had said, "What if I never left Evergreen? I would have been flying as a whale captain for previous 24 years of my career."

If I had stayed with Evergreen in those early years I may have been a whale captain for many years, amassing widebody hours. I would have experienced the stability of one airline. I would have been senior.

  • I would never have known that I had an aptitude and loved teaching. 
  • I would not have 747-400, 737, 757/767 and A330 type ratings on my license.
  • I would have missed the vast experiences and friendships I amassed along the way. 
  • My novels would not have come to life, because I would not have experienced the world.  I would have known one world only. 
  • I may have been in some foreign country during a critical time I needed to be home with the family. (And there were many.) 
  • This month I would be out of a job. 

We never know if we make good or bad choices along the way. But I do know life always has a way of working out if you take action and do the best you can. I am grateful for Evergreen and all I learned working there. I'm also thankful for many opportunities that followed. Many funny stories along the way. This is a very sad event for me, and my heart breaks for all involved.

My advice to the displaced pilots...pack up that flight bag and apply to the airlines. They are hiring! When they say all good things must come to an end, it's true. That also means something better is around the corner.

The Few the Proud Zone...

You can teach an
Old Freight Dog new tricks!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene


  1. Inspiring words that can be taken in other career paths in life.

  2. So sad to hear!

    That's the rub of our business. No matter what choice we make, we are always putting all our eggs in one basket. Coulda shoulda woulda...dwelling on it would drive any pilot crazy.

    Great perspective on the POSITIVES of your choice. Yes, what a great thing to be able to say that you had been a whale captain for 24 years. But of course it would have come with many warts as well.

    And I'm jealous of your whale type! As you'll see in our upcoming Blogging in Formation post, "What I want under the Christmas tree," whale time is on my list! ;-)

    Here's to yet another aviation legend, down the drain...

    1. I believe we get what we value in this life. I have always been one for experience... so I'm golden there. And one day when I buy my 747 to convert into a house... or a restaurant, I will invite you to come and fly her into location. :)
      One day!

  3. You never forget your first.
    The first cut is the deepest.
    You got me all nostalgic, Karlene.


  4. The benefit of hindsight is one thing none of us possess.We must trust our judgement & well,just hope I guess.

    1. John, yes, we must do our best... make the best choice at the time, trust our judgement and have faith that it all works out. The benefit of my hindsight... is I was right. It did all work out. Thanks for your comment!

  5. PS.- Loved Braniff. I logged alot of "passenger hours" in their
    707s and the "Big Pumkin" as they used to call it back in the day.Thanks Karlene.

    1. I loved Braniff too!!! Wouldn't that be cool if our paths crossed once.

  6. What a sad day for a once great company...! Good luck to their pilot group.

    1. Thank you for your comment Deron. My thoughts exactly!!

  7. GOOD LUCK for all those who love flying

    1. Thank you so much!!! We all need a little luck with the wind under our wings.


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