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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 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 6, 2015

Message to Pilots

The Power of Flight

"You enable us, through all your studying, expensive hour building and 4 a.m. starts to see the world or friends and family in other countries. 
So to cut to the chase: 
your work is MUCH appreciated!"
Alex, a Grateful Passenger

This time I received a message from a young lady from the other side of the world, and another heartfelt letter it was. Do not ever allow anyone to tell you can't do something! And for all pilots, she gives special thanks. I hope you enjoy the message as much as I did... pure inspiration!

"I've just finished listening to Chris Palmers' AviatorCast episode with you as guest. I really like that show but this time I truly felt inspired and moved just by listening to you and you story!

"I grew up in Eastern Europe where being female is not a great advantage. Hearing how I couldn't do this or that because of my gender was an everyday occurrence. My resolution was to leave the country - I think I still did fairly well considering the foundations... When I listened to you telling about how you would still go and take that one flight and soldier on despite what everyone had said, I felt as if you did this, if unintentionally so, for all of us having been talked down because of our gender! I'd like to thank you for never giving up on your passion and in fact getting more type ratings under your belt than most male pilots!

Another thing is - and this will perhaps sound odd - my fear of flying. This is the reason why I started following Chris' podcast (Angle of Attack) - I wanted to find out why people want to fly to begin with. We are bombarded by negative images from the various media (especially in the light of recent crashes) and but I knew there was a lot more to it. I had grown very fond of aviation since, actually. It is always interesting to listen to this show but your interview was so tangibly passionate that it was almost an heureka moment for me! Somehow you have managed to connect that initial fascination with a button-jungle of the flightdeck and nervousness of a little girl about to take on to an adventure. It was perfect! I am flying home to my parents' place on Saturday and this interview will keep me smiling on the takeoff roll :)

The last thing I'd like to say is that although people are either scared, annoyed with delays, ignorant, just scramble off the plane after landing without another look towards the crew, please do know that there are also us who think that being serviced like this is a real treat! Please pass this on to your pilot friends. You get paid for it, sure, but you enable us to cover vast distances in mere hours, in the most beautiful of all settings. You enable us, through all your studying, expensive hour building and 4am starts to see the world or friends and family in other countries. So to cut to the chase: your work is MUCH appreciated!

Wishing you all the best in your life, with your books and of course, the next type rating! 
Best regards from Alex,  a jittery avgeek :)"


Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 


  1. Thanks for sharing this Karlene. I've found over the last few weeks that passengers have been very supportive and incredulous at what we have seen playing out. It's nice to read letters like Alex's and glad we can help.

    Save travels Alex!


    1. Thank you so much for the comment Dave. That is very nice to see! I think they all really understand, and all feel the same pain.

  2. Looking forward to hearing this podcast. So great to see you're still inspiring females to chase their dreams, whether in the cockpit or elsewhere!

    1. Thanks Eric, Yes... must keep inspiring and encouraging the ladies to fly. Actually, encouraging everyone to be the best they can be!

  3. Future Captain Alex is right; you do inspire. You are
    a natural leader. If you had been flying during WW 2
    [like in the movie MEMPHIS BELLE], you would've
    been able to keep the crew from panicking in a
    tight spot!

    1. Paul, Thank you so much! This is the nicest thing, and I hope to be the de-panic button. What a nice compliment.

  4. Sorry I just saw your post on Mental Health and the Pilot.


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