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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.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pilots Fired!

For Just Cause! 

And Guess what they did to deserve this...

 June 24, 2015

Watch the Video:  

Enjoy the Journey
XO Karlene 

Monday, June 29, 2015


Fact of Fiction... 

"A CFI tried to register a flying carpet with the FAA. They called him and said "a carpet can't fly!", so he responded "Not until it's registered it can't!" So the FAA, showing a sense of humor (since surgically removed) allowed the registration to go ahead as "experimental, home-built", and N61FC is now in a hangar in California with it's "N" number stitched in the side in accordance with the FAA regulations.

No word yet on whether it's made it's maiden flight or the identity of the test pilot, but its registration was renewed recently..."
So this story was sent to me, stating it was presented as a joke. But of course I had to search out the registration number and this is what I found:  N61FC

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Friday, June 26, 2015

Richard Westgate

Respects to British Airways pilot.

RIP Richard Westgate

Richard Westgate 
passed 2012

My friend Mark shared the following story with me. Mark was set to be today's Friday Flyer, but we shall meet him next week. Today is to honor the life of a pilot.
"We all have all have a dream a vision, that moment, is from the moment we fly solo for first time and, the rush the smile the laugh we have after. I remember mine, and, thoughts of Earl Restorick and his thoughts at time, forever in thoughts."  
Mark Restorik

In memory of... a pilot.
"Richard was born in 1969, one of twins and grew up on a strawberry farm in a small village in Dorset. The farm and country upbringing gave Richard the ability to explore and appreciate nature. Perhaps it was no coincidence that his first interest was ornithology?

From the village school he went to Shaftesbury Grammar school with his twin brother and the competition and rivalry between them propelled them to both excel. Some rather ambitious schoolteachers lead a party out parachute jumping in the last week of term at the end of O-levels, and this was to be Richard’s first taste of flight.

After A-Levels, he went to Sheffield University to read astronomy and astrophysics, but dropped out in the first week as he realised he was the only normal person in the lecture Hall and fell back to zoology, botany and geology, by his own admission a ‘colouring in’ degree but full of regular people. More importantly for Richard, Sheffield was near the Peak District, and he joined the University Hang-gliding club. That soon gave him the chance to try paragliding and he found his calling – free flight
Work wise, he had a list of temporary jobs that didn’t suit him. He tried selling encyclopaedia Britannica, but his only order was cancelled. He trained to be a financial adviser, but was too compassionate for his clients, and didn’t make enough for himself.

In the mean time, he was getting rather good at paragliding, and bought one of the first generation of tandem wings and had started taking a few local, then National and European distance records. His first world record attempt was in 1995 in the South African wilderness, and he achieved 2 World Records for tandem paragliding, for a 200km distance flight and a climb reaching almost 20,000ft.

Despite his farming background, flight was just in his blood, and he knew he had to fly as his career. His Family supported his ambition to obtain his Commercial licence and after 18 months of training, he started with Manx Airlines in 1998. Manx then became Citi Express and was later bought by British Airways to become BA Connect. Richard flew from Manchester, Birmingham and Southampton and gained his command on the Embraer in 2005 before joining Mainline British Airways in 2007, flying the Airbus A320 from London Heathrow. With BA he had stability and was able to purchase his first house in Marlborough, an hours drive from work, but surrounded by stunning paragliding sites.

Time as an airline captain gave him many benefits, enough spending money and time off to follow his real passion, free flight. His 1995 World Record for paragliding distance was soon broken, so he organised expeditions to get it back, and succeeded not once, but twice, in 2000 in Brazil (220km) and 2006 in South Africa (356km). Richard also gained 2 more distance World Records, for flights to a defined goal in 2000, to make 5 FAI records in total. His records for height gain and free distance still stand today.

Richard believed that success could not be bought, but came from hard work, his paraglider success was largely a function of his tireless enthusiasm to lead from the front and push the boundaries of what was possible. He believed that every task had a critical mass and those who flew with him made his own goals easier to achieve." (The details of Richard's story and photos were pulled from his RIP facebook page)
"May you, Richard be fl 000 and a heaven we aviators dream, and respect for those that still show their path in contrails and in looking up, for my thoughts also very with you and those that still, my head raised in salute to all, bon chance."
"After a medical examination Richard westgate's symptoms showed "he were of an individual who has latter stages of multiple sclerosis based on, nerve numbness, limb and mental function."
Toxic fumes in the Airplane

"In, the topical news magazine "tonight: itv, the parents along with scientific/ specialists, the parents openly spoke of, their son Richard aged 43.  The Queens coroner for oxfordshire, sheriff Stanhope - payne presiding, opened, and adjourned, the case pending investigations, and release/ allow burial cremation...

To date, sheriff Stanhope - payne, has based on testimony from former and current aircrew, and passengers, has sent warrants to the c.a.a. and British Airways. The warrants for, evidence, are based on alarming / dangerous episodes that, have, or, likely to cause, death or emergency, on this case both c.a.a. and B.A. refused to reply" 

Fume evens are extremely rare?

The coroner sheriff Stanhope- Payne, has not completed, his investigation, and that, investigations are on going through scientific research....

Looking for Stories

As you can see the litigation is still underway as to why Richard passed. But today we shall remember how he lived... with love and passion.  And the family is looking for stories to share with his Godchildren and nephews. If you knew Richard and have something to contribute... you can contact the family HERE.
 Rest In Peace Richard!

Enjoy the Journey, 
You never know if it will be cut short!
XO Karlene

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Go Around!

Pilots, If it doesn't look good...

Go Around and Try Again!

As pilots we are trained to do the best we can, make the best decisions possible, and if it doesn't look good get out of there! Meaning go around and do it again. 

Do not react from Fear.
Do not react to immediate gratification 
by forcing something that does not work!

If you are high, fast, off course, and destabilized, it's time to abort this attempt, miss the approach, and go around. Professional pilots do NOT Force a bad approach!

If a fellow crewmember was screaming at you to land in unsafe conditions, how would you respond? 

For me, I would say "NO"
Go-around and do it again. 

And do not allow anyone to coerce you into flying sick!
Enjoy the Journey!

XO Karlene

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Immediate Gratification and Contract Negotiations

 Would you rather have $1 million dollars today or a penny compounded daily for a month?

If you choose that million, you will be leaving $4,368,709.12 on the table.  

 (To see the compounding table click HERE)

Many airlines are in the middle of contract negotiations, and with that they will use the tactic to throw up front money your way and demand an immediate answer. They will then create fear of what might happen if you don't take it. 

Caveat emptor ~ Let the Buyer beware. 

If someone is anxious, 
and demanding to sell you something great...
You might want to take a closer look 
at what you are buying. 

Фотографии Embraer E190 и E195

Don't Fly Sick!
Don't react due to Fear!

Fly Safe and make good decisions! 


I did! Did you?

 Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Coercion to Fly Sick

Contract negotiations are underway at many airlines. One of the greatest issues found in many contracts is the sick-leave policy. 

There will always be a certain percentage of people everywhere who will abuse policies. However, when negotiating contracts for everyone, the majority of employees should not be penalized for the misdirection of the minority.

There are ways to fix a sick-leave problem without harming the majority. 

  • Instead of aligning sick-leave renewal for everyone during the same month, align during date of hire. This will absorb the impact of the minority abuses.  

  • Allow sick leave to accumulate, in the event of a long-term crisis. Pilots are responsible and will bank this security.

  • Provide financial incentive for not using sick-leave. There is a value there to both you and the company.  

  • If  sick-leave allows a pilot to "double-dip" to fly on days being paid on sick-leave... fix that. Do not change the entire process and punish everyone forcing them to work ill.

Understanding Pilot Fatigue

The most important thing to remember is 
do not fly sick!

When pilots are not healthy, they cannot make the best decisions. They may think they can manage; but the reality is, unintentional errors are made when pilots are not physically or mentally 100%.

Nobody is mentally 100% when they are ill!

If there is any chance 
that the structure of a pilot contract 
Could force anyone 
to fly sick 
It's your responsibility to say 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Monday, June 22, 2015

Contract Negotiations and FEAR

"Fear is like fire. It can cook for you. 
It can heat your house. 
Or it can burn you down."
Cus C'Amato (Flight To Success)

With contract negotiations underway at many airlines, management and misdirected union reps will attempt to coerce decisions based on fear of what "might" happen. 

There are a few rules of the road about dealing with fear and the decision-making process, be it for aircraft safety or contract negotiations. 

NEVER make a decision based on fear.

Make your decisions based on what is right!

Need versus Want: 

The difference between need and want during negotiating and any decision-making process:

We all want to fly the plane to destination. But we do not need to. If the weather is down, the plane is broken, it's unsafe, or the conditions are not right... you would not go. That is a decision based on the correct response for the condition...Not Fear. 

You do not fear your job, the pressure from passengers, or what might happen if you make the right decision to cancel a flight. Fear should not factor into this decision-making process. Professional pilots know this and make the appropriate decisions.

The same decision-making process should exist with contract negotiations!

Do not fear what might happen... 

Make the right decision
based on the conditions...

The BEST results will prevail!

Far too often negotiations result in fear based decision-making. Fear of the unknown. Fear of what might happen. Fear of coercion from others. Management counts on your fear to push you into making the wrong decision during negotiations to what they think is their benefit. There was a time they did this in the airplane, until the FAA came to our side in the interest of safety. 
Negotiations are different. You have nobody to help support you in making the right decision, and nobody stopping others from instilling fear. You have to be strong and do the right thing for the right reasons.
Be strong. Fly Safe. 

Make the right decision!
And if the conditions are not in your favor for the best results... 

Say "NO!"

This is a pilots' responsibility.

"On the 24th!" 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Anyone Want a Cherokee?

Hottest Deal in the Air!


Message from the owner:

"I've owned two-seven whiskey for seven years, and "Katy" as she is called has been a great airplane for us. Because of her high full-fuel payload of 930# (after filling with 84 gallons of fuel) she can easily and legally carry four adults and 200 pounds of gear and go seven hours comfortably. We bought her to fly from Eugene, Oregon down to California on business, but no longer need that kind of range.

Full-fuel payload of 930#

I realized recently that we just do not need this much airplane, and I was not flying her enough to cover the fixed operating costs, and then just on local flights for business or pleasure. Someone is going to get a great deal at $49,900.

With fixed pitch prop and gear that is "down and welded" her maintenance and annual costs are as inexpensive as any Cherokee...but with 235 horses under the cowl and a big "Cherokee Six" wing, she blasts off fully loaded and can operate in high/hot density altitude situations easily. And she flies as nicely as any Cherokee or Archer/Warrior you've ever flown.

Katy has too many new or overhauled parts to list here, and she is ready to fly away tomorrow. I will miss her, she is part of our family, but the time has come to move on to something that is more suitable to my current mission of two people pout having fun chasing hamburgers."


For more information 

Dan Pimentel
Enjoy Journey...
And hopefully it will be with Katy!
 XO Karlene 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Flying With Jake

Friday's Fabulous Flyer!

Jake Cullen

Jake is a pilot making a difference in Aviation. He reached out after reading Flight For Safety, and told me that he created a blog for aviation information sharing. A place where pilots can come together and learn from each other. I asked Jake to send me his story, and I am so glad I did. He is has a passion for flight and making others dreams come true. He is the Captain of his life!


"Having been born into a military family, I spent a lot of time in California, but moved around a lot. I also lived in New Jersey for a brief time and also live overseas in Iwakuni, Japan for 3 years while in middle school. Then I moved to the Twin Cities area of Minnesota when I started high school.

I have wanted to fly for as long as I can remember. As a kid I loved it when we would take a plane ride somewhere. The flight was usually the highlight of a trip for me, and I would always try to get the window seat.

When I told people I wanted to be a pilot they always assumed for the military, since my dad was a US Marine. Don’t get me wrong, I think military aviation is awesome, but I was fascinated with airline flying and knew that was the path I wanted to take. Some of my friends thought that was weird. They didn’t understand why I wanted to fly an airliner instead of a fighter jet. At the time I really couldn’t explain it either. Then one day after a flight to see family, I was standing on the arrival floor at the Minneapolis/ St. Paul Airport and I got my answer.

I looked around at all the people coming from different places and arriving for different reasons. There were families coming home from vacations, passengers arriving to visit family and friends, and business travelers returning from work. All those people, including myself, had made it safely to that arrival floor because of the dedication of the pilots and all involved in making each flight happen.

Thus, the reason I want to become an airline pilot is not just because I love to fly, or that I like big shiny jets... though I do. If flying and the shiny jet was all I wanted, then I would try for cargo flying or something like that. I decided I wanted to be an airline pilot because I want to be one of the individuals responsible for bringing people safely from their origin to that arrival floor.

After deciding to become a pilot the next step was figuring out where to train while getting a college degree. I looked at many schools around the nation. Some were in very warm climates like Florida and Arizona, but the school that really stuck out was in a very cold place…North Dakota.

I learned about the University of North Dakota’s Aerospace program from a family friend. When I researched the school I couldn’t believe the reviews it had. This school had over 120 aircraft and was well known throughout the industry. I visited campus once and instantly knew that despite my hatred for cold weather, this was it.

So now going into my final year at UND, I am finishing up multi and commercial training and will be starting on my CFI certificate in the fall. I still have a while to go before I make it to the airlines, but I am taking it one step at a time. I’ve made it this far."

It's not surprising an aviation student is astute in the power of learning via the Internet. Jake came up with a great idea for a blog to share his passion and continue his education by learning with other aviators.
"I want this blog to be a place for pilots of all experience levels to come together as ask each other questions. Sometimes it can be scary asking questions because you feel someone might be judging you for not knowing the answer. So this blog should be a place for people to post any aviation related question comfortably. Our industry has a great reputation for safety despite recent events, but by sharing ideas, experiences, and knowledge we can make it better."
If you have any questions 
email Jake and join the discussion!   
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Profit Sharing 101

Strategic Planning... 

Many airlines are in the process of contract negotiations. And often profit sharing is on the table for negotiations.

Everyone wants the sure thing. 
But remember... everyone includes management.

When times are tough and profits down, every pilot at one time or another has given back to their airline to keep it afloat by taking profit sharing and stock in exchange for pay.  When times are great, and your airline decides to pull back your profit sharing and give you a raise.... it's time to realize a few points:

  1. Your management team has more information than you on the projections of your airline. 
  2. You management team is not going to give you the better end of the deal. 
  3. If you helped to make your company the success that it is, YOU should keep your profit sharing!
  4. Why do you have to fund your pay raise with a decrease in your profit sharing? You don't. These two events should not be mutually exclusive. 
If you're in the middle of negotiations and your company is rushing a decision before profits for the quarter come out... perhaps you should delay the signing and see what those profits are. You will have more information to make a better decision. 

If your management team is trying to take away 
the rewards for the success you earned...
Say NO! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Eurocontrol and Aviation Safety

Days are literally flying by. 

From one event to the next with a book in hand I go. Today is a catch up day to share a little bit about the conference in Brussels. I was honored to be among the brilliant minds working toward a common goal: Aviation Safety with Automation.

Eurocontrol and Flight Safety Forum 2015: 

A few weeks ago, I posted a question for all asking if anyone knew who this man was. He is one of the answers to aviation safety.

Don Bateman

Don was responsible for the invention of the GWPS system. For those non-aviators, imagine an invention that prevents planes from flying into terrain. Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) was the problem and Don found the solution. Creativity mixed with ingenuity. To be honored to sit beside this genius was my good fortune, as was being at this conference.

Eurocontols' event focused on Safety and Automation, and more than 200 experts (and me) arrived from 39 different countries showing their interest in safety.  What brought me to this conference was a paper I wrote: Structural Redesign of Airbus A330 Training. Can we train better and smarter? I think we can. And it doesn't have to cost a fortune. Actually... we can train smarter with savings to the airlines!

What I learned was there are like minded people around the world taking their time to fight for aviation safety. Attempting to make a difference in the world of automation. 

A few key findings for flight operations:
  • Pilots must be confident and competent in the management of their airplane in various levels of automation.  
  • Expertise in the use of automated systems requires practicing 'soft' skills like task/workload managment, situation awareness, problem solving and decision making.
  • Experience measured in flying hours does not equal expertise and it is believed that the nature of long haul flying and the reserve system at many airlines reduces pilots' exposure to flight path management in general and manual flying in particular. 
  • Advanced technology has created automation dependency, complacency, and lack of understanding.
  • Systems knowledge and procedures can be trained relatively inexpensively by effective use of CBT and maximizing CBT and FBS for learning so FFS can be used for flying. 

Automation is a necessity for efficiency and safety. 

However, we must not give our minds to automation and follow mindlessly. We must find a way to retain our flight skills, while understanding what the magic is doing. Understanding is a key. And yet there was a presentation that made me wonder what has happened to excellence?

Tennis players, golfers, professional athletes practice to perfection. Why not pilots? There was a time when pilots worked at perfecting their skills of flying. Today they appear to put in their time... autopilot on and monitor across the oceans. But in defense of pilots, how do they perfect their skills in this automated world with RVSM airspace, fatigue and operational challenges? How do we fight complacency? 

The answer to this challenge 
will be my Dissertation!

What can you do to fight 
the automation challenge 
to improve your proficiency?

Enjoy the Journey
And Practice your Skills! 
XO Karlene

Monday, June 15, 2015

Graduation Celebration!

"Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose. It is a seeking that he who wishes may know the cosmic secrets of the world and that they dwell therein." 
Zora Neale Hurston

Yesterday in the shadow of Washington's sentinel mountain University of Washington's Anthropology Archaeology students proceeded to receive their hard earned honors. And my middle daughter was one of them.

Ten years ago she was paralyzed. Today she walked on stage to receive her much earned diploma in Archaeology. For she and all the graduates, the world is open for their taking. A future filled with unlimited possibilities awaits. 

Success will come to those who think!

Proud Parents with Kayla.

An interesting aspect of this graduating class was the high percentage of women. Phd: 11 women, 1 man.  Masters: 7 women, 3 men. Undergraduates for 2015 Anthropology Archaeology: Out of about 400 men and women, less that 15% were men.

Kayla with Proud Grandma (my mom)

To all the graduates present, future and past...
Use your education to make a difference in the world! 

Congratulations Kayla!
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Luciano and Susan....

Friday's Fabulous Flyers! 

Luciano and Susan

Yesterday I returned home from a very long two weeks of international flying. Training, Brussels conference, and Paris trips. I slept 13 hours last night, and realized I did not post a Friday Flyer. But part of safety and life management is to know when to put your oxygen mask on, and being flexible. Then this morning I am reading emails... and look what had flown into my in-box during my flight home...
From Susan Lagier:

"I just wanted to tell you that I gave Luciano (remember my first pilot student and now Captain Instructor of A330?) "Flight to Success" for his birthday. I know he will love it! He read your description of Captain and he was really amazed: that's how he feels, too!!!!! So I'm sending you a photo of us both with your book as a token of our gratitude and recognition for writing such wonderful things!" 

Thank YOU
Susan and Luciano!
Do you have a photo of you and your books and a comment I could post? I would love to hear from you! 
My weekend will be Aviation Law, Systems Engineering, catching up on emails, and watching my middle daughter walk for the effort in her PhD. I hope your weekend is productive too and you remember to have a little fun.  Also... I saw a movie a week ago and there was a couple lines that I loved. I will paraphrase as this might not be exact... but you'll get the point. 
The guy says, "There is nothing like fun!" The woman replies, "Yes." But then she adds, "And being productive." I loved that. Because while fun is awesome, I feel really good when I get things done. 
Have a GREAT Weekend!!
Fun and Productive
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Environmental Assessment For Southern California Airspace Improvements

The U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is seeking public comment on the Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) for the Southern California Metroplex project, a comprehensive proposal to improve the flow of air traffic into and out of Southern California by making the airspace safer and more efficient.

The project proposes to replace dozens of existing conventional air traffic procedures with new satellite-based procedures, which are a key component of the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). The Metroplex proposal encompasses most of Southern California and includes six major airports.

The FAA issued the project’s Draft EA today for public review and comment for 30 days. The FAA will hold 11 public workshops between June 16 and July 1, 2015, where people can learn about the proposal and how to submit comments on it. After evaluating and responding to all substantive public comments, the FAA could adopt the entire proposal, adopt portions of it, or modify it.

“Public engagement and participation in the Southern California Metroplex process is critical,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We take public input very seriously, and we strongly encourage people, agencies and officials to learn about, and weigh in on, this proposal.”

Michael Huerta on the Draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) for the Southern California Metroplex project

About the FAA’s Southern California Metroplex Initiative:

A Metroplex is a region with multiple airports serving major metropolitan areas where heavy airport activity and environmental constraints combine to hinder the efficient movement of air traffic. Metroplex initiatives are completed, under way or planned in more than a dozen metropolitan areas across the country, including Northern California, Houston, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Charlotte.

Many of the current air traffic procedures in Southern California are decades old. While they are all safe, some are inefficient because they rely on ground-based navigation aids, which limit available flight paths.

Some procedures are longer than necessary, while others converge and occupy the same airspace. As a result, air traffic controllers issue a series of instructions to pilots to vector aircraft onto more direct routes and to keep aircraft safely separated from each other. Vectoring, in turn, results in irregular and less predictable flight paths and increases pilot-controller communications and workload.

Satellite-based procedures, by contrast, allow for more direct routing with fixed routes, altitudes and speeds. Their precise flight tracks help keep routes automatically separated. This in turn reduces the need for vectoring and reduces controller-pilot communications.

In all, the proposed Southern California Metroplex project includes 109 new satellite-based procedures – 50 departures, 37 arrivals and 22 approach procedures that guide aircraft down until they’re very close to their destination airports. The project also expands the number of entry and exit points into and out of the Southern California airspace, which is like creating more on- and off-ramps in the sky.

The noise modeling that the FAA conducted for the project’s Draft EA calculated noise at more than 175,000 points throughout the study area. It indicates the proposed action would not result in any significant or reportable noise impacts.

The public comment period ends on July 10. The public workshops for the project will take place throughout Southern California between June 16 and July 1. People can submit comments on the project by email (, in person at the public workshops, and by writing to:

SoCal Metroplex EA
Federal Aviation Administration
Western Service Center – Operations Support Group
1601 Lind Avenue SW
Renton, WA 98057

The Draft EA is available online at:

Electronic versions of the Draft EA have been sent to 40 libraries and hard copies are available at five libraries. A complete list of libraries with electronic and hard copies is available online.

Additional information on the Metroplex Program can also be found at

The public workshop dates and locations are as follows. The public can attend workshops anytime between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

June 16: Santa Ana. McFadden Intermediate School, 2701 S. Raitt St., Santa Ana, CA 92704

June 17: Santa Monica. Santa Monica Public Library – Main Branch, 601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

June 18: Los Angeles. Proud Bird Restaurant, 11022 Aviation Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90045

June 22: San Diego. Logan Heights Library, 567 S. 28th St., San Diego, CA 92113

June 23: Palm Desert. Palm Desert Library, 73-300 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92260

June 24: Torrance. Ken Miller Auditorium, 3341 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503

June 25: Long Beach. Beach High School, 3701 E. Willow St., Long Beach, CA 90815

June 26: Ontario. Ontario International Airport Administration Building, 1923 East Avion Street, Ontario, CA 91761

June 29: Ventura. E.P. Foster Library, 651 E. Main St., Ventura, CA 93001

June 30: Santa Barbara. The Westside Neighborhood Center, 423 W. Victoria St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101

July 1: Burbank. Burbank Community Services Building, 150 N 3rd St., Burbank, CA 91502

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Fly. Homework. Fly.

This Quarter is Flying By...

And I'm flying back to Paris Today... 

I will catch up on blogging 
when I return. 
But until then...
 Thank You for reading... 

 Comments on Amazon 
are Appreciated!!!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Failure as our Teacher

"Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, and being nothing."

Denis Waitley

The failure of the internet at this hotel is not my undertaker, just my delay. It's early morning and I'm sitting in Paris trying to do homework, unable to access the site, unable to upload photos on this post. I am able to watch CNN, however, and listen to the atrocities that ISIS is doing to those young women. The rape. The humiliation. Burning alive. Slaves on the boats being murdered. What century do we live in?

I have no right to begrudge the technical challenges I am having right now. I am free and will be flying a heavy jet across the ocean today. I am so grateful for my life. But what can we do for the rest of the world? How can we help those girls?

Despite failure and being pushed back, we must keep pressing forward. Failure is just a detour. We shall succeed in all we do! 

Enjoy the Journey! USA... Here I come! 
XOX Karlene

Friday, June 5, 2015

Marjorie Bicknell Johnson

Friday's Fabulous Flyer!

Marjorie Bicknell Johnson

And Nobody wants to fly with her....

She's a pilot and a writer, and and all around inspiration! Wait until you read her story. I met Marjorie at the 99 banquet in Palo Alto last month. I asked her to send me her story, and what a story it is. And wait until you find out where her inspiration to write came from. Yes... she is an author!

Welcome Marjorie!

"When my husband retired, the first thing he did was to buy an airplane. He took me out to dinner and presented me with a blank card that pictured red roses. Inside was a set of aircraft keys and the message, “Come, fly away with me.”

I learned to fly in 1991 at Palo Alto Airport. When I had only one more hour left to complete my private pilot training, I decided to practice soft field take-offs, something I had never done solo. Everything went wrong that day in the Cessna 172: I uprooted a tree at the Palo Alto Golf Course.

I remember nothing about it, so it couldn’t have happened, right? The FAA assigned me 10 hours of stall recovery practice—10 hours IN stalls, not counting flights to and from the practice areas. My flight instructor quit, and no one else wanted me.


I finally found an instructor who liked acrobatics. I learned to recover from a stall in any configuration, including inverted flight. When I got my private pilot’s license, I had 260 hours in my logbook. I joined Santa Clara Valley 99s the next day and attended every function for several years. I have served as chapter chairman, vice chairman, and secretary, and several stints as a committee chairperson. Most recently, I was chapter co-vice chairman for two years.

The picture of me next to a Cessna 172 was taken on the day I got my instrument rating—I felt like I had conquered the world. I don’t have a picture of me with the 172 that crashed—it went to the aircraft bone yard. I joined Santa Clara Valley 99s the day after I got my license. One of my daughters is a pilot, and so is her son (my grandson).

My husband and I owned three Mooneys. I appear with each of them. We flew out of Palo Alto Airport for twenty years. We crossed the US several times, flew to the tip of Baja, and to Alberta, Canada. We also flew for 50 hours above Australia—in a rented Cessna 172.

I spent my working years teaching high school mathematics, but I have always written stories. I have more than ninety published articles in academic mathematics journals, but they don’t make light conversation with friends, and I had always wanted to write a novel. So, in 2002, I signed up for creative writing.

Bird Watcher was published in 2007; Jaguar Princess: The Last Maya Shaman in 2011. I expect The Lost Jade of the Maya to come out in 2015. Of course, flying plays a part in every one of these. Bird Watcher is about a stolen airplane—stolen from Palo Alto Airport. The two Mayan books are archaeological mysteries, and small aircraft and helicopters are used extensively in the field in archaeology.

I wrote Bird Watcher after I spent a whole day watching birds. (They called it “birding;” I called it “boring.”) When I had a turn with the binoculars, I could read tail numbers of small aircraft landing at the adjacent unfenced airport. My imagination took over: a thief could pick out his favorite airplane and fly away with it at night. Why would he steal it? How would its owner find it? How could the thief take it, with no key? Read Bird Watcher to find out"

Marjorie’s books are available at
and her webpage is:

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene  

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Mr. Aviation Safety

I'm in Brussels as the 2015 Automation Safety Forum is half way done! This has been an amazing event and the people incredible. I am honored to be among them. Due to a tight schedule (and homework) posting will come later. Thus today I'm going to share a picture of a gentlemen that I'm sitting beside during the event. Do you know he is?

Today he received an honorable mention for what he did for Aviation Safety, followed by a standing ovation. A brilliant inventor. He is also my neighbor, living in Bellevue WA. So, can you guess who this is, and what impact he has made on aviation safety, and how many lives he has saved? Clue: his invention also pops up in Flight For Safety!

Enjoy the journey! 
XO Karlene

Monday, June 1, 2015

Customer Service: Make it Happen!

"Don't wish Mommy, 
work hard and make it happen!"

A couple weeks ago I attended the  Palo Alto 99 banquet as the guest speaker, and met incredible people like Sue Ballew and this week's Friday Flyer Marjorie Johnson. But there was another woman that I met along the way who touched my life. She made me a life long customer of Holiday Inn and the IHG Intercontinental Hotel Group.

Cannon is the Director of Sales & Marketing Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites San Mateo-San Francisco SFO & San Mateo SFO Airport Hotel. While many organizations advertise customer service, sometimes effort falls short because the attitude, "it's not my job." However, this was not the case and allow me tell you what happened. 
InterContinental Hotels Group

With work, school, grandkids, and life in general, my schedule is tight. However, on this particular day I arrived in the morning earlier enough to avoid potential snags for the event, and found a hotel. I selected the Holiday Inn in San Mateo, south of SFO airport to be close to Palo Alto, yet still have van service back to the airport the following morning. I booked a taxi to pick me up 1 hour prior to the show time.  5 pm rolled around and no taxi. The front desk called him every 7-10 minutes for the next 35 minutes, and each time the driver said he was three to five minutes away. The driver no-showed.

Cannon said, "I'll take you!" This transportation service was not part of her job, and she used her personal vehicle for the drive. The trip to Palo Alto Airport was 45 minutes in traffic, one way. After a long day of work, she took her time and gave it to a me. I made my event, and met a new friend. 

This woman is not only a corporate super star, but is raising two incredible children. The quote above is something she shared with me that her 11-year-old daughter said.

Thus... for anyone looking for a hotel, and value customer service, I would recommend IHG hotels, because of this most valuable employee. When customers receive bad service, we blame the company. But people are the success behind organizations, and people like Cannon make the difference in the lives of everyone.  Thus we need to celebrate the employee for a job well done.

Thank you so much 
for going beyond the call of duty Cannon!

And Holiday Inn, 
you have a superstar on your payroll!!

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene