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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, July 27, 2015

Pilots Wanted!!!

"558,000 new pilots over the next two decades"


Great News for Pilot Careers!  

With this news comes a huge responsibility for the rest of us. We must hold the career to the highest standards, maintaining the financial reward for the dedication, commitment, and expense it takes to become a pilot. This is the only way we will be able to recruit and retain the highest caliber of people. These future pilots will be responsible for your safety, as the skies become saturated with complex aircraft. 

The new aviation world has many challenges, 
but is so worth the effort.

I am in Shanghai right now, and have the day to finish my Law and System's Engineering finals before I fly back to Seattle. The first year of school is almost complete as I continue to work towards my one wish. 

Want to Be a Pilot? 

The continuation of my career is dedicated to 
making yours the best it can be. 

to learn more.

Enjoy the journey!
XO Karlene 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Passed My Multi-Engine Ride!

 Airline Pilot in the Making...

Jake Cullen passed his multi-ride, and now he's moving onto his Certified Flight Instructors rating (CFI). I asked Jake to share with me lessons learned. Here is what he said: 

 Lessons Learned 

"The first thing I learned...and this holds true for any type of flying...was that no matter what the situation, your first priority should always be to fly the airplane. During an emergency, simulated of course, I was shocked by how quickly you can get behind the airplane if you make ATC, or running through a checklist, the first priority. As important as those items are, the airplane is far more important."

Fly the Plane First!
Know Your Memory Items! 
"The second thing I learned was the importance of checklists, and to memorize the emergency flows. This definitely saved time during emergencies and helped me stay ahead of the airplane. During normal operations checklist usage was still really important as well because even though the aircraft I flew was not that complicated compared to some, it still wasn't the Cessna 172 I first trained in. There was way more to it."
Be Prepared! 
"And the third lesson I learned was that it is important to be prepared for anything. Flying with two engines is fun, but things can go south fast and you have to be ready. At first I was frustrated with how often we practiced single engine operations. However, after many times dealing with a dead engine, I began to realize how important it was to not get complacent and let your guard down."


Jake, Thank you for your lessons. An interesting fact is, at that on top of Northwest Airlines emergency checklist were written the words: Fly the Plane. These are words to live by. Also, for anyone preparing for, or are in the middle of any airline training program, you can take Jake's words with you: Know your memory items and be prepared for anything (and everything). If you can do that, success will be yours!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Saturday, July 18, 2015

AviatorCast at

While I won't make Oshkosh this year, my friends from Angle of Attack at AviatorCast Podcast will be there! Find them, say hello, and get your photo with Chris or any of his team, and send it my way. I will add you to a drawing to win an autographed copy of:

A message from Chris:

"Oshkosh 2014 was all about getting the lay of the land. This year, AviatorCast is coming in force to OSH15. I’ve got a nice portable setup that’ll allow me to capture some great things from the goings on.

As you know from our interview, AviatorCast is not just a ‘news cast’. Plenty of others carry the news. AviatorCast for me is personal, approachable and real- very much about the passion of what we do and why we do it.

That’s why I’d love to meetup at some point and get some quick thoughts and impressions, what’s new, etc. Most everyone goes to Oshkosh to talk shop anyway, so it’s natural.

So, a few quick questions:

If you will be at Oshkosh, what would be a time we could meet-up and talk? (I’m thinking we limit things to 15-30 minutes on these little blurbs.)

Whether or not you will be at Oshkosh, have you heard of anything interesting going on, or know of great guests that I could get in contact with? I’d love to hear your thoughts, and perhaps be put in touch with some compelling guests.

Get Your Shirt!

Also, I’ve made up some awesome t-shirts to share with AviatorCast guests and listeners. If this shirt looks cool to you, and is something you’d actually wear, I’d love to give you one as a token of my appreciation for supporting AviatorCast.

That said, I know you’re looking for ROI with the time you’ve spent on AviatorCast. I’m committed to helping you promote your products, ideas, and initiatives you’re looking to grow. I feel the best way to do that is by reaching out to a larger audience, continually improving the quality of the show, and always keeping that deep, personal connection and love for aviation.

Bottom line- I’d love to meet up at Oshkosh and/or use any of the ideas you may have for the event.

Can’t wait to catch up with you all!

Throttle On!"

Enjoy the Journey!

XO Karlene

Friday, July 17, 2015

Brandon Desjardins

Friday's Fabulous Flyer!

Brandon Desjardins (with his instructor)
Brandon Soloed!  

"Yesterday was a milestone in my flying 'career', I solo'd for the first time, it was an awesome feeling I was proud of myself and felt really good to be up in the sky by myself. They say no matter how long a pilot has been flying for, he never forgets his first solo! This is what I truly want, to spend my life in the skies, it's a passion and it's in my blood what can I say....the feeling of flying a plane will never get old!

I had a feeling deep down what was coming once we had landed from doing circuits and my Instructor asked "Do you have your medical, PSTAR, and radio license"? I knew what was up, I got that gut feeling. And then got out once we stopped and said "Do you know what you are doing"? I started getting excited and said "Yeah. Solo time"! 
 diagram showing RWY 18 and 22 at CYAV, St Andrews airport
So he got out and I wasn't nervous just excited really, so I taxied out to the runway and took off from RWY18 to do a circuit and land on 22. The feeling was just awesome being up there by myself and I had to kind of say "wait a minute I'm flying by myself" just being alone in the sky was amazing, I was really ecstatic and just excited. So once I turned downwind I was number 3 and I landed just as we had practiced so many times before it was a great moment, a quick solo but one I won't forget, just a really really proud moment of how far I've come and what's left to go!"

Congratulations Brandon!

May all your journeys be safe, skies blue, 
and landings on a runway!

Do any seasoned pilots 
have words of wisdom 
for Brandon?
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

There is Nothing You Can't Do!

"The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you can not do."
Walter Bagehot

Thank Jeremy Carlisle for sharing this powerful quote 

Not until I shared my story at my first talk, did I realize this was a central theme to my life. There has always been something that someone (or many) has told me I could not do. I proved them wrong, as have many of my friends.  If you want to read more on the power of doing the impossible, check out Flight To Success, Be The Captain of Your Life!

Enjoy the Journey
And always believe... you have the power!
XO Karlene

Monday, July 13, 2015

Airline Pilots Wanted

To Take a Survey...

"The intent of this survey is to collect data from pilot opinions with respect to system related measures of air traffic control."

Julian Archer

Julian Archer is a PhD. Student in The School of Industrial Engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He is specializing in the area of Human Factors and Air Transportation Systems. Julian has Bachelor Degrees in Aeronautical Science and Human Factors Psychology from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He also has Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Guyana. Julian is also an FAA certified Commercial Pilot. You can visit his website for more info:

"As part of my aviation related PhD research at Purdue University I am surveying various stakeholders of the National Airspace System. One stakeholder group I am surveying includes Airline Transport Pilots in the U.S." 

Who can take the survey?

  • Airline Transport Pilot within the U.S.
The survey will only take 10-15 minutes as there are 13 multiple choice questions. Participation is completely voluntary, and the survey is 100% anonymous as no identifying information is collected.

Thank you so much! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Friday, July 10, 2015

Boeing 787

Friday's Fabulous Flyer 


Success comes to those who don't quit! 

As my good friend Jeremy so eloquently said in Passing the Test: "As I have learned recently, it's better not to pass an exam the first time.  Experience is the best way to learn and gain development for any career you wish to pursue, both aviation and non-aviation."

Like most planes of a new generation there will always be snags. But the learning process, and how we fix them is what counts. My friend recently shared the 787 timeline... and all her struggles. But today she is flying strong!  And well worth the lessons learned!

Seattle Times - 787 Timeline:

2003: 787 launched, first flight scheduled for August 2007, first delivery May 2008.

2007 June: Boeing engineers assembling the forward section of Dreamliner No. 1 find a 0.3-inch gap at the joint between the nose-and-cockpit section and the fuselage section behind it, made by different suppliers. Engineers fix the distortion by disconnecting and reconnecting internal parts that brace the frame. 

2007 July: The first assembled 787 is rolled out in front of 15,000 employees and customers at Everett, with live global satellite feeds and much hoopla. But unknown to the worldwide audience, the plane is a hollow shell. And even some of the outer structure is fake: The wing slats are painted wood.

October: Boeing acknowledges a delay of up to six months —due to problems in unfinished work passed along by its global partners and delays in finalizing the flight-control software.

Once back in the factory, the airframe is partially disassembled. Extensive rework is required because the plane was put together with temporary fasteners in the airframe and major systems weren’t installed. 

2008 January: A further three-month delay is announced due to problems with unnamed 787 suppliers and slow assembly progress at the Everett plant.

2008 April: Boeing confirms yet another six-month delay due to continuing problems with unfinished work from suppliers.

57 day machinist strike shut down production.

2008 November: About 3 percent of the fasteners put into the five test airplanes under construction in Everett were installed incorrectly and must be removed and reinstalled.

2008 December: Boeing acknowledges another six-month delay for the 787.

2009 May: Boeing engineers working on the ground-test airplane find a structural defect at the wing-body joint.

2009 June: Boeing engineers decide the structural flaw must be fixed before the plane flies, postponing the first flight indefinitely.

2009 November: Boeing mechanics complete the wing-body joint fix. Engineers repeat the wing stress test, and the Dreamliner gets the green light to fly.

2010 June: Horizontal stabilizer defect found on flight test aircraft requires inspections and repair.

2011 September: First 787 delivery, 3 years late. 

The Seattle Times. (2009, December 15). A timeline of the 787 Dreamliner's building process from 2002 to the present. Retrieved from

Enjoy the Journey!

XO Karlene

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

PhD: Aviation Update

Finishing up the First Year!

It's hard to believe that we are in the final month of the first year. And what a quarter this has been! Aviation Law and Systems Engineering have kept me busy this quarter. 

Not to mention, my Law course has opened up my eyes to many issues that could impact anyone's lives. I will be posting more of what I have learned soon, but today I would like to discuss contract law. 

Did you know there are reasons that a contract may be invalid? Yes, validity of a contract could be questioned due to multiple issues. One being undue influence, and another being lawfulness. 

Undue influence:  
Someone in a dominant position or position of trust that exerts pressure to enter into a contract that benefits the dominant party.

What if a CEO sends a memo to the employees of a company who are in the midst of contract negotiations, and states something to the effect... "If you don't vote this contract in, this will not be good for you! I will not negotiate a better deal and this is not a route you want to take." 

Does this constitute undue influence? Is that a threat by an influential party who will benefit by the terms of the contract?

A contract cannot violate a law. 
 What if the contract above will mandate that all your medical records will be released to another party for assessment if you call in sick to work, violating HIPAA law? Is this a lawful contract? Would this coerce people going to work sick? What if that person was a pilot?

What do you think?

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July!

May the Stars and Stripes be with you!


Happy 4th!

Have a safe and wonderful 
Holiday Weekend! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene

Friday, July 3, 2015

mark restorick

Friday's Fabulous Flyer!

Mark Restorik

Mark possesses and avid love of aviation. He writes often and shares updates so quickly that I did not know the aviation event transpired. He's got his nose to the heart of aviation. So, who better this week to be our Friday Flyer.  His passion did not stop when he was prevented from flying. A true inspiration.

Karlene:  Mark, when did your love of aviation or interest of flying begin?

Mark: "From a very early age, as far back as 76, aged 6 when my dad took me to my first airshow, and listening to my dad's father and his Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force career, late 1917 to 1960 as technician/airframe fitter. My, dad (gen technician station workshops) also had stories to tell, but was also the school holidays at his base R.A.F. Wittering, Peterborough, home to the sadly missed, Harrier jump jet. 

During holidays or odd sickness, dad took me to his work, I would sit in the crew room while he worked. I remember still this day the outlay of the station workshops, it had a long corridor with offices and engineering sections off, and to south of corridor, the engine section, which housed all the rolls Royce Pegasus engines undergoing inspection / repair.

Across the road, was one of 6 hangars, this one like 4 others, were WWI era, this particular one was the heavy maintenance hangar. During, times with dad, we would have the odd visit out, to rectify an issue, or go up to see his friend, Len, who was a chief technician on the Harrier's of number 1 squadron, and get to sit in the cockpit."

Karlene:  You spoke of a continuing passion for aviation and learning to fly, tell me about that.

Mark:  "After my dad left the R.A.F. in 1985, I was still into aviation buying the" Flypast magazine", after gaining my drivers liscence and a car in '91. I was getting the urge to take flying lessons, and gain pilot's license. Although, their was a flying club to west of Peterborough, it was only a grass airfield and had high voltage power lines one end and a row of trees other, the power lines put me off, and the flying instructor told me of a new club that a friend of his had just recently started at a former b-17 base called Deenethorpe near Corby Northamptonshire.

During the same time, my mum, who was doing the family history was researching our branch, and found via a family, that emigrated from Devon, although one son remained, that one son came a B-17 pilot with the 94th bomb group at Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk and did the full 25 missions, march 8 1944. After making the phone call, I took a drive over to see and what had to offer, after driving through the very small village of Deenethorpe, 5 houses, I arrived at the field, making my way to the porta cabin that acted as flying control, besides cabin, a small micro light school, the school I was going to had 3 Cessna 172s, of the three triangle form runways, only the main east / west was used still fully concreted and half another, but grass now close to the original control tower.

Over a coffee, the mates' friend, talked me through the club, and was still gaining new members and aircraft. I asked why a small village? The friend replied which one? I said Deenethorpe, it only has 5 houses! He said that Christmas eve '44, a fort lost an engine due fire on take - off, full bomb load and fuel, careered off runway and came to rest in the village school playground. No children at school and the crew escaped un hurt and set about evacuating village, some 15/20 mins later the b-17 blew up and most of village, no casualties or death. 

I flew out of Deenethorpe, just over 8 months, but problems were starting to surface, between the micro light school ,us, and the land owner, and one day I went to do a lesson, only to be told, no more flying closed down, with records in hand I left and by following weekend, had joined another club to south of Peterborough, at a village called Glatton, and again another fort base, the b-17 "Sentimental Journey", is painted in the colours of the bomb group stationed there, again the field of triangular form, had two of the original runways in use, and same runway use as of Deenethorpe.

It was from this field I went solo and a further 3 solo flights gaining 20 hours, but was to be cut short in an accident at work, which put me on crutches just over a year and goodbye to flying."

Karlene: Tell me about the accident, and then you said you went back to the flying club?

Mark: "Yes, I remember still this day quite vividly. For the previous 7 years, I had been  working as a warehouseman in one of Peterborough's 2 hospital's, the other being, Edith Cavell hospital, named after and of whose father was a vicar at Peterborough cathedral, at time of Edith's death 1915. This said day, I was unloading metal wheeled cages, off a lorry from the regional n.h.s. distribution centre Bury St Edmunds. The cages had 4 wheels of which 2 were castoring, and to be placed on the lorries tail lift with the castoring wheels facing the lorry, all previous had, as I, started to remove the cage both wheels went opposite to direction of travel.

The cage, then duly tipped forward, but I couldn't hold due weight and the nylon straps holding the 5 plastic crates gave way, trying to stand I kept falling over, was taken to the hospital emergency dept, whereupon spent next 12-16 months on crutches, upon investigation, each of the plastic boxes had 2 full boxes of photo copy paper, to much.

Karlene: What a horrible accident! You also spoke of working at an aviation museum called Duxford.

Mark: Yes, I worked at the former R.A.F. Duxford airfield near Cambridge, which was owned operated by the Imperial War Museum.

Duxford, was a former Battle of Britain airfield, and still has its original command room the plotting table set for sept 15th 1940, the hangars are all ww1, being built by German prisoners of war, although, one hangar was blown up, in the making of the 1970's film Battle of Britain. The airfield, was also home to quite a lot of flying aircraft and flying organisations, The only flying Bristol Blenheim, The Fighter collection, The old flying machine company, B-17 Sally - B, the only original Messerschmidt BF-109g6 captured in north Africa still with orig Daimler Benz engine owned an flown by R.A.F., only surviving Hawker Hurricat ( a hurricane that was designed to be catapulted offcoal merchant ships during battle of Atlantic, both latter Aircraft were parked always next the York.

Every time turning up to start at 7am and not leaving till near same time at night. Working every Sunday on an Avro York transport aircraft, it used the wings from the Avro Lancaster, being trained in sheet metal work, I, was to remove badly corroded parts and renew. At times, due lack of drawing plans,and being outside for many years very much you had to use original as pattern, I renewed on the Avro York the following... both elevators internal ribs all of both main landing gear doors all of both ailerons 50/60% of internal ribs on main wings and rear both outer tail fins internal ribs, and a go at, sewing fabric on inner tail fin (yes inner was of irish linen then doped in glue) all leading edges of forward wings.

With working at Duxford, also came other privelages, whether in making friends or casual conversation, this led to invites, to airshows away or at Duxford, helping pre flight aircraft. Also, on going was an agreement, between Duxford and private operators who had their light aircraft based at, over dinner the names of a few volunteers would be put up in staff canteen, for a flight that afternoon, in a way of saying thankyou for your time, my name came up one such weekend, and went for an hours flight.

After take off, the pilot handed controls over to me, prior I had told him of previous experience, it was so nice to be flying, we chatted away,but toward the end, the pilot said you ok, I said my left leg was starting to tire ( the injury) he said id done very well and had been only one all weekend who had the turn indicator and balance ball central all time.

Today, although not flying, I still very am into aviation, still have very a passion and live near our local airport Nottingham. Am always when hear an aircraft look up, normally its either a Ryan air 737 or Thompson/ Thomas cook 787, or due local being a major freight hub for American parcel companies U.P.S. D.H.L. you see the varying types they fly, they come over around 5pm, we also have the mighty antonov 225 6 eng aircraft."

"I still get my aviation fix. I fly an airbus A321 flight simulator at home, and look up on line at friend's sites, but I will never fly as in flying again."

Mark Thank you for sharing your story!! 

Enjoy the Journey!
No matter what life throws your way!
XO Karlene

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Last Flight

We honor pilots' last flights...

Today we honor the plane!

A friend attended the Cosford airshow last weekend with his family, and sent this photo. Below is a video of the flyby over Barton. He said, "This is the last time the R.A.F will fly the Vulcan bomber. Barton is the airfield very close to my house and Manchester airport."

When you watch this photo you will know why pilots are attracted to airplanes!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene