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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, May 31, 2016

Airbus A330

Normal Law

We all loved Understanding Air France, and Captain Bill Palmer is at it again! This time he explains the basics, intricacies, and the essence of Normal Law.  Why did Bill write this book?  To provide a little more insight into how this magic actually works from an operational perspective, as opposed to the more clinical systems textbook type verbiage. 


What is Normal Law?  

The normal operating mode of
 the Airbus fly-by-wire flight control system. 

This book is not only for Airbus pilots, but anyone will find it enlightening, as there's information for the casual enthusiast who would not otherwise have access to official manuals.  In addition, Airbus A330 Normal Law will help demystify the laws, and clear up many of the mis-characterizations. 
is FREE!
Until the end of May! 
So if you want your free copy
(Get it Today by clicking on the title above)

After the end of May... 
you can still get it for 99 cents! 
Enjoy the journey
XO Karlene

Monday, May 30, 2016

In Loving Memory...

You Will Never Be Forgotten! 

Happy Memorial Day
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Friday, May 27, 2016

Maritime and SMS

I am Heading the Pacific Maritime Institute today! 

There are many similarities between the challenges of the airline pilot and the harbor pilot. Today I will be taking a break from my regular studies to drop by PMI and partake in some training. When I asked Captain Jim Wright about Maritime and SMS and this was his response: 


Captain Wright: 

"The maritime industry is becoming more proactive regarding SMS. The pilotage segment of the industry, being relatively small in numbers, has relied on both intra and inter-organizational dialogue to address safety issues. Of prime safety concern over my career has been what might be called “getting to and from work” issues. 

 It seems somewhat inconsistent in this day of glass-bridges and automation that pilots still go to work in small “pilot-boats” and then climb up the side of the ship on a rope ladder. After losing a number of pilots in pilot-ladder accidents, the Australian Pilot Authority decreed that vessels showing up with inadequate or improperly rigged ladders would be put to anchor until the problem was corrected. Almost overnight it seemed that the desired safety improvements began to spread. Soon even ships showing up in Alaska ports had improved pilot ladders.

Our recent Risk & Resource Management class at PMI included 2 Columbia River Bar pilots. Pilot ladders are an important part of their safety culture due to boarding in extreme sea and swell conditions. They have instituted a new policy where every boarding/disembarking is video recorded for later review by the pilots. This gives them an opportunity to debrief their performance on the ladder. Although the Columbia River Bar videos are proprietary the following U-tube video (probably at some European port) shows the potential hazards of “going to work” for harbor pilots:

In this case the problem appears to have begun when the pilot reached for the ladder before ensuring the pilot boat was pressed in hard against the side of the ship. We were quite fortunate in SW Alaska in not having lost a pilot from a pilot ladder fall – at least during my career. Nonetheless, every one of our pilots could tell some alarming pilot ladder stories.

As an aside, a part of many harbor pilots safety culture is watching air-crash videos and comparing causes similar to those in maritime casualties. Most likely this doesn’t work the other way around."

Update Next Week!

Have a GREAT weekend!
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Fear of Flying

And How To Overcome It 

Talk about a progressive charter operation. Phoebe Parlade of Miami Helicopters sent me some incredible information on how to deal with the fear of flying. I think you'll enjoy her words as much as I did. 

By  Phoebe Parlade:

"The fear of flying has been a common problem ever since the invention of passenger aircraft, but has become a hot topic of discussion as more people are starting to speak out about it. From incidents of air rage on commercial flights to celebrities' own flying paranoia, it seems that the fear of flying is popping up everywhere.

A discussion of the common psychology behind this fear is raised, along with some interesting tips for overcoming it. It is suggested that fear of flying is not actually a phobia, as it can be triggered by both rational and irrational fears. Especially in recent decades, terrorism has had a large role in creating a rational fear of flying. However other triggers such as childhood trauma, social anxiety, and even additional fears like claustrophobia also contribute to an individual's fear of flying.

Knowing the underlying cause or triggers for a person's fear of flying can be instrumental in overcoming it. Identifying flying as non-threatening, taking control of the frightening situation, or escaping (via imagination, distraction, or other mental exercises) can be especially helpful. These all get easier with practice to contribute to a long-term effect of overcoming this common fear.

Fear of flying is not uncommon. From celebrities to people who may only board a plane once or twice in their lives, those who suffer from this fear come from all walks of life and may go to great lengths to avoid flying.

People may develop a fear of flying for a number of reasons. Recent news of a terrorist attack or a plane crash can lead to an increase in fear. In a sense, this fear is not entirely irrational, but the truth is that flying is actually very safe. However, even knowing that this is true is not sufficient to rid many people of the fear of flying.

Fortunately, there are classes that people can take and techniques that they can practice to overcome their fears. This applies to adults as well as children. One of the keys is identifying the source of the fear. This may range from a fear of losing control to a lack of understanding about how planes and air travel work.

Classes are offered by many airlines and airports. Another options may be visiting a psychologist. The good news is that these approaches have been proven to work in fearful fliers of all ages."

Huge thanks to Phoebe
 for some great words of wisdom!

I also found an article on their site

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


The Future of Aviation 

The aviation industry is growing rapidly and heading full speed into NextGen, where pilots will be responsible for aircraft separation, perform satellite based landing procedures, and taxi with moving maps. My prediction with the future of NextGen is that four crew aircraft will go to three crew members.  Three crews to two. Two crews to one. With the ultimate goal of no pilots in the flight deck. 

Will people fly without pilots? I remember when everyone said, "Nobody will ever fly over the ocean with only two engines!" Never say never. But... this is one of the reasons I am working on my PhD. To help provide experience, education, understanding and common sense into the safety of the industry. 

Check out what Cap'n Aux 
wrote for Airways magazine:

Be ready for Novel five
where the reality of this reality 
will scare the H*LL out of you. 

Enjoy the Journey
XO Karlene

Monday, May 23, 2016

Truth. Integrity. Justice.

"You're never wrong to do the right thing!"

For me, that right thing is aviation safety and impacting change. My one wish for aviation will help that goal. Your support is the much needed strength.

 Flight For Control

When truth is scarier than fiction, and fiction mirrors life... all we can do is hope that there is at least one advocate who is willing to take a stand for truth, integrity, and justice. 

The stakes are too high to not take action!

As far as safety is concerned, there are people willing to do the right thing despite potential retaliation. In the Flight For novels those people are Kathryn (FAA), Darby (Captain), and Jackie (Fight Attendant). 

The solution to safety depends on understanding that safety culture is the foundation of Safety Management Systems (SMS). SMS will improve safety from systemic perspective. But we must have people who are not afraid to do the right thing, no matter what the threats.... or safety culture will only be lip service. 

Flight For Sanity

(coming in February 2017)

The industry blames pilot error for aviation incidents and accidents. Yet Captain Darby Bradshaw knows better. Her best friend, FAA inspector Kathryn Jacobs, is fighting the FAA to gather the data necessary to prove Darby's theory. Together, Darby and Kathryn attempt to be the voice of the pilot, yet what happens to stop them is nothing short of criminal. Darby is subsequently faced with the most unimaginable type of retaliation against a pilot, and Kathryn is faced with life changing decisions. 

Support is Strength. 
You are the wind beneath my wings!

Fasten your seatbelt,
the "Flight For" series is 

more truth than fiction these days! 

Meet the Author in snapshots of her life... 

This passion is about 
Truth, Honesty, and Integrity!
Flight To Success, be the Captain of your Life
Life Stories of the Person behind the mission. 
Your support will be reading 
and leaving comments on Amazon. 
And following this site! 

Together, we can make a difference!

And inspiring our Children 
is where it all begins! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Thursday, May 19, 2016

SMS: What is It?

Safety Management Systems 

Airline safety is not about addressing isolated events. Airline safety is about a systems processes that include humans, equipment, software, the environment and how they interact. 
A systems approach to safety will assist with mitigating risk of terrorism vulnerability, equipment failure, pilot error,  and the environment. A systems approach must be supported with a strong safety culture.

Excellent 5 minute Video 
to assist with SMS understanding

SMS practical Application

 Excellent 14 minute video 
to assist with SMS in practice 

SMS demands a strong Safety Culture... 

Flexible, Learning, Just, and Reporting

SMS must be more 
than lip service to work!

Airline Safety Depends Upon It! 

FAA 2018 mandate
will your airline comply?

Be Safe! Fly Safe! 
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Set up Your Day

Visualize Success...

"How I have chosen to face
my day - will be reflective
on how my day will go."
~ by Eleesha,
Author of - The Soul Whisperer

Be strong. Be confident. Be the Best you can Be! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Gender Differences in Pilots

Male and Female...

Paul Payne at ABC news regurgitated a "study" from John Hopkins University evaluating pilots  and accidents.  Payne stated, "Hopkins scholars looked at crashes of civilian, noncommercial planes from 1983 to 1997 involving 144 female and 287 male pilots over 40 years of age."   

Based on the findings....

I have yet to read the actual report to see how the study was conducted and if it held any rigor, validity, and basically...  how it was conducted. Yet, let me share with you what Payne reported:

"Air crashes involving female pilots are mostly due to mishandling of the plane, while those with male pilots are more often due to flawed decision-making and inattention, a study found. 

Flying planes with known mechanical problems, running out of fuel and landing with the gear up were typically male problems, said the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health study released last week. 

Women's crashes were more often due to incorrect use of the rudder, poor response to a bounce or inability to recover from a stall, the study found. 

"Males trade accuracy for speed," said professor Susan Baker, the study's co-author. "They would rather do something faster even if they don't do it accurately. 

"Women tend to be more cautious and pay greater attention to details and rules." 

Complex Aircraft Operations...

In airline operations with highly automated aircraft, pilots no longer hand-fly they manage the system. Under normal law the Airbus doesn't stall. Pilots no longer trim the aircraft. We manage the operation. Yet, decision making is essential and will be more so in the future.

Thus, while this report was sent to me as a question to the ability of female pilots... I had to laugh. Because, the strengths and weaknesses in current and future operations favor the "reported" female strengths.

Men... Do Not Worry!

Men and women are equally competent, and can be trained in complex aircraft. If properly trained, with knowledge and understanding of the aircraft systems and automation functionality, the best situation awareness prevails, resulting in the best decision making. How can you make the best decision if you don't understand what the aircraft is doing? You can't. Training and understanding are  the keys. Not gender.

This study was old school. General aviation. Did it take into account experience level of the pilots? How were the pilots trained? Where were the pilots trained? Be careful when you read studies... they might be implying something that is not necessarily true.

In this case, it's a shame that this report disparages male pilot's decision making abilities. We love you guys! And we know that given the opportunity you can make great decisions too. :) 

Enjoy the Sky!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Pilot...

"I value and cherish the soul within, 
therefore, I walk as a free spirit
amongst humanity."
~ by Eleesha,

  And if you are a pilot... 
You Fly!  

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday's Fabulous Flyer is...

The Boeing 777


My New Plane!

I am coming back to the Boeing and this time on the B777! What does this mean besides flying very cool airplane? My 8th type-rating, a Los Angeles base, and really great bunk for fatigue mitigation. Not to mention some new cities to explore around the world. And, I love training! I'll know in a week when that should occur! Until then...
"Let your joy be expressed, 
in the manner of your own choosing - 
for it can only be given
from the heart."
~ by Eleesha,
Author of - The Soul Whisperer 
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Hand Flying Skills...

Will they Become a Lost Art?

My Friend Captain Jim Wright and I have been having an interesting discussion on the passing of experience of manual flight to the next regime.

Jim says...

"Hand flying in your profession is more or less the equivalent of unassisted shiphandling in mine. Judging by individual and corporate interest in preserving these skills, it’s not at all clear what the future will hold.

There’s an old adage in both our professions stating that “superior airmanship (seamanship) is using superior judgement to avoid situations where superior airmanship (seamanship) is required. How can this be best accomplished? You could say that the above-mentioned “superior judgement” comes as a result of superior hand-flying (unassisted shiphandling) skills.

An argument could be made that world-wide there may be less than a few dozen harbor pilots remaining with extensive unassisted shiphandling (anchor dredging) experience. Unassisted shiphandling is not being practiced in real-life today because if (when) automation, (including thrusters and/or assist tugs) fails the legally acceptable alternative is to either go to anchor or not to sail. Yet, unassisted shiphandling skills form the basis upon which the necessary confidence is built to develop the required “superior judgement”.

There appears to be more airline pilots with well-developed hand-flying skills than there are harbor pilots with unassisted shiphandling skills. Additionally, hand-flying would seem to have more relevance to aviation safety since aircraft do not enjoy the option of “going to anchor” in an emergency. 
The question then becomes how best to ensure a continued generational transfer of both hand-flying and unassisted shiphandling skills."
What if there was nobody left to teach pilots 
the Art of Flying? 
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Flights Wanted!

To Support the Mission... 

Needs Your Help!
Hoop Through Life is empowering young girls across the nation. However, they have already had to cancel a camp because they weren't able to secure funds to make the journey, impacting approximately 100 young girls who had planned on attending!

Alexis says... 
"Without sponsorship for our flights to the camps, we may not be able to implement our big sister/little sister program where are kids have a consistent and committed life coach."

Hoop Through Life is a non-profit business, started by 6 undergraduate students, aiming to give back and empower the young women in their community to do more. But without financial support for the journey "airline tickets" they may not be able to inspire and help the kids grow to be servant leaders.

"If we can't do more ourselves, 
how can we teach young girls to do the same?"

"I can promise a return on your investment... one from the heart and making a difference, by impacting the world and lives across the United States and beyond! There is no better return!
We don't know how yet, but we do know that 
Please Check out their Schedule 
and help find the angels
who will help fly them to location
You can also help by sharing this post 
with everyone you know!

In June, NBC News is also doing an extensive segment on their story and mission, and their respective partners. Become part of the show! The Story! And impact the lives of others!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Monday, May 9, 2016

Give Life to Your Dreams

"When you fly toward a dream 
embraced by passion in your soul,
the clouds part, the sun shines, and 
the rainbow guides you to 
your deepest desires."
Karlene Petitt
Flight To Success

A few months ago we spent the day working towards funding a dream to help the Children's Museum of Central Oregon come to life. We sold 75 copies of  I Am Awesome ABCs of Being Me, and inspired children throughout Bend. This young lady looked through the book and found her career! She wants to be a chemist. I told her to keep her vision alive and to look at her page daily. 

And then I thought about my daughter's vision to create a place where families of all kinds can bring their children to experience arts and science. Where they can explore and investigate their world while making learning fun. How do you make reality happen? Create the vision and give it life. She needs a million dollars to bring her vision to life. There is no doubt she will make that a reality.

The room was packed all day with families and their children learning, growing and finding fascination in science.
Sparking imagination...

And the giving spirit never ended. While this was a fundraiser and people bought books, raffle tickets, and tiles they painted, that will be mounted on a wall when the museum is built, there were those other who gave what they could to support. These were the first dollars received as a donation. And that's where it begins. A community working together in the name of education.

How do you make dreams become a reality? Chapter 4 in Flight To Success Be the Captain of Your Life is all about goals. And that's where success begins. A dream becomes a vision and then becomes a goal. There is more power in that concept than you can imagine.  

"If you set goals and go after them 
with all the determination you can muster, 
your gifts will take you places 
that will amaze you."
Les Brown

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Friday, May 6, 2016


My Friend Dick Verburg recently received Knighthood (Ridder in de Orde van Oranje Nassau) in the Order of Orange Nassau. It was provided to him on behalf of their King, Willem Alexander of Orange Nassau. Dick received this Knighthood for his contribution to aviation in EPST and MPS. 

What it Takes to Become a Knight
Dick said, "I only got the story Tuesday but it basically takes 1 ½ years in total to go through the process. It starts with some people jointly making an application and subsequently they need a lot of supporting statements from people of some level. It was very nice to hear that many people were very supportive and wrote supporting statements/letter. The Mayor of the town we have the factory, someone from the Dutch CAA, an ex President from Transavia airlines, an ex ambassador, etc etc to many to mention. After that the office responsible is doing an in-depth investigation on my past behavior (they must have overlooked a lot …. Smile).

Finally to all goes to the cabinet of the King. They review the request and finally it is signed by the King.

The actual decorations are issued by the Maier of the city I live in, on behalf of the King. There is a public ceremony and the Maier reads the document stating why the Knighthood is issued, basically the good things I did to deserve this award. After that there is a party in the City Hall with officials, friends and family and after that we have a party at MPS with lots of friends and business relations. Lots of speeches, drinks and snacks.

This is just a summary. The trick is to keep this all a secret from the candidate to avoid disappointment etc.  Within MPS this was called “project X” of which I did not know anything.

Nice surprise."

Dick adds... 
"It was only possible with 
the great people from EPST and MPS."
"A ship cannot sail without a Captain 
but a Captain alone cannot sail the ship."
Congratulations Dick! 
Enjoy the journey!
XO Karlene 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Fly-In Open House!

Meet Boeing Field's Newest FBO...

"Come one, come all – aviators, students, passengers and enthusiasts alike join us for the biggest Open House Boeing Field has seen!" The newest facility on the field, Kenmore AeroServices is hosting an event that starts at 8am with a pancake breakfast, with live music and delicious burgers and brats for lunch.

The party wraps up at 5pm so don’t miss this opportunity to join us, meet the staff, tour the facility and come prepared for some big announcements that focus on keeping GA around for a long time to come at BFI!

Rain or shine, we will have the seating/ band and food in the hangar so the party is on regardless of what weather may come.

We would love to see you there and all we ask is that you get your free tickets so we can plan for planes, parking and food,. You can get tickets at and if you have any questions, feel free to call me or send me email at

For all who attend, send photos 
so we can shout about 
these great folks!!!

Remember to Fly More!
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Royal Flush Birthday

54 Years Young on 54

The Golden Birthday... commonly known as the Lucky Birthday is when your age is the date you were born. My golden birthday was when I turned 4 on the 4th. However, there is also the Oldy Goldy birthday... commonly known as the Royal Flush Birthday. That's when your double digit age occurs on the month and date of the same year. Thus... 54 on May 4th (54) is my Oldy Goldy, ie. Royal Flush Birthday... the Super Lucky Birthday. 

So...  legend says that if you play poker on this date, you get dealt a Royal Flush. Thus... I am about to test that theory. All in the name of science of course. I will report my findings! 

My Birthday Wish?

For everyone spread the word about my novels! Share them with a friend. Gift an ebook to someone. Leave a comment on Amazon. Truth in fiction is becoming more true than fiction ... and that has become the scariest part of thriller writing. 

First there was... 

Imagine writing a novel, Flight For Control, with the theme of mental health embedded within the world of aviation. And then two months after your novel is released a captain is locked out of the flight deck by his first officer, after he suffers from a mental breakdown. What if he hadn't been locked out? And then four years later a Germanwings first officer successfully locks the captain out of the fight deck and flies his plane into the mountains. Read more here...

Then there was... 


Imagine writing a novel and Asiana crashes in San Francisco, and you have a scene that mirrors that event. And then your pilots are flying an A330 to Singapore as a storm builds, they get caught ... and two years later Air Asia takes the same route and flies into that storm but crashes. Fiction that mirrors truth.  Read more here... 

And Finally Arrived...

Imagine being an author working on your PhD at the same time you are an airline pilot. What if all those worlds merged into one exciting adventure, where truth was scarier than fiction and the lines between your worlds blurred? You would write the novel Flight For Survival.
Read more here...

The Story doesn't end there... 

Flight For Novel
is on it's way!
February, 2017 

My birthday wish is for everyone to spread the word about these novels. Buy your best friend an Ebook (or autographed paper version) and get them hooked on the series! Give them the gift that will continue to give back to aviation. Join me on My One Wish for Aviation... And remember to leave comments on Amazon!

Your Support is so very much Appreciated!!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

NASA Study...

Part 121 Pilots... you're invited!

Experiment One: 

During NASA Langley Research Center’s upcoming Augmented Flight Deck Countermeasure (AFC) Human-in-the-Loop (HITL) experiment, pilots will be asked to fly a series of scenarios using NASA Langley’s VISTAS simulator while researchers monitor and collect the pilot’s physiological response and eye-scan data.
Physiological measures include: Eye-tracking, EEG, EKG, Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), respiration rate, pulse-oximetry, skin temperature, and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). The research goal of the AFDC experiment is to evaluate novel crew state monitoring technologies and enhance NextGen flight deck interfaces. Surveys will be administered to the pilot participants during pre- and post- experiment sessions as well as between scenarios during the experiment. Hands-on training will be provided prior to the completion of experiment tasks.

Selection Criteria:

  • The subject pilots shall be qualified ATP pilots.
  • Subject pilots shall be currently employed by Part 121 major or regional airline operators. 
  • The captain of each pilot crew shall have a minimum of 100 hours of HUD experience.
  • Each pilot crew shall be paired by air carrier employment consisting of one (1) captain and one (1) first officer
  • Subject pilots who do not require the use of eyeglasses shall be given preference. 
  • The subject pilots with glass cockpit experience shall be given top priority. 
  • The subject pilots shall have heavy transport experience (i.e. 757/A320 or larger aircraft type rating)
Open dates as of this email, but subject to change as pilots are scheduled:

July 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 25, 21 – (7:30am-@6:00pm) - A crew consisting of a Captain and F/O from the same airlines will be scheduled per day. We provide airfare, rental car, hotel and $600.00 stipend. The stipend covers your per diem, airport parking, etc.

Experiment 2:
PTM – May 25 or 26 from 8:30a-3:30p. A $500 stipend is provided along with airfare, rental car and hotel accommodations.

Pair-wise Trajectory Management (PTM) is a concept that utilizes airborne and ground-based capabilities to enable airborne spacing operations in oceanic regions. The goal of PTM is to use enhanced communications and surveillance along with airborne tools to manage the spacing between aircraft. 
Due to the precision of Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B) information and the reduction of communication delays, the PTM minimum spacing distance will be less than distances currently required of an air traffic controller. Reduced minimum distance will increase the capacity of aircraft operations at a given altitude or volume of airspace, thereby increasing time on desired trajectory and overall flight efficiency.

PTM is designed to allow a flight crew to resolve a specific traffic conflict (or conflicts), identified by the controller, with a potentially more efficient maneuver or no maneuver at all, using reduced separation standards. The purpose of the PTM HMI Focus Group Activity is to discuss, in detail, the design of a PTM HMI retrofit implementation with subject matter experts (SMEs) and potential PTM HMI end users (i.e., commercial airline pilots). Sharing current design ideas with and gathering feedback from SMEs and end users will help ensure that flight crews are ultimately provided with a useful and usable PTM tool.

All pilots participating in experiments are requested to complete the pilot background questionnaire at our website:
Enjoy the journey!!
XO Karlene

Monday, May 2, 2016

Look forward to the Joy...

"Regardless, of what I am going through.
Regardless, of all things that have passed.
Let me only look forward to
- all the joy that lies ahead."
by Eleesha,
Author of The Soul Whisperer

Much Joy Lies Ahead...
Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene