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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.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Declared Hostile!

Friday's Fabulous Flyer... 

Kevin Miller! 

Kevin Miller is not declared hostile, but this is the title of his latest novel. We met Kevin back in 2015 when his novel, Raven One, first released. Now he is an Amazon Best-Selling author of two military action-adventure novels Raven One and Declared Hostile

Declared Hostile Synopsis: 

"The story centers on a contemporary U.S. Naval action aboard the fictional carrier Coral Sea in the Caribbean revolving around Cdr. Jim “Flip” Wilson whom readers first encountered in Raven One. The story involves an alliance between portions of the Venezuelan government and a drug cartel that directly threatens the security of the United States. During the training cruise a black program is revealed. It a cross between TOPGUN and Clear and Present Danger. Lots of flying action and wardroom drama, with troubling questions about our society that have difficult answers. Exclusively on Amazon."

Kevin is a retired Navy Captain and graduated from the University of Mississippi and was designated a Naval Aviator in August 1983. He flew the A-7E Corsair II and FA-18C Hornet throughout the 1980’s and 90’s and commanded a strike-fighter squadron in combat. He finished his career in the Pentagon serving on the staff of the Secretary of the Navy, retiring in 2005 after 24 years. During his military career he accumulated over 3,600 flight hours and 1,000 carrier landings from the decks of 11 aircraft carriers. His personal decorations include the Bronze Star, the Air Medal (with combat “V”), and two strike-flight Air Medals. After leaving the service Kevin was employed as an associate at two Washington DC defense consulting firms, and today is the Owner/Principal of MPK Defense Consulting. He is working on his next novel. But today... 

What we  have all been waiting for!

The audiobook for Declared Hostile comes out May 30th!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Poor Safety Culture

The Cause of Accidents

NSTB finds that company's safety culture was to blame in the 2015 crash that killed 8 cruise ship passengers. Lives were lost because of an airline's lack of safety culture...

NTSB photo

"My philosophy is that people don't make errors in a vacuum and there's oftentimes organizational issue, that they are part of a system- it's just too easy to say, 'The pilot screwed up,' and I wand to understand these underlying issues" 
Robert Sumwalt
NTSB Board's Chair

How's your Airline's 
Safety Culture?

Enjoy the Journey! 
Be safe!
XOX Karlene

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

More Than One Way to Fly

The Goal is to Get up in the Sky!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Pilot Cruelty

There is a Pilot Who Needs You! 

There are a lot of creative people in the world. And sometimes, all we can do is enjoy the humor of the not so funny life circumstances. 

Keep Smiling ...
It Improves your Face Value! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Monday, April 24, 2017


Have Wings to Soar... 

Three remarkable women – Carol Montell Harlin, Doris Coughlin Self and Claire Ward Westhafer got together in New York to talk about their "flying days." They met with Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, founder of EAL, who selected the name Silverliners while commenting “his girls were the silverlining of any dark cloud”. 

Join Us Tonight
Episode 315  

To learn more about Eastern
and the fabulous Silverliners! 

Call in to listen to the history of a great airline!
Tonight, at 7:00 pm EDT. 

Call 213-816-1611 
Where you can listen or talk. Your choice. 
Or log on to listen at

 Captain Neal Holland  ♦ Jim Hart 
*Captain Steve Thompson *Chuck Allbright Linda Fuller
*Captain George Jehn*Dorothy Gagnon*Don Gagnon
Will be your hosts!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Friday, April 21, 2017

Sarah Eberwein

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Sarah Eberwein

Dedication, commitment, and inspiration 
will give you wings to fly!

I know you will enjoy reading Sarah's amazing story, as much as I did.... so enjoy! 

"Hello, My name is Sarah Eberwein and I was born December 22, 1987 on the Northwest side of Chicago. I was the second child born into our average, middle-class family with hardworking parents. I have a very close relationship with my older sister, younger sister, and little brother, and have a tight bond with my extended family as well. My mother was the primary caregiver as we were growing up, and in between raising four children she would work part-time or full-time positions, depending upon the needs of her children at the time. My father works for the City of Chicago as an electrician at O’Hare International Airport. His career began as a city dump truck driver who was trying to get through electrical apprentice school while starting to build a family. 

Witnessing firsthand, at a very young age, how hard work and perseverance can shape your future has laid the foundation for my own work ethic and aspirations. My experiences growing up have opened my eyes to new possibilities while my parents’ encouragement allowed me to develop a life-long passion. They instilled in me the tools that I need to reach for and achieve my dreams and for that, I will forever be grateful. 

My first exposure to the aviation industry happened at O’Hare when my father would bring my siblings and I to take your children to work day. I remember feeling so incredibly small, not only because I was a petite 8 year old, but because there was always so much going on within the 11 sq. miles at the airport. The only way I could describe my experience to others was that it felt like a miniature city within a city. At the time, ORD was the world’s busiest airport and it truly felt that way to small, ambitious young girl. 

Our day at ORD typically involved driving around the electrical carts in the shop and visiting other departments to see how the various roles kept the airport running smoothly. Most of the children’s favorite moment was watching the big yellow ARFF trucks race down the apron and put out a blazing fire on the mockup aircraft. But that wasn’t the encounter that stood out to me. I remember vividly during one of those visits there was a lecture and we listened to a female Captain from American Airlines. She stated that when she was 16 years old, her parents told her that she could either get her driver’s license or private pilot’s license. She chose the latter and said that she never regretted that decision. After that, I remember casually telling my dad that it would be cool to fly. I realize now looking back that was the moment that my dreams really took flight. 

I continued to cherish attending those take your children to work days until the unfortunate events that took place on September 11, 2001. I was in 8th grade at the time and once I got to school, we turned on the TV as we heard a plane had struck the World Trade Center. Shortly after that, our class watched live as the second plane hit. The entire class sat in silence as we watched the smoke billow out of the building and came to the stark realization that it was not an accident. That silence carried on for several days as aircraft were grounded nationwide. It was the most eerie feeling that I have ever experienced up until that moment in my life. Living and going to school underneath the flight paths of ORD had unwittingly made me accustomed to the noise. When the nation’s air traffic was grounded, the silence it created made a void that echoed with all the voices of those we lost on that fateful day. 

Six months after 9/11, our class was suppose to go to Washington D.C. for our class trip. Many other schools chose to cancel their trips as there were still many concerns over air travel and many sites were closed to public tours. My grade school decided that we did not want to live in fear and chose to follow through on our plans to visit our nation’s capital before graduation. That trip marked my first flight ever on an airplane. I remember many classmates were anxious to fly but I felt this sense of sanguinity. I was ecstatic when my friend Scott offered to switch seats so I could have a window. I will never forget that feeling, looking out over the wing as the plane throttled up and soared into the clouds.

Four and a half years later, I was moving down to Southern Illinois University Carbondale to pursue my dream of becoming a pilot. During the fall of 2006, I became a member of the International Aviation Fraternity, Alpha Eta Rho. After three years, I decided to move back home to Chicago so I could study Air Traffic Control at Lewis University in Romeoville. Despite my heavy coursework, I still made the effort to focus on what I felt was important, which was growing the local Alpha Eta Rho chapter and helping fellow aviators achieve their dreams. I realize now that I wasn’t just supporting others’ ambitions, I was essentially escalating my passion for aviation and inspiring myself to continue chasing my own aspirations. 

Before I knew it, I was graduating from Lewis with a double major in Air Traffic Control and Business Administration. A few months after graduation, I landed a job at a major airline where I now continuously learn new things about this intriguing industry. I started my career as a Pilot Training Scheduler and three short years later, I’m now a Flight Dispatcher. I had held several leadership positions in Alpha Eta Rho and helped guide many friends as they searched for their place within aviation. I love how unique our industry is because many start a career in one position but by retirement, they are on a completely different yet beautiful course. 

The one thing all true aviators have in common is that no matter what path life takes them down, they will always be connected to the sky and their passion for aviation runs deep within. This underlying premise fortified many lasting friendships throughout college and I am so thankful that I can continue that through my work with The Hope 100 project and Burlas Aviation Inc. I look forward to seeing The Hope 100 project break the world endurance flight record while inspiring the uninspired to achieve their wildest dreams."

"Blue Skies & Tailwinds!"

Click on The Hope 100 to learn more

Enjoy The Journey!
XOX Karlene

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Gift of Flight

Don't Ever Take it For Granted! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Future of Aviation

Where Imaginations Never End

The grandkids thought this was very cool. But more importantly I told them they could become Engineers and they, too, could invent super cool things. 

Spark the imagination of a child 
and see what comes next! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

40-Year Pilot

Attests to the Authenticity 

Flight For Sanity reviews continue to roll in...

Part Aviation. Part Mystery,
And all Thriller! 

"I found Flight For Sanity impossible to put down. This book may be fiction, but it is all too real. As a 40 year pilot, in the military and as a major airline Captain, I can attest to the authenticity of this novel. During my career, I have seen the degradation of hand-flying skills caused by reliance on the ever increasing automation of modern jet aircraft. Unfortunately, Ms Petitt's description of changes in airline training programs is so accurate it is scary. Although the book presents an inside look at the airline industry, I believe non-aviation enthusiasts will also enjoy the novel. It is part aviation, part mystery, and all thriller. I can't wait for more books from Karlene Petitt."

Order you autographed copy on this blog! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene 

Monday, April 17, 2017

If You Had Wings

Eastern Airlines: 
The Official Airline of Walt Disney World

The EAL Radio Show, 
Episode 314

Travel back to the days of Eastern Airlines and their venture with Walt Disney. From one slogan to the next... "The Wings of Man" to "Eastern: we'll be your wings", Eastern Airlines was part of Disney history. Join another great discussion tonight on the history of Eastern! 

Call in to listen to the history of a great airline!
Tonight, at 7:00 pm EDT. 

Call 213-816-1611 
Where you can listen or talk. Your choice. 
Or log on to listen at

 Captain Neal Holland  ♦ Jim Hart 
*Captain Steve Thompson *Chuck Allbright Linda Fuller
*Captain George Jehn*Dorothy Gagnon*Don Gagnon
Will be your hosts!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Friday, April 14, 2017

Kazimierz Dyduch

Friday's Fabulous Flyer!


Please welcome this week's Friday Flyer, and yes... he is most definitely fabulous! Please enjoy his story...  

"My name is Kazimierz Dyduch, but for your convenience have been nicknamed KC at some point in my life. Born in Chicago on April 21, 1992 to Polish immigrant parents, I had a fairly average childhood which consisted of going to school, playing outside, and so on. The first part of my childhood took place by the intersection of Irving and Austin on the northwest side of Chicago, right by the Patio theatre. Occasionally I was able to join my brother and his friends to watch new movies (like the Mummy Returns).

After third grade, my parents decided to move to the suburbs to have my siblings and me provided with a better education. We moved to Niles, Illinois, and I started fourth grade making new friends. Over the course of many years in the suburbs, my childhood continued to be pretty average. I played in the park with friends, rode my bike around town, and had the occasional sneak outs at night to meet with friends and pull off small pranks (sorry Mom and Dad).

High school started in the Fall of 2006 at Maine Township High School East. It was a great time where I further grew and got to meet new people, indulge in new experiences, and prepare myself for the future. Admittedly, I became a poor student halfway into high school and felt no desire to finish my education. Sometime during my junior year, however, I watched Martin Scorcese’s “The Aviator” and fell into a contemplation regarding my future. The movie had very interesting flight scenes and I always enjoyed watching planes come into O’Hare, but all I thought was “Is it even possible for me to become a pilot?” 

Naturally, people have doubts when they are unsure if certain dreams are possible, but all it takes is a little push to get the ball rolling. In my case, Señor Cintado from Spanish class heard about my interest in aviation and told me of a small university to the southwest of Chicago that had a flight program. I put all my eggs in one basket with the mindset of becoming an aviator, and in the Fall of 2010 began my studies at Lewis University pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Flight Management. 

Over the course of my college education, I balanced classwork, flight lessons, and working part time while maintaining a respectable GPA. I was a member of the Lewis University Flight Team, volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and started the Lewis University Polish Club (which unfortunately was short-lived after my graduation). In any case, my time in college showed that all it takes for someone to be successful is pursuing what will make that person happy. All I wanted to be after taking my first flight lesson on September 9, 2010 was to become a successful aviator, and nothing has stopped me from pursuing that dream since.

After graduating from Lewis in August of 2015, I took some time off to travel and structure future plans. I had no desire (or money) left to become a flight instructor, and knew that thinking outside the box was necessary to enter the aviation field and have my career take off. A friend of mine had the same mentality, and we decided to apply for the position of flight engineer at a couple of companies we had found. 

One company in Alaska preferred A & Ps to apply for the position, so we drove five hours one day to Michigan to knock on a cargo company’s door and drop off our resumes. While the chief pilot was impressed (and surprised) with our action, he notified us that a ground school just started and they had no need for flight engineers. We understood the situation, and agreed to keep in touch with the company while working at our current jobs. I continued working at a country club and in hardwood flooring, and eventually took a job on the Mississippi River as a riverboat deckhand. During my time on the ship, I got contacted by the chief pilot that there is a class starting up soon and that one of those seats are mine if I agree to show up. 

Training to become a Boeing 727 flight engineer was the toughest course I have ever completed, but the lessons learned (especially regarding aircraft systems) are ones that will stay with me throughout my entire future in aviation. Needless to say, I am honored to be a crew member on such a unique and classic airplane all while beginning my journey in this fascinating industry. 

As much as I love being in the aviation industry, I find it critical to mention that I am not one of those pilots who planned on flying since an early age. I never even knew it was possible for an average kid like me to be able to go to college for it. This is exactly why I plan on helping The Hope 100 project which is aimed to inspire the uninspired. All it took was one person to tell me it was possible, and now I find myself obligated to do the same. The Hope 100 Record Endurance flight will attempt to fly for 100 days without landing to encourage interest in aviation, while also raising money to help fight cancer in honor of a mission pilot’s father."

Follow The Hope 100 on Instagram

Enjoy The Journey!
XOX Karlene

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Aviation Challenges...

Take Commitment to Solve! 

"The World is a Dangerous Place, 
Not because of those who do Evil, 
But because of those who look on and do Nothing."

Quote found in Flight For Sanity, by Albert Einstein

Photo from Mark Restorick

Whenever an accident occurs, the industry blames the pilot. However, if we continue to blame the pilot then no one needs to be accountable for necessary improvements. In 2016, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) identified that pilots lack flight skills and have problems monitoring their instruments. Incidents and safety reports have identified confusion, lack of understanding, and mode awareness issues. However, I hypothesize: 

Pilots are not to blame, 
but a larger system may be accountable. 

Photo from Mark Restorick

As you know, I am working on my PHD in Aviation with a focus on Safety. This adventure was fueled by my One Wish For Aviation. The purpose of my research is to identify the relationships between safety culture, pilot training, understanding, aviation passion, and the impact on automation usage, in order to identify the root cause of performance issues, beyond pilot error.

Photo from Mark Restorick

Today I am getting on an airplane headed to Austin, for perhaps the last time in a very long time. My youngest daughter, and three of my grandkids, are moving to Seattle! I'm heading down to help with the final packing, and then we'll have house guests for a couple weeks while their new home gets settled. 

In the mean time, I am working diligently on my research. And, to no surprise, one of my characters in the novel Flight For Sanity, Kathryn Jacobs, is conducting the same research for the FAA, that I am conducting. In the novel, some people do not want this research to happen. Why wouldn't anyone not want research conducted to support pilot proficiency? Sounds like a mystery... and it is! 

Photo from Mark Restorick

I am looking for commercial pilots 
to participate in a survey. 
Your name will not be taken, 
Ensuring complete anonymity!

To qualify, you must be a commercial pilot (airline, charter, corporate), with a crew compliment of at least two pilots. You may also be retired, or between jobs, if you were actively employed under the above conditions within the previous calendar year.

Please spread the link to this post on your social media sites and provide my email address to the pilots you know, who want to join the effort. Email me at with the subject Survey Participation, and when this project has been reviewed and approved by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Institutional Review Board (IRB), I will email you a link to anonymously go to another site to take the survey. 


Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene