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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.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Gift

The Beginning and The Air Force Years

My friend Captain Jim Wright copied me on an email regarding Mike Trahan's books (Mike was a Friday Flyer in 2015.) What was special about this letter, was the acknowledgement of their spouses and the key point that wife at home served to support the careers. Just like flying the plane, life is all about the team. If you love reading, I would add these two books to your reading list. 

"Mike, Just finished submitting a 5-star review on “The Gift – The Beginning” and am now reading “The Airforce Years”. My review touched briefly on why some recognize their “gift” earlier than others – a challenging question at best. Your account of how you became involved with aviation was of particular interest. My first trip to sea in a converted WW-II minesweeper (“MV Willis Shank”) bound for SE Alaska was also at age 15. 

Believing that seafarers had not changed substantially from the days of Richard Henry Dana’s, “Two Years Before the Mast”, my family was not supportive of my decision although they didn’t object to the point of prohibiting my intentions. It should be noted that my first choice was a well-worn tramp freighter, “MV Western Trader”, bound for the Bering Sea. Looking back, my parents probably recognized the potential danger with “Western Trader” and felt that encouraging the “Willis Shank” option would be in everyone’s best interest. Their encouragement proved perceptive when while in the Alaska port of Tamgas Harbor, my “wife-to-be” came aboard as a passenger. 

We have both been fortunate in finding wives who have been supportive of our careers while keeping the family running on an even keel. You could say that in both our situations, this has also been “The Gift”."

All the best,

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Create your Destiny

"A destiny that can 
be defined, can also 
be created."

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Pilot Solidarity

In Times of Crisis...

"A pilot lost his daughter in the Parkland shooting and over 100 colleagues came to her funeral

(CNN) — In a Parkland father's moment of darkness, over 100 colleagues stood by his side to ensure he knows he is not alone. 
United Airlines captain Tony Montalto and his family held a funeral for their daughter, Gina Rose, on Tuesday at Mary Help of Christians Church in Parkland. Employees from multiple divisions of United, JetBlue, Spirit, American Airlines and FedEx attended to honor the young girl's life. 

Lined up together in uniform, the pilots created an image of true solidarity.

"This is a beautiful example of how the United family supports one another," said United Airlines spokeswoman Maggie Schmerin. 

The heartwarming moment was captured by United captain Dan Petrovich, who works alongside Gina's father. 

"(There were) no specific plans for what we did; it just happened out of love and respect for the suffering of a member of our United and aviation family," he told CNN. 

Fourteen-year-old Gina was a member of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's winter guard on the marching band. She was described as sweet and artistic by those who were close to her.”

Enjoy the Journey
XO Karlene 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Jet Racer is...

Turning the Skies Pink!


Julianne Madison, sometimes referred to as Juli, is a 22 year-old pilot with the NJRA, and considered the rookie. Julianne is originally from Brooklyn but moved to Central Washington after after graduating training camp and being assigned to Central City Jet Racing League. Julianne’s first foray into aviation came when she was given the opportunity to train as a wing walker for an airshow team. After spending an entire summer around pilots, Julianne decided that she wanted to become a pilot herself, and entered NJRA training camp at age of 21.

Julianne has a passion for designer fashion and makeup. She is extremely attractive, and many male fans, along with Max, have sexual fantasies about her. Her looks, along with being one of the few women flying for the NJRA, have also attracted plenty of attention from sponsors offering her deals, despite her never having won a single race. 

Despite all the attention, Julianne is disgusted as to how sexualized she and the other women in the NJRA have become. Unfortunately this is the only way to get by.

Julianne loves to watch movies, which she could do for hours at a time. Aside from being glued to the movie channel, she also enjoys board games such as Monopoly, loves to shop and enjoys trying new activities. Her favorite was a free rock climbing class offered by a sponsor. Julianne enjoys a variety of foods, but sushi, next to macaroni and cheese, are her favorites.   

Coming Soon!

When Jet Racer becomes a movie, 
Jennifer Lawrence will be 
the perfect Juli Madison! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Accident Investigation Workshop

Enjoy  the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Structural Failure

You can't go wrong with 
an education from ERAU! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Monday, February 19, 2018

Aircraft Engines

Hear Them Roar... 

Episode 353
EAL Radio Show Broadcast

February 19, 2018
“Aircraft Engine Power Through the Years”

The next EAL Radio Show on February 19, 2018 will be all about “Aircraft Engine Power Through the Years”. Please join the EAL team to learn how aircraft manufacturers soared the industry with powerful engines starting way back in 1903 with the Wright Brother’s engine that was a bit crude, even by the standards of the day. It had four horizontal inline cylinders. Others back then to name a few were:


Boeing built the Bluebell seaplane, better known as the B&W in 1916, followed in 1919 with the C-700s, 1920s the B-10 bomber series, the 123, 139, and 166 models. Again in 1923 Boeing debuted the Model 15. In 1934 there was Boeing, Lockheed, and Douglas who built B-17 “Flying Fortress" with four engines. 


Lockheed’s Vega single-engines six-seat was introduced in 1927, followed by the Sirius, Altair, and Orion. In 1934 Lockheed’s twin-engines Electra was the fastest airliner at the time of introduction. In 1943 Lockheed’s glorious four-engines Constellation was given birth. Lockheed's first commercial jetliner; the L-1011 TriStar was introduced in 1966. 

Glenn L. Martin: 

Martin-Chevrolet in 1929 built the Martin 4-333, Martin P3M, Consolidated PBY, and in 1934 Martin, and Bell Aircraft built the B-29s’ engines. 1937: Glenn L. Martin Company designed a new twin engine flying boat. Followed in 1937, a three-eighth scale flying model, the Martin 162A Tadpole Clipper with a crew of one and powered by a single 120 hp (90 kW) Chevrolet engine. 

1967 to present: 

Tune in and learn more on aircraft engine power in aviation with many aircraft manufacturers building high technology engines. 

on the EAL Radio Show Broadcast
Monday February 19th, 2018
7 pm EDT

Call 213-816-1611 
You can either listen or talk.

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, February 16, 2018

Another Jet Racer....

Friday's Fabulous Flyer


Max Erikson is a 34 year old race pilot for the NJRA. He has been with the NJRA team for five years. Based out of Central City Jet Racing League, Max has lived most of his life in Washington State. Prior to joining the NJRA, he was a bassist in a rock band and has toured all over America. Max had been married to a woman named Francine Ryan, but they divorced after their relationship fell apart. 

Max and Francine have an 11-year-old daughter named Isabelle “Izzy” Erikson, who lives with Francine. Max also has a 13-year-old son named Morgan who came into his life after a one night stand, before he met Francine. Max has been absent for most of Morgan’s life.

Similar to Jay's story, Max decided to join the NJRA after coming across a training camp recruitment ad. At 6’6 tall, Max exceeds the NJRA’s regulation height limit, but has been allowed to fly but must obtain a waiver each year.

His talent for flying combined with his competitive personality quickly gained him popularity and celebrity-like status among fans. Max is known to be a womanizer and has been described by others as being horny and hot headed. He loves hard rock and his favorite musician is Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden. Max idolizes Bruce, but at the same time also resents him for his success. While generally emotionally reserved around others, Max becomes teary-eyed every time he goes on video chat with his daughter. He has a heart. 

In the air, Max does not practice aerobatics, but enjoys doing barrel rolls from time to time. He is highly respected as a successful racer, having won the 2024 Nationals and flown in the World Series. He has also been known for getting into pit fights with other racers as a result of his hair-trigger temper, but gets away with it because pit fights in the NJRA are considered part of the sport like fights in hockey or pit fights in NASCAR.

Is another character in Jet Racer!


Jared Padalecki Is not really Max, 
but would be the perfect character in the movie!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Thursday, February 15, 2018

FAA Safety Team:

 Safer Skies Through Education

"TEM Building -
 Adapting Threat and Error Management 
to General Aviation"

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 19:00 Central Standard Time (17:00 PST, 18:00 MST, 20:00 EST, 15:00 HST, 16:00 AKST, 18:00 Arizona, 01:00 GMT)

Select Number:


We strive for the perfect flight, yet it is elusive. Truth be known, there is no such thing as a perfect flight. In our increasingly complex environment, we must manage various challenges from operational and environmental threats. If we do not anticipate and manage these threats, errors may occur.

This presentation is an introduction to Threat and Error Management. Taken from a successful strategy used by the airlines, you’ll have a chance to learn how to adapt the very same principles to your flying. See real world examples that you can use to maintain the highest level of safety.

To view further details and registration information for this webinar, click here.

The sponsor for this seminar is: 

The following credit(s) are available for the WINGS/AMT Programs:Advanced Knowledge 2 - 1 Credit

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentines Day 2018

Love is in the Air.... 

Enjoy your day.... 

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene

Monday, February 12, 2018

From Helicopters

To Writing... 

Darcy Hoover

Darcy Hoover has been flying helicopters in the remote corners of the world for the past 32 years. Originally a Canadian bush pilot, he’s flown in over 30 countries, been through riots on three continents, was robbed at the end of two AK47s walking home from a bar in Benin, arrested in Kenya on trumped up charges of flying in mercenaries to overthrow the Government (completely unfounded), charged by elephants and black bears, has flown Princes and Presidents, and has got into far more precarious situations than he should have, with increasing regularity.

He had a popular running blog of his adventures, but one post was misconstrued by some official in Kazakhstan, so in self-preservation, Darcy pulled the blog entirely and started writing fiction. “The Helicopter Pilot” is his first novel, striving for an Orwellian “Burmese Days” kind of tale, Edward gets way over his head on his first tour to a remote corner of East Africa. 
He hopes you enjoy it... I know we all will! 

The Helicopter Pilot 

Joine Darcy 

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Aviation and Technology

Technology, Pilot Beware

By Captain Chuck Valle

"Technology has positively improved aviation safety in countless ways. As with every solution, a seed is also planted for the next problem. Advancements in avionics technology now enables an airplane to be flown using a coupled autopilot in parts of the flight envelope regime not allowed to be hand flown. But when technology malfunctions in this regime, the pilot is still expected to hand fly the airplane to safety. That’s a problem! 

In February 1998 a Boeing 727 suffered a “classic ‘systems accident’ caused by a known equipment deficiency” according to NASA scientist Dr. Key Dismukes in his book The Limits of Expertise: Rethinking Pilot Error and the Causes of Airline Accidents. The Boeing 727 crashed 314’ short of the threshold of runway 14R at O’Hare International Airport while on a CAT II approach in 1,400’ RVR weather. “The autopilot-induced oscillations caused the airplane to enter a steep descent when it was very close to the ground. The NTSB determined that the probable cause of the accident was ‘the failure of the flight crew to maintain a proper pitch for a successful landing and go-around’.” 

This accident was categorized as controlled flight into terrain. A well-known category which often puts blame on pilots and may not be suited to analyze an aircraft accident when a technology malfunction is controlling the aircraft flight path. Dr. Dismukes states, “It is detrimental to the cause of aviation safety to assume that the failure stems from deficiency of the crews.” 

Sometimes there are existing concerns that might reduce the margin of safety and pilot judgement calls for a change in the plan. Too many accidents occur because crews “…continue with an existing plan.” Using technology that puts the flight crew in a scenario requiring split second decision making is inherently risky. With an aircraft on autopilot, just when and how quickly pilots react to deficiencies in the flight path can make the difference between a safe flight or an accident. 

Humans respond to expected stimulus much more quickly than unexpected stimulus. Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) help avoid the ‘Startle Factor’. In this classic systems accident using Category II procedures, the first officer flew the approach and at 135’ AGL the Captain took control of the airplane with the “I’ve got it” call as the approach lights came into view, initially leaving the autopilot coupled. Two seconds after taking control the flight recorder showed the airplane on glideslope with a changing nose low attitude revealed to the crew as they acquired more outside visual references. 

Dr. Dismukes said, “Alerted to the danger, the Captain’s response to correct the situation (adding power and pulling back on the yoke) occurred one second later.” “The Captain’s response was rapid compared to the expected human response time to react to an unexpected event.” 

“However, in its report on this accident, the NTSB did not provide a rationale for whether and how crews might be expected to reliably react in time to correct a critical moment” induced by a technology malfunction in control of the flight path. 

 That’s a problem. 
 Pilot beware!"


Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Jet Racer

Friday's Fabulous Flyer 


Jay Smith is a 21 year-old pilot for the National Jet Racing Association (NJRA).  Jay has been with the NJRA for two years is based out of Central City Jet Racing League in Central Washington. Born into an abusive family, he moved into the foster system at a young age. After having dropped out of high school Jay became interested in aviation while he was working for a lawn care company. It was at this job where he met a co-worker who had dreams of becoming an airline pilot. Jay was only 18 when he saw a recruitment ad for NJRA training camp stating that “no previous flying experience [was] required”, and decided that he would send in his application for training camp, to which he was accepted.

Jay is considered small for his age at only 5’5, but he has a big heart and a gentle personality. He's emotionally sensitive and tends to cry easily, but like many males, he has a reluctance to openly express emotion. He tends to prefer spending time alone and enjoys individual activities on his spare time such as reading books, listening to music. He is definitely not "a party person.” Unfortunately Jay's feminine side is often misunderstood by others. While he firmly considers himself to be male, he has a fascination with crossdressing and enjoys wearing makeup and women’s clothing such as dresses, leggings, and floral blouses. 

In the air, Jay enjoys practicing aerobatics and hopes to compete in an aerobatic competition. He has flown in several races throughout his two year career with the NJRA, but only made it to the Nationals in 2026. His favorite aerobatic is either the barrel roll or the vertical loop. His favorite food is pepperoni pizza, and his least favorite is French toast. You will soon learn why. He loves rock, progressive rock, and heavy metal, and doesn't really care for pop and electronic dance music.

Now... That photo above is not really Jay Smith. That is a photo of Miles Teller. In that this would be the perfect character to play Jay in the movie.

But first the novel...

Coming Soon!

Enjoy the Journey
XO Karlene 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Training Week...

Monday Motivation 

"It makes little sense,
to think about little things
that worry you. Let go of
them and think only of that
- which enthrals you."

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene