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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, April 30, 2018

Unidentified Flying Objects

If it's flying, If it's unidentifiable, 

It's a UFO

Join the Eastern Airlines 

Kitchen Talk Radio! 

Breaking News First.... 
And the fun begins! 

I wish I could be on this show, because I saw one when I was about 9 years old. The next day all over the news sightings were reported. I know what saw. I just don't know what I saw.  

EAL Radio Show Broadcast
Episode 362 
April 23rd, 2018 

Call-in number is 

at 7:00 P. M. EDT 
or listen in by clicking the hyperlink:

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Engine Failure Landing

On the Road called Bloody 98

A life story by Jay Straub...

"I had been in the air about four hours and looked over to discover the oil pressure gauge on zero. I tapped on the gauge and nothing happened, so I decided to pull the power back to hopefully save the engine. As soon as I touched the throttle the engine quit. I grabbed the mic and called Memphis Center telling them I had just lost the engine and requested a heading to the closest airport. 

They turned me straight south heading 180. I asked what airport I was being vectored to and they told me Mobile, Alabama; then I asked them how far and they said 40 miles. I was shocked. I was expecting an airport closer than 40 miles. 

Memphis immediately handed me off to Mobile approach control and when I called them they asked what my rate of descent was. I told them and shortly after, they came back and said they thought I would make the airport. I didn’t think I stood much of a chance to make 40 miles from an altitude of 11,500 feet. I went through the restart procedure and was thrilled to get the engine running again. 

I thought okay, if I just push the throttle up enough to get another 3 or 4 miles I might make it. As soon as I inched the throttle up there was a loud banging noise, the prop stopped completely and the next thing you know there was smoke in the cockpit. Fortunately, the smoke cleared fairly quickly. 

The whole time I was gliding I was looking for a place to land and saw nothing but big trees below me. When the Mobile airport came into view it was clear to me that I was not going to make it. I called Mobile approach and told them that I saw the airport, could not make it and asked them where there was a road that I could potentially land on. They told me there was a two-lane county road that ran east and west just a few miles ahead. 

I spotted the road and some of the cars were already turning their headlights on. When I looked to the right the road had a little bit of a curve to it. Looking out to the left it was perfectly straight so I made a left turn and was lined up 1000 feet above ground level. The next thing you know something urged me to put it in a steep turn, make a 180, and land back the other direction. 

While I was in the turn I put the landing gear down, turned the landing lights on and extended the flaps. As I rolled out I was only about 200 feet above ground level. Cars coming toward him headed for the bar ditch and those going his direction had no idea I was there. I cleared the last one by about 50 feet and sat down right in front of the car. 

I pulled off the road and was in the parking lot of the Second Baptist Church of Semmes, Alabama. My heart was racing so I didn’t jump out immediately but within a minute or, I opened the door and proceeded to climb out. As I did this I realized there was already an ambulance parked behind me. 

The EMTs came running toward me and told me to sit back down, so I turned around and did. One of them jumped up on the wing, knelt down and strapped the blood pressure cuff on me. It was so high they told me I needed to sit still for about 15 minutes. We talked during that time and then the EMT checked it again and said I was good to get up but be careful.

I got out and immediately went to the front of the aircraft to check the engine oil. I pulled the dipstick and there was absolutely no oil on it. What in the world could’ve happen to all oil, I wondered.

By this time the news media was already there setting up the cameras to interview me and many people had pulled off the road to come and talk to me. One man told me,”You don’t know how lucky you are.” I asked him, “What makes you say that?” The man said,”Do you know what we call this road?” I said, “No what do you call it?” The man said, “We call this road bloody 98 because of all the traffic fatalities along here. He went on to say, “The traffic is also usually much heavier here at this time on Saturdays.” The news media went on to interview me and as they left I felt someone tugging on my shirt sleeve. I looked down and it was a little lady that I guessed to be around 80 years old. The little lady stuck her finger up in my face and said, “Young man, Jesus Christ kept you here for a reason.” I agreed with her but wouldn’t know until the next day the full extent of that.

The pastor of the church lived in a house back behind the church. He was there in the parking lot as this was all taking place. When everyone finally cleared out it was me and him. He helped me push the aircraft to the corner of the parking lot, since tomorrow was Sunday and they needed access to the spaces.

He took me to a hotel and as we drove along I asked the pastor if there was anyone that could come pick me up and bring me to church the next day. He said he would be more than happy to do that. The pastor dropped me off and I went up to the room to start making some phone calls.

I called the man that owned the aircraft to inform him on what had happened. His daughter answered the phone and as soon as she heard my voice she let out a cry and loudly told her dad, “Jay’s on the phone.” What a shock, they had already seen it on the news in Destin Florida. I told him what happened and he told me he would get a charter flight to bring me to Destin the next morning. I told him that would be great, but I was going to church first.

I laid there that night tossing and turning and didn’t sleep a single minute. I couldn’t stop thinking what a completely stupid thing that was to make a 180 when I was less than 1000 feet above the ground and land back the other direction where the road was not completely straight. As we drove, I was recognizing things I had seen from the air the night before. What jumped out was the fact that there were electrical highline wires crossing the road right about where I would have touched down the previous night if I had not made that 180.

Just a few months after that, I submitted an application to American Airlines."

Now Jay is Fighting 
for the Disabled!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Captain Alexey Bura

Fridays Fabulous Flyer!

Alexey Bura
B777 and B787 Captain
For Ethiopian Airlines

My way in Aviation

"This history began in 1985 as I fell in love for the first time. By that time I seemed to have chosen my future profession –the journalism. But the girl I was in love with told she liked pilots so it forced me to reconsider my professional outlook. I started caring for aviation and afterwards became so excited that made a decision to be a pilot, not civil pilot but the military one.

Since then I went in for sports – basketball, volleyball, soccer. I started reading much. But becoming a military pilot meant that I should have known mathematics, physics and history because by handling these disciplines I could have entered the high military flight school. I tried the world of all these sciences and enjoyed it!

Moreover I knew there was an aero club the neighboring city where youth was training parachuting and plane sports. At that time the state promoted similar educational institutions a lot of youth was engaged in. I appeared to have entered this aero club for training courses. For this purpose I needed to go through medical commission and competitive selection. That medical commission was very rigid as the majority of graduates of aero clubs arrived in the high military flight schools which number was about seven at that time. 

But during medical board it became clear in order to have admission to flights I needed to undergo an operation on elimination of varicose expansion of veins. I was so strongly determined that did not hesitate for any second and as rehabilitation period had passed, the medical commission approved me for flights.

Thus my pilot life has started. My day began very early - at 6 o'clock by waking up and at 6:45 am I began training basketball. It was not special training but only amateur one. Me and my friends were playing at school sports hall where I studied. We were playing basketball from 6:45 am till 08:00 am. School lessons started at 8:30 am and ended at 1:45 pm. I was back home at 2:00 pm and did my homework for which I had no more than two hours. 

Otherwise I won’t manage to come to theoretical training at aero club in time at 5:00 pm. The aero club was in another city and my way there took about 1.5 hours. So I had just a little time to get some od and to go out. Theoretical training took place from 5:00 pm till 8:00 pm. I reached home only by 10:00 pm. This was my time management I had to reconcile with from September, 1985 to May, 1986. At that time there were neither mobile phones, nor Internet, nor computers yet, so all my free time was devoted to reading books in library and at home, to playing in the sports hall. If only I had got it just a bit more!

Having passed annual examinations at school with honors, I entered summer vacations. But aero club didn’t have any rest because that was time of practical flights. After theoretical examination all cadets of aero club were allowed to flights since June 1st, 1986. We were living on aerodrome during the whole summer. We were living in barracks according to the accurate day schedule and were demanded to keep order and discipline. Monday through Friday we were there. 

Every Monday we came on airfield early in the morning and started preparations for flights. Engineers maintained planes, and we helped them as much as we could. We uncovered planes, washed them and covered back after maintenance. We cut grass on parking stands, taxiways and kept order on airfield and in barracks looking forward to the beginning of flights. Flights were from Tuesday through Friday. On Friday after all we cleaned airfield and barracks and stuff let us home for the weekend. We spent weekends home and every Monday’s morning we gathered again on the airfield.

We flew by the sport aircraft which was the Yakovlev-52. Certainly in the beginning we were led by aero club instructors. First simple flights were circled around airfield in order to practice take-offs and landings, then we performed aerobatic flights, beginning with simple aerobatic and finishing with high class one. By the beginning of August, 1986 we had finished flying with instructors so the time of solo flight had come. I made my first solo flight on August 3rd, 1986. It was unforgettable! All my emotions and feelings are difficult to describe, but memory of this day isn't subject of time and definitely will stay with me forever. My first flight, I remember it so clearly as it happened yesterday. That time I was only 16 years old. By the end of the first year training in aero club I was able to operate plane rather well. I mastered not only take off and landing, but also simple aerobatic flights and high aerobatic, I executed two parachute jumps which were the mandatory program of training.

September 1st opened the new academic year at school, and aero club the next following course began too. My daily routine was the same, as well as in the previous year. Waking up, sports, school lessons, homework, training at aero club, but the aero classes were already mixed up with flights to maintain skills of plane piloting. The training program had more difficult elements, such as flights on a route, more difficult aerobatic elements performed at small heights, group flights, instrumental flights and many others. By the end of the aero club training I graduated from secondary school and decided to enter the high military flight school.

My inner desire to become a pilot was so all-embracing that I successfully passed through final examination at school, but also passed medical examinations at flight school without any restrictions. Entering examinations in professional selection were checked and I matriculated into the flight school. This day became one of the most remarkable days in my life. The dream of sky and dream of future profession were coming real.

Training at flight school was very intense. The rigid discipline, accurate daily routine, a large number of studied subjects and high requirements to knowledge turn out to remain in my memory. We studied calculus, physics, strength of materials, theoretical mechanics, electrical equipment, the theory of jet engines, aerodynamics of subsonic and supersonic speeds, navigation, history, philosophy and many other military subjects. 

Every morning began at 6:00 am with exercises within 45 minutes followed with washing. Then breakfast and theoretical lessons until lunch. There were only 30 minutes after lunch to have a little rest. Further self-preparation, dinner and sleep followed. From time to time it was very hard to undergo both morally and physically. For poor progress and bad discipline some cadets were deducted. But love to sky and flights helped to endure all difficulties. From the beginning of flights it seemed to become a little easier. It appeared that we got used to those requirements, daily routine, discipline thus we didn't notice the most part of difficulties anymore. Those real things to inspire were flights which instilled confidence and gave strength.

The four years of training at school of pilots passed quickly. In 1992 I successfully graduated from flight school. But me and all my classmates were fired from military air forces due to reduction of armed forces so the state did further require no more pilots. Having received a military rank of lieutenants and BS diplomas we remained alone against the future. It seemed that I would forget the dream of flights. I had to start with the very beginning. On the other side I was thinking over an idea to move to civil aviation, but I had only military license and the procedure of converting military license into civil one did not exist that time. It would be developed twenty years later.

That time there was no Internet, PCs in that forms and meaning as they exist now, there were no mobile phones. Meanwhile Russia was waltered in financial crisis. Civil aviation was in deep crisis as well. Many of my colleagues from flight school left aviation and began own businesses. Everybody struggled for life as he only could. My parents offered me to follow parents business and to start with restaurant management. My love to sky, to aircraft, to flights was stronger and the belief in the best future didn't abandon me.

I began my career in civil aviation as a loader in a small airport. Waiting for vacancy of the co-pilot of the Antonov-2 I was working for six months as a loader. The work was not very intensive so I dedicated myself to learning English. Being occasionally informed that it was possible to pass training for the Antonov-2 self-sponsored pilot initial type rating, I fastened upon this idea and did that. Communicating with pilots, I learned more and more about civil aviation. The dream of sky, flights and planes accompanied me and gave strength. 

By the end of 1992 I have got Antonov-2 co-pilot type rating and obtained the long-awaited pilot license of the civil aviation. The company’s affairs I was working for went very badly and payment of a salary was detained sometimes for six months. But nothing frightened me. I was passionately into flying, flying as much as possible. Aircrafts, sky and flights became drugs for me. That time flights were not numerous. Nine months resulted in ten flight hours as a co-pilot of the Antonov-2.

Training center where I was retrained on An-2 type rating offered me to pass another one self-sponsored initial type rating to the Tupolev-134 pilot training and I accepted that call without hesitation. It was rather difficult to find such a big sum of money but I am very grateful to my parents who supported me seeing my love to aviation. So in 1993 I passed Tu-134 Initial Pilot type rating training. Due to bankruptcy various airlines collapsed one by one. Many skilled pilots became jobless. Pilots who lacked of training were unable to find a job. Flying as a co-pilot of Antonov-2, I kept studying English. Exactly that time Russian airlines started carrying out international flights. There was a shortage of pilots with good English and training centers organized special courses. I passed these courses for my own money as well.

In 1994 I was lucky to find a job as the Tupolev-134 co-pilot. But the situation on job market was still complicated. I flew about twenty or thirty flight hours per month, thus salary was so insignificant that money didn’t speak. But I was grateful to love to the sky, and may be the sky to me. I didn’t want to leave aircraft for easier and richer life ever. Years passed accumulating experience and flight hours. Old planes were losing airworthiness more and more but the pilot job market didn’t lack of professionals. Any thoughts about career progress were futile.

By 2004 I have accumulated four thousand of flight hours. That year I managed to get employed as the first officer of Boeing-757. It turned unforgettable for me. Initial Boeing-757 type rating pilot training took place at the training center of the Boeing company in Luton (UK). Since 2004 the situation on Russian civil aviation market started changing. Airlines began to lease planes, companies required more crew staff, salaries of pilots were growing. A bit later I passed exams and got the FAA ATPL(A), taught a rating of the pilot-instructor, type rating instructor, landing minima Cat IIIa and a lot of other experience. Today I am a 787 and 777 Captain. 

Year after year we go forward. Everybody has his own problems, dreams and desires. Spanned with this turmoil we sometimes forget about the main thing which is our favorite job. It gives us feeling of self-expression, pleasure and desire to create our job like art. I am very lucky to have such a job and can’t imagine my life without sky, flights and aircraft."

Captain Bura, Thank You 
for sharing your story! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Life In the Skies

Pilot Author Sharing his knowledge! 

Lim Khoy has written two books, which are collections of articles he's written for in-flight magazines.  "They are articles in simple English, not novels as English is not my mother tongue and they are mainly for Asian travelers - the objective is to educate the public."

You can check out more about Captain Hing and his work at, a website he started about 14 years ago. 

He needs your help. 
It's super easy! 
All you have to do is click
 to vote for his book. 

The vote for the Readers' Choice Awards 2018 is for his 2nd book, SKY TALES. 
His first book LIFE IN THE SKIES placed 3rd in 2015. 

The voting ends on May 13th. 2018. 
Please click this link: Popular Readers Choice
and vote for 

Sky Tales is available on board 
all AirAsia and AirAsia X Flights.

Enjoy the Journey...
And your life in the skies! 
XOX Karlene 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Backroom ATC Politics

Your voice needed quickly
to stop backroom politics!

(Click the link to Act Now)

The aviation community told Congress loud and clear that the nation did not want ATC privatization. So did consumer groups, mayors across the country, and even conservative associations. But, unable to get their way in the public forum, ATC privatization supporters are trying backroom methods to sneak their corporate giveaway into law. Late Monday (4/23), Rep. Bill Shuster added a "Manager's Amendment" to the FAA reauthorization bill (H.R. 4) that creates an "advisory council" dominated by big airlines just as the ATC privatization board would have been, but controlled by DOT away from public and congressional oversight.

This means no public input, no debate, and no transparency – lawmaking away from the spotlight that creates a safety issue for aviation and the general public. It is devious, reckless, and against what the American people have told Congress.

We need your help NOW! This measure could be voted upon as early as April 25 – another indication of the backroom politics involved. Contact your congressional representative through EAA's Rally Congress – or better yet, call directly – and urge them to remove Section 5 of Chairman Shuster's amendment to H.R. 4.

and now this? 

Take a stand! 

If you don't stand for something
You will fall for anything.

Enjoy the Journey
But don't be taken for a ride!
XO Karlene 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Removing Airline Pilots

Only You Can Stop It! 

This sounds like a plot out of a novel coming true, but truth is stranger than fiction. The powers to be are attempting to rid the flight deck of one pilot and operate single pilot. ALPA says, "The troublesome language was added by the Science Committee."  This feels more like a business decision than a science decision. I wonder, who is funding that committee"

The House of Representatives released a new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill (H.R. 4). The scary part of this bill is Section 744. Remove a pilot. 

Section 744 calls for FAA and NASA to develop "virtual copilot" aircraft for cargo operations with the idea of ground-based human or artificial intelligence support for single-piloted aircraft. Please don't think that the world is safe if it's only a cargo aircraft versus a passenger flight. The real issues is where impact will takes place. Besides... 

Cargo first, Passengers next. 

Air carriers are designed for more than one pilot in the flight deck, not only for workload management, but also to protect against the potential incapacitation of one of the pilots. Replacing one of the crewmembers with someone in a remote location would not only jeopardize the quality of crew resource management, crew coordination, create an overload situation in the event of an incident,  but would also open the skies to the next level of terrorism. 

If a ground-based operator can take control of my airline, 
that means anyone can. 

We do not want control of our aircraft 
by someone on the ground. 

If this technology is built and implemented, removing a pilot and allowing ground control, we have just opened pandora's box. This could be setting the stage for 911 all over again, but on a much larger scale. Only this time the terrorists won't need to be on the plane, they can hack into the system from the ground. Aviation expert andABC News correspondent, John Nance, wrote a novel, Final Approach, with this theme.  Please help me keep his novel a work of fiction. 

Congressman Matt Cartwright (PA-17) has offered an amendment to remove Section 744 to retain the safety of our aircraft operations. Your help is needed to let Congress know that that a single pilot is not safe in commercial airline operations.

Contact your United States Representative's office in Washington by phone today and insist they act to:
Reject the Westerman Amendment to H.R. 4.

Please call:
Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-GA) at: 202-225-5901
Congressman Jason Lewis (R-MN) at 202-225-2271 

To Stop Section 744

You have no time to waste
Make that call today! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Monday, April 23, 2018

Breaking News and More!

The Eastern Airlines Kitchen Table! 

Breaking News is First: 

And then the Fun Begins!

Eastern Airlines Brats 
are joining the show tonight!

If you're an Eastern Airline Brat, 
Call in and Join the discussion.

We are also looking for the person who tweeted the following statement to join the discussion: 

"As a kid I flew on EAL passes as the son of a captain- 
service charge $2 for coach, $4 for first class. 
I got very spoiled very quickly"

Call-in number is 
at 7:00 P. M. EDT 
or listen in by clicking the hyperlink:

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene 

Friday, April 20, 2018

B777 Captain

Friday's Fabulous Flyer! 

Captain Shem Malmquist

Captain Shem Malmquist is currently a B-777 Captain operating international routes. His broad experience ranges from teaching aerobatics and instructing in a wide variety of both general aviation and transport aircraft to academic research and safety investigation. His most recent work has involved approaches to risk analysis and accident prevention utilizing MIT’s System Theoretic Accident Models and Processes (STAMP). 

I met Captain Malmquist on LinkedIn, and he was extremely helpful in my data collection by sharing the link to my research: PetittAviationResearch. When I learned about his educational and safety background, his support made so much sense, and all the more appreciated. 

Captain Malmquist’s education includes a Masters (MS) degree in Human Factors in Aeronautics through the Florida Institute of Technology, a Bachelors of Science (BS) from Embry-Riddle University, and a Associate of Science (AS) through Mt. San Antonio College. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a full member of ISASI, and a member of the Resilience Engineering Association, AIAA, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, IEEE, the Flight Safety Foundation and SAE where he also serves as a voting member of the Flight Deck and Handling Quality Standards for Transport Aircraft committee and is a member of the Aerospace Behavior Engineering Technology and the Lithium Battery Packaging Performance Committees. 

For your reading enjoyment, I would highly recommend to check out this link: 

He's also co-authored a book!

If we don't stand for something, 
We will fall for anything! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene