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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.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Take A Moment

To Appreciate the Beauty of our world 

It doesn't matter your beliefs, 
the lessons are timeless. 

Enjoy the Journey
XO Karlene

Friday, January 25, 2019

Laurent Fastrack

Fridays Fabulous Flyer

Laurent Fastrack

"We do both of us fly on the same machine (B777)
and I believe our skies must have crossed few times." 

Laurent tells me he grew up in France, in the French Alps, surrounded by mountains where he says...

“I developed both passion of sport and Aviation. I studied to pass my French Baccalaureate and shortly after that toured all over Europe for dispensing my coaching technics for pro Athletic sprinters as well as Pro Tennis Players. 

After a good 10 years I jumped into Aviation and started to study hard in order to get all the required licenses , diplomas etc. After few years I managed to get hired (finally) by an Airline based in Luxembourg where I started as an Handling Agent before getting my first Saab 2000 rating. And from this time on I worked for many airlines with different fortunes (bankruptcies … end of contracts…) until I joined Cathay Pacific who is still my current employer.

I flew various aircraft types ; PA31T, Saab 2000, Emb145, B747, B777, totalizing around 9000 TFT. In the same time I never stopped creating useful tools for the Aviation Industry with a very pragmatic approach in terms of User friendliness, simplicity and reliability. 

My company is called Fastrack Ltd., registered here in Hong Kong. I started it in 2009 and initiated the development of an EFB called ‘Eole’ ( God of the winds) . Few Airlines ordered it and I finally sold my Product to a much bigger group , properly sized to handle the high demand. 

I then set up a new Company where I started a brand new strategy based on a dual stream of development (General Aviation and Commercial) . I have shaped up my skills over the last few years (thanks to the first project background) and decided that It was time to release a bunch of very efficient tools (Apps) designed to help the Pilot in his daily life but without the hassle of complexity and overwhelming modules . In other words “ keep it simple, stupid” (to a certain extent however) :) ahah 

The first part of the new line of Apps comes with ‘Air Pilot Logbook’ which brings a lot of Innovative and modern features. (I cannot unfortunately disclose what I am currently working on as development is not complete yet) 

We have a website which explains most of them, although the most recent features are not listed there as we do finalize the testing period."

An APP every pilot should download!

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Thinking and Flying

The Power of Logical Thought

From the desk of Captain Jim Wright: 

"While watching a recent C-Span interview with one of the 13 remaining Tuskegee Airmen, he related an experience that caught my attention. While flying a mission over France in WW-II, his plane was hit and caught fire. Baling out seemed the only reasonable option. The problem, as he described it, was that his flight instructors had not bothered to give him or his fellow airmen any instruction on how to bale out. 

Faced with this dilemma, he came up with his own technique. He released his canopy then began cranking in nose down trim while holding back on the stick to maintain level flight. When he had cranked the trim wheel down to maximum, he simply released his shoulder harness and let go of the stick. The plane then nosed over with such force that he was thrown from the cockpit and kept going straight ahead with enough velocity to miss the tail.

Maybe this is a standard bale out maneuver although it was new to me. Reminded me of another interview with a WW-II B-17 pilot who said the Army Airforce was so short of pilots that he learned to fly on the way to his first bombing mission. Raising the question, could an automation dependent pilot develop those skills “in a pinch” if required to do so?"

What do you think?

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Aviation Safety

Juergen T Steinmetz reports: 

"During Ms. Garces’ tenure as Regional Maintenance Director for the midwest region, six Chicago-based aircraft mechanic whistleblowers triggered a federal investigation that reached worrisome conclusions regarding AA maintenance operations.

In a memorandum dated March 25, 2015, H. Clayton Foushee, FAA Director of Audit and Evaluation, cited an “exemplary investigation” by FAA investigators, which concluded that Americas Airlines maintenance managers had:

An [FAA] investigation team … conducted an exemplary investigation, interviewing dozens of witnesses and gathering hundreds of documents, ultimately substantiating all of the complainants’ allegations.”

FAA Memorandum dated March 25, 2015, by Director, Office of Audit and Evaluation, H.Clayton Foushee.

American’s problem was not limited to Chicago. FAA Director Foushee concluded that the above-referenced degradation of American’s maintenance culture:…

“… may be much more prevalent across American’s organization than even the complainants’ alleged, affecting maintenance activities in Dallas, New York, Miami and beyond. Additionally, there exists a substantial likelihood that American has not properly conducted lightning strike inspections for a protracted period of time.”

Among the specific allegations substantiated by the cited investigation was that Regional Maintenance Director Evita Rodriguez – now known as Evita Garces — instructed AA technicians:

“You need to strike a balance between safety and productivity. When I was stationed in JFK, I signed for sumping the Airbus, yet I never did. I am looking for that balance.”

( ASO CMO-67 Investigation Team Report dated February 27, 2015 at 11.)" 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Aircraft Manufacturers and

Aviation History...

Join Eastern Airlines and the
Kitchen Talk Radio


A history of aircraft manufacturers 
and the planes they brought to life. 

I hope you can join the show! 

Episode 399
January 21, 2019
7 pm EST

Call in: 

at 7:00 P. M. EDT 

or listen in by clicking the hyperlink:

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Research Complete

Thank you!

I can not begin to express the gratitude for all of you who assisted in taking my survey, sharing with your friends, and providing your support. I hope that you know your participation will make a difference in the future safety of our industry. I will be defending this Friday, January 11th, in Daytona Beach, and would love for you to join me. Without out you... this would not be possible! 

You're invited to my defense:

If you can make it to Daytona Beach,
I would love to see you in person!
But, if not, you can still watch live
by selecting the link below.

Ph.D. in Aviation Candidate
Dissertation Defense Announcement

Karlene Petitt, Ph.D. in Aviation candidate, will present her dissertation:


On Friday, January 11, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. EST, in SIM room 204, on the Daytona Beach campus. The committee is chaired by Dr. David A. Esser, Professor of Aeronautical Science. The presentation is open to the public and will be broadcast via EagleVision link:  JOIN LIVE BY CLICKING HERE

Nothing is impossible if don't give up! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Friday, January 4, 2019

Marian Hartley

Friday's Fabulous Flyer! 

Marian Hartley 
will be missed by all!

Marian Hartley, long-time member of the Greater Seattle 99s flew to New Horizons December 9, 2018. After a rough couple of years with health challenges, falls, broken bones, in and out of the hospital and rehab, she passed in complete peace with her entire family at her bedside. 

The photos throughout this post were sent by members from her many activities, and attendance at conferences around the world. A few snapshots of a life lived well. 

January 1, 2019 would have been Marian's 83rd birthday, and by months end, she would have been a 30-year member of the 99s. If I had joined my 99 chapter when I began flying, I would have known her for thirty years myself. But I came many years late to the the 99s, and think I've made only 4 meetings due to my schedule. Meetings or not, the Seattle 99's and Marian's love of aviation have inspired me to give back to our community, and to know the essence of aviation passion. The women in the Seattle Chapter are amazing, and Marian Hartley will be remembered by all.  

Marian, Andrea, Theresa

Marian (with Theresa, and Andrea above) continually gave the gift of aviation to everyone she met. When I encourage young aviators to join the 99's, the reason is because of the ladies in the 99-Seattle chapter and all they give back to the world of aviation. Marian was the heart of this chapter, and her passion will carry on because of all who have known her. 

Andrea says, "All who knew Marian know what a sweet and kind person she was, always willing to share an encouraging word, especially to new aviators. She attended most chapter meetings until this past year."

At our chapter meeting in Issaquah last month, Andrea passed around a large get well card for everyone to sign. They took that card to Marian a week later. I do believe they made her day, as the Seattle 99's gave her a bit of joy during her recovery. Theresa said, "That was a good day for her. Then at our chapter Christmas party, Andrea called her on FaceTime and passed the phone around for us all to wish her well. It was great to see her happy face. A week later, she was gone."

Marian had been a 99 since January 24, 1989 and in many ways was the heart and soul of the Greater Seattle Chapter. She served in a number of chapter offices and several positions including Chapter Chair, Secretary, News Reporter, and for the longest time as our Chapter Newsletter Editor. She was always ready to pitch in, staffing booths, air-marking, serving on committees at Northwest Section. She was such a sweet and kind person, always willing to share an encouraging word, especially to new aviators.

Marian and her late husband, Dan, owned a Cherokee 6 and enjoyed flying to the many activities in their community of 99s, EAA, Young Eagles, Angel Flight and the Arlington Fly-in. As aviation enthusiasts, they held a particular interest in promoting education in aviation, especially for the next generation. Dan was very involved in the founding of Raisbeck Aviation High School which has named a scholarship in his memory. Marian further supported the students in aviation by encouraging 99s to attend their annual fundraiser held at the Museum of Flight.

As well as aviation, Marian served for years as a MOPS leader (Mothers of Preschoolers), Sunday School Teacher, Campfire Girls troop leader and PTA member. She will continue to be an inspiration to us all and will be greatly missed.

Andrea shared this from Marian's daughter the day she passed:

"Hi Andrea, Mom entered the house of the Lord just after 6:30. She passed in complete peace with her entire family there, and we are imagining the joyous reunion with my dad, so many family and friends, and best of all that she is with our blessed Savior!" Mary

Messages From Marian's 99 sisters and brothers

"Dear Sister 99's,  I'm late to add my thoughts but not because I didn't love Marian. When I walked up to the 99s booth in Puyallup in 2006 I had just soloed and was so proud to walk up and ask to be a member. That was a magical moment. I still remember her lovely face as she presented me with my blue Pendelton blazer on the spot. I miss her a lot and hope she is happy and comfortable. I will be there when her funeral is announced."  Marty 

New Zealand for the 99s
International Conference in 2005

"Thank you for keeping me posted about everything happening up in Seattle, Theresa. I'm in tears, I loved Marian so much." Christine 

"I am saddened to hear of Marian's passing. It was a memorable experience to be in touch with her at the Christmas party. Thank you so much for getting us together one more time." Elise

“Marion was always a caring, gracious lady and a huge supporter of our 99 Chapter. My most fond memory of Marion is our New Zealand International Meeting.” Bobbi

"Thank you for keeping us informed. It’s been a joy knowing Marian. I’m grateful for her faith and example. It good to know she was surrounded by loved ones as she flew peacefully West to heaven. When it’s our turn to leave this earthly life, there will undoubtedly be many reunions not only with family members who have preceded us but with our Ninety-Nine friends like Nancy and Marian. It will be a great reunion to see her and so many we love." Gin

"Thank you for keeping us all aware of Marian’s very sad passing. She was such a special and gracious friend to all of us. She will be missed but I am sure she is in a much better place. I feel very fortunate for having known her and Dan and hope they are again enjoying each other’s company." Helen

"I am so sorry to hear the news. Marian was such a vibrant and giving member of the chapter for so many years. How sad to hear of her passing. She will be truly missed. " Kristina 

The Big Island of Hawaii in 2010 
99s International Conference

"Thank you for letting us all know. Marian will surely be missed! Both Marian and Dan were so generous to us when we moved out here to the Northwest. They offered their home to Dennis for the first few weeks until he could find housing. They had never met us – just knew I was a 99."  Eva

"I am so saddened to hear of Marian’s passing. She was always so supportive of me. I will miss her greatly."  Susan

"I’m so sorry to hear this news! Marian was a big part of my 99s experience!" Nichole '

“Yes, praise the Lord for His love and for Marian loving him. I am sure Dan has the airplane fired up and ready to go for her heavenly arrival. Love from all the 99s” Andrea

“I am so sorry to hear about Marian. She was a fun lady, full of life and spunk! She will be missed.” Nikki

One of Marian's greatest gifts was sharing the love of aviation and helping other pilots to follow their dreams. She and Dan also donated to the Mission Aviation Fellowship.

The Seattle Chapter has set up donations for Marian and her husband, Dan, to be donated to the Forest of Friendship: "A living, growing memorial to the world history of aviation and aerospace. The Forest was a gift to America on her 200th birthday in 1976 from the City of Atchison, Kansas (the birthplace of Amelia Earhart); The Ninety-Nines (International Organization of Women Pilots), and the Kansas State University, Kansas Forest Service."

If you would like to donate in honor of Marian, please send donations to the Seattle Chapter Treasurer:

Beverly Fogle
6533 Seaview Ave NW
Apt 403A
Seattle WA 98117-6049

Please make the checks out to Greater Seattle 99s. If you prefer to donate directly to the chapter scholarship instead of the Forest memorial, simply indicate on the check or with a note. If they receive more than the $450 for the Forest, they will apply the rest to our Seattle chapter scholarship. 

Touching the lives of others
and Inspiring the Future

“I’ll donate and recommend both. Dan was a friend and an important guy for the lifeblood of engineers at Boeing as the SPEEA president. Marian’s been a friend forever. The 99s donated air travel for me to attend the ceremony at the FoF. (I think Trish’s husband donated passes for me and a granddaughter.) We got to meet astronaut Sandy Magnus. (That may have shaped Emily’s career choices as a mechanical engineer at the Naval Academy....) I also bought a paver at the Amelia Earhart birthplace museum. Fly Safe, Folks!"  Tom 

Marian's memorial service:

Please join us at Marian's Memorial.
Saturday, February 2nd at 1 pm
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church,
19030 8th Ave S
Seatac, WA

Godspeed, Marian. We'll miss you!

Enjoy the Journey
XO Karlene