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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 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, November 29, 2019

Julie Chapman

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Julie Chapman

"How I overcame crippling confidence issues 
in the cockpit."

"Early on in my flying career, I couldn't get enough flying. It was new, beautiful, and the fulfillment of a childhood dream. I had become the proud owner of a light sport airplane in 2012 that I was flying everywhere. As the years came and went, I started to have confidence issues in the cockpit. 

I felt like I would have to fight for control when I was in moderate or greater turbulence and I had one flight where I encountered the worst turbulence I ever had been in and I was scared and struggled to fly for the next four years. I had no confidence in my ability to handle anything but smooth weather and I stopped flying cross country for several years. I was afraid of all of the "what ifs" and where the insidious bumps might be hiding in my mountainous home (SLC, Utah). I never stopped loving flying, but I definitely ramped way back and kept myself painted into a small geographical area that I felt safe in. 

I then discovered another kind of flying that was all about being in control in turbulence and that was glider flying. That's all about learning the terrain, using it to your advantage, and using thermals and winds and everything that will push you up to keep you up. 

Steep turns in moderate turbulence 
while flying at the bottom of the green arc? 

Talk about getting comfortable with the performance envelope of your aircraft! Glider flying was exquisite (and made me a better power pilot) and all but vanquished my fears of turbulence. My resurgence in confidence was so powerful that I earned all three ratings--private, commercial, and flight instructor--in 7 months. I absolutely love teaching now and find that I can share with students how to stay confident aloft."

Julie's passion for aviation is unrivaled. By profession she is an Aerospace Quality Engineer and holds three ASQ certifications (Certified Quality Engineer, Certified Reliability Engineer, and Certified Six Sigma Yellow Belt). She has 14 CFR Part 145 expertise for a Limited Airframe rated Repair Station and she's the quality engineering liaison with the FAA FSDO. She works with type certificate holders and the FAA MIDO to secure FAA Parts Manufacturer Authority designation (FAA-PMA) (14 CFR Part 21) in order to sell spare parts.  She's a pilot rated on airplanes, seaplanes, and gliders, a flight instructor, and is a kit plane owner who enjoys flying for fun and volunteering. 

Confidence is everything in an airplane. 
Find it, and you'll soar to new heights! 

Julie is a Certificated Flight Instructor for the Utah Soaring Association.  She now is able to teach what she loves. When you're ready, I'm sure she will teach you too!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 


  1. Wow!! This is inspirational and to tastes yummy to me who is still sketching for funds to aquire my PPL wings..
    I love this

    1. I'm so glad you like this. I think everyone should fly gliders.

  2. Well, I think everyone should fly gliders too! There we go! Excellent idea and Julie is an example of resilience.


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