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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, January 27, 2020

Flight For Truth

Coming February 2020!

“It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. 
Fiction has to make sense”
Mark Twain

Corruption runs deep within the airline industry when Captain Darby Bradshaw is grounded and forced into a psychiatric evaluation in response to reporting safety concerns to senior leadership at Global Air Lines. What she doesn’t know is that her removal is nothing short of a conspiracy to silence her safety concerns. Privatization of ATC, approval of drone operated commercial aircraft, short-cutting training, and the untimely crash of a Boeing 737 MAX are all tied to Darby’s report. Her resultant research is about to uncover the truth. How high does this go? All the way to the White House. Not even her friends FAA Manager Kathryn Jacobs, DOT Secretary John McAllister, or Psychiatrist Linda Madden, can do anything to help her. 

The question is—can she save herself?

This is the fifth in the Fight For Series where truth is scarier than fiction. Flight For Justice coming soon, where it’s not about truth and justice, but what you can prove in court. 


Flight For Truth  is dedicated to all those people who have faced an atrocity due to the abuse of power. Losing control of your life due the unethical decisions of others feels like a passenger in a plane that is going down. But remember one thing—as long as you survive your life is not over, it will just be different. Make that difference count and fight for truth. 

Read the series and get ready 
for what happens next!

The First Novel...

Imagine writing a novel, Flight For Control, with the theme of mental health embedded within the world of aviation. And then two months after your novel is released a Jet Blue captain is locked out of the flight deck by his first officer, after he suffers from a mental breakdown. What if he hadn't been locked out? And then four years later a Germanwings first officer successfully locks the captain out of the fight deck and flies his plane into the mountains. Read more here...

 The Second Novel...


Imagine writing a novel and Asiana crashes in San Francisco, and you have a scene that mirrors that event. And then your pilots are flying an A330 to Singapore as a storm builds, they get caught ... and two years later Air Asia takes the same route and flies into that storm but crashes. Fiction that mirrors truth.  Read more here... 

The Third Novel...

Imagine being an author working on your PhD at the same time you are an airline pilot. What if all those worlds merged into one exciting adventure, where truth was scarier than fiction and the lines between your worlds blurred? You would write the novel Flight For Survival.
Read more here...

The Fourth Novel... 

It's insane how airlines are cutting training at the expense of safety. Insanity extends to the FAA, where industry issues of automation dependency, lack of hand flying skills, confusion, and lack of understanding stem back to 1996, yet these issues are more prevalent than ever. Imagine what happens to the person challenging the system...

 All books can be purchased, 
with autographs, on this blog!


Available on Amazon: 

Amazon Comments are so much appreciated!!! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Monday, January 20, 2020

Truth. Justice. Courage.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day
January 20, 2020!

"I Have A VOICE!"

"Injustice anywhere 
is a threat to justice everywhere." 
MLK Jr. 

Today is the day we honor a person who stood up to injustice. This is a human who gave his life for others to have a better life with fairness and justice. There are many people who have given their lives so women had the right to vote, drive, think, attend college, and become pilots. We have freedom in our world because of those who have gone before. I am living my life in honor of these people by not allowing their sacrifices to be forgotten.  

This weekend I was provided an incredible honor for leadership and bravery. Courage doesn't mean  you are not afraid. Courage means to do the right thing, regardless of the threat against you. I have had the opportunity to meet so many courageous individuals who are standing up to injustice. My wish for you all is to be strong! Together we can create change. 

Live your life with gratitude of those good people who have gone before, by following in their footsteps. Strive for honesty, integrity, and caring for our fellow humans. Above all demand justice!

"The time is always right to do what is right."

Enjoy the journey!
XO Karlene 

Monday, January 13, 2020

Aircraft Automation


Captain Jim Wright

The article copied below was Captain Wright's contribution to Linked-In’s Shiphandling Professionals Group. He shared it with me because of our mutual concerns about automation dependency. I think it will be of interest to you too. Enjoy! 

“The question is whether highly skilled pilots could have successfully overcome the recent 737 MAX computer deficiencies. Will this debate eventually be relevant to harbor pilot skills? You could say that the answer will depend on whether the capabilities of autonomous ships will eventually exceed the skills of their pilots. But now we’re getting into unproductive “apples-to-oranges” comparisons because computerized inputs are automated while pilotage skills are intuitive.

In aviation, a remedy for “loss of feel” is for pilots to hand-fly the approach and landing. The reported problem is that some pilots, unaccustomed to hand-flying, let the computer do most of the work leaving their skill level absent of improvement.

For harbor pilots, the corresponding remedy has been to make the approach and docking with minimal usage of thrusters or assist tugs. You could say this is an antidote to the “loss of feel” problem.

While most pilotage grounds require different sets of skills, ships will tend to send similar signals to their pilots. Being able to interpret those signals and apply proper corrective action in a timely manner is the result of practice and experience. The risk of automation is that it tends to filter out the signals.”

It occurred to me that automated pilotage as opposed to intuitive pilotage might be an area requiring greater investigation. For example, pilots in our area of Alaska typically docked ships in visibility reduced to the point where the midships kingposts were not visible from the pilothouse. The usual procedure was to set up an instrument approach using the radar with the EBL (electronic bearing line) set on the dock heading and the VRM (variable range marker) adjusted continuously to show distance off the berth. In the old days we had to estimate speed then later we could get an accurate over-the-ground speed with GPS. You could say that this was somewhat similar to a semi-automated approach. At the same time, we had the mate-on-watch look out the window and let the pilot know as soon as any visual sign of the dock appeared. When that notice was given, the pilot abandoned the radar and moved to the bridge wing where the final approach and docking was conducted visually without the aid of automation – the forward part of the berth remaining obscured in the fog.

For the early part of my pilotage career this was “just the way we did things” and no explanation was given as to why it always seemed successful. Later, my curiosity led me to further introspection leading to a partial conclusion that the time involved in switching between looking at the radar (a 2-dimensional presentation) and looking out the window (a 3-dimensional presentation) required a short, although significant, loss of mental orientation. Mental disorientation became progressively cumulative as the rate of switching increased.. 

As our automation dependency discussions progressed, it occurred to me that loss of mental orientation might also be a contributing factor for airline pilots when switching from auto-pilot, auto-throttle and/or auto-land to “looking-out-the-window” flying. This idea was further reinforced by some of the old Alaska bush pilots who, when landing on non-ILS and sometimes poorly lit landing strips in close to zero visibility conditions had the FO fly the approach on available instruments while the Capt looked out the window and took control of the airplane for landing as soon as the field was detected. Or, on the other hand, maybe this is the definition of over thinking the problem.

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene