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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.

Friday, February 28, 2020

"No Man's Land"

Friday Fabulous Flyer

Captain "Sully" Sullivan

"What happens when 'psycho' automation 
leaves pilots powerless?"

"Instinctively, I release my pressure on the sidestick. Out of my subconscious, a survival technique from a previous life emerges: Neutralise! I'm not in control so I must neutralise controls. I never imagined I'd use this part of my military experience in a commercial airliner ...

On routine flight QF72 from Singapore to Perth on 7 October 2008, the primary flight computers went rogue, causing the plane to pitch down, nose first, towards the Indian Ocean - twice.

The Airbus A330 carrying 315 passengers and crew was out of control, with violent negative G forces propelling anyone and anything untethered through the cabin roof."

"I came to the conclusion that if the pilots cannot stop errant automation, they are conveniently position to absorb the blame. The two 737 MAX accidents are cases in point. And I wonder what the opinion of Western pilots would be in one of these accidents had happened in the US. They were fighting for their lives against a powerful automated system, as I was. "

"Captain Kevin 'Sully' Sullivan has made flying his passion and his life for the past 40 years. He graduated in 1977 from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and earned his FAA Private Pilot License there before pursuing a career in the United States Navy. Designated a Naval Aviator in 1978, he was transferred to Naval Air Station Miramar (Fightertown) to fly the F-14 Tomcat in 1980. He was deployed to the Indian Ocean onboard USS America and USS Enterprise while assigned to Fighter Squadron 114 (VF-114 Fighting Aardvarks), and was chosen to attend the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOP GUN). In 1983 he was selected as the first US Navy Exchange Pilot to the Royal Australian Air Force, in the role of a Fighter Combat Instructor flying the Mirage 3. He joined QANTAS Airways in 1986 and flew the Boeing 747 and 767 before transitioning to the Airbus A330 in 2004. As Captain of Qantas Flight 72 (QF72) between Singapore and Perth, WA, on 7 October 2008, he narrowly averted a horrific air disaster when a fault in the plane's automation caused the plane to suddenly nosedive, not once but twice. He was medically retired in 2016."

Captain Sully wrote a book on the QF72 event 
and you won't be disappointed! 

This is a powerful book of an incredible flight. Not only will you see what happens when automation takes control, when it breaks, when it leaves the pilot fighting to save everyone's life... but you will learn more about automation, pilot skills, training and PTSD/ pilot mental health.  All of which are passions of mine. 

Get your copy today! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Politics or Safety?

What is Keeping the B737Max Grounded?

This is simply something for the world to think about... 

The issues of the Max were: A failed pitot static system without a backup. Lack of Required Training. Pilots lack of knowledge of the system. Lack of Safety Culture.


An airline wanted a 737 that could carry the load of a B757, but without the type-rating attached. Could it be built? Absolutely. Did a system have to be built to improve stability. Yes, and they called it the MCAS. But hasn't improved stability been a life long goal of all aircraft manufacturers? 


Clearly airlines do not want to pay for additional training if they don't have to. They definitely did not want to pay for a new type rating. That would have been very expensive. Who would be the group to order that training? Airline? Manufacturer? FAA? 


The B737Max MCAS would not have triggered if there had been redundant pitot static systems built into the aircraft. Why didn't the FAA mandate redundant systems? If an airline doesn't want to purchase a second pitot static tube, and the FAA doesn't mandate it, why would the manufacturer force the airline to purchase something they didn't want?

When did the FAA stop enforcing equipment 
that would improve safety? 

Safety Culture: 

It takes a brave soul to stand up and to anyone in their company to do the right thing. There is nobody, more so than I, who understands what can happen to an employee if he or she steps forward and points out safety concerns to their company. Unfortunately retaliation is alive in the airline industry. Can you blame an employee for remaining silent when the system doesn't protect them?

Now the question... 

Why isn't the Max Flying?

The way I see it is all they need to do is: 
  1. Hold all the people involved who lied, falsified records and did the wrong thing that cost lives accountable. Make them accountable so this never happens again, then...
  2. The FAA should mandate a redundant pitot static system on the Max. 
  3. The FAA should mandate anything that could improve safety. Safety should not be a customer option. 
  4. The FAA should mandate training on the MCAS. 
  5. Make the B737Max a type-rating. 
It appears a simple solution and could have been done months ago. Therefore, I'm curious why the FAA administrator is keeping this plane grounded. All the issues involved in the Max can be found in my newest book: Normalization of Deviance a Threat to Aviation Safety.  I've been giving this ebook away for free, for five days now. Today is the final day. Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can download. Then email me and I will give you the secret how to read it on your computer.

Safety Culture. Training. Knowledge. Performance. 

Today is the Final Day 
for your 

(If in the US Click on the Link Above)

Go to your local Amazon account
and Search the name!

The things that airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and the FAA are not sharing with the public, can be found in Normalization of Deviance. This book is the result of my doctoral research—Safety Culture, Training, Understanding, Aviation Passion: The Impact on Manual Flight and Operational Performance. While the intent of the research was to learn what predicted manual flight, what was learned may have predicted and, if heeded, prevented the Lion Air Flight 602, 2018 crash, Ethiopian Flight 302, 2019 crash, and Atlas Air Flight 3591, 2019 crash. What was learned could also have prevented the Air France Flight 447 crash.

Enjoy the journey!
XO Karlene 

Monday, February 24, 2020

Aviation Galore

Past  Present  Future


This weekend was the NW Aviation Conference and trade Show and I autographed 167 books!!! How fun was that. I met some great people and more to come on their stories. We also gave away a B777 and made a few smiles! 



Eastern Airlines Radio Show Tonight! 
Episode 447 
February 24th, 2020
7:00 PM 
Call In at 213-816-1611 

Eastern Airlines Music and History. Join Eastern on their Country Roads travel of Music and Eastern History. They will play Eastern music and bring back memories of bygone days of their beloved airline! You may sign-on to the broadcast up to 15 minutes prior to on-air time, Call-in Phone for Hosts and Guests: 213-816-1611 


I’m giving away my newest book, Normalization of Deviance a Threat to Aviation Safety to everyone for another two days. Last day is tomorrow! Please get your free download! Spread the word. Share this with your friends. If you are outside the US, go to your local amazon account and type in Normalization of Deviance a Threat to Aviation Safety. If you are in the US there is a link on my blog, Flight To Success.  

Enjoy your book and thank you all for your support in gathering this research! Reviews are much appreciated!!! 

Have a Great Aviation Day! 

Enjoy the journey!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Free Kindle Download

Who Says Nothing in Life is Free?

I am giving a Free Kindle download to all those AvGeeks at the NW Aviation and Conference Trade Show for the weekend of February 22-23. However, I decided to begin the free gift the day prior and allow that free download to continue for 5 days, for all those who read this post.

(If in the US Click on the Link Above)

Go to your local Amazon account 
and Search the name!

My heartfelt thanks to all of you who took the survey (there were over 7400 of you), and for all of you who shared the links and supported the research. For everyone who cares about aviation safety, and all the researches before and those will come after... this is for you! Please download your copy, even if you don't have a Kindle at the moment, you can gift it, save it for later, or read it on a Mac. But this is your gift for caring about our industry and giving your support.

Please share this message 
with all your Social Media Connections

No Longer Can We Blame The Pilot

We now have the data that proves we can’t simply blame the pilot. There is never one reason an accident occurs, but a chain of events. If you travel, fly, or touch aviation in any aspect, you have every reason to read Normalization of Deviance, A Threat to Aviation Safety

"Automation tied to inadequate training 
will magnify the potential for disaster" 

The things that airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and the FAA are not sharing with the public, can be found in Normalization of Deviance. This book is the result of my doctoral research—Safety Culture, Training, Understanding, Aviation Passion: The Impact on Manual Flight and Operational Performance. While the intent of the research was to learn what predicted manual flight, what was learned may have predicted and, if heeded, prevented the Lion Air Flight 602, 2018 crash, Ethiopian Flight 302, 2019 crash, and Atlas Air Flight 3591, 2019 crash. What was learned could also have prevented the Air France Flight 447 crash.

Please Leave A Comment 
After you Read your Book! 

Thank You!!!

Enjoy the Journey
XO Karlene 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

You're Invited

FEB 22-23, 2020

Join me at booth 124. Enter to win your airplane model. Pick up copies of the newest books! This is a great Aviation Conference and fun times will be had by all! The location is at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. For those who remember the good old days, now we can say, "Do the Aviation Conference!" 

I hope to see you there!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Precognition or Research?

The Ability to See the Future...

Are authors prescient, or does research identify facts that when analyzed creates the story that eventually prevails? In 1981 Dean Koontz published a book, The Eyes of Darkness. This was a thriller about a mother's quest to learn whether or not her son had died a year earlier. Authors often write stories that come true. But how many come as close to truth as the specifics in this novel?

Below is a page from The Eyes of Darkness, that came to reality as precisely as the date.  "In around 2020, a severe pneumonia like illness will spread throughout the globe, attacking the lungs and the bronchial tubes and resisting all known treatments..." He even mentioned that this virus was made in military lab in Wuhan and called his virus: Wuhan 400. 

Don't underestimate the power of fiction writing, and the truth within the novels. The Flight For series is one that the industry can look back upon and say.... how did she know?

My first novel Flight For Control  embraced the theme of mental health embedded within the aviation world where pilots intentionally crash their planes. Two months after this novel was released a Jet Blue captain was locked out of the flight deck by his first officer, after he suffered from a mental breakdown. Then four years later a Germanwings first officer successfully locks the captain out of the fight deck and flies his plane into the mountains.

The second novel Flight For Safety  Asiana crashes in San Francisco. However, I had a scene that mirrored that event. And then my 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 and crashes. 

The third novel is no different. Flight For Survival  embraces NextGen with multiple threats looming. Aircraft complexity, fatigue, and training issues leave pilots open to error. Unmanned aircraft systems—drones—are flooding the airspace, creating a regulatory nightmare. Safety Management Systems are mandated to be in place by 2018, but creating a safety culture is an essential ground floor requirement. The truth in fiction. 

The fourth novel, Flight For Sanity, Airlines are cutting training at the expense of safety. What is the FAA doing with industry issues of automation dependency, lack of hand flying skills, confusion, and lack of understanding that stem back to 1996? Nothing, yet these issues are more prevalent than ever. Not unlike what's happening in the world today.

The fifth novel, Flight For Truth, identifies the startling truth of how far airline management will go to silence a pilot for bringing safety concerns forward. The use of mental health as a weapon of control is not unique, but the reason in this case takes the connection all the way to the White House.

The FAA has known since 1996 that pilot training was an issue and would impact the future of aviation safety, yet nothing has been done. The industry has experienced hundreds of accidents and incidents because of this lack of response. The literature review in my recent book, Normalization of Deviance a Threat to Aviation Safety, presents that research and the knowledge. The data and results of my research proves that these events were not the pilots fault. The 2018 and 2019 crashes could have been avoided, had the FAA heeded their own warnings and mandated their SMS regulation and safety culture. 

What if the pilot shortage was induced to prepare for NextGen? Without the available pilots the FAA would have no option but to approve the reduction of pilots to ensure aviation economics. A crew of four would shift to three, three to two, and two to one. With ground based control, and a pilot to extend the gear, the industry would be much safer.... Right? The marketing of that plan would be the statistics of pilot error. However, what I learned in my research is that pilot error is not the cause of accidents, but the result of inadequate training and negative safety culture. Time will tell what happens with the industry, but until then, I will continue to write fiction and in 27 years, we'll see how much more of this becomes true. 

All the Novels are Available on Kindle
And on my blog, as is Normalization of Deviance


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

Mark Twain 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene