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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, July 31, 2020

Aidan Lally Flying Strong

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Aidan Lally

This week I received an email from Aidan that began like this...

"In April of 2018 when I was a Junior in high school, my parents and I were traveling from Seattle to Paris on Delta for a family trip to Europe. While waiting at the gate for boarding to begin, I saw the Flight Crew arriving and immediately recognized you. As a frequent reader of your blog, I enthusiastically introduced myself and you took the time to speak with me for a few minutes before heading down to the aircraft."

This trip was very special and memorable to me, and I remember Aidan and I talking. This was my first trip on the B777 after OE, having not flown for two years, and he reminded me of all the good things about aviation and what it truly meant to have the honor to fly he and his family to Paris. 

Aidan told me, "At the time in 2018, I knew I was going to college for Commercial Aviation. However, I was undecided between the University of North Dakota or Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to pursue my collegiate Aviation education after high school."

Then he fast forwarded us to today! 

Aidan said, "Following graduation from Olympia High School in June 2019, I earned my Private Pilot (ASEL) Certificate at Olympia Regional Airport. After touring and feeling instantly connected with the campus/program, I ultimately decided to attend the University of North Dakota's John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences double majoring in Commercial Aviation and Aviation Management. That was one of the best decisions I've ever made."

"UND graciously allowed us to continue flight training over the Summer in Grand Forks with appropriate PPE in the aircraft. As a matter of fact, I just completed my Summer Flight Course a few weeks ago!"

Aidan Lally grew up in Olympia, Washington, and travels often with his family. Added to his busy scheduled, he is also an Eagle Scout. In addition to holding his Private Pilot certificate (with privileges in Airplane Single Engine Land) he holds a Remote Pilot certificate for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems. I was curious as to what inspired him to fly, what he thinks of UND, the challenges in our current environment, and any words of wisdom he could share. Following are his most insightful answers. 

What inspired you to fly?

"Like many others, my aviation journey began long before I can remember. Even as a six year old, I wanted to be a pilot. My Halloween costume was a homemade, cardboard box airplane and my favorite stuffed bear “Toasty” was co-pilot. Also, having the opportunity to travel with my parents, the “aviation bug” bit me early."

"Being around airplanes, learning as much as I could about flying, meeting pilots, spending time listening to SeaTac ATC, and one particular flight deck tour when I was in sixth grade, led me to pursue a career in aviation. Growing up, all the pilots I met seemed to have one thing in common: They all loved flying. Whether as a passenger or visiting the flight deck, I was inspired to fly because of my love for being in the air. Flying an airplane is an incredible experience!"

What do you love about UND?

"Choosing to study Commercial Aviation at University of North Dakota Aerospace is one of the best decisions I've ever made. UND is a special place for so many reasons. Small class sizes, an exceptional flight program, inspirational professors with years of aviation experience, positive liberal arts/Essential Studies professors, and a supportive, kind community are just a few reasons why I love UND. There is something for everyone on campus!"

How is your education at the University of North Dakota preparing you for your career?

"UND Aerospace combines airline style training and Essential Studies coursework into a comprehensive degree program. At UND, I am working towards earning my Commercial Pilot (ASEL, AMEL, Instrument Airplane) and Certified Flight Instructor (CFI/CFII) certificates. I hope to have the privilege of Flight Instructing at UND Aerospace while inspiring students and working towards R-ATP minimums for the next step in my career."

COVID-19 and College

"COVID-19 has impacted my college experience. From the classroom (Spring semester’s distance learning from home), to on-campus (masks while flying), one’s ability to change and be flexible are even more important now. I am hopeful that I’m early enough in my education that I will be well prepared when I graduate to meet the needs and challenges of the aviation community."

Any favorite aviation memories?

"I have too many to count! That's what makes aviation so special. However, three specific “firsts” come to mind:

  • Earning my Private Pilot Certificate at Olympia Regional Airport with DPE (and UND graduate!) Travis Baker.
  • As a Private Pilot, flying with my first passenger - my mom. (Thanks Mom!)
  • Receiving my acceptance letter to UND Aerospace.

"Thanks Mom!"

Aidan's Advice to Future Flyers

"Inspiring the next generation of aviators and sharing the joy of flight with others is one of my favorite parts of being a pilot. If I could offer advice to aspiring pilots, I would say:

  • Prioritize your academics. At UND, I spend a lot of time studying. However, that hard work does pay off! Being well rounded is important, too. For example, in addition to our aviation core curriculum, we can choose to take courses in everything from accounting to music appreciation in order to earn a degree.
  • Be an involved member of the aviation community.
  • “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” My parents taught me this saying many years ago. Always have a plan and do your best to stick to it. 
  • Learn new things! Have other hobbies, activities and interests in addition to flying. I also enjoy backpacking, road cycling, and hiking.
  • Reach out, and have mentors.
  • Give your best effort.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Whether in training or coursework, I have found that my professors and mentors are happy to share their knowledge and expertise with me.
  • Set goals for yourself and remain flexible. 
  • Most importantly, as Karlene always says, “Enjoy the Journey!” Aviation is truly a day by day adventure, where you never stop learning. Appreciate today, the little things, and you'll be on your way. I feel overjoyed and blessed to be a pilot living my childhood dream!"

Aidan is the blessing to this tumultuous world we live in today. He shows us that there is hope, inspiration and a future beyond any challenge. What Aidan may not know is that his sharing this story, will impact another. His kind message at the end of his first email to me, touched my heart more than he will know. Aidan wrote... 

"You never quite know how a simple interaction with someone can make such a big impact. Your kindness to speak with me on that day in 2018 helped bring me to where I am today. I'm inspired, blessed, overjoyed to be a pilot. And, I thank you."  

Join me in wishing 
Aidan the best career ever!

Remember to share your story 
and inspire someone today!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Future Aviator

Friday's Fabulous Flyer!
Join me in congratulating Hykie for being featured in Lady Aviator next week, and sharing her love of aviation. While she is just nine-years old, her passion surpasses all. It's refreshing to see such a love of flying as Hykie has. It takes youth and excitement to remind us how wonderful aviation is.

"Hi, my name is Hykie and am nine and a half years old. Karlene Petitt wrote a lot of books my mom loved to read and share with her friends. I’ll read them someday. When I was seven years old, my mom and I went to a shop at Centennial Airport for my first pink logbook. That day I had my first flight lesson with Kristine Wanner in a DA-20 - I LOVE stalls! 

When I was also seven, I got in a helicopter for the first time and helped Dianna Stanger fly it! I flew in SkyHawks a lot with my mom since I was a baby. I also took a ground course from ERAU online during COVID-19 in the spring. 

Last winter, my mom and I flew with my best friend Harper. When my older brother rode in back during one of my lessons, I found out he did NOT like hearing the stall horn! 

I have fun at a lot of Women in Aviation events in Colorado, especially Girls in Aviation Day. I finished a book about Amelia Earhart called Lost Star. 

I also have an autographed copy of Karlene’s kid book especially for me. I practice take offs and landings on my mom’s simulator and hope that one day when I’m 16, in 2026, I can solo as a Student Pilot. 2027 is the year that I will earn my Private Pilot Certificate."

You are are Awesome!
And definitely the 
Captain of your Life.
(but no reading the novels until 2029)

"The presence of passion within you 
is the greatest gift you can receive. 
Treat it as a miracle." 
Wayne Dyer

Enjoy the Journey!!!
XOX Karlene 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Flight For Truth

Summer Reading 

"I finished Flight for Truth today and 
can't wait until Flight for Justice 
is published in February."

I have been busy writing legal briefs, studying the A350, learning how to play golf and swimming across my lake. But in the mean time, I am working on the next in the series, Flight For Justice

Today I received a comment from a reader and we should let the world know...

Justice is Coming Soon!

"I finished Flight for Truth today and can't wait until Flight for Justice is published in February. Flight for Truth is a "must read" for those following Darby Bradshaw. Who, you ask? To get to know Darby, start at Flight for Control and follow Darby and her friends thru the series of five novels! You will get to know about aviation in a new way."  Book Review

Delay Does not mean Denial

Due to some very nasty tactics
the good old boys at Global Air Lines
Have Delayed Justice... 
But the Novel is coming soon! 

Darby Bradshaw identified serious safety concerns at her airline. Thus, she presented an internal safety report to her senior management, along with recommendations for improvements. What she didn't know was that she stepped into the middle of a plan to remove pilots permanently, where executives at Global Air Lines are working with Airbus to shutdown Boeing, encourages the FAA administrator to create legislation in their favor in exchange for a position on their board of directors, and they moved their SVP of flight operations into position as the new FAA administrator. With what Darby knew, they  had to discredit Darby at all cost. 

What happened to Darby, should never happen to anyone. In Flight For Sanity, Global grounded a pilot for bringing safety information forward with an internal report, forcing her into a psychiatric evaluation. Flight For Truth was Darby's fight back. Management had waited until Christmas Eve, a year after they pulled her from duty, to tell her that her career was over. But she fights like hell to get her job back, and to hold the individual's accountable. What she doesn't know is the length that a handful of despicable individuals went to in order to keep her grounded. 

Flight For Justice will continue the journey. In addition to proving her sanity, she is in the midst of an AIR 21 lawsuit. Discovery provides answers to the corruption, violation of federal regulations, contractual violations, and the needless death of 228 people. The corruption slithers all the way to Washington D.C., and nobody is safe. Darby's chances to win are good, but it's not about truth or justice, but what you can prove in court. 

Darby Bradshaw and her attorney Robert Allen take on an airline, their million dollar legal team, and the FAA at the highest levels. The reader will have an insider's view on the corruption of the aviation industry. What makes this novel interesting, is that the dialogue was taken from actual depositions and trial testimony, leaving the reader scratching their head and thinking... this is airline management?

Summer Reading... 
and read the entire series.

You can order you autographed copies 
on this site, too.

Happy Reading! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XXO Karlene 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

The Moment is All We Have

Wisdom for All ...

My friend sent me the following message... 

"Words of Wisdom for All"

"I could give one single word of wisdom, the moment is all we have. My biggest regret I have is that I worried way too much. Tony's words still ringing in my years...let it go none of us knows if we have tomorrow. Do the best you can at this moment, be it in your job or family or business, that it may honor God. And what a shame to live with regrets...if I only.....had let go of matters that at this moment of time I can not change. All I can do is my best! By the way picture below these are your brain cells at work. Quite a network I would say!" 

Thank you for your message Ida! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene 

Friday, July 10, 2020

The Sky Is not the Limit

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

 Jolie Lucas
LCSW, CEO Cascade Counseling, Inc

Jolie is flying strong! She's a LCSW, started her own business, and is a 99, who just finished her commercial certificate and working toward her multi-engine rating.

"Hip Hip Horray. I am NOW a Commercial pilot. What can I say; my parents would be so proud, I am proud and my kids are too! It was a lot of work, but so worth it. Big thank you to my flight instructors [Christopher, Mike Jesch] and my awesome DPE Dave Koebel. A big thank you to fellow 99s Martha King and King Schools. My examiner complimented me on my ground/oral. On to my multi-engine commercial thanks to a scholarship from San Luis Obispo 99s." 

"If any of you are working on your Commercial and would like a copy of my Check Ride de-brief, just send me an email with your email address. For anyone else working toward a check ride, here is my article from Flying Magazine: What Your Designated Pilot Examiner Wants You to Know Practical tips to help you nail your check ride.Practical"

Jolie formed Cascade Counseling, Inc. in 1997. Her goal was to build a clinic that provided professionally delivered services in a relaxed home-like setting. The result was Cascade Counseling Incorporated which serves residents of Hood River, Wasco, Klickitat and Skamania counties with excellent counseling and other wellness therapies. 

In the fall of 2004, Cascade Counseling, Inc was certified by the State of Oregon as a Mental Health Center. This certification ensures the highest standards for client care have been met. In June of 2005, Cascade Counseling opened offices in San Luis Obispo California. But Jolie hasn't stopped there. She is flying to new heights daily, living a new passion and helping others find their's. 

Jolie Lucas, LCSW, CEO
Cascade Counseling, Inc
Hood River/White Salmon/San Luis Obispo
Phone: 805-295-6955
Land Your Dreams ©

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

UV-C technology

A Simple Solution to 
Covid Protection!  

I was recently provided the below information from a friend who is working hard to get this into the school system. He suggested the efficacy on aircraft, too. Sometimes the simplest solutions are overlooked. 

UV-C technology is high-intensity ultraviolet light used to kill viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. It kills immediately. Hospitals use it in their HVAC systems to eliminate airborne pathogens. Especially systems that recirculate the air. It is low cost, fast to install, low maintenance, and has long service life. Either fluorescent or LED bulbs are placed in the main air plenum where the coils are located. Not only does this kill the slime, mold, viruses, bacteria on the coils, as the air flows by any pathogens in the air are immediately killed. WHAM! PRONTO! ZAP!

I’ve been trying like heck to get my children’s school to install this because the school’s HVAC recirculates the air. So does the air in an airliner. Even if an airplane doesn’t recirculate the air, it still has to pass by the coils, or through the fuselage a few times before exiting.

I just thought you might be interested in knowing about this technology. It’s such a brainless solution, and has actually been around for decades! I’m just putting two and two together here. I used to work as a dental lab tech, and spent fourteen years working daily with both blood borne and airborne pathogens (Hep A,B,C, AIDS, TB, the plague!) Seen it all! Yet a retrofit of this type would be so damned easy! Cost pennies, take only a few hours. I mean all we’re talking about here some simple lights being installed that’s all! Under $500! Even with masks you're still filling up the cabin with germs over a period of two hours or less. More on longer flights. At least this way you’d have a powerful ally on your side. Combined with masks and surface disinfect you’d be a heck of a lot safer than right now!

Take a look at this visualization created by Dr. Van Den Wymelenberg of the University of Oregon. If that’s not similar to an aircraft cabin I don’t know what is! I’ve been corresponding with Dr. Wymelenberg. He and a team of others have just published a paper on how COVID is being transmitted/transported via HVAC systems. His info appears below:

Click Below to 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Monday, July 6, 2020

Climb Via Memory 1 Departure

What's Your Route?

As we've heard from flight sim fanatic Nicolas Jackson before, there are many applications for flight stimulation. Some use it for recreation and enjoyment. While others use it as an all important supplement to their flight training. I actually used it for my B777 training. 

Recently, however, Nicolas has used it to do a bit of reminiscing. He said, "Most Avgeeks and aviation professionals fondly remember our first commercial flight." In Nicolas' case it was on a Southwest Airlines 737 from Sacramento (KSMF) to Ontario in southern California (KONT). 

While searching for an idea for his next flight simulator adventure, Nicolas came upon something clever. Having recently installed detailed scenery for the entire west coast of The US, including a lightly detailed rendition of Sacramento International Airport, Nicolas embarked on an hour long recreation of that all important first airline flight.

It was a short journey back in time. But, it was just enough to reignite Nicolas' passion for storytelling. Nicolas details this virtual flight along the Memory1 Departure in the latest episode of his long running FSRideAlong Podcast entitled "What's Your Route?". 

You can find The FSRideAlong Podcast free in Apple Podcasts and Google Play. With over 20 years of passionate flight simulation experience, Nicolas has tons of virtual "There I Was" stories to share. So come on board and ride along.

Who is Nicolas Jackson?

Nicolas is a passionate aAvgeek and flight simulator pilot that loves to tell stories and talk aviation. He can be reached on Twitter @nicnacjak or via email at Learn more about Nicolas at

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Fourth of July 2020


Happy 4th of July!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene