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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, December 31, 2020

Happy New Year 2021~

"Run With Purpose"
(1 Corinthians 9:26, NLT)

There is power in a number... 
and next year it is all about 21! 

On December 21st an extraordinary astronomy event occurred, that has not happened in over 200 years. The Jupiter and Saturn conjunction, when these planets were only 0.1 degree apart. As a friend stated, "this was the day heaven and earth were moved."  On the 21st a monumental AIR 21 case ruling came to fruition that will impact airline safety for the better. Ironically, one of my resolutions for 2021 is to reform the AIR 21 law in order to better protect the traveling public. Too many lives were lost in the last couple years because employees were afraid to speak out, and justifiably so. But these times, they are about to change!  On a side note, 21 is also my favorite number while playing blackjack. With that said, the one thing that we should never gamble on is safety. 

2020 is a year we will never forget, for many reasons. However, I choose to focus on the good things that came within the year. I learned to play golf, became a stronger bridge player, learned to swim  across the lake, earned a type rating on the A350, helped to rid the medical profession of one dirty doctor, fought injustice, watched Joel Osteen's daily program that gave me perspective, hope, restored faith, and helped me through the tough days. But now we go into the new year and it's time to Run with Purpose. 

2021 Resolutions
  • Reform the Air 21 Law
  • Finish Writing Flight For Justice 
  • Take down the Christmas Decorations before it's time to put them up again 
  • Exercise daily 
  • Eat pie for dinner at least once per month
  • Fly my New Plane every chance I get 
  • Smile often. Laugh loudly. Feel gratitude
  • Improve my Golf game 
  • Play more cards 
  • Forgive more, judge less and accept. 

A friend sent me a poem that one of his daughter's wrote. The ending is perfect to close out 2020 and bring in the New Year...

"As we at last turn the page
With a ready hand 
Although we’re six feet apart
Together we stand!"

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Bless You With a Christmas Heart

My gift to you this holiday season is a reminder that even during your darkest nights a light will shine bright at the perfect time, so don't ever give up your fight to do the right thing. The little wins along the way may just be lighting the path to your ultimate destiny. Know that there are people of integrity in our world, and they will come to you holding a light when you need it the most. But don't be blinded. That light may not be illuminating a victory, but simply guiding you to your destination. Have faith, and follow your true north with a Christmas Heart.

This Holiday Season, 
Believe in Miracles!

I wish you the Happiest of Holidays!
Peace, Love and Joy
Throughout the New Year!

Happy Holidays!
XOX Karlene

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Pilots for Kids

Help Pilots “Deliver” Smiles to Kids 
Who are Alone in the Hospital 
This Holiday Season!

From now until December 22nd
 Gifts & Virtual Santa Visits
are being delivered! 

Volunteer pilots have a holiday tradition of delivering donated gifts, with a visit from Santa, to the children of Ronald McDonald House through Pilots for Kids. The excitement and joy is electric and heartwarming. The event keeps growing, and 100% of all gifts go directly to the kids. I had the opportunity to visit the kids in Seattle's Children's hospital during a Seattle Pilots for kids event, and there was nothing more gratifying than bringing smiles to the children who are ill. But I simply cannot imagine they are alone due to Covid. 

This year pilots are prohibited from that personal visit. However, heartfelt thanks to Captain Christine Dunning the Portland/Vancouver area Pilots for Kids coordinator who is not allowing COVID to get in her way. She is making the spirits bright despite the challenges. 

Christine said: 

This year each family is restricted to their rooms, so we will bring our Holiday party to them! During the week of Dec 15-22, each room will receive a "North Pole Aviation Adventure" package which includes: A Nasa Activity book, A PFKD's color book, crayons, balsa wood airplanes to build and design, challenges and prizes. In addition, each room receives a holiday tree, and home cooked meal, North Pole themed stuffed animals, and  a five minute virtual visit from Santa, direct from the North Pole! All "PFKD Adventures Week" items and meals will be delivered to each room by the amazing Elf Staff of Ronald McDonald! 

"I Appreciate You All and thank you in advance for your donations, to once again bring Love, Joy and Smiles for these very special Kids and Families during a most Challenging year!!" Christine 

All the best and Merry Christmas 2020!

Tis the Season to bring smiles 
to children of all ages! 

Christine's contact information if you have any questions:
Cell-360-921-2266 Email:

None of this comes free. Christine is doing the work, but she needs your support. Imagine if every pilot gave just a little bit of themselves.  If you can help please click the button below.

To learn more, please visit the Pilots For Kids website HERE

Enjoy the journey!
XO Karlene 

Friday, December 11, 2020

Captain Mike Simkins

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Captain Mike Simkins

Not too long ago Captain Simkins reached out across the Atlantic and asked if would read his book, Pulling Wings From Butterflies, and write a blurbMy response was, but of course.  However, this request came at a time when I was flying to and from Incheon during OE, immersed in learning the A350. I figured I could do a quick read while commuting home. However, I read the first chapter, and realized a quick read was not possible. I instantly knew that his book was not something I wanted to read after being awake all night. I wanted a fresh mind to devour each word on every page. This is one of the most phenomenal books I've read in a very long time! 

Pulling Wings From Butterflies begins in a courtroom, on the last day of a week-long legal case with Captain Simkins going head to head against the might of Thomas Cook Airline. He will tell you that this was not about him, but, "Ultimately the judge's decision would resonate within the entire pilot and flight crew community throughout the country, possibly even the world."  He could not have been more correct. 

Leaving the reader hanging in the courtroom on that final day, we travel back in time to the beginning of his career. Tenacity, focus, integrity, and the unwillingness to accept no, carry him through an adventure of a lifetime.

A young man with a passion for music and the desire to fly, was well advised that neither of those options would be viable career paths for him. Little did they know. If you're going to be exceptional at one career, why not two? 

Photo above: 2019 at the end of a 30 date EU tour with Mark (Queens of the Stone age) Lanegan at the London Roundhouse with founding member of The Clash and Public Image Keith Levene

A central theme throughout Captain Simkins' aviation life, and his book, is his overwhelming commitment to safety. There are some people who can't be bought, and he is one of them. You'll find yourself shaking your head at the senseless deaths and incidents that could have been avoided, had those regulators and managers listened to him. When you know that people can die because of a decision make, you should make that decision wisely. That is exactly what he did.

It's hard to imagine that a Captain who had an impeccable career without any performance issues, could lose his job because he fought for safety. But it's true. Captain Simkins took a stand for pilots worldwide and did not bend with the threat of job loss, but instead stood for passenger safety. 

Not only is Captain Simkins' journey compelling, but his writing is witty, sharp, creative, and engaging. Having never met him, I did have the opportunity to chat with someone that knows him quite well. I was told, "He writes how he speaks, he's direct, but has a wicked sense of humor. He doesn't suffer fools, but there's this line for justice and humanity."

The best news is, that this is the first of the trilogy. I can hardly wait for the next two in the series. 

If you have the desire to read an exceptionally well written book, by a Captain who took a stand for your safety, at the loss of his career, this is the book for you! Aviation history at its best. 

Get your copy on Amazon today: 

You will be thankful you did! 

If you would like to read more about the book and the author 
please visit:
Captain Simkins website: Pulling Wings from Butterflies

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene PhD

Saturday, December 5, 2020

No Child Sleeps Outside

Thanks to Mary's Place!

"Home is where one starts from"

T.S. Elliot

During the previous year of the COVID lockdown, everyone has experienced a multitude of feelings because they were sequestered to their homes. Locked in with internet, television, heat, food, and family. Bringing life back into perspective... many people do not have homes. Many kids will be sleeping on the streets this Christmas. It's hard to imagine.

A year and a half ago my husband I were moving into our little cabin on the lake. No room for our stuff. I began searching for a location that would best benefit. I found a place---Mary's Place---that became the recipient of my business attire, coats, shoes, and clothing that could be warn for an interview, to help give someone a start. Then there was furniture, dishes, and more. We gave them anything they could use. Today Mary's place is striving to ensure no child sleeps outside.

Mary's Place is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides safe, inclusive shelter and services that support women, children and families on their journey out of homelessness. This Holiday Season, Mary's Place is conducting a no child sleeps outside campaign, in the form of an at-home scavenger hunt, to reach a 2 million dollar goal. 

Giving the Gift 
that Gives So Very Much! 

Christmas gifts for family and friends this year will be a $50 registration into a scavenger hunt to benefit Mary's Place in order to help a family find shelter. This will be a gift that can't be exchanged or thrown away. Recipients can participate in the scavenger hunt and try to win the great prizes below, or not. Either way Mary's place will be one step closer to their goal, and tomorrow night we might have one less child on the street. 


All you need is your phone, an internet connection, your team (family members or friends), and your home to join their virtual home scavenger hunt the weekend of Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13. The interactive app will present you and your teammates with a series of challenges and questions. It's the perfect at-home activity for families and curious kids, and an opportunity to learn and talk with your family about the work that Mary's Place does in our community. The cost to register your team is $50 and benefits the No Child Sleeps Outside campaign! 

You can do what I am doing, 
and gift a registration to a loved one
and make a Miracle Happen

The organizer of each team that completes the challenge by midnight on Sunday, December 13, will have the opportunity to win one of these exciting prizes, including two round trip coach tickets on Alaska Airlines (a $2,500 value)!

Other prizes include:

$250 Microsoft gift card
$50 Macrina Bakery gift card (three gift cards are available to win)
Party Cookie Kit from the Pastry Project (two kits are available to win)
$25 El Camino restaurant gift card
$25 South Town Pie gift card
$20 Starbucks gift card
Mary's Place sweatshirt
Hand blown glass votive from Glass Eye Studios

Tis the Season 
to give shelter to those in need.

This Christmas, instead of buying stuff, imagine if we all gave a helping hand. Be the angel in the life of another. 

If you would like to register yourself or someone else:

If you would like to donate:

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene