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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, November 7, 2022

Airline Safety!

How Safe Is Your Airline?

The most interesting thing about the aviation industry is that management grades themselves on being a "safe airline" in relation to their accident rate. You'll often hear of self-professed safety because they have not had an accident. But what they don't tell you is how many close calls they've had. Pilots falling asleep on short final, lining up to land on the taxiway, missed communications, errors due to lack of automation understanding, etc. Yet, they've haven't had an accident, thus they assert they are safe. 

I pose this question to anyone 
who thinks safety is determined 
by an accident: 


After work you stop by a bar to unwind and throw back a few drinks. Then you climb into your car and don't bother buckling your seatbelt. It only dings at you for a minute, until it silences. Your low tire pressure light illuminates, but it's been like that for years. One day you'll get it fixed. You still have some tread on at least two of your tires. No sense replacing them until you have to. You'll get it all checked out the first chance you get. You back out of your parking spot feeling the warmth of your alcohol, finally relaxed from your long day, and head home. Your wife would be furious if you're late, but you've learned a shortcut through a residential area. Doing 45 in a 25 mile per hour zone, running stop signs because most families are having dinner at this time nobody is on this road, you pull into your driveway. You've made it! This pattern of drinking, driving a car that needs work, no seatbelts, and speeding in an area that puts others at risk, has been ongoing for three years and you have never had an accident. 

How Safe Are You?

A few facts about fatigue and alcohol: If you are a 160 pound man who has had two drinks, that will put you over the FAA Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) regulation of .04%. If you have three three drinks you'll be up to .08% for men and a 140 pound woman will have a BCL of .11%.  What if the same individuals had four drinks? Men and women would have a BAL of .11% and .15% respectively.  

This is significant because pilots are flying fatigued. Pilots are being pushed beyond limits of legal alcohol consumption. Research identifies that seventeen hours awake is equivalent to a BAL of .05%, 21 hours awake is equivalent to a BAL of .08%, and 24 hours awake is equivalent to BAL of .10%.  It appears that "pilot pushing" is nothing short of downing 2-4 drinks prior to short final. 

Combine fatigue with substandard training, negative safety culture, and lack of systems understanding.  How safe is this industry? My doctoral research spoke volumes. While very few dissertations are read, I turned my dissertation into a book:  Normalization of Deviance, A Threat to Aviation Safety.  

Find your ebook by clicking on Kindle. If you would like an autographed copy, order off this website. 

Without a full understanding of the problem, 
there cannot be a solution.

How safe is the Aviation Industry?
Normalization of Deviance 
might just answer that question!

Heartfelt gratitude to the 7400 pilots who took their time and energy to participate in this research, and for the numerous comments and stories you shared that found their way into this research and the book. Your comments are priceless and explain so much. Thank you! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

H is for Human Factors

Share the Love of 
Human Factors
With the Little Ones in Your Life!

An incredible lady sent me this book...and I thought it was so cute that you might want to share it with your kids. Education improves lives as it opens its door to a variety of experiences. 

This is the second in their series. "'H is for Human Factors' breaks down the concept of designing products to work better for people. Written by human factors experts from Bold Insight, a Chicago-based user experience (UX) and human factors research and design agency, the book playfully illustrates the industries and products that kids find in their lives which have been designed with human factors concepts in mind. We hope you enjoy sharing your passion for human factors research and design with the children in your life!"

To Learn More or Order 
Your Copy by clicking on: 

Enjoy the Journey!!
XO Karlene