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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, September 25, 2023

The Writer's Strike Is Over...

It's Time to Make a Movie! 

This weekend I attended the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) writers conference and met amazing and talented people in all aspects of the writing industry. Imagine, even though female pilots are less than 7% of the industry, three are in one class! One of those pilots was the speaker who is a retired Air Force pilot and former spy. The stories that flew between breaks are the things movies are made of. Everyone has a story and something to share. 

 Flight For Discovery

Time is Running Out...

I'm finishing Flight For Justice, the next in the Flight For series, but I'm also working on a memoir, They Called Me Crazy, The true story of Petitt vs. Delta. A movie is being discussed. This is not an if, but when.  When it happens, I want to celebrate with you! 
Do you want to join the movie party?

This invite is open to all books in the Flight For Series. if you have not started the series yet, you can begin with the first, Flight for Control, and work your way through them. If you have a few to catch up on, it's time before the next novel is released. You can also find something in the non-fiction genre of your choice. Motivation, Inspiration, and Education

I don't just want you to buy them, 
I want you to read them too! 
And I want to know what you think!

  1. Buy any book off my blog, or buy an ebook off Amazon
  2. Read it, then...
  3. Leave a comment on Amazon and send me a copy of that comment! 
Simple as 1, 2, 3. If you've already read the books, having bought them at an Aviation Conference or other venue, and have not left a comment, do so and you, too, will be invited. Just leave a comment on Amazon and send me a copy. 

Amazon links to the books can be found on the Aviation Thrillers tab and all others on the Non-Fiction tab. The children's book should be purchased off the blog so your little one can have their book signed to them, telling them they are awesome! 

If you want to change the world,
save lives, or inspire and motivate 
the power is in the pen! 

Join a writers conference like the PNWA. Find like-minded people. And start writing. You'll get there! There is an early-bird sign up today... would love to see you at the conference next year.  

Enjoy the Journey!

Dr. Karlene Petitt
A350, B777, A330, B747-400, B747-200, B767, B757, B737, B727

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Who is Flying The Plane?

Pilots Are Responsible! 

As a newly rated instrument pilot years ago, still a teenager, I learned the hard way to never allow ATC to fly my plane. Thankfully this event became experience instead of death. Thereafter, during the decades of training pilots, I have always told them, "Do not allow ATC to fly your plane. You are in command." 

During my ERAU law course I learned that if ATC provides a vector into a mountain, the pilot is still responsible. ATC is not required to know the performance of your plane or Federal Regulations. Therefore, when ATC tells you what speed to fly, you must know your aircraft's performance capability, as well as your personal limitations. 

This morning I received the memo posted below and deep concerns that Delta is telling pilots to follow ATC's directions: 

"They say coordinate with ACT, 
but ATC is always way too busy 
when they are issuing 180 kts to DEPOT!... 
Subliminal Pilot Pushing again"
Anonymous Delta Pilot

The underlying threat in the Delta memo to the pilots was that this would be a violation:

"ATL TRACON and other approach facilities 
are processing pilot deviations for these 
speed violations. "

And the Order: 

"When cleared for any approach with a speed assignment, pilots must comply."

In speaking with an A330 check airman this morning, he stated he always tells pilots DO NOT accept a 180 knot clearance of DEPOT or you WILL become unstable. The A330 cannot accept this approach. That message is coming from one of the best.

Do you think you must comply
Because they said so?

MEMO to pilots everywhere: 

If ATC issues you a clearance that your plane cannot comply with, and they are too busy to discuss the issue,  you simply respond, "Unable!" You do not have to comply. 

The skies are saturated, but that is not your problem or concern. Your only responsibility is to know your personal limitations, understand the limitations and operation of your aircraft, and ensure that you and your passengers land safely. If the industry is trying to cram too many planes into the same target too quickly to increase profit, then maybe the system needs to be fixed. 

Delta's Weekly Flight Ops Update MEMO: 

Safety & operations  

Thinking about slowing early? 

Not so fast Recent ASAP reports have shown an increase in speed-related pilot deviations on approaches. Consider the scenario of being vectored and cleared for a visual or ILS to 27L in Atlanta. The controller instructs a Delta aircraft to maintain 180 knots to DEPOT and tells them to contact Tower. After intercepting the approach course, the pilot decides to slow early to create additional space from the preceding aircraft using their TCAS as their guide.  

As a result of the speed reduction, the pilot has created a loss of separation with the aircraft in trail, resulting in a go around. Not only that, but the early reduction was unnecessary – spacing was just fine. Remember, a speed assignment of 180 knots to DEPOT is an ATC clearance. When an approach clearance is received with a speed assignment, it is the pilot's responsibility to comply with the speed restriction or request an amended clearance. Recently, and with ever-increasing frequency, ATL TRACON and other approach facilities are processing pilot deviations for these speed violations.  

When cleared for any approach with a speed assignment, pilots must comply. Failure to do so may result in a pilot deviation unless the pilot has communicated with ATC the inability to comply with the issued clearance. Please continue to submit ASAP reports if you experience any issues related to the above. Delta has a close working relationship with many ATC facilities and can work with them to address any concerns. 


Be Safe and Stay in Command! 

Dr. Karlene Petitt
A350, B777, A330, B747-400, B747-200, B767, B757, B737, B727