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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.

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Happy New Year 2024

Resolutions Past and Present

Last year, today, I walked away from my flying job at Delta Air Lines and resolved to improve my health, improve Aviation Safety, finish the novel, Flight For Justice, and golf more. Flight For Justice is complete and will be on the bookshelf in a month, and this is the best of all the series! I worked to improve aviation safety. I golfed more, and even broke 100 and got my first birdie this year. 

To improve aviation safety I wrote a proposal to change the AIR21 Law, but realized that airline executives are too powerful with lobbyists in their pockets and on the payroll, that the AIR21 statute will never be changed and the skies will never be as safe as they should be, unless congress steps in and forces the change. Perhaps if the new FAA administrator, Michael G. Whitaker, was interested in improving aviation safety, he would fix the AIR21 statute and protect the employees who see what is ongoing and want to speak out. This law change is something that could be accomplished overnight. 

The FAA creates rules and regulations and touts safety, but when they allow airlines, like Delta, to break the law and call it a "workaround" and do not hold anyone accountable after they have been proven to place people's lives in danger, then what good are the regulations? What good is the FAA?  This leads me back to the novel, Flight For Justice. And when there is no justice, there can be retribution... a next year resolution: Flight For Revenge. 

Excitement in 2023

In April I was a coach to escort my daughter to XALAPA for the world para track team. We returned home just in time before the next trip...

I decided that life was short and I planned to fulfill husband's bucket list items. So this year we went to the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby. 

After the Derby.... 4th of July was just around the corner. And we had a wonderful 4th of July on the lake. Open invitation to all who happen to be in the area. 

Then on August 30th my husband had a stroke. Thank God I was home to get him help. They wanted to put him in a home to rehab and I refused. I got him out of the hospital (before they killed him) and took him home. With my understanding of the brain and his limitations, I knew just what to do! He was golfing the day before this happened, so I told him I was going to get him back on the golf course in three months, and then write a book titled, From Stroke to Stroke. How my stroke improved my golf game.

We did it! He made it back at the golf course. So two months after his stroke, we we road tripped to Huntington Beach where our middle daughter took the Silver medal in the ISA World Para Surfing Competition in her category. What an amazing time sitting on the beach watching these athletes compete. 

Some without any arms and/or legs, others unable to see, and many who have lost control of their limbs. What you don't see beyond the smiling faces, is that they live in pain every day. Yet the pain does not limit them and does not stop the smiles. The human spirit is far stronger than pain. 

We also fulfilled another bucket list item and went to the Breeders Cup in Santa Anita during the Huntington beach excursion. Apparently the stroke did not hurt his handicapping ability. 

Then my husband had a left atrial occlusion in December, and he is doing great and back on the golf course again. So we made it full circle. We ended and began last year in Palm Desert and that is where we are again. Golfing. I still have not got my medical back, but I am not allowing that limitation to limit my life. 

Resolutions 2024

I am going to Live Consciously. Write publish two books: Flight For Justice and the Happy Plane.  

I plan to write the next novel, Flight For Revenge and my memoir. And hopefully the movie will come to fruition. Somethings we have no control over. But, I was told "Write the book, we'll make the movie."

Health: I'm going to give up sugar (dark chocolate excluded), and do core strength training 20 minutes every day and meditate for 10 minutes. And as I said, to learn to live consciously. Be kinder to myself. And remember to feel gratitude every day.

Happy New Year!
Health and Happiness
to you and your family!

Enjoy the Journey!

XOX Karlene 

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Joy and Peace

Finding Peace and Joy

Peace and Joy are not at the end of a journey, they are not something we need to find. Peace and Joy are things we can feel today, because these emotions are within us always. Life may feel like a struggle , but take a moment, close your eyes, and feel the gratitude for just being alive. Remember the day is not about gifts, or the food we eat, or the facebook photos. Christmas is about love. Love those you are with. And I know that we cannot always be with everyone we love, life has a way of taking them away. But we can hold onto the memories. We can feel peace and joy in our hearts being blessed with life. Enjoy the journey. 

Happy Holidays!

Peace, Health, Happiness, Joy and Love 

Throughout the New Year!

Yesterday started at 0245... and we hit the road at 0600. 
We enjoyed the journey! And after an eleven hour drive 
we stumbled upon Christmas in Sacramento! 

We also got to see snow along the way!

Life is a Journey! Life is good. Enjoy it! 
Happy Holidays to all!

XOX Karlene 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

WestJet Disrupts in Chaos

And Litigation

Engineers Union Initiates Legal Action to Counter 
“Troubling reduction” in maintenance oversight. 

On March 30, 2023, the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) certified the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) as the representative of WestJet’s Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs) and all other skilled aircraft maintenance employees. In the U.S., AMFA also represents Alaska Airlines, Horizon, L3 Harris MAS, Southwest, Spirit, and Sun Country.

Unfortunately, to disrupt the union, WestJet created a new position titled Operations Manager (OM) and they are filling the OM positions with former Aircraft Maintenance Leads (AMLs) who were originally in the collective bargaining unit. 

Disruption and Chaos Ensues 

In an email dated November 10, WestJet’s Senior Manager, Labour Relations Virginia Swindall sought AMFA’s immediate “intervention in de-escalating” a “serious and emerging concern” relating to its Toronto maintenance operations. According to Virginia, WestJet’s Manager Line Maintenance Darren Cook reported that a Toronto AME was “passionately advising our employees to ‘Fuck the OMs’, etc.” (Attachment B). 

In a November 13 letter seeking to resolve the dispute, AMFA National Region II Director, Will Abbott advised WestJet that its actions had “sown dissension within the department with AMEs perceiving former AMLs, who have accepted OM positions, as scabs who have betrayed the bargaining unit and cut off their brother AMEs from economic opportunities.” (Attachment C). 

National AMFA President Bret Oestreich comments:

“The safe performance of aircraft maintenance requires professionalism and mutual trust. By its own admission, the airline’s actions have led to emotion and hostility within its maintenance operations. WestJet aircraft maintenance professionals unionized because they felt disrespected by the carrier and dismissed the AME’s critical contributions as a stakeholder to WestJet operations. Now, WestJet seems to be methodically rubbing salt into the wound.” 

“At several stations we have witnessed a troubling reduction in lead oversight of maintenance operations. And this arises in a context where maintenance staffing at some stations remains below pre-COVID levels despite a post-COVID surge in flight volume. WestJet aircraft maintenance is headed in a direction inconsistent with safe operations.” 

On December 11, 2023, on behalf of AMFA, attorney Samuel Seham, from Seham, Seham, Metz and Peterson, filed unfair labor practice charges against WestJet Airlines (WJA) with the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). 

Samuel Seham

Samuel says, “Once the CIRB has certified a union, the law prohibits unilateral changes of status quo working conditions without prior negotiations with the union. This is particularly true with respect to the transfer of work outside the bargaining unit and the resulting loss of economic opportunities. To the extent that chaos now reigns within the airline’s maintenance operations, I attribute that chaos to what I consider to be WestJet’s unlawful conduct. We have commenced this CIRB action in the interest of our members and aviation safety.”

This should be an interesting battle. The unfortunate part about all this is that maintenance will suffer, employee lives will be upturned, and passenger safety will be at risk. It's a shame that airline management can't just follow the law and do the right thing. 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene