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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, March 24, 2024

Crime in Aviation

When Death is Imminent

The FBI recently told passengers who were on board the Alaska Boeing 737 Max, that lost a panel in flight, that they might be victims of a crime. Therefore the question I have is, is it a crime because the passengers "knew" the event  happened or simply the fact they were on the plane when it occurred? For example if a passenger slept through the event, would they, too, be a victim even if they didn't know? 

If it is a crime to place lives in danger on an aircraft,
then why are other Airlines not held to the same standards?

Captain Steve Dempsey, the Chair the Delta Flight Path Management Steering Committee, departed and learned his auto flight system had failed. He illegally flew into RVSM airspace, then at destination declared an emergency. Illegal, because there is 1000 foot separation requirement and therefore an autopilot is required by law. He placed passenger lives in danger, and Delta knew. 

Were those passengers a victim of a crime?

Delta's response, was to create a training video, staring Captain Dempsey, to encourage all pilots to declare an emergency if they, too, lose their auto flight system. Dempsey did not get more training, instead he wrote to me and said, "We (Delta) as a group are presently not prepared to fly in complex airspace with Level 0 automation. Nor, might I add, are we suitably prepared to fly in complex airspace with Level 4 automation (so says ASAP.)" Level 0 is manual flight. Level 4 is a fully automated aircraft. 

Even though Delta has access to the ASAP reports and they know that pilots can't fly without or with automation as a group, no remedial training was accomplished. Does knowing about a pilot performance deficit, for the overall pilot group, and not doing anything about it, make it a crime by placing these passengers lives in harms way?

To make matters worse, Captain Dempsey emailed me and said, 

"In our case, we have a 737 on final in ATL in IMC. At 700' they decide to GA but hit the AT button instead of TOGA (FD stays in APP). No one seems to notice that the pitch (3 degrees nose up) and power (56% N1) are not the pitch/power for GA (appx. 12 degrees up and 90%). It doesn't matter that they didn't have the exact number memorized...they didn't even have the SA to look beyond the FD and recognize something was wrong (and they got to 186' with 2,000+ fpm descent before saving the day as EGPWS wails in the background)."

Were Those Passengers a Victim of a Crime?

These events are all public record, as they became part of my trial, and my mental health evaluation. 

Simply because the passengers did not know they were minutes from death, does that make it any less of a crime? 

What about the Delta flight where the pilots departed in the middle of the night, experienced an emergency divert and instead of pulling the crew they continued on to destination and both fell asleep on final.  Thank God one awoke with the gear warning horn. You can read more on that event and what the FAA approved fix was in my novel, Flight for Justice.  

Were Those Passengers a Victim of a Crime?

What about AF447 with the loss of the pitot static system due to grapple (small ice balls) and 228 people died? The fact that the FAA knew, because Delta had 14 of these events (these, too, ended up in my medical file) and all pilots wrote ASAP reports, yet nothing was done until after 228 people died is that a crime?

Were Those Passengers a Victim of a Crime?


Since airline employees are prohibited from telling the public what's going on behind the scenes, or face termination. And, the only way to create change is if the public knows about it. What if there was a law that forced airlines to report to their passengers for every ASAP report, every near death experience, every event that is abnormal, that the passengers were on? This would enable all passengers to sue the airlines for poor training, forcing pilots to fly fatigued, and placing them in harms way on a case by case basis. 

Would you like to know that 
you were on a flight and faced death, 
in order to hold the airline accountable?

Simply because you do not know, 
doesn't mean it did not happen. 

Enjoy the Journey

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

Thursday, March 21, 2024

When There Is No Justice

There is Always Revenge

“Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance of justice.
Injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged.”

Samuel Johnson    

Flight For Revenge, is coming soon..


Don’t ever misjudge the power of human emotion.

While nothing surprises me anymore, these are the things I know to be true. If you only wound the beast, he will awaken and avenge. When there is no justice, there is always retribution. When imperfect justice manifests, vengeance could be the key. Yet sometimes pain runs too deep, that the only remedy imaginable is pure revenge. In the corporate world, there comes a time to eliminate witnesses and clean house, and that, my friends, is called a business decision. 

With all this said, don’t ever underestimate the power of forgiveness. That flight is non-stop to health and happiness. A destination where you leave evil behind and look toward the future. That is the flight that I've purchased a first class ticket. 

 Where will your journey take you today? 

Flight For Revenge is the only of the Flight for Series that is pure fiction. Please don’t think less of me when you read the horrific manner each character pays for their ill-gotten ways. Remember Flight for Revenge is a novel. You might also have an inclination of what is to come after reading Flight for Justice  

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

Monday, March 18, 2024

If Anything Happens to Me

"It's Not Suicide"

John Barnett, the Boeing Whistleblower, was found dead by an "apparent" self-inflicted gunshot. "Apparent" is the key word. But the impression from those who knew him say that he would not take his own life. A close friend shared that during an interview. She doesn't believe it. Barnett even told her so. Honestly, I have said the same thing. 

Yet, others have written to me that they are saddened that he went through hell as a whistleblower, so much so, that he would take his life. I don't believe he did. I went through hell, and yet, the thought of killing "myself" was never an option. 

When I was in the throws of battle, preparing for trial, an FAA Regional Director told me I should be careful. He said, "People are killed for far less." He did preface that statement with the fact he reads murder mysteries, but then added, "You should be careful." 

Is this so far fetched with a company who knowingly looked the other way with the production of the MAX, where hundreds of people died as a result? Or that the FAA and Delta knew the issues with the pitot static system that took down AF447, but did nothing until after 228 people died? I'm not sure that any of this is so far fetched. When an individual at a company doesn't value life, as indicated by corporate greed, would they rid the world of one person to cover their ass? 

I also doubt Boeing's heartfelt sadness of his passing is authentic. Mr. Barnett was someone who had courage to call them out on their failures. He had the courage to leave, to tell the truth, to give up his career. I do not believe he would be someone to take his own life. 

While we never know what is going on in someone's life, I know what it takes to stand up to a corporation to speak about safety. To give up your career for what is right and to take on Goliath. This is not the character of someone who would end it in this manner.  

What do YOU think?

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

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Safety and Accountability

In Aviation 

Without Accountability 
There is No Safety
There is No Security
There is No Justice

If anyone is wondering why tires are falling off planes, pilots are skidding off the runway, engines are burning up due to ingested plastic,  women are being sexually harassed and raped, and individuals are killing themselves in the airline industry, it all comes down to one thing. Accountability. Or rather...lack of. 

Unfortunately there is no accountability in Aviation because the FAA is the tail wagged by the airlines, laws protect the rich and powerful, and bad behavior is allowed to continue. Professionalism be damned. 

There was a time that the NTSB released the cockpit voice recordings. When the public knows what's going on, they speak out and change happens. Today the voice recordings are not released to the public.  Robert Sumwalt's February 7, 2023 article, The Full Story of the CVR explains why.  He stated in that article: 

"By law, NTSB is prohibited from releasing the actual audio recording. This is the result of events following the August 1988 crash involving Delta 1141 at DFW Airport. NTSB found the pilots failed to set the flaps before takeoff and crashed immediately after liftoff. Following a year-long Freedom of Information Act battle with a local Dallas TV station, a judge ordered NTSB to release the actual recording. It was played on the air. To put it mildly, it was a bombshell. There was nearly 8 min. of what the official NTSB transcript described as “non-pertinent conversation between the flight crew and flight attendant” who was visiting the flight deck during taxi-out.

However, the actual recording revealed that content wasn’t non-pertinent at all. It revealed the extent of the crew’s unprofessional and casual attitude. ″We forgot to discuss about the dating habits of our flight attendants so we could get it on the recorder in case we crashed. Then the media would have some kind of a juicy tidbit,″ one crew member said. “We gotta leave something for our wives and children to listen to.″

How could anyone assert that the content of their language wasn't pertinent? This crews' unprofessional attitude was at fault for this accident. Unfortunately when we don't hold people accountable, nothing will change. Isn't professionalism something we expect of our flight crews, airline management, and aircraft manufacturers? If you haven't done so yet, you should read Dr. Tony Kern's book "Going Pro The Deliberate Practice of Professionalism" Unfortunately, professionalism has fallen off the grid. 

Today, not even the attorneys get to listen to the CVR to defend passengers or employees because airlines erase it, and by the time litigation gets to discovery, it's too late. There is no accountability. The legal process takes too long. But, as they say, "boys will be boys" and "what happens in the flight deck stays in the flight deck." But should this be allowed to continue?

Last week I joined a hearing via zoom regarding the continuation of Christine Janning case against SWA who was assaulted by the naked masturbating pilot. Sara Hammel wrote a detailed and shocking article on The Landing regarding this case. But what I learned from that hearing is that there is no accountability. 

During the hearing it was clear that nobody was arguing against what transpired. Not the union. Not the company. Not even Michael Haak. But they are arguing semantics and how the complaint was written. They are all vying for a legal loophole to remain unaccountable and if they get away with this, the behavior continues. 

This is not the first time Captain Haak behaved badly. This is the culture of SWA. Remember the story of the two pilots who were fired at SWA for flying naked and were terminated? The first part is true... they were flying naked, the second part is that they both got their jobs back. And how could that happen? Because, it wasn't fair that others were doing far worse at the airline, so claimed Captain Jim Austin. He also knew all the bad actors and he deposed the parties involved, providing a detailed record. At this point, I will just show the highlights of one, of many documents, from a hearing of which Captain Brink Cobb, the Union Grievance Chairman was testifying. 

Naked Pilots. Blow Jobs. Fights. Threats. Racial Attacks. FBI. Breaching Secure Areas and more...

Following was asserted in the transcripts. Only those with arrest records and FBI investigations have been fully investigated. These are the words from Captain Jim Austin and Captain Cobb's hearing. 

None of the Following Pilots 
Were Disciplined or Discharged!

  • CA Jim Austin - Reported and investigated by SWAPA and SWA for flying naked while at controls of aircraft. (Flight attendant reported them Redacted).
  • CA John Boobas - Reported and investigated by SWAPA and SWA for flying naked while at controls of aircraft. (Flight attendant reported them Redacted).
  • CA Sumner Wyall - Reported for flying naked while at controls of aircraft.
  • CA and Chief Pilot - Steve Dalton - Reported for flying naked while at controls of aircraft.
  • CA Rick Duke and Chief Pilot and Management Check Airman - Reported for oral sex while at controls of aircraft from Flight Attendant Redacted.
  • CA and Check Airman Tom Lakin - reported for being drunk and exposing himself and “ball walking” through the lobby of the Ontario hotel.
  • CA Sam Cohn - Reported for having oral sex in an airport jetway.
  • CA TJ Rueschenberg - Reported and investigated for assault of Flight Attendant Redacted.
  • Nevada court records show captain Rueschenberg was charge with two counts of sexual assault, and over the course of a year, entered an Alford guilty plea in criminal court for his conduct. 
  • TJ Rueschenberg won his grievance hearing and was reinstated at Southwest. 
  • CA John Priess - Investigated by FBI for hate crimes/racial violence and threatening an African American Flight Attendant (Flight attendant was paid 7 figures for her silence, but nothing happened to Priess.)
  • Management pilots CA John Otiker and CA Bob Torti raced their cars in Dallas HDQ parking lot and crashed, penetrating the Dallas Love Field Airport security boundary fence and prompted an Federal investigation for the security breach.
  • CA Alan Tellam Phoenix pilot got in fist fight in employee parking lot with another pilot and threatened to kill him. 
  • CA Don Renfro was being stalked by ramp agent got in fist fight in PHX employee parking lot, and the ramp agent was never disciplined. 

Good Moral Character?

To hold an ATP a pilot must be of good moral character. Morality is subjective and depends upon who the judge and jury are. But... an arrest record for assault and the Captain speaks volumes. How is this even possible? The bottom line is that this behavior does not belong in the flight deck, and I can't imagine what the pilots would do if they were naked and an emergency occurred. Would they deal with the emergency or get dressed first, sacrificing the safety of the passengers?

Imagine if SWA Flight 1380 had not been Captained by Tammie Jo Shultz and her amazing first officer, Darren Elliser? What if a couple of SWA naked management pilots were up there instead, or one or both were getting blow jobs when the fan blade took out the window, a passenger, and half their systems were not functioning. I would imagine the outcome of that flight would have been quite different. If you have not read this book you should and you will see the need for professionalism at all times, especially when you least suspect it. 

Captain Jim Graham perjured himself in court on multiple accounts, he violated federal law, so says the judge and the administrative review board, both of which indicates lack of morale character.  I filed a report with the FAA, and yet he was promoted to CEO of Endeavor... proving that lying and violating federal regulations in the industry is okay. The FAA did nothing. The FAA has done nothing to reach out and place a thumb on this behavior at any of the airlines.  Yet, if a pilot has one glass of wine at their daughter's wedding and gets a low level DUI, despite never drinking otherwise, they will be classified as an alcoholic, placed in the HIMS program and their life destroyed, as the FAA designates them an alcoholic. Where is the justice. 

The Future

What happens with Christine's case, and others like hers, will dictate the longevity of the piloting profession. Pilots, managers and CEOs who behave with such lack of professionalism are placing lives in danger. Southwest Airlines and SWAPA (Southwest pilot association) should end this, and say enough is enough. Hold your people accountable. Set an example. Move on. Everyone has been bought off to silence the facts, and now they might just escape.  

After observing the efforts of both SWAPA and SWA to avoid accountability, I think Christine could file a discrimination case against the company for treating her different than all these men, and another against the union for not supporting her in the same manner they did her male counterparts. The reason for these new claims would be to present this new evidence. Now that she has new information to base her claim, and the statute of limitations clock starts anew. Then all this trash gets made public. Unless of course the parties involve want to simply do the right thing. 

I want to thank Captain Jim Austin for enabling these events to come to light. While he profited from his bad behavior, the transcripts he made available will hopefully help stop this behavior in the future. Time will tell. 

AIR21 The Whistleblower Law 

If you haven't done so yet, please sign the petition to change the AIR21 statute. The solution to eradicating bad behavior is to hold people accountable. 

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

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Sex in the Skies...

Is this Legal?

At some airlines pilots are not allowed to read while flying. Other airlines prohibit pilots from taking pictures aloft. It's even illegal to talk during a sterile environment. Therefore, how is it legal at Southwest Airlines for a pilot to strip naked and masturbate during flight? Apparently the union and management think it's okay. 

A year ago in October, I attended a zoom hearing regarding the legal battle with Christine Janning regarding the naked masturbating pilot at SWA. Well... they are headed back to another hearing and this is going to be interesting. Why did this captain think that behavior was okay? And furthermore, why was nothing done?

Rumor has it, that SWA Management pilots and SWA Chief pilots have also been stripping naked and... well... let's just say that those who are joining them in the flight deck are literally taking "sucking up to management" to the next level. When parents behave badly, the kids often follow suit. I believe that airline management who exhibit bad behavior, set the example for other employees to do the same. This hearing should be lively and you are invited to attend. I'm curious how they learned this new information. 

Mark your Calendar
March 6, 2024 
1:30 pm

You are Invited! 

Join us at the video conference on March 6, 2024 at 1:30 pm (EST). Honorable Judge Eric J. Netcher, Circuit Court Judge for the Ninth Judicial Circuit for Orange County, Florida, will be presiding. This event should last about one hour and is a public hearing therefore you can join. I will be there! 

Videoconference Hearing Procedures are conducted via Cisco WebEx. Following is the link for any remote proceedings in this division. Click the link below

Video Access Number: 2339 961 4383


If you don't have access to a computer, you can call in. 
Phone Numbers: 
1-904-900-2303 or 408-418-9388

Phone Access Number: 2339 961 4383

Don't be afraid if they ask you your name. You can reply "Joe Blow" or "Master Bater"... it might appropriate. Hope to see you there! 

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

Monday, February 26, 2024



The conference was incredible and so busy.  Which proves one thing, the Passion for Aviation is alive! We had a great mental health talk and I learned of many people who want this subject to move from taboo to an open discussion.  We need to speak about this subject more openly. Many connections from the past stopped by to say hello and those who will be in my future, too. Bur for today... enjoy the photos. 

I even gave away my flight bag to Mike, starting his next career, when he bought all the novels. He also bought Flight To Success for his teenage daughters, who I plan to travel to Portland to speak to their school. Life is beautiful when you share a passion with others. 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Friday, February 23, 2024

Northwest Aviation Conference

And Trade Show

February 24 & 25, 2024

SATURDAY 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM 

 SUNDAY 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

You're invited the biggest and best Aviation Conference in Western Washington... the Northwest Aviation Conference and Trade Show. I will be  at Booth 124 over the weekend, autographing books and giving away great prizes! And sharing the love of aviation. 

Then, at 1 p.m., on Saturday the 24th (tomorrow), I will be speaking in the Pioneer room discussing the hot topic of the year.... Mental Health and the pilot. Yes, the world is upside down. We may not have the ability to upright it, but together we can learn how navigate through the chaos and save our mental health in the process. 

Make sure you drop by my booth to enter and win a great prize! I'm giving away the makings for the next simulator pilot. And... I'm adding a joy stick too! This is a $450 value. I'm also giving away a few more surprises too (priceless) but you'll have to drop by the booth to see what those may be. Collector items for those who love aviation. 

This is the big release of the next novel in the series: 

And the new children's book
The Happy Plane! 

The Happy Plane is children's book to help our kids learn the skill to control negative thinking. Teaching kids how to have better thoughts at a very young age will carry forward to their teen years and for a lifetime of joy and improved mental health.

I'm also giving my flight bag to the first person who buys the entire set of books! Fill her up, and she's yours. Boy... the stories she tells...

We're going to have a great conference! I hope to see you all and catch up on the adventures over the year!

For More Information About the Conference Click Here

Enjoy The Journey!
XO Karlene 

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

When the Plane Falls Apart

 You Hope You Have Competent Pilots Flying

Boeing 747-200 Wing in 2004

Twenty years ago, a panel on my 747 wing broke off. I was a 747 Second Officer at the time. We had just departed Anchorage headed for Tokyo. During the walkaround I had asked about over-servicing one of the landing gear struts, and maintenance confirmed it was within limits We took off, gear up, and Boom! It felt like a sledge hammer hit the side of the aircraft and then she shook violently. 

The first thought was it the gear due to the timing of retraction. The FO called maintenance. I went down stairs to see if any of the cargo was an issue. As I returned the guys were cycling the landing gear. They were also cleaning up the plane, meaning bringing flaps up. When the gear and flaps were retracted, the  vibration stopped. 

We pressed onto Tokyo, and we even made fuel. Meaning... we did not burn what we planned, but less than. In hindsight, it's hard to believe with a hole in the wing we would not burn more. When we began configuring I said, "Do you feel that?" I could feel the vibration in my feet. As we slowed, it got worse. We landed with flaps 15 and kept her at higher speed. 

Not until we landed and I climbed a ladder, did I see the hole. To put it into perspective, the wing is about 48 feet at that area. This hole was every bit of 6 feet long, and a foot wide. 

This week the world watched the video of the B757 leading edge falling apart and the ensuing emergency landing. A question media asked, "Is this a maintenance issue" the answer is "NO". This is an age related issue. Equipment breaks. Old airplanes fall apart. 

This leads me to the question of why haven't these planes been grounded? If this happened on one aircraft, couldn't it happen on others too? Hopefully the next component failure due to fatigue won't be the rudder. That would have catastrophic consequences. Fingers crossed they remember the bolts and pray that the old structures hold.  

Friday, February 9, 2024

Integrity in the Aviation Industry

 ABC News Corespondent  

John Nance

John Nance will tell you he is a self-employed author, wrote a couple of books, and is maintaining his  business of about 32 years running as a professional speaker, mostly in medicine. In truth, he's written over two dozen books, most of which were bestsellers, and some even made into movies. Blackout, Final Approach and Scorpion Strike are some of my favorites, but his novel, the Vendetta Crossing was amazing. I had the privilege of a sneak peek to help out with the Airbus information. He has been such a support throughout my writing and aviation career. More than that, he had the courage and conviction to step up to the plate in my darkest hour. 

John flew for Braniff International. He ended his Braniff career 1982 as the result of a bankruptcy. Then he moved on to Alaska Airlines. He was also a United States Air Force officer pilot commissioned in 1968 who was on active duty until 1975, at which time he shifted to the 97th Reserve Squadron at McCord where her remained for a total of 17 years. If that's not enough, he also holds a law degree. 

He even won an award for his book why hospitals should fly

I met John Nance at a book signing about 35 years ago at a Fred Meyer of all places. I had a baby in arms and two toddlers at my side, and told him I was going to be a pilot and an author, too. Then I said I planned to write movies. He advised me to write the book first, and was extremely encouraging toward my dreams of becoming an airline pilot. I did become a pilot, and even followed him to Braniff, but eight years after he was gone. 

In 2008 I was about to take a screen play writing class, but I had remembered what he said and I switched to the novel writing course instead. Years later I reached out to him for his expert opinion as an author, and thus he's read a few of my novels and commented on them. In Flight For Sanity, he wrote: 

"When Karlene Petitt grabs you by the throat with her fast-paced narrative, she doesn't let you go until the early hours of the morning! Flight for Sanity plunges you into a world in which money trumps everything...aviation safety, homeland security, and even the presidency. Couldn't happen? Some of it already has, as with the use of fraudulent mental concerns to silence airline pilots who dare to point out safety problems.

A wild and scary ride with a satisfying and potentially accurate ending. And there may not be enough orange jump suits to go around!" John Nance. 



For those of you who personally don't know John Nance, beyond seeing him on television as the ABC news correspondent, he is a man of integrity. He's approachable, kind, and giving. He took his time to testify in my trial. The fun part was that my attorney Lee Seham and John Nance actually set precedence on expert testimony for pilots. I still smile reading the transcripts. This is something every pilot and attorney should read. 

After the preliminaries of John's experience, Lee asked, “What have you witnessed with respect to Karlene's professional demeanor?” and John began with, “An extraordinary individual," then he continued to explain why he was of that opinion. 

This testimony infuriated Delta's legal team and their attorney said, "I’m going to object to the testimony of Mr. Nance to the extent he’s testifying as an expert on human factors! He’s never been disclosed as an expert, and we certainly didn’t have any notice that he would be testifying as someone with expertise in this matter!" She was livid. 

Well, I'm here to tell you that Lee's rationale as to why John Nance was qualified to give expert testimony, despite not being anointed an expert in this case and having never worked for Delta, was priceless. The judge overruled Delta. John was able to testify. And testify he did. 


John Nance is the only character in Flight For Justice whose name was not changed. His good friend, a retired Northwest Captain also testified. The question the retired NWA captain posed for the judge regarding people being different is a must read. There were three other courageous Delta pilots who testified as well. You might have to read the book to see if you know who each of these individuals are, by what they said. 

The aviation industry is a small world, I'm wondering if you can guess who all the witnesses are in Flight For Justice simply by their testimony. Yes... I kept the dialogue verbatim from the trial, and just captured enough for the story to unfold. 

Get your autographed copy of
  Flight For Justice today! 
Also on Amazon and Kindle too! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Flight For Justice

 Is a Fight for Justice 

Flight For Justice is an aviation legal thriller that is more truth that fiction, and based on real events. The trial testimony is verbatim from Petitt vs Delta. The deception and a false mental health accusations are also nothing short of a conspiracy of which the union is complicit, and the FAA looks the other way to the safety of our industry. 

The trial is a distraction to what's really happening behind the scenes. Unfortunately, there is no safety without justice and Darby, Kathryn, and the gals are back fighting the villains of Global Air Lines. Bill Jacobs is also released from prison and the game changes. The stakes increase when Covid is unleashed on world. Who would have known the reasons why. 

After all these years Darby decides it's time to let her hair down, as she steps into the ring for the final round in the fight of her life. She fights for the integrity of the pilot profession and the safety of passengers worldwide. But little does she know how deep the corruption runs within the union, the FAA, and Global Air Lines. Or how badly they want to stop her.

Twists and turns you will never expect are found in this fight for justice. This is the 7th in the Flight For series. And the very unexpected ending, leads to the next in the series: Flight For Revenge. Be ready!

Order your autographed copy on this site

Or GET YOUR Autographed copy at the 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Monday, February 5, 2024

You Might Get There...

 But Will You Get Back?


On December 12, 2023 we learned that WestJet was in chaos due to union breaking tactics with the mechanics. Now the saga continues. As it turns out, management filed notice of dispute, without prior consultation with AMFA, and after only three negotiation sessions. This was a bit premature, and will place WestJet in an interesting position this spring. Timing is everything, and when you're nasty it often comes back and bites you in the ass. 

Today I learned that on January 30, 2024, federal mediators advised everyone that a strike or lockout of WestJet aircraft mechanics could occur as early as April 17 of this year. 

Why so soon? 

Because of premature notice and offensive tactics by WestJet's management team. Unfortunately this may impact passengers who counted on WestJet for their Spring Break travel. 

What that means to the traveling public...
Be cautious on where you place your traveling dollars. 
If it's on WestJet in Spring of 2024
You might get there, but you might not get back. 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Alcohol Use Disorder

 The FAA Subjective Diagnosis 

There is NO specific test 
to diagnose alcohol use disorder!

The FAA is supposed to ensure passenger safety. But the history of the agency overlooking aircraft manufacturer standards, allowing airlines to violate federal regulations regarding duty time and SMS, and enabling FAA administrators to retire to airlines' board of directors after they leave the FAA, despite it being illegal for anyone in the FAA to accept any money from an airline, indicates they may not be doing their job. Yet, they are crushing down on pilots directly, without fact or evidence of mental health issues or alcohol use disorder. 

This agency is making subjective opinions about pilots being alcoholics when they are not. Why? Because the HIMS program is a profit center where airline management can control pilots by placing their careers on the line, and the FAA appears to work for airline management more so than the public. The FAA instills fear that without this program pilots will fly drunk. But they fail to inform the public that the agency is overlooking airlines flying pilots fatigued, knowing that fatigue has a similar impact as alcohol. You can read more in Flying Drunk from Fatigue.

I'm hoping that our new FAA administrator, Michael Whitaker, will be different. 

While there is no test for alcohol disorder, there are symptoms as identified by the Mayo Clinic to include:
  • Unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink
  • Unsuccessful attempts to cut down on drinking
  • Too much time spent drinking, getting alcohol, or recovering
  • Strong cravings or urge to drink alcohol
  • Failing to fulfill major obligations at work, school or home due to repeated alcohol use
  • Continuing to drink alcohol even though you know it's causing physical, social, work or relationship problems
  • Giving up or reducing social and work activities and hobbies to use alcohol.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms — such as nausea, sweating and shaking — when you don't drink, or drinking to avoid these symptoms.
If a pilot fits those symptoms and has a problem, there are many alcohol support groups. Yet, those pilots are far and few between. The concern is the pilots who do not have any of those symptoms but are labeled alcoholics and forced into treatment. 

What I know to be true is that that the HIMS program, a company paid program, sponsored by the FAA, to control pilots, is forcing pilots who are not alcoholics into the program. ALPA even encourages pilots who have done something stupid on a layover, to claim they are an alcoholic, so they can be protected from termination in the program. Someone should question why a company would allow a program that supported dishonesty instead of truth and accountability. Alcohol is typically involved in stupid behavior, but that does not mean the person is an alcoholic. But once in the program, the airline owns the pilot. Then they go through treatment hell giving their life to the program. You can kiss your family time goodbye. I know a Captain who quit Delta because it was either the program or his family. He chose his wife and kids.

ALPA even encouraged a FedEx pilot to enter the program because the company was retaliating against his safety claims. This pilot doesn't drink. The ALPA HIMS rep told him that it didn't matter, as exercise was an addition too. They were trying to backdoor his termination, because his being an alcoholic, false or not, would give claim to FedEx. 

I know a dozen or more pilots who have been forced into this program that do not have any of the symptoms as listed, and have never been tested in any manner. When these pilot's tell the doctors in the company-paid rehab programs that they are not alcoholics, their jobs are threatened because they are "in denial." If the pilot conveys they have no issue with alcohol and can quit drinking at any time, they are called liars. Because "all alcoholics are liars," if you say you're not an alcoholic you are, simply because alcoholics are liars, and if you're in denial, that means you are lying and thus an alcoholic. See the logic here?

Captain Ratfield was forced into the program because she was raped. Captain Danford refused to return to the program after he received a false positive PEth test and was thereafter terminated. I know a Delta captain who was forced into the HIMS program by Dr. Altman for having a half glass of wine with a low level DUI. Yet, despite Dr. Altman asking if I drank and I provided him a litany of alcoholic beverages that I've consumed, he did not as much put one word about my alcohol consumption in my 366 page medical report. 

Karlene, Mike Danford, Andrea Ratfield.

Of important significance, Mike, Andrea, and I were at a party together, and I was the only one of the three of us consuming alcohol. They are both in the program, yet despite my admissions, I was never sent there. Neither of these two pilots have any of the symptoms, or cravings, or need to drink. They were never tested or even asked the above questions. While I love a nice bourbon in the evening, or a tequila on the golf course, I don't crave the stuff and wouldn't care if I never drank again. Yet, if Delta hadn't provide directive to Dr. Altman to give me a permanently disqualifying diagnosis, he would have put me in the program despite my not being an alcoholic. 

Dr. Altman was the head HIMS psychiatrist prior to forfeiting his medical license for accepting $74,000 from Delta to give me a false mental health diagnosis. Dr. Riccitello, from AMAS, said, "Dr. Altman is the big gun for the FAA." Dr. Altman even testified in trial that, "Dr. Charles Chesanow, who is the chief psychiatrist at the FAA, told me that I've done more evaluations of pilot than anyone else at this point in time." I feel heartbroken for all those pilots who lost their careers at the deception of this man and the FAA allowing him to continue for so long, when the agency had knowledge of his behavior. 

Delta terminated Danford for not reentering the program. Yet, there is life beyond Delta and Mike still flies. Congress was willing to allow Captain Danford out of the program, but the FAA got involved and said that he had a "lifelong condition". (See the email below).  I know Mike. He does not have a lifelong condition that prevents him from abstaining from alcohol. This assertion was subjective and without knowledge or merit and exemplifies the overreaching arm of the FAA on individuals, when they should be focusing on manufacturers and airline violations. 

Captain Danford was never tested, because there is no test. And Captain Danford has given up drinking without any support system. He regularly is around others who drink and has no cravings and never consumes alcohol. He has NONE of the symptoms listed above. Yet, someone at the FAA has denied him without any justification. 

On Jan 4, 2024, at 10:11, Ball, Lauren (Hagerty) <> wrote:

Hello Mr. Danford,

I have received a response from the FAA and copied it below.

“He requested your assistance regarding his Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman medical certification.

Mr. Danford does not meet medical standards due to history of substance dependence, a lifelong condition requiring sustained abstinence-based recovery. The FAA requires continued monitoring under the Human Intervention Motivation Study (HIMS) program to hold a special issuance medical certificate. We are unable to release Mr. Danford from the HIMS program, but we have modified the requirements of special issuance authorization to reduce the frequency of blood alcohol testing, HIMS evaluations, and peer support group meetings.”

If you need any further assistance please let me know.

Thank you,

Lauren Ball
Constituent Services Representative for U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty
900 Georgia Ave, Suite 260
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Phone: 423-752-533

Fax: 423-752-2504 

I invite everyone who is interested in this injustice, to please reach out to Ms. Ball and tell her so.

Or better yet, reach out to our FAA administrator, Michael Whitaker on LinkedIn or write him a letter: 
FAA Administration: 800 Independence Ave SW #300, United States.

This situation is not unlike the unjust treatment with subjective assertions about pilots' mental health. Something must be done, before further destruction of pilots' lives. 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene