Contract Airline Services

"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