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Karlene Petitt

It's 7:47 PM out here on the East Coast and throughout the day the words: Air Traffic Control, Sequester, and Safety have been ringing in my head all day.  Not to mention: landing, traffic patterns, weight, and airspeed to name a few others.  

Or wait, the five things off the top of my head: 
Speed, Heading, Troubleshoot, Communication, and Secure.

I have been studying for the past several days in preparation for an FAA Knowledge Exam which will test my knowledge in many areas.  I not only want to pass this test, but pass it with flying colors.

The reason is simple.  I want not only to be an excellent pilot, but.. a safe one.

Speaking of safe.., I recently took a trip down memory lane to an interview I conducted a little over a year ago when our friend Karlene Petitt launched her first novel "Flight For Control" - the same "Flight For Control" which I have had the chance to read not once, not twice, but many times.  It was also a novel that brought several pilots, myself included, together for an event here in NYC last November.  

Now Karlene is about to present to us the sequel to Flight For Control - Flight For Safety published by JetStar Publishing Company.  A novel that we will all be looking forward to.  And for me.. another seven.  That is, when I am taking a break from studying.

To my dear readers, I present to you the interview I conducted with Karlene Petitt on March 30th, 2012:

Accomplished.  Distinguished.  Successful.

These are the words that come to mind when I think of an individual who I stumbled upon Twitter many months back.  She really needs no introduction, however, I invited her to come aboard my flight deck as she has a new hit novel out entitled, "Flight For Control"

Dear Readers,
May I introduce to you


Welcome to the flight deck, Karlene!

Aviation!  Why?  What was your force to say, "I'll be the pilot!"

When I was 9 years old I was told that I couldn't become a pilot unless I was a girl.  The challenge was on.  I told everyone that I was going to be a pilot from that point on.  I couldn't back down.  When I took that first flight I thought, "Wow!  They're going to pay me to do this?!?"

in the Boeing 747
With those words, she did embark on that non-stop journey to success.  Throughout her love and passion for aviation, she acquired a type-rate on seven different equipment, from the Boeing 727 to the 767, was a Senior First Officer, Check Airman, and Instructor for several different airlines.  She currently operates the Airbus Industrie A330 as a First Officer for a world renowned international carrier.  Karlene also holds master’s degrees in Business and Human Services.  Most importantly, she is a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother to a beautiful family.  A mentor, a motivator for many of those like me who are striving to obtain the highest flight levels.
Karlene recently opened a new and most important chapter in her life.  One that is not only the most important to her’s, but the lives of others. As we all know as of yesterday’s news in the aviation world, fiction just became reality and the importance has set in like stone.  This event was echoed in the launch operation of her new novel:

Of course I had to go in and find the drive behind this aviation thriller.

What was your driving motivation behind your website "Flight to Success" and what led you to go full throttle with your new novel?
Flight to Success was something that is my passion. To help people. I love training, teaching and motivating. Helping people is what I love. I know the industry needs to be fixed and we need to take care of our employees… especially our pilots since they are caring for the lives of many. 
So this book creates awareness of human factors. The next will create awareness of the problem with automation and proficiency. Then the final will be when I get my Ph.D. in Aviation and solve the problem.
Inspiration for the book came from a Union captain who said, “I’d rather see them shutdown that give them anything!” At the same time I was working in the helping side of ALPA and pilots were calling often with serious personal stress. Then I went to a conference and learned that a number of pilots had committed suicide. I have worked with pilots under great deal of stress. I just had finished my Masters in Human Services and counseling. All this combined made me realize that there is a story here, that must be told.

What kind of impact do you hope your novel will make on our industry less alone your readers?

Public: Create awareness of the reality in the industry, and support the crew members.

Pilots: They need to take care of themselves because the industry isn’t. Awareness that anyone can break….as we saw with Jet Blue Captain today.  See Karlene’s Article
Future Pilots: The industry is up to you. Hold strong to your work rules, pay, and regulations. Pilot’s shouldn’t be flying high time to make ends meet… they can’t be their best if they are… so the pay has to be there in the first place.
“We don’t want to believe that pilots can breakdown. But they are just human. This is a reality.”

Karlene’s last point really hits home especially for those recently on the jetBlue flight.  Karlene and I realize the importance of long haul flight planning on an international scale.  Getting everyone to the their final destinations quickly and in one piece.  She definitely has set out her flight plan to get everyone and the aviation industry to it’s final destination: SAFETY.  Having connected to Karlene not only online, but through her novel, I wish to add an adjective to the list above in her introduction:


Karlene, thank you for not only breaking the sound barriers of aviation, but also by fulfilling your dream of becoming a pilot, and becoming an asset to our (aviation) industry.  You have given so much motivation to so many individuals out there who are pursuing their dreams.  It was truly an honor to have you on my flight deck and I hope to have the honor of sharing an “Auto-Pilot” session with you sometime on the A330, or perhaps, the 777 someday!

In the words of Karlene:

Enjoy the journey!



  1. Ahh... what can I say. Thank you so much Jeremy. I am getting so close, I will have Flight For Safety in your hand this summer. Thank you so very much for all your support. It means so very much.

    1. Karlene, thank *you* for all of *your* support. It was a pleasure reposting this and I can not wait for Flight For Safety. Being away from all of the characters takes a toll on me.


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