Friday, February 28, 2014

Cleared For Takeoff

February 28th, 2014



I rest assure you, the book reviews will be coming quite soon.
Stay tuned and keep checking this website.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014



Sitting on the floor with my laptop placed on the coffee table, I was twiddling my thumbs at the screen goofing around online and half assed looking up aviation websites along with news. I had Twitter on one of the tabs. I had just created an account.  I had also just created a blog not knowing what to do with it.  Not an idea how to write the first post.  That was soon to change.

Maybe it was that I had all the time to spend with my father while mom was out doing errands and catching her breath as I had just come in from NY.  Due to his illness at the time, I knew his days were numbered and wanted to make sure I was there for him as much as possible being 600 miles away from home.  It was that day, that I was on Twitter which connected me to someone that brought only good memories as I read the Twitter profile and the blog profile of Karlene Petitt. What I saw just by first glance alone told my mind, "Press 'Follow' and connect."  I did.

After reading her profile, I was connected with her website.  One of the things mentioned in her bio formed an immediate connection on her profile that I hold near and dear and also explained it all while I was there sitting with dad. Northwest Airlines. (My dad was a platinum business flyer.)  Also stated was that she holds a type rate for the 747 to which she flew for Northwest with. The very aircraft and the very airline that took my soul off the ground for the first time. The connections between Karlene and myself for sure did not end there. The e-mails, and phone calls and the time she took out to connect now matter how busy her schedule was.  And what is most amazing, I am not the only person.  There are many people that connect with her.  That is one of the many attributes that makes her special.


It was her first novel and where our relationship took off. Upon completing Flight For Control, I was in disbelief that an author would write about certain events as if she knew what a reader such as myself was experiencing in life. A true sign of a great author.  The relationships (both romantic and friendships) I have had with others, a father who I lost and loved so much that I want to carry his life mission (in a positive way contrary to Bill's character in the book), a cat named "Princess", and caring for a group with special needs. The connecting flights certainly didn't stop there. 

Flight For Control had such an impact on me that, I couldn't put the book down.  Not once, twice, thrice, but it lead me to read it seven consecutive times.  

I love the novel so much, that I just had to share it with my friends and fellow pilots!

FFC LIVE NY 2012 with Karlene and members of  the New York Flight Club

Because of this, I had to contact her personally. The rest is history, the present, and the future. The present is what I will mention now because it is definitely a continuation of this gift that was given to me, to us, a couple of years ago. Without further delay, presenting our


February 25th 2014


  • International Transport Pilot for a Major World Carrier (Current: Airbus A330)

Type Rate:

  • 727, 737, 747, 747-400, 757, 767

  • A330

  • Acclaimed Author
  • Screenwriter
  • Artist
  • Master Degrees in Business and Human Services with a goal for the Ph.D in Aviation Safety
  • Devoted wife, mother, and grandmother.
  • Devoted to giving inspiration and motivation for not only the future of aviation, but future aviators, writers, and last but certainly not least the world at large.

Flight For Control definitely was a hit in many's eyes.  And her audience got this week what we've been waiting very patiently for to land on our front doorstep:


Karlene gives us a peak into how we re-enter the lives of Kathryn, Jackie, and Darby.  Asking Karlene what the link between the two books is, she states:

Flight For Safety is the second in a series!  Flight For Survival coming soon. 
Coastal Airlines merges with Global Air Lines. Bill is in jail and Kathryn leaves the NTSB and joins the FAA. Darby's new airline (Global) staples her to the bottom of the seniority list and she is bumped back to first officer on the A330 to be based in  Seattle to help Kathryn and Jackie with the kids. Jackie, now a single mother, gives up flying and becomes a training scheduler for the new airline. 

An A330 disappeared two years earlier, and they just pulled the black box from the ocean. The world learns the pilots did not know how to fly their plane. What Darby learns through a challenging year is why. 

What should should every pilot gain from this novel in application to flying?

While fiction, Fight For Safety will open every pilots eyes to the need of stick and rudder skills, and the growing problem with over-reliance upon automation. What Airbus pilots will learn is how to fly their plane under dyer circumstances without their automation. We  will go inside the flight deck and experience the unimaginable. I also hope that if anyone in airline management or the FAA read my novel, that they will rethink methodologies for future training needs. 

FLIGHT FOR SAFETY was also read and endorsed by ABC NEWS Aviation Analyst John Nance, Airways Magazine, two Captains from major international carriers, and a retired fighter pilot in the USAF and Ph.D student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

I must say, the impact which Flight For Control has made was powerful.  I wonder what Flight For Safety will bring?  It is up to us to do the mandatory pre-flight checklist:


You never know where social media and someone's soul will take you.  It for sure... will be the flight of a lifetime.  Cheers to you Karlene on another job well done and here's to another seven...



Friday, February 21, 2014

Magic Unexpected

One of my pastimes, and current times, is to partake of the Microsoft Flight Simulator experience at least once a year.  Despite the fact the slogan is, "as real as it gets" it is up to the pilot to make it that way by purchasing additional payware software to get that realism.

If you are like me, and go in it for the long haul, you could never be sure which will crash first 13 hours into a 14 hour operation - your airplane or your software / computer.  So... being that I am preparing my long-haul session next month with a substantial professional payware for Flight Simulator X, I decided to go in for a test run across the Atlantic last night.  Being that I wasn't expecting anything from this experience, it was actually one of the best simulations and experiences with the program that I had ever since I started Microsoft Flight Simulator in 1999.

What made this magic happen?  A PMDG Northwest Airlines 747-400.  The city pair was Seattle - Amsterdam.  Sometimes you have to think what brought you here in the first place and your experience.  That magic never goes away.  It is reflected through its memories.  It was no surprise looking back that this was unexpectedly a great experience last night.

With these words and a brief flight portfolio, here are our 

21 February, 2014

Northwest Airlines (A Member of the SkyTeamAlliance)
*Operated by Carliysle Aviation Services
Flight: 0083

Departure: Seattle / Tacoma International Airport (SEA / KSEA) 14:25 PST
Gate: S10

Arrival: Schipol International - Amsterdam, The Netherlands (AMS / EHAM), 08:10 CET
Gate: E19

Equipment: BOEING 747-451 (Quad Powerplant High Capacity Commercial Transport Jet)
Registration: N675NW
Codename: "Spirit of Northwest People"
Softwares: FSX  / PMDG 747 Professional / VATSIM Air Traffic Services

KSEA/RWY16L . STMSN . YXC . 5200N 11000W . 5500N 10000W . 5700N 9000W . 5800N 8000W . 5800N 7000W . LAKES . MOATT . 5800N 5000W . 5800N 4000W . 5800N 3000W . 5800N 2000W . BALIX . NINEX . UP59 . RUGID . UP59 . ASKAM . UL7 . PELET . UL74 . TOPPA . EHAM/RWY18R 

Duration: 09 hours 32 minutes (real time)
Speed: 485 KTS
Altitude: 35,000-37,000 ft.

Have an awesome weekend everyone!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


This week's Tuesday Tweeter is someone who I was pointed to by another special and amazing pilot in our aviation social network "family" and is a remarkable pilot with an immense wealth of knowledge.  Without further delay:

18 February 2014


He can be found 
on Twitter at

Captain Palmer is not only a glider pilot, but also holds multiple type ratings for McDonnell Douglas (DC-10), Boeing, and Airbus.  He is also is currently an A330 Captain for a major international airline, long time instructor, check airman, and an A330 subject matter expert.  He has written training manuals for Northwest Airlines and the A330.  The list certainly doesn't stop there, either.

Last week, I received a copy of his book "Understanding Air France 447", which takes an in-depth look at one of the most tragic airline crashes in aviation history with one of the most state of the art fly-by-wire commercial transports: The Airbus Industrie A330.

Upon asking Captain Palmer if there is anything about A330 aircraft performance we could learn from Air France 447, what would it be?

"The performance ingredient makes me think first of all of the realization that full (TOGA) power at cruise altitude is very ineffective for just about anything!  I often demo this to my FOs.  I can push the thrust levers up to TOGA in cruise and point out that other than the EPRs and N1s going to the high limit, nothing much else happens.  The airspeed doesn't move, or it moves incredibly slowly, and there is certainly no feeling of acceleration or addition of power.  This demonstrates that in situations of reduced energy (e.g., stall) virtually the only energy available to regain airspeed with is altitude - i.e., point the nose down.  (I say "virtually" because discussions involving standing gravity waves (aka, "wave) and other atmospheric lifting will alter the exclusivity of that a bit.

But that is not just an A330 thing, it applies equally to just about any airplane as do many of AF 447's lessons."

To clarify any of the many misconceptions I always hear about Airbus (or "Scarebus" as derogatorily noted) by both aviation (pilots) and non-aviation individuals alike.  One of these I hear frequently, especially after the tragic event of AFR 477 is that "pilots fly the Boeing, while the Airbus flies the pilot."  Bill has offered his words of wisdom regarding pilot input to the Airbus interface:

"As I mentioned in the book, many describe it as the pilot asking for something and the computer deciding if it's going to let the pilot do that.  That is really not the case, because the function of the pilot interface (control stick) has been altered.  The pilot is not asking for x degrees of elevator or aileron movement (except in certain modes), but for a given performance.  This is a fundamental shift.  But the shift still works very closely to how we typically think when we fly airplanes, which for good or bad can mask that shift.

I've often described this shift to Airbus students as "you're telling it what to do, not how to do it."

And this is only just the beginning.  To gain more insight into the A330 and the tragic event of Air France 447, please logon to and purchase the paperback.  It will be one of the smartest investments you will make as this should be recommended reading for everyone and a required reading for any student pilot, private pilot, commercial pilot, and type rated ATP.

Captain Palmer can also be contacted via his blog site at and also the website which also functions as a book companion to "Understanding Air France 447"  Paperback copies of his book can also be ordered there.

His book is also available as an eBook in places such as Amazon, GooglePlay, Barnes & Noble, iTunes Store, SmashWords, and more at about half the price of the paperback.  Non-USA / International customers should shop GooglePlay as price and availability are often better than Amazon.

Thank you so much Captain Palmer for taking the time to share your insight and wealth of information and for your service to the aviation industry at large!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Very Special Birthday

One could consider this a belated Friday Foto, but today is a very special birthday which warrants a very special photo.  Today is the birthday of an aircraft that millions of passengers have taken worldwide.  To some, it was the aircraft which took passengers into flight for the first time.  For others, it was the last time.  But no matter what, this aircraft has been a tremendous service to the aviation industry and the aircraft just keeps getting better, going higher, and flying longer.

So let's wish a very special birthday to

The Boeing 747

What are your greatest experiences and memories?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


(C) Jeremy Carlisle -
This week's Tuesday Tweeter isn't actually a person per say, (although there are caretakers of the Twitter feed), but is probably the most well known and photographed structures in the world.  Loads of tourists flock to New York City's 34th Street and 5th Avenue every day to photograph this boss architecture spanning 1,454 feet from the top of the antenna to the street.  Even the average New Yorker will be caught playing tourist every now and then, (in our case a lot), taking a snap or two.

One of the special traits of this building is that depending on the event, the lights at the top of the building are colored to reflect the holiday or event.  So, for those who aren't football savvy, The Empire State Building made it quite easy for those to keep up and to always know who is winning.  I will say, that the structure was lit up in navy blue and neon green for most of Sunday night.  Although, there was a peak of Navy blue and orange to detect that one small piece of Broncos action.  

Cruising 34th Street last night, around the time the Seahawks touched down at SeaTac Airport to helicopters and many fans awaiting to welcome their pride and joy home with applause, our landmark here in NY was still lit in that blue and neon green.

No matter which angle of the field you look at it...

And we have so many more shots to share..  
But for now, you can follow the Empire State Building here:


Congratulations to the 
SuperBowl 48 Champions:
!!! Seattle Seahawks !!!