Monday, August 22, 2016


Anything that annoys you is teaching you patience.
Anyone who abandons you is teaching you how to stand on your own two feet. 

Anything that angers you is teaching you forgiveness and compassion. 

Anything that has power over you is teaching you how to take your power back.  

Anything you hate is teaching you unconditional love. 

Anything you fear is teaching you courage to overcome your fear.
Anything out of your control is teaching you how to let go.

Life is a lesson.  Passing the exam is up to us.

Take to this Monday with the lessons above.  Do your homework no matter how long it takes.  Passing the test will be one of the greatest achievements you will ever accomplish.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Four Ws

As stated on Monday, confidence is the key to not only believing in yourself and enjoying your successes in life, but it is also a way to make your needs known and to effectively communicate.  This comes into play with one of the most important aspects of being in a flight deck environment and is a must for any pilot: communicating with ATC.  I write this post partially as a skill review and reminder to myself.

Student pilots master this concept in training and is carried throughout one's career, whether recreational or professional, in the plane.  My flight instructor initially taught me how to communicate with the tower via the 4 Ws:

  • WHO are you intending to call to?  ATC? Ground? Having the right frequency and people to talk to in order to voice your needs or emergencies is key.


  • (KNOW) WHO you are and always state it to ATC.  Pilots and controllers are all human and make mistakes - especially when operating fatigued.  As taught and stressed to me before, you must always know your identifier and state it to ATC even though they may know who you are.  [A side point for all student pilots: do not rely on dialogues over LiveATC as role models.  CFIs do take note of their students trying to model readbacks of these pilots when communicating with ATC during a flight lesson - with a groan - and correct their students accordingly.]
  • WHAT is your request?  Clearance?  Taxi?  Takeoff?  Which ATIS information set do you possess?  
  • WHERE are you?  Always know your position both in the sky and the ground.  If ATC asks your position and intentions, state clearly and ASAP.  We all know that controllers have their hands full.  The bigger the airfield, the fuller the hands.  It's always good to study, in depth, the flight charts of an intro airport pre-flight.  Lastly, ATC communications in the U.S. and most airports worldwide are in English.  Every pilot worldwide should know how to effectively understand and communicate over the radio to even if it is to get from the runway to the gate.  Yes, having the famous or infamous miscommunication between that 747 from the Far East and JFK Tower in mind to realize how important this really is.    That radio recording is probably still on YouTube.


I personally do not like wasting other's time, especially having ATC repeat instructions at a busy airport.  Time is money and could also be another flight's emergency.  The only exception to my personal rule is when I need to have ATC repeat because of inability to understand the controller due to radio reception or safety issue/emergency.  Having a system to jot instructions down, preferably pen and paper is a great idea (especially in genav) as opposed to a handheld electronic device.  This concept is best ingrained during initial flight training.  Even though one may have a great vocal memory, it's still best to note instructions.

My thoughts  and empathy do go out to the controllers as the job itself is stressful for sure, but critical.  I only have one humble and professional request, though: please give instructions at a reasonable tempo so your time is not wasted repeating them.  I've actually heard a controller once giving instructions at the pace of the guy on the MicroMachines commercial.


Grand Rapids, Michigan (GRR)

Mastering confidence with effective radio communications will save not only heartache and headache, but also with others operating around you as well.  Do not be afraid to ask ATC for anything you need to fly effectively and safely as well as provide a safe flying atmosphere for others.

Aviation Is About Speaking Up
Whether you are a student where safety should be taught from the intro to being a professional always striving and fighting for safety, aviation is about speaking up.  Speaking up is a form of safety.  Be confident and do not be afraid to speak to ATC altogether.  They are here for a reason.  Be confident and speak your needs, intentions, and verification of instructions.  It could mean your life as well as those of others.  Soon enough, you will recognize and "get the feel" of the controllers at the airports you frequent.  [Referencing the final ATC dialogue between Speedbird Concorde 2 and JFK Tower upon it's final revenue departure.  It was tear jerking.]

Be and stay confident.  Speak up.  Speak effectively.  Fly safe.


Monday, June 27, 2016

A World of Confidence

This month and year marks twenty years since I first sat foot on an airplane.

Even though it wasn't a 172 intro, it had just as some of the most amazing experiences as a 172 intro would.  It was on a red, white, and grey Boeing 747 and flying on my first international trip.  The first destination was scary to me as I've never traveled there before and the language was one that I never learned nor grew up with.  The comforting thought was the fact that almost everyone there speaks English.

Even though I was traveling with a group throughout Mediterranean coastal Europe, we had moments where we were split up and we were on our own.  I didn't find this problematic in the south of France, as I was the only one in the group who was a French speaker, this was a challenge for me in Italy.  And, a good majority of this trip was spent there as well as Spain.  

If you ever want to test your confidence as a human being, visit a foreign country for the first time not knowing the first word of the language spoken there.  I will say as an undergrad Foreign Language major, you may think that you know the language perfectly, however, when you go out into the street, it is a whole different world.  Apart of the language is reflected in the culture of the society of that country.  You may learn a lot via Rosetta Stone and DuoLingo (the foreign language app available on both via the App Store and Google Play), the best way to learn is spending an immersion year in that country and/or having a significant other who speaks the language fluently.

[I still remember the ultimate confusion of the French exchange students at my university from Lille who kept asking my professor constantly about Americans obsessively using the world "like" in every sentence.  This was in the late 90's when this bad habit like started.  Now it is common in English to like... talk like this.  (Not.)  But the habit has been engraved and will take a lot to change it.]

Once you arrive there, you will quickly attach yourself to the folks who speak your language.  They help you learn your first phrases - instilling your confidence that you will make your needs and wants known and your willingness to learn and have a good time.  You enjoy the company of locals, taste the local cuisine with a delightful palate, and see some of the world's most beautiful sights.  

I will never forget my time in Genoa, Pisa, Assisi, Florence, the rest of Tuscany, and Rome - not to mention all of the above during my time there.  I still smell the delightful smells to this very day and can still taste the food.

I will never forget Peter, our tour guide from Genoa.  He never ceased to amaze me starting with the fact he spoke eight languages fluently and impeccably.  He truly was our Christopher Columbus taking us on many expeditions showing us the back roads as if we were locals ourselves that we never would have seen under a regular tour.  The experiences he taught us were priceless.  Not only was he our tour guide, he instilled a confidence in each and everyone of us that showed us how to experience and love the world we live in.  Because of him, I made it a point to travel abroad by myself no matter which country - because I was confident to do so.
Before the E.U. & the Euro

Every time I think about that trip it proves more and more that time flies.  Because of my experiences in both the first passenger flights and overseas trip, it instilled not only my willingness to travel abroad alone, but also my decision to go for my 172 intro to start my journey to become an international pilot.

  For those who are older and decide that you want a career change to be an international pilot, this is where confidence comes in.  It is possible.  No one can stop you.  Develop a financial flight plan without letting your budget discourage you.  If you've never been abroad before and wish to explore the world - develop a financial plan even if it means traveling with mates.  This trip I am blogging about, yes, I did have some help financing it from some graduation money, however, I paid for most of this trip by working while going to school giving violin and viola lessons.
Use those who discourage you from pursuing anything by telling you that it will never be possible due to age as jet fuel.  Develop relationships with others (pilots) who are confident and not overly confident because it could be just as detrimental as those without any.

Lack of confidence or overload of confidence will remove the power of your mental engines need to accomplish your life.  It will take away your life's lift and life will stall to an oblivion.  It is your choice to remain confident.  There is a whole chapter in Flight To Success devoted to confidence.  Read it along with the others.  Attach yourself to confident people because confidence is contagious.

Stay confident, stay in the air, and please indulge yourself in the suggested readings below.  Make yourself a successful Monday and week!

Buona Giornata!


Suggested Readings:

Friday, June 24, 2016

Enjoy The View

Sometimes we remember why we are here on this Earth with any profession, hobby, or purpose in life.  This week was all about having a dream, finding our strength by making wise choices in life, having in mind to discover our true purpose in life.  And always, keep yourself busy.  As I always say, if you are not busy, something must be wrong as there is a lot to accomplish in life.

With all of the above, we must remember one thing:  take a break once in a while to take in the view..

June 24, 2016

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lessons Learned

Being that Father's Day weekend has past, I think of the many lessons my dad taught me throughout his life here on Earth.  Not only lessons through words, but actions.  Even though I was young, I was old enough to watch dad go from being a basic cable TV installer to being a corporate auditor within a short period of time.  There were bumps along the way, but he made it.  Hard work was apart of his being.
This was only of the many action lessons that my father taught me.  It was unfortunate that he was only present for only 32 years of my life, because I wished I was there to witness his other achievements, one of them being: his service to the United States Air Force.  

He served here in the US in San Antonio, TX and Wichita, KS.  Upon my mother recently finishing Flight For Control, she told me something that I never knew about my father that he always kept a secret when he was alive:  he did actually go to Vietnam.

During my time with him, he always also taught me to be assertive, carry out initiative always, and the biggy - even though we should never say never - never assume!  (This is the only piece of advice I really give to others.)

The biggest lesson learned - if you have a relationship with your parents, spend time with your parents and learn from them.  You were brought into this world for a reason. Do not take the time you spend with them for granted.  They sacrifice their lives for you.  That in itself, is a lesson to carry over to the people you love as love is when you will sacrifice anything of or about yourself to give to another so they can enjoy life.  

My father loved his family and was a great provider in every single way.  He put a roof over our heads, food on the table, and clothes on our backs.  He took us flying and showed me what it was like to fly First Class for the first time.  He also took us on many trips on land and water as well so that he could not only show us, but gives us the world.  He went above and beyond for us as his family.  Most of all, it was the lessons above that I am just as grateful for.

Being that today is Tuesday, and lessons learned is the Tuesday topic, I will bring a Tuesday trivia question: Can you name the 16 flight lessons in Flight To Success?  

I will give one of them which happens to be one of my favorites: Remember to find humor in all situations.  It breaks tension and builds friendships.

Haven't read Flight To Success yet?  My best piece of advice, do it!  Take it to the park, the beach, or like my dad did with us, take it flying!

Have a great Tuesday!


Friday, June 3, 2016

Blue Skies

I was in the backyard yesterday on a beautiful West Michigan day and my iPhone sent me an alert that no one, especially a family member nor a pilot would ever want to see: "BREAKING: Blue Angels F-18 Crashes in TN.  Details to follow."

More unfortunate alerts followed that no one, especially one fatality and it was of Marine Captain Jeff Kuss.

I never had the honor to meet nor get to know Captain Kuss personally, but I will say that he was a someone to a whole lot of people: his beloved family, squadron comrades, dearest friends, and those of us who never knew him, but he brought so much enthusiasm to, to fly buy his great aero acrobatic skills.  

He fulfilled his purpose in the world as such, and now has earned his Blue Angel wings to soar the heavens above shining down on the people who he loved so much - fans included.

With these words, I present to you the Friday Fotos I was able to capture, to pay tribute and remember this remarkable fleet in his memory.  

Captain Jeff Kuss, thank you for being an outstanding Captain Aboard.

Friday Fotos
June 3rd, 2016

My sincerest condolences, thoughts, and prayers to his family, friends, and to the United States Navy Blue Angels Flight Squadron.  

Celebrate this weekend by celebrating his amazing life he flew in this world and pay tribute to his memory.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Into That Fateful Night

As of tonight, when most of the Western Hemisphere will be sleeping, yet another year will mark the fateful crash of reg: F-GZCP, an Airbus A330-203 operating as Air France flight 447 which developed ice crystallization within it's pitot tubes causing a loss of data/automation to the aircraft.  As a result of many (SMS: Safety Systems Management, CRM: Crew Resource Management, TEM: Threat and Error Management) factors, the A330 entered into a high altitude aerodynamic stall amidst a tropical thunderstorm over the mid-South Atlantic ocean en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris-DeGaulle.  The souls of 226 passengers and 12 crew left the plane, grew angelic wings, and flew to heavenly altitudes.  As time passes, this event tends to regretfully slip the mind of some.  For others, a day does not go by where Air France 447 doesn't slip the mind for even a second. 
For the victims' families, after seven years now from when the unexpected and unimaginable occurred, I still can not find the words to express my empathy, condolences, and continued prayers to them and their loved ones who are now shining down on us with those angelic wings.

As stated in my prior posts to this one, and by many others, there are many lessons to learn.  Not only lessons, but something on a much greater flight level - advocacy.  Why is this on a much greater flight level?  Because advocacy creates awareness.  Awareness creates action to establish and implement safety culture and SMS.  Action makes the skies safe and enjoyable.  It's better to be pro-active (establishing the above) than to react (having to tell a family that they lost a loved one due to the fact that these systems were never in place.)

My friend Karlene has been on the front lines to this advocacy to the level that she is currently finishing her Ph.D. in Aviation Safety with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.  Her one wish for aviation is powerful and is the fuel that is driving her mission for aviation safety, air company safety culture, and establishing this SMS - to create action to change.  I have no doubt that she will change the world of aviation as we know it for the better.

Having read Karlene's "Flight For Series" numerous times, I have come to learn that there is much truth buried within the pages of these novels.  With the recent and unfortunate headlines since Air France 447, her audience have come to realize this too.  Having seen a sneak peek of her next work (due out this up and coming February), I urge everyone to read the first three novels in this series as the challenges that lie ahead for the aviation industry are only just beginning.

The night of May 31st, well into the morning of June 1st, should be one of the greatest advocates itself for every airline.  Adverse flying conditions and mother nature do not discriminate towards any airline nor aircraft.  The chances that this could happen to any flight are there.  The chances of having safety systems in place to make sure that corrective action in order to avoid an aviation catastrophe are up to all airlines and us.  The unexpected event into that fateful night has taken place.  The experienced pilots who advocate for these systems and the literature are out there.  We must do everything we can to beat the odds of  encountering these potentially disastrous chances.  

The time is now to be proactive instead of reactive before events such as this slip your mind and it's regretfully too late.  Never forget, because the grieving families of any and every aviation catastrophe out there surely are not going to.


Air France 447 Suggested Readings (I highly suggest leaving reviews on Amazon for the authors below):

Bill Palmer                                                                          Karlene Petitt                               
Airbus A330: Normal Law                                        The Flight For Novel Series


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mistake of Fear

I came across a great quote today:

"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continuously fearing that you will make a mistake."

Fear inhibits making mistakes, which in turn, inhibits us from learning.  Learning from our mistakes inhibits us from growing and succeeding.  It's all a chain reaction in the circle of life.  

Never fear.  If you make a mistake, think of it is an opportunity.  Not only for learning, but also succeeding.  Make for yourself a great Thursday.  Just think... today is the home stretch and tomorrow is the touchdown for the weekend  - a time for rest for the mind, body, and spirit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


A sad day indeed.  I was originally going post about another topic today, then the news of Brussels Airport and central transit system right in the heart of the city.  (News Article).  

Thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families.  It is days like this that increase our strength to fight injustice and especially those who have no right to end another innocent human life.  In this case, many.

We stand with those who know and continue to do the right thing, to ensure order in the world, fight injustice, and those who pursue peace, not destroy it.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Kidney Cancer Awareness 2016

It's aggressive and lethal.  Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) a.k.a Kidney Cancer has claimed the lives of many worldwide.  The American Cancer Society's numbers for 2016 report 62,700 plus new cases will occur (39,650 in men, 23,050 in women.)

There are many theories and risk factors as to why patients are diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma, some of them being:

  • Smoking.
  • Obesity.
  • Taking substantial amounts of OTC (over the counter) medications/NSAIDS.
  • Substantial sodium solvent intakes e.g., "Alka Seltzer" for sinus/headaches.
  • Exposure to chemicals such as asbestos, cadmium, etc.
  • Various Inherited Conditions.

Even though my late father smoked, his oncologists informed us after their research that the main culprits of his diagnosis were large sodium deposits and his exposure to fuel fumes and other chemicals during his time in the Air Force during Vietnam.  The cigarettes did play a part, but an extremely minor one in this case.

March is Kidney Cancer Awareness Month - so wear your orange and with pride for this cause.  All cancer forms are to be treated as lethal, and much awareness has been brought to breast and pancreatic cancers - for good reason.  The reason for RCC awareness is that its prognoses are new, on the rise, and much research needs to be done to help its patients who are not only looking for a cure, but also a long life ahead.

I can not thank the oncologists at the University of Michigan enough for extending my father's life.    We were not expecting him to live as long as he did post-diagnosis.  Just think what we can do for other patients just receiving theirs, if we support RCC research.

With these words, our Friday Foto, our reason for not only this post, but this whole blogsite:

Have a great weekend, everyone and do not forget to visit the Kidney Cancer Association website to learn more and/or how you can take action.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Northwest 710

It left Minneapolis fifty-six years ago on this date, landed successfully for its stop over at Chicago-Midway.  Its final destination: fifty feet underground in a snowy soy bean field near Tell City, Indiana along the banks of the Ohio River - not making its intended final destination: Miami International.  The souls of fifty-six passengers and six crew members perished that day. 

The Lockheed Electra L-188 (reg: N121US) which carried these souls disintegrated separating its on board engines to which the debris spanned the area where Indiana borders Kentucky.  Like with any crash, come theories, and according to the Civil Aeronautics Board, there were three initial theories which seem to be common first thoughts of any crash, along with pilot error - which was not the case in this investigation.

  1. A bomb.
  2. Severe clear air turbulence.
  3. Metal fatigue.

Event Timeline

  • 12:51 - Departed MSP
  • 13:55 - Arrived at MDW
  • 14:25 - Aircraft was refueled and ready to continue to MIA.
  • 14:38 - Aircraft took off from MDW bound for MIA.
  • 14:45 - Crew reported position over Indianapolis ARTC Center at FL180 (18,000 feet), intentions were to report over Scotland, Indiana at 15:12
  • 15:13 - Crew reported over Scotland, Indiana maintaining FL180 and confirming radio contact over Bowling Green, Kentucky at 15:35.  This was final radio contact from the flight crew of Northwest Orient 710.
  • 15:25 - Outboard engines, their support structures, the complete right wing, and ailerons separated in flight sending the aircraft into a spin until it made impact.  The cruise speed was 406 mph and it made impact nose first with a speed of near 600 mph.
After the crash, Lockheed recalled all Electras for investigation and modifications.

Beforehand facts:
  • The first Electra purchased by Northwest.
  • The aircraft had only been in service for seven months.
  • After the crash, it was the third Electra to have crashed during a span of over a year.

Photo courtesy of David Clendenen
I try to make it a point to point out this tragedy every year on its anniversary for many reasons.  Most importantly, to pay tribute to those souls on board that could never be replaced.  Another being, this air crash in particular hits close to home.  As a native of Southern Indiana, I spent a good portion of my childhood around this crash site and will never forget the day I was hiking with my family up to ground zero.  That was the day that I told myself I would never step into a plane, a prop especially, nor fly anywhere.  Time and determination healed fears, and I ended up taking my first flight with the same airline going transatlantic.  The rest is history..

Back in 1960, one would only think tragedies like the above would come out of a fiction novel and would never happen in real life to our loved ones and ourselves, but as time went on they happen in real life, to real people.  I never want to look at the face of someone who just lost a loved one in an air crash, or any other way, for that matter - even if was myself having lost someone.  I would never have the words.  That's why action is more important.  It is up to us to take action and do our best to stop these from happening.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Economical Airbus

I am not ashamed to admit that I am not and never will be a "fan boy."  If it has a pair of wings and lifts, I love it unconditionally.  From Embraer, to Cessna, to the Boeing, to Gulfstream, to Cirrus, to Fokker, to Airbus, big or small, fast or not so fast - I am an equal opportunity aviation fan geek.  I love all aircraft.  If you fly for an airline, or plan to, your company may or many not give you a choice in the matter.  You fly what you are paid to or what is available.  What happens if you are a passenger and your airline decides to make a last minute plane change from an A330 to a 787 and there are no more flight options to your destination for the day?


Airbus Industries has been a pioneer in (European) commercial aviation since it's first days on many levels.  While America dominated the aviation market for quite some time, (this is debatable by many), the documentary below that I saw last night (trying to avoid the dominating political coverage on TV), portrays how several European nations came together to build the successful company that it is today and made a huge impact on markets worldwide with their economical strategies and their relationships with their customers..  Not only market impacts, but also advances in manufacturing and technology.  And now they've spread their locations across the world - including, as we all know, the U.S. plant in Mobile, AL.

Best viewed on Desktop/Laptop Computer

If you have some time to spare, haven't seen it, or would rather not watch the politics on T.V., I highly recommend that you watch the above video - even though it's not a recent one.

I personally find it interesting that the roles of big versus fast, Boeing versus Airbus, reversed in the long run.  Before you say, "Scarebus" or "if it's not a Boeing, I'm not going" see, learn, and understand where this company came from and what they are striving for - I am pretty sure it's not to make an unpleasant flight experience for pilots, crew, and passengers.  Education, training, and understanding the backbone of all aircraft manufacturers, such as Airbus, and their missions to enhance the aviation industry, will  be a start to solve the misconceptions about any manufacturer from across the industry.

Monday, March 14, 2016


Non-stop GRR-NYC (EWR)
  • False
  • Evidence
  • Appearing
  • Real

Fear is something which can impair you from enjoying life, taking risks, and accomplishing your goals.  Our minds will lead us to believe anything negative about ourselves, our life experiences, and others.

It's easier said than done to overcome fear, however, if you keep the above in mind, this will be a good start.  Just think of those who were once afraid to fly, and are currently pilots operating aircraft that they've always dreamed of flying and beautiful destinations that they've always dreamed of flying to.  Keep your head above the clouds and don't be afraid of anything

I plan to expand this topic for another post, however, for now, I wish each and everyone of you a great rest of the week!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Two of a Kind

I dedicate this Friday Foto to two pilots who have been tremendous influences in my life.  Both of these pilots have been my flight instructors in every sense of the term.  They both have taught me so much in the world of aviation, and beyond, both inside the flight deck and out and have been such an integral part of my life's decisions.

Most of all, they are not afraid to stand up to injustice and do what is right in the world.  For that, I can never stop looking at all of their accomplishments which give me the motivation to create my own.

And with these words, I present to you this week's:


You both keep up the great work and inspiring many!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Book Review: Flight For Survival

To Y.S.,
We never know loss until we unexpectedly loose those who are close to and valued us so much.  Even though you are no longer with us on this Earth, you have earned your wings and with four radiant stripes, flying the heavens above as an angel, free of pain and suffering, knowing that you've helped and brought joy and happiness to the lives of so many people in their darkest of times.  Your memory and legacy for standing up for what is right will never be forgotten.


Karlene Petitt

We live in a time where the unimaginable becomes reality.  Imagine finding ourselves on board a Boeing 777 two years ago as of this date, March 8th, to which its fate was sealed before it even left the ground.  Passengers who once entrusted their lives to the ones flying them, now are truly afraid to fly - looking for answers, none to be found.  Most importantly, the victims' families are in unspeakable pain looking for the same answers and nothing but to have their loved ones back in their arms both at once and at last.  It would be the Airbus oceanic crash all over again, but on a much more different level and a much different airplane.

Drones, the sign of which NextGen has landed, yet, continues to soar to all new heights with ever new threats appearing over the horizon.  Airplanes continue to disappear and crash no matter if it was a Boeing or an Airbus.  The world is a scary and uncertain place - just like the truth.

In the midst of all, Darby Bradshaw, an experienced pilot with the Boeing family who once had four stripes, continues to fly the skies once again as a junior first officer on reserve for Global's Airbus A330 fleet fighting all the elements that are going against her both inside the flight deck and beyond.  If her training blog didn't land her a trip to the Chief Pilot's Office too many times, then her proposed two million dollar contract with perks (to start) from a publishing company for her book "Fight For Safety: Inside The Iron Bubble" would.  Her contract celebration, especially with her new found love, was cut short as scheduling assigned her for a multi-legged trip to depart within hours.  Her only saving grace was to attempt sleep deadheading to assignment departure city. 

Kathryn "Kat" Jacobs, has stepped up in position with the FAA and there is a scare that former Coastal Airlines Captain and Kathryn's ex-husband, Bill Jacobs, who is serving multiple life terms in prison for his evil attempt to fix the industry is suspected of being behind the crash scenes in the novel.  Bill does come back into the story in some scary scenes which left chills up and down my spine imagining his evil, demonized eyes, and you will not believe what he has been up to in prison despite his charming, flattering, and helpful personality with the officers and cell mates.  Will he consider that his twin daughters were on one of those planes this time or will he sink to the lowest core of evil?

Kathryn's twin daughters, along with Jackie, John (Kathryn's former boss with the NTSB), Linda, and her new "doctor love", all come back - and for good reason.  This novel is a true test of survival and you need the friends you love and care about to be there for you when life is on the brink of ending.  One powerful lesson I have learned from this novel is cherish your family and friends every moment you can.  Despite our busy lives, stay in touch as much as you can, because their last moments could be upon us - especially, like stated above, in a world where the unimaginable is coming to reality.  We can only handle so much at a time.  A true test of survival, especially in the world known as commercial aviation.

If you thought you couldn't put "Flight For Control" and "Flight For Safety" down, Karlene Petitt has taken this novel along with the mystery and suspense to an all new flight level with wind shear beating from all directions.  The author has taken this novel, less alone the whole series, to put new meaning to the aviation industry and what it means to put your "life on the line."  How far will you go to stand up to injustice and fight for what you believe in?  

This novel, this series, as I've stated before, is a symphony of words with a powerful message.  Words are one thing, action is another.  "Flight For Survival" is a true novel written about factors such as: substance addiction, fatigue, mental health, aircraft operations, maintenance, nextGen, and putting safety into words taking action before our very eyes.  Now it is up to us, as pilots, as student pilots, as cabin crew, as passengers, and as human beings, who value life, to not only try to make it out alive, but also to save what and who we are so passionate about before its too late.


Words can not thank you enough, Karlene, since I first contacted you on Twitter from the very location where I am sitting, typing this post now.  For your loyal friendship, encouragement, and your support in every endeavor I have chosen to take head on.   I am rest assured I am not the only one with these same thoughts.  Thank you for having me along for the flight of a lifetime not only for the "Flight For" series but your other inspirational books and thoughtful words and actions.  Cheers to many more years of long life, happiness, and success that we all will share together with you in one place all together.

Karlene Petitt is a novelist and thirty-five year veteran of the aviation industry as a commercial airline transport pilot (ATP).  Her type rates span across the Boeing family: 727, 737, 757/767, 747, 747-400 and is type rate for the Airbus A330 to which she currently operates for a world renown international airline.  She operated and instructed for eight different airlines spanning the Western Hemisphere.  She holds both a MBA, MHS, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Aviation Safety.  A mother of three, and grandmother of seven, she currently resides and is based in Seattle, Washington.

You can also purchase this novel and Karlene's other works Flight For Control and Flight For Safety as well as her motivation and children's book as an autographed copy via her website Flight To Success.  All hardback, paperback, and electronic forms can be purchased on Amazon.  Once purchased on her website or Amazon, please feel free to leave your review on Amazon. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Only Time Will Tell

"If you want something you never had...

      You have to do something you've never done..."

Last night at midnight, I finished writing the 38th Chapter of my life.  Today I started to write Chapter 39.  Thinking positively, I am now almost half way through the novel titled "Life."  One of the factors of life is decision making and being sure that the decisions you make are the right ones.  We all have and experience self doubt when making decisions, especially life changing ones. 

One thing I have to keep in mind, is that whatever decision I make or risk I take, it is the right one, even if it deviates me off the course of my goals - because in the end, it will get me there eventually.

Now that I am in the point of my life that I choose to sit back and take an assessment,, (and doing just that),  What risks I have taken and vow to myself that I will never stop taking risks.  Some risks do not work out the way we want, but time will tell, which risks pay off.  Timing is everything.  Just ask one of the world's most renown authors who was rejected by numerous publishers of her story of a young wizard with bottle cap glasses until she got the right one - and it landed her millions.  Yes, I am talking about you, J.K. Rowling.

March 7th, 1977 was the best day of my life, because it was my first day of life and the first day I could start taking risks.  Since then, I have taken a lot of risks which are too long to list.  Hadn't I had taken them, I would not be where I am today in every facet of life's lessons.

Today, on my birthday, I am thankful to be spending this gorgeous and special today with the best gifts I could have ever received - my family and dearest of friends - you know who you all are.  

As for you, get out there this Monday, this week, and when your gut tells you to do something - do it and do the right thing.  If it lands you in the gutter, then you know that you are on the right path because you know in the end, that risk you first took, in the form of many risks, will eventually land you exactly where you wanted to be, from day one - timing is the best path to success.  Ask any successful person.

Have a great week!


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Symphony of Words

It all started with "Flight For Control" a novel which, like a great piece of music or art, captivated its audience from day one.  It brought so many great characters to life which carried both a message and a mission through an immaculate symphony of words.  The message: we have an industry in turmoil and we need it to change.  "Flight Control" is the first movement of this vast symphony of words and ideas.

The second movement of this symphony of words, "Flight For Safety" explained one of the foundations of the challenges we face in the aviation industry: safety and training, or lack thereof.  The passages give accounts of stories which are fiction, in essence, however, if you have looked at the unfortunate headlines in real life for the past two decades and beyond, you will see that, as the author Karlene Petitt states it, "fiction mirrors truth."

One of my favorite parts of the second movement, "Flight For Safety", is the analogy that Kathryn "Kat" Jacobs used to knock her boss at the FAA, Tom Santos, into a reality check into how much of a problem we have with automation.  It fits very well with the music analogy of this post:

"Imagine you were taught how to play a piano.  You learned your notes well enough to get through a song, but ninety percent of your training was learning how to program a player piano.  Then you went on tour and all you had to do for years was know how to program that piano.  Then one day your player piano broke, but you still had to play the concert.  Could you do it?"

She pulled the door open, hesitated, and then looked back.  "I forgot to mention, if you don't play that concert to perfection, you and the 300 people in the audience will die."

And now, the third and final movement to this great symphony of literature, "Flight For Survival" has arrived on my doorstep, along with many other people, ready to attend the performance.  This movement is not only a performance, it is a flight - for survival, where its composer, Karlene Petitt, leaves the characters and audience, on a quest to make it out and make it out alive.

Like every great final movement of every great symphony, the last movement is where the climax and finale of the piece hits.  The characters are truly instrumental in spreading the message of the series.  I rest assure you, like many who have read "Flight For Control" and "Flight For Safety", this will be a book you will not want to leave out of your sight.

Stay "tuned" for reviews on Amazon and my official review on this blogsite.

Have a pleasant and successful rest of the week!


Monday, February 8, 2016

Children's Museum of Central Oregon


The Fountain of Youth

Image Credit: Kayla Wopschall, Children's Museum of Central Oregon

I'm a big believer of, not only the arts and sciences, but also helping to build a community with a cause - especially when it looks to our future, our young ones.

Kayla Wopschall, Ph.D, the daughter of my good friend, Karlene Petitt, is planting the seeds as she has set the foundation for the Children's Museum of Central Oregon in Bend.

As stated on Twitter:
"We are so excited to work with the Central Oregon community to open a Children's Museum. A place for our youngest citizens to imagine, explore and create."

And with this, to educate and to create a sense of self, identity, and to explore options of what interests them.  To imagine the unimaginable.   For this, they will come to explore different areas of interests, which will create a guiding path to career choices.

The CMCO is also to be there:

"as a resource for families of all types to grow and learn together."

With every adventure - comes a goal.  This goal will help open the package to plant those seeds.  It us up to us to help make this happen, because our future depends on it.  Visit CMCO's Kickstarter Page  to find out how you can help open the package to plant these seeds for this summer's camps and classes.  Investing in our youth will be an investment of not only our future, but an investment of a lifetime.

Another mention, is to Karlene's new children's book, which can now be ordered off of her blogsite:

The artwork of this book was designed by Kayla and all the proceeds from the purchase of this book will go to benefit the Children's Museum of Central Oregon.  This book is an "ABC Book" that promotes self-identity and career choices for children. 

Please visit and follow the following social media sites for more information for the 
Children's Museum of Central Oregon:

Thank you so much and have an awesome Monday!