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!