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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, 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.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Fly Girl scholarship

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Natalie Kelley 
The Fly Girl scholarship!

How many people give more than they take in this world? Well, Natalie Kelley is one of them. When you read her story, you'll see what I'm talking about. All she wants in return is for all of us to share the information about Fly Girl and her scholarship. She also shows that it's never too late to follow your dreams, reach for the stars, and start another career. 


I am 44 years old and have always wanted 
to earn my privates pilots license. 

I started flying with my uncle, who is an aerobatic pilot, when I was around 9 years old. Ever since my first flight with him, I've wanted to fly my own plane. I've been a stay-at-home mom for 18 years. Time has been getting away from me! In the summer of 2016, I decided the time was right to slowly make my GA dream a reality. 

I earned my private pilots license in August of 2017 and after taking some time off to fly around in a recently purchased Piper Archer, I decided to continue instruction by pursuing my instrument rating. I plan to earn a commercial rating. After that, I'd like to get my multiengine rating, complex rating...and any other rating I can! 

I hope to make a (second) career out of flying. 
 I'm searching each day for new,
 unique flying career possibilities.

I try to give back to the community as much as I can. I've been a "big sister" with Big Brothers, Big Sisters for 3 years. I work closely with The Andy and Jordan Dalton foundation, which supports children under the care of Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and their families. I am also a member of the Wright Chapter of the Women in Aviation organization. 

I decided I also wanted to help other women achieve their flying dreams and created the Fly Girl Scholarship, to be used at Sporty's Academy, located in the Cincinnati area (where I currently train). I want grow the scholarship opportunities for women and am currently trying to devise creative ways to do that. 

I thoroughly enjoy taking others up in my plane and allowing them to see the world from 3,000+ ft!! If you have any comments or suggestions, I appreciate any feedback and always welcome encouragement! Thank you for putting yourself out there and allowing others to see your passion for flying!"

Natalie Kelley

How you can connect with 
Natalie Kelley:

Take a moment and reach out to say hello! 
And please help share the information about 
the Fly Girl Scholarship!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Headline from Europe:

"Plane skids off Turkish runway 
on Black Sea coast"

News Europe

Nobody Died. This Time.

A captain who has a passion for aviation safety, sent me the following email related to the above incident: 

"A Pegasus Boeing 737-800 veered off the runway after landing on runway 11 at Trabzon Airport (Turkey) and became stuck in the mud on the edge of a cliff 

Many friends flew for this airline, and they make pilots pay to fly for them. Pilots buy a block of 500 hours for about $40,000 on top of the self-sponsored type rating, also at a cost of $40,000. Friends there have told me the cockpit gradient is extremely steep, there is practically no manual flight above 400 feet. Little to no SOPs (standard operating procedures) discipline and certainly zero CRM (crew resource management). 

They have been involved in many similar incidents already."

Why no Manual Flight?

I'm learning many airlines worldwide do not allow manual flight. Why? Perhaps this snippet from another flight operations manual explains perceptions: 

Statement from above: 

“There is no safety case to justify turning off the A/P and AFDS in a Boeing 737-800 Series Aircraft engaged in commercial transport operations – doing so increases the chance of an undesired aircraft state.”

This is an interesting mandate, however not isolated. It has become apparent that many airlines do not believe their pilots can manually fly the aircraft safely, therefore prohibiting it. However, there no reason manual flight in any Boeing (or Airbus) would cause an unexpected aircraft state. I have observed manual flight approaches into the most challenging airports in Alaska while sitting in the flightdeck of a Boeing 737, and observed beautiful approaches and arrivals on many A330's from altitude to landing. 

Why the Fear of Some Airlines?
What happened in this accident?

What if the pilots were not properly trained for the unexpected? What if they were not trained for manual flight? Should we always blame the pilot if they are not given the tools? What if the culture prohibits reporting safety issues? Human error happens, but how is it addressed? Safety Management Systems (SMS) are designed to identify errors and create change in order to mitigate risk, but is SMS lip service only?

What if the regulators know the problem
and don't do anything to enforce compliance?

What if Airlines know the problem 
and mandate automation usage 
to avoid training? 

What happens if the automation breaks 
or the unexpected happens?

As many of you know I am working on my PhD and collecting data to identify the relationships between safety culture, pilot training, aircraft understanding, aviation passion, and the impact on automation usage, in order to identify the root cause of performance issues, beyond pilot error. 

If we don't identify the source of the problem, 
then nothing will ever change.

I'm asking everyone to please share the link:

Tuesday January 9th survey monkey said there were 2397 completed surveys. I then wrote a post and asked everyone who took it, if they would share it with just one more qualified pilot (airline, charter or corporate) they knew. I asked people who cared about aviation to share with qualified pilots they knew. The support was incredible!

I'm utilizing snowball sampling, meaning I'm asking qualified pilots to take it and then share it with their colleagues and friends who qualify, and ask those pilots to share it with their colleagues and so on. What happened from that January 9th post, was that the snowball began gaining momentum. Pilots worldwide continued to take it, share it, and posted it on their sites. People who didn't qualify, shared it with those who did.

This morning 
Survey Number is 3127!

What this says, is that the pilots care about their industry. They care about the future of aviation. They care about passengers' safety. It means that passengers want the best, every time they step on a plane. These numbers show the world is that we do care about the trajectory of where our aviation industry is headed.

Everyone who participates is making a difference!


I will be gathering data until mid March,
when my B777 training is complete. 
Can we double those numbers?

Let's Keep This Going!

I cannot thank you all for your help with this. 
Thank you for helping me
 to gain as many surveys as possible!

Let's keep this snowball rolling
And double those numbers!

What will the Numbers be Next Week?

Please send the link PetittAviationResearch 
to all the commercial pilots you know! 

Thank YOU! 

Your comments are always appreciated and many will be included in the dissertation and/or journal article (de-identified of course, unless you state you want your name and credentials listed). 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Flight To Success

Be the Captain of Your Life! 

A comment arrived in my email about Flight to Success, Be the Captain of Your Life, and I loved it. Therefore, I will share it:

"Every young girl and every young boy, 
whether or not they want to become a pilot, 
should read this book, 
because this is how life works: 
You make it work!"

 George C Denniston MD, CFI

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Celebrating MLK Jr. Day the Eastern Way!

Happy MLK Jr. Day! 

Tonight...You're invited to: 

"The Last Voyage of Airliners
Where Do They Go?"

Join your Eastern Airlines Crew 

on the EAL Radio Show Broadcast
Monday January 15, 2017
7 pm EDT

Call 213-816-1611 

Episode 348

"Join us to find out the interesting story of what happens when an aircraft is no longer in service, and the airlines have decided it's time to say goodbye.  Do they Restore it, tear it down, do they send it to a "scrap heap"? Do they disassemble and use some of the equipment? What happens to the seats? Are they removed and recovered for future use?  You may ask if Airliner Boneyards really exist…and if so, where are they, AZ, CA, or NM? Do they ship the aircraft to another old hangar?Perhaps donate them to museums or collectors?"

You can either listen or talk.
Call 213-816-1611 

Or log on to listen at

 Captain Neal Holland  ♦ Jim Hart 
*Captain Steve Thompson *Chuck Allbright Linda Fuller
*Captain George Jehn*Dorothy Gagnon*Don Gagnon
Will be your hosts!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Patrick Paris

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Patrick Paris

Patrick started flying in 1972 on Murdy Cap 10, a two-seat training aerobatic aircraft. Then he flew the  Fouga Magister, a1950s French two-seat jet trainer aircraft followed by a Lockheed T33S. Shortly thereafter he became an Air Force flight instructorfrom 1975 to 1980 flying the twin jet 2 seater Tandem Fouga Magister.

He then  joined the Airforce Équipe de Voltige where he spent the next eleven years from 1980 to1991. He flew all  the Cap's series: 10, 21, 230, 231, and participated in airshows worldwide and competitions, it made sense when he left the Air Force and started a civilian career with Breitling, who sponsored airshows and aerobatic competitions.

Patrwas also the winner of the World 4 mn freestyle in 88 Canada Red Deer, and 2nd overall in the Wac 90 Switzerland Yverdon and he won the Breitling master that year. The in 1993, 1995, and 1997 he won the European aerobatic championships EAC three times! 

Patrick became very interested and committed in mental preparation, and was the 1996 winner of the World 4 mm freestyle in Oklahoma USA, 1998 winner of the World aerobatic championship overall in Trencin Slovakia, and the 1999 winner of European 4 mn freestyle. 

He then started to coach and train 
Unlimited aerobatic pilots

Then inspiration struck!

Upset Situations and Upset Recovery 


"After a while I realized that even if some excellent books were available on general handing or aerobatics, I thought since both activities are very visual that some videos should appear for quicker and safer learning. 

I decided then to create both Applications Academy Of Aerobatic and AeroSafetyFirst which both allows the pilot to get fully immersed with what he would see from the ground, what he will do with inputs and also what and where he will look at, and this all at the same time. Of course those videos must be watched several times while focusing on a specific part of the screen . They are available on smartphones and tablets and can be watched anywheres once downloaded on the device."

Learn more and 
follow Patrick here:

Aero-Safety First:

Academy of Aerobatics:

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Promoting Aviation & Safety!

PhD and B777 
Ready for Takeoff! 

I am in the final stretch of the PhD program at ERAU, and data collection is in progress. I have been sending out requests with a link to a one-page website: Petitt Aviation Research that explains the research an hosts a link to the survey. At the time of those messages, I needed 1599 surveys. However, today there is a new goal: 

I now need 4797! 

Why the change? I'm doing Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA), followed by Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and then Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). I read a great article that said it's better to use a different data set for EFA and CFA. Under that premise, the research could be strengthened with yet a third data set for the SEM. 

This means more data! 

Photo from Mark Restorick

The great news is, 
I have 2397 surveys complete
Thanks to Pilots who care! 

B777 Training! 

Great news! After a year and a half of waiting, I am finally scheduled for B777 training! I start the simulators February 5th, but my studies are well underway. Thus, I will continue to collect data while I prepare for the new plane. 

This is where I need your help!

I need to double the 
current number of surveys
while I'm in the middle of 
my training program. 

If every person who participated in the survey will reach out to one more pilot (or more)... we could double this number overnight. 

If every person that reads this post, will share the link with a pilot they know, the same results. 

Everybody Knows a Commercial Pilot

The truth is, nobody believed that I could get 1599. They will not believe it's possible to get 4797. The reality is, I'm not doing this the pilot participants and those in the aviation community sharing the survey are making this data collection a success. Keep the emails rolling in if you have any concerns for aviation safety as I will be working those into the research (anonymous of course). 

For all of you who know the essence of this research...
Please share this Link to those who qualify:

For those of you who are new to the research: 

Whenever an accident occurs, the industry blames the pilot. However, if we continue to blame the pilot then no one needs to be accountable for necessary improvements. In 2016, the Office of the Inspector General identified that pilots lack flight skills and have problems monitoring their instruments. Incidents and safety reports have identified confusion, lack of understanding, and mode awareness issues. However, I hypothesize: 

Pilots are not to blame, 
but a larger system may be accountable. 

Photo from Mark Restorick

I am looking for commercial pilots 
to participate in a survey. 
Your name will not be taken, 
Ensuring complete anonymity!

Photo from Mark Restorick

To qualify, you must be a commercial pilot (airline, charter, corporate), with a crew compliment of at least two pilots. You may also be retired, or between jobs, if you were actively employed under the above conditions within the previous calendar year.

If you qualify, or know someone who does.
Please send them this website:

If you qualify, please click the link.
Participation should only take 10-15 minutes!   

Please Share with 
a Pilot you Know Today!


Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene