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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.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Celebrating a Life of Advocacy

Happy Birthday 

Martin Luther King Junior
"The Time is Always Right 
to do What is Right." 

Dr. King has provided many people around the world the courage to do the right thing. The courage to speak out and stand up for their rights. To speak out and stand up for others. To love enough to not remain silent because of fear. Speak out and be strong for all. 

He has been the voice, the inspiration, and a leader of justice and humanity. What inspires me most is he gave his life for others. He was an advocate of what is right. His life mission, words of wisdom, compassion, and love should never be forgotten. I will live my life in his honor.

When an injustice occurs... we must stand up, despite our fear. That is the only way we can impact the world, as Dr. Martin Luther King has done.

"Our Lives Begin To End 
When We Become Silent."

Keep Living Strong!  
XOX Karlene

Thursday, January 12, 2017

My Baby is

All Grown Up... 

34  Years ago...

My eldest daughter entered my life,
and brought me the greatest joy
I had ever known!

She grew into a beautiful, intelligent, talented,
and amazing young lady,
filled with goodness and compassion.

She was the first to make me a Grandma too!

Despite the many challenges she faces,
there is nothing she can't handle.
She is one of the strongest people I know,
and I am so proud of her, and who she has become.
Happy Birthday Kalimar! 
I Love You!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

When Tragedy Strikes

We Give a Helping Hand 
My eldest daughter's childhood friend, Megan McCullough, has been faced with more life challenges than anyone should have to handle. I've known Megan for 20 years. She has been a close and compassionate friend to my daughter, who supported her in her greatest time of need when my son-in-law was injured. Megan always has a smile for everyone. She's got such a good heart and we all love her so much.


Seven months ago Megan and JT lost their son. 

Last Night, at 39 years young...
JT had a heart attack.

JT's Recovering in ICU after surgery
But the challenges will continue. 

The family is still behind financially after losing the baby, and these medical bills will be astronomical. I'm not sure how Megan will manage it all, but with friends and support she'll get through this. How much should any one family endure?

Megan is a strong young lady, but even the strongest people need support. Sometimes more so because they give everything they have to everyone else. 

Prayers and Blessings sent to 
Megan's family and a rapid 
recovery for JT. 

XOX Karlene 

Monday, January 9, 2017

What Kind of Day

Are You Having?

Sent from a Great Friend

January 8th, 1987, the Dow Jones Average closed above 2000 for the first time. Consensus was, it was over priced. Now... 30 years later I think it will go over 20,000 today. Is it still overpriced?

Have a Beautiful Day!
(or the day you deserve...) 
But Keep Smiling 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Author of:
I am Awesome. The ABCs of me. 

Catch up on the series so you will be ready!

 Flight For Sanity coming February 2017

Motivation and Children too! 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Aviation Reflections...

Of A One Year Old Podcaster 
Happy Podcast Anniversary 
George Nolly! 
George Nolly:
It was, I think, sometime around July 2015. Phil Pagoria, one of the Omni Air pilots I was instructing in the simulator at Denver, invited me to lunch. Being a pilot, I was not one to turn down a free meal!

“You know, George,” he said, “you have a lot of great experience. You should start a podcast.”

“A what?” I asked, since I had no idea what a podcast was.

“Here,” he said, as he opened his iPad, “I’ll show you. See - these are podcasts. They’re like recorded radio shows, and you can download them and listen to them for free.”

It sounded intriguing, but I still had no idea what was involved in producing a show, and not really covinced it wasn’t just some flash-in-the-pan, like 8-track music. I said I’d think about it.

A few months later, my son Steve was visiting from Los Angeles. Steve is very tech-savvy, and our discussion turned to podcasting. He showed me some podcast websites, and told me about John Lee Dumas, who makes millions - millions! - podcasting.

That got my attention. Steve helped me plan, organize and develop the Ready For Takeoff Podcast, and we planned a launch at the end of the year.

There was a lot of work to do. First, I had to decide what the focus of the podcast would be. I knew it would be something aviation related, and finally came up with the focus: turn your aviation passion into a career. The podcast would be educational “talking head” programs and interviews with pilots who have expanded their horizons beyond simply flying for ABC Airlines.

“Now, Dad,” Steve said, “this isn’t some get-rich-quick scheme. It will take time to develop a following and get sponsors. We need to plan on not getting any sponsors for at least a year.”

Not a problem. It sounded like it could be fun. I like playing with equipment, and there was a lot to play with. I had just upgraded to a MacBook Pro, and I added an Audio Technica professional microphone with a pop filter, shock mount and scissor arm stand. Then, of course, I needed an accoustic microphone isolation shield. And a Tascam digital recorder. And a Skype recorder add-on, as a back-up in case the Tascam had a problem.

Then I got the Adobe Audition audio editing program. And, of course, I had to learn how to use the program. This was beginning to look like buying a goldfish and ending up with a complete acquarium setup.

Steve set up my website (, produced my logo, and built my production and post-production checklists. And, of course, I had to learn how to upload the recordings to iTunes and Stitcher Radio. After a lot of preparation, I was ready to go.

When Steve visited again for Christmas, we produced the first eight programs and launched them all on December 28, 2015. They were a mix of me talking about some subjects, and me interviewing pilots who had interesting and eclectic jobs. We decided to have one episode per week, launching every Monday.

At first, there wasn’t a lot of structure to the show. I knew I was shooting for about a 35-minute length, since that’s the duration of a typical commute, and I envisioned my subscribers listening on their way to work. Later, I added some standard questions at the end of each interview: 1) what advice do you have for someone just starting out? and 2) what’s on your aviation bucket list?

I’ve just gone over 60 episodes in the year we’ve been up, and it’s been a really, really fun ride. I’ve gotten to talk about some subjects I really find interesting, like Aviation Physiology, Winter Operations, Layover Security, and How To Get An Airline Job. The best part, though, has been the opportunity to talk to some really amazing, inspiring people who were generous with their time and attention. Airshow pilots, former Air Force Thunderbird pilots, a Vietnam War ace, a Blue Angel, a TOPGUN instructor, an F-117 pilot, a pilot who flew helicopters in Afghanistan as a civilian. And, of course, Phil Pagoria, talking about how he paid his dues flying airplanes for less money than they paid the guys who wash the planes, and how he went from that to flying for a regional, then Omni, then Virgin America, and finally to the legacy airline where he now works.

Perhaps the neatest group of interviewees is that rare breed of pilots who can write as well as fly. A lot of my guests are authors. Take Karlene Pettit, for example. She flies full-time with her airline, operates a blog, has an awesome novel series, and is finishing up her PhD!

It’s been a really fun journey. And, if you’re a pilot, I know what you’re going to ask: how much money have I made with this project? Before I answer, let me tell you about a First Officer I once flew with. He had a side business as a tree farmer. I think it was walnuts. I asked him how much money the business was producing. “Oh, nothing yet,” he said. “It’s slow-motion farming. I plant the trees, maintain them, and in a few years some of them will be ready to harvest.”

So, I’m doing slow-motion farming with the podcast. So far it’s been costing money to run the show. When I have a large enough subscriber base, I’ll consider getting sponsors. But right now, I have a project that really gets my juices flowing and has me learning more every day. And every week I just can’t wait to hit Record!
Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Rob Burgon

Blogging in Formation Update!   
Looking forward to the New Year... It's fun to look back at the past and see what our Friday Flyers are doing today. Time to catch up with Rob Burgon.


2017 started out snowy and cold for me. I was in the driveway scraping ice and snow off my car's windshield before the sun was up. I had been called out to fly an out-and-back from SLC to MCO—a long day with an early start. I took it slow as I started my journey to the airport over the snow-packed roads. The streets were mostly empty; the New Year's Eve revelers had likely just retired from the previous night's festivities.

I had just made a right turn onto the main road out of my neighborhood when I saw a car weaving up a side street towards me. Instead of stopping at the stop sign to give me the right of way, the car—a small, white hatchback going the wrong way up the side street—blew through the stop sign. I barely had time to swerve out of the way as the small car narrowly missed me, passing between me and the curb. The driver, most likely drunk, continued in the direction away from me on the wrong side of the road and disappeared down the next quiet neighborhood street. 

The entire incident happened in a matter of seconds. I stopped at the next traffic light and paused to reflect on what had just happened. 2017 just about started with a car accident and a missed trip, but it didn't. I had been spared physical injury and the hassle of calling the police, filling out accident reports, and dealing with insurance companies and a broken vehicle. The split second it took to swerve out of the way made all the difference.

2016 had plenty of swerving—it was the year I made major changes in my profession. I started flying with my Air Force Reserve squadron after making the transition from active duty, and I went through training and started flying with a major airline shortly after my transition to the Reserves. In addition to my career changes, my wife and I had our third (and FINAL!) child and moved the family across the country to get set up for our civilian job. Now that I think about it, to say that 2016 had "plenty of swerving" was an understatement!

I capped off 2016 with the release of my first published book, Piano Burning and Other Fighter Pilot Traditions. It was fun to capture in writing the oral traditions passed from one generation of fighter pilots to another. Over the brief span of my 12-year active duty career, I had seen many traditions slowly begin to fade. I wanted to preserve the rich heritage of fighter pilots past, if only on the pages of a book, so they wouldn't die out completely. 

As for my writing, 2017 has a lot in store. I've already begun working on my next book (shhh…the subject is under wraps for now!) I have revitalized Tally One and have taken on some other pilot/authors to help keep the content flowing.

Although I'm excited for what the year ahead has in store, I remain cautious. Just like the New Year's Day incident with the drunk driver in the hatchback, problems can lurk around every corner. My New Year's Resolution is to be constantly alert for such problems and prepared to deal with them at all times. 2017 is the year of vigilance and preparation for me. What does 2017 have in store for you? Check six"
Thank you Rob! 

Happy New Year!
XO Karlene 

Author of:
I am Awesome. The ABCs of me. 

Catch up on the series so you will be ready!

 Flight For Sanity coming February 2017

Motivation and Children too! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Eric Auxier

Looking forward to the New Year... It's fun to look back at the past and see what our Friday Flyers are doing today. Time to catch up with Eric Auxier! 

"Cap'n Aux" 
"2016 turned out to be quite a year, of adventure, and of change. Bunny and I started it off right, being guest speakers aboard Airways Magazine's Caribbean cruise. We met all manner of new friends on the cruise, and are looking forward to speaking again and meeting new friends on 2017's Airways Alaska cruise in May. Join us!

Our merger into "the New American Airlines" has been tumultuous, but I am glad we are finally "one, big happy family," and moving on with our lives. I am happy to retain the Left Seat of my precious A321 series Airbus out of my home town and home base of PHX.

2016 was a year of wins, and of loss. Sadly, Bunny lost her hero, her father, Artemio, age 95, a guerrilla freedom fighter in the jungles of the Philippines during WWII. He lived long enough, however, to learn that Bunny took the Bronze in the NPC National Bodybuilding championship!

I also published my 7th and 8th books, "There I Wuz! Volume 3," and "Code Name: Dodger Mission 4," which wraps up the "spy/fly" thriller series. Sad to see my good friend Justin Reed go, but excited for the rave reviews I've received for the book! In 2017, I'll be publishing Volume 4 of "There I Wuz!", and will finally start working on that long-awaited sequel to "The Last Bush Pilots."

While '16 saw a very dramatic and contentious presidential election, I have high hopes that '17 will bring a year of healing and prosperity, not only to the U.S., but to the world. Despite the challenges, I will continue to support Karlene in her crusade to thwart the "Race to the bottom" that seems to be going on in our airline industry, in regards to safety."
Thank you Cap'n Aux! 

Happy New Year!
XO Karlene 

Author of:
I am Awesome. The ABCs of me. 

Catch up on the series so you will be ready!

 Flight For Sanity coming February 2017

Motivation and Children too!