Contract Airline Services

"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.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Research in the Rainforest!

Pilots... we need photos! 

Miguel Angel Trinidad, 
Needs your assistance. 

Miguel needs pilots who are flying over 
the gulf of Mexico to South America, 
to snap photos for his research!

"I am Senior student of Biochemical Engineering, working on an environmental project in the Tropical Rainforest of Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz (México).

This is a non-profit project aimed to collect technical and scientific information available to understand and determine the current water quality withdrawal for human consumption, and as well the future availability in ten rural communities of the study area.

The project needs aerial images to see how the vegetation is distributed over the mountains from an oblique perspective. It's something so simple that the pilots or the crew can do it with an ordinary smart phone camera. There are no special requirements. The altitude, the direction and the distance are not a problem. The airways to South America are so close to the area of the project that you could spot it easily from the air with good weather conditions. The images are going to be very helpful. A lot of data have been gathered but images are missing.

The water quality and availability have been severely damaged in the coastal area of the Los Tuxtlas due to the deforestation of the zone as a product of the human activities in the past decades. As a rural area there is no access to infrastructure or technology that helps to improve the water quality. So most of the communities can just only rely on springs located away and uphill several feet above the level of the sea and few of them rely on streams. 

We were sampling the the water sources of the area and we need to determine the major cause of the variation of some crucial parameters, find solutions and alternatives to each particular case in order to ensure the long term water quality and availability.

The imagery is crucial for a complete aerial analysis 
of the damaged and preserved forested areas. 

This will help us to provide with the most complete, accurate and useful information to all those people living in the rural area (a little bit more about 2000 people in those 10 communities), in a way that they can easily understand about their water sources, aquifers and how the soil, underground conditions, geological area, climate, precipitation and the lost of forested areas have, and will have major influence over the amount of water available. And what they can do to manage effectively their water resources, contributing to preserve their health and also enhance the water quality on a sustainable way. 

The credits of the images will be shown in the final report. 
Thank you, Miguel."

If you fly over this route, 
would you please take some photos for Miguel?

You can email the photos to:
Miguel Angel Trinidad Martínez 

Please share this with the pilots you know 
who might be able to help. 
Thank you so much!!!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Air Force One Confusion

With Eastern Airlines...

"The origin of the call sign Air Force One became newsworthy this past March when a restored Lockheed Constellation took flight for the first time in more than a decade. The aircraft’s given name is Columbine II, but it was also the first presidential aircraft to be called Air Force One." 

Air Force 8619: "Washington Center this is Air Force 8610 (eight six one zero). We’re at 19,000 feet and descending to an assigned altitude of 15,000 feet. We’re about 15 miles from the Richmond VOR and landing at Andrews Air Force Base. We have the President of the United States on board."

ATC: "Roger Air Force 8610, let me know when you are level at One Five Thousand and crossing the Richmond VOR. Be aware that there is an Eastern Airlines Flight 8610 about to come up to my frequency." 

Air Force 8619: "Roger, Center. Air Force 8610. We’ll give you level at 15,000 and crossing the VOR."

Eastern 8610: "Hey, Washington Center. This is Eastern 8610 checking in with you at One Niner Thousand about 25 miles from the Richmond VOR. Were you trying to call us? We heard our flight number as we were checking in. Hope we didn’t miss anything."

ATC: "Eastern 8610, I have you in radar contact. Please confirm your altitude at 19,000. And we have an Air Force C-121 ahead of you landing at Andrews. His call number is Air Force 8610. That’s what you heard." 

Eastern 8610: "OK, we copy that and we’re at nineteen thousand and looking for a lower altitude. We’re landing at Washington National. We’ll stay out of his way." 

ATC: Be right back with you Eastern……..Air Force 8610, there is an Eastern 8610 on my frequency at 19,000 feet. Confirm your type aircraft, altitude and position.

Air Force 8610: "Washington Center, we’re a Lockheed Constellation C-121A aircraft level at 15 Thousand and just crossing the Richmond VOR."

"A Secret Service agent on the plane noted the confusion and thought the president’s plane should have a unique call sign. The agent later arranged a meeting at then-Washington National Airport that included William Draper, Aircraft Commander of Air Force 8610, and officials from the Civil Aviation Authority (the FAA’s precursor), Air Force, Secret Service and the White House."

The History of Columbine II

If you want to learn more 
Join your Eastern Airlines Crew 
on the EAL Radio Show 

December 11, 2017

Episode 345!
7 pm EDT

Call 213-816-1611 

Where you can either listen or talk
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, December 8, 2017

Human Factors Extraordinaire

Friday's Fabulous Flyer! 

 Gitte Furdal Damm

Gitte Furdal Damm is 47 years old and has been happily married for twenty years. She lives in Denmark and is blessed with two sons. Her flying background includes having flown the King Air 200 in Africa and Pakistan for the U.N. She also flew the ATR 42/72 Cimber Air/ CimberSterling, and the ATR 72-600 Jettime, and she has also been a CRM Instructor and Flight Crew Supervisor. 

While Gitte has been a pilot for 20 years with various Danish airlines, last year she departed for a life of another kind. 

"I changed the controls of the aircraft 
to be the captain of my own company."

Gitte now teaches CRM  and states her point of view on different aviation topics in articles. She has a few works in progress to include: 
  • Writing articles for AeroTime 
  • Teaching CRM in own company, About Human Factors
  • Teaching CRM freelance for a Danish company, NaviMinds
Her life experience, education, and passion for mental health has created a foundation for her writing. She is also currently taking classes at the Danish University in Personality psychology, and previously in Cognition and Social Psychology. She is  a Certified Life, Business and Stress Coach too! 

Gitte loves spending time with her family, winter swimming, and running with her gorgeous dog. She also loves reading books, meditating, and having a glass of wine with good friends. She is my kind of lady! This week on the Flight To Success blog Gitte's articles have been the topic of discussion. 

To Contact Gitte,
and to learn more about 
Human Factors
Go to her website: 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Why is Mental Health Stigmatized...

In Aviation?

Afraid of Losing Your Medical

For the previous two days I have been writing posts authored by Gitte Damm concerning human factors with resilience and personalities in the flight deck. Today she writes about mental health:  

"Since nobody has talked openly about these issues in the airlines, too many pilots are afraid of losing their medical – not being aware of the fact that it is treatable. It can be difficult to express mental issues because it is individual and invisible to others. It’s always easier saying “I broke my arm, and will be away for the next couple of weeks”.

I find one of the reasons to why pilots find it hard to speak up, is trust issues with the management. Being a pilot is a dynamic job, with different colleagues every time, different places for check in and you might not have seen your leader/chief pilot in months. This can create a distance and a culture among aircrew where it is “them versus us” making it hard to establish a trust of which you would feel comfortable talking about mental health issues.

We have seen it with the problem of pilot fatigue. Again it’s individual, and not black and white. A survey made in Europe in 2012 told us that only 20-30% of pilots write a report, when being fatigued. The argument I meet when out teaching is often in the lines of “why bother, nobody does anything about it”.

Is Mental Health Self-Assessment 
A Weakness or a Strength?

Self assessment should be a strength. Pilots who can say, "Today I can't fly!" because of a thunderstorm in the environment or one in their personal lives should be applauded. We want our pilots to come forward, but the problem begins when the pilot's career is on the line if they claim they may have a problem, even if only for a day. 

Currently there are far too many airline managers (pilots no less) that are utilizing mental health as a retaliatory tactic, because they can. The FAA has termed this "medicalization of a workplace dispute." Not only a dispute, but pilots have been retaliated with this tactic for bringing safety issues forward. 

JDA Solutions

At U.S. airlines, mental health is also considered in the same category as an alcoholic for insurance purposes. If the pilot has a drinking problem they are allotted a given amount of time (1-2 years) to get clean and sober or they are off disability. If they clean up, they can return to flying. 

However, a pilot with a mental health issue may not have an option to get better, and it is definitely not a choice. If able to get better, it may not be in the time frame identified for an alcoholic. Thus, pilots will not come forward because if they lose their medical, they will not be protected with disability insurance in the same manner as if they had a stroke. This must be changed to enable pilots to come forward if they have a serious problem. 

Mental health is a serious issue and should be addressed similarly as any other illness. It does not have to be permanent, but it can be performance impacting if not treated. Every airline should allow for mental health days of their employees without fear of retaliation. Pilot managers who use mental health as a retaliatory tactic against pilots who report safety issues should be castrated or at the very least held accountable. 

It's Time for Change! 
Thankfully Gitte Damm is making an effort!  

To read Gitte's full article on mental health, 
to include tips on stress management, 
click on the link below: 

Never Give Up...
You are not alone!

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Personalities in the Flight Deck

Do Personalities Impact Performance?

How we behave and interact with our fellow crewmembers impacts performance and is the essence of Crew Resource Management (CRM). In the early days the pilots referred to this as Charm School. Not all pilots needed to be fixed, but we all learned that certain behaviors alienated crew members while other behaviors encouraged a team effort. Many pilots were forced to conform to the appropriate behavior, and they did. While other pilots already had the personality that worked well with others.

Did CRM change personalities? Probably not. But not unlike a two-year old who throws a temper tantrum, pilots with inappropriate behavior learned what was acceptable and what was not.

CRM training did not change the personalities of the curmudgeons in the cockpit, it just gave them guidance as how to behave going forward, and identified behavior that could achieve the highest crew performance and help to eliminate errors. Thus the question prevails, is there a perfect pilot personality or can anybody learn how to behave in a particular environment?

Dr. Cuevas (2003) researched the pilot personality and reported that pilots innately exude confidence, and due to this greater confidence they can deal more effectively with higher amounts of stress than less confident individuals. Perhaps this rolls back to yesterday's discussion on resilience.

What are the perfect personality 
traits of a pilot?

Gitte Furdal Damm, pilot and human factors expert, wrote an interesting article on personality. She states...

"Looking at personality traits, I would like to focus on extraversion versus introversion. In my opinion, here is an expectation and acceptance of a pilot being of the more extroverted type, maybe especially the pilot in the left seat. A behaviour that might be more difficult for an introvert captain to comply with. Let´s assume that you have an introverted captain, flying with a highly extroverted first officer. One might imagine that this could cause some disruption in the crew interaction and this, in turn, might lead to errors. Or perhaps that two extroverts in the cockpit could create a more competitive atmosphere, which might influence the cockpit gradient.

One might ask whether the expectation of a pilot being more of the extrovert type is a paradigm that does not represent the reality of pilot personality? Is it time also to appreciate the more introvert type in the job and in training? So, how can we use this knowledge in the cockpit?..."

What if pilots appeared more extroverted because of a higher level of confidence? On the other hand, a pilot who is introverted could come across as less confident. Less confidence is often associated with the assumption of lower performance. However, could extroversion provide confidence to speak out when necessary, whereas the introverted pilot may remain silent when they shouldn't?

We need pilots to have the courage and personality to speak out when they need to, but being assertive does not mean being aggressive. Perhaps we need to teach better communication skills to all our pilots in order to bring out the best of any personality.

Te read To read Gitte's complete article click the following link: 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Human Factors & Resilience

In Aviation! 

This week I learned that in 2016 the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) mandated resilience training for pilots in response to the German Wings crash. I would love to learn more about this type of training, in that I had always thought resilience was a natural tendency. Either you were, or you weren't. However, it makes sense that we could teach resilience as that the process could be similar to teaching people how to deal appropriately with stress. 

Gitte Furdal Damm, pilot and human factors expert wrote an interesting article on resilience. She states...

"Resilience is a psychological term that came about in the 1970s. Psychologists working with dysfunctional families found that siblings are able to develop differently despite coming from the same background with identical conditions. While one of the siblings would follow the pattern of their parents, the other would somehow break the pattern and create a better life. This sibling would be what is called resilient.

Though it seems that there are different ways of defining resilience, my approach to resilience development is based upon this definition: “Showing the ability to successfully navigate high levels of challenge and change, and to bounce back after stressful or traumatic events.”

After many years of talking about stress management, resilience might be the new term used for pilots to cope in an industry that is changing more rapidly than ever before. Resilience implies being prepared not only for what you are trained but also for unexpected (black swan) events. We don´t really know exactly how we will respond or, in other words, how resilient we are, until it happens. Research actually shows that people are more resilient than they think when faced with adversity."

How Resilient are You?

Do you think resiliency is an necessary skill for a pilot? Perhaps in our current world anyone who could learn to be more resilient would benefit. 

To read Gitte's complete article click the following link: 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Monday, December 4, 2017

WWII Revisited!

Join your Eastern Airlines Crew 
on the EAL Radio Show 

Episode 344

A show you won't want to miss! 
Share your stories
or ask questions, 
but you don't want to miss tonight!


The American Legion
Media & Communications Division
November 2016

"Seventy-five years later most of the witnesses are no longer with us but the legacy of the men and women who defended Pearl Harbor on the day of infamy will always remain. It was a day that defined America and changed the world. 

Service, sacrifice and valor were demonstrated by American heroes at unprecedented levels and foreshadowed the trials, toughness and grit that epitomized the Greatest Generation during the Second World War..."

Among "Breaking News" tonight's discussion
will revolve around WWII

Monday December 4, 2017
7 pm EDT

Call 213-816-1611 

Where you can either listen or talk.
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, December 1, 2017

Honoring Aviators!

Gratitude to Emilio Corsetti III

Emilio Corsetti III

Emilio Corsetti is a pilot and non-fiction author who is writing the truth in aviation, and the injustice against aviators. His book Scape Goat was an excellent account of what really happened to Hoot Gibson, and one of the best I have read. After reading this book it made me think of the aviators in who have died in an airline crash and were blamed because they were not alive to defend themselves. It's always easy to blame the pilot when they aren't around. Hoot and Captain Sully survived to fight their battles and the truth, but the blame game continues. In Hoot's case, he gave his life to fighting for the truth. Without the truth, how will anything be changed?

Emilio has published another book and I asked him to send me an update on what he's doing so I could make him a Friday Flyer again. But he wanted to honor the pilots in the Hoot Gibson story: Scott Kennedy, Jim McIntyre, and Hoot Gibson. 

Emilio Corsetti: 

"The three men in the picture above are, from left to right, Scott Kennedy, Jim McIntyre, and Hoot Gibson. All three are ex TWA pilots. All three have since passed away. Scott Kennedy passed away in October of this year.

This 1981 picture is notable because Scott and Hoot are receiving a meritorious service award from ALPA for their actions in saving a Boeing 727 from nearly crashing and killing everyone on board. Jim McIntyre was the head of the TWA accident investigation committee that helped investigate the incident. Missing from the picture is the third crew member flight engineer Garry Banks.

Most pilots above the age of fifty-five or so will remember the circumstance surrounding TWA flight 841. That's because after a two-year investigation the NTSB blamed the crew for causing the near-fatal crash. The NTSB theory of the near-crash is that the two pilots, Hoot and Scott, performed an unauthorized procedure involving the flaps and slats while in cruise that went very wrong when the FE returned and pushed in a pulled circuit breaker.

So how can a professional flight crew be blamed for such a reckless action yet receive an award for the same incident? I take a detailed look at that question in my book Scapegoat: A Flight Crew's Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption. What I learned was that the TWA 841 investigation was severely flawed. And like a wrongful conviction in a criminal case, the consequences of that mistake may have led to other incidents.

While TWA stood behind the three pilots despite the NTSB findings, all three would suffer from the false accusations for the remainder of their careers.

At the time of the incident, the Boeing 727 was the most popular aircraft in the world. Blaming the pilots was a lot easier than grounding an entire fleet. Now for the first time, the evidence is available for all to see. So, was there a problem with the plane or was there a problem with the flight crew?"

Check out a great interview 

His next book 35 Miles from Shore
is on it's way to my home! 
More to come on that...
But with such exceptional writing I cannot wait!

For more information 
go to: 

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Powering Up Old Technology

Once upon a time, a commercial pilot was searching through his grandmother's office, and came across a very strange contraption. 

What the heck is this? He wondered. 

His grandmother was a retired airline pilot, and he often found training manuals in the form of actual books where he could read and fully understand how the aircraft operated. Today, he found something rather interesting, but he was dumbfounded as to what it was. 

"Grandmother. What is this thing?" he asked.

"An E6-B," she replied.


"A Wiz Wheel." 


"It's a circular slide rule," she calmly replied. "Used for navigation." 

"Grandma, I'm still not following." He turned the instrument from front to back. How could anyone navigate with this thing?

Grandma sighed. "It's an analogue computer."

"Oh! Now I understand!" he finally exclaimed. 

A few hours later grandam retuned to her office 
and this is what she found... 

"If you know where you are, 
you will never be lost, 
because there you will be."

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Entry into a Holding Pattern

I'm diligently studying for my New Aircraft
and a friend sent me the updated version
of Holding Entries. 

Always time to lear something new!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Giving Tuesday!

We Need YOU! 

Donate this Giving Tuesday and give the gift of Science and Education! I challenge you to donate $10 today!! 

Help Inspire our Children
To Think, Learn, and Grow! 

XO Karlene 

Mystery Aircraft

Provides Support for Pilots! 

Air National Guard by

Saturday October 25th Seattle Air Traffic Controllers noticed an aircraft in their space, without a transponder. Therefore they began querying airline pilots. This completely white aircraft was identified by multiple airliners. However, when the Oregon National Guard came to action, they could see nothing. The aircraft was gone. 

Kyle Mizokami, from Popular Mechanics, stated:

"The aircraft was near Crater Lake, Oregon when air traffic controllers started asking nearby pilots about it. The aircraft was described as a white object flying north between 35,000 and 40,000 feet. At one point in the air traffic controller audio clip, one pilot says the mystery bird is 12 to 15 miles away, and distances from other aircraft ranged from four to 20 miles. Another pilot, observing the aircraft, estimates an airspeed of 370 knots, or 425 miles an hour on the ground, also noting he is not getting a TCAS transponder signal."

"Most intriguingly, (this aircraft) could not 
be picked up on radar."

Thus, for all those who believe that technology
can do anything pilots can do...

This is one case where
technology could not see another aircraft,
But the pilot could! 

Never Underestimate the Importance
Of your Pilot!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

Monday, November 27, 2017

History of the L1011

Flying Strong in her day!

Join your Eastern Airlines Crew 
on the EAL Radio Show 
Episode 343

Among "Breaking News" tonight's discussion
will revolve around the L1011.

L1011 Expert will be on the Line! 

Chuck Albright

Chuck worked on the L-1011 for over 10 years at EAL. He was one of 12 mechanics out of 4000 in MIA, qualified to test run and ground taxi all of the L-1011s in EAL inventory coming out of the overhaul section in MIA.

A show you won't want to miss! 
Share your experiences
or ask questions, 
but you don't want to miss tonight!

Monday November 27, 2017
7 pm EDT

Call 213-816-1611 

Where you can either listen or talk.
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
XOX Karlene