Today I have the privilege of hosting Karlene Petitt, an airline pilot and accomplished writer. Enjoy her post and then skip over to her site, Flight To Success, and read my guest post there. She’s so may light years ahead of me as a pilot I hesitated to post a flying story on her blogsite, but she was kind enough to let me, so check it out—after you read hers.
The stories of my life are many, and when my memoir, Flying into the Wind becomes available, we’ll hear them all. But since it’s December—a time for Christmas Angels and miracles—I’ve selected a story especially for the season of believing in both.
The month—December. The day—Sunday. I was nineteen-years-old, and a low-time pilot building my flight hours. I arrived at the airport early, and the sun had just crested the crystal blue skyline. Mt. Rainier was standing at least 28,000 feet tall. Temperatures were below freezing and frost covered my wings—not much, just a thin layer. There was not a soul around on this early morning. Not a noise other than the crunch of frozen ground beneath my boots.
As I looked at the frost on my wings, and thought, “It’s not much, and the sun will melt it.” I untied one wing. I walked around the plane, touching, looking, and checking the ailerons and elevators. I untied the tail. All the while thinking, “It’s a beautiful day to fly…but what about the frost?” I reached the last tie-down and looked at the left wing. Once again, I wondered if there is too much frost on the wings. Then I decided it would be fine. I untied the second rope, and with the end still in my hand, a man appeared out of nowhere.
“Good morning,” he said. “It’s a beautiful day to fly.”
“Good morning,” I replied. “Yes, it is.”
“I was going to fly,” he said, “but I thought there might be too much frost on the wings.”
“I was thinking the exact same thing,” I said as I proceeded to tie down the left wing, as if that’s what I was doing all along.
“Let me help you,” he said. Picking up the other rope he proceeded to tie down the right wing and then he turned and walked away.
I never heard a car. There was nobody at the local FBO. I looked down the ramp where he headed, and he was nowhere in sight. This stranger stepped into my life, and spoke exactly what I was thinking (I just wasn’t listening to myself). He gave me guidance, tied down my plane, and then walked away. He disappeared.
There was too much frost on my wings. I learned that shortly thereafter. Had I attempted to take that plane into the sky, the consequences could have been devastating. I’m thinking there are signs, messages, miracles, and angels all around. We just have to listen to them.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Karlene Petitt and I write an ‘eclectic’ aviation blog Flight To Success—a place where I motivate, educate, support and inspire anyone following their dreams. I’ve also written my first novel, Flight For Control. Hopefully it will be available by Christmas, 2011.
Flight For Control is an aviation thriller that reads like a mystery. How did I come to write such a book? Well, on top of my writing career, I am an International Airline Pilot who is type-rated and have flown and/or instructed on the B744, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727 and A330 aircraft. I’ve been flying for about 33-years and have worked for Coastal Airways, Evergreen, Braniff, Premair, America West, Guyana, Tower Air, Northwest Airlines and I currently fly an Airbus for Delta.
Writing has always been a passion, but until two years ago, I had only focused on airline training programs, and papers for school. I’ve spent thousands of hours training pilots in full-motion simulators, and in addition to the eight airlines I’ve worked for, I’m the mother of three, and grandmother of five… number six is due next march. I live in Seattle, Washington, and hold MBA and MHS degrees.