Neil Armstrong (1930 – 2012)

“That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind”
― Neil Armstrong

After having a good coffee and listening to the Motion Picture Soundtrack to “Apollo 13” performed by the Prague Philharmonic, I always get a good tear that comes to my eye when I think of the quote above – even when Neil Armstrong was alive.

If we were to take Armstrong’s quote and think about it, not only was it an astronomical achievement for science itself, but every time I hear a young child say, “I wanna be an astronaut when I grow up” I think of Neil Armstrong. A pioneer, innovator, and someone who turned a dream not only into reality for science, but also for those very young lives with a dream.

I was not fortunate enough to be alive during the time when Neil Armstrong first set foot on lunar soil, but I remember that of what my parents tell me. My great grandmother refused to believe it was real. She thought it as all set up in a TV studio. For those who believed it truly happened, nothing would ever be the same again.

The Control Tower from above vectored/directed Armstrong into a flight path that changed the course of history not only for the sake of history, but also to fuel the dreams of many only waiting to take us further and faster.


May his legacy shine through our future aviators, scientists, and dreamers.



Microsoft Flight Simulator Part 2

How on Earth could I possibly fit 65+ photos into one post?  Here we continue..



Let’s share the memories… Every year I did an annual commemoration simulation to mark my anniversary to commercial aviation 17 June 1996.


Putting down the gear over Long Island (5-Towns area) for JFK 31L A very familiar neighborhood to me.


Touching down 31L coming in From FRA..


The A380: Both Beauty and a Beast (But then beauty is in the eye of the beholder)


Debarking and celebrating yet another successful A380 mission at Terminal 1. (Only to turn around to get called back by Korean to go back to Asia..)


I was proud to have serviced Korean in so many ways. I gave them my heart and Seoul on both the 777-300ER and the A380.


Another carrier I was happy to service as Captain on both A380 and 777-300ER was Singapore.. Here we are off to Changi from Hong Kong..



MEL – SIN As peaceful as this photo seems we had just climbed out of some very choppy weather..


Even though most of my assignments were on the longhaul heavies.. I loved doing domestic A319/20 ops. Here is our Redwood baby climbing out of JFK for SFO on the Breezy Point/RBV departure SID. (31L was under renovations at the time.)


Memphis based Pinnacle Airlines was a shadow airline I serviced for NW. Here was our LENDY5 (now LENDY6) STAR into JFK’s 22L from Detroit. (CRJ2)


On final for Kennedy’s 31L from LAX. This was the end of my first A330 training with more to follow with other carriers.


I loved Virgin Atlantic.. because they trained me for Captainship (despite the fact I remained FO) on this flight from JFK-LHR. And yes, again, the 31L Canarsie Departure.


Short ride into O’Hare from Dulles.


Smoking the mains…


Loading Noah’s Ark


Busy morning as both 04s were in use here at JFK. Waiting to line up to leave for Gualruhos.


Off to Osaka


CSI Miami: EL AL Style.. After a diversion to MIA we lift off to go back to JFK to attempt to be ready for the midnight flight out to TLV..


Another aircraft that I was a candidate to train for Captaincy. I loved this piece of metal dearly. Here we are smoking the main at HKG. I also flew this aircraft AMS-JFK. Then never flew it again. It was nice while it lasted.


Delta usually called during the summer. Especially for the 2009-2010 Mediterranean 777 upgrades. Here we are leaving NYC in style via the 31L “Bridge Climb” departure for Madrid-Barajas.


Coming into AMS from Minneapolis..


Intercepting MERIT en route to Tel Aviv


The thunder rolls..


The buck stops here..


Routine ride over to DeGaulle from Kennedy. This time as Air France 7. Rocketing out of 22R.


Turn to final..


Alitalia one of my more interesting clients.. But I would never pass up a chance to fly into Malpensa especially in my 777..


I was in charge of the landing as First Officer however it went better than expected. Love Ben Gurion..


On board KLM 644 as deputy Senior Officer. And yes, there is a secret reason why my fuel load is quite substantial.


Exterior view..


A Typical trip for one of the alliances. I was literally locked up for days. (Usually over the weekends.) I rarely saw the day of light unless it was from my computer.



Back in the USA from Sydney.. Now off to A330 bootcamp



“Longreach” Always a reflection of how far I am reaching both in the virtual skies and real life skies. Reach for the skies and take your dreams off to reality..


I had never experienced so many anxious passengers in my life. Especially 48K who decided to stuff three soiled baby diapers in their front seat pocket.  I rest assure you Carliysle Aviation Services on behalf of our esteemed client Air France contacted the person and sent them a nice bill.


Off to DeGaulle. Again. Leaving Terminal 1 from Gate 6. The same gate I boarded my first 777 (F-GSPM) to Paris (in real life)


Over Iraq en route to the United Arab Emriates. Yes, this debut flight.


KLM wasn’t the only 777 I serviced to AMS


One of the longer missions… LAX-Dubai


Detroit – Amsterdam


Dynasty 20 Heavy in bound JFK 22L from KIX


Resting peacefully at the gate. And so was I…


Pressing on despite the weather. One nasty NYC evening..



TEAM WORK: Captain Natan Hoffmann rockets off 22R as I take my load over to the same runway for our ride.


Thanks to all of my passengers for their nice shots. Our departure from ORD en route to LGA.


So many memories, so many thoughts and all the frustration that went into the program I must say that it was well worth it.  What is your motivation to success?  And what channel do you use to fuel your throttle?


One of my best and fondest memories of the program:


Captain Natan Hoffmann, Boeing 747-400, Senior Officer Jeremy Carlisle, Boeing 737-800 in formation flight over Israel.


My last scheduled simulation was to be on June 6th, 2012, non-stop Honolulu-JFK in a Hawaiian Airbus Industrie A330-200.  Due to time constraints, I could not do the trip and decided to release my program from the computer.  As a result, I dedicate my two Flight Simulator tribute posts to the launch flight of Hawaiian Airlines 50 Heavy.




Once again, I have so many people to thank not only for their time, but their patience.

Mike for taking the time to train me on the PSS 777, for sending me the traffic program all the way over here to the US – I am forever greatful.  My airports couldn’t have been busier because of you.  And trust me – they were  BUSY!

To Jonny and Jason for getting me to realise that being a purist wasn’t the worst thing in the world.  It was actually one of the best decisions that I have made and by the photos, everyone can be a judge of that.

Natan, thank you for your time and many hours of putting up with my frustrations, problem solving, and for the many hours and many virtual trips we’ve done together. You have taught me everything a Boeing Captain needs to know.  It was an honor being both your Captain and FO.

To Karlene, what can I say?  Thank you for teaching me not only to be an effective (simulator pilot), an 744/A330 one at that, but also your kind words and encouragement, especially after I announced my retirement – for good reason – to become a real pilot.  I assure you I will be going back into the closet to get my uniform and hat to join you on a Boeing someday sitting to your right.  Also thank you for meeting me at the virtual gate in Seattle.  The long flights make a person lonely especially when you feel like your the only one on the flight deck.

To my Twitter family who have come aboard my virtual trips.  They wouldn’t have been the same without you all.  Trust me.

Most of all, thank you to Phoenix Simulations, PSS JustFlight, Airbus AeroSim, Wilco Airbus, Project Opensky, PMDG, VATSim, Project Airbus, Aerosoft, and FS DreamTeam JFK.  These photos are a testament to your success as software developers.  Only if you knew what joy and enthusiasm you have put into many aviation enthusiasts, such as myself, around the world.  To all of my virtual “clients”, I will see you all in the real life skies – as an ATP.

And most, most of all thank you to all of you, who have put up with my multiple Facebook and Twitter postings of my screenshots.  You all have been very tolerant people, indeed.










































Microsoft Flight Simulator

Microsoft Flight Simulator. 

A computer program that has been a major part of my life since 1998.  Little did I know what the outcome would be after having installed the program into my PC some 14 years ago.  Ask me then what an ILS, APU, CDU, PFD, FMC/FMS was I wouldn’t even know where to begin.  I had no concept of how to program my flight management systems to intercept an intersection or VOR at a certain speed and altitude when approaching the airport.  I had  no concept of oceanic clearance, position reports, less alone what CAT I/II/III stood for.  What would I do if I was incoming to land, had 5 aircraft in front of me and wanted to avoid a go-around?  No knowledge of slow flight.  No knowledge of what to do for an in-flight shutdown.  Flying and even simulating is much more than taking off and pressing a button.  Even on the simulator…




Despite the fact many people have told me and asked me why I “wasted” so much of my precious time on the program, this comes to show the good this program has done for my aeronautical education.  To take it a step further, it fueled my passion for the real thing to such a degree, that the end result was my untimely “retirement” from FS this past June, with the exception of my play dates with the nephew.  I have reached my fullest potential with the program. It has flown me to where I need to be: the real thing.  As the motto goes, “As real as it gets.”

Always looking forward to lovely weather coming into DeGaulle…


I could write a series of novels of my experiences with Microsoft Flight Simulator.  But then, pictures are worth a thousand words.  I was deciding which of the hundreds to showcase, however it was all too very hard to choose which ones to publish. The results are below the article..

A few memories to share were my first flights in the Cessna SkyHawk C172 tutorial…  The multiple crash landings.  They were fun at first, but then I thought what if this happened to me in real life?  After that I became more serious in my practice “flights” taking them to a whole new level.  Shortly after that I found myself sitting in front of a Boeing 737-200 virtual flight panel.  More complex.  More detailed.  As my trial and error knowledge continued to started to self teach the instruments, their functions, and with the help of online aviation pen-pals, some of them real life pilots, I learned a lot.  Support groups of fellow both pilots and simulator pilots, I was able to soar with knowledge not only with instruments on the base panel but also with flight simulation skills.  With all of that, I had only touched the edge of the surface that I had to break through, especially with my destined training and usage of a professional panel of one of the most technologically advanced aircraft today: the Boeing Triple Seven.

As time went on, I learned many aircraft and their functions from a base panel, or generic flight deck.  Nothing was realistic but it gave me a starting ground.   Then other aircraft followed.  Then came the real tests: flight simulations both short and long haul.  It was time to go into the closet to test my skills.  I was quite pleased with the results that followed and I then had a new obsession.  Or was it an obsession?  Perhaps, a passion.. or at least the fuel for it.

First set of flight simulations came with the FS tutorials: LAX-JFK in the Boeing 737-200.  Having no knowledge with SIDs or STARs, I flew basic maneuvers and was acquainted with VORs and Intersections along with my flight planning or flight plans that were given to me.  Soon after when Flight Simulator 2000 came out and introduced me to the 777, I trained on the tutorial for the O’Hare-Heathrow flight.  Soon after, I had a professional add-on program for the Boeing Triple Seven to which I spent countless hours brainstorming, working, and teaching myself with the help of friends, (you know who you are) to really learn how to fly a 777 using a real virtual flight deck. (From cold and dark to engine start up to flight back to the way you found it.)   That landed me so much success and the feeling of accomplishment was so great that I kept doing these 777 tutorials over and over.  The 777 became love at first “flight.”


One of the sexiest planes I ever took to the virtual skies.. Here we are leaving Boeing Field (KBFI) in Washington State for a test drive.


Once I was acquainted with the Boeing family years later, I moved on to train with Airbus.  Even with both basic and specialized panels I had a grasp on many concepts.  Training on the A319/320/321  along with the FMS was a difficult transition from the Boeing FMC but I wanted knowledge of both FMC/FMS concepts.  I also took on to train on the A330/40 and ultimately the A380 to which was a whole new way of things to look up to.  Literally.  (Just because you are not sitting in the real flight deck doesn’t mean that the outside doesn’t appear to be much lower than it actually seems.)


Our arrival into Singapore from Melbourne


Flight Simulator was full of adventure and even the real stuff happened such as engine number two shutting down on final into Orlando-MCO (757) or turbulence blowing us substantially off course.  Yes there has to be that buffer zone between your craft and the guy cruising beside or near you.  The VAT Sim controllers were always fun to communicate with especially the ones who were real life ATC controllers.  Still remembering the night as I was coming into JFK during rush hour and was told sternly to execute the heading before issuing the readback.  (I will save that for another post.)  With all of my time spending flying these aircraft, I was able to create many simulations, and even schedules to where I would be “airborne” hours on end.

Then a couple of years ago came…:


Carliysle Aviation Services


Who says you can’t have a little fun and play while sim flying realistic carriers?  Yes, I got to play make believe for the first time in many years and yes, I had my own company servicing the virtual airlines. Some of my biggest clients were Northwest-KLM, Delta (by default of the Northwest acquisition), American, Air Canada, Korean, Asiana, JAL, Southwest, Air France, Alitalia, EL AL, Hawaiian, United, Emirates, US Airways, QANTAS, Singapore, and many more..

My make believe “company” took my team of ATPs and I all around the world.  Grand Rapids to Detroit, Boston to Charleston, New York to LA, Osaka to Amsterdam, London to Bangkok, Detroit to Shanghai, Tel Aviv to LA, Paris to St. Martin, and my longest: London non-stop Sydney in a 744.  Yet those are only to name a few of many.  It was an honor to fly with each and everyone of these liveries and took pride as for those who I served.

VTR (Virtual Type Rate)s, My Roles, and Our Fleet


  • A319/20/21, Sr. Officer
  • A330-200/-300, First Officer, Sr. Officer (Hawaiian Airlines)
  • A340-300/-600, Senior Officer
  • A380-800, Captain


  • 737-200/-800/-900, Sr. Officer
  • 747-400, First Officer, (Sr. Officer Detroit – Amsterdam)
  • 757-200, First Officer
  • 767-300/ER /-400, Captain
  • 777-200/-300 -200ER -300ER -200LR -200LRF, Captain / Check Airman

Aerospatiale – British Aerospace

  • SST Concorde, First Officer (British Airways/AirFrance)


  • LearJet 45XR – Captain

Canadair Regional Jet

  • CL -200 First Officer (Northwest: Saginaw/Bay City/Midland-MBS to Detroit-DTW)
  • CL -700 First Officer (Honolulu-Kona)

I also un-officially have trained on the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 (flown with Northwest Airlines) and MD-11 (KLM)

I have so many people to thank for making this program possible to me both on and offline.  You know who you all are.  Also, so many of the programs, especially Just Flight/PSS 777 Professional, FS DreamTeam JFK, AeroSoft AES/Paris-Charles DeGaulle, and so many others.

Pictures are worth a thousand words, so please allow me to leave you with my showcase of my finest moments with Microsoft Flight Simulator:

The end of my A380 training. Once we landed, I landed four heavy bars upon both of my shoulders. Like the weight of this aircraft.

My debut as A380 Captain: JFK-Dubai… No better way to start things off right with a Canarsie departure..

Back from Osaka…

Leaving Nice (Cote D’Azure) for JFK. Post NWVA acquisition we took on all DVAL destinations.

Awaiting for pushback as this Detroit bound DC-9 makes its way to Kennedy’s 13L.

To Jonny and Jason… Leaving Sydney for Vancouver

Ready to go to the hotel and crash…

Touching French ground coming in from Tel Aviv

Royal Jordanian A346 cruising above us as we ascend to our cruising on our way to JFK…

My office PFD inside our 777 en route Detroit – Shanghai. The near Polar route has the “ribbon” design effect on the display.

Climbing to cruise out of Melbourne

Over the sea of Japan…

Amsterdam – Atlanta

Soaring along the coast of Long Island to Heathrow in style…

Just completed a 13 hour and 15 minute ride.

This photo is dedicated to my friends on IBE6250 tonight. Our Redwood making taxi to 31R for the Breezy Point/RBV depature to SFO as IB 6250 screams and thunders down the runway.

Preparing for the first boarding call to NY-JFK One tired Captain I was that morning wait afternoon wait, what day is it? Who am I? What am I?

As First Officer, I was spotted landing our craft on 31R

Heading OneZeroZero bank from Kennedy’s 04L – Tel Aviv bound.

The beginning of our 16 hour and 45 minute trans-polar expedition.

The beginning of my A330 training LAX-JFK after having come back from a R/T trip LAX-SYD on the A380. Never a dull moment for me.

Having just arrived in ORD hours before as FO on a LH 744 from FRA, here I am in this United 744 leaving for Tokyo with planted in virtually the same seat.

Frankfurt – Chicago

NRT-ICN… or I should say RJAA-RKSI

Stay tuned as there is more of this post to come…..


Meet Ayder


Times Square is another one of my NYC playgrounds.  You can go anywhere within its confines and discover so many sites, but also people.  Little did I know one Sunday I would meet by chance a graphic/graffiti artist from Istanbul, Turkey who graduated top of his class from a local NYC art academy and also has family who fly for Turkish Airlines.  Of course, we had to talk about planes, and yes, he has one of my cards..







Left handed people always are the best creators.


Beating the pounding NYC August heat, he was diligently putting his talent into hats while fasting for Ramadan.  He is well known in the area as many people came to him during my visit with him with warm greetings as they know the quality of his work and I can attest to you, he did an excellent job making a Jeremy’s Flight Deck hat.  He does all types of designs besides logos.






Please visit Ayder by liking his Facebook Page and please pay him a visit in Times Square on 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues.  Of course, please tell him that “Jeremy the Airplane Guy” sent you.


Always keeping my head covered both in and out of the flight deck…


Jeremy’s Flight Deck – Always aspiring to soar to new levels.






Picking Up The Pieces

“Tears filled her eyes, as the faces of the flight crew stared at her from her kitchen table, smiling, knowing the secret, but unwilling to tell.”

Flight For Control


Karlene Petitt



I was working at a summer camp during the evening of July 17th, 1996, having just returned from my introduction to commercial aviation and international travel, when I received a phone call from my mother to inform me that TWA Flight 800 had crashed near the coast of Long Island.



PICKING UP THE PIECES: A Tribute to TWA Flight 800


The quote above from Flight For Control comes to mind as this is not only one of the deadliest aviation catastrophes it is also one of the most complex.  I remember watching a documentary on the N.T.S.B. investigation of this case and I remember the millions of recovered pieces rescued from the site of impact and each and every detailed piece that was placed back as if it were a true scale sized model airplane (as best as possible into their original positions in order to draw any new information.)



PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER: Resurrecting the damaged plane



As in any air crash case, answers were needed and fast.  Time was of the essence and grieving families wanted answers.  Investigators wanted to know something so that not only would they be able to answer the victims’ families and loved ones, but to try and implement a solution to the problem.



N93119 – Boeing 747-131



The N.T.S.B. came out with the official report of the crash on August 23, 2000, probable cause being:



“[An] explosion of the center wing fuel tank (CWT), resulting from ignition of the inflammable fuel/air mixture in the tank. The source of ignition energy for the explosion could not be determined with certainty, but, of the sources evaluated by the investigation, the most likely was a short circuit outside of the CWT that allowed excessive voltage to enter it through electrical wiring associated with the fuel quantity indication system.”


What is most scary about the outcome is not knowing the source of the short circuit outside the CWT. Despite the N.T.S.B.’s closing of the case, so many theories remain.  Also, all so troubling, is nearly two years later, a somewhat similar ignition catastrophe occurred on September 2, 1998 on board Swissair Flight 111, a McDonnell Douglas MD-11 (HB-IWF).  The right side ceiling above the flight deck caught fire due to faulty flammable material and spread rapidly destroying aircraft systems which led to the its unfortunate demise.  Fourteen crew and two hundred fifteen passengers perished into the Atlantic near St. Margarets Bay in Nova Scotia.



HB-IWF – McDonnell Douglas MD-11



So many unexplained aviation catastrophes have happened before and since because of fault maintenance.  It is not a mystery why the fear has been etched in stone for so many to step inside an airplane, especially a commercial one.  How much will it take for one human being to realize the life’s worth of another, if not lives?  What is even more scary is that it could have been you on that plane, less alone me.


My mother told me over the phone that evening, that as a result of the tragic event of TWA Flight 800, my former school district was suspending programs for students to travel internationally and for good reason.  One of the reasons was there was a group of foreign language students on board TWA 800 as a part of a class trip to Paris.  My first aviation and international travel experience was one of the last, if not the last, to take place for our district.


This case should not have to be.  Everyone should have the luxury of being able to fly, travel, and to feel safe doing so.  How much will take take to dive deep in the minds behind the aviation industry and pick up its broken pieces that have been shattered? 



The coast of Long Island. May every soul rest in peace and may all the pieces of our broken industry be rescued…. (Photo courtesy of one of my students)



In my humble opinion, the aviation industry is no longer on the verge of crashing, it has crashed.  The faulty maintenance of aircraft, pilots, cabin crew, and even I am sorry to say passengers is beyond astronomical.  The pieces need to be picked up so that we can not only be strong for the victim’s families, we can repair an industry that has been such a tremendous asset to our world. 


We can pick up the pieces to make a tribute to the victim’s whose lives those faces sitting across the table from you who were taken so untimely…



TOWER TALK, Part Dois (2)

You could be a student with only ten hours on your log or an experienced Captain/Check Airman.  No matter what you are, reviewing and pre-briefing yourself before you click to contact the radios you must review the following per my instructor.



THE 4 “W”s of RADIO



WHO are you calling?

Are you calling the Tower, Ground, ATIS?



Grand Rapids (GRR/KGRR) Tower




Soar OneFive Heavy, Cessna Skyhawk November Three-Four Hotel-Delta, Landmark FourThree Heavy, etc..



WHERE  are you?

Which taxiway, Terminal, Gate, Holding /Landing Pad, ECHO ramp,   Know exactly where you are.  (There have been occasions at a major international airport in my neighborhood where a major international carrier almost caused serious collisions because they did not know how to communicate their information properly.)



WHAT is your request?

What do you need from the person you are contacting?  Taxi?  Takeoff?  The time? 


Each of the above is essential as your life and the lives of your crew and passengers depend on it.





This post is in response to an interview posted on Flight To Success dated Friday June 22nd, 2012.



When I read this article it hit home to me in a very huge way.  Not only did Ryan Humphrey attend Western Michigan University which is only a 2 hour drive away from my alma mater Central Michigan University, but he also was forced away from his passion to fight a battle that I experienced through my father.  The obstacles both through health and medical bills are astronomical.  Ryan was diagnosed with an angiosarcoma in August of 2009.  The FAA may have grounded both his medical and his ability to fly commercially, (after experiencing health issues in July of 2009), however, they did not ground his passion to fly.  To fly through the skies of life and through all the challenges within.  Had he known that these issues were going to arise, he wouldn’t have cancelled his medical insurance in April of 2009.



HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOEING! – (Inbound Tokyo-Narita from Seattle)



I am posting this as I urge everyone to support this cause because he is still flying in the air and we are all his tailwind helping him get to where he needs to be in record time.   I urge everyone to visit his family’s website to learn more about his cause:






We are his aviation family, helping him keep his passion airborne..