9/11 … 11 Years Later

 

 

My day starts at 4:00 a.m. every morning.  You might wonder why in God’s sweet universe do I awaken each morning before the crack of dawn?  Well, I have my reasons and they aren’t anything convenient to my daily life. 

 

 

 

What can I say?  I am now a New Yorker.  (Sorry, Dad.) 

I live the life of a New Yorker.  Even though I was implanted here in August of 2000, I became a full-fledged, bona fide New Yorker on September 11, 2001.  A day that would change how people would view the world.  A day that we would realize that we are human beings here on this Earth to survive whatever and whichever tragedies come our way.

 

Many of you who know me offline, know about my background and some of the “little” or not so little reasons why I immigrated here.  I have a story beyond anyone that I’ve told online.  I came to New York not to escape my family back in the Midwest, God forbid, but to come to New York to accomplish my many dreams in so many ways.  Some I have already accomplished the help and kindness of God.  Some others I am still in the middle of accomplishing.  What I will tell you is, that what made me accomplish my dreams so far sums down to one word:

 

SURVIVAL. 

 

When I came to New York I came here as if I had left Europe during the 1800s or Syria in the 1930s looking for a new homeland – a homeland to grow and prosper just like many who had passed through Ellis Island.  I came here without my family, on minimum funds, and I was starting out in a new community (talk about a major culture clash from where I came from), new job, not knowing nor trusting anyone as much as I was used to due to the size of the neighborhoods.  I was a fish out of water.  My mission here: to better myself in so many ways looking to start a new career, finish school, improve myself religiously, and most of all, to be my own “independent country” so to speak.  I must say that looking back, even though I have so much yet to accomplish, I have accomplished a lot and am surprised I have survived this far.  But it is only just the beginning. 

The day I realized I was a NY’er

 

Strength comes in so many levels.  I had been in New York for a year and one month and I was coming back from an important meeting in Brooklyn that night.  I was on the F train (outsiders call it a “subway”) line where it goes above ground.  I remember we were stuck for a while underground as there was a disruption in the train traffic that evening, however, the evening was all worth it as we eventually proceeded above ground and the sky was clear as far as the eye could see of the NYC-Manhattan skyline in all it’s glory. 

 

 

 

I thought to myself as I gazed at it, “I’ve been here a year … I think I might make it (without having to move back.)

 

That night was during the days where I was able to sleep in until 10 a.m. the next morning … every morning.  (I didn’t start my work day until 3 p.m. during those days.)

 

Then came…

The wake up call….

 

Many ask, “Where we you on 9-11?”  My answer was, is, and always will be,

 

“Sleeping.” 

 

Yes, I was sleeping as my wake up time was usually 10am, but I had arisen earlier that morning as I had a bad dream for some reason the night before and it ended with the sound of a gunshot.  From what I remember of the dream, I was being chased and someone was shooting at me.  Dreams tell so many things which are hidden.. but this one told me one thing: It was time to wake up and start my day.  (Not necessarily on a good note.)

Upon logging on to America Online that morning to check e-mail, I saw the welcome screen with a photo that looked like something from a Hollywood film. 

 

 

But it wasn’t.  It was a horrific reality.   The next thing I knew family from out of town was calling me to ask if I was ok, at best, alive.

 

The night before I rest assured myself that I was safe, that I was going to make it.  That day I was more insecure about my safety as the day I had arrived.  It wasn’t only me.  It was about 9 million, if not billions of other people.  We were all sharing the same feelings, emotions, words, etc.  We were all now like a fish out of water.  Not only was every New Yorker sharing my experience, I was now beginning to share the New York experience.  On September 11th, 2001, it didn’t matter what your make-up was nor your religious beliefs, on that day you were a New Yorker and a citizen of the United States.  It was on September 11th, that I was proud to be a part of the New York City that came together and did everything we could to help any of the victims, their families, and to help rebuild what was taken away from us: our dreams, our successes, our way of life as a free democratic western society.  To show the failures of destruction, hatred, and how our society shows that of prosperity, breakthroughs in science, technology, and commerce.

My reason for coming here.. 

 

This is, as we all know, the concrete jungle where dreams are made of … There’s nothing you can’t do…

 

 

Even though I was at home asleep, one of my best friends escaped death /serious injury that morning.  He escaped this, Thank God, as he is a late sleeper.  His unsuccessful cause proved successful that morning when he missed his first train going into the city.  Before crossing Jamaica Bay on the later train, many commuters on board spotted the pillars of smoke coming up from the skyline beyond JFK Airport.  Luckily, someone had a way of finding out what had happened.  He debarked at the next stop and caught the next train going back to Far Rockaway. 

 

Many beyond this, were not so fortunate.  I saw the the movies.  No one could ever coax me again, not only as a human being, but as a human who operates aircraft in real life, to watch those movies again.  One month after that  fateful day, I decided to take a trip to downtown near the site.  I am a “see it to believe it” type of guy. 

 

 

The aromas of the unthinkable came to life.  The sites I saw became real.  It finally hit me.  It really happened.

 

Alicia also tells us that the streets are mean..  Yes, they are..  But my question is:

Why did it take a horrific, unthinkable event like this to get everyone to realize that being human meant being nice to one another and that the basis of survival was self-sacrifice and working together as a team?

This, ladies and gentleman was, is, and for as long as we remember 9-11 will be our wake-up call.

 

(Sorry no snooze button.)

Each year, now, we remember what happened on this day as a reminder that the only way we can overcome humanity is not only to wage war against the evil infidels who brought down our fellow human beings, our family, our community, our fellow aviation professionals through preventing future attacks, but also to supersede their horrific actions by improving the world and rebuilding as much as we can possible by giving to others, through education, through helping, through kindness, and through so many other ways.  Not only is this the best tribute we can make to the victims, the many blessed souls who perished without a trace, and those who assisted that fateful day, but to also show our strength, our joie de vivre (joy of living), and our raison d’être (reason for existence.) 

 

 

 

Never forget.

 

 

 

jeremy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Open 2012, Part I

 

Yes, ladies and gentleman, it’s tennis time.  Are you ready?  Now that the French Open, Wimbledon, and Olympics are over,… it’s now time for the U.S. to shine.  Where all the talented tennis players come to my back yard here in Flushing Meadows – Corona Park and play some tennis..

 

 

Being that I just finished writing an article for another website, I have to turn this website on auto-pilot and let the pictures do the talking…

Enjoy!!

 

US Open Gardens..

 

After running to the stadium..

 

 

 

Exactly..

 

 

 

 

Always reminded of who we are…

 

 

Getting ready… Prelims..

 

 

“Why is this night different from all other nights?” one reads from the Passover Haggada.. Well, for starters.. Arthur Ashe stadium isn’t usually lit up this bright during the rest of the year!

 

You’ve been warned..

 

 

 

 

What do pilots and tennis players have in common?  We both have the world in our backyard.., right Karlene?

 

 

 

Good night everyone from Flushing Meadows – Corona Park and New York City … more to come as we are broadcasting live from the US Open.

 

More to come… So Stay tuned..

 

 

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.

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

jeremy

A Very Special Day Has Taken Off

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Good morning to each and every one of you,

As you can see above, today is a very special day for this website.

Why?

Because we are about to do or extend what we’ve been doing for the past several months taking it to a new flight level.

Karlene Petitt author of Flight For Control has been an avid supporter of this website, taking time out of her very busy schedule to offer words of encouragement, support, and expertise at what she does: being an awesome person who knows how to have fun. Both in the skies and on the ground. She always mentions how she has the world in her backyard, literally, but what she fails to mention is that she has the world in her heart and that she only wants to share it with everyone.

Because this website is so endebted to her, I have decided to continue giving back to her but even more so on a higher level to promote her talent, her giving the world to everyone through her novel.

We are taking on this opportunity here on the flight deck to show our appreciation. I encourage, if you haven’t purchased the novel, to do so. Please do not forget to include the code

“Jeremy Sent Me”

On behalf of this website I wish to not only thank Karlene herself but to all of my followers and readers for your continued support.

May your wings take you only to success,

jeremy

Tower Talk

Perhaps I have come late to the concert on this one, however, I’ve been noticing a recent trend (perhaps bad or ok) listening to pilots issuing their readbacks to towers: (Example)

 

JFK Tower – Photograph courtesy of Natan Hoffmann.

 

Controller: “Airline NinrSixSeven Heavy, climb and maintain Flight Level OneTwoThousand and intercept BLUES.”

Me: “Rgr, Flight Level OneTwoZero and maintain direct to BLUES for Airline NinrSixSeven Heavy.”

 

Did I issue a proper readback?

 

THE USE OF ‘FOR’ IN A READBACK – ARE YOU ‘FOR’ SOMETHING?

 

… especially if your callsign has the digit “4” – It could get confusing.

My question to all pilots, ATPs, and especially controllers is this:

Are you “for” something or not?  And why?  Discuss……………….

 

jeremy

 

Flexing Your Wings!

This week I learned of a seasoned Captain on jetBlue flight 191 bound to Las Vegas from JFK.  The Captain, during the flight, started making statements which made passengers uneasy.  Once the situation escalated, the First Officer became the Deputy Captain by simply locking the door and taking command of the aircraft.  As a result, the Captain became irate and unruly as the passengers tried to  subdue him.

I know I am not the only one to state that this, but the real-life scenario above seemed to have come straight from the novel, “Flight For Control” by Karlene Petitt.  See What Karlene Has To Say About It!

As much as commercial passengers think that pilots are God, and some pilots think they *are* God, (I personally have seen enough of them), they are… not.  We are all human beings.  We have emotions and breaking points.  We have stresses in our daily lives which keep us from being on course.  I can name personally three events within the past year where I thought I was going to break.  How am I holding myself together?  By being like the wings of a Boeing 777.

Strong!

Have you seen the stress tests of the Boeing 777 wings on YouTube?  Fascinating.  Those wings go straight up to heaven when you are sitting behind them looking out the passenger’s window.  How can we take our wings and flex them so that the challenges and turbulence of life do not break us?  How do we develop this resistance?  Have we ever thought about the reason why we have these stresses are to make us stronger?  Something to think about..

Pilots represent the insignia that they wear on their uniforms, the wings.  We need a strong (aviation) industry.  We need strong pilots just like the wings of the airplanes shown on the uniforms and soared through the skies.  Pilots and non-pilots alike, let’s flex our wings to resist all of the turbulence in our lives just like the Boeing 777 so that we all can soar to new levels and inspire others to do the same.

jeremy

KARLENE PETITT

Accomplished.  Distinguished.  Successful.  These words come to mind when I think about an individual who I stumbled upon Twitter many months back.  She really needs no introduction however, I have invited her to come up into my flight deck as she has a new hit novel out titled, “Flight For Control”

Dear Readers,
May I introduce you to
KARLENE PETITT

Welcome to the flight deck, Karlene!

Jeremy: 

Karlene, Aviation!  Why?  What was your driving force to say, “I’ll be the pilot!”

Karlene:

When I was 9 years old I was told that I couldn’t become a pilot because I was a girl. The challenge was on. I told everyone that I was going to be a pilot from that point on. I couldn’t back down. When I took that first flight, I thought “Wow, they’re going to pay me to do this?!?”
With those words, she did embark that plane with the non-stop destination to success.  Throughout her love and passion for aviation, she acquired a type-rate on seven different equipment, from the Boeing 727 to the 767, was a Senior First Officer, Check Airman, and Instructor for several different airlines.  She currently operates the Airbus Industrie A330 as a First Officer for a world renowned international carrier.  Karlene also holds master’s degrees in Business and Human Services.  Most importantly, she is a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother to a beautiful family.
Karlene recently opened a new and most important chapter in her life.  One that is not only the most important to her’s, but the lives of others. As we all know as of yesterday’s news in the aviation world, fiction just became reality and the importance has set in like stone.  This event was echoed in the launch operation of her new novel:

FLIGHT FOR CONTROL

Of course, I had to go inside in find out the drive behind the creation of this aviation thriller:

Jeremy:

What was your driving motivation behind your blog “Flight to Success” and what lead you to go full throttle with “Flight For Control?”

Karlene:

Flight to Success was something that is my passion. To help people. I love training, teaching and motivating. Helping people is what I love. I know the industry needs to be fixed and we need to take care of our employees… especially our pilots since they are caring for the lives of many. So this book creates awareness of human factors. The next will create awareness of the problem with automation and proficiency. Then the final will be when I get my Ph.D. in Aviation and solve the problem.
Inspiration for the book came from a Union captain who said, “I’d rather see them shutdown that give them anything!” At the same time I was working in the helping side of ALPA and pilots were calling often with serious personal stress. Then I went to a conference and learned that a number of pilots had committed suicide. I have worked with pilots under great deal of stress. I just had finished my Masters in Human Services and counseling. All this combined made me realize that there is a story here, that must be told.

Jeremy:

What kind of impact do you hope “Flight For Control” will make on our industry and your readers?

Karlene:

Public: Create awareness of the reality in the industry, and support the crew members.

Pilots: They need to take care of themselves because the industry isn’t. Awareness that anyone can break….as we saw with Jet Blue Captain today.  See Karlene’s Article
 
Future Pilots: The industry is up to you. Hold strong to your work rules, pay, and regulations. Pilot’s shouldn’t be flying high time to make ends meet… they can’t be their best if they are… so the pay has to be there in the first place.”

Karlene said lastly:

“We don’t want to believe that pilots can breakdown. But they are just human. This is a reality.”
Karlene’s last point really hits home especially for those recently on the jetBlue flight.  Karlene and I realize the importance of long haul flight planning on an international scale.  Getting everyone to the their final destinations quickly and in one piece.  She definitely has set out her flight plan to get everyone and the aviation industry to it’s final destination: SAFETY.  Having connected to Karlene not only online, but through her novel, I wish to add an adjective to the list above in her introduction:

Giving.

 

 

Karlene, thank you for not only breaking the sound barriers of aviation, but also by fulfilling your dream of becoming a pilot, and becoming an asset to our (aviation) industry.  You have given so much motivation to so many individuals out there who are pursuing their dreams.  It was truly an honor to have you on my flight deck and I hope to have the honor of sharing an “Auto-Pilot” session with you sometime on the A330, or perhaps, the 777 someday!

In the words of Karlene,

“Enjoy The Journey!”

jeremy