Integrity in the Aviation Industry

ABC News Corespondent

John Nance will tell you he is a self-employed author, wrote a couple of books, and is maintaining his  business of about 32 years running as a professional speaker, mostly in medicine. In truth, he’s written over two dozen books, most of which were bestsellers, and some even made into movies. Blackout, Final Approach and Scorpion Strike are some of my favorites, but his novel, the Vendetta Crossing was amazing. I had the privilege of a sneak peek to help out with the Airbus information. He has been such a support throughout my writing and aviation career. More than that, he had the courage and conviction to step up to the plate in my darkest hour. 

John flew for Braniff International. He ended his Braniff career 1982 as the result of a bankruptcy. Then he moved on to Alaska Airlines. He was also a United States Air Force officer pilot commissioned in 1968 who was on active duty until 1975, at which time he shifted to the 97th Reserve Squadron at McCord where her remained for a total of 17 years. If that’s not enough, he also holds a law degree. 

He even won an award for his book why hospitals should fly

I met John Nance at a book signing about 35 years ago at a Fred Meyer of all places. I had a baby in arms and two toddlers at my side, and told him I was going to be a pilot and an author, too. Then I said I planned to write movies. He advised me to write the book first, and was extremely encouraging toward my dreams of becoming an airline pilot. I did become a pilot, and even followed him to Braniff, but eight years after he was gone. 

In 2008 I was about to take a screen play writing class, but I had remembered what he said and I switched to the novel writing course instead. Years later I reached out to him for his expert opinion as an author, and thus he’s read a few of my novels and commented on them. In Flight For Sanity, he wrote: 

“When Karlene Petitt grabs you by the throat with her fast-paced narrative, she doesn’t let you go until the early hours of the morning! Flight for Sanity plunges you into a world in which money trumps everything…aviation safety, homeland security, and even the presidency. Couldn’t happen? Some of it already has, as with the use of fraudulent mental concerns to silence airline pilots who dare to point out safety problems.

A wild and scary ride with a satisfying and potentially accurate ending. And there may not be enough orange jump suits to go around!”

John Nance.

For those of you who personally don’t know John Nance, beyond seeing him on television as the ABC news correspondent, he is a man of integrity. He’s approachable, kind, and giving. He took his time to testify in my trial. The fun part was that my attorney Lee Seham and John Nance actually set precedence on expert testimony for pilots. I still smile reading the transcripts. This is something every pilot and attorney should read. 

After the preliminaries of John’s experience, Lee asked, “What have you witnessed with respect to Karlene’s professional demeanor?” and John began with, “An extraordinary individual,” then he continued to explain why he was of that opinion. 

This testimony infuriated Delta’s legal team and their attorney said, “I’m going to object to the testimony of Mr. Nance to the extent he’s testifying as an expert on human factors! He’s never been disclosed as an expert, and we certainly didn’t have any notice that he would be testifying as someone with expertise in this matter!” She was livid. 

Well, I’m here to tell you that Lee’s rationale as to why John Nance was qualified to give expert testimony, despite not being anointed an expert in this case and having never worked for Delta, was priceless. The judge overruled Delta. John was able to testify. And testify he did. 


John Nance is the only character in Flight For Justice whose name was not changed. His good friend, a retired Northwest Captain also testified. The question the retired NWA captain posed for the judge regarding people being different is a must read. There were three other courageous Delta pilots who testified as well. You might have to read the book to see if you know who each of these individuals are, by what they said. 

The aviation industry is a small world, I’m wondering if you can guess who all the witnesses are in Flight For Justice simply by their testimony. Yes… I kept the dialogue verbatim from the trial, and just captured enough for the story to unfold. 

Get your autographed copy of
Flight For Justice today! 
Also on Amazon and Kindle too! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene


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