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Houston we have a problem!
You claim you are a professional airline pilot or cabin crew. You are proud of the extensive knowledge and experience you have of your aircraft.
As it is also your responsibility to ensure, you are fully rested before any flight you will therefore be fully aware of:
  • What the above image represents
  • What the dotted line indicates
  • What an effectivenss of 70% represents. 

What do you mean you have no idea? I thought your main concern, as a professional aviator, was the safety of your passengers and crew? 
Continue to read and find out how the above printout can either be your best friend, or alternatively, evidence that results in a custodial sentence.

How many of you have flown when fully aware you were not fit to fly due to fatigue? For those who didn’t fly, I strongly suspect the vast majority, rather than state the issue was fatigue, claimed they were sick.

How many of you have informed the airline of fight duty periods being falsified in order to give the misleading impression they complied with legislation? How many of you refused such duties? If you did, what was the response from your managers?

How many of you, faced with the above scenarios, asked the union and regulator to investigate your claims? Was this in the form of an air safety report? Did your airline pass on your report? How did the union and regulator deal with your concern?



For many years the regulators and unions have repeatedly been informed by crew that many airlines pay scant regard to legislation pertaining to fatigue and flight time limitations designed to protect passengers and crew.

I know from personal experience that even with un-arguable evidence, such as the image above, the aviation establishment will attempt to keep this Pandora’s box under lock and key. It is clear why they have such confidence in their ability to conceal such serious issues.

If the aviation industry is controlled by the regulator, who regulates the regulator? The answer is no one. It is a free for all. In simple term ICAO are nothing but an industy mouthpeice with the regulators failing to regulate and unions failing to adequately support any of its members who ‘blew the whistle’.


There was recently extensive media coverage of the CEO of Wizz Air who merely confirmed what everybody in the aviation industry already knew. Despite the claims of a well-rehearsed PR release read by a middle-ranking airline HR office worker, safety does not always come before profit. 

What last week’s story has however done is dramatically expose the hypocrisy of not only the airlines but also the regulator and unions.

If you have been failed by those organisations in the past, who do you turn to? 

As a result of the success of the first book in the series, we are now working closely with a number of highly regarded investigative journalists. Our collective aim is to expose once and for all the rot that lies at the heart of today’s aviation industry.

If you love the job but hate what the industry has headed, please send details and associated documentation of fatigue or flight time limitations abuse you may have experienced to info@pullingwingsfrombutterflies.com  

All correspondence will be dealt with confidentially. For items we might wish to use, we will contact you again to confirm you are happy to share the details of your experience.

If you are aware of any colleagues who might wish to voice their experience please share this post.


The response and outrage were immediate and predictable from both the pilot union BALPA and EASA to the WIzz Air comments.

In a subsequent BBC article on the WIzz Air statement the current chairman of BALPA stated:

“Fatigue has been shown, in many studies, to have effects on a person’s thinking and decision making similar to alcohol”.
“No-one supports pilots or other safety sensitive staff working with alcohol in their system,”  
He called on Mr Varadi to clarify his comments, and that if he really believed pilots should fly when fatigued, “he should consider whether he is in the right job”.
When airline pilots are very tired “it can be life or death“, he added. “People’s lives are important, and we don’t squander them for no reason – definitely not for profit.”

This would be a reasonable response from a union whose website proudly boasts that, ‘fatigue is our members number one safety concern’.

Following my legal trial against Thomas Cook for threatening to dismiss me for refusing to fly a flight duty when it was clear the airline had falsified the flight times and refusal to operate at a level of fatigue equivalent to that of a drunk driver, BALPA issued a press release.

In the press release, Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary stated:

“Captain Simkins should be commended for taking this matter up and seeing it through to its conclusion. I am also pleased that BALPA helped fund Captain Simkins’ legal battles, and provided substantial expert and staff support.

“Tackling fatigue remains BALPA’s number one flight safety priority and we will continue to work with airlines to do that where we can, and challenge them using any means necessary when we can’t.”

All sounds very noble doesn’t it?

Can you see anywhere in that statement that BALPA dropped legal support only weeks before the trial date? The reason? They informed me it would be unlikely  I would win, as I was going up against a multimillion pound airline and the airline establishment?  Despite this, the Chairman makes the disingenuous comment that BALPA helped fund the case.

If this weeks comments are truly BALPA’s view on pilot fatigue, given that one of their own offices stated in relation to my case, ‘if we can’t win this we have to wonder what we could win’, what was the real reason BALPA dropped all legal support eight weeks before the trial date? 

Less than 5% of employees win their case against their employer at trial. This includes those that have professional representation by a barrister. So how clear-cut was my case?


As a result of the Wizz Air CEO comments, it was also reported that EASA are now investigating WIzz Air for potential breaches of fatigue legislation. The question is, why now? 

 Pilots have been reporting this abuse throughout the airline industry for years. I personally informed EASA directly of the falsification of flight times and fatigue legislation concerning my case at Thomas Cook. Despite this case going to trial. I still have never even had the courtesy of a reply from EASA.  

Many postings directly to EASA officers on LinkedIn followed about the situation. These were similarly fobbed off. So why now the sudden interest in fatigue by the regulator?

Can there be any clearer indication that the regulator and airline establishment  only understand one language. That language is bad PR, negative press, brand damage.

The comments by union and EASA to the media this week would appear to confirm this.

Still not sure?

When both EASA and BALPA were given hard, documented evidence of fatigue and flight time limitation abuse, nothing was done. The full extent that the aviation establishment ‘circle the wagons’ when a senior long haul Captain, exposes exactly what is going on is detailed in the second volume of ‘Pulling Wings From Butterflies.’

So, ask yourself, why have comments by an airline CEO who was only telling the truth resulted in such a reaction by the regulator and union? Is it a belated realisation that he has opened the Pandora’s box? Is it a real fear their past inertia in dealing with historic issues when repeatedly informed  by pilots will now enter the public domain?

This is a story the aviation establishment do not want telling, pilots and cabin crew are too afraid to tell, yet the public need to know.

So. What does the above image indicate?

It is the printout, provided at trial, of the predicted ‘effectiveness’ of an airline captain, threatened with dismissal for refusing to operate a flying duty that would result in a fatigue level of 70%. That equates to the UK drink drive limit (or four times the flying limit) The airline claimed the pilot was ‘dishonest’ in his claim that the level of fatigue would be such that it would directly affect the safety of his passengers and crew.
The airline claimed it was not unusal for its pilots to experience such levels of fatigue. Accorded to the airlines’s Director Of Flight Safety the threat to dismiss the pilot was proportionate even though he admitted that if the captain had flown at that level of fatigue it would have “reduced the safety margin”. 

The dotted line in the image represents a level of effectiveness equivalent to operating during the day having had zero sleep the previous night.

 Would you drive a car in that state never mind landing an aircraft with over 300 passengers on board at night into one of the busiest airfields in the UK?  Sign up and find how common this level of fatigue is on the release of book two.


It is telling that the following message was sent to me by a current Wizz Air pilot along with the video. 
“Jo Maradi who runs wizz air just admitted that after bullying everyone to work as hard as they can and offering cash bonuses to whoever will consistently work >91 hours a month, that he knows pilots are fatigued but he’d rather they just press on as hard as they can. Last month he put out a poem telling us that we were all losers not winners.  It has a direct impact on flight safety. They are bullying cabin crew who don’t know the rules to work as hard as possible and calling pilots out after 10 hours on sby to do flights (just) inside the max 18 hours with fictitious block times and seeing as there are lots of cadets who know no better, they are accepting said duties. It needs to stop before there is an accident.”
The Wizz Air pilot wished to remain anonymous.  
So given the serious issue, why is it virtually every pilot wishes to remain silent?

Taken From The Forthcoming “Pulling Wings from Butterflies – Tercio de Banderillas”

“Ask yourself the following question. Would you make a stand in the interests of passenger and crew safety if you knew it would likely risk your career and position that you had spent decades and tens of thousands of pounds building? A career which, at least for the first few years, meant having no money and required two jobs to survive? Would you risk your family’s financial future and the probability that you could no longer service your financial commitments? Would you risk having your good name and reputation trashed, marked as “difficult”, labelled “dishonest” and have your “integrity” challenged by the industry establishment, all for doing the right thing?
If you concluded that no, you would not take a stand because of the enormous personal ramifications, don’t feel too bad. If you are reading this book sitting on an aircraft as a passenger, it will therefore come as no surprise that the two pilots currently sitting a few feet away from you in the cockpit will have quite likely come to the same conclusion, on more than one occasion. It’s not worth the personal upheaval to do the right thing. It’s just not worth upsetting management. Now, sit back, relax and enjoy your flight”


Kathryn Jones is the ‘Safety Improvement Manager’ at the CAA. According to Jones LinkedIn profile her “specialist area of knowledge is fatigue management, including flight time limitations”.
Jones stated in a BBC report “We have no evidence of significant safety concerns with regard to crew and fatigue”, adding;
“The evidence the CAA has is that the fatigue of crew is not a significant safety concern.”
An interesting view from Jones that completey contradicts the evidence. Indeed The CAA claim they have only had two reports of both pilots being asleep at the same time in the cockpit.

Compare the above statement by Jones with a survey conducted by the pilot union BAPLA. 

The BALPA survey involved 500 airline pilots. The question asked; “Have you ever involuntarily fallen asleep on the flight deck during two crew operation?” Forty-three per cent stated that they had.
They then asked, “and if yes, have you ever woken to find the other pilot asleep?” Thirty-one per cent stated that this had happened to them.   

Please note, the second book in the ‘Pulling Wings From Butterflies’ series is to be released once the Crown Prosecution Service in the UK complete their review of the case surrounding information brought to  police attention that are contained within the three book series.


I am pleased to announce that the foreword for the second book in the “Pulling Wings From Butterflies” trilogy has been written by Karlene herself. 

The book is to be released once the Crown Prosecution Service in the UK complete their review of the case surrounding information brought to police attention that are contained within the three book series.


The year was 2016 when I first connected with Captain Mike Simkins and learned of his case that ultimately became the story on which you are about to embark. 

While these events in Mike’s life are nothing short of a legal thriller, I was not surprised at the depths that Thomas Cook management dove to sink him for refusing to operate a flight while fatigued. I was not shocked that the CAA provided management with the oxygen tanks to ensure his drowning. 

I wasn’t even stunned when BALPA stood smugly on the shore, watching the attack without assistance. However, I was slack-jawed as I read the details of this courtroom drama that paralleled a tragedy on the other side of the world, one of which I was personally involved. 

Mike’s story is not unique to the UK. Airline management is attacking pilots in the US for reporting Federal violations that impact safety, calling in fatigued, or refusing to operate an aircraft illegally. Be it a letter of warning, suspension, termination, or a fabricated psychiatric evaluation that would ground a pilot for life.


EBOOK £5.99


9 in stock



5 in stock


Due to repeated demand, it was decided to re-print the book ‘Pulling Wings from Butterflies – Tercio De Varas’.

The book printers however became somewhat ‘artistic’ with the back cover. This resulted in twenty being printed before the error was noticed.

Although the back cover ‘blurb’ is as understandable as the rules relating to the safety car in a Formula One Grand Prix, the contents within are not affected. 

‘Pulling Wings from Butterflies’ tells the true story the aviation establishment DON”T want telling; those dreaming of becoming pilots and cabin crew WON”T want to hear; and passengers NEED to know.

If you would like a signed copy of one of these twenty unique hardbacks, they will be sold on a first come, first served basis. As they say, ‘when they’re gone…they’re gone’. 

1 in stock

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part one - Tercio de varas

The first book in the trilogy begins by following the unique journey of Captain Mike Simkins from touring Europe as a drummer and performing with some of the most prominent musical artists of the late ’80s, to becoming a commander on the world’s most advanced passenger aircraft.

Ultimately, the wings were pulled from the butterfly of a dream career when, Mike stood alone to confront a multibillion-dollar aviation establishment when he refused to place profit before safety.

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PArt TWO - Tercio de banderillas

Will the pilot union BALPA and the regulator, the CAA, support a legal case of major significance to the safety of airline passengers and crew? 

What’s the reason unions and regulators allow airlines to have  ‘Cash Cadet’ pilots with zero jet experience pay them to fly fare-paying passengers?

Why do pilots agree to fly when dangerously fatigued that directly places not only themselves but their passengers and crews in danger?

What was the answer from the Thomas Cook CEO to the question ‘did the company put profit before safety’ in relation to two children’s death in Corfu?

How will a pilot with zero legal experience confront a multimillion-pound multinational at trial?

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part three - Tercio de MUERTE

Crews admit that they are knowingly flying duties in the full expectation they will suffer fatigue. They are committing these criminal acts due to the “Bullying” culture at one of the UK’s biggest airlines.

The CAA is provided with irrefutable proof that duty times are knowingly falsified to make it appear they conformed with strictly laid down maximum times and that pilots are flying at the equivalent effectiveness of a drunk driver. Their response? ‘Get over it.’ . 

Over 1000 registered in first two days.

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