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It has been reported widely today that  pilot working for Italy’s state-run airline, ITA, has been fired for allegedly falling asleep at the controls during a flight from New York to Rome last month.

The co-pilot stated he was taking “controlled rest” at the time. The captain of the flight was also unreachable by air traffic control for just over 10 minutes, with the plane cruising on autopilot.

Italian politician Michele Anzaldi apologised for the incident on the Italian state-run airline.

“What happened on the ITA flight from New York, where both pilots fell asleep, is very grave,” he said. “The company has a duty to guarantee that this will never happen again and must apologise to the passengers.”

Of course there was the obligatory statement by the airline stating that there was “no evidence of any external flight activity” and reiterated that the safety of the flight was not compromised.


Those of you who have already read Pulling Wings from Butterflies will be fully aware of the incident shortly after my court case. Two out of the three pilots on an Airbus 330 were asleep in the cockpit moments before landing into Manchester. On board were more than 365 passengers and crew. It would be reasonable to expect the pilots reported the situation to not only the airline but also the CAA. They did not. They referred directly to my case and stated that they had reasonably concluded that no action would be taken against the airline for planning flight duties resulting in such fatigue it directly placed passengers lives at serious risk.  


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.’ . 

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