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An Elevated Perspective

Pilot Karen Kahn of Santa Barbara Shares Her View from Up There


Pioneering female pilot Karen Kahn is no stranger to the bigger picture—whether it’s the shifting cultures among people across borders or the aerial view of the terrain most of us view from about five and a half feet off the ground.

Kahn, who lives in Santa Barbara, enjoys a macro vision of the world; she refers to this point of view as “intrigue from the air.” She has no regrets, but admits that if she had flown before finishing college, her interest might have been sparked to pursue a major in geology.

Karen Kahn
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Karen Kahn

That’s not to say that Kahn’s head is in the clouds. She may see vast stretches of cities, agriculture, landscapes, and the ocean from above, but in her journeys, Kahn has also striven to meet the people and “see through their eyes.”

Kahn’s travels led her to Guatemala for the holiday season last year. Upon her return in January, according to a news release, she was appointed to the International Board of Directors of Seeds for the Future. While in the small town of Chocola, according to an interview with the online journal Professional Businesswomen of California, Kahn challenged herself in the same way she urged anyone with aspirations to challenge themselves: She asked herself, “What if?” Her question “What if I did ecotourism in Chocola?” led her to additional illuminating questions, such as, “How could I help?”

Kahn’s message, in her book Flight Guide for Success: Tips and Tactics for the Aspiring Pilot, is for readers to be proactive on their own behalves. By asking herself “what if,” she’s never given up on her dreams or considered anything impossible.



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