Monday, December 31, 2012

Big Book Release: SILENT SKY

On the last day of 2012, I would like to congratulate you all on surviving another tumultuous year of bizarre weather and rickety economies, another threatened end of the world (from the Mayans this time), and another election (may have seemed like the end of the world to some of you). I also want to thank you for continuing to read my blog, even though I've been a bit incommunicado lately.

Many of you have asked about the book project on which I've been working, so here is an update:
After completing my first novel three months ago, I sent it out to several agents and publishers for review. I was excited to quickly receive a contract offer from a publishing house. However, after much soul-searching, I have decided to "do it myself." (Those of you who know me are probably not surprised by this announcement).

And so, without further ado, I announce the release of SILENT SKY an action mystery set in Seattle. Reina, the protagonist, is a defense attorney and a pilot whose mother owns a flight school somewhere "north of Seattle." Hmmm . . . of course, any resemblance to people or places you may think you know are entirely coincidental! It is a lively, fun read, for pilots and non-pilots. I am certain you will all enjoy it.

I will have the first printing available at the end of February, to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the closure of Out of the Blue Aviation. Devoting my time to writing was one of the primary reasons for moving away from the time-consuming job of owning a flight school. As much as I loved my years at Out of the Blue, I knew it was the right time to sell, so I could begin work on becoming a famous writer! I have already begun on the sequel to SILENT SKY which will be set in Australia, using some of the experiences from my recent stay there.

In order to know how many books to print, I am asking anyone who is interested in a copy to let me know now. If you pre-buy a book or books, I will mail (or maybe even hand-deliver) a signed copy to you! I will be setting up a new website for taking orders as well, but this is your chance to get the first edition signed book at a special price.
May 2013 be full of adventures, blessings, and successes!

Here's how it works:
Send the following information by January 31st

send with $20 to Cate Mighell, 18024 Marine Drive, Stanwood, WA 98292
If you have any questions, you can email me at or call 425.870.6335

I may post some excerpts on the blog over the next month or so, but trust me - you'll like it!

xo, Cate

Saturday, December 1, 2012

From New Zealand with love

The last month has been busy. to finish out my trip to Australia, I spent 2.5 weeks touring incredible New Zealand. Although the  internet access was sporadic, the scenery was nonstop. In addition to the southern cross of the nighttime sky, the daytime sky had amazing cloud formations and vistas. And water, snow, water everywhere; this is one country that will never run out of water - Huge lakes, snow-clad mountains, crystal-clear streams, waterfalls around every turn. A truly beautiful, rich country.
After three months in the Southern Hemisphere, I am back in the States, with a new resolve to ... um, continue to enjoy life however it comes.
I hope you all are doing the same.
Fondly, Cate

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Number of Planes in the air today

Wowza! RT @BuzzFeedAndrew: This is insane. The number of planes currently in the air for holiday travel.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!
Cate Mighell

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


The twirl
It is kind of nice when you get to the point in life where you no longer really care what anyone else thinks. That place where you just do what you love and enjoy every step along the way. Dancing is that place for me. I remember dancing as a teenager and worrying what I looked like, what other people thought. No longer!

My philosophy: if you don't like the way I dance, stop looking at me!

I recently started Salsa lessons in Western Australia. This is a fabulous, intimate dance that is really not that difficult. To all you men out there - Go do it! As Joan Rivers used to say: Can we talk? The truth is, this dance would be great foreplay (I'm just guessing at this, not stating from personal experience), it is that sensuous. In fact, after my very first full twirl, swirl, swing around the floor with divine dance instructor, Cris from Argentina, I threw my head back and laughed aloud, saying, "I love this dance. It's like sex!"
A little tall for those heels
[Note: I realize this is not a sex blog, but now that 50 Shades is out and all but two of you have at least snuck a peak at it, I think we can speak the word]
My new boyfriend
Anyway, every man who braves the dance floor has several key advantages:
  • First, the ratios: Generally 1 man to 2, 6, or 15 women. Really. You'll be the beau of the ball, in constant demand.
  • Second, the adoration: Who cares if you step on our toes? We're just happy to have a hand to hold that isn't also wearing heels and a skirt.
  • Third, the opportunities: You can figure this one out.
Just get silly. Who cares!
xox, Cate

Monday, October 22, 2012

Latest Adventures in Oz

In the last post, I mentioned that the Glasair Sportsman I 'd recently flown was built at my home airport, Arlington (KAWO) in Washington State.

I met the Glasair owner, Jack, through a chance conversation at the local health food store. Ann, the store owner, and I hit it off and, during a subsequent lunch, we realized we had aviation in common. She introduced me to Jack who kindly offered to take me aloft (see previous post).
Further interesting connections transpired when I learned that Jack had sent his mechanic, or LAME (Australian acronym for licensed aircraft mechanical engineer, it is pronounced "lamie") to do the Two Weeks To Taxi program at Glasair ( When he mentioned the fella's name, Hamish, I recalled meeting him at my FBO at KAWO. During my time owning Out of the Blue Aviation, I met many Glasair owners from various countries, who came in for a friendly cup of coffee, a chart, or a couple hours of flight instruction. Nevertheless, it was a delight and surprise to encounter one of them in this distant country.

We all got together for a social visit last night and Hamish recalled flying with one of my instructors, Marla Patterson, during his stay in Arlington. Marla, I told him, taught me to fly. And so the tight circle of interconnectivity continues. I'm not sure how Kevin Bacon fits in there, but I am sure we are all linked by six degrees of separation. Or less. Again and again in my travels, I find common grounds and shared stories with people. I try to engage virtually every person I meet, whether barista or taxi driver or plumber, in some sort of conversation, then I just sit back and see where it leads . . .
in this grand adventure called LIFE.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Flying Over Oz

I had the pleasure of flying yesterday with my new friend, Jack Shiner, owner of Red Dirt Seeds, a company that purchases native seeds from aboriginal gatherers and sells them for reseeding mined-out areas. His beautiful lead-gray and orange Glasair (built at my home airport of Arlington, Wash State) lives in a hangar at the top of his 100 acres, in the shadow of the Porungurup Mountains, Western Australia. While pre-flighting, he explained how practical this aircraft is for getting him to remote mines and aboriginal communities and how easy it is, in this pastoral countryside, to land just about anywhere. Sounds like the way aviation should be.
After an easy startup, we taxied 600 meters downhill, through the oat fields, to the dirt runway. With a 30 foot incline, it made sense to takeoff from the far end, regardless of winds. Our flight took us north to stop for a "cuppa" with Jack's mate, Pleun. A Dutch native, Pleun immigrated to Western Australia thirty years ago and has created a unique fly-in destination. With his own hands, he built a 5-story windmill for grinding his own Spelt wheat (sold at local restaurants), then added a 16th century replica Dutch house, restaurant, and guest rooms. Of course there is a large hangar with room for his Jabiru, several vehicles and a corner for the band (he plays the sax and has an impressive assortment of instruments). There are currently two decent runways at this little piece of paradise called "The Lily," and he is planning to put in a third. The most recent acquisition is a DC3 purchased in bits (all the bits, Pleun assured me) which will be restored into a unique guest accomodation.

The gorgeous view and recreational activities of the Stirling Range draw in the visitors.

Our return flight was delayed slightly by a rain squall pushing through. With the mountains and maritime exposure, weather changes in minutes here. After a bit more chitchat, the rain had swept by
and we were off again to Albany.

What a great day swapping flying tales with fellow pilots in Australia and exploring by air - the best way to really see the world!

On the way home, we detoured to go waterskiing along the coast line. If not for the strong prop wash, I would have opend the door and dipped my toes in, we were that low. Really!



Monday, October 15, 2012

Albany, Western Australia
I am fascinated by huge wind turbines. These pictured are part of a wind farm on the south coast of Australia. My overactive imagination pictures them as a crop of alien babies, reaching arms for their mothers.

Many of us have flown over turbines (in Ellensburg for example) and they don't look like much from the air. But driving or walking among them makes you realize their ginormous size (great word, learned from my teenagers). Did you know they can travel as fast as 320 kph (200 mph) at the blade tips? Yet they look almost leisurely twirling graceful through the air.

I remember seeing old, derelict, broken-down turbines at Ka Lae, or South Point, on the big island of Hawaii (the southernmost point of the US). Still jutting into the sky, they looked surreal, blades idle and cocked at odd angles, like something out of the Planet of the Apes. Sometimes I ponder what a future visitor will find on our planet, long after all humans are gone. Lots of plastic? Unexploded mines? Rusty turbines? What do you think?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Anyone who knows me knows I have a fondness for slapstick humor and total silliness. Sure, I can be serious and wax poetic and go deep into the zen zone. But sometimes a bad joke just hits the spot. So here is a little holy irreverance for the day: (Courtesy of my funny son, John Tarzan)

Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (Oh, man, this is so bad, it’s good) …..

A super-calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.
Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I hope this video link works, because this is the coolest thing I've seen in a long time. It literally took my breath away.

You gotta watch it if you like to fly, like to swim, like to boat, like dolphins, like hunky men, like to breathe. Whatever. Just watch it and imagine the exhilaration.

Click on the link:   "You Can Fly"

Thanks Dane K. for sharing!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I'm still here . . .

No, I didn't get lost in Oz. (Although part of me wants to do so!)

I have just been very busy seeing the sights and meeting great Ozzies. I spent a couple days in Uluru (that big red Ayers Rock you always see in photos) which was amazing. Also amazing that I had to fly from Sydney to Ayers (smack in the middle of the country), then back to Sydney (east coast) to fly to Perth (west coast). This is a big, big country and I've crisscrossed it a few times now.

Two thumbs up for the airline system here. They serve you food - good food! - and best of all, security is like pre-9/11. No removal of shoes or coats; you can carry liquids through; and a friend can accompany you to the gate. It was like the old days, and I love it. Along that same line, the big-brother-watching that is perpetuated by police officers on every corner in the US is not found in Oz. People tell me they do give tickets, but I've only seen two in all my driving here. And yes, I can drive just as fast from the left side of the road as I can from the right . . . .  Ah, and the speed limits are reasonable - you don't fall into a stupor here from having to drive at near-coma speeds.

My only complaint: limited seating at the airports. I had to stay one night at Perth airport (that's always fun) and it was like a frickin' homeless shelter, with upwards of 40 people scattered around in various stages of discomfort - all over the floor and baggage carousels.

Otherwise, as they say here, All's Good.

xox, Cate (they all call me Cate here)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A New Way to Live

On this day in history, when airplanes were used as weapons and religion was used as justification to kill, I lift my eyes to the sky and continue to believe in the human spirit. I believe we can evolve past the need for weapons and past the desire to kill. I believe we can choose a new way to be human, a way that sees we are all connected as creatures of the universe, with no exclusions.

If you believe that one skin color is more desirable than another; if you believe that one religion is more right than another; if you believe that one style of life is more admirable than another, I challenge you to shake up your beliefs. When societies and religions are governed by fear and hate, judgment and righteousness, exclusivity and superiority, they enter a graveyward spiral that is ultimately fatal to all aboard.

Know that deep down we are all made of the same core atomic structure. When we rebuild our world in love and acceptance and inclusiveness, we will all be safe, and we will all be able to fly free, in whatever way we choose. It starts one person at a time. It starts with you and it starts with me.

I believe it can happen. I believe.

(for some reason, comments aren't showing, so please send me an email at

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Aussie Airtime

Had a GREAT time flying "Down Under" today.

I reached out online to "Leighton" from the Hunter Valley Recreational Flying Club located at Cessnock Aerodrome in the great wine region of Hunter Valley, about two hours north of Sydney. I arranged to meet them at their monthly BBQ (they omitted telling me that I first had to solve the Rubiks puzzle of how to find them).

Following the smell of auto-gas, I did eventually turn up in time for some Aussie sausage sandwiches cooked on the Barbie. And without once driving on the wrong side of the road - of course it's all the wrong side of the road here!

One of the CFI's, Dave, gave me the grand tour, showing me his great little Savannah VG with the Rotax 912.

Then club secretary, Phil, showed me how the Aussie maps read.

Finally, it was time to go fly with Keith, a dedicated and patient CFI, in their Tecnam Sierra. A plane I know well, having flown one from Palm Beach, FL to Arlington, WA. several years ago.

Foreign air, familiar airplane.

We flew over the beaches of the Central Coast, circling Nobby and Norah lighthouses, admiring huge Lake Macquarie, crossing "The Entrance," and on to the Watagan Mountains - gorgeous scenery!

They fly their pattern here at 1,ooo feet agl, but do their crosswind midfield. Otherwise, Aussie flying is very similar to US flying. Sure, there are regs and the fuel is expensive, but the spirit of aviation prevails for those who gotta fly. As we flew back to the aerodrome, we observed the F1 freeway at a complete standstill. Been there, done that. I'll take airways over freeways any day.

And on the way home, I saw my first herd of kangaroos.

A perfect day!

Monday, September 3, 2012

In case you haven't heard, Richard Bach was recently injured in a plane crash on San Juan Island. Apparently, his 2008 Easton Gilbert Searey, which he called 'Puff," snagged a wire on aproach.

I guess if you fly enough hours, eventually things happen. I'll never forget him telling the crowd at Out of the Blue about crashing his P-51 Mustang. I mean that's not something too many people can claim to have done. At least not walking away from the crash site.

One of my fondest memories was when Richard came to talk to aviator fans in my hangar (which we cleared of virtually every item to make room for the 200 chairs) a couple of years ago. People came from as far away as Georgia to hear him. As fans called in to reserve a spot, they would tell me how Richard had influenced their lives:
"His book meant so much to me I named my son after him."
"I carried his book, 'Biplane' all the way through Vietnam."
"My daughter turned her life around after reading his books."

This is a man who has touched many lives, including mine.

I wish him a speedy recovery so that he can continue doing what he loves best: Flying

Friday, August 31, 2012

Speed Record

Sometimes you just gotta go fast.
(You know what I mean)

This picture is of my ex-husband,
Bob Mighell, setting a world speed
record for a three wheeled motorcycle.

He went 135.9 mph on the
Bonneville Salt Flats, beating the
previous record by over 10 mph.

Add a couple of wings to that, Bob, and you'd be airborne.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It Gives You Wings?"

Another bird "Down Under" Looking for a Caffeine Lift?

Today it was the Cockatoos going after
the leftover coffee and snacks.

Apparently some of the customers fed
these pretty birds some scraps and now
they show up every day at closing for
their daily treat.

And they better get it . . . .

Some of "The Birds"

If they don't get what they want, they start eating anything in sight -
window trim, paint, signs, wires,you name it.

Kind of a "Feed me now and Nobody Gets Hurt" mentality. Something anyone with teenagers can relate to. . . .

Who knew wild cockatoos were so smart?

Maybe Alfred Hitchock?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Will Fly For Coffee . . .

These pretty Lorakeets
need their morning Joe.
And the girls at the coffee shop
on the shores of Sydney's harbour
don't seemd to mind.

After a VERY LONG flight
and a rather rough landing in our 777-200,
I flew in right behind them for
a little caffeine.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Off to Australia!

Hey! A flying Kangaroo!

Well, I am off to Australia today . . . . . .
I will be housesitting for a couple of months in Sydney and Albany, then going to New Zealand to tour around for a couple of weeks. I am hoping to do a little flying there (like to Ayers Rock??) and will definitely get airborne in NZ.

I'll post some pics and also updates of my book, which is off to agents after Labor Day.

Anyone with Aussie contacts who like to fly, let me know!

Fondly, Cathy

Monday, August 20, 2012

Another two years to fly . . . .

First time I have had to do a BFR with a "stranger"  (It was kind of nice having my own FBO!)

Fortunately Randy Rantz at Rantz Air in Wenatchee is no "stranger" to flying. He checked me out in his "orange pumpkin" 182. Apparently, I didn't scare him too bad, because he signed me off to keep going.

Randy has the 182, a 172, and a 152 and is an excellent instructor. Look him up if you want to do a little Eastern Washington flying. It's beautiful terrain out here!

Friday, August 17, 2012


I have the great pleasure of announcing that Lloyd Daggett has been hired by Alaska Airlines as a First Officer!

Hi career included a few (quite a few) years flying for the military, followed by a job as Chief Pilot/Charter Pilot at OUT OF THE BLUE AVIATION(clearly the pinnacle of his career).

I am very proud of Lloyd and appreciate the great service he provided to us at Out of the Blue.

Alask Airlines is lucky to have him!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Been on the road lately,
with hardly time to sit down
and write a word.
This plane is a beauty
I'd heard about and finally
got to see at the Arlington Fly-in.
A twin that burns only
10 gallons per hour with dual
Rotax 912 engines

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Had some good guesses on the prop picture of the radial engine  aircraft.
I really didn't think anyone would get it with just that picture - could have been any number of planes. KEVIN MILLER noticed the scoop at the bottom of the cowling and, having just seen the derelict one at Harvey field, correctly identified it as an Antonov AN-2.
Here are some more pictures of this beautiful plane

Anyone going to the Arlington Fly-In this this weekend?
I'll be hanging out at the 99s Booth Friday afternoon, so stop by and say Hi!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pretty, pretty!
Free book to the first one who can tell me what type of plane this is on

Monday, July 2, 2012

Check out this amazing sky over Chicago a couple of days ago.
I thought maybe aliens were going to come swarming through the crack in the atmosphere or perhaps Thor would swoop down with his mighty thunder hammer.
(Yeah, I saw The Avengers this weekend)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Favorite quote from a favorite movie:

"I don't need a compass to know which way the wind shines."

Sometimes you just feel like that, whatever that is.

I feel kind of silly for loving this movie, but it makes me laugh, and I love to laugh. If you know the movie and the quote, send me an email.
I'll know what kind of person you are.