Being the leader of the Air Pirates, Don Karnage's main goal is to plunder the city of Cape Suzette of its resources. However, he and his forces underestimate the extremely talented piloting skills of the protagonist, the bear pilot Baloo, which has lead to many defeats, much to Karnage's anger. Baloo is his arch nemesis on Talespin. He would often resort to losing his temper whenever thing go bad, even for the slightest reasons.
Most of Don Karnage's schemes involve taking over Cape Suzette. In the "Plunder and Lightning" story arc, he steals a valueable gem that generates electricity, and he exploits the gem's power to power a weapon that causes so much damage to many buildings around Cape Suzette. Another time was in the episode "From Here to Machinery", when he learns that the famed businessman Shere Khan is replacing all pilots with robots called the Auto Aviators (created by Professor Torque), and upon learning that the robot never deviate from their programming, he intend to exploit this to put his skills of air piracy to good use. Another time was in the episode "On a Wing and a Bear, when he briefly formed a deal with Shere Khan to create an oil shortage so that Khan can extort higher prices to the public. Another was in "A Bad Reflection on You", where he exploits the usage of mirrors to stage disappearances of pilots (including Khan's very own pilots) during their travel through a dangerous air route called the Master Run.