- ハードカバー: 225ページ
- 出版社: Savas Beatie (2009/7/28)
- 言語: 英語
- ISBN-10: 1932714715
- ISBN-13: 978-1932714715
- 発売日： 2009/7/28
- 商品パッケージの寸法: 1.9 x 15.9 x 22.9 cm
- おすすめ度： この商品の最初のレビューを書き込んでください。
Flying Drunk: A Northwest Airlines Flight, Three Drunk Pilots, and One Man's Fight for Redemption (英語) ハードカバー – 2009/7/28
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March 8, 1990: An intoxicated three-man crew, including Flight Engineer Joseph Balzer, fly a Northwest Airlines Boeing 727 with 91 passengers aboard from Fargo, North Dakota to Minneapolis, Minnesota. July 25, 1990: All three pilots stand trial for flying a commercial airliner while under the influence of alcohol; all three are convicted and sent to federal prison. July 26, 1990- present: Joe Balzer fights for redemption and to regain all that he has lost. Flying Drunk is his story. Since he was a young boy, Joe Balzer dreamed of flying. He pursued his goal with a vigorous passion and earned his pilot licences, piling up hours of flight time with a wide variety of planes and jets with one overarching goal: to one day fly for a major airline. But Joe had a problem. He was an alcoholic, yet refused to admit it. His alcoholism caught up with him in March 1990, when Joe was arrested with two other pilots for flying a commercial airliner while under the influence of alcohol. His world began crumbling around him. He lost his promising career and his dignity. Every major American media outlet, including The New York Times, Newsweek and Time Magazine covered the shocking story for the stunned American flying public. The trial that followed drained Joe's life savings and federal prison nearly broke him. Flying Drunk is Joe's bittersweet and thoroughly chilling memoir of his twisted journey to recapture all that he held dear.
Joe Balzer is a pilot for American Airlines with more than 15,000 hours of flight experience. He has a Master's Degree in Aerospace Education and is also an inspirational speaker, traveling around the country speaking to pilots and other groups on the dangers of alcohol and other addictions, bringing his audience to laughter and tears with his powerful message of hope. Joe lives in Tennessee with his wife Deborah and their two children. Flying Drunk is his first book.
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After this book came out, fifty-four pilots from Northwest and thirteen flight attendants all wrote letters of outrage, which were sent to the publisher. An incredibly strong letter from the former Pres/CEO of Northwest Airlines was also sent and that letter alone would be enough to debunk this book.
I offered to pay for polygraph exams for the author and myself AND travel to the author's home town for that purpose. Needless to say, nothing occurred.
This book parallels the James Frey book that made Oprah's book club and was later discovered to be a hoax. It's sad because anyone's story of recovery from alcoholism should be good enough to stand on its own without fiction and embellishment.
Listening to Joe's account of that tragic moment in the lives of three pilots and Joe's struggle to regain his life was at times painful and often moving. His experience in the criminal justice system was particularly wrenching, as was his up-again-down-again effort to remake his flying career.
Although Balzer's writing and narration are clearly heart-felt and very compelling, there was one thing that really troubled me about the book: his bitterness toward the airline and the other two members of the flight deck on that fateful day. When he hears that the captain regained his license and eventually his job (the captain in question eventually retired from the airline as a 747 captain), he is clearly angry. Does he have any idea what that captain went through in order to accomplish that...what HIS life changes might have been like?
The fact that Balzer can say almost nothing good about the captain, save one feeble effort near the end, and the fact that the first officer has never contacted him since the trial, makes me wonder if Joe isn't quite the kind of person we would want him to be as we hear his story.
In the end, I congratulate him for his courage and persistence, but I'm left with some lingering questions about the true dynamics of that flight crew...especially what Joe's role in it might really have been.
As a professional airline pilot and captain with a major airline, I have some concerns about the mindset of the author. One of the core values of those of us who are in command is that we accept the fact that we are capable of making errors in judgement. We accept responsibility for them when they occur, look for ways to prevent them, and never, ever try to lay the blame for them on someone else. The author lays most of the blame for his situation on his captain, instead of accepting responsibility for his actions as an adult who knew the rules and freely chose to ignore them. Not the "right stuff" that I'd be looking for in a professional aviator.
Redemption for alcoholics comes from accepting one's condition and admitting that the road to recovery can't be travelled alone. It only comes when one acknowledges and takes full responsibility for the harm they have caused. The author scratches the surface but leaves far too much behind. He is unconvincing to the point of lacking credibility.