Crazy In The Cockpit: A Woman Pilot's Adventures In The Air

DK Publishing

Published by DK CHILDREN
ISBN 10: 0789425726 / ISBN 13: 9780789425720
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Synopsis: The ad claims Anyone Can Be A Pilot for $20. On a whim, Kendra Davis, a reporter for her college newspaper, decides to test its veracity. "I'm an only child," she tells the instructor when he directs her to the pilot's seat of a Cessna 152. "My mother would not be pleased if anything happened to me." "The only thing that's going to happen to you," he replies, "is that you're going to fall in love with flying." For starters. Within minutes, Kendra is controlling the Cessna by herself, and the instructor's arm is stretched across the back of her seat. Two months later she is soloing, and by graduation she's earned her private pilot's license. To the dismay of her hilariously anxious, academically oriented mother, she eschews graduate school for further flight training-and marriage proposals-and is soon working progressively as a flight instructor herself, as a charter pilot-to passengers whose idea of a smooth flight involves explosives-and as a captain for a freight airline its staff calls "Fast Fright." "Why would a nice girl like you want to work for a bunch of ugly slimebags like us?" the chief pilot of a New England commuter airline asks Kendra in an interview that involves a game of footsie under his desk. "Because I want to fly for an airline," she replies, and accepts the first officer position he offers. Eventually, Kendra meets her goal of being hired by a major airline-only to hear on her first day of 727 training that "the washout rate for la-dies is thirty percent." Yet after a month of nonstop harassment by her instructor and the men in her class, she passes her checkride and is sent to Guam, where it seems the distance form the mainland has enabled her fellows in uniform to abandon professionalism in favor of elephant trunk masks and cockpit water fights. Among other things. Kendra is a terrific storyteller, and her voice is just what you'd want from a pilot: good-humored, assured, and trustworthy.

About the Author: No one ever would have predicted Randy Blume would become an airline pilot. Maybe a doctor, lawyer or journalist like the other nice, intellectual girls from the suburban New Jersey neighborhood where she lived until sixth grade, the American School in London which she attended in ninth grade, and Santa Fe Prep (in Santa Fe, New Mexico) from which she graduated in 1979 but not...a pilot.

Although her family denies genetic responsibility, Randy somehow developed an adventure gene. It happened her junior year in high school when she saw a brochure for Outward Bound and decided to enroll in one of their mountaineering courses. Never having spent a night in a tent, carried a backpack, or climbed a mountain, she found the expedition agonizing beyond her wildest dreams. But she completed the course, and the euphoria was so profound she began to seek other challenges. Challenges like climbing more rocks and mountains, racing on the downhill ski team, and finally, in her junior year of college, flying. Flying was terrifying. Flying was exhilarating. Flying was beautiful. And flying filled her mind and body in a way that made her feel more alive than ever before.

Which is why, after graduating from Wesleyan University in 1983, Randy moved to San Francisco, where she spent six months in flight school and the next two years as a flight instructor, charter pilot, and freight pilot. In 1986 she moved to Boston to fly for Business Express, a regional airline. In 1987 she was hired by Continental Airlines and spent two years based in Guam before returning to the Boston area and flying out of Newark. She eventually left Continental to be home with her son and to write.

No one is the least bit surprised that Randy is now a writer. The daughter of best-selling author Judy Blume, she grew up surrounded by books. From the time she could read, she devoured stacks of novels each week. From the time she could write, she kept journals and wrote short stories. She is never without a book in her backpack, and an exciting evening out is, to her, dinner and browsing in a bookstore.

And no one is surprised that Randy's first novel, Crazy in the Cockpit, is about a woman pilot. Even though she no longer flies professionally, her heart is still in the sky. And, if an airplane is passing overhead, she is definitely looking up.

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Title: Crazy In The Cockpit: A Woman Pilot's ...
Publisher: DK CHILDREN
Book Condition: Very Good

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