"Mayday, mayday! I'm going down, I'm going do- "
Author, airline captain, and popular blogger (capnaux.com) Eric Auxier brings Alaska bush flying to life in his second novel, The Last Bush Pilots. Exhilarating flying, tall tales, and larger-than-life characters abound in a wild land that truly is America's Last Frontier.
Two young pilots, Daniel "D.C." Alva and Allen David Foley, take on the world's most dangerous flying: the Alaska bush. But Mother Nature - and a sexy Native Alaskan - stand in their way.
Southeast Alaska Seaplanes, Juneau: Retired airline captain Chief Pilot Dusty Tucker pilots a renegade band of flying misfits. Meet legendary bush pilot Jake "Crash" Whitakker, equally adept at landing planes and ladies - and "crashin' 'em" as well; prankster pilot Ralph Olaphsen, who once set an extinct volcano ablaze on April Fool's Day; and no-nonsense Check Airman Holly Innes, trying to cut a respectable niche in the notoriously macho bush pilot world - while escaping a dangerous past.
Amid Alaska's soggy skies, D.C. and Allen face escalating challenges in and out of the cockpit. The two cheechackos, or greenhorns, are roped into Crash and Ralph's harebrained scheme, Operation Dirty Harry. Under the suspicious nose of draconian FAA Inspector Frederick Bruner, the pilots hatch a plot to hijack and rescue a planeload of orphaned bear cubs. Moreover, mischievous Tlingit Indian Tonya Hunter, as wild and unpredictable as the land in which she lives, plays the two lovestruck cheechackos against each other.
But the true villain of the story is Mother Nature herself. Alaska's notoriously fickle weather and rugged terrain take on lives of their own. Can the two cheechackos survive her relentless onslaught and launch their fledgling airline careers?
©2012 Eric Auxier (P)2015 Eric Auxier
Yes. It was an enjoyable but realistic look into bush flying in Alaska that taught you about the profession while giving you an interesting backdrop of characters, landscapes and interesting, if slow, plot. Listening again would be an enjoyable way to pass the time on a long flight.
It's a toss up. But, I think "Crash" is my favorite. He is complex and demonstrates a man with some experience still learning his craft.
I thought the performance was so so. The characters voices didn't vary enough which can make it hard to follow at times and you can hear a few edits here and there. But, that is made up for by the narrator's passion and knowledge of aviation.
Due to the slow start I stopped and started a lot. But, the last third of the book or so I listened to in one shot.
I really would like to hear a squeal
The story reminds us that VFR flying in marginal weather conditions is a "flying by the seat of your pants" experience that you don't forget easily. The author made you feel that you were at the controls, and the excellent narration by Mr. Block completed the reality of it all
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