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Contrails: The Memoirs of a Pilot

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Contrails: The Memoirs of a Pilot

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In the last year of his career as an American Airlines captain, Roger Thompson met a man who claimed military experience identical to his own. The man was an imposter, but the incident inspired Contrails, a collection of aviation stories spanning Mr. Thompson’s 37-year career. Some of the stories in Contrails are tragic; some are exciting. All are true.

Contrails includes Mr. Thompson’s introduction to aviation, a discussion of the 1960’s military draft, and a description of the training regimen and assorted aircraft mishaps associated with naval aviation. It describes jet combat over Laos and Vietnam from the perspective of a Navy carrier pilot. Contrails details the untold story of TWA flights that almost ended in catastrophe as a direct result of the 1986 merger between Ozark Airlines and TWA. It explains the interaction of airline crews during routine and emergency situations.

Contrails exults in the beauty of flight and narrates harrowing close calls experienced in the cockpits of jet fighters and jet airliners. It looks behind that locked cockpit door to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of airline crews in flight. Contrails is a book about the adventures and the incredible good luck of an aviation survivor.

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