Returning from a sailing voyage around the Pacific with Vickie, his wife, Captain Case was beginning to think his flying career was over when the phone rang. It was an old friend and fellow pilot telling him of a company in Michigan that was hiring. It had been over three years since touching the controls; he needed a complete ground school and probably a few months as a copilot before being ready for the left seat once more. The chief pilot liked him and seemed more interested in hearing about his sailing experience. After a brief interview the chief pilot said, “This isn’t much of an airline, but if you promise me you’ll work for six-months after getting back on the line, I’ll get you current.” Captain Case gave his word staying with the company for over six years as they grew to become an around the world carrier for Emery Air Freight. After ground school he was awarded the left seat as a captain making him more than a bit cautious. He eventually became one of their instructors and check airmen; teaching others the tricks of the trade.Captain Case left to become a freelance pilot offering his services to the highest bidder. He trained pilots in South America, flew for Kenya Airways on their international routes eventually settling with Air Marshall Islands where he flew the Majuro-Honolulu-Christmas Island schedule. He was one of their senior international captains and Director of Flight Operations before the age-sixty rule caught up with him forcing him to hang up his goggles.read more
I learned to sail on Alamitos Bay at eight years. It wasn't until I reached age sixteen that I solo's in an airplane. My family was rich in culture, poor in money; no matter, Mother said I could be anything - do anything - I wanted. That gave a lot of confidence to a sickly kid with asthma.
As a result I flew for forty-four years; everything from biplanes to the huge DC-10 that carried 350 passengers. There were revolutions in the Congo, wars in Laos, Vietnam, and Desert Storm I participated in as a pilot. Good times - bad times - it has all been the stuff of legend. Sometimes scared out of my wits; other times having more fun than the law allowed - seldom bored.
Then there was the sailing. Little boats, big boats, around the bay, across the ocean with the same sense of excitement and adventure that I experienced with flying. Amazingly my China-born wife was at my side as we crossed to Tahiti in Quark, the 29' boat I built. (Something worked; we've been married forty-four years this June.)
With the airlines a pilot must retire at age sixty. Since I quaified for a marine captain's license, I changed hats and began a whole new career delivering yachts up and down the Coast between Canada and Mexico. This continued for ten years until the writing bug insisted I put down some of my experiences for others to share.
And that, ladies and gentlemen is how I've come to write Sailin' South, Maverick Pilot, volumes I, II, & III, and soon to be finished, my first fiction novel, Keeper of the Secrets - an MIA Laos yarn.read more