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A Life Aloft

A Life Aloft     

by Jack W. Burke
Price: $24.99

Book Website:

368 Pages, Hardback, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-10: 0-578-07006-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-578-07006-3

The life story of a man who rose from humble beginnings on an eastern Montana homestead to become one of the most skilled and respected pilots of the day. Jack Burke grew up working for a dollar a day on the family ranch, drove his own car at 13, learned to fly at 14 and was well on his way to "a life aloft" by 16. After "flying the bush" in Alaska--when Pan Am still relied on dogsled drivers as in-flight guides--Jack transferred to New York to pilot the mammoth flying boats across the North Atlantic to Europe during the dark days of World War Two. He went on to become a respected check pilot and instructor, took the controls of nearly every new plane to "fly the line," served in three wars and logged over 40,000 hours of flight time. Despite his lofty credentials, Mr. Burke remains refreshingly humble and down-to-earth. His "best day ever" with Pan Am, he vividly recalls, was January 31st, 1968, the first day of the bloody Tet Offensive, when he dropped 5,000 feet from the sky over besieged Saigon Airport in his 707 to rescue more than 200 trapped civilians. Now you can ride along with Jack through these and many more of his adventures, sharing first-hand all the thrills, chills and, occasionally, near-spills from this unique and remarkable "life aloft."

About The Author

Jack W. Burke was born in 1922 on an eastern Montana homestead, and grew up in Ismay and Miles City, Montana. He made his first solo flight at 14, went to work flying for a local well-driller at 16 and got his commercial and instructor's rating at 18. Jack began his 40-year career with Pan Am in 1942, and has flown everything from eight-passenger Pilgrims to 747s. At 88, he still loves flying, especially when it takes him back to his native Montana.

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