Flying Alone

From the time she was a teenager, Beth knew she wanted to fly, and a solo trip across the country to visit family confirmed her aspirations of becoming a pilot. But her dreams were almost grounded before they could take off when she received the probable diagnosis of multiple sclerosis at the age of 22. 

Beth vowed that this new challenge would not put restrictions on her life and embarked on journey to become an airline pilot. Starting at the small local airport, the aviation world swallowed her whole, and the next five years of her life were as turbulent as an airplane in a thunderstorm, never knowing when, how or if she would emerge. 

An agonizing love affair with her flight instructor, dangerous risks in the sky and flying broken airplanes for shady companies all intertwined to define her road to the airlines, eventually being hired by Trans World Airlines in 1989. 

Ultimately a story of survival and overcoming overwhelming odds, Flying Alone is told with soul-baring candor, taking readers on a suspenseful journey through terror, romance and victory.  

My Review

I did like reading this book. Beth's story of how she did not let her multiple sclerosis keep her from achieving her dreams was inspiring. In addition, for someone that is interested in aviation, you will be familiar with the different terms. For others that are not familiar; the footnotes at the bottom of the various pages are very informative. I like when the footnotes are featured on the page versus at the back of the book.

While, I don't want to take anything away from Beth's story. I did find parts of this book to move really slowly and a bit monotone. Yet, I was still interest in reading this book , largely due to the aviation aspect. As someone who is into aviation; the terms and what Beth went through as a student learning and taking care of the planes is accurate. I did find this book to be a good read.

About the Author:
Beth Ruggiero York
 is a former airline pilot for Trans World Airlines. She entered the world of civil aviation in 1984 shortly after graduating from college and, for the next five years, climbed the ladder to her ultimate goal of flying for a major airline. Beth now has dual careers--Chinese translation and professional photography. She teaches photography workshops for Arizona Highways PhotoScapes and her own company, Ruggiero Images LLC. She and her husband live in Fountain Hills, AZ.


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