If You Fly Don’t Crash by Charles Bailey

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

In a story that begins in 1969, Air Force Pilot Charles E. Bailey discusses his experiences flying aircraft for the United States Air Force. Bailey gives readers an insightful, humorous, and complete account of life inside and outside the cockpits of many aircraft operated by the Air Force. These stories shed light on the important responsibilities military pilots undertake each time they fly and how their knowledge and expertise are often overlooked and underestimated. 

This book meets all of the qualifications of non-fiction. Throughout the story, the author discusses personal stories and experiences (complete with personal anecdotes) that provide the reader a perspective on the responsibilities an Air Force Pilot has along with the variety of skills and training required of the position of pilot.

Charles Bailey's If You Fly... Don't Crash! was one of those books that I could not put down, and I thought about for a long time after I finished it. There is humor mixed in with the story of one man's determination to succeed in achieving his goals and become an Air Force Pilot. I would recommend this book to people who are looking for an inspiring story. The story takes readers through many real landscapes: the training and experience required to become a pilot and how those experiences translate into success high above the skies in the cockpit. The book breezily moves through the author's life and situates pictures and photographs of various aircraft seamlessly into the body of the narrative. Sometimes, non-fiction stories can be overwrought with jargon that distract a reader from the overall message. However, Charles does a fantastic job of explaining complex aviation terms in a clear, concise manner. This was an excellent book and would recommend it anyone looking for a poignant true story about some of America's true heroes. 

Reviewed by: Elliot Parker (2010)

Author's Synopsis

The author piloted Air Force heavy jets for over two decades, in peacetime and wartime. If You Fly...Don't Crash! (Confessions of a White-knuckle Pilot) highlights some of the good, the bad, and the simply silly aspects of aviation experienced during his thousands of hours airborne.