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galvonager
18th Aug 2008, 00:29
Please help identify a novel. I read parts of it in the 80s in serialized form in an aviation magazine (that's why I don't remember author or title). I was reminded of it by the news of the Russian pilots arrested for drinking.
The novel (or the parts of it that I managed to read) was about a Captain who had the habit of drinking and flying; he was supposedly very good at sneaking whiskey on board, hiding it, and drinking undetected. From what I remember, the setting was American, in the 60s or 70s, and they were flying 707s. He had a philosophy about it, which I found very sensible at the time, and still do ;) - that if you need to rely on reaction time when piloting a big jet, then you're not flying properly. According to him, everything should be planned and executed in such a premeditated manner, so as to not leave a need to rely on reaction time, no matter what happens.
So, does anybody remember that book? (I might be misremembering some of the details, of course.)

Rollingthunder
18th Aug 2008, 00:51
? Bottle to Throttle By Rob Grunke ?

http://www2.trafford.com/clientimages/cv1412002389.jpg

asiaseen
18th Aug 2008, 00:59
According to Google: "This book is presently under consideration as a screenplay"

galvonager
18th Aug 2008, 01:23
Interesting, but no, it wasn't "Bottle to Throttle". The book I'm talking about was not a first person account, like "Bottle to Throttle" (it is available for reading on Google Books by the way, that's why I could verify it's not that), but a regular novel with characters. I remember conversations where stewardesses talking to each other wondered whether the Captain still drinks, and if, how does he manage to do it unnoticed. (Obviously, he never exhibited any overt symptoms or smells.)

pigboat
18th Aug 2008, 02:13
The book was called The Pilot, I believe. I can't remember who wrote it and I still have it around here somewhere, just can't find what box it's in. The main character was flying a DC-8 and he used to keep his spooker in the trash bin in the first class washroom. He got caught when he attempted to take off from either Boston or Kennedy, on a slippery runway with the parking brake on, and went off the runway into the drink. Hope that never spoiled anything for ya. :O

scran
18th Aug 2008, 03:00
Seem to remember they made a movie about it - Clint Robertson starred (IIRC)...

con-pilot
18th Aug 2008, 03:08
Seem to remember they made a movie about it - Clint Robertson starred (IIRC)...

Yes, you are corect, but I can't remember the title of the movie.

"The Pilot." ?

vapilot2004
18th Aug 2008, 03:44
I am seeing book titles of Danger in the Skies and The Pilot.
Robert P. Davis is showing up as author of one.

galvonager
18th Aug 2008, 03:45
Thanks, y'all, case closed. The book is "The Pilot" by Robert B. Davis, 1977, made into a movie 1980, starring Cliff Robertson.
The main character was flying a DC-8 and he used to keep his spooker in the trash bin in the first class washroom. He got caught when he attempted to take off from either Boston or Kennedy, on a slippery runway with the parking brake on, and went off the runway into the drink. Hope that never spoiled anything for ya.It did, as a matter of fact, as I never got that far reading it, but that's OK. I generally don't mind spoilers (unless it's one single surprising fact that changes the whole meaning, like in the movie "The sixth sense"). Here, it's not a big deal. Thanks again!

Buster Hyman
18th Aug 2008, 03:55
Oh, so it wasn't "The history of Aeroflot" then....

PA-28-180
18th Aug 2008, 12:42
If it's the one I'm thinking of, I also read it. The pilot was seeing a psychiatrist/psychologist (?) and trying to 'cure' his problem. I also seem to remember that he diverted into Pittsburgh or Philly on the pretext of bad weather, but actually he had run out of hooch. Was a good read anyway...glad to know the correct title - might have another go with it if it's still in print. :ok:
P.S. Now that I've actually posted a reply, maybe that annoying little reminder message will go away when I log in! :}

SOPS
18th Aug 2008, 13:35
I have the book in my hand..from what I can tell he flies a DC10...he delays a flight and goes back to the hotel because he thinks the trim "feels funny" (he was out of booze)

The F/O he is with starts to think something is going on because the captain orders lots of ice to his room...which he was using to chill his supply...

pigboat
18th Aug 2008, 13:50
Sorry about that galvonager. :O
Check your PM's.