FLYING THE LINE, AN AIR FORCE PILOT'S JOURNEY: PILOT TRAINING
VIETNAM, SAC, 1970-1979
Embarking on an insightful journey through the 1970s American military, Jay Lacklen takes you on an enthralling adventure from pilot training to his surreal, nightmarish B-52 bomb run during the Vietnam War.
Bringing a fresh perspective to the era, Lacklen shows how the military draft diverted him from a prospective journalism career into an Air Force cockpit. He speaks to the reader as a writer trying to become a pilot rather than the other way around.
Ensnaring you with accounts of bomb runs over Cambodia and several episodes of his aircraft on the verge of crashing, Lacklen delves into the darkest moments of a pilot’s life with a writer’s eye for detail and descriptive ability.
Difficult subjects are faced head on, including encounters with hookers in Southeast Asia, a nuanced view of the North Vietnamese Army, and a surprising perspective on the Vietnam War protests including actress and activist Jane Fonda.
This is a journey all students of the Vietnam War era should undertake.
FLYING THE LINE, AN AIR FORCE PILOT'S JOURNEY: VOLUME TWO
MILITARY AIRLIFT COMMAND, 1981-1993
"Flying the Line, an Air Force Pilot's Journey," book two, is a wide-ranging look at the Air Force Miltary Airlift Command (MAC) in the 1980s and early 1990s while flying the C-5 Galaxy. While the author was stationed in Dover AFB, DE and Westover AFB, MA, he covers flying the Air Force's largest aircraft into a myriad of bases throughout the world and explores his experience in numerous conflicts of the time.
Rolling the aircraft into the left turn, I marveled that with barely more effort than turning my car’s steering wheel, I smoothly maneuvered half a million pounds of steel and aluminum gracefully through the air. I did so with reflexes honed over thirty-three years of flight for thousands of landings in half a dozen various aircraft.
My country had trained me well to serve its needs, but now those robust reflexes would become obsolete as soon as the wheels touched down on the runway…
My family members awaited me in the parking spot to hose me down with a fire extinguisher, the ritual for the final flight.
Rituals. I recalled getting soaked as my pilot training compatriots tossed me into the water trough after my first solo in 1970.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, or, in this case, water to water. A marvelous flying life it had been, but now it was over.