The ad claims Anyone Can Be A Pilot for $20. On a whim, Kendra Davis, a reporter for her college newspaper, decides to test its veracity. "I'm an only child," she tells the instructor when he directs her to the pilot's seat of a Cessna 152. "My mother would not be pleased if anything happened to me." "The only thing that's going to happen to you," he replies, "is that you're going to fall in love with flying." For starters. Within minutes, Kendra is controlling the Cessna by herself, and the instructor's arm is stretched across the back of her seat. Two months later she is soloing, and by graduation she's earned her private pilot's license. To the dismay of her hilariously anxious, academically oriented mother, she eschews graduate school for further flight training-and marriage proposals-and is soon working progressively as a flight instructor herself, as a charter pilot-to passengers whose idea of a smooth flight involves explosives-and as a captain for a freight airline its staff calls "Fast Fright." "Why would a nice girl like you want to work for a bunch of ugly slimebags like us?" the chief pilot of a New England commuter airline asks Kendra in an interview that involves a game of footsie under his desk. "Because I want to fly for an airline," she replies, and accepts the first officer position he offers. Eventually, Kendra meets her goal of being hired by a major airline-only to hear on her first day of 727 training that "the washout rate for la-dies is thirty percent." Yet after a month of nonstop harassment by her instructor and the men in her class, she passes her checkride and is sent to Guam, where it seems the distance form the mainland has enabled her fellows in uniform to abandon professionalism in favor of elephant trunk masks and cockpit water fights. Among other things. Kendra is a terrific storyteller, and her voice is just what you'd want from a pilot: good-humored, assured, and trustworthy.
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Published March 15, 1999
by DK CHILDREN.
Political & Social Sciences, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction.