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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final Approach by Lyle Prouse
I had the good fortune to meet Lyle Prouse when I picked him up at the airport in Las Vegas, a few years back. He was a featured speaker at our annual Roundup in Laughlin, Nevada. Lyle and I drove the 90 minutes to Laughlin with some other folks who were also speakers. The conversation was lite and lively. I had read about the incident with the "impaired" pilot, many...
Published on December 21, 2011 by Duane Wood

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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring story of recovery
My sincere apologies for a less than five star rating for this book. I was expecting more details of the flight, given the cover and the indication of a final approach. Had a read other reviews more carefully, I would have surmized that it is almost entirely devoted to the life of a recovering alcoholic. The fact that he was an airline pilot is ancillary. I do applaud Mr...
Published 20 months ago by Wayne A. Allen


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final Approach by Lyle Prouse, December 21, 2011
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This review is from: Final Approach - Northwest Airlines Flight 650, Tragedy and Triumph (Paperback)
I had the good fortune to meet Lyle Prouse when I picked him up at the airport in Las Vegas, a few years back. He was a featured speaker at our annual Roundup in Laughlin, Nevada. Lyle and I drove the 90 minutes to Laughlin with some other folks who were also speakers. The conversation was lite and lively. I had read about the incident with the "impaired" pilot, many years before, but I had no idea, at the time, it was Lyle. After I heard him speak, you practically had to pick me up off of the floor. Hundreds of people sat spellbound. Goodness gracious.

Now Lyle has written his story. His rise from a hard-scrabble youth, then a Private in the few and the proud, to Marine officer and pilot, to a 747 Captain in commercial airlines aviation. Then an amazing fall from grace. From pilot to pariah, overnight. Stripped of all FAA credentials. Prison. Despair. Then a long, slow recovery. A redo, from the beginning. With unwavering support from his wife Barb, Lyle starts over. From basic aviation back up through the ranks, recertification once again as a Captain and 747 pilot. Then a presidential pardon.

Lyle tells his story with honesty and humility and a straight foward mannner. If you or a loved one suffers from alcoholism, Lyle's book is a must read. A great story of redemption. I chuckled, I laughed, I wept. Mostly I was amazed. You can't make this stuff up. I would give Lyle's book ten stars. I can't wait for the movie. Thank you Lyle, for your story. Semper Fi, Marine.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspired Story of Recovery, December 13, 2011
By 
Stanley P. Haggerson (Coralville, IA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Final Approach - Northwest Airlines Flight 650, Tragedy and Triumph (Paperback)
Lyle Prouse is part Comanche, part Irish and has inherited the gift of story-telling from both cultures. In his book, Final Approach - Northwest Airlines Flight 650, Tragedy and Triumph, he takes the reader through a behind-the-scenes history lesson of one of the major international news events of the past 25 years. The book offers a review of much of the details of the Flight 650 debacle that was public knowledge from the media, but more importantly he tells the story that few had access to. He tells it from the view of one who lived it.

I find that good storytellers tend to share their adventures in a circular as opposed to linear motion. That is to say they move back and forth in time to expound on pieces from various time periods that make up the present mosaic. To understand how Captain Prouse survived this life changing event requires bits of information from various periods of his life. Lyle accomplishes this in a seemless fashion that maintains the reader's interest and adds the depth of insight required to fully appreciate the magnificence of the life experience of the author.

I found myself rivetted at times and couldn't put the book down until I'd completed the chapter. At other times I laughed, cried, and found myself so fully emotionally engaged in the story that had to stop reading to process my own feelings. Since I have personally experienced some of the miracles the author discloses in his book, I was reminded of the miracle of recovery and the ways in which the Creator demonstrates Its Presence in our lives.

I really learned things about the professional lives of pilots that I did not know. Since I fly a great deal in my work, I was fascinated to hear about some of the details and preparations that go into the flights I'm on. I was also intrigued by Lyles stories about the Viet Nam War and the Prison system. Two events I missed by some twist of fate.

My greatest joy of reading this book was to hear about how the simple act of getting and staying sober with the help of a 12-Step program can become the base of a miraculous comeback story. It has been that way in my case and in the lives of hundreds of people I've known personally. Lyle is a voice of triumph for thousands of alcoholics who find a way out of madness and into the light of a new day.

This book is a great read and one that I find myself referring back to because of the wealth of hope and inspiration it contains!!

Patrick Haggerson, M.A., Program Director of Ethno-Cultural Studies, Betty Ford Institute
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Final Approach to a Nice Landing, December 4, 2013
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This is a true story and for those who will listen and pay attention, it clearly reflects how a person can bottom out but with high motivation, awesome support system and the ability to filter out what other folks think can come back and be an important part of society and in fact, make a difference. This author is in touch with reality so it follows that his readers probably will do the same. A very healthy read. I applaud him for sharing this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mercy, grace, forgiveness and redemption., February 1, 2013
This review is from: Final Approach - Northwest Airlines Flight 650, Tragedy and Triumph (Paperback)
When Lyle Prouse and his crew were arrested for flying `under the influence', I was an FAA Flight Inspection pilot working in the area where the flight occurred, so I remember well the shock of the event. (That was my area!!! How could that happen??) Now, some twenty plus years later, working as a safety professional in the Flight Standards side of the FAA - the folks responsible for compliance and enforcement, I talk to people in the offices which were involved in the incident and hear judgmental statements such as, "You don't know what really happened . . ." "It was much worse than . . ." "Those guys had. . ." If that were all I knew, I'd have missed out on a great deal.

Lyle Prouse, in his book, `Final Approach' tells us the whole story in a no-punches-pulled, no-excuses-made manner. Once you read it, you will, as Paul Harvey used to say, "Know the rest of the story."

This is a wonderful story of mercy, grace, forgiveness and redemption which must NOT be missed. If that weren't enough, another large part of what makes this such a compelling story is Lyle himself and his unflinching acceptance of responsibility for his actions and the consequences thereof. He holds himself accountable, which is the hallmark of a true professional and you see that throughout the book.

If you have become jaded and no longer believe in miracles, you need to read this book. It is rife with them! It is also a serious page-turner. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting.

Thank you, Lyle, for telling us the rest of the story. Thank you for sharing both the tragedy and the triumph of your personal hell.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Inspirational, December 8, 2012
This review is from: Final Approach - Northwest Airlines Flight 650, Tragedy and Triumph (Paperback)
This book is a powerful and moving account of one man's handling of a true life event that would stop most others in their tracks. It is a story of triumph over tragedy told in a very personal accounting. How belief and perseverance, along with an immeasurable humility and determination take Captain Prouse from full acceptance of his actions, and the penalty it entails, to a victory over himself and his life. Once I started reading, I could not put the book down until I had finished. I knew of his story first hand, having even met him once, but I could never imagine the difficulty and struggles faced by both he and his family. It is a truly remarkable story, thank you Lyle for sharing it will all of us. FTC
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review by a friend and fellow Northwest pilot, December 17, 2012
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This review is from: Final Approach - Northwest Airlines Flight 650, Tragedy and Triumph (Paperback)
Lyle was in the class behind me at Northwest. He was one of the smartest and funniest pilots I ever met, which made the tragedy of Flight 650 hard to process at the time. The book is beautifully written. Painful reading at times, particularly for someone who knew Lyle. Anyone reading the book will understand why I'm proud to have known Lyle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Throttle to Miracles!!, April 27, 2014
This review is from: Final Approach - Northwest Airlines Flight 650, Tragedy and Triumph (Paperback)
Out of the 17.6 million adult alcoholics (or 8.5% of adult Americans), Lyle Prouse is – statistically – just one of them.
What singles Prouse out from the millions of others is that he - along with two others - was catapulted into instant infamy on the world stage as the captain of the first commercial aviation cockpit crew arrested, tried and convicted for flying legally intoxicated. On March 08, 1990, when the Northwest Airlines Boeing 727, Flight 650 from Fargo, North Dakota, pulled into the gate in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, Captain Prouse’s life as he had known it, was over. As shame, fear and dread consumed him, what tormented him to the brink of despair was facing the fact that he had risked the lives of fifty-eight passengers and five other crew members by making the choice to fly impaired.
Final Approach is written with penetrating insight and unswerving integrity coupled with careful attention to detail. It will keep you engaged from the first page to the last. My heart broke for Prouse as his personal story unfolded. (Did he ever stand a chance? Wasn’t his fate sealed?) Of Comanche Indian heritage and raised in a World War Two housing project in Kansas, his childhood was marred as the same insidious slide into alcoholism that eventually claimed the lives of both his parents, in due course nearly destroyed his own, not to mention the lives of those around him. Yet, he steadfastly refuses to blame his parents for his own choices later in life. In fact, he does not make any excuses. Period.
There are many outstanding moments in this book – too many to mention - that keep you turning the page. Along the way we see an insatiable, ruthless, predatory media that delighted in making a public spectacle and laughing stock out of him, countered by his own amazing lawyer, his compassionate doctors and rehab facility, and the terrifying no-holds barred reality of prison life. We also see a corporate CEO put his career on the line to give him another chance; the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) reach out, and the compassion of co-workers and lifelong friends who rally around. But most of all we see a devoted wife who loves her husband completely and unconditionally, who wisely supports him without blame in his darkest hours. It is difficult not to cheer him on as his despair, humiliation, and deep personal shame slowly turns into humility, a willingness to change and eventually, complete surrender to the recovery program.
On March 09, 1990, Lyle and Barbara Prouse celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary. Instead of a night out on the town they sat closely together in their car as it winded down the hill to the treatment center that would be his “home” for quite a long while, a prelude to prison. “Helluva way to spend an anniversary, huh?” said he. She responded quietly, “It might be the best one we’ve ever had.” As the toxic weeds of his life are pulled and discarded, miracles begin to sprout and bloom.
Final Approach is a wonderful mix of a well-told personal story and a source book for the process of recovery. I highly recommend it.

M. M. Harris
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting!, March 8, 2014
A very eloquently written account of Mr. Prouse's seemingly charmed life. (After, of course,his share of life's struggles). An interesting and gripping read. Although sad in some parts, it also has some laugh out loud moments......especially when he is describing the folks he encountered at the federal prison system!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tragedy and Triumph, January 13, 2013
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This review is from: Final Approach - Northwest Airlines Flight 650, Tragedy and Triumph (Paperback)
I was completely inspired by the book and read it in less than 24 hours. I really appreciate the candor. Ironically, the reason the author states for self publishing is the part of the reason for my intrigue of the story. He states, in the begining of the book, that he was asked to "soften" the prison experience and his reaction to his son's problems. He refused and took a less conventional route for publishing his story.

I am glad he kept both parts he because he remained human. I mean the following review in kindness but his partial blindness in these areas authenticated his story. Almost everything the author did showed his super resiliency in the face of horrific odds. At the same time, I feel true sadness for his son. Little was said (I think as a show of respect) but I feel terrible sadness that he let his son go. It seems the author understood the power of teams, group think, rules, and breaking down problems. These abilities clearly helped him beat the odds. On the other hand, I can only imagine the pain in the family caused by his son not going the same route. I believe his son would have a very different reaction growing up in family with a father trying to control events (per-treatment). Family dynamics are very personal and are almost impossible to see from the inside. I have seen too many times that compassion still comes with a price tag. It is likely that his son's recovery may be a very different sort than the fathers recovery. Not all cancer patients react the same to standard treatments and not all alcoholics will respond to AA treatment.

As for the prison segment, I do not doubt his experience. I am sure it was accurate. Maybe I wish his super ability to beat all odds could have spurred a greater desire to reform the system. I know I am being unrealistic in hoping that a man who went through his experience would want to relive it in any way...but...I still think there was much time spent on reliving a horrible experience but never being able to move to a solution. This is so human and, I will state it again, it authenticates the story.

Great writing and I am glad the story was shared.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible read!, January 5, 2013
This review is from: Final Approach - Northwest Airlines Flight 650, Tragedy and Triumph (Paperback)
This book is absolutely amazing, and that's coming from someone who groans at the thought of reading! I was referred to this book by another fellow pilot and am glad I was. If you're a pilot like myself reading this, you will put yourself in Lyle's shoes imagining what it would be like to have everything then lose it. Although, if you haven't actually had your certificates revoked, you can't wholly imagine what it would be like but would have a great idea. Seeing how he persevered though everything should give every pilot hopes of achieving their goals. If you're not a pilot reading this, it's a fantastic read to motivate you to keep trying. Never give up on yourself. This book was so inspirational and moving to me that I just could not put it down. It was a Christmas gift to me and was finished before the ball dropped at midnight New Years Eve! I would recommend this book to anyone and have no doubt that you will feel how I feel about it!
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Final Approach - Northwest Airlines Flight 650, Tragedy and Triumph
Final Approach - Northwest Airlines Flight 650, Tragedy and Triumph by Lyle Prouse (Paperback - November 29, 2011)
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