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Jim McCartney: My Life in Flight Paperback – April 26, 2012

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

"Facing a terminal illness, an aviator reflects on his time above and below the clouds. Long before he ever stepped into a cockpit, McCartney seemed destined to fly. As a boy, the kitchen table was his airplane, and he watched World War II bombers train near the family farm in Arkansas. So it was fitting that he became a professional pilot who crisscrossed the country for almost 50 years. Co-written with his sister Angela, this hefty memoir actually tells two tales. One covers the ups and downs of McCartney’s career, from Air Force-maintenance crew chief to check airman with American West Airlines and beyond. The other recounts McCartney’s battle with pancreatic cancer. The book sometimes gets overcrowded with details, and the authors’ distinct voices don’t always harmonize, but what it lacks in literary finesse it makes up in storytelling. McCartney spins yarns of nearly being arrested for smuggling in Mexico while flying for Pan American Sulphur and having an unfortunate encounter with Lady Bird Johnson. With professional precision, he describes the dangerous aspects of flight—engine failures, bomb threats and crashes that claimed the lives of colleagues. While very much a dying man’s reminiscence, the book also deserves credit for revealing how an airline is far more complicated than merely flying passengers from here to there. McCartney helped improve safety and secure better working conditions for pilots through his work as a union negotiator. McCartney Miro contributes the heartrending final section as doctors give her brother just months to live. She dutifully records his cancer treatments and her own quest to understand the disease, capturing the family’s anxiety as they confronted the loss of a loved one. McCartney eventually came to terms with his own mortality: “I look forward to the next great adventure when I see what God has planned for me.” A ride alongside a master flier with a cool head and sly sense of humor who, even facing death, refused to be grounded by circumstance."

From the Back Cover

Diagnosis of Stage IV pancreatic cancer leads retired airline pilot to reflect on his career doing what he loves -- flying airplanes.  Six logbooks covering some fifty years of flying aid his recall of an aviation career with many twists and turns and the people he met along the way.  Cancer treatments that promised only to extend his life by a few months are documented.  In spite of the prognosis, he went through four different chemo regimens, infusion of microspheres into the liver, and survived one year and six months to celebrate his 73rd and 74th birthdays, two Christmases and two New Years.  Sadly, Jim McCartney died of pancreatic cancer on February 17, 2012.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1470012936
  • ISBN-13: 978-1470012939
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,208,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was absolutely one of the best books I have read in a long time. Written by a pilot and his sister during a very trying time in his life.....battling pancreatic cancer. I had the privilege of talking to his sister personally and she is a wonderful caring woman. This story is a MUST read for anyone that likes aviation. If I could give it 1000 stars, I would. I only wish I had found it a few months earlier. Jim died in February 2012.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have known Angela for many years and have always been impressed by her ability to communicate well, whether it be verbally or in writing. The book, "Jim McCartney: My Life in Flight" is no exception. The book is extremely well-written and the reader is able to experience stories and life events from different angles. I was lucky to also have met Jim and Virginia and other family members. I was immediately captivated by the stories and the journey through life that the book captures, the reader does not have to have a thorough knowledge of aviation or cancer treatments to appreciate the lust for life and adventure. This is a highly recommended read.
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Format: Paperback
Thank you to Jim McCarthy and Angela Miro for sharing their experiences with us. This books highlights Jim's personal experience with pancreatic cancer and others that are fighting this battle or have loved ones that are fighting or have been lost to this disease might benefit from reading about the fight of this family. Their honest account of what it is like to be diagnosed and fight this disease is a story that many will relate to. Additionally, Jim's experience in the air are a unique perspective that makes this different from so many books that only document a patient's cancer experience.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jim McCartney and his Sister combined in a wonderful true story that provided a well worth read of life and loss as it really is and what I felt a part of even without knowing him which was a sad part for me since we were both pilots for the same airline and that really shows how big airlines are.. I found it quite by accident and I feel better for that lapse. Sorry!

Captain George Flavell (CAL)
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