Eddie Sez:

I get a fair amount of e-mail and every now and then someone asks for permission to print parts of the website — no problem — and sometimes they want to know if they can find some of this stuff in printed form. I am trying to get all the good stuff into print, my grand plan here: Book Notes.

The third in the series is Experience: How Eddie Learned to Understand the Lessons of Experience. This book tells a story about Eddie's time at the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. The official motto of the 89th Airlift Wing is Experto Crede, "Trust one with experience." The unofficial motto, back then, was "Safety, Comfort, Reliability." They took both mottos very seriously. I don't think anyone in the world trains to a higher standard or works so hard at ensuring every mission departs with a very proficient crew. When pilots are this highly trained and proficient, it can do something to their egos. And that has a great deal to do with this story. Eddie learns there is more to Experto Crede than most pilots at the 89th really understood.

Like the previous two books, each chapter begins with a part of that story and concludes with the more technical aspects of the flight lesson itself. That means there are three possible audiences:

  1. If you have only a minor interest in airplanes you could read just the story, I hope, and have a satisfying read.

  2. If you don't care about the story and just want the facts, procedures, and techniques, you can skip the story and go right to the flight lesson.

  3. If you really want to understand the flight lesson, I recommend you read the book from start to finish. I think after the narrative you will more easily grasp even the most technical of flight lessons.

Here's a sneak peek of what a flight lesson looks like from the third book: Flight Lessons: Intercept Avoidance / Missile Evasion.

One last word about all this. I really appreciate the positive reviews for the previous books on various websites and at various book sellers. As an amateur writer this is very gratifying. One of the reasons this particular volume has been dificult is that I fully expect some hate mail as a result. Just like the first two mottos in the movie "Fight Club," the first two rules given to any member of the 89th is, "SAM Fox crewmembers don't talk about SAM Fox." I think an objective reading should impart the fact that most SAM Fox crewmembers are quite good, the best, in fact. But there was a time, in in the early 1990's, where some SAM Fox crewmembers had lost their way. Those guys will hate this book. But for everyone else, their misunderstanding of Experto Crede will provide invaluable flight lessons. And that, after all, is the bottom line.

The book is available now at Amazon.com in eBook ($9.99) and printed ($14.99) versions. Both are in full color. Click: here.


Flight Lessons 3: Experience — What's Inside?

This book is set at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland and tracks Eddie's progress from a newly hired Gulfstream III (C-20) pilot, to aircraft commander, and to the wing's chief of safety. Of course he had already flown as a Boeing 707 examiner pilot and a Boeing 747 instructor pilot. But the 89th trains to a much higher standard and forces everyone to start over. Eddie started over and learned what Experto Crede really means. He ends his tour at Andrews as the 89th Airlift Wing Chief of Safety. After that, it was off to the Pentagon where he was in charge of the wing's aircraft operating, maintenance, and procurement budget. Every chapter and every lesson builds towards Eddie's realization about the true nature of Experto Crede. That realization, to this day, shapes how Eddie looks at the very nature of learning through experience. Good and bad.

  1. Sam Fox. Eddie is hired by the 89th to fly the "Special Air Missions" Gulfstream III (C-20), the wing's newest airplane. The unit's first international call sign, SAM/F, had morphed into "SAM Fox" and became the epicenter of "VIP Airlift" in the Air Force. Eddie is sent to the simulator and instructed by an ex-89th pilot who insists all checklists must be memorized. The flight lesson dives into the legalities and practicalities of following checklists by the book.

  2. Superman. Eddie checks out as a copilot, passing training flights and a check ride filled with compound emergencies, pulled circuit breakers, and verification that memorizing procedures was the key to success. After passing the check ride Eddie questions the practice of pushing students to the point of failure while trying to keep within the instructor's abilities. The flight lesson has to do with just that, an instructor's limitations.

  3. Iniki. Eddie gets sent to Hawaii a few days after a Hurricane hits and learns how not all aircraft limitations apply to SAM Fox pilots. The flight lesson covers limitations discipline.

  4. TLAR. Eddie gets "recommended for a recommend ride," one step along the way to upgrade. He rescues his more experienced instructor — a proponent of "That Looks About Right" — from a badly flown, unstabilized approach. He gets the recommendation. The flight lesson covers stabilized approaches by dissecting each aspect of the approach.

  5. 12-Pack. The SAM Mafia throws "the mother of all checkrides" at Eddie. His friends inside the system confront the arrogance of the SAM Mafia, Eddie wins round one, the "local" check, but there is still the line check to come. The flight lesson covers the opposite of that arrogance: humility.

  6. Ivan. Round Two sees Eddie sent into the deepest regions of the crumbling Soviet Union carrying a peace keeping team between two newly freed countries spoiling for a war. The flight lesson is all about how to avoid being intercepted and how to evade a missile.

  7. Minimums. Eddie learns there is a secret world of SAM Fox dedicated to flying as yet another layer of back up to Air Force One. Flying this new mission Eddie is introduced into new methods of expanding SAM Fox instrument minimums based on "we've always done it that way." The flight lesson is about the normalization of deviance.

  8. Deviant. Eddie finds himself flying an approach down to minimums "plus" and some suspect he has been admitted into the SAM Fox Mafia. The flight lesson is all about procedural intentional non-compliance.

  9. Welcome Back, Eddie! Eddie flies an Air Force One Back Up mission where he is pushed into using his last drop of fuel. Eddie realizes that the SAM Mafia doesn't really believe the order of priorities in the motto "Safety, Comfort, Reliability." As he learns this, he is promoted to lieutenant colonel and made the wing's chief of safety. The flight lesson is all about developing "rules of fuel."

  10. Expertise. Eddie takes over the wing's safety office and discovers a few skeletons in the closet. Eddie starts to push back against the SAM Mafia and gains confidence when saying "no" where that answer was unacceptable. The flight lesson is about "Saying No."

  11. Sam Foxed. Eddie confronts the SAM Fox ban against admitting aircraft problems to the world and declaring an emergency with air traffic control. The new wing commander befriends Eddie in an attempt to understand this SAM mentality and realizes Eddie's safety first attitude better serves the wing. The flight lesson is all about declaring an emergency.

  12. Exit Strategy. The wing decides to launch an aircraft into severe icing because the President said they would and no one in the organization is willing to say the word "no." Eddie fights the system and appears to lose. The new wing commander has Eddie's back. The flight lesson is all about the concept of "You don't know what you don't know."
  13. Going Forward. Eddie ends up at the Pentagon where he controls the 89th's operating, maintenance, and acquisition budgets. After a year of trying, he succeeds in getting the wing an airplane to replace their 30-year-old Boeing 707s. Along the way he discovers the secret behind the true meaning of "Experto Crede" and is rewarded with his own squadron. Eddie Haskel, squadron commander?


Print Version or eBook?

I priced each book at the minimum level the publisher would allow. For an eBook that ends up being $9.99 and because the printed book is all color and 220 pages, that ended up being $14.99. So there is that, the print book will cost you another five dollars.

I suppose it is easier to search for things in the electronic version but the print version does have an index. You can carry the eBook wherever you carry your electronic device. (It is published for the Kindle but Kindle readers are available for your iPad, your PC, your MacBook, just about everything.) The print version isn't too hard to carry, though. It is published on 6" x 9" stock and is a half inch thick. I think it will look smart on any aviation library, especially as part of a five volume set.

So I can't answer this for you. Me? I plan on buying both.


Where do I buy?

The publisher says "anywhere fine books are sold," but there is the matter of public interest. (This is a book for pilots, no doubt about it.) The book becomes available on November 1st, 2016.