Born to Fly: Fabric Wings to Jumbo Jets

Born to Fly is an aviation memoir in the best tradition of Ernest Gann’s Fate is the Hunter and Bob Buck’s North Star Over My Shoulder. Like those aviators, Paul Misencik’s life revolves around a love of flying. Hooked as a boy by his first flight in a Ford Trimotor, he starts a journey from student pilot in single engine Piper Cubs to Senior Captain flying Boeing 747’s and McDonnell-Douglas MD-11s across the world. Each story in his remarkable career is told with wit and wonder: from impressing his childhood sweetheart (and future wife) with illicit airplane flights as a student pilot to real world stories of an airline pilot’s career.

Captain Misencik makes the reader wistful for the days of an earlier, more intimate aviation community; before computers flew our passenger airplanes. Entering the airlines after World War II, he learns from a generation of veteran pilots who earned their wings in the war. We’re introduced to pilots of exceptional airmanship who exemplify “stick and rudder” flying at its best, but also other strange and amusing characters that in retrospect, should have had other careers. There are some harrowing flights and close-calls, but just as many funny stories of pilots, co-pilots, and flight attendants, their camaraderie and conflicts. Then there is the sad, but engrossing story of Eastern Air Lines, a proud and historic company renowned for its pilots’ skill and prowess, laid low and bankrupted by corporate raiders and labor turmoil.

The story of Paul Misencik’s life shows aviation and airline flying at its most romantic and sometimes hilariously unromantic. You will never look at airline pilots or flying the same way again.

Misencik took his first airplane ride at age four, began flying lessons before he was twelve years old, soloed a year before he was legally authorized to do so, and courted the love of his life with airplane rides before he was old enough to have a pilot’s license. “Born to Fly” is an apt sobriquet for the story of Captain Misencik who accumulated nearly twenty-seven thousand flight hours during a career that spanned thirty-years with six different international airlines.

Publisher: Blue Heron Book Works, LLC

Publication Date: 2018

ISBN 978-0-9991-4603-3

Key words:

  1. United States – Aviation History
  2. Aviation History – Biography
  3. Adventurer & Explorer Biographies