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The Golden Years of Flying: As We Remember

Frontier Airlines 1946-1986

Captain Tex Searle

228 pages
Aviation Supplies & Acad Inc

The Golden Years of Flying: As We Remember is the legacy of an earlier day in aviation history, recorded by one of the pilots who shared this experience and wrote down his fellow pilots’ stories. Captain Tex Searle corresponded with and interviewed several retired DC-3 pilots from the old Frontier Airlines days, and brought all their tales together in one place for a vivid historical account.

Flying the Rocky Mountain region, Frontier Airlines’ pilots achieved the best safety record in civil aviation—a record based on the most stringent measure of the number of takeoffs and landings while flying in extreme conditions. Frontier Airlines flew from 1946 to 1986. In her early days, crews hand-flew DC-3s over the high Rockies, in and out of small airports hidden deep in mountain canyons, with approaches often referred to as “black holes” due to their almost ominous darkness and lack of reliable visual references. Relating their first-hand experience of flying through “tornado alley” without radar, flying in canyons of sodden clouds while lightning displays an explosion of highlighted pageantry throughout the heavens, the pilot storytellers in The Golden Years of Flying invite you into the cockpit for a lighter dimension, too—you will surely enjoy the hijinks and hangar tales of their shared experiences.

As a retired FAL captain himself, the author points out that “flying the DC-3 was just about the best thing that could happen to a man.”

Author Bio
Captain Tex Searle thought of nothing but flying from his early youth. As a young boy lying on large stacks of hay (on his father's farm in Delta, Utah), he could observe the old tri-motors and biplanes flying CAM4 (Civil Air Mail) flights between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. At age 17 Tex was serving on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific, after the war he began flying for frontier Airlines based in Denver, Colorado. Upon retirement from Frontier as Captain in 1985, Tex served as Director of Training and later Chief Pilot for charter and mail contractors. His first love was in flying the old DC-3s on cargo runs throughout Alaska. Besides being rated on various large aircraft, Captain Searle has flown the Learjet on charter and mail runs, has flown for the U.S. Forest Service, and owned various aircraft including the "Hog," a 600-horsepower Stearman used in mountain seeding and crop spraying.