REVIEW: Uplift – A Pilot’s Journey by Grant Corriveau
“I’m still a rookie second officer but even I know it’s not supposed to happen like this.”
“The captain called “Before Landing Check.” That’s normal. The first officer and I moved the appropriate switches, levers and buttons, and chanted the usual incantations. That’s normal. The trusty old Boeing 727 responded with its arcane dialect of flashing lights and flickering needles. That’s normal. And the all-important landing gear panel is now showing three green lights assuring us that the wheels are locked down. That’s normal. But the landing gear control panel is also glowering at us with a trio of red lights, telling us that the green lights are not to be trusted. That’s not normal.”
Read the rest of this story as you take off with Captain Grant Corriveau in “Uplift – A Pilot’s Journey.” During your flight you will be fascinated by many other true stories shared by Grant as he invites you to experience his life-long journey of discoveries. Warning: keep your seat belt fastened. There will be unexpected turbulence through your flight. Captain Grant will reveal, through his story and rise in the ranks in the aviation industry, culminating in the pilot’s seat in the cockpit, that not everything we need in life is learned in classes and training seminars.
As Corriveau advances through the ranks to senior captain he transparently shares his challenges, adventures and achievements. You will fly with him as he exposes his failures and doubts – his triumphs and close calls. You will share time when Grant’s dream almost ended and sit next to him in the jump seat as he candidly shares a pilot’s life of continuous training and adaptation to new technology and automation.
“Uplift” is everyone’s journey, told through the eyes and experiences of one pilot’s career – one pilot’s journey. Come along for the ride and you will be uplifted.
Dear Captain Corriveau,
I love reading about flying. Perversely I also love watching shows such as the one you mention at the end of the book – “Mayday” aka “Air Crash Investigation,” aka “Air Emergency” where we see how this can all go horribly wrong. However I basically gave up flying decades ago when I suddenly began to hyperventilate and break out in cold sweats while on planes in flight. Now just imaging being on is enough to reduce me to quivering hysteria. But if you were still captaining planes, it might have been enough to get me on board. At least I would be laughing at your humor as medical personnel tranq’d me and hauled me away.
RULES OF FLYING
• Takeoff is optional. Landing is mandatory.
• Flying isn’t dangerous. Crashing is what’s dangerous.
• It’s always better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here.
• The ONLY time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.
Forgive me if I admit that I’m one of those people who happily imagine that most 21st century pilots basically let the computers fly the planes these days. Yeah, I know that the Airbus can still make mistakes and occasionally carbon based pilots have to step in but it does all the heavy lifting, right? Bad me, bad, bad me. That is so wrong and now I know. All the “drinking from a fire-hose” learning you had to do, all the simulations, all the manuals to memorize, all the checklists to go up and then go back down in a (hopefully) controlled manner are astounding. All the split second decisions, all the flight deck muscle memory, all the extra fuel to be tucked aboard to make things go smoothly and be a boring flight (the best kind!) are why the flight crew makes the big bucks.
And oh what a view you describe of the night skies (would love to see) and the towering thunderstorm cells (nope, I’ll pass on those), the sunsets (lovely) and the shredded tires that just wiped out one of your multimillion dollar engines (yikes!) – I can imagine them all. And yes, you had the perfect seat to (skeptically) watch for UFOs on night runs to Vegas.
The amusing stories made me laugh but I also enjoyed reading about all the people who worked alongside to do the job, train and mentor you. As your mother says – the two people you don’t want to hear say “oops” are your surgeon and your airline pilot. The forgetful pilot stories had me in stitches. I would guess that one pilot got someone to turn his car off that he left running before he took off?
While I’m not ready to take to the skies again – with the irate, insane, out of control passengers these days in addition to the pat-down, strip searches to even get on a plane – I learned a lot from this book and gained a great deal of respect for those who control these flying metal tubes hurtling tens of thousands of feet up in the air. Safe journeys everyone. “After all, running into the planet can ruin your whole day.” B+