[ Read ePUB ] The Map of My Dead Pilots Author Colleen Mondor – Schematicwiringdiagram.co

Northern Exposure meets Air America in this expose of the daily life and death insanity of commercial flying in Alaska The Map of My Dead Pilots is about flying, pilots, and Alaska,and,specifically, about those pilots who take death defying risks in the Last Frontier and sometimes pay the price Colleen Mondor spent four years running dispatch operations for a Fairbanks based commuter and charter airline and she knows all too well the gap between the romance and reality of small plane piloting in the wildest territory of the United States From overloaded aircraft to wings covered in ice, from flying sled dogs and dead bodies, piloting in Alaska is about living hard and working harder What Mondor witnessed day to day would make anyone s hair stand on end.Ultimately, it is the pilots themselves laced with ice and whiskey, death and camaraderie, silence and engine roar who capture her imagination In fine detail, Mondor reveals the technical side of flying, the history of Alaskan aviation, and a world that demands a close communion with extreme physical danger and emotional toughness The Map of My Dead Pilots is an engrossing narrative whose gritty, no holds barred style is reminiscent of the works of Ken Kesey and Tim O Brien.

10 thoughts on “The Map of My Dead Pilots

  1. Melki Melki says:

    Get God or get drunk, either way you re still flying tomorrow When Alaska Senator Ted Stevens died in an airplane crash in 2010, I remember an NPR commentator citing a statistic about the absurdly high number of plane crashes that occur in that state each year I was blown away by the figure, but wouldn t you know I can t find it Curse you, Google You ve never let me down before I did find this During 1990 2009 there were 1,615 commuter and air taxi crashes in the United States Commuter and air taxi crashes in Alaska accounted for than one third of all commuter and air taxi crashes in the U.S., and approximately 20% of the fatal crashes and deaths. At the time, all I could think was why Why is flying in Alaska such a risky undertaking In the largest state in the union, roads are scarce, and settlements are scattered Air travel is as common to residents as taking a cab or bus would be to city dwellers There are people waiting on delivery of food and medical supplies And always, no matter what the weather, the mail must get through.Mondor s book does answer some questions about the frequency of Alaska air crashes It seems to boil down to the fact that time is money Pilots who arrive on time have a better chance of getting plum assignments, hours in the air and even a shot at flying for the airlines in the lower 48 They fly carrying too much weight and often miscalculate their fuel supply Their cargo can include everything from sports teams, to corpses to growling, yapping sled dogs packed three to a crate The job does seem to attract than its share of daredevils And then, there s the weather .Poor visibility, blowing snow, ice on the wings Mountains rise out of nowhere Flying blind is an all too frequent possibility I guess the real question is not why, but instead, why aren t there crashes The book is something of an odd memoir in that most of the stories are told by pilots other than Mondor Her style is not particularly engaging and having several different pilots weigh in on why one of their own crashed quickly becomes monotonous Serious aviation buffs may find this book fascinating, but there s not much here to hold the interest of the average reader.Still, she brings up one good point that I ll be thinking about for some time to come Was he just crazy and that s why he liked flying in Alaska, or was it flying in Alaska that made him that way

  2. Savannah Savannah says:

    Living as I do in a village accessible only by air and water and in a winter of weather as vicious as this, I am finding a deep desire to also add to this review the tag horror Or maybe thriller Because this is the world we here live in, dependent upon these pilots and companies, and it s damned scary Don t believe for a moment that the author is exaggerating Anything Because just as the pilots make a sometimes unfounded leap of faith that they ll complete any given trip, so do we as passengers make that same bafflingly unsensible decision Who hasn t gotten on a flight because they needed to get somewhere, even though, really, it would have been much safer to have stayed at home Or listened to a pilot on a windy day go piece of cake when that bravado did nothing to reassure and only made the hapless passengers worry all the

  3. ExLibris_Kate ExLibris_Kate says:

    I live in a world that revolves around aviation, so I was very excited to read this memoir Piloting a charter plane in Alaska means you are flying in what can be harsh conditions It also means flying by sight, unusual cargo everything from dogs to dead bodies and it can mean some pretty risky situations for the pilot and the crew I was immediately drawn into the book by Colleen Mondor s writing style it is straightforward but the feelings she had for the people and the place really came through You get an opportunity to look into a unique way of life and see all that is beautiful and awful about the pilots, what brought them to Alaska, and how they ended up flying these planes.One aspect that I find very appealing is that you don t have to be an aviation buff to enjoy this book The experiences of the pilots go beyond simply flying and are full of adventure, sorrow, laughter and even death It is a way of life for them Many of the stories stayed with me, but one in particular, about a young girl who was overdosing, left me shaking my head I won t spoil the story, but it wasn t what I expected at all When I finished reading this book, I had to remind myself that this was actually about real people and that these people, or those like them, are still flying and some are still not making it back It is a world that is very different from my comfortable suburban existence, which made it all the fascinating to me This is a wonderful book and I can think of several people on my list who will find it in their stocking this Christmas.

  4. Virginia Virginia says:

    I don t remember where I heard about this book maybe from Goodreads Maybe from an article somewhere else on the internet But I am so glad I read this because it really resonated with me it s about aviation in Alaska, superficially, but importantly it s about life I, for one, am not familiar with aviation in the slightest, but it didn t matter, reading this.I loved the writing in this book I think the essay format was perfect for telling these stories I also loved the stories the pseudonyms got a little confusing Tony Sam Scott Frank Bob etc especially since it was obvious that every one of these people was living larger than life in the author s mind, bland and interchangeable pseudonyms did not do them all justice What I most want to know is how the author got this book published without drawing down the legal wrath of, well, anyone Did she time this specifically for after the Company went out of business, or did they go out of business because of stories like this Or for some other reason entirely This sort of tell all style has gotten than one person fired or sued, and I am sure there were a number of people who were not pleased that all the blatantly illegal details of how the business was run that are shared in this were made public Especially since many of the deaths of the titular pilots in question were directly or indirectly caused by Company policies or procedures.

  5. Maureen E Maureen E says:

    I ve been reading Colleen Mondor s blog for awhile and her book sounded interesting Then I saw that one of my libraries had bought it, so I put it on hold And here we are.The Map of My Dead Pilots is an account of the author s years working at an Alaskan aviation company It s a fascinating book, lying somewhere between a nonfiction essay which is to say an fact based narrative about Alaskan flying and a memoir Mondor places herself in the middle of the group, but she herself worked in Ops, not as a pilot So she is at once involved and an observer It s a book about flying in Alaska, with fascinating and horrifying details of the conditions and life It s full of stories both funny and tragic Sometimes these are the same stories.She also weaves the different stories together, particularly the deaths of her friends Luke and Bryce, and the end of her father s life The book begins with the statement that Bryce s death changed everything for those working at the Company, but it s only slowly that the details of Bryce s death are revealed And throughout the book, Mondor grapples with the why of these three main events Why did Luke die Why did Bryce Why did her father It s a book about searching for impossible answers.It s also about the stories we tell ourselves In one chapter, Mondor gives several possible versions of Bryce s death as created by one of his fellow pilots Each one is a cohesive narrative, each one emphasizes a different side of the possibilities, gives a different answer to the why None of them are wrong, but none of them can be said to be true either The group cannot answer the why of Bryce s death, but they can create their own narratives and they can create them as a group Because of all of this, I was left with an unsettling feeling of wondering, not exactly how much of this book is true, but how much is seen through a lens This is, of course, true of all books, fiction and non fiction, but Mondor seems to invite this question, to require it, almost It s strongly narrative as, I would argue, most good fiction is, but never loses sight of fact that these are real people whose lives have been changed and altered by the experience I did wish that we had returned to the Alaskan part just at the very end, but that s a very minor complaint All in all, this is one of the best non fiction books I ve ever read and I highly recommend it to anyone who s interested in the subject, or just in stories and how we tell them One minor caveat there is a lot of swearing I m able to read past most of it, but I know others aren t.Book source public libraryBook information Lyons Press, 2011 non fiction, adult but could be a great cross over for the right teenMother Reader s review, with an interview and links

  6. Michael Michael says:

    I wanted to read this book because my father had been a bush pilot in Alaska during the late 1940s and early 1950s The book is not a blow by blow history of aviation in Alaska, and in some ways that was a bit of a disappointment However, I found myself drawn in chapter by chapter to what really amounts to a sort of The Things We Carried for Alaskan bush pilots Instead of a straight forward narrative, the book is a memoir of the author s time spent working in the operations office for an aviation company in Alaska during the 1990s Mixing her own personal stories of working with the company, doing graduate work on the causes of airplane crashes in Alaska, the death of her father, and dealing with deaths of so many of the pilots with whom she worked, Mondor creates a world in which the truth about crashes, and near misses, and other tragic and sometimes comic episodes associated with flying in Alaska is constantly changing Like Tim O Brien she deals extensively with how her troops the pilots told and retold stories to try and figure out what went wrong, what they might have done differently, who or what was to blame I would have rated it higher except for the fact that there is a tremendous amount of repetition, not just in telling the same stories again and again, but in the exact same language used over and over again It sometimes seems like filler Nevertheless, I m glad I read it, if just for the last few chapters dealing with one of the pilots, his return back to his family in Ohio, and his efforts to get them to try and understand what he went through while participating in one of the most romanticized, and particularly deadly, vocations in the world.

  7. Susan Paxton Susan Paxton says:

    Very episodic the author is primarily an essayist and it shows Often moving, sometimes irritating Alaska is a giant welfare state supported by our taxes and special lax regulations Pilots and those interested in aviation will find it a good if spotty read.

  8. Elisabeth Elisabeth says:

    Absolutely fascinating I just wanted and of the stories of the dangers and strangeness these pilots and Colleen faced, working for the Company I did have trouble remembering who was who, but I don t think it mattered I or less substituted this guy I knew for Sam and Tony and Bryce et al Because it was less about the people and about the experience I really like what another reviewer wrote about this being about telling stories It is Stories, memories What do we know, what can we know What changes, what is lost What elements surprise us What elements explain us What elements bring us comfort or fear How many versions of a story are there who tells it best It s the art of oral story telling captured and dissected in print and in narrative form Well done, Colleen I really enjoyed this book My cousin wrote this book I can t wait to read it

  9. Brooks Brooks says:

    Wow, I could not put down this book It reminded me of the book, The Things they carried in that it has many of the same themes But instead of war, this was bush flying in Alaska Like war, there was the death of too many friends And the death was always close at hand and almost random It is also how tragic experiences still victimize those that had no physical wounds But it also celebrates the friendships and black comedy from those experiences I thought back to a time when I worked overseas at a small school in the middle of a giant slum The friendship were intense, but also the laughs Because when it is really terrible, all you can do is laugh You are so glad to leave, but then realize you miss the close friendships that adversity brings Does Alaska attract the riskiest pilots or does flying in Alaska push pilots to take too many risks Mondor seems to think the later.

  10. Richard Richard says:

    As a pilot, the book reads like the accident reports we review to remind us what not to do Flying is an unforgiving thing and the conditions in Alaska offer challenges than many pilots would ever want My reservation with this memoir is on it s persistent litany of death caused by pilots making a series of bad decisions The reality of flying is that most pilots make good decisions Otherwise the crash numbers would be huge and they re not Even in Alaska, most pilots make good choices I would guess the company mentioned in the book went out of business because they got the bejesus sued out of them I think the adage holds true there are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are very few old, bold pilots.