Frequent Flyer: One Plane, One Passenger, and the Spectacular Feat of Commercial Flight

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Simon and Schuster, 1994 - Business & Economics - 318 pages
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Delta Air Lines' ship 714 is a wide-body jet that over the last twenty years has successfully flown more than two million Americans over half the planet - threading skies filled with other planes, and navigating storms, wind, and the financial chaos that has wrecked many airlines. And ship 714 has done it so easily that the people sitting 33,000 feet in the air - where humans normally can't be - spend more time thinking about whether they want beef or chicken than the miracle of magic and technology that got them there. On a cold morning in Atlanta, Georgia, Bob Reiss strapped himself into the jump seat of ship 714, as pilots prepared for takeoff, and began a voyage that millions of air passengers only dream about. For the next three days, he stayed in the cockpit to discover everything that goes into seventy-two hours of operation of one commercial airliner. Reiss had already sat down with the chairman of Delta in his office, crawled with the mechanics into the engines, and tagged luggage with the baggage handlers. He had met the people who designed ship 714, the test pilots who first flew it, the FAA inspectors who inspect it, and the antiterrorist personnel who protect it. He watched air traffic controllers guide the plane through the sky and joined dispatchers at 3:00 A.M. sessions. He looked over the shoulders of schedulers, weather forecasters, salesmen, labor leaders, and senior management as they orchestrated an enormous industrial symphony. Reiss went to flight attendant and pilot training and even "flew" the multimillion-dollar simulators - which he kept "crashing" into the side of the computer-generated hangar. Reiss learned all that there was to see and more - the ghoststories, the sex-in-the-plane stories, and the close-call stories. Everything that has ever happened in aviation - from the Wright brothers to virtual reality, from corporate warfare to pilots' personal lives - is part of the singular, breathing machine, ship 714, and the spectacular, thrilling, and reassuring experience of flight.

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User Review  - tmstimbert - LibraryThing

Such a great book. One of the best overall aviation stories I've ever read. Runs the gambit from manufacturer to pilot to flight attendant to controller. The third book I would recommend for any new aviation enthusiast and a must read for all you salty old bastards. Read full review

Frequent flyer: one plane, one passenger, and the spectacular feat of commercial flight

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this report of what goes into the flight of a Delta jumbo jet, Reiss talks with the designers of the plane, crawls through the engines with mechanics, attends flight attendant school, spends hours ... Read full review


one What If?
two The Winged Prussian
three eloise tani and the invisible man

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About the author (1994)

BOB REISS has been involved in 16 start-up companies. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Business School. His company R&R/Valdawn was named to the INC 500 list of America's fastest growing companies three years in a row. Two of his companies have been the subjects of Harvard Business School cases. One of the cases is included in this book to show real life Bootstrapping. He is a frequent speaker to Entrepreneurship classes at many of the major business schools. He has written an earlier book on Entrepreneurship called Low Risk High Reward.

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