Hard Landing (the book)

SDF2BUF2MCO

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I'm relatively new to this board so I don't know if this subject has been brought up before...
I'm about 2/3's of the way reading the book, Hard Landing. I find it to be a combination of business and history. If the book is indeed accurate, a few things that stuck me were how miserable most executives are. They seem to be more interested in "winning" rather than running a top notch airline/business. While there is some merit to always never being satisfied and always striving to be better, it seems like they all want to be number one for the sake of being number one.

Another thing that struck me was that for all the bad mouthing Lorenzo gets from labor it was the Dems who gave him the green light (Ted Kennedy, Maxine Waters, et.al.). These people are always seen as pro labor. Of course the Republicans are supposed to be the "champions" of freedom and they're leading the charge for more government control. Politics is a professional wrestling match, it is all an act and the outcome was decided before the game began.

With that said, would highly recommend the book and look forward to reading the rest.
 

flint4xx

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"It's a dirty rotten business" is my favorite quote.
 

SDF2BUF2MCO

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What's ironic about the "it's a rotten business" quote is that is supposed to have come from Crandall. The book portrays him as being ruthless and relishing in the "rotten business". Pot meet kettle....
 

bobbysamd

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Hard Landing

Who's the author? I found Thomas Petzinger and Lynn Heitman on amazon.com. I suspect that it's the former, but I want to double-check before I order the book.

Thanx. :)
 

TurboS7

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I flew Crandell around a couple of times, he called pilots little Caesars running around with their little kingdoms.He had no respect for pilots, I think Lorenzo acutally had more respect for pilots than he did. Lorenzo problem is that in his mind he bought EAL and was going to do with it as he wished. He didn't see EAL as a national emblem of freedom that should have and could have been saved.
 

bobbysamd

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Thanx. I'll order it today. It's cheap on amazon.com.
 

Andy Neill

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The parts of the book I enjoyed most were the stories of how Herb managed to get around obstacles in his path at Southwest. As a lawyer, he even represented Southwest in court when he was trying to get it off the ground. I suppose I should read "Nuts" some day.
 

Wiggums

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Great Book.

At least with Crandell the pilots benefited in the end, once B-scales had been defeated. Under Lorenzo, Borman, and Burr pilots didn't fair so well.
 

TurboS7

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Crandell's idea was grow from within. Lorenzo's idea was merge and takeover and destroy. I really don't feel that either had a real feel for the airline business-they were just glorified bookeepers. An airline is like a baseball team (Yankees, Cubs etc.), it is sacred, something is passed down from generation to generation, it is called heritage and in our culture we need to respect that-we don't and should.
 

fly4ever

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The book is an excellent documentary of the industry but there is a big error in it - when the 1985 UAL pilot strike is mentioned (pg. 264), it says that there was a "corps of strikebreaking pilots, some 570 strong" in training, The class of 570 as they are known was NOT hired as strike replacements and they honored the strike at the risk of their jobs. In a later judgement, it was ruled that UAL had to honor their job offers to these pilots and retro pay was finally awarded. This group wears a pin with the number 570 on it to indicate their solidarity during the strike and with the striking pilots.
 

SDF2BUF2MCO

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Nuts (the book)

Andy,
The book "Nuts" is more PR and marketing stuff for Southwest. Not a whole lot of depth.
 

Wiggums

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Fly4ever: As I understand it, the 570 pilots hired were all part of Ferris's plan to break the striking pilots. However, ALPA, along with pilots on stike fron Contintental convinced the pilots in training not to cross. Pentzinger writes later on page 266 that only 6 of the 570 pilots crossed the picket line. Even worse for Ferris, after the strike was over the United pilots insisted that the 570 pilots were kept on. Pentzinger is correct, the 570 pilots were hired with the intent to break the strike, but in the end it didn't work.
 

fly4ever

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Wiggums,
I appreciate your view on the issue but having known a member of the 570 for the past 10 years (who has read and recommended the book to me with the one caveat mentioned) I think that their insider view of the circumstances is more accurate. The majority if not all of the 570 were given job offers for open pilot positions contingent upon a new contract being signed by ALPA (this is how it was presented to them at interview time) not for positions that would be opening up due to the strike. As is the case in most airline negotiations, a strike is a last option and the 570 were well into or had completed training before the strike ever materialized. UAL obviously had an under-the-table plan for them but the group needed little or no convincing from ALPA to support the strike. They knew the importance of supporting the pilot group was a matter of future job security. It was only after they didn't cross the picket line that UAL claimed they were hired as replacement pilots and since they supposedly didn't do what they were hired to do UAL attempted to fire them.

One correction to add: The group did not receive retro pay from UAL, ALPA provided financial assistance.
 

Sean

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Flying books

Sorry this is a little off topic--

The best flying book I ever read..."ChickenHawk" It's a must read. I told all my friends at Flightsaftey they must read it.

ChickenHawk by Robert Mason. MUST READ
 

skydiverdriver

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So, tell us. What was chickenhawk about? Give us a bit to go on, and a good reason to buy it. Thanks..
 

Andy Neill

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I think "Chickenhawk" is the Vietnam helicopter pilot experience equivalent of M*A*S*H.
 

pilot773

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I was browsing in our local library just yesterday and picked up a hilarious book on aviation. I can't remember the title of it offhand but it was written by a "Captain X". I only read it for an hour but would highly recommend you check it out.
 

Andy Neill

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I guess that would be:

Unfriendly Skies : Revelations of a Deregulated Airline Pilot
by Captain X, Reynolds Dodson (Hardcover - April 1989)

available at http://www.amazon.com
 

Pilotadjuster

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Aviation books

Chickenhawk is the experiences of a "slick" UH-1 pilot in Vietnam. I have read it twice and I would think a helicopter pilot would get even more out of it, particularly the early chapters describing his flight training. Named because of the mixed emotions present when going into combat.

Andy--not much MASH-like about it; there was not a great deal of humor, but perhaps much cynicism about the war later in the book. Maybe a bit like the original MASH movie (very dark humor compared to TV).

As an aside, anyone know what finally became of the author? At the end of the book he discusses charges against him for drug smuggling, etc. I think this was published in early 1980s. Author is Robert Mason.

Book I read when I was a boy that fascinated me about flying was another must read - "God is my Co-Pilot". WWII fighter pilot and occaisional Flying Tiger.
 
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