- By Bob Buck

North Star Over My Shoulder: A Flying Life

  • Title: North Star Over My Shoulder: A Flying Life
  • Author: Bob Buck
  • ISBN: 9780743219648
  • Page: 411
  • Format: Hardcover
  • North Star Over My Shoulder A Flying Life It is rare to find one person whose life embodies the history of an industry the way Bob Buck s life encompasses the history of commercial aviation in America Buck first flew in the s inspired by

    It is rare to find one person whose life embodies the history of an industry the way Bob Buck s life encompasses the history of commercial aviation in America Buck first flew in the 1920s, inspired by the exploits of Charles Lindbergh In 1930, at age sixteen, he flew solo from coast to coast, breaking the junior transcontinental speed record In 1936 he flew nonstop fromIt is rare to find one person whose life embodies the history of an industry the way Bob Buck s life encompasses the history of commercial aviation in America Buck first flew in the 1920s, inspired by the exploits of Charles Lindbergh In 1930, at age sixteen, he flew solo from coast to coast, breaking the junior transcontinental speed record In 1936 he flew nonstop from Burbank, California, to Columbus, Ohio, in a 90 horsepower Monocoupe to establish a world distance record for light airplanes He joined Transcontinental and Western Air TWA as a copilot in 1937 when he retired thirty seven years later, he had made than 2,000 Atlantic crossings and his role had progressed from such tasks as retracting a DC 2 s landing gear with a cockpit based hand pump to command of a wide body 747 Buck s experiences go back to a time when flying was something glamorous He flew with and learned from some true pioneers of aviation the courageous pilots who created the airmail service during flying s infancy At the behest of his employer Howard Hughes, Buck spent three months flying with Tyrone Power on a trip to South America, Africa, and Europe He flew the New York Paris Cairo route in the days when flight plans called for lengthy stopovers, and enjoyed all that those romantic places had to offer He took part in a flight that circled the globe sideways from pole to pole He advised TWA s president on the shift to jet planes a world expert on weather and flight, Buck used a B 17G to chase thunderstorms worldwide as part of a TWA Air Force research project during World War II, for which he was awarded the Air Medal as a civilian by President Truman.In North Starover My Shoulder, Bob Buck tells of a life spent up and over the clouds, and of the wonderful places and marvelous people who have been a part of that life He captures the feel, taste, and smell of flying s greatest era how the people lived, what they did and felt, and what it was really like to be a part of the world as it grew smaller and smaller He relates stories from his innumerable visits to Paris, the city he loves than any other echoing Gertrude Stein s view that America is my country, and Paris is my home town and from his trips to the Middle East, including flights to Israel before and after it became a state A terrific storyteller and a fascinating man, Bob Buck has turned his well lived life into a delightful memoir for anyone who remembers when there really was something special in the air.

    1 thought on “North Star Over My Shoulder: A Flying Life

    1. Buck has lead a fascinating life in the air, and on that merit alone I give this book the three stars. The amount of aviation history of you learn about by reading his story is amazing.Unfortunately the content only barely sustains the horrid writing. It suffers from the same bland and cliched writing that anyone who regularly reads aviation magazines is all too familiar with. I'm talking about things like not understanding which details are relevant to a story and which aren't, so the author ju [...]

    2. It stands proudly next to the legendary Ernie Gann's autobiography: Faint Is The Hunter. One of the best aviation books I've read and I've read more than a few.

    3. This is a poorly written book, and bears no comparison at all to Ernie Gann's Fate is the Hunter even though they tell similar tales from the same era.Bob Buck simply cannot write, Gann could. North Star is a mildly interesting read - once, but only to aviation enthusiasts. It is full of peripheral, frequently boring detail, name dropping and gives the impression of "the big I am". By contrast Gann writes beautifully, and in a personally very understated manner.If you are looking for literature [...]

    4. "North Star Over My Shoulder, 'A flying life'". Bob Buck, 2002. Sitting high in the left seat of a TWA Boeing 747, literally perched from the pinnacle of his career, Captain Bob Buck reflects back on his experiences in aviation, -his 'flying life'. And although I too share this familiar 'flying life' it was exhilarating to read words that I have often thought, experienced and felt. I would have liked to have flown with Bob Buck. Even though our experiences are several generations a part, w [...]

    5. Bob Buck is a pioneer in aviation having learned to fly at the age of 16 in 1929. He went on to flying for one of the first airlines in the U.S. During WWII he flew transports all over the world for the Army Air Corps. Retired from TWA in the 1970's after flying 747's. In his writing he teaches the reader many tricks of the trade flying in vairous situatuions and coping with constantly changing weather conditions. Tons of flying experiences varying from realaxed to very intense, he shares with t [...]

    6. I love the book. It is not a literary masterpiece but it takes you to a time where pilots were heros and flying a jet over the Atlantic was an adventure and not an everyday occurrence. Plus, Bob stayed in Bad Homburg (even though he spells it Bad Hamburg) in the old Ritters Parkhotel (which is now the Steigenberger) which made this even more "close to home" for me. I guess I can only recommend the book though for people with a serious connection to flying. Otherwise you probably will think that [...]

    7. A tremendous story of aviation told by a man who started in the earliest days and flew into the modern age of commercial flight. Full of adventure and great tales- equally appealing to aviation enthusiasts to those who take to the skies as passengers for business or pleasure!

    8. As a former private/instrument rated pilot I thought this book would be interesting and it was even more than that. A very readable, well-told and thoughtful story of a life spent largely in the air all over the world.

    9. If you like aviation history, definitely check out this book. The constant references to the attractive hostesses got annoying after a while, but the overall story is quite interesting for anyone who wants to know more about the early years of commercial flight in America.

    10. Excellent book written autobiographically of Bob who grew up on the cutting edge of aviation and navigation systems. It was fascinating getting a history of flight and the development of airports, systems and processes as aviation "took off".

    11. The flying life of Bob Buck. Thi sis the man that inspired Charles Lindburgh. Buck's life was really exciting and he crossed paths with some of the most famous and infamous characters of the early 1900's. This is a must read memoir.

    12. If you're interested in the history of commercial flying, this is the book for you. This guy's a good writer. I bet he was a heckuva pilot, too. Fascinating read.

    13. It's not a great book, but an interesting read. It gives some insight into the early days of airline flying.

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