Reviewed by George Haddaway

Review of MORE THAN A PILOT by George Haddaway in the Nov.23, 87 edition of "General Aviation News" published at Dallas, Texas :

"The adventures and enlightened opinions of a peripatetic Canadian pilot who writes history - and also makes it."

"If you enjoy aviation history that comes straight from the cockpit, you will not go wrong in procuring a copy of "More Than a Pilot", the fifth aviation volume turned out by Don McVicar, whose work is well known and appreciated in England and Canada but not too well stocked in U.S. bookstores. His publisher is in England and his widest readership is in his native Canada, where his colorful experiences ran the gamut from bush flying, charter pilot, airline Captain, survey work on Arctic routes (including the D.E.W. Line), WW II RAF North Atlantic Ferry operations, which produced many awards, citations and the prestigious Order of the British Empire.

Now in his declining(?)years, he is satisfied to gad about in a 35 Bonanza to keep current. His log books reveal more than 60 different types of airplanes from the well-known dogs of the 20s and 30s on up to the great classics of the Wars.

The book is more than a well-written, interest-holding account of his diversified experiences during the "golden age" of flight, the colorful period of aviation history that included the majority of the real pioneers with whom he was well acquainted.

McVicar is not a name dropper, but port of the tasty flavor of this volume emerges when he brings so many of the old timers back to life - names we haven't seen in print for years, names like Paul Mantz, Doug Davis, Charlie Babb, "Fish" Hassell, Floyd Bennett, Louise Thaden, Glen Odekirk, Grant McConachie, Waiter Beech, ad.inf.

McVicar writes in typical, plain pilot vernacular, a relief from "ghosted" aviation books. "More Than a Pilot" also includes a potpourri of succinct essays on subjects that never get old to legitimate history buffs so long as fresh information or new interpretations are presented. These chapters include history makers such as Howard Hughes, Wiley Post, Amelia Earhart and yes, even the Lindburghs. McVicar has a knack for digging up little important details about his contemporaries, the likes of which will probably never appear again on the kaleidoscopic aviation scene.

The author's other four books include "Ferry Command" and "North Atlantic Cat", both personal narratives of his World War II days plus "Mosquito Racer" and "Change of Wings". Like "More Than a Pilot" these books are full of his flying experiences, from which many pilots of his era will get the feeling he's talking about their own flying history." George Haddaway is the former publisher of Flight Magazine, founder of the Aviation Heritage Foundation of the University Texas at Dallas, a founder of the predecessor of NATA and the recipient of the organization's l986 William A. Ong Award, and the chairman of Wings of Hope. He resides in Dallas, TX.

More Than a Pilot * Home Page