of a Weekly Column,
Categories: Short Stories / Aviation / Adventure
Publisher: Paper Airplane Publishing, LLC
Date of Publication: January 29, 2020
Number of Pages: Volume 1: 350 pages; Volume 2: 330 pages
Buckle up and fly with Mike and Linda Street-Ely to discover amazing people, interesting places, and the conquest of flight. Since 2007, readers have enjoyed engaging articles weekly in the newspaper column, “Ely Air Lines.” Now you can step aboard to enjoy a collection of stories that explore the vast realm of the flyer’s world.
Clueless Gent’s Rating for Ely Air Lines, Volume 1
Ely Air Lines is a trove of articles connected by a single thread: aviation. These stories first appeared in the Liberty Gazette, a local Texas community newspaper, as an ongoing column written by the authors.
What I enjoyed the most about this book was how it brought to life a small community that exists near many of us, but remains invisible. Aviation does not just include large air lines and large airports. The community brought to life in these stories is the other side of aviation – the smaller airplanes, air lines and airports. The love of flight is very prevalent throughout.
The stories are mostly unrelated, but there are some exceptions. For instance, in several stories, we get to see how a local airport grew from literally a dirt-road landing strip into a fair sized community airport. Those were among my favorite stories.
Something else that piqued my interest was the change in technology over the course of several stories. For example, one story discusses using airplanes to sow rice fields in South Texas. In the beginning, there were flag holders on the ground to show the pilots exactly where to drop their load. As technology improved, the flag bearers were no longer needed.
“Their airplanes took to the air before sunrise, working the fields until well after dark.”
My review is for volume one of this two-volume set.
In many of the stories, authors Mike and Linda each gave their own opinions. It was interesting how for some of the stories, one would write for several pages, and then the author would offer a single paragraph.
Without a doubt, the love of flying soars throughout all these stories. Further, the love and commitment the authors have for flying, as well as for others in small-scale aviation, is very apparent.
I think this book offers a very unique and personal glimpse into this side of aviation.
Mike Ely has logged thousands of hours over more than forty years as a professional pilot. He holds an airline transport pilot certificate with multiple type ratings and a flight instructor certificate. Mike has taught people to fly in small single engine airplanes, gliders, turboprops, and corporate jets. As a freight pilot and an international corporate pilot, he has flown through all kinds of weather, to many places, both exotic and boring. His love for writing was instilled by his father at an early age.
Linda Street-Ely is an award-winning, multi-genre author and playwright. She also holds an airline transport pilot certificate, a commercial seaplane certificate and a tailwheel endorsement. She has air raced all over the U.S., including four times in the historic all-women’s transcontinental Air Race Classic. Besides flying, Linda has a keen appreciation for great storytelling. She loves to travel the world, meet people, and learn about other cultures because she believes great stories are everywhere.
Together, Linda and Mike are “Team Ely,” five-time National Champions of the Sport Air Racing League, racing their Grumman Cheetah, named the “Elyminator,” and dubbed “The Fastest Cheetah in the Known Universe.” They live in Liberty, Texas.
Giveaway ends midnight, CST, January 29, 2021
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