CFI! The Book: A Satirical Aviation Comedy by Alex Stone Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The hilarious and fringe world of aviation comes back into play in author Alex Stone’s second novel, “CFI! The Book: A Satirical Aviation Comedy”. Here is the synopsis:

The Synopsis

An underpaid, overworked Certified Flight Instructor cheats death while attempting to teach a cast of incompetent student pilots to fly at a skeezy South Florida flight school; all in the quest to build flight time so he can get a “real job” at an airline. The planes break, the regs break, metal gets bent, students are lost at sea, and a Top Gun wannabe student, who has four hundred hours of flight instruction, still hasn’t made his first solo flight. “CFI! The Book” is an over-the-top satirical aviation comedy that’s loosely based on real world experiences of flight instruction, but if the FAA asks, this is all strictly fictional.

The Review

It was fun, exhilarating and exciting to jump back into the world of Alex Stone’s fictional, satirical yet all too real world of aviation hijinx. An interesting approach to the satirical aviation comedy series that the author has created, this second book of the author’s actually will surprise readers as it alludes to a prequel setting for the first novel of the author, “Hauling Checks”. You can read my review of that novel using the button below.

The story was sometimes heart-pounding, sometimes realistic but always hilarious as the author showcased many cases of impossible students and shady bosses. From an Italian student who refuses to show up to class, to an entitled student pilot who demands the instructor’s compliance and a sneaky boss who will do anything to squeeze a few more bucks out of these clueless students.

The Verdict

This is a worthy successor to the first novel author Alex Stone published. Witty, charming, sarcastic and real, this was a well written satire that showcases the aviation world in a whole new light. The fusion of aviation rules and insider knowledge of the industry mixed with the hilarious fictional characters and scenarios the author has created made this one of the most unique follow ups I’ve ever read. If you enjoy humorous, satirical works or anything involving the aviation world, then “CFI! The Book: A Satirical Aviation Comedy” by Alex Stone is the book for you. Grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Alex Stone grew up in Munster, Indiana.  He’s been flying since age fourteen and received a Bachelors Degree in Aviation Science from Western Michigan University.  He has worked as a flight instructor and was a “Freight Dog” in the air cargo industry for seven years.  This is his first novel.

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Hauling Checks by Alex Stone Review

Author Alex Stone takes readers on a hilarious, dark and unexpected ride through the world of aviation and in particular “freight dogs” as they are known in his novel, “Hauling Checks”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Alex Stone takes readers on a hilarious, dark and unexpected ride through the world of aviation and in particular “freight dogs” as they are known in his novel, “Hauling Checks”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

I’m a cargo pilot. In the industry, I’m known as a “Freight Dog.” I fly canceled checks and other types of high-value cargo around the country, mostly at night, in airplanes that are older than I am. Flying freight-or “work” as we call it-in small, twin-engine aircraft is a lesser known side of the aviation world. Our day starts when banker’s hours end. Thousands of flights move millions of pounds of work from city to city every night while the rest of the country is asleep. We’re out there in the freezing rain getting de-iced when you’re laying down for bed. We’re sweeping the snow off our wings with a broom at three in the morning. That horrible thunderstorm you heard last night while you were sleeping, we were flying through it. The fog you woke up to in the early morning hours, we were landing in it. 

Hauling Checks is a comedy about the darker side of aviation. A cast of degenerate pilots, who work for a shady night time air cargo operation, take you on a flight through the unfriendly skies. The pilots abuse every Reg in the book in their quest to make deadlines for their high value cargo. As the company falls on hard times, management resorts to questionable measures to save the failing airline. 

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The Review

This was one of the more unique, creative and funny books I’ve read in 2018. The author’s experience as a pilot blended well into the fictional story being told, bringing with it a sense of adventure and realness that other fictional stories don’t always have. The cast of characters are not only flawed, but some of them are downright despicable or clueless. Yet despite their flaws the humor shines through the entire book, because they represent the flawed and painful encounters so many people have throughout their lives. It was like a blend of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Seinfeld within a cargo flight setting. 

The imagery throughout was incredibly vivid, bringing a sense of both familiarity and realness to these out of control situations the pilots and crew found themselves in. From drunken tales of debauchery from a useless co pilot to the fictional tales of a woman’s husband who may or may not be real, to the arial acrobatics some of the pilots take (literally) when faced with a crumbling company, this book had it all.

The Verdict

This is a must read novel for anyone who is a fan of fictional comedy novels, aviation and hilarious yet mind-numbing characters. The book was fantastic and well written, and the author brought a sense of experience to the novel that made it feel even more real. If you haven’t yet be sure to grab your copy of Alex Stone’s novel “Hauling Checks” today.

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Alex Stone grew up in Munster, Indiana.  He’s been flying since age fourteen and received a Bachelors Degree in Aviation Science from Western Michigan University.  He has worked as a flight instructor and was a “Freight Dog” in the air cargo industry for seven years.  This is his first novel.

Excerpts

     I glanced out the side window as I struggled to stay awake. Suddenly, something caught my attention that instantly woke me up. There was oil running out of the left engine. Not just a small leak like there always was. This was a steady flow that trailed down the top of the engine cowling and off the back of the wing.
     “Wake up!” I said to The Co. “We’ve got a problem.”
     “That’s fine,” The Co mumbled in his sleep, “you can take care of it.”
     I quickly scanned the gauges for the left engine and found that the oil pressure was dropping, and the oil temperature was rising. This confirmed that we were losing a large quantity of oil quickly. There was no way of knowing how much we had lost already, but judging from the extremely low oil pressure, it wouldn’t be long before the engine quit.
     The proper procedure in this circumstance is to shut down the left engine. If it lost all of its oil, the engine would seize up, destroying itself. By shutting it down prior to that happening, the engine could be saved, the oil leak could be repaired, and the engine reused.
     I’d had enough for one day though. I was pretty disgruntled at this point and decided that I didn’t care if the engine was destroyed.
     “Let them pay for a new engine,” I growled. “That’ll teach them.”
     I left the doomed engine at weekend power*; I figured I’d just run the hell out of it till it blew up. This kind of abuse of the engines, which happened on a daily basis, was a big part of the reason the planes had so many problems in the first place. That, combined with the lack of proper maintenance, of course. But when a company constantly treated you this poorly, it became hard to care about taking care of their airplanes.

* – Weekend power means full throttle even if that takes the engines over redline. This may result in airspeed exceeding the maximum speed for the airplane, which would set off a warning horn. If that happens, you just pull the circuit breaker for the warning horn, disabling it. This would allow you to overspeed the airplane without the annoyance of that pesky horn.
     Weekend power got its name because no one wants to fly on the weekend, so, if you have to, you fly full power, getting the flight over with as fast a possible so you can go home. Some pilots have also used the terms “Horn Fridays,” and “Overspeed Sundays.”

Hauling Checks can be purchased at the following online stores:

    Paperback:

        eStore

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    eBook:

        Amazon.com(Kindle)

        Smashwords.com(ebook)

        BarnesandNoble.com (NOOKbook)

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