This is a "behind
the scenes" in aviation. When is the last time you looked
into the sky at a huge Boeing 747 and wondered about the people
inside the craft, particularly in the cockpit? This is the
saga of a group of American pilots at the mercy of economics,
who were tossed out into a foreign world and who became the
heros battling the archaic practices of a domestic Japanese
airline and what happened to each and every one of them. "Shimpai
Nie!" means "Don't worry about it!" in Japanese.
If you want to take a visit to this part of the Orient and
get a glimpse of an Oriental culture that has survived thousands
of years, without the help of an unknown group of Americans,
albeit they did change the system, then read it. That tiny
Japanese domestic airline, after 25 years, now flys international
flights, thanks to this bunch of American nuts fighting to
stay alive. One didn't. He bought the farm in one of the world's
worst mid-air collisions.
This strange group went to Japan a little bit disgruntled,
having been laid off from major American airlines: two from
Pan American World Airways; three from defunct Northeast and
TWA along with a few pilots from Saudi Arabia, Germany and
New Zealand. Oh, one Brit from the Isle of Jersey.
You'll get the scoop of exactly what it would be like to suddenly
find yourself on the Moon. No directing signs and no language
barrier because you have only yourself to talk to.
There is a love story between one hot pilot with a Japanese
prima donna and their trek into the mountains of Japan's yester-year.
Another was a sad case of a typical opinion of airline pilots,
which by the way is not true, and his older wife who has her
Last, but not least, is the story of a father dedicated to
aviation, raising a young, daughter alone, with just the help
of one ancient, Japanese housekeeper. He finally puts his
entire aviation career and life on the line when he confronts
the big wigs of the airline in a face to face confrontation.
Just read it, a little between the lines and perhaps the ending
will warm your heart and let you love the next time you fly,
knowing you're safe. LIke the red ball, the symbol of Japan,
it sinks slowly in the west.
MATA I MASHO! (See you again!)