Academic journal article Air Power History

From Jacks to Joysticks: An Aviation Life-Engineer to Commercial Pilot

Academic journal article Air Power History

From Jacks to Joysticks: An Aviation Life-Engineer to Commercial Pilot

Article excerpt

From Jacks to Joysticks: An Aviation Life--Engineer to Commercial Pilot. By Mick J. Patrick. Barnsley UK: Air World Books, 2018. Photographs. Appendix. Pp. xii, 188. $39.95. ISBN: 978-1-52671-285-1

Mick Patrick recalls his nearly 60 years in aviation in this well-written autobiography that clearly captures his love of aviation, in general, and flying, in particular. For American readers less familiar with aviation in the United Kingdom and its former colonies, the work provides insight into life in the Royal Air Force in the 1960s for engineers (substitute "mechanics" for Yanks).

That experience proved invaluable. Leaving the military, he joined a maintenance outfit at Stansted north of London that specialized in multi-engine commercial aircraft. That led to a position with a cargo carrier. Desiring to fly, he first qualified as a flight engineer on the Canadair CL--44 and the Conroy CL--44 Guppy. The aircraft is probably best remembered for its relatively unique swing tail to accommodate cargo. For a variety of reasons, only 39 of the aircraft were built, even though the turboprop-powered aircraft proved to be reasonably inexpensive to operate in terms of fuel burn. Over time, parts became an issue; and, today, only a few of these aircraft are operating at various places around the world.

Moving on to British Caledonian Airways (absorbed by British Airways in the late 1980s), Patrick upgraded to jets, with considerable time logged on the Douglas DC-10. …

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