En Route Book Review

En Route Book Review

Floatplane Odyssey, by William T. Coleman, recounts the 1990 flight of veteran seaplane pilot Tom Casey’s Around The World Flight in a floatplane. Desiring to recreate the U.S. Navy’s 1924 circumnavigation, but only by landing on water, Casey flew alone, seeking sponsorships and support from every angle. He and his wheel-less Cessna 206 completed the odyssey bent and battered, but unbowed.
Author Bill Coleman was involved with the flight as a public relations consultant whose client was Phillips 66 Aviation Fuels, the primary sponsor of the trip. That things didn’t exactly go as planned (“we can do this in 60 days”) is the mother of all understatements, as Coleman relates in his extensively-recorded tale. But, Casey persevered, against all odds, and eventually splashed down at his Seattle starting point after six months and nearly 30,000 miles of flying.
The epic saga is hard to put down, as the protagonist gets into and out of one scrape after another. A back operation in Saudi Arabia, a mid-ocean crash landing in the Aleutians, bureaucratic snafus–nothing stops Casey’s quest for a World Record trip. Meanwhile, the behind-the-scenes headaches for his sponsors just keep mounting up. Be warned: the book is liberally sprinkled with adult language, probably reduced considerably from the contemporaneous utterances being described.
The book is a soft-cover edtion, 408 pages, ISBN 978-1-4951-6086-8. Priced at $25, it is available at www.floatplaneodyssey.com•T&T

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