US Review of Books: I’ll Have The Chicken

US Review of Books: I’ll Have The Chicken

Congratulations to I’ll Have The Chicken written by Robert Kavula for receiving a RECOMMENDED rating from the US Review of Books.

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Read the entire review below:


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“That night I continued landing that airplane in my sleep, and I continue to have dreams of flying problems to this day.”

In this riveting collection of stories by a former Navy and commercial airline pilot, the reader obtains a firsthand view of the goings-on from inside the cockpit door. This is a genuine and often humorous account of the many trials and tribulations, moments of joy, and moments of “stark terror,” as Kavula puts it, that the pilot experienced during his decades of flying. Very much part of the reason for writing this book, the author relates, is the many times he would share a story from his years in aviation, only to be told, “You should write a book.” Tales of near collisions (both in flight and on the runway), of losing engines and generators yet somehow making a safe landing, and downright humorous conversations between pilots during flight are here for the reader’s enjoyment.

In over 100 chapters—each usually only a couple of pages in length—the author shares a unique anecdote, story, or insight that reveals what it’s like to have been a pilot, first for the U.S. Navy and then, during the bulk of his latter years in aviation, as a commercial airline pilot with TWA. These vignettes include inside pilot and cabin crew jokes and incidents, memorable passenger moments, flights with dignitaries and world leaders, and flights with famous stars (including, interestingly, the time Kavula’s plane carried the actual R2D2 robot from the Star Wars series from London to L.A.). Also presented are inside accounts, many of which are almost hard to believe as they are so harrowing in their revelation of near-deadly mishaps, last-minute decisions, and near-misses. There were the many engine failures, generator failures, re-routing for takeoffs and landings, and instances of highly amusing dialogue via the cockpit and control towers. All are here, related in a casual and often jovial spirit, from a gentleman and an officer of the friendly skies who accumulated a motley assortment of tales from his decades in piloting.

One of many enticing stories the author shares is the time he piloted a flight from Europe to JFK with Neil Armstrong aboard. Kavula asked the famed astronaut what the most difficult thing about the moon flight was. Interestingly, Armstrong responded, “Dieting. For two years I had to keep my weight down in order to fit into the space suit, and each pound of flesh would consume extra fuel.” This was not, says the author, the answer he had expected.

After the text, Kavula shares an array of illuminating photographs showcasing his younger days while training in the Navy: his father pinning his “wings” on during a ceremony in Corpus Christie, Texas, in October 1961; the first aircraft he piloted; solo training flight shots; the many different types of TWA aircraft he flew during his decades-long career (including the Boeing 707, aboard which the author clocked more than 7,000 hours); and more. Kavula’s career piloting the skies makes for a highly original and captivating book. He is generous with his anecdotes, and the book truly has a lot to offer for readers who enjoy the “inside scoop,” as it were, of something that is often mostly taken for granted. Kavula’s story is an intriguing one, which engages the reader from the very first page. One gets a true sense in reading this work that not only did Kavula love his many, rich experiences flying aircraft, but that he appears to find joy in sharing the stories of those experiences with the reader. His book is sure to not only entertain but often tickle the funny bone, as these amazing vignettes from his life as a pilot reveal for a general audience what it’s really like for those professionals who pilot the airplanes we fly. Buckle up, ladies and gentlemen, and enjoy the ride.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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