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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Eric Rush

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Eric Rush

Flying did not inspire him until...

"I had been up a few times in small airplanes, but flying didn't inspire me the way reading about it did until I went for a short ride in an open-cockpit biplane in 1974. Before I was back on the ground, I knew I was going to learn to fly and earn my living in airplanes."


Broke and Old... was there hope?
"I was perpetually broke and had no idea where I'd find the money for lessons. I was 32, too old to become an airline pilot in those days before deregulation increased demand for pilots."

For the love of flying

"I got my private license in Port Angeles WA in 1975 and my ATP in 1980. Learned in C-172 and C-402. Began instructing in 1977. Began flying commuter schedule from Port Angeles to Seattle in 1980 for Pearson Air, the Port Angeles FBO I'd learned to fly with. San Juan Airlines bought Pearson Air's airline and merged seniority lists based solely on date of hire, I think in 1981 but maybe 1982. (I'd look it up, but I packed up all logs and other reference material and stowed everything in the basement.) 

With my seniority, I went straight to the left seat when San Juan Airlines acquired Embraer Bandeirantes early in 1984. Two years later, the airline got rid of the crewed airplanes and I was back in the C-402 at that airplanes lower pay scale.

Meanwhile, pilots were leaving to fly for "real" airlines, including a man my age. I followed another friend to DHL Airways, Inc. in summer of 1986. Flew right seat in Swearingen Metroliners for a few months before becoming a B-727 SO, then FO, and, in 1995, the captain's seat. (The inset photo on my book cover was taken a few minutes after I passed my type ride.) 

In 2002, as I approached age 60, I downgraded to SO in the Airbus A-300. My birthday present was a 55% pay cut.

DHL Airways was rebranded Astar Air Cargo in 2003, but it continued to fly in DHL livery. I retired five years later. Soon after that, DHL abandoned DHL Airways/Astar Air Cargo, and the company is gone."

It's all about the Journey!

I began keeping a diary of my flying life thinking that perhaps my grandchildren might someday wonder what Grandpa's job was like back in the days before computers and automated flight systems intruded between pilots and airplanes. 

I got in on the last of the best years for airlines, their personnel, and passengers. Logbooks, notebooks, and computer files span thirty-three years and three marriages. 


The result of Eric's experiences:

His book:  Looking Out the Window, Talking to the Person Next to Me: My Life in Airplanes.

Eric says, "The title is from a pilot's joke: When I was a kid in school, teachers complained that all I wanted to do was look out the window and talk to the person next to me. So when I grew up, I got this great job where all I do is look out the window and talk to the person next to me."

You can find Eric on Facebook and Twitter 

His book, Looking Out the Window, Talking to the Person Next to Me:My Life in Airplanes, is available everywhere and from the rebuilt, phone/tablet friendly

So I went on line to buy a copy of his book on Amazon, and thought I would borrow a comment from a readers. They are worth gold. Five stars in his case:

By R Nixon on March 31, 2014

"The book is a well written tale of the trials and joys that accompanied author Eric Rush's rise from student pilot and plumber apprentice to Boeing 727 Captain. The writing is free of technical jargon for the non pilot; and for the pilot will prove to be an interesting read. For the lovers out there, it is a love story of a man who spent much time torn between the love of flying and family. It reminded me of both Bach's: Stranger To The Ground and Earnest Gann's : Hostage To Fortune. If Richard Bach or Earnest Gann flew the author's flights and lived his life, this is how they'd write the story."

I'm looking forward to reading about his journeys!

Today is Eric's Birthday!
Join me in wishing him the best...

Happy Birthday Eric, 
may all your dreams come true!

Enjoy your Journey... you are writing the story called life.
XOX Karlene

Author of Flight For Control and Flight For Safety,
If you haven't read's time!


  1. Happy birthday, Eric! You have an amazing story. A person in their thirties - it's never too late to get the ATP. Even if money is tight.

    I also love that a journal was kept and developed into a book.

    I will definitely check this out and put on my reading list!

    A great weekend to all!

  2. Happy birthday, Eric! Your story reminds me of mine...and every other airline pilot out there, LOL! Your book sounds like an essential read for those wanting to be in the biz, and need a serious dose of reality--all the while keeping the dream alive. Thanks for sharing!


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