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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, June 30, 2017

Hans Wink

Friday's Fabulous Flyer

Hans Wink

Han's Wink was born in East Germany in 1966, under the communist regime. He grew up in Magdeburg, East Germany, where life was anything but easy for him. His difficult childhood included the divorce of his parents, an abusive stepfather, and problems with school. Searching for a better life, he escaped through the Iron Curtain for freedom in the West, and found his way to America, where he now lives in Miami, Florida, and Mexico. 

While everyone faces life challenges, being born behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany, at the height of the cold war, was a challenge of another kind. Han's knew he wasn’t going anywhere fast when he was forced out of vocational school at 16 for his “behavior unbecoming of a young communist.” He thought his only hope in a successful life would be to one day take over his father’s tailor shop. The only thing that kept him going was "a series of cheap romances fueled by even cheaper liquor." Sadly, before his 18th birthday his father died and his step-mother slammed the door in his face. Sometime thereafter he escaped to America. 

As a young man living in Miami Han's said that he, "Ran the gamut of the American experience, from tumultuous relationships to drugs and vice." In the year 2000 he escaped once again, but this time  it was from "The love of my life after a devastating breakup. This was a tragic fall that would have shattered me to pieces if not for the door that opened to a new profession—aviation!"

Once that aviation bug hit, Hans was destined to succeed when he became a commercial pilot. His path in life was anything but traditional. He flew from one challenge to the next, but when he earned his wings something change. He not only saved his life, but began saving countless other lives as he flew worldwide in air-ambulance missions. In 2009 he accepted a three-year contract with the United Nations to fly officials to the hot spots of Africa and Asia. Observing UN operations in war zones such as Libya and Afghanistan compelled Hans to write about his encounters. But he said his main objective was always to, "Reconnect with my alienated children."

Captain Hans Wink holds airline certifications for both Europe and the US. In addition to the military operations under UN mandate, he has flown both VIP and medical emergency response teams on a worldwide scale. The cultural and social differences he has encountered, and the pain and suffering he's lived and observed is what has formed his personality, his philosophy, and his approach toward living. Which brings us to his book: IN MID-AIR.

Hans graciously mailed me a copy, and what a great read this is. I have been at the ocean all week, and have been busy playing with the kids, but two nights ago when the little ones were all in bed, and the big kids ended the games for the night, I climbed into a bathtub and began to read. I stayed so long in the tub that I turned my water cold, then continued reading well into the night that turned into the morning. Last night was no different. Hans chose autobiographical narrative nonfiction to combine the dramas of his personal life with his experience traveling the world. What a fascinating story this is. 

"IN MID-AIR is the unbelievably true story of a rebellious teenager locked in an authoritarian regime. A coming of age drama of what it took to overcome his childhood and family, the Berlin Wall, culture shock, language barriers and a love so passionate that it nearly destroyed him. It is the story of a fairy-tale marriage, a beautiful family and a horrific divorce. It it’s about accepting defeat, yet never giving up and never losing hope. It’s about setting your goals high, starting over as many times as you have to and working hard to achieve those goals. The sky is literally the limit."

"IN MID-AIR is for anyone facing a challenge in life, 
for anyone who needs a little inspiration 
to help them get up, brush themselves off 
and get going again."

Now that Captain Hans has flown air-ambulance and diplomatic missions around the world for over two decades, you can say he’s been around the block a few times. His autobiography also includes some of his observations, seen from air bases in Afghanistan and Africa, and from his two homelands – Germany and the US.

There is action police interrogations, border guards and jail cells, to car chases, fights, and jet landings in war zones. IN MID-AIR is absolutely an extraordinary autobiography that will lift you you up and won’t let you down.

You can Find Hans at: 

Twitter: @hans_wink

Now... it's time for me to continue reading! From what I've read so far, you will not be disappointed! 

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 

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