masseybrown
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New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:20 am

"Nonstop" by Jack El-Hai was reviewed by the Wall St Journal last Saturday. Sounds like one of those histories full of nitty-gritty details so many of us like. From the earliest times, when it was bankrolled by Ford Motor Co, 'til the end.
 
ImperialEagle
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:26 am

I hope it is a good one. Not too much out there on NW. What is out there could stand some fact-checking. No one was writing about them in the early days and after Nyrop took over in the early 1950's they pretty much stayed off the radar screen. Oh, there was the "Airport" movie at MSP. Nyrop's secretary was in a split-second of that. Lots of tugs. That was essentially a Boeing promo film on the virtues of the 707.

Anyway, I look forward to a good read on NW. Will order it today and report what I find.
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:15 pm

I bought mine from Amazon. It is very accurate and full of little details that only NW folks would realize are true. The book has become a "must read" for everyone that worked for NW. Highly recommend it. It has become extremely popular.

The author did a book signing in MSP and from what I have heard it was really mobbed. Great effort by a great author.
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DTWPurserBoy
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:30 pm

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 1):
Oh, there was the "Airport" movie at MSP. Nyrop's secretary was in a split-second of that. Lots of tugs. That was essentially a Boeing promo film on the virtues of the 707.

A lot of NW employees had "walk-on" parts in the movie, especially in the opening scenes. I used to be able to recognize some of the people. Maybe it's time to haul the movie out again.
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WA707atMSP
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:38 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 2):
I bought mine from Amazon. It is very accurate and full of little details that only NW folks would realize are true. The book has become a "must read" for everyone that worked for NW. Highly recommend it. It has become extremely popular.

The author did a book signing in MSP and from what I have heard it was really mobbed. Great effort by a great author.

I was at the book signing - you are right, it was standing room only. The author brought 60 books, and I think all sixty were sold before the signing was over.

I really like the book, but its one weakness is that it spends less time covering the relatively stable years when Don Nyrop was in charge than it devotes to the more volatile years before and after Nyrop's presidency. The author repeats the usual allegations against Nyrop - he was frugal, he hated the unions, etc - but he does not give Nyrop enough credit for making sure Northwest was one of two airlines that entered deregulation with a modern fleet (unlike PA, WA Transworld Airlines (USA)">TW, AA, UA, EA, and WA) and almost no debt (unlike CO and BN).

Northwest would not have survived deregulation's first ten years if it had TWA's fleet, or Continental's debt load, and the author does not convey this as well as he should have!
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whitewasp
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:05 pm

This will be a great gift for Christmas for my friend. He is like a encyclopedia regarding past airlines. I am going to buy it!
 
simairlinenet
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:29 pm

Thanks very much for sharing! This former employee will definitely buy a copy.

For a long time, all we had was Flight to the Top, which, while good, was published just after the Republic merger and therefore a bit dated.
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:41 pm

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 4):
I really like the book, but its one weakness is that it spends less time covering the relatively stable years when Don Nyrop was in charge than it devotes to the more volatile years before and after Nyrop's presidency. The author repeats the usual allegations against Nyrop - he was frugal, he hated the unions, etc - but he does not give Nyrop enough credit for making sure Northwest was one of two airlines that entered deregulation with a modern fleet (unlike PA, WA Transworld Airlines (USA)">TW, AA, UA, EA, and WA) and almost no debt (unlike CO and BN).

Agreed--Nyrop was the guy we all loved to hate. Frugal to the point of idiocy (like removing all the doors to the stalls in the men's rooms to avoid dawdling). But he left NW is a stable financial shape. I never understood why the Board never invoked a "Poison Pill" defense mechanism to protect the company from the Checci/Wilson bandits.

Personally, whenever Mr. Nyrop was on a flight or talking with employees one-on-one he was a quiet, personable man who really did seem to like us. He just had a problem letting loose of the purse strings and with the old Mutual Aid Pact he had no incentive to settle strikes since he was being paid by all of the other airlines for not flying. They called us "Cobra Airlines--We Strike At Anything!"
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VC10DC10
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:52 pm

I'll definitely be ordering a copy. Thanks for getting the word out!

Quoting simairlinenet (Reply 6):

For a long time, all we had was Flight to the Top, which, while good, was published just after the Republic merger and therefore a bit dated.

"Flight to the Top" is good; another book, published just a few months before, is "Northwest Orient" by Bill Yenne.
 
NWAESC
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:56 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 2):
I bought mine from Amazon. It is very accurate and full of little details that only NW folks would realize are true. The book has become a "must read" for everyone that worked for NW. Highly recommend it. It has become extremely popular.

The author did a book signing in MSP and from what I have heard it was really mobbed. Great effort by a great author.

I just received mine, and am really looking forward to digging into it!

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 4):
I was at the book signing - you are right, it was standing room only.

I'm happy to hear it.

Quoting whitewasp (Reply 5):
This will be a great gift for Christmas for my friend.

It was my Xmas gift to myself.  
"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
 
n7371f
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:02 pm

Will order the book. Review in WSJ is very condescending of Northwest. Will be curious to see if book is as harsh on the Red Tail. As someone who flew well over a million miles on Northwest, there are many things I miss about the airline and that seems to surprise some people.
 
simairlinenet
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:09 pm

Quoting n7371f (Reply 10):
Review in WSJ is very condescending of Northwest.

Here's the WSJ review/ Certainly negative, but I wouldn't say overly so.

Top
 
simairlinenet
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:10 pm

Sorry, the link did not post correctly and I can not seem to edit the post either. Problems posting WSJ links, so just use http://www.google.com/#q=non-stop+site:wsj.com
 
VS11
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 8:18 pm

Sounds like a really interesting and informative account of not only Northwest but the entire aviation industry in the US. And I didn't think the WSJ review was negative at all - I think the reviewer picked up parts that would spark the interest of the contemporary reader.

My impression of Northwest 10 years ago (when they were handling the Virgin Atlantic B747 flight in Boston) was that they were extremely focused on operations and punctuality. The general perception was though that their unions were tough to deal with and there were frequent tensions with management, including local.
 
9w748capt
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:03 pm

Wow - thanks for sharing. Will definitely be ordering a copy - and better yet it qualifies for Amazon Prime! NW will always be special to me, having grown up in AZO. We all had a love/hate relationship with NW - on one hand you got mainline service to AZO (on Diesel 9s!), but you never knew if you'd be stuck on the runway for 13 hours. Can't wait to read.
 
NWAROOSTER
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:24 pm

I as a mechanic taking a training course on the 727 in the basement of the G.O. (General Office) during a break spilled a coke on Donald Nyrop when he came charging down the hall and bumped into me. He knew he was at fault, looked at me and never said a word. He then continued on his way. I know this is not in the book, but it shows that when Nyrop made a mistake, he was willing to take responsibility for it.   
Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
 
steex
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:35 pm

I feel like it's borderline mandatory for me to purchase this book and read it on board my final two DC-9 flights next month. A fitting way to say goodbye to those birds that got to witness a large chunk of NW's history firsthand.
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:40 pm

I have to admit I found the WSJ piece pretty snarky. The whole "Northworst" thing was as boring today as it was when people said it to us on the airplane pretending that it was their original thought. I liked to turn it around and say "That's funny--I have always heard us referred to as 'NorthBest'." The incorrect designation of the DTW tragedy in 1987 as a DC-9 when it was an MD-80 (and yes, I am aware that the correct legal description of the airplane is as a DC-9-80), referring to the "Underwear Bomber" as a new low for NW was totally incorrect. I have friends that worked that flight and they were recognized by the feds and industry as true heroes. Like all of you, I am a stickler for details. What was pretty funny was that particular airplane was already painted in DL colors and was shown around the world. DL's powers-that-be were pretty amusing trying to distance themselves from the paint and the fact that it was operated as a NW flight, a distinction not understood by most. In order to not confuse airport controllers, the pilots had to use the radio designation as "Northwest flight ______ operating in Delta colors" to avoid confusion. It was not until we were awarded the single operating certificate that the honorable and proud Northwest name was retired from the airways. But in a great show of corporate class, DL has carefully included many items of NW history into their museum in ATL including memorabilia from all of the carriers that eventually made up Northwest Airlines.
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VC10DC10
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:05 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 17):

Another inaccuracy in the WSJ article concerns flight 188--no way were there ever 179 passengers on a Northwest A320.

Northwest has always been my favorite airline.
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:43 pm

Quoting vc10dc10 (Reply 18):
Another inaccuracy in the WSJ article concerns flight 188--no way were there ever 179 passengers on a Northwest A320.

Not unless they were stacked up like cord wood!
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747buff
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:37 am

Another nitpick:

The review says the DTW crash "killed 150 passengers". The correct number is 156 including the crew and ground fatalities. BTW, one thing that really makes my teeth grind about aviation "reporting" is when an article says a crash killed XXX number of passengers with no mention of the crew. Do these idiots think the planes fly themselves or something?

All in all, I still plan to buy the book, since I love nothing more than an in-depth look at the airline industry.

[Edited 2013-11-19 21:43:58]
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masseybrown
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:06 am

I'm glad so many appreciated my post. I'm buying a copy, too.

Also, I swear I have no interest in selling this or any other book.   
 
NWAESC
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Wed Nov 20, 2013 11:17 am

Quoting VS11 (Reply 13):
My impression of Northwest 10 years ago (when they were handling the Virgin Atlantic B747 flight in Boston) was that they were extremely focused on operations and punctuality.

That's a pretty accurate observation.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 17):
The whole "Northworst" thing was as boring today as it was when people said it to us on the airplane pretending that it was their original thought.

Exactly.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 17):
Like all of you, I am a stickler for details. What was pretty funny was that particular airplane was already painted in DL colors and was shown around the world. DL's powers-that-be were pretty amusing trying to distance themselves from the paint and the fact that it was operated as a NW flight, a distinction not understood by most. In order to not confuse airport controllers, the pilots had to use the radio designation as "Northwest flight ______ operating in Delta colors" to avoid confusion

That's always seemed really sleazy to me- just like how fast they were to emphasize that it was *DELTA* flights operating flood relief into the Dakotas.

Quoting vc10dc10 (Reply 18):
Northwest has always been my favorite airline.

You clearly have excellent taste.  
"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:41 pm

Quoting 747buff (Reply 20):
The review says the DTW crash "killed 150 passengers". The correct number is 156 including the crew and ground fatalities. BTW, one thing that really makes my teeth grind about aviation "reporting" is when an article says a crash killed XXX number of passengers with no mention of the crew. Do these idiots think the planes fly themselves or something?

For some reason crews tend not to be included in the counts yet when people think of an airline it is usually the pilots and flight attendants that come to mind. I guess people don't know about all of the "below wing" people, administrative staff, agents and other personnel that keep the whole enterprise moving. This book does give an even handed view of many of the other job functions--especially when it talks about the bitterness of the BRAC strike.
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n7371f
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:47 pm

Quoting 747buff (Reply 20):

Another nitpick:

The review says the DTW crash "killed 150 passengers". The correct number is 156 including the crew and ground fatalities. BTW, one thing that really makes my teeth grind about aviation "reporting" is when an article says a crash killed XXX number of passengers with no mention of the crew. Do these idiots think the planes fly themselves or something?

All in all, I still plan to buy the book, since I love nothing more than an in-depth look at the airline industry.

My understanding on the Super 80 crash is the aircraft operated on the Republic certificate and under RC flight op procedures, even though the flight was marketed as Northwest. There is some specifics regarding this in the annals of the NTSB final report. I've always understood that at the time of the crash the RC ops had not been fully immersed into NW, similar to what we've seen with the NW/DL and UA/CO mergers.

As a journalist I would appreciate fully accurate reporting down the most finite information but I've become accustomed to generalization in aviation/airline reporting.
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:14 pm

Quoting n7371f (Reply 24):

My understanding on the Super 80 crash is the aircraft operated on the Republic certificate and under RC flight op procedures, even though the flight was marketed as Northwest. There is some specifics regarding this in the annals of the NTSB final report. I've always understood that at the time of the crash the RC ops had not been fully immersed into NW, similar to what we've seen with the NW/DL and UA/CO mergers.

This was also true of the B727-200/DC-9-10 ground collision that took so many lives. The Boeing was piloted by NW crews and the 9 was a RC crew. The DC-9 wandered out onto the active runway in fog after the 727 had been leared for takeoff. The right wing of the 727 slashed through the cockpit right side, and all along the right side of the airplane at window level. It also tore of the right engine. Sadly, many passengers and one flight attendant sitting on the aft jumpseat died. The 727 sat for months outside the hangar while the investigations were ongoing--it was later repaired and returned to service. The burned out DC-9 was removed one night by truck to what I believe was Willow Run Airport where it was scrapped.

This is in no way meant to impugn the airmanship of the former RC pilots--great airmen--but it was just a matter of wrong place at the wrong time. We learned a lot from this accident and many important changes were made because of it.
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747buff
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:05 am

Quoting n7371f (Reply 24):

My understanding on the Super 80 crash is the aircraft operated on the Republic certificate and under RC flight op procedures, even though the flight was marketed as Northwest. There is some specifics regarding this in the annals of the NTSB final report. I've always understood that at the time of the crash the RC ops had not been fully immersed into NW, similar to what we've seen with the NW/DL and UA/CO mergers.

Yes, the NW/RC pilots and FAs were not yet intergrated (limiting each group to their own pre-merger aircraft), so in a way RC still existed but used the Northwest name. For example the Capt. on Flight 255 had been a 757 Capt. for RC, but NW sold RC's 757s so he had to return to flying the MD-80.

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 25):

This was also true of the B727-200/DC-9-10 ground collision that took so many lives. The Boeing was piloted by NW crews and the 9 was a RC crew.

DC-9 Capt. was ex-RC, but the F/O was a new-hire.
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DTWPurserBoy
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:33 pm

Quoting 747buff (Reply 26):
DC-9 Capt. was ex-RC, but the F/O was a new-hire.

Not sure if it is true or not but legend has it that they hospital picked green glass from the 727 wingtip out of the f/o's right arm. Apparently, he never returned to the line. It has been said the captain retired. The 727 captain, whom I have known for many years was severely criticized for not issuing an evacuation order after the accident. There was no fire on the 727, the could see the fire through the fog of the burning DC-9 and he felt (and I could not agree more) that the passengers and crew were safest remaining on the 727. With rescue and fire vehicles swarming all over the place in the fog it is inevitable that someone would get hurt. He made the kind of decision that captains get paid the big bucks for--what is the safest thing to do under the circumstances to protect my crew, my passengers and my airplane. As a result, no one on the 727 was injured and while badly damaged, ship 2278 was eventually returned to service and went on to serve until all of them were retired.

On a personal note, I had the opportunity to tell this great captain that the flight attendants thought he did a stellar job and we were grateful that it was he that was flying the plane and we supported him completely. I could tell that he was really touched by the gesture of support.
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RussianJet
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:43 pm

Quoting 747buff (Reply 20):
Another nitpick:

The review says the DTW crash "killed 150 passengers". The correct number is 156 including the crew and ground fatalities

That's a very big nitpick, because if they specify passengers then the statement is completely accurate (assuming 150 pax did indeed perish). Different matter if they'd said 150 people killed, for example.

Quoting 747buff (Reply 20):
BTW, one thing that really makes my teeth grind about aviation "reporting" is when an article says a crash killed XXX number of passengers with no mention of the crew. Do these idiots think the planes fly themselves or something?

That's a different matter. I too think they should mention crew, and it's a matter of respect really. The best way in my opinion is when people report X number of pax and X crew killed.
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n7371f
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Fri Nov 22, 2013 2:12 am

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 27):
Not sure if it is true or not but legend has it that they hospital picked green glass from the 727 wingtip out of the f/o's right arm. Apparently, he never returned to the line. It has been said the captain retired. The 727 captain, whom I have known for many years was severely criticized for not issuing an evacuation order after the accident. There was no fire on the 727, the could see the fire through the fog of the burning DC-9 and he felt (and I could not agree more) that the passengers and crew were safest remaining on the 727. With rescue and fire vehicles swarming all over the place in the fog it is inevitable that someone would get hurt. He made the kind of decision that captains get paid the big bucks for--what is the safest thing to do under the circumstances to protect my crew, my passengers and my airplane. As a result, no one on the 727 was injured and while badly damaged, ship 2278 was eventually returned to service and went on to serve until all of them were retired.

On a personal note, I had the opportunity to tell this great captain that the flight attendants thought he did a stellar job and we were grateful that it was he that was flying the plane and we supported him completely. I could tell that he was really touched by the gesture of support.

Everyone I ever talked to inside NATCO said the Captain was ice in the situation - could not have handled it better and, in fact, could've easily lost control of the plane with mass casualties.

The other heartwarming element to the specific plane is the beauty of the 727 and what a workhouse it was and how the plane's design really came through that day. At least that's what was passed along to me during many discussions...
 
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alberchico
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:56 pm

Barnes and Noble is showing this book is also being published in paperback as well as hardcover .

Why would they be sold at the same price ?

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/non-...l-hai/1115150095?ean=9780816674466

Not a bad price for such a hefty book.

[Edited 2013-11-23 11:01:04]
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A333MSPtoAMS
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:42 pm

I just bought my copy a couple days ago. It should arrive at home before i get back from Asia.

MSP people, i have also contacted Jack (the author) and he has posted on his website a list of dates/times for book signings and readings.

December 14, 2013, 1 p.m.: Signing, Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines. Common Good Books, 38 S. Snelling Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota. Free and open to the public.

January 27, 2014, 5:30 p.m.: Talk and reading, Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines and The Nazi and the Psychiatrist, MFA faculty reading, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Free and open to the public.

January 28, 2014, 10 a.m.: Talk and reading, Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines. OLLI programs, Hennepin County Southdale Library, 7001 York Avenue S., Edina, Minnesota. Free and open to the public.

March 18, 2014, 10:30 a.m.: Talk and reading for Seniors in Mind Program, Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines, Minnesota History Center, St. Paul, Minnesota. Free and open to the public.

SEATTLE people:

February 28, 2014, 4 p.m.: Signing, Non-Stop: A Turbulent History of Northwest Airlines and The Nazi and the Psychiatrist, AWP Conference, Seattle, Washington.


Keep your eyes out for more:
http://www.el-hai.com/appearances
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ozark1
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:05 am

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 2):
I bought mine from Amazon. It is very accurate and full of little details that only NW folks would realize are true

Accurate? If you call a chapter devoted to a flying goose accurate! Wasn't it Herman The Duck???? Am I imagining things or wasn't North Central Airlines tail symbol a duck and not a goose? It was an impressively bound book, but there were other inaccuracies that came to my head. Sorry I can't remember them but sat in a bookstore and looked through it and didn't purchase it!
 
psa188
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RE: New Book About Northwest Airlines

Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:24 am

The book was actually reviewed on this forum on January 13:
Review: Non-Stop: A Turbulant History Of Northwest (by psa188 Jan 13 2014 in Aviation Hobby)

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