Flying Alone by Beth Ruggiero York
“From the time she was a teenager, Beth knew she wanted to fly, and a solo trip across the country to visit family confirmed her aspirations of becoming a pilot. But her dreams were almost grounded before they could take off when she received the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis at the age of 22.
Beth vowed that this new challenge would not put restrictions on her life and embarked on a journey to become an airline pilot. Starting at the small local airport, the aviation world swallowed her whole, and the next five years of her life were as turbulent as an airplane in a thunderstorm, never knowing when, how or if she would emerge.
An agonizing love affair with her flight instructor, dangerous risks in the sky and flying broken airplanes for shady companies all intertwined to define her road to the airlines, eventually being hired by Trans World Airlines in 1989.
Flying Alone outlines the struggles and the challenges of civil aviation that Beth faced 30 years ago.
Ultimately a story of survival and overcoming overwhelming odds, Flying Alone is told with soul-baring candor, taking readers on a suspenseful journey through terror, romance and victory.”
September 14th, 2019
I have always been a huge fan of memoirs. I think there is such a power and connection with sharing our stories and so I was delighted to receive an advanced copy of Beth Ruggiero York’s Flying Alone. In Flying Alone, York brings us through the highs and lows of her early professional life in her journey to become an airline pilot in a male-dominated industry.
About the Author:
Beth Ruggiero York is a former airline pilot for Trans World Airlines. She entered the world of civil aviation in 1984 shortly after graduating from college and, for the next five years, climbed the ladder to her ultimate goal of flying for a major airline. Beth now has dual careers–Chinese translation and professional photography. She teaches photography workshops for Arizona Highways PhotoScapes and her own company, Ruggiero Images LLC. She and her husband live in Fountain Hills, AZ.
While this book is focused a lot on her goals in aviation, it is so much more than that. We follow York as she faces many obstacles within and outside the commercial airline world. I loved seeing York’s personal growth as she faced many obstacles both personally and professionally.
Her voice is relatable and I loved that while she was faced with many roadblocks in her quest, she pushed on and her resilience shined through. This is an honest account of the trials and tribulations she has faced and I so appreciated that she was raw and real about the real challenges she faced wtih her medical challenges and sometimes turbulent personal life.
In addition, Flying Alone was a fascinating look at the commercial aircraft industry and how much it has changed over the last few decades. This was an informative read for me as I am not someone who knows a lot about this the aviation world. I found York’s tenacity and ability to share the ups and downs of her life inspiring and if you like reading memoirs I think you would enjoy reading Flying Alone too.
Thank you to FSB Associates for an advanced copy of Flying Alone.