The Captains’ Airline: Pushing Back From The Brink

In his first novel, to be published in 2012, Captain Art Samson provides the reader a stunning exposé of airline accidents and the underlying pilot complicity. Seen through the eyes of Brad Morehouse, a former Navy Blue Angel and junior pilot at Omega Airlines, Samson’s narrative bristles with actual accounts of harrowing tragedies that plagued the industry late in the last century.

At Omega Air Lines an unrelenting series of accidents and incidents drive the company to the brink of extinction.  Only a massive shift in crew performance can save them.  A high visibility team of pilots, flight attendants, and academics tackles the problem and rushes to inculcate a revolutionary new operating philosophy at Omega. A similar shift actually did occur in the industry at this time.  Such programs have brought the soaring accident rate during the seventies and eighties to near zero among major airlines in the U.S today.

Shattered stereotypes and crumpled egos yield to the mundane realities of smooth and efficient teamwork.  Brad emerges as the poster boy for appropriate assertiveness and situational leadership, while just beneath the surface a vexing flaw in the 737 rudder system catapults one Omega aircraft into the weeds and threatens calamity for the entire company.

Personal loss, psychological complexity, human desire, victory and defeat punctuate this well-crafted work as Samson provides an exhilarating cruise toward disaster at Omega.

Reader Comments:

The Captains’ Airline: Pushing Back From The Brink  makes me think that The High and The Mighty was comic fiction.  This work is flooded with the life and blood, the sweat and suffering of real people, flying real planes, in the real world and life of today’s airline business.  An exceptional, vivid look into the human dimensions of the life, work, and community experience of pilots and crews flying today.  Excellent job.
Dr. William McCreary, psychologist

Samson’s foundational knowledge and rich-storytelling-skills immediately seduce the reader with a “behind the scenes view” of the cockpit and the cultural challenges in the aviation industry.
Tracy Budge, corporate trainer and flight attendant

As a Platinum Level air traveler, I often imagine what happens in the front of the plane.  Samson positions the reader between the Pilot and Co-Pilot for a virtual cockpit experience. It’s fiction with facts that make it real and interesting. Good job, Samson.
Fred Roth, international computer consultant

Art Samson has written a riveting book placing the readers right on the flight deck and allowing them to experience, first-hand, the decisions and actions of the flight crew.
Mike Kraus, college aviation program chairman

Few pilot training methods outside the flight simulator work as well as a compelling story; it’s an ancient art form that works beautifully today.  From my perspective, as a pilot training manager and aviation safety consultant, Captain Samson’s novel, The Captains’ Airline: Pushing Back From The Brink propels us along like a jet engine with its gripping narrative, and at the same time instructs us in the role of aviation human factors in safe airline operations.  It is good science and a good read; a difficult combination to achieve.  I highly recommend this book for aviation professionals and armchair enthusiasts alike!
Chris Hallman, aviation safety consultant

Arthur K. Samsom

It has been said that CRM is just plain ol' common sense . . . but it sure is amazing how little common sense we have some times.

Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after. - Anne Morrow Lindbergh