The African-Bush Pilot
Flying jets in the jungles of Africa
Author: Cecil “Moon” Mullins
“Everyone has a book in them” but it takes discipline, courage, self-examination and a lot of time to invest in getting it into publishable form. Not to mention the cost of publishing the memoirs yourself. It is a daunting task, to say the least. Certainly Mr. Mullins has led an exceptional life and the story is well worth sharing with the public.
The African-Bush Pilot is a self published memoir by Cecil “Moon” Mullins, it is about his life which is crammed full of his exciting experiences which are exciting and interesting to read about.
He was born in a very primitive part of Southwest Virginia, the son of a coal miner, with the intellect and “Mocksie” to follow his dreams. That dream blossomed in high school when he discovered his life’s ambition to fly big airplanes and especially the sleek “beautiful Boeing 707”.
“Moon” Mullins, escaped the clutches of coal-mine life by enlisting in the Air Force and later the Tennessee Air National Guard. He took a leave of absence to assist with relief missions in Biafra for “Joint Church Aid USA” during the Biafra War. He continued his airborne career in exotic locales, and became a captain of the aircraft of his dreams.
A fascinating narrative describing one man’s journey from the deepest and darkest coal mines of Southwest Virginia to the deep jungles of Africa.
The tale ventures into the often unglamorous and dangerous side of flying. Unlike today’s modern technically advanced aircraft, during the early years of Mr. Mullins career, the planes were often treacherous pieces of malfunctioning machinery. From war times, to the jungle and into modern day passenger flights, the reader will experience a view from the pilot’s seat and an often humorous look at what really goes on in the cockpit.
The African-Bush Pilot represents a unique, first-person narrative written to attract not only current pilots, former pilots, aspiring pilots, and all other professionals with attachments to the field of aviation. The story also portrays for non-aviators the day-to-day accounts of the kind of flying far from the accepted norms of conventional flying. The African-Bush Pilot candidly reveals the decisions a pilot must make often under the most dire, life-threatening circumstances.
The author steadfastly faces extremely dangerous, night time flights over war-zone territory, landing jets on rough-surface airstrips located in the middle of the African jungle. He has to fly his aircraft to avoid incoming surface-to-air missiles. He continually faces aircraft mechanical problems, equipment failure, to be repaired under the most extreme primitive conditions.
This story is special because readers learn about a young man who might have spent a lifetime working in the coal mines of Southwest Virginia like generations before him. He got his education and was inspired by one of his teachers to do more with his life and to become a pilot of large aircraft.
The African-Bush Pilot is also individual because the author does not filter out the comments he makes on the women he encounters during his aviation career. In fact, he is conspicuously and humorously candid not only about what he says about women but also what he reveals throughout his years with non-scheduled airlines.
The author of African-Bush Pilot surely has enough memories, stories and tales to write several books. Therein lies the problem with this book. Sometime the reader gets lost due to some of the disjointed partial points in too many stories, sending the reader back to prior pages to find a fact he must have missed, but wasn’t there in the first place. I would have liked to see Mr. Mullins focus on just a few of the stories and continued a straight storyline to the finish. The partial stories left me wishing for more on that particular story.
Character development was lacking in this book and the fact is; the reader is sometimes frustrated with the lack of knowing more about certain interesting characters just touched on in the text.
The interest is there and the stories are true, with those two facts, one doesn’t need to be a great writer to have a good book.
I understand Cecil is currently expanding on his stories and hopefully he will outline the stories better and break them down into full stand alone stories of his exciting experiences, then publish them as a series.
Certainly Mullins has an interesting book, and one that will whet the reader’s appetite to read his forthcoming books on the same subject.
The Bush-pilot author is currently retired, living and writing in northwest Georgia with his wife, Pat. Cecil “Moon” Mullins is a courageous and adventurous pilot who reveals his true love for flying aircraft in his memoirs. I look forward to reading more…
JR Hafer, aviation writer