I’ve always said, “The only good books are about the romancing of women and airplanes, but not necessarily in that order”.
Wow, what a read! I gotta say, Captian A. L. “Ike” Eisenhauer, who was the personal and Corporate pilot for the notorious financial genius Robert Vesco back in the 1970s, wrote the book: The Flying Carpetbagger. (It’s a pager turner you won’t be able to put the book down, you’ll slam your fist on the table because you will refuse to let the story end).
Captain “Ike” wrote the book like he flew his private $3.7 million Boeing 707 with proficiency, adventure and accuracy. “Ike” pulled on the plane like a pair of tailored pants, he and the Boeing became one and together they set records that continue to stand today. Like a swashbuckling buccaneer he is the only pilot in history to purposely “roll” a 707 twice in a maneuver with (now) King Juan Carlos of Spain watching. They solidified their friendship in the cockpit of the 707. Juan Tripp the founder of Pan Am often commented about his friend, “That must be Ike driving” (in an affectionate way, of course)…
“Ike” named the Boeing “The Silver Phyllis” and even the name has a story involved. This brave pilot and fine author was asked to land at airports that others were afraid to land in such large planes, thereby certifying the airport for service for the larger aircraft.
In the days of the presidency of Richard Nixon and shady characters like Bebe Rebozo, a Tampa Banker, Robert Vesco owned politicians and controlled countries. That whole world started to unravel in March 1973 for Vesco when many of his inner circle testified in front of a grand jury in New York city and Vesco fled in his Boeing.
Supported by Costa Rican leaders and even Fidel Castro of Cuba, Vesco was insulated from the jurisdiction of American courts.
In 1995 Castro threw Vesco in Jail and the “fugitive financier” vanished. However, the Silver Phyliss was hidden and Captain Ike Eisenhauer was contracted by the United States government to find the Boeing and return it to the United Sates by “hook or crook.”
Like an undercover agent, a spy, and a swashbuckling buccaneer “Ike” found the airplane and like Mr. Phelps of Mission Impossible, formulated a plan and executed it, to finally recover the multi-million Boeing 707.
This book is a fantastic read. I was on the edge of my seat and turning the pages while I devoured this book. Unlike most books that slow down from time to time, this book keeps moving and I hated to see it end. Knowing “Ike” as I do, James Bond doesn’t have a thing on him and Hollywood has really missed the mark with the Pan Am TV series. They should have done a series about ”Bobby Vesco and his Flying Disco” with ole Ike doing the narrating. His gravely voice, knowledge and gruff personality would have been a hit for sure. Hey Hollywood are you listening?
Captain A. L. “Ike” Eisenhauer is currently working on another book. He and his lovely wife Patricia live in Lakeland, Florida. She is a Realtor and the author of Realtors are Real people. You can get both books at Amazon.com. Captain ”Ike” continues to write a regular column for Airliners & Airports Magazine. I read everything he writes and have yet to be bored. Listening to Ike’s stories are like, sitting around grandpa’s chair while he tells his adventures flying a P51 in the War!
Thanks “Ike,” for continuing to build the memories each time we meet…