The Jungle Express
By Micheal Bleriot
The Jungle Express
Author: Michael Bleriot
A Book Review by, JR Hafer
The Jungle Express by author Michael Bleriot is a fictional aviation collection of vignettes featuring adventurous pilots with mostly C-27 cargo planes over the remote jungles of Central and South America with very few Nav-aids and outdated and generalized charts, which seems to make their job a fiasco from the start.
Michael Bleriot tells us the Amazon jungle is a spectacularly beautiful place to fly but also a dangerous place! He should know what he is talking about, he’s been there and he’s has done that! He has been a military pilot and a civilian pilot and has flown over six continents himself.
The Jungle Express is Michael Bleriot’s second book. Both are about flying C-27s over the Jungles of Central and South America. His first book was: Memories of an Emerald World.
Having read both books, I can only surmise they are labeled fiction only because the names were changed to protect the innocent and slight embellishments of the stories. I myself have known some of these renegade types before. God, I miss them, everyone!
Life never gets boring in the cockpit when you fly with these characters, such as Bleriot describes in his book. The various experiences are humors, dangerous and often have you holding your sides from laughing so hard.
It is difficult trying to find small landing strips flying over a jungle the size of the entire United States. The biggest river in the world runs through right through this jungle it and the probabilities of finding your way out after going down would be “nil at best”.
It is understandable how one can land at the wrong airstrip and the local tribesmen hold your airplane for ransom, do you send gallons of scotch or gallons of gas? These are questions that must be answered within the pages of The Jungle Express.
Describing the plant life and beautiful flora of the Jungle from the safety of a safe altitude is great. However, Bleriot says “I’m not wild about the thought of the animals and all of the insects buzzing around in a hot steamy jungle below me and never mind the thought of an engine-out situation, over such terrain. Reading about it is a whole other thing though”.
The Author has certainly been a C-27 driver in real life and has extensive experience flying over South America and the Amazon Jungle otherwise he could not have done this well in describing the Amazon basin. Bleriot writing is along the lines of Harold Robins in his Air America offering, in his character development as far as the “way out” factor.
The Jungle Express is a collection of interesting, humorous adventure aviation stories. I can see where this book could only appeal to a niche market perhaps maybe deeper than some people would like when seeking a lighter read. This book is not really light reading, one need to concentrate to follow the writer and get the full psychological impact.
This is a book one can read for a while and sit down at the end of one story. Later to pick the book up to read a different story. There is a lot of flying in the book. I did not find a lot of “technical flying” in this though, so non aviators could enjoy the book too.
For the reader who can enjoy the antics and cockpit humor, entertaining vignettes and the adventures of various MASH like characters, and can enjoy flying high over the Amazon Jungle, in your imagination. Actually I can imagine the throbbing of two Rolls Royce Dart turboprop engines on that C-27 right now.
Michael Bleriot is a good writer. He has the ability to put the reader right there in the cockpit with him. Weather he is in a Bar watching the girls in Columbia or searching for that airstrip without an accurate chart in the Jungle, knowing his fuel his marginal, Bleriot captures your attention ropes you and pulls you into the story. It’s a good read.
I recommend you get The Jungle Express by: Michael Bleriot, A MacGregor Book