Squawk 7700 is a timely, eye opening, “must read” aviation autobiography. The author, Pete Buffington, tells us of the not so glamorous side of aviation and what it takes to become an airline pilot. Growing up in the Midwest and learning to fly at a countryside Iowa airport, Buffington describes the sacrifices, focus, and emotions of being a young aviator. After several grueling years working as a flight instructor and flying airfreight, Buffington ended up flying for a regional airline and was sent to San Juan, Puerto Rico for a flight crew base. Immediately, Buffington discovered the challenges of the regional airline industry and provides a descriptive, harrowing experience from inside the cockpit of an ATR 42 as a First Officer.
Buffington returned to the Midwest to rediscover his love of aviation as a pilot. His life story brought him full-circle to discover a deeper meaning of life, while exposing the aviation industry from the inside. His personal experiences provide insight to a deeper understanding of why recent accidents like Colgan Air Flight 3407 and Comair Flight 5191 can occur.
Due to my personal experiences as an airline pilot and as acting first officer aboard US Airways Flight 1549 that ditched into the Hudson River, I recommend Squawk 7700 for anyone interested in an aviation career, and recommend it as mandatory reading for those who fly on our national airline system.
- Jeff Skiles, First Officer US Airways Flight 1549