The author Ivan Luciani wanted to show his readers by writing an amount of short stories how life of a corporate pilot flying business jets looks like. After a short review of his pilot training, before becoming a professional pilot, he decides that corporate flying is what he wants and he writes what his goals will be in his flying career. He starts as a co-pilot in a charter company that is leasing business jets and he intends to do that the rest of his working life. However throughout his career the planes on which he is flying are becoming more and more complex and bigger.
After the usual promotions and gaining flying experience he becomes captain in a company situated in Singapore and moves with his family to that area. He is flying Learjets and Challengers mainly on ambulance flights. After some time he is offered a job with a charter company in Macao and soon promoted as chief pilot. He starts flying more business trips with prominent persons and VIPs as his passengers. These flight are overall covering long distances and brings him in countries all over the world. At the end of his career he has flown to 69 countries and 14 non-sovereign territories. Most of his stories are covering the trips to these countries and describing the local circumstances.
The stories he is telling about his flights are quite entertaining and the 45 chapters in his book start with a small illustration emphasizing the subject. In most of the chapters he is citing a specific flight or event during a flight and describes the specifics of the visiting country.
In certain chapters he recalls the problems of a charter flight and in one chapter he explains in detail what a charter crew must do to finish a flight successfully. That means many activities like making their own flight plan, organizing the catering, supervising refueling and plane servicing, keep the passengers happy and handling the local authorities. So many things that is normally done for airline pilots, working for a regular carrier, by operations. It means also a lot of improvisation. Throughout the whole book he tries to convince his readers that integrity and professional approach made his career so successful. Also his family support is a pillar for his further career . After an additional business study he becomes a manager for a charter company in Hong Kong but keeps flying as a senior captain on the Gulfstream 550 a very advanced jet.
In one of his final chapters he explains the characteristics and specifications of the Bombardier Global Express compared to the Gulfstream G 550, both very advanced long range business jets. The message that Ivan Luciani wants to transfer to us, is that hard work, good training, detailed preparation and being prepared for all eventualities, is a primary condition to fly to the most remote countries in the world and back safely. His whole life was a carefully planned career not forgetting his family and colleagues with whom he worked. Chapter 41 explains, as a message to new comers in charter flying, his saying that you work for your own exclusively; you are your own ceo!
The stories have all a happy ending ( no catastrophies or crashes) and in many stories a morale is hiding. Also the typical in and outs of running an international charter company is explained by Luciani. I did read the book with pleasure, but personally I would have liked to read a little bit more about the technical side of flying fast business jets like characteristics, navigation to the remote airfields and the technical problems that certainly did arise during the flights. After all people reading this book have an overall interest in flying and less in the local geography. But without a doubt an interesting book to read.