We’ve just had a an update from Steve Randall who wrote a wonderful book called “Rubber Suits & Lukewarm Soup” about his adventures as a Ferry Pilot. Steve, who was inspired and motivated by Douglas Bader during his flying career, very kindly offered to donate the proceeds to the DBF and since then, has raised a considerable amount for the charity through sales of the book. We are so grateful to Steve for his ongoing generosity and support.
We also urge you to buy the book! It’s a fascinating read, full of insight into this incredibly dangerous form of flying which has claimed the lives of many excellent pilots and often involves the delivery of very small, sparsely equipped training aircraft, flying thousands of miles in machines “barely capable of scraping over an average sized mountain” and certainly not designed to confront the extreme and unpredictable weather systems that can build in the North Atlantic or Pacific Ocean.
You can get more information about “Rubber Suits & Lukewarm Soup” and order the book through Steve’s website in the knowledge that you’re guaranteed a great read and will be benefiting the DBF at the same time. Sounds like the definition of a win-win situation!
Steve Randall Website: https://redwoodbusdriver.com
More information about Steve can be found on previous DBF posts:
In case you need any further persuasion, here is a review of the book taken from the May edition of Pilot Magazine. It speaks for itself!
Surviving Against the Odds
Rubber Suits & Lukewarm Soup by Steve Randall www.lulu.com guide price £10.00
Printed paperback 244 pages with black & white illustrations or e/book. Proceeds to the Douglas Bader Foundation
“This book gives a first-hand insight into the life of a ferry pilot, with all its attendant thrills and dangers. Steve Randall’s love of aviation was kindled by a museum ivisit with is father when he encountered first a Shorts Sandringham flying boat and then a Supermarine Spitfire. More importantly, he learned there of the existence of the ATC which afforded him his first flight – in a Chipmunk. Hooked on aviation but turned down by the RAF (due to wearing glasses) he fell into a series of low-paid jobs but scrimped and saved to afford flying lessons. Once qualified, he had laser surgery to correct his eyesight and set his sights on commercial flying, doing his FAA multi-engine, commercial and instrument rating in three weeks in America and then passing the CAA exams on his return. He lined up an airline job wwith an Irish carrier – only to be refused as EASA (then JAA) had no provision for laser-corrected vision at that time!
Taking advantage of his FAA licence, he is asked to demonstrate new US-registered Cessna and Cirrus aircraft to customers around the UK, which results in a request to deliver a Cessna to Greece; his first ferry flight. So begins a life of ferry flying – often involving Atlantic crossings – with all it attendant dangers, especially when flying single-engine aircraft. He gives a number of examples of his trips, which are fascinating. Eventually, however – having lost several friends to ferrying mishaps – he decides to beat the odds and go for an airline job again, flying a fifty-seat Canadair Regional Jet for several years and subsequently becoming an Airbus captain for an US airline.
Despite his disclaimer that he is a pilot, not a writer, this book is well-written and engaging, bringing a real flavor of the perils of piloting across the pond and elsewhere. No matter how well-prepared for the ferry trip, there are so many variables that can conspire to spoil the ferry-pilot’s day that it will never become ‘just another flight’.” (JA, Pilot Magazine, May 2018))