Last Plane Out

by John Ball

Little, Brown and Company, 1970
not available online
from the book jacket:

Last Plane Out is a novel about planes and the men who fly them -- who fly them because there is nothing that they would rather do -- nothing as important, as meaningful, as richly rewarding.

And Last Plane Out is an exciting and topical and moving story about the pilots themselves: the Captain, commander of a U.S. Army Transport Command C-54 Douglas, en route from Rome to Miami via Casablanca, the last plane out of the war -- a man not to be grounded;

Jennings, the heroic survivor of a terrying crash of a Convair passenger plane twenty years later, an accountant who has lived most of his fifty years with his eyes turned to the skies and has pinned all his hopes on the wings he may one day wear.

This is their story -- the Captain's, Jennings' -- and that of the copilots, navigators, technicians, ground crews and the teo young women who tie together the threads of their lives.

These are the people whose existence is justified by their working with and understanding aircraft, who will sacrifice practically anything in their determination, against all odds, to fly, not for greed or glory, but because they can live no other way.

John Ball is the talented author of In the Heat of the Night, The Cool Cottontail, Miss 1000 Spring Blossoms, and Johnny Get Your Gun -- a most admired novelist whose deft prose and remarkable storytelling ability have made him a favorite of thousands of readers. This honest, exciting and wonderfully educational novel will endear him to thousands more -- those who are fascinated by the mystique of flying; those who feel that virtue, at least once in a while, ought to triumph; and those who simply like a very good story.

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updated: Monday, February 02, 2004