Flying Drunk Flying Drunk

Flying Drunk

The True Story of a Northwest Airlines Flight, Three Drunk Pilots, and One Man's Fight for Redemption

    • 4.4 • 72 Ratings
    • $11.99
    • $11.99

Publisher Description

March 8, 1990: An intoxicated three-man crew, including Flight Engineer Joseph Balzer, fly a Northwest Airlines Boeing 727 with 91 passengers aboard from Fargo, North Dakota to Minneapolis, Minnesota.

July 25, 1990: All three pilots stand trial for flying a commercial airliner while under the influence of alcohol; all three are convicted and sent to federal prison.

July 26, 1990 – present: Joe Balzer fights for redemption and to regain all that he has lost. Flying Drunk is his story.

Since he was a young boy, Joe Balzer dreamed of flying. He pursued his goal with a vigorous passion and earned his pilot licenses, piling up hours of flight time with a wide variety of planes and jets with one overarching goal: to one day fly for a major airline. But Joe had a problem. He was an alcoholic and refused to admit to himself that he had a problem.

His alcoholism caught up with him in March 1990, when Joe was arrested with two other pilots for flying a commercial airliner while under the influence of alcohol. His world began crumbling around him and his new marriage faced the ultimate test. He lost his promising career and his dignity. Every major media outlet, including The New York Times, Newsweek, and Time Magazine covered the shocking story for the stunned American flying public. The trial that followed drained Joe’s life’s savings and federal prison nearly broke him. Flying Drunk is Joe’s bittersweet and thoroughly chilling memoir of his twisted journey to a Federal courtroom, his time in the notorious Federal penitentiary system in Atlanta, and his struggle to recapture all that he held dear.

Today, Joe is a recovering alcoholic, celebrating more than nineteen years of sobriety. The long road back from perdition led him to American Airlines, where good people and a great organization recognized a talented pilot who had cleaned up his act and was ready to fly again, safely.

Flying Drunk is an incredible journey of the human spirit, from childhood to hell, and back again. Everyone should read and heed its message of hope and redemption. No one who does will ever forget it.

About the Author: Joe Balzer is a pilot for American Airlines with more than 15,000 hours of flight experience. He has a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Education and is also an inspirational speaker, traveling around the country speaking to pilots and other groups on the dangers of alcohol and other addictions, bringing his audience to laughter and tears with his powerful message of hope. Joe lives in Tennessee with his wife Deborah and their two children. Flying Drunk is his first book.

Biographies & Memoirs
July 28
Savas Beatie
Casemate Publishers and Book Distributors, LLC

Customer Reviews

Goscbx ,

A Second Chance

This is an amazing read. I feel that the punishment fit the crime and that Joe’s redemption and second chance was truly earned and nothing was given to him.

I am left wondering what the punishment would have been, should he have accepted the misdemeanor plea.

JosieGonz ,

A great story of redemption for the layman or pilot.

I read this on the recommendation of a former colleague of Mr. Balzer at American Airlines, who I met while training for my own next step up the pilot career ladder. I can’t say that I’ve been through anything quite like Joe but I can tell you the struggle is as real as he describes and his words resonated with at the turn of each page. A great read, and a real inspiration to keep looking up, moving forward, and persevere!

Sol-slipstein ,

Outstanding and inspirational!!!

I couldn't put this book down! What a story of a man, his will power and faith to overcome hellish circumstances. Put this book on your "must read list". Thanks Joe, you've helped me to gain a better flight level!

More Books Like This

Shoot Like a Girl Shoot Like a Girl
Inside (One Man's Experience of Prison) A True Story Inside (One Man's Experience of Prison) A True Story
Facing the Music Facing the Music
Pride: The Story of the First Openly Gay Navy Seal Pride: The Story of the First Openly Gay Navy Seal
Special Agent Man Special Agent Man
Bank Robbery for Beginners Bank Robbery for Beginners

Customers Also Bought

Hard Landing Hard Landing
Skygods: The Fall of Pan Am Skygods: The Fall of Pan Am
Into the Abyss Into the Abyss