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 19 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 listen to and heed its message of hope and redemption. No one who does will ever forget it.More
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