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Flying Drunk

IB6 UB9

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Anyone read Joseph Balzer's book? He was the FE on the NWA B727 from FAR-MSP...book title says it all. Great read. Joseph, if by chance this reaches you, my hat is off to you. Best of luck with the rest of your career at AA. I read your book cover to cover on a 24 hr AUA layover, couldn't put it down. Regards.
 

crj567

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Anyone read Joseph Balzer's book? He was the FE on the NWA B727 from FAR-MSP...book title says it all. Great read. Joseph, if by chance this reaches you, my hat is off to you. Best of luck with the rest of your career at AA. I read your book cover to cover on a 24 hr AUA layover, couldn't put it down. Regards.

I'd probably be drunk every day I had to show up to work at a hell hole like NWA.
 

General Lee

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I'd probably be drunk every day I had to show up to work at a hell hole like NWA.

This quote from an ASA FO........and part time fast food fry chef.
Take that for what it is worth, about $7 an hour.


Bye Bye--General Lee
 

AA767AV8TOR

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Great book and well worth the read. I couldn’t put it down and all my crewmembers, including the F/A’s, kept asking to see the book.

Follow this link to order the book:

http://www.flyingdrunk.com/

Joe, thanks for the story. Lot’s of hard lessons learned for all of us in your book.

On a side note, just be very careful going through London Heathrow security, they are targeting crewmembers for drinking! They’ve already caught around a dozen crewmembers, five or six which have been Americans.

AA767AV8TOR
 

ACL65PILOT

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I will also put out there to all those who read it, that how he portrayed the CA is way off. I know him personally and that is of great insult to this man and those who know him.

Just keep that in mind.
 

Colonel Savage

Southern style...
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I'd probably be drunk every day I had to show up to work at a hell hole like NWA.

If that's your way of dealing with things, then you probably would. There are programs to help people like you, go for it!
 

FBN0223

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This quote from an ASA FO........and part time fast food fry chef.
Take that for what it is worth, about $7 an hour.


Bye Bye--General Lee

With the 50 seaters going away, he'll soon be full-time "fry-boy."
 

TWA Dude

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On a side note, just be very careful going through London Heathrow security, they are targeting crewmembers for drinking! They’ve already caught around a dozen crewmembers, five or six which have been Americans.
What does "be very careful" mean? Any pilot who's followed the rules regarding drinking has nothing to fear, right?
 

AA767AV8TOR

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What does "be very careful" mean? Any pilot who's followed the rules regarding drinking has nothing to fear, right?

Right, but for those that don’t fly Europe much, due to the time change, it’s very easy for one to lose track of time, stay up late, and then head out for the airport early in the morning thinking everything will be "OK."


There have been a few people that have fallen into the trap and been caught. Careers have been ruined and lost all in an evening. All I’m saying is to be careful and don’t press it. They are watching us!


Take it for what it's worth.

AA767AV8TOR
 

doh

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I will also put out there to all those who read it, that how he portrayed the CA is way off. I know him personally and that is of great insult to this man and those who know him.

Just keep that in mind.


I know Lyle too. He is a great guy!
 

EWR_FO

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I will also put out there to all those who read it, that how he portrayed the CA is way off. I know him personally and that is of great insult to this man and those who know him.

Just keep that in mind.

This was forwarded to me from a friend at NWA. I'm posting it for anyone interested.

--------------------------

Hey Don,

Thought you and your cohorts might find this interesting. After the incident, Lyle took complete responsibility for the incident and his drinking problem. He went to prison and was instrumental in setting up an alcohol and addiction program at the prison and others. He still is actively involved. He eventually was rehired by NW for a short time before retirement with the full support of everyone that was involved, from NWA to ALPA to the Federal Court and Prison systems. He received a Presidential Pardon for all his efforts in this area.

At the same time, Joe Balzer was doing everything he could to deny his part and responsibility and fight the court system. He was caught in so many lies and manipulations (even to the Federal Judge handling his case) that any support for him was dropped by those involved (ALPA, NWA, Federal Judge etc.). Maybe he has totally changed over the years and done an about face- maybe not- not my call.









From: LYLE PROUSE

To:

Sent: Saturday, August 08, 2009 7:13 AM

Subject: Re: Drunk-in-the-cockpit tell-all book debuts at Oshkosh air show



Hi Connie,



I just finished reading the book. it's beyond appalling. The book is about 98% pure fiction, buried in distortion, embellishment, massive exaggeration, and is a mini-version of the James Frey book "A Million Little Pieces" that became a national scandal when it was discovered to be a fraud after making Oprah's book of the month club.



Yes, I've had contact with Balzer several times since '93 or so. He "became" an alcoholic after I returned to NWA and went to NWA saying he was just like me and wanted his job back. Then he lied to MEC chairman Gene Peterson after holding himself out as the poster boy for recovery. He got caught in the lie and ALPA dropped their support of him.



Most of the prison stuff he describes just plain never happened. He devotes a large part of the book to me, whom he describes as a raging, tyrannical, abusive captain who carried a half gallon of booze in the cockpit and went to the lav to have a drink on nearly every segment.



Balzer was completely incompetent at the S/O panel and was constantly in trouble, committing two blunders that compromised the safety of the flight (I caught both of them) and a number more that were problematic (which I also caught). By attacking me, and using sheer fiction in the process, he diverts attention and creates a sense of public sympathy for him and his plight.



I know for a fact that several of his recited prison stories took place when my one and only close prison friend (who was still there when Balzer came in) saw what happened and it was nothing even remotely close to his book version. I was in the very same prison he was in, and I was there immediately prior to his arrival. Balzer paints it as something out of MSNBC's Lockup Raw when it was, in fact, a federal minimum security place with NONE of the aspects he describes. I hated the place and wanted out badly, but except for an occasional fight (and I only knew of one or two), there was none of the dramatic nonsense he paints in his book.



The person at American Airlines who was primarily responsible for getting Joe his job there came up to me in mid-May, just past, as I was attending an Int'l convention of recovering pilots in Dallas, and told me, "You were right about him. He's a useless piece of ______ ." The other person, who's head of their large alcohol program, told me some while back, "Joe wanted me to sign a petition so he can get a Presidential Pardon just like you. I refused to sign it because he only shows up when he can be the center of attention and he does nothing to help the new guys coming in."



It's a case from Abraham Lincoln's quote: You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time...but you can't fool all the people all the time."



I'm scheduled to talk to my atty up there, Peter Wold, on Sunday evening to see if we have a legal action. Balzer only refers to me as "the captain" in the book, so I'm not sure.



Blue skies,

Lyle



PS - you can feel free to share this if you wish.
 

Amish RakeFight

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.
This was forwarded to me from a friend at NWA. I'm posting it for anyone interested.

I was considering the purchase of this book, but this certainly seals it. Never liked reading fiction much. Sounds like Balzer's full of it.
 

ACL65PILOT

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This was forwarded to me from a friend at NWA. I'm posting it for anyone interested.

--------------------------

Hey Don,

Thought you and your cohorts might find this interesting. After the incident, Lyle took complete responsibility for the incident and his drinking problem. He went to prison and was instrumental in setting up an alcohol and addiction program at the prison and others. He still is actively involved. He eventually was rehired by NW for a short time before retirement with the full support of everyone that was involved, from NWA to ALPA to the Federal Court and Prison systems. He received a Presidential Pardon for all his efforts in this area.

At the same time, Joe Balzer was doing everything he could to deny his part and responsibility and fight the court system. He was caught in so many lies and manipulations (even to the Federal Judge handling his case) that any support for him was dropped by those involved (ALPA, NWA, Federal Judge etc.). Maybe he has totally changed over the years and done an about face- maybe not- not my call.









From: LYLE PROUSE

To:

Sent: Saturday, August 08, 2009 7:13 AM

Subject: Re: Drunk-in-the-cockpit tell-all book debuts at Oshkosh air show



Hi Connie,



I just finished reading the book. it's beyond appalling. The book is about 98% pure fiction, buried in distortion, embellishment, massive exaggeration, and is a mini-version of the James Frey book "A Million Little Pieces" that became a national scandal when it was discovered to be a fraud after making Oprah's book of the month club.



Yes, I've had contact with Balzer several times since '93 or so. He "became" an alcoholic after I returned to NWA and went to NWA saying he was just like me and wanted his job back. Then he lied to MEC chairman Gene Peterson after holding himself out as the poster boy for recovery. He got caught in the lie and ALPA dropped their support of him.



Most of the prison stuff he describes just plain never happened. He devotes a large part of the book to me, whom he describes as a raging, tyrannical, abusive captain who carried a half gallon of booze in the cockpit and went to the lav to have a drink on nearly every segment.



Balzer was completely incompetent at the S/O panel and was constantly in trouble, committing two blunders that compromised the safety of the flight (I caught both of them) and a number more that were problematic (which I also caught). By attacking me, and using sheer fiction in the process, he diverts attention and creates a sense of public sympathy for him and his plight.



I know for a fact that several of his recited prison stories took place when my one and only close prison friend (who was still there when Balzer came in) saw what happened and it was nothing even remotely close to his book version. I was in the very same prison he was in, and I was there immediately prior to his arrival. Balzer paints it as something out of MSNBC's Lockup Raw when it was, in fact, a federal minimum security place with NONE of the aspects he describes. I hated the place and wanted out badly, but except for an occasional fight (and I only knew of one or two), there was none of the dramatic nonsense he paints in his book.



The person at American Airlines who was primarily responsible for getting Joe his job there came up to me in mid-May, just past, as I was attending an Int'l convention of recovering pilots in Dallas, and told me, "You were right about him. He's a useless piece of ______ ." The other person, who's head of their large alcohol program, told me some while back, "Joe wanted me to sign a petition so he can get a Presidential Pardon just like you. I refused to sign it because he only shows up when he can be the center of attention and he does nothing to help the new guys coming in."



It's a case from Abraham Lincoln's quote: You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time...but you can't fool all the people all the time."



I'm scheduled to talk to my atty up there, Peter Wold, on Sunday evening to see if we have a legal action. Balzer only refers to me as "the captain" in the book, so I'm not sure.



Blue skies,

Lyle



PS - you can feel free to share this if you wish.


I have that letter too!

I encourage everyone to go listen to him speak. He is truly humble, accountable, and honorable. Google his name and take a few hours out of your life. I think hearing him will change your perspective on many things.
 

FNB

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26
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abunch
I met him at OSH this year. He was trying to sell his book.

In 5 min I got the feeling he just wanted us all to know about how inspirational his life has been. If I bought his book I could read his story and be changed forever. Just a view from somebody that know nothing about the story or the guy, but he came across like he was trying to sell me a 92 Accord with an engine about to go out.

I didn't buy the book.
 

Colonel Savage

Southern style...
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Mar 11, 2008
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1,271
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NoTime
Sounds like Prouse should have some sort of law suit against Balzer for slander or libel if he can prove some damages.
 
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