The Only Way to Fly by Robert J Serling
One year before Lindbergh flew the Atlantic, Western began flying the U.S. mail from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. Those were the wild and woolly days of aviation, when freewheeling pilots braved impossible odds on almost every run — flying the treacherous Rocky Mountain routes in wood-and-fabric biplanes, without benefit of instruments. They navigated by following the railroad tracks — and at first the only passengers they attracted were thrill seekers willing to endure the ride perched on top of a mail sack.
But Western advanced with the aviation industry, expanding rapidly in the thirties and shifting to passenger service as its prime source of revenue. The airline now flies approximately twenty-two thousand passengers a day to more than forty cities in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Here is a full-scale, comprehensive, and compelling history of America’s oldest scheduled air carrier — Western Airlines — which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 1976. The story of Western’s birth, growth, and expansion is the story of commercial aviation in America.
Robert J. Serling’s career as an aviation writer began with the UPI in Washington. He has applied his extensive knowledge of flying and aircraft to such novels as The President’s Plane Is Missingand She’ll Never Get Off the Ground, and such non-fiction works as Maverick: The Story of Robert Six and Continental Airlines.