In this entertaining memoir, veteran Liverpudlian pilot Cedric Flood looks back on an aviation career spanning more than half a century, dating back to 1950 when, as a 13-year-old schoolboy, he donned a set of overalls and began working as a voluntary helper to the aircraft engineer at his local flying club, based at Liverpool’s Speke airfield.
It was to mark the start of a lifetime in aviation which would see Cedric become first an aircraft engineer, then a pilot, then an airline captain for Cambrian Airways and British Airways.
Cedric flew a variety of aircraft types, beginning with the propeller powered Tiger Moth, Rapide and Dakota before graduating to passenger jets such as the Viscount and BAC 1-11.
His memories of working on and subsequently flying these and other now historic aircraft will be of great interest to aviation buffs and fellow pilots, who will appreciate his knowledgeable and detailed commentary, although you don’t need to be an aviation expert in order to enjoy his many stories of hair-raising events, narrow escapes and humorous incidents in the air or his recollections of the many colourful aeronautical characters with whom he came into contact in the course of his long and eventful career.
In the final chapter he describes his recreational activities since retirement, which have included building his own light aircraft and flying from Speke, where his aviation career began.
Given the length and breadth of his experience, this book is also an informal history of aviation itself over the last 50 years, during which time it has changed beyond recognition, in much the same way that Liverpool’s Speke airport has evolved from provincial airfield it was when he first began working there to the busy international airport it is today.