Steve is a former small-town daily newspaper reporter, public education communications director, and elementary/secondary teacher. He has over 30 years writing experience in a variety of media. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from Cameron University in Oklahoma and a master's in elementary education from the University of Michigan. He currently lives in Nashville, TN, with his partner Frank (a university research librarian), their beagle, Fergus (10), their beagle/basset/corgi Bosco (10), their basset/treeing coonhound Goose (3), and their basset hounds, Roux (7) and Sascha (10). Their beagles Bayley (12), Fred (5) and Feargal (8) have sadly crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
Steve fell in love with airliners at the age of five during a fateful encounter with a brand-new Pan Am 747. He is the author of «Deadly Turbulence: The Air Safety Lessons of Braniff Flight 250 and Other Airliners, 1959-1966, his first aviation book», and is currently planning, researching, and writing his second.
Deadly Turbulence was published 13-Mar-2014 by McFarland Publishing of Jefferson, NC.
The book takes a detailed look at five accidents/near disasters, especially the 1966 destruction of Braniff International Airways Flight 250 in Nebraska. Nearly two years of inquiry helped advance the understanding of jet operations in severe weather and saw the first use of Cockpit Voice Recorder technology in an aviation accident investigation. In addition, a University of Chicago professor, Dr. Tetsuya "Ted" Fujita, conducted a more intensive investigation of the weather system which downed Flight 250. Over time, Dr. Fujita's already extensive knowledge of thunderstorms and tornadoes led to his creation of the Fujita Scale of Tornado Intensity, the F-scale that we hear about so frequently during storm season.
The five flights the book is most concerned with are:
|Pan American World Airways||115||Boeing 707-121||N712PA||February 3, 1959||Over the North Atlantic||0/127|
|Northwest Airlines||705||Boeing 720-051B||N724US||February 12, 1963||Everglades, Florida||43/43|
|United Airlines||764||Boeing 720-022B||N/A||July 12, 1963||Over O'Neill, Nebraska||0/63|
|Eastern Air Lines||304||Douglas DC-8-21||N8607||February 25, 1964||Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana||58/58|
|Braniff International Airlines||250||BAC 1-11-203AE||N1553||August 6, 1966||Near Falls City, Nebraska||42/42|
Read more «here».
The focus of the second book is a logical progression of the first; the effect of microburst/windshear weather phenomena on commercial airline travel, seen through the lens of some famous and not-so-famous crashes between 1943 and 1996. These were:
|American Airlines||63||Douglas DC-3-178||21-Jul-43||KSDF-KBNA||En route near Hopkinsville, KY||20||2|
|Eastern Airlines||346||Douglas DC-9-31||18-May-72||KMIA-KFLL-KCLE||KFLL, along 9L||0||3|
|Ozark Airlines||809||Fairchild Hiller FH-2276||23-Jul-73||En Route KMWA-KSTL||Near KSTL 30L||20||2|
|Eastern Airlines||66||Boeing 727-225||24-Jun-75||KMSY-KJFK||Short of KJFK 22L||113||11|
|Continental Airlines||426||Boeing 727-224||9-Aug-75||KDEN-KICT||End Runway 35L||0||134|
|Pan American World Airways||759||Boeing 727-235||9-Jul-82||KMSY-KLAS||KMSY, Departure end 9||153||16|
|Delta Air Lines||Lockheed L-1011-381-1||191||2-Aug-85||KFLL-KDFW||KDFW, Approach end of 17L||134||29|
|USAir||1016||McDonnell Douglas DC-9-31||2-Jul-94||KCAE-KCLT||KCLT, Departed 18L||20||37|
The third book is not set in stone yet, but research is currently centered on infamous US midair collisions in the last century. These may include:
|Date||Airline||Flight||Collided with||Flight (if app.)||Location||Fatalities||Survivors|
|21-Apr-29||Maddux Airlines||N/A||USAAF||N/A||San Diego, CA||6||0|
|23-Oct-42||American||28||USAAF||N/A||Chino Canyon, CA||12||2|
|25-Apr-51||Cubana||493||US Navy||N/A||Key West, FL||43||0|
|28-Jun-52||American||910||Temco Swift||N/A||Dallas, TX||2||60|
|12-Jan-55||TWA||N/A||Private||N/A||Boone County, KY||15||0|
|30-Jun-56||United||718||TWA||2||Grand Canyon, AZ||128||0|
|21-Apr-58||United||736||USAF||N/A||Las Vegas, NV||49||0|
|19-Jul-67||Piedmont||22||Lanseair, Inc.||N/A||Hendersonville, NC||82||0|
|4-Aug-68||North Central||261||Private||N/A||Wind Lake, WI||3||12|
|6-Jun-71||Hughes Airwest||706||USMC||N/A||San Gabriel Mtns, CA||50||1|
|29-Jun-72||North Central||290||Air Wisconsin||671||Lake Winnebago, WI||13||0|
|9-Jan-75||Golden West||261||Private||N/A||Whittier, CA||14||0|
|25-Sep-78||PSA||182||Private||N/A||San Diego, CA||144||0|
|18-Jun-86||Grand Canyon||6||Private Heli||N/A||Grand Canyon, AZ||25||0|
These disasters represent 997 fatalities and 212 survivors, making them a significant subject worth exploring.