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Publisher's Summary

Squawk 7700 is a first-hand account of author Peter Buffington's experiences as a commercial airline pilot and the journey he took to reach his childhood dream. Buckle your seatbelt and prepare for an eye-opening, turbulent ride into the world of aviation from the pilot's seat. From student pilot at age 15, to flight instructor, to nighttime cargo pilot, and finally as first officer aboard the ATR 72 turboprop airliners island hopping the Caribbean, Squawk 7700 is a riveting aviation adventure.

©2010 Peter M. Buffington (P)2013 Peter M. Buffington

What listeners say about Squawk 7700

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Something's "off" here.

Is there anything you would change about this book?
The story has a weak foundation, as has any memoir written by a young man. His story is just beginning, he is / was inexperienced. He seems to be grinding an axe. But in his defense, he describes real mistreatment and recklessness on the part of the airline in Puerto Rico. (I suspect that, before it became part of the American Airlines family of feeder carriers, this airline was something of a loosely-run, local, "flying club"-type outfit. When the white-shirts from the States incorporated them into their system and began enforcing regulations and sending young USA pilots to fly with them, the local pilots took it as an affront, and undertook to make them miserable.)

Do you think Squawk 7700 needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
No. Let this book stand. It deserves telling because its anecdotes are so exceptional. But more like it would skew the public's perception of the industry. This author happened to encounter fools. His was not a normal career progression.I cannot tell you how many times I flew co-pilot for airline captains who made proper, safety-first decisions, even when it meant we wouldn't arrive home in time for whatever. Same for my own flying as captain. Passenger boredom is the airline pilot's stock in trade. What excitement is there in approaching a destination and choosing not to attempt a landing until either the weather or the braking conditions improved enough to produce an unexciting landing?

Any additional comments?
That Puerto Rican outfit was just crazy, and the author did the right thing. Of the standards of the small, general aviation outfits he encountered, I cannot speak, except to guess that this man's experiences with his various employers are not the norm. Rather, I like to think that he just happened to encounter slipshod employers everywhere he happened to turn.

Exceptional - not realistic - in terms of the norm.

2 people found this helpful

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Good story if...

It's a good story and the author tells of his problems that he had in the airline industry and of the problems the airline industry has or had. My problem with this book was the narrator at times I felt he was reading just to past the time away and never really put an effort into the reading except when he announced the next chapter. If you get a hang in with the story the book does have some very informative parts to it and some very eye-opening parts as well.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good Audio book, BUT

I completely agree with the authors suggestions that safety and professionalism should be top priorities in the airline industry. But this guy wants to ignore the laws of supply and demand. He wants to blame low pilot wages on everything from being so rich that you can afford to buy a right seat to affirmative action. The transportation industry has ALWAYS been highly competitive with thin profit margins. It's a good audio book. But the author suffers from a bad case of if you don't look like me, act like me, think like me, or talk like me, then something is wrong with you. America is a melting pot of cultures that some people embrace while others run. This guy is in a full sprint.

2 people found this helpful

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Be prepared to be in a bad mood

The entire book consists of the author complaining... about everything. He acts like because his childhood dream of flying didn’t include any adult aspects of life such as paying bills or relocating for work, that he’s being treated unfairly and everyone is ruining his life.
He routinely uses words like “perfection” to describe maneuvers or flying he performs and talks about how qualified he is because he went to a four year college, and can’t understand why people won’t just give him more pay. He pouts when captains don’t show him the respect he feels he deserves as a new hire, and acts entitled to some kind of medal because he shows up for work on time. There are two sides to every story and I’d love to hear how miserable it was working around this guy on a daily basis.
The airline industry isn’t perfect, and I think it’s important to be aware of what you’re getting into as a new pilot, but this book could have been written much differently if that’s what it’s purpose was. The overall feeling I got from the book was that this guy is bitter and resentful and overall has a bad attitude. I hope this book doesn’t dissuade anyone out there from fulfilling their dreams of pursuing a career in aviation.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent story that keeps a good pace.

Great storytelling here. This pilot tells it all in great detail without bogging down on any one area. I felt really bad for what this pilot went through to find his dream job. Before you go for that big ticket you need to listen to this!

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poor writing !

narratetor trying to speak in a Spanish accent did so poorly. too much reduce in story line .

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Holding Short

This book is fine and worth a read I guess, for the most part I thought it was a bit of a pity party from someone not willing to pay the price required to achieve ones dreams. The book fell short of my expectations.

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Not Worrh It

As someone in the aviation field, both pilot and mechanic, this was a tough listen. I had read it prior to starting my own flight training and decided to take a listen now.

First, the narrator sounds bored and is hard to listen to hours of.

For someone who had a dream of being a pilot, and getting a 4-year degree, the author must have had zero clue about what the airline industry was like in the years he was flying. Regional pay and lifestyle was terrible. He says he wishes he could be home every night with his wife, which is hardly achievable by any but some of the most senior pilots.

He also expected a lot given to him. Buy an umbrella when you live somewhere it’s going to rain. In that time, don’t expect respect or better pay until you’ve earned it.

Another thing that pointed towards the pilots “ego” was how he talked about his flying. It was always perfect or great. At one point he even says he mastered the ATR after only a few days flying the real aircraft. Any good pilot knows this isn’t a thing, and you can always learn more and become more proficient. Instead of ever shortening and saying the aircraft, or the ATR, the author always writes ATR-42 even if it’s in subsequent sentences. We get it dude, you flew a relatively large turboprop. I don’t need the identifier for it constantly.

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expected more

The author is kind of a wimp to be honest. He blamed everyone else but himself in his airline career.

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Pilot in progress

it really is a sobering read, if your goals are to be professional pilot. Read this book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-15-21

Could have been better

Overall an interesting story and profound message. A bit too much unnecessary filler at times (e.g. chapter 10 - an anecdote about buying a subway sandwich that was just pointless). My main issue was the choice of reader - Peter was in his 20's for the whole of the book, however the reader sounds as though he is at least in his mid 60's. Took away from enjoyment of the story.

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