Death On Small Wings: Memoirs Of A Presidential Pilot


Category: ISBN: 9781904440789


With a foreword by John Simpson CBE.

In 1972 Neville Atkinson left a career as a night fighter pilot in the Royal Navy to take up a position as personal pilot to The President of Libya, Col Gadaffi. During the next ten years his role was to fly The President, Government Ministers and many world dignitaries around the Middle East and Africa.

During the course of these flights his relaxed conversations and perceptive observation of his passengers gave him a rare insight into their personalities, and the politics and happenings of the time.

The turmoil of the Middle East meant almost constant uncertainty and danger. His Falcon 20 executive jet was fired on by anti-aircraft guns as he came into land in South Yemen; in Egypt the terrifying experience of surviving six SAM II missiles fired at the plane while conveying the Libyan Prime Minister to Egypt during the Arab-Israeli war. The crew was forced into taking Carlos The Jackal and his three fellow terrorists from Algiers to Mogadishu in Somalia after they had kidnapped the OPEC conference in Vienna – a thoroughly unnerving and obnoxious ordeal.

The author recalls his experience with the factual eye and pertinent observations of a professional, which fills a gap in our knowledge of the Middle East during the 1970s.