Cover image for Heart of the storm : my adventures as a helicopter rescue pilot and commander
Heart of the storm : my adventures as a helicopter rescue pilot and commander
Fleming, Edward (Edward L.)
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Hoboken, N.J. : J. Wiley, [2004]

Physical Description:
xi, 259 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
UG626.2.F573 A3 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Advance praise for Heart of the Storm

""Col. Ed Fleming tells a story of true heroism about the constant dangers faced by the pilots and crews who fly the most versatile-and vulnerable-aircraft in the skies today.""
-John Glenn, former U.S. senator, astronaut, and bestselling author of John Glenn: A Memoir

""To risk your life to save a stranger is the highest mark of a human being. Ed Fleming is such a man, and this book is a great read.""
-Dr. Jerri Nielsen, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Ice Bound

""Filled with suspense and emotion, Heart of the Storm reads like a thriller-but it's all true. Ed Fleming has led a dramatic and interesting life, and this book portrays it in living color.""
-Robert K. Tanenbaum, New York Times bestselling author of Resolved and Absolute Rage

Author Notes

Col. Edward Fleming served in the Air Force and Air National Guard for three decades as a helicopter rescue pilot. He was Commander of the 106th Operations Group, 4412th Squadron, in the Persian Gulf and Vice Commander of the 109th Airlift Wing

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

A real gift for adventure readers, this is the autobiography of a veteran U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard rescue helicopter pilot. The title refers to where Fleming spent a good deal of his time, including during the Perfect Storm of book and movie fame and on the longest helicopter rescue mission ever flown--to rescue the sole survivor of a freighter lost off Newfoundland. Fleming also survived Vietnam-era helicopter training and some instructors with more attitude than knowledge; in turn, he trained some would-be helicopter pilots who should never have set foot in one of the complicated, fragile, versatile, and now indispensable machines. He served in the Gulf War and, toward the end of his career, organized the complex mission that rescued cancer-stricken Dr. Jerri Nielsen from the South Pole. Now a teacher of college-level leadership courses, Fleming is less gifted as a writer than as a pilot, which, however, doesn't detract much from his exciting recollections. --Roland Green Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

During his 30 years in the Air Force and Air National Guard, Fleming made a career of descending from the sky to pluck disaster victims from the jaws of floods, storms, sharks and polar white-outs. His gripping memoir vividly illustrates how tenuous the life of a deus ex machina can be. Fleming recalls the tragic and sometimes gruesome deaths of unlucky colleagues who succumbed to the elements and recounts hair-raising missions that often took place at night, flown through hazardous weather (including the vicious nor?easter Sebastian Junger made famous in The Perfect Storm) in fragile helicopters prone to mechanical breakdown. Avoiding gung-ho special-ops bluster, he probes the human flaws and lapses?incompetent, panicky pilots, abusive officers, penny-pinching bureaucrats who refuse to pay for much-needed equipment?that bedevil even elite outposts of the military. Fleming?s sober, straightforward, well-paced style lucidly conveys the lore of helicopter flight and the practical difficulties of rescue missions while letting the heroics speak for themselves. Photos. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Table of Contents

Author's Note
1 Headwindsp. 1
2 An Unexpected Turnp. 4
3 I Flyp. 11
4 Deadly Websp. 21
5 Turningsp. 24
6 First Rescuep. 31
7 Monsoons and Minesp. 43
8 Koreap. 50
9 We're Going Downp. 61
10 Two Emergencies in One Dayp. 77
11 The Indifferent Seap. 91
12 New Realitiesp. 108
13 A Killing Machinep. 123
14 All Scorpions All the Timep. 150
15 The Grave of Salvador Allendep. 171
16 The Deep Crevassep. 202
17 Rescue at the South Polep. 214
Epiloguep. 237
Glossaryp. 241
Indexp. 245