WEBSITE EDITOR'S PAGE
Received this letter below from our friend in Austria:
it has been a long time since my last contact with BOAF, the last convention I attended has been in Toronto, 2005. This also had been my last flight, as a passenger. I am "earthbound", just traveling with my camping car. That does not mean I forgot the Bird. Looking at the website- thanks a lot for this great work - and looking at fotos brings back a lot of memories. My first AA International Convention had been Montreal 1985. I had been sober for 3 years at this time and thought I was the only alcoholic pilot in Germany ( or in the airline business), when I heard about BOAF. My first BOAF convention had been in Washigton,1986, What a relief to find out I am not alone! And I am often thinking about the fellow pilots I got to know, the friends I made, the talks we had and the good times enjoying the fellowship at conventions and privately. This were important parts for my sobriety. And I tried to carry the message, got part of starting a EAP within my company, reported "how it works" in USA to my pilots union and started a nest in Frankfurt, Germany which I gave up after 6 months, because there was "no need". There is no nest until today, German pilots want professionals, not "drunks". Until the time to my retirement and knew only 2 other colleagues who were in AA, one of them I could encourage to come to the ATL convention many years ago. Pilots without our fellowship don't know what they miss!
The reason I am writing now: Last week I got a call from a guy who identified himself as a captain with an Asian company. He had been in treatment in ATL and told me that the ATL Birds held meetings in that treatment center. That is where he got the message about the birds. When he said he is Austrian he got my phone number from one of the members. We met in Vienna and had a 3hrs talk. I am so grateful that I had this opportunity, I just have my regular meetings here, German and Englisch language. I really miss birds meetings and it so so great that you ATL guys bring the message to treatment centers. I just wanted to give you a feedback, it works, international.
And now the " technical" part: I am still a solo bird in Vienna, Austria. I am glad to be a contact here.I have a change in my phone number : +43 664 9312210. You can also give my e-mail address. And I have a request: would it be possible to list the solo contacts alphabetically according to the countries, or within USA to the states. e.g in my case: Austria, Vienna Helmut J....It would be easier to find but I know it is a lot of work for the first time. Presently it just shows the names and then the the location.
All the best, greetings from oversees,
CURRENT LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Posted July 6, 2013
Such sad news! Jim's birthday was 02-12-21, which I remember because my sobriety date is 02-12-13. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to get to know him better when it was just the four of us at that Birds meeting the 5th Monday in April. I was so impressed and entertained with all his flying stories! He was so sharp, I thought he was much younger. I'll never forget his analogy of flying airplanes, as to being with a woman. I thought that was beautiful! I turned 50 July 2nd. Too many coincidences? I was hoping to visit with him more. Guess I've learned not to procrastinate, which is my worst character defect. He will be missed so much!
To the editor:
Been a while since I've updated for IAH. We are still going strong after 5 years. The meeting attendance has increased a little even as most of us are getting back in the air. We are meeting for dinner at 1730 at "Kung Food" across JFK Blvd. for fellowship prior to the meeting. We continue to encourage strong AA recovery within our group as we feel recovery is more important than the return to work. Many of us continue to be blessed by the 12 steps of AA. It just keeps getting better!
I just wanted to let you know that the 1st BOAF Hong Kong meeting successfully kicked off last Sunday, May 26th.
There were 7 people present for the meeting and I was the secretary. The meeting commenced at 0900 and ended at 1000. We then held a business meeting to discuss a few things including deciding on a new start time.
Overall, the meeting was very friendly, energetic and everyone was able to share (open topic).
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TO READ ARCHIVED LETTERS TO THE EDITOR CLICK HERE
Is God Your "Co" Pilot?
Like many pilots, I first got interested in flying airplanes by reading books as a youngster and watching flying movies late into the night when in grade school and high school. One movie that really stood out for me was "God is my Copilot". I really enjoyed that one and I have since then read the book by Colonel Robert L. Scott at least three times.
As my drinking started and my alcoholism progressed I would never pass up the opportunity to watch these old movies when they would come on late night television. Many times I sat there and fantasized that I was General Frank Savage taking over and whipping into shape a squadron of B-17 pilots like Gregory Peck did in "12 O'Clock High".
I truly was suffering from delusions of grandeur, a true character defect if there ever is one. As my recovery progressed I realized that if I was ever to be truly sober I would have to "deflate my ego" to the extent that I could finally address these defects and get my life more on a realistic, even keel. It took several years and I continue to confront an ego that will get the better of me if I allow it.
One way I have found that helps me is allow my higher power to be more active in my life. And so now here comes my point: In the movies I am always in control of everything. There is only room for God to be my "co-pilot". In recovery, I have to make more room in my life for him than that. So that is why I say to pilots who are new or years into the program that:
"if God is your copilot, it's time to switch seats".
From the Grapevine
"Once during a period of weekend piloting, I flew a light plane into the clouds over some hilly terrain and got lost. The plane was without blind-flight instruments and I was without training in blind flying, and therefore in moment-to-moment peril of a fatal tailspin. I tried to climb out of the cloudbank but couldn't make it; it was too high. To try to get under it might wind me up in a pile of burning junk on a hillside, or in a power line. Whether I went up, or down, or stayed where I was, my life was in great danger. I was a clammy, sweaty scared.
"Though not at that time religiously inclined, I prayed. Then I put the nose toward the ground and held it on a steep glide, peering ahead into the murk. Presently I saw a farmhouse immediately ahead. I held a wing on it, circling, and saw a small pasture where a crash landing could be made. Gliding in for the landing, scarcely ten feet off the ground, I could see under the cloud structure. The farmhouse was high on a hillside; below was clear air over a long valley. I flew on. In a quarter of an hour I was safely landed at my destination airport, limp with gratitude and wonder. A power greater than myself had, in response to my prayer, restored me to safety! This happened seven years before I came into AA.
"I did not hang onto this spiritual insight. After a day or two of awed reflection I forgot it, resumed my usual ways and usual drinking, which was progressing toward a climax. Seven years later, again fogged in, with all courses of action blocked in alcoholic impasse, I met some people who had "come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." Remembering then my deliverance from the cloud-shrouded hills, it was easier than it might otherwise have been to believe as they did."
The AA Grapevine, 1954
Before alcoholics come into A.A., they are "flying blind." But A.A.
gives them a directed beam in the A.A. program. As long as they
keep on this beam, the signal of sobriety keeps coming through. If
they have a slip, the signal is broken. If they swing off course into
drunkenness, the signal stops. Unless they regain the A.A.
directed beam, they are in danger of crashing against the
mountain peak of despair. Am I on the beam?
ARTICLES & STORIES OF INTEREST
A MECHANICAL APPROACH TO THE 12 STEPS
Step 1: I had an "Old Clunker" of an airplane parked at the airport. I had just about given up on it but decided to make a wholehearted attempt to restore it.
Step 2: I couldn't fix it, but I came to believe someone could.
Step 3: I turned the plane over to an A & P mechanic.
Step 4: I took an inventory of all that was wrong with the "Old Clunker."
Step 5: I shared the inventory with the mechanic.
Step 6: I helped take off the old parts.
Step 7: I let the mechanic handle the rest.
Step 8: We made a list of all the parts that were needed and got together and went over them.
Step 9: I admitted I hadn't checked the oil and fluids properly, or fixed the other things that were going wrong. It was my responsibility to take care of the plane, and I had not. I wanted to help, but being unfamiliar with the process, I allowed the mechanic to fix things. The airplane turned out beautifully!
Step 10: I check the oil, fluids, tires etc. more regularly, and when I don't the engine doesn't hum.
Step 11: I call on the mechanic whenever there is trouble, asking him to fix the plane.
Step 12: That mechanic and I have become such close friends that we decided to take a trip across the country, and we stopped to help all that needed it along the way.
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Captain Fred Beardsley, a longtime volunteer for our DPAC committee, passed away. Capt. Beardsley continued his volunteer work long after his retirement in 1996 and helped many pilots and their families. He was an integral part of our DPAC program and helped save hundreds of lives and jobs over his career. His expertise and presence will be greatly missed.
A “Celebration of Life” for Captain Beardsley will be:
Wednesday November 15th @3:00PM, at the Delta Air Museum.
Hi Scott, I am pleased to announce that the Christchurch Nest is up and running. Could we please add these details to an irregular meeting page. The Christchurch, New Zealand Nest meets monthly. As we have a small membership, we arrange a time and place that suits all. For more information please contact me, Hamish J. at 021536562. Please note that our group also welcomes Air Traffic Controllers. Thanks.....
It's always a pleasure to announce that a nest that had suspended its meetings has once again started up. In this case it is SEATTLE, the original BOAF nest from 1975.
Numerous ZOOM meetings are now being held for various nests. Click to see the most current list.
In an effort to have a more centralized location for BOAF information a new forum-style web has been set up for BOAF members. You may access the site by going to:
To get password contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2021 BOAF Annual Convention information and registration is now available. Join us in the United Kingdom Sept 30 - Oct 3 as we hold our first annual convention outside of North America.
Click on the link below to get started:
NEW NEST IN MONTREAL, CANADA.