Lyle Prouse is a former Marine, a husband, a father and a successful pilot at Northwest Airlines. He is also an alcoholic, and in 1990, he became the first commercial pilot arrested, tried and convicted for flying drunk. Final Approach: Northwest Airlines Flight 650 Tragedy and Triumph is Prouse's memoir of his life leading up to and beyond the flight that would change his life in more ways than one.
At the heart of Prouse's story is the flight in which he and his fellow cockpit crew were arrested for flying under the influence of alcohol after partying at a bar only a few hours before boarding. But Prouse only talks briefly of the flight itself. The majority of this memoir is about how he got to that point in his life ~ learning to fly, going to Vietnam and becoming an alcoholic ~ and how he overcame that tragedy, getting sober and moving on with his life.
This is one of the most honest memoirs I have read in a while. Prouse explains what happened in detail and always accepts the blame for what happened to him. He admits that his actions were wrong and makes no excuses for that. It's obvious that he's not looking for pity; he's just telling his story. He also calls out many people who helped him throughout the entire ordeal. He seems genuine in his appreciation to these individuals.
The writing is straightforward and well-written, which is refreshing for a self-published memoir. It's an easy read but is also deep and inspirational. If you're looking for a new memoir, I highly recommend Final Approach. You'll learn a great deal about overcoming obstacles in your life and turning tragedy into triumph as the title says.
My Rating: 4/5
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This review was written based on a copy of Final Approach that I received from Pump Up Your Book in exchange for an honest review.