Unlicensed Pilot
13 years in the clouds

€ 15,00
Publisher: Cairo Editore
Collection: scrittori italiani
Pages: 304
ISBN/EAN: 978-88-6052-760-8

He’s an ordinary kid, and he has the same dream as many of his peers: he wants to be a pilot. His father often takes him to the Arlanda airport 40 kilometres away from Stockholm to let him see the planes take off. He is fascinated and imagines flying, feeling free. That is how the incredible story of Thomas Salme quietly begins. A story that seems like a Hollywood comedy, but it’s 100% real life. For 13 years he flew all over the world, piloting the giants of the air, transporting 700,000 passengers to their destinations in various continents. But he didn’t have a license. In short, an illicit pilot. However, it’s not sufficient to be a consummate actor to pilot a Boeing: Salme got to sit in the pilot’s seat after an incredibly tough training, and since he didn’t have the money to get the pilot license for passenger transport, he taught himself with the true grit of those who have to make it at any cost. Thomas became good, really good and – the devil had a hand in it – an airline was looking for someone with his precise characteristics. He had only to present himself, with a badly counterfeited license, and then events speeded up like a plane on the take off strip. Passing the selection process was no problem at all: Salme has extraordinary aplomb, especially in emergency situations, and a large dose of humanity that earned him respect and sympathy from his superiors and colleagues. However, a lie is a dead end street. Salme lied to everyone, even his father, his wife and his children. During those 13 long years, he was almost discovered many times. After a certain point, he almost hoped it would happen. But lady luck seemed to be on his side. Until, one day, something went wrong …

The authors
Thomas Salme (1969) is Swedish and lives in Milan. After he worked as a pilot for various international airline without a license, he was arrested in Holland in 2010. These days, he has gone back to his old passion for photography and documentaries. This is his story.

Tom Watt, is a British actor, author and TV reporter. He works for The Observer, The Times, The Daily Mail, The Independent and the BBC. Working with David Beckham, he wrote Beckham’s autobiography, My Side.

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