From the August 2011 magazine.

August 2011: Learning to Fly

An Air Force pilot swaps his flight manual for a Big Book and avoids disaster

"Flying complicated airplanes skillfully is very much like soberly facing the difficult challenges of life."

A tourist visiting New York for the first time is lost. He stops on the street to ask one of New York’s finest how to get to Carnegie Hall, a theater renowned for its artistic performances.

“Well, sir,” responds the officer without blinking an eye, “the best way to get to Carnegie Hall is lots of practice.”

I came into AA over a decade ago, a beaten, former Air Force command pilot. After I retired from active duty, years of excessive alcohol consumption took me on a long flight from reality to a destination of desperation and despair. My final alcoholic days landed...

-- Bob B.

Puyallup, Washington