Air Transport World

Skygods, The Fall of Pan Am.

William Morrow & Co., New York; 317 pages; index, no notes or bibliography; $23.

This book is a little like the movie "Apollo 13." You already know the ending but it's a good read anyway. Robert Gandt is an airline pilot and much of Skygods is about Pan Am pilots, what flying for Pan Am was like and the final days, when it no longer was Pan Am, but "the financially troubled Pan American."

A Skygod is a pilot or more precisely, a Pan Am captain--more than a captain in those days. A term that comes up often in this book is a "master of ocean flying boats." These were the real Skygods and Pan Am's famous chairman, Juan Trippe, was the "Supreme Skygod."

For the most part, Gandt alternates chapters, one a pilots' story, the next a historical chapter about Pan Am in general, its troubles and Dec. …

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