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Flygirl Adventures: An Autoflyography Paperback – 30 Nov 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 387 pages
  • Publisher: Austin & Macauley Publishers Ltd (30 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184963050X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849630504
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 2.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 435,532 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

AS ANITA Mays piloted a £6million private jet from Venice to London, the rich American socialite who d chartered it swanned into the cockpit clutching a crystal flute of Krug the only champagne she d touch. Nonchalantly she asked Anita if she could call ahead to Heathrow and have them hold the Concorde flight to New York until we ve landed so my friend Oscar doesn t miss it . It was a rhetorical question. Oscar was in fact the designer Oscar de la Renta, her companion on the 13-seater jet that day. Incredibly Concorde was delayed until Anita had delivered its final passenger on to the tarmac. It was the first glimpse I had of the power of money, reveals Anita, 51, who is single and lives in Berkshire. But it wasn t the last. Over her 20-year career as a pilot, Anita flew some of the wealthiest people on the planet to the glittering playgrounds of Europe and beyond. She quickly discovered that for the rich and famous there is no better place than 35,000 feet up in the air to conduct an affair, put a bounty on the head of your arch enemy or seal a corrupt deal. Born in Nigeria to a construction manager father and secretary mother, both originally from Yorkshire, Anita had a fascination with flying that began while she was at boarding school in Sussex. At the end of every term I d jump on a plane to Nigeria to see my parents so I associated planes with happiness and excitement, she says. After graduating from Birmingham University she spent 18 months trying to get a job as an air hostess, a job that was the epitome of glamour at the time. Unfortunately because I was not stunningly beautiful as air hostesses were expected to be in those days, my applications were rejected, says Anita. Her mother bought her a flying lesson at an airfield in Surrey to cheer her up and from that moment she wanted to be a pilot. Four years later aged 27 and a qualified commercial pilot, she landed a job piloting a 10-seater luxury private jet based at Heathrow. The team consisted of Anita, a captain and at least one steward. Passengers thought nothing of splashing out £1,600 an hour to hire the jet for trips to such places as Nice, Rome and the Middle East. She flew Saudi princesses, rock stars and wealthy women who would hire a jet on a whim to take them to New York to buy shoes. In September 1988 Ringo Starr became her first famous passenger when she flew him from Heathrow to Bergerac to visit friends. He was a hoot, remembers Anita, and applauded me for having made it as a female pilot in what was and still is a very male dominated part of the industry. Ringo was swiftly followed by Diana Ross in April 1989. I took her to Dublin where she was performing and imagined that being so slim she would want delicate canapés on board, Anita recalls. When we landed she handed us tickets to her concert before confiding that she d prefer fish and chips on the next flight. I also flew Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits numerous times with his own band. They loved to eat sushi but one night requested curry. So we bought hundreds of pounds worth from an Indian restaurant in Cardiff where they were performing. Whatever passengers wanted, they got. Rod Stewart was one of my favourites. He was happy with a glass of chardonnay and pizza. The lavish lifestyles of the celebrities she had encountered were nothing compared to the colossal wealth of the passengers she flew when she was hired to pilot a Boeing 727 in 1995. As a bog standard commercial jet it would have had 187 seats but this adapted version had just 13 enormous leather seats in its £7million interior. Back then it cost £6,000 an hour , today the price tag is £9,000. It was hired by billionaires and Arab sheikhs who made rock stars look like small fry, Anita adds. --http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/367156/Flying-high-with-the-rich-and-famous

About the Author

Anita Mays, the youngest of four, was born in Nigeria, to Yorkshire parents. She spent a great deal of her upbringing in Africa, while attending boarding school in England where she excelled in sports. At the Universities of Birmingham and Aix-en-Provence she read English and French literature, and attained a combined honours degree. She now lives in Berkshire. Aeroplanes had always been a seminal part of her childhood. Keen to work in the industry, she applied to become an air hostess, and was subsequently turned down by over 10 airlines. Unable to work in the back, she tried her hand at the front end. She has enjoyed a remarkably colourful career as a pilot, and this book about her experiences, won her a place as a finalist in the national competition The People s Author on TV s Alan Titchmarsh show. Anita is also a qualified teacher and enjoys teaching English to Foreign students. She travels extensively (recently she backpacked round Colombia), and enjoys cycling, yoga, ceroc dancing and kayaking. She loves history, and reads avidly: novels, science, health, comedy and occasionally nonsense! Her maxims for a good life: Give yourself time to stand and stare. Don t take it too seriously. Most of all....Be Grateful!


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