(Book Review) Not Flying Alone

Not Flying AloneReviewed by: G. Connor Salter, Taylor University student



Title: Not Flying Alone: An Autobiography

Author: Captain R.A. Lemmon (United Airlines, retired)

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Publication Date: June 2015

Format: Paperback

Length: 497 Pages


Few people can say they have lived and experienced the airline industry as much as Ray Lemmon. He was a captain for United Airlines from 1961 until his retirement in 1993. Not Flying Alone is the story of Lemmon’s life beginning with his upbringing during the Depression and WWII, his service in the United States Army during the Korean War, and his experiences flying airplanes, collecting and restoring airplanes (as well as many automobiles), and traveling all over the U.S. with his wife Margaret. Shortly after Margaret’s death in 2011, Ray began to note unusual events and spiritual experiences that led him to new faith in Christ.

Lemmon knows what makes a good story, and at times his writing style works very well, but the stories are hampered by lack of selection. Instead of picking a few areas of his life and describing those stories in detail, Lemmon covers his entire life and all the interesting stories, such as flying airplanes and his spiritual experiences after Margaret’s passing, get buried by descriptions of everyday topics, such as buying apartments or building new homes. Whereas the story will prove interesting to airplane and automobile hobbyists and historians, the narrative is not compelling enough to interest mainstream readers.


Rating (1 to 5)

2 out of 5 stars

Suggested Audience

Airplane and automobile hobbyists, people interested in the history of aviation.

Christian Impact

The first and last chapters contain theological discussions and give interesting perspectives on the Holy Spirit, which may generate discussions on that topic. There is virtually no theological or spiritual discussion in the rest of the book.

G. Connor Salter is a student at Taylor University, pursuing a BS degree in Professional Writing.

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