From the age of three, Shane Osborn dreamed of being a pilot. He began learning the skills he would need to fly as a member of the Civil Air Patrol, a branch of the U.S. Air Force, when he was just twelve years old. But it wasn't until he graduated from the naval ROTC program at the University of Nebraska and joined the navy that his dream became a reality. For five years, Osborn practiced rigorous training exercises, working tirelessly day in ...
From the age of three, Shane Osborn dreamed of being a pilot. He began learning the skills he would need to fly as a member of the Civil Air Patrol, a branch of the U.S. Air Force, when he was just twelve years old. But it wasn't until he graduated from the naval ROTC program at the University of Nebraska and joined the navy that his dream became a reality. For five years, Osborn practiced rigorous training exercises, working tirelessly day in and day out until he advanced from navy pilot to mission commander.
All Lt. Osborn's flying skills were put to the test when a Chinese F-8 II fighter jet collided with his EP-3E ARIES II plane during a U.S. surveillance mission through international airspace. The impact severely damaged Osborn's aircraft, sending it plummeting toward the ocean. With almost certain disaster looming, Osborn managed to gain control of the crippled plane and land it safely on the Chinese island of Hainan--saving the lives of his twenty-three crewmates.
In Born to Fly, Shane Osborn describes these terrifying events in vivid detail, along with the years of dedicated training that made the emergency landing possible. This is the inspirational story of a boy with a dream, and of the extraordinary discipline and courage that made him a hero.
Born to Fly: The Heroic Story of Downed U.S. Navy Pilot Lt. Shane Osborn by Shane Osborn with Malcolm McConnell tells the story of a young American pilot, his life-long love of flying and the fateful events that led him to receive the Navy's highest airmanship honor. Michael French adapted the book for young readers from the simultaneously published adult title, Born to Fly: The Untold Story of the Downed American Reconnaissance Plane. ( Nov.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Osborn's humble, matter-of-fact narrative will appeal initially to young men and women interested in aviation, the military, and current events. Amy Efaw's Battle Dress (Harper Collins, 2000/VOYA October 2000), the based-on-fact account of a West Point summer initiation, delivers a similar no-pain-no-gain message. Osborn, a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps graduate, illustrates in an all-too-real way why emotional, mental, and physical toughness above and beyond excellent technical skills are needed to lead and succeed in today's sensitive and dangerous international arena. With high standards, a positive attitude, and a strong work ethic, Osborn is an inspiring role model who aimed high and overcame adversity through self-discipline and respect. The prologue briefly describes the collision of his plane with "one aggressive Chinese pilot." Its closing words, "a role I had been preparing for my entire life," introduces a life journey that communicates much about goal setting, self-reliance, and passion. Fascinated with flying from the age of three, Osborne copes with his parents' divorce, new schools, academic challenges, blended families, tough jobs, a life-threatening accident, and some disappointing assignments before reaching his dream of becoming a navy pilot. The technical and military explanations necessary to the story and the detailed description of the midair crisis might discourage some readers, but such information will help social studies, physics, and math teachers discuss relationships among knowledge, judgment, and character. Glossary. Photos. Maps. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, definedas grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2001, Delacorte, 183p,
— Lucy Schall
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-A fascinating story of endurance, courage, and patriotism. French has adapted Osborn's adult book for young people. He tells the story of a boy's dream to become a pilot, his formal flight training in the Navy, and how his skill and stamina were tested as commander of an EP-3E reconnaissance aircraft. In April, 2001, an inflight collision with a Chinese fighter over China during a routine surveillance mission turned into an international incident. Osborn managed to land the damaged aircraft, save his crew, and survive interrogation and imprisonment by the Chinese. He inspired his crew to get through their ordeal and came out a hero to all. The book reads like fiction, with lots of dialogue. The brief glossary of aviation terms is useful and the photos and map enhance the readable text. Black-and-white photos appear in an eight-page center section. A good choice for anyone considering a career in the military and for fans of true-adventure survival stories.-David M. Alperstein, Queens Borough Public Library, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Lieutenant Shane Osborn was born in South Dakota in 1974 and was raised in Nebraska, where he attended the University of Nebraska on a Naval ROTC scholarship. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism and extraordinary achievement in flight. He lives in Anacortes, Washington.
Malcolm McConnell has written extensively on military aviation and is the author of, among other books, Men From Earth, Fulcrum and Into the Mouth of the Cat.