Choosing anonymity for fear of retaliation from the airline industry, Captain ``X'' tells of his years as a pilot for a major U.S. air carrier (also unnamed). As the book jacket promises, there is no shortage of alarming stories--pilots dozing off during final approach, manipulation of safety statistics, etc. However, the most compelling sections are the reconstructions of disasters (via flight recorder data) that show flight crews' frustrations and the futility of even their best efforts to combat extreme weather conditions like wind sheer and microburst. Also of interest are chapters on air traffic controllers, hijackings, the worst airlines and airports, and the dangers that small, privately owned aircraft present to airline travelers. Recommended.-- Mark Annichiarico, ``Library Journal''