AirplaneGeeks 348 Flying Above and Beyond

Producer Nancy Spielberg and Harold Livingston

Flying for Israel in its War of Independence, a Rafale fighter jet sale to Qatar, female fighter pilots, the Turkish Airlines CEO opines on pilot marriage, and major sporting events bring out private jets.

Photo: Producer Nancy Spielberg and Harold Livingston


In 1948, a group of pilots smuggled surplus military airplanes out of the U.S., trained in Czechoslovakia, and flew for Israel in its War of Independence. Our guest Harold Livingston was one of those pilots. This story has been captured in the feature-length documentary film Above and Beyond, produced by Nancy Spielberg and directed by Roberta Grossman.

Harold Livingston enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force after graduating from high school in 1942. After three years with the Air Transport Command in the European theatre, he went on to work for Trans World Airlines.

In 1947, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into two separate Arab and Jewish states. A former TWA colleague, Al Schwimmer, invited Harold to join an outfit being formed to fly munitions and aircraft to Jewish Palestine in support of the war that was to come. After returning from Israel in 1949, Harold served again in the U.S. Air Force as a civilian contractor in the Korean Air Lift.

Harold is also a writer. His first novel, “The Coasts of The Earth” (1954), received a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship Award. He has written nine novels and his credits include  “Star Trek, The Motion Picture,” several other major films, and some one hundred television episodes including such shows as “Mission Impossible,” and “Dynasty.”

Above and Beyond is available on iTunes and You can also watch the documentary’s trailer.

Selected books by Harold Livingston


France and Qatar seal $7 billion Rafale fighter jet deal

Qatar is purchasing 24 Dassault Rafale fighter jets for 6.3-billion-euro ($7B US). This is the third sale this year of the fighter jets with 24 sold to Egypt and 36 to India.

Female Fighter Pilots Taking Off in the IAF

In 1995, pilot Alice Miller sought to take the Israeli Air Force pilot training exam, but was ejected on grounds of her gender. She petitioned the Israel High Court of Justice, which sided with her in 1996. Since then, 38 women completed the course and became pilots in the Israeli Air Force.

Turkish Airlines CEO to Pilots: Get Married to Avoid Crashes

Reportedly, the CEO of Turkish Airlines said that pilots should marry so that situations like what happened with the Germanwings crash in March can be avoided.

A crazy photo of private jets flooding the Las Vegas airport before the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight

Kentucky Derby Boosts Local FBOs

Recent sporting events bring out the private jets and other general aviation aircraft. Is the business slump over?

Listener Recording

Pilot Bill from Victoria provides his own “Aviation Minute” and talks about a recent event with the local airport authority, NavaCanada, and about a hundred aviators.


Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display, Saturday, June 20, 2015 at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Virginia.

Airplane Geeks on Instagram

Are we seeing the end of the era for the ‘super-jumbo’?

Should flight attendants eat First Class food onboard their flight? by Jamie Larounis in The Forward Cabin

The Aviators

1960 Air Show Edwards AFB


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at


One thought on “AirplaneGeeks 348 Flying Above and Beyond

  1. Charlie Branch

    Thank you for the great piece with Harold Livingston (I presume. Sorry, couldn’t resist Stanley’s line.) as I’d read about the C-47 bombers, but there was no mention of the release mechanism. “Bomb Chuckers” are quite reliable, as I would be when handed a bomb with the fuse activated before my eyes.
    Alaska Airlines used to serve all passengers the same meals as Bruce Kennedy had served at their board meetings. In recent years, I’d load a large box of trail mix bars in the overhead bin and offer those to my neighbor passengers. First Class passengers get food? More than the “special occasion” peanuts for coach?
    From the home of Burt Rutan’s last garage built airplane… Making progress as he’s “Looking Up, Way Up”!

Comments are closed.