Travis County STAR Flight, in Austin, Texas, is recognized as one of the premier public-safety helicopter programs in the United States. Life Inside the Dead Man’s Curve is a firsthand account of the tragedy and triumph witnessed by STAR Flight crews as they respond to a myriad of emergencies, everything from traumatic injuries to rescues and more.

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About Kevin McDonald

Link to KXAN interview:

STAR Flight retiree recounts rescues, triumphs in new book

Having received a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Kevin McDonald was commissioned into the United States Navy as an ensign in 1982. Two years later, he graduated at the top of his Navy flight school class and spent the next eight years flying as a naval aviator, logging most of his time in helicopters. In 1992, during the drawdown that followed the First Gulf War, he left the Navy and became a public-safety pilot for Travis County STAR Flight in Austin, Texas.

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The weather was as bad as it had been all day. I looked out through the small, eye-level window in the hangar door, where, in the illumination from the high-intensity lights that surrounded our two helipads, I could see waves of water surging across the concrete. This was going to be the most agonizing go, no-go decision of my thirty-five year flying career.

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“This project was unbelievably good! It was suspenseful, supremely well written, kept me turning the pages till the very end. I can’t say enough good things about it!!!”

Christy Phillippe
The Versatile Pen

“Kevin’s work is a warm compassionate story of helicopters in rescue missions. I only wish my father could have read it, as it brought Father’s passion for the helicopter as an instrument for saving lives into reality. The author spent 35 years and logged more than 11,000 hours of flight time as a naval aviator and public-safety helicopter pilot. Kevin’s is an admirable story of a life well lived.”

Igor Sikorsky, Jr.
Aviation Historian, and son of the man who invented the modern helicopter

“A delightful, informative homage to a life of flight. … Although the prose is consistently lighthearted and even humorous, it also seriously chronicles the palpable sense of risk in McDonald’s profession.”

KIRKUS Reviews