The Live Drop

Air America Pilot Neil Hansen Drops Some Hard Rice about the Secret War in Laos

March 25, 2020 Neil Hansen Episode 32
The Live Drop
Air America Pilot Neil Hansen Drops Some Hard Rice about the Secret War in Laos
Chapters
The Live Drop
Air America Pilot Neil Hansen Drops Some Hard Rice about the Secret War in Laos
Mar 25, 2020 Episode 32
Neil Hansen

My guest Neil Graham Hansen began his aviation career as a pilot for Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa. He then spent more than a decade in Southeast Asia as a captain for Air America - the CIA's airline that operated during the Vietnam era and the 'Secret War' in Laos. Upon returning to the States, unable to let go of the thrills of high stakes flying, his career trajectory veered off course into a Federal prison for smuggling narcotics - where he began his redemption as an advocate for his fallen Air America colleagues.

Neil talks with me about the history Air America (the world’s most shot-at airline) that could go anywhere anytime, especially where military wasn’t allowed.  He talks about his relationship to the customer - the CIA, and he clarifies the daring, diverse, and patriotic culture of Air America pilots and crew.  Look for him to explain terms like: sticky brick, blackpearl, hard rice, the customer, and five-dollar turns.

Neil has recently written a great book FLIGHT with co-writer Luann Grosscup – An Air America Pilots story of Adventure Descent and Redemption.

This historical aviation narrative incorporates the pathos of a war zone, humor, and candid insight. Neil pulls the reader directly into the cockpit, onto dirt mountaintop landing strips, into the raunchy brothels of Laos, alongside his first toddling steps into Buddhism, aboard the plane he flew out of Cambodia hours before it fell to the Khmer Rouge, down the road of self-destruction and beside him as he regains a foothold on the path to integrity.

Neil's tireless in telling the story of Air America’s heroes. His appearances are currently subject to confirmation, but look for his presentation at:  AIRVENTURE in Oshkosh, WI

Other links and resources mentioned:

Air America Historical Social Club

Flight Facebook Page

Air America, by Christopher Robbins

Experimental Aviation Association

Veteran’s Channel

Flying Men Flying Machines

Episode 032

Show Notes

My guest Neil Graham Hansen began his aviation career as a pilot for Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa. He then spent more than a decade in Southeast Asia as a captain for Air America - the CIA's airline that operated during the Vietnam era and the 'Secret War' in Laos. Upon returning to the States, unable to let go of the thrills of high stakes flying, his career trajectory veered off course into a Federal prison for smuggling narcotics - where he began his redemption as an advocate for his fallen Air America colleagues.

Neil talks with me about the history Air America (the world’s most shot-at airline) that could go anywhere anytime, especially where military wasn’t allowed.  He talks about his relationship to the customer - the CIA, and he clarifies the daring, diverse, and patriotic culture of Air America pilots and crew.  Look for him to explain terms like: sticky brick, blackpearl, hard rice, the customer, and five-dollar turns.

Neil has recently written a great book FLIGHT with co-writer Luann Grosscup – An Air America Pilots story of Adventure Descent and Redemption.

This historical aviation narrative incorporates the pathos of a war zone, humor, and candid insight. Neil pulls the reader directly into the cockpit, onto dirt mountaintop landing strips, into the raunchy brothels of Laos, alongside his first toddling steps into Buddhism, aboard the plane he flew out of Cambodia hours before it fell to the Khmer Rouge, down the road of self-destruction and beside him as he regains a foothold on the path to integrity.

Neil's tireless in telling the story of Air America’s heroes. His appearances are currently subject to confirmation, but look for his presentation at:  AIRVENTURE in Oshkosh, WI

Other links and resources mentioned:

Air America Historical Social Club

Flight Facebook Page

Air America, by Christopher Robbins

Experimental Aviation Association

Veteran’s Channel

Flying Men Flying Machines

Episode 032