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New Book by Kevin McDonald Shares Ups, Downs of Life as a Rescue Helicopter Pilot

Author Kevin McDonald turned his passion for flying into a lifetime of fulfillment, thanks to the Navy and a county-run rescue-helicopter program. Dog Ear Publishing reviews his new book featuring stories about his life as a pilot -- working to survive a “Life Inside the Dead Man’s Curve.”

Austin, TX, February 05, 2016 --( Fast-moving water traps a pair of friends in a pickup truck on a bridge. Two cars collide on a remote country road. Law enforcement needs backup chasing a fugitive. The common thread for these scenarios is Travis County STAR Flight, one of the nation’s premier public-safety helicopter programs. One of its retired pilots shares his experiences in a new book released by Dog Ear Publishing.

“Life Inside the Dead Man’s Curve: The Chronicles of a Public-Safety Helicopter Pilot” describes the triumphs and tragedies witnessed by STAR Flight crews as they respond to emergencies -- everything from traumatic injuries and heart attacks to breathtaking rescues. Kevin McDonald’s writing earned the Dog Ear Publishing Award of Literary Excellence, which recognizes books that receive the company’s highest marks from a highly skilled editor.

McDonald recounts how he parlayed his passion for flying into an extraordinary career, first as a naval aviator, followed by 20 years as a pilot for STAR Flight, based in Austin. The book takes readers on an emotional rollercoaster ride, running the full gamut between laughter and tears.

“It was suspenseful, supremely well-written,” Dog Ear editor Christy Phillippe wrote in describing why the book earned the literary award and kept her turning pages until the very end. “I can’t say enough good things about it.”

“Life Inside the Dead Man’s Curve” has also earned compliments from someone intimately familiar with the helicopter’s place in history. Igor Sikorsky, Jr., noted aviation historian and son of the man who invented the modern helicopter, called McDonald’s book “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,” Sikorsky wrote. “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.”

Captain George Galdorisi, USN (ret.), who commanded McDonald when he flew with a Navy helicopter squadron based at NAS North Island in San Diego, wrote that the book “is about what is arguably the most challenging kind of flying on the planet - helicopters engaged in lifesaving missions - and it documents both the triumphs and the heartbreaking tragedies that are inevitably part of the landscape when you’re flying an EMS helicopter.” Galdorisi is also a New York Times best-selling author and wrote the Foreword for “Life Inside the Dead Man’s Curve.”

Author Kevin McDonald, who holds a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, was commissioned into the U.S. Navy as an ensign in 1982. After graduating at the top of his Navy flight school class, he spent eight years flying as a naval aviator, logging most of that time in helicopters. After leaving the military, he became a public-safety pilot for STAR Flight, flying life-saving missions during floods, medical emergencies and fires, among others.

McDonald, now retired, logged more hours, flew more missions and completed more rescues than any other pilot in the program’s history. He and his wife, Nancy, live in Austin.

For additional information, please visit

Life Inside the Dead Man’s Curve: The Chronicles of a Public-Safety Helicopter Pilot
Kevin McDonald
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-4493-4 380 pages $16.99 US

Available at Ingram,, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.

About Dog Ear Publishing, LLC
Dog Ear Publishing offers completely customized self-publishing services for independent authors. We provide cost-effective, fast, and highly profitable services to publish and distribute independently published books. Our book publishing and distribution services reach worldwide. Dog Ear authors retain all rights and complete creative control throughout the entire self-publishing process. Dog Ear Publishing reviews services and other book marketing services are available to connect great content with interested readers. Self-publishing services are available globally at and from our offices in Indianapolis.

Dog Ear Publishing – self-publishing that actually makes sense.
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