Date Published: 4/25/2019
500 Feet Above Alaska is the story of Peter Connors, a young man who moves to Alaska in pursuit of his dream of becoming a commercial pilot. While the pilots in Alaska are known for their superior airmanship, they are also famous for their disregard of the rules that govern them. Determined to ultimately be an airline pilot in “the lower forty-eight” Peter vows to walk the straight and narrow. Yet, when Peter is the only pilot available to rescue a comrade who crashed in the snow-covered tundra, he is forced to compromise the very ethics that define him. Over time, Peter’s competence begins to overpower his regard for the rules. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, Peter begins a downward spiral. The life Peter had carefully constructed for himself is at odds with the “live or die” flying of Alaska. Over the course of a year of doing battle with the elements on a daily basis, armed only with his plane, his wits and his skill to bring him home every night, Peter must decide whether it is more important to embrace life or cheat death.
About the Author
Robert M. Brantner is currently working as both a captain and a line check airman for a major US airline. He started his flying career as a bush pilot in Alaska, which later led to a job as a pilot for Trans World Airlines. He spent four years with TWA before he landed his dream job, working for the airline he flies for today.
Bob was born in Southern California and attended high school there before heading to Arizona for college. After graduating from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, he moved to Alaska when he got his first flying job as a bush pilot. During his time in Alaska, Bob first tried his hand at writing, penning a memoir on his experiences flying Cessnas in the untamed Alaskan wilderness.
All throughout his flying career, Bob continued to write. He penned several (unpublished) manuscripts. It was after Bob's completion of Claus: The Untold Story of Kris Kringle, that he decided to work with his younger sister (and editor), Taylor Brantner, on cleaning up the story until it was fit for publication. After some success with Claus, Bob dug out his previously edited (however, unpublished) manuscript of Five Hundred Feet. He teamed again with Taylor and re-edited the material.
Bob is a certificated Airline Transport Pilot and is type rated in the Beech 1900, Boeing 737, 757, 767, Airbus A320 and the DC-9. He is also a rated Flight Engineer. He also holds a commercial sea plane rating that he obtained in his time in Alaska.
Five Hundred Feet Above Alaska is Bob's third published book. He wrote the afore mentioned Claus, as well as My Year as an Alaskan Bush Pilot, a non-fiction account of some of his experiences flying in "The Last Frontier."
Bob is married to Kelly Kaczka Brantner and they have one daughter, Madison, and a dog, Fergus. They live just outside of Annapolis, Maryland.