Author Archives: Jim Manley

Jim ManleyJim Manley claims two professional passions - flying and writing. He flew instruction, air taxi and air-attack for the US Forest Service before joining MAF. Then he served 17 years in Ecuador as a pilot, radio tech and program manager. He’s also published numerous articles and his first book, Call For News, came off the presses in Dec 2010.

The Water Truck

Early morning, barely light, a high, electronic, belly-dancer tune woke us. Audible first only to street dogs, then faintly for humans, it soon became distinct. Slowly it grew until the too-cheerful-for-morning ditty echoed up the streets that approached our central Asian hotel. When it dominated all other sound, I abandoned our warm bed to peer […]

Life Begets Life

Holding my new, squirmy, squeaky granddaughter reminded me of two flights.

The first flight raced against desolation. A teenage girl, struggling to deliver her first child, lay beneath a tree. Her young husband paced the mud alongside. His eyes darted down to her. Up to the sky. Back to her. The village airstrip, their one connection […]

Humor Me

When I arrived in Ecuador, I quickly learned jungle flying was serious business. Take no maneuver for granted. Attend to every detail. Reject all distractions. Clearly, dire consequence lurked in the shadows, straining to pounce.

That life-and-death-decision environment fostered a single-minded attitude. During the typical 15 minutes at any strip, my inner worrier said I had […]

The Prop and the Pen

A few days ago, I released my second book, Mile-High Missionary: A Jungle Pilot’s Memoir. What a marathon! While writing it, the focus morphed twice, and it bore three different titles. I had so much to say and organize, navigating the labyrinth seemed iffy.

And the writing and the revisions? I loved the topic and the […]

Outposts of Hope

A couple days ago I flew 20 minutes from Nampa, ID to Ontario, OR. I was flying to practice instrument approaches—procedures that guide aircraft to a landing in bad weather. I climbed to 6,500 feet in the clear morning air. Cruising up there gave me a few minutes to review the procedure one more time […]

Life on the Backside of Nowhere

Thinking of the isolated pastors I worked with in the Amazon jungle, I realized a summary of their stories might go something like this:

Pastor Marcus sat on a shaded rock. Bugs sang a sharp, grating song. Calling birds and hooting monkeys punctuated the cacophony from the trees above. He batted the gnat cloud swarming his […]