I want to tell you about a man I am proud to call my friend.
One of my great pleasures over the last year is getting to know Lyle Prouse and learning about the man, his experience, his unwavering character and amazing story.
I met Lyle late in 2010 at a conference. He expressed interest in the book I had just released and was curious about the process. After the conference we kept in contact and finally Lyle decided to self publish his memoir. I decided to help him do just that.
The release of Final Approach: Northwest Airlines Flight 650, Tragedy and Triumph, is the culmination of that effort.
First off the name may be familiar to some of you. If you recall the news out of Minneapolis on March 8, 1990. A Northwest Airlines flight crew had been arrested after their incoming flight landed at the gate. The charge — flying while intoxicated.
Lyle became the butt of jokes in Jay Leno’s monologue. The media firestorm was relentless.
It was the worst day of many soon to come for Lyle. This remarkable story of courage, perseverance, patience and honor, stands out as a testimony that a man can dig deep within and find the strength to get through even the most devastating of consequences.
The book digs into Lyle’s earliest years growing up Native American in Wichita, Kansas. It follows Lyle as he graduates high school and enters the Marine Corps as a young private. His journey from infantry soldier to fighter pilot officer is an almost unheard of circumstance.
Final Approach details his Vietnam experience, his discharge and subsequent employment with Northwest Airlines, the arrest, the trial, the prison stay, his climb back to the cockpit and ultimately a presidential pardon by Bill Clinton.
Through it all Lyle’s journey of self-awareness, acceptance and spiritual awakening, says that a man equipped with a good dose of reality about himself and his circumstances can face anything with resolute faith and family support.