Flying can be a dangerous pastime, especially when stunts are involved. When the Pilot Falls is not without an element of danger in addition to elements of friendship and romance.
It appears to be an attempt to cause Estie, a wingwalker, to fall from the plane, fortunately Willie figures out what the other pilot has in mind and moves away from the stunt – getting herself fired. She goes home to the family farm but her heart is in the air, not in working the farm. With her father’s encouragement she takes the job Hugh offers her and follows her passion to fly. She ends up a Hollywood stunt flyer.
Readers will follow Willie’s path from a Flying Circus to the family farm, from the farm on to stunt flying in Hollywood. After an accident Willie heads east on a quest to find Hugh back. Her quest takes her into the underworld of illegal bootlegging.
April Hayman did extensive research in early aviation, female aviators, prohibition and more. She has woven her research into a well-written, interesting novel with a female heroine who combats illegal alcohol runners to save the man she loves. While the majority of When the Pilot Falls focuses on Willie and Hugh, there are secondary characters of interest as well. Estie and her family are ones who deserve their own story in the future.
I haven’t read any of Hayman’s books before but look forward to reading more of her work in the future.