Broken Wings: A Flight Attendant's Journey
Nattanya Anderson

Synopsis

Nattanya Andersen's cherished career as a flight attendant careened to a halt when a mid-flight engine explosion in 1988 left her with a condition diagnosed as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Classified as "an incident" that narrowly missed becoming a full-fledged aircraft disaster, the explosion claimed no lives, but its aftermath slowly eroded Nattanya's physical and mental health to the point where she could no longer fly. Unwilling to become "earth-bound," Nattanya valiently fought to regain her wings.

PTSD in aircrew is little understood by the medical establishment and, as Broken Wings illustrates, the airline industry has little to gain and much to lose from even acknowledging or relating the disorder to aircrew. Devoid of self-pity, Nattanya chronicles her struggles and her triumphs in dealing with governments, union and industry blockades, but it is a book that offers more.

Through her research, Nattanya exposes rare data on aircrew health concerns, which are inextricably interwoven with her own story and illustrated by personal accounts. Broken Wings explores other health issues deeply affecting professional flyers including: turbulence; air rage; radiation exposure; circadian rhythm disturbances; flight phobia and anxiety; alcoholism and psychiatric illnesses in air crew; air quality and quantity; and airplanes as disease incubators. Readers will be rivited by the revealing data about pilots, interwoven with inflight anecdotes, and insights into aircrew lifestyle.

For the first time, a professional flyer offers us insights not ony into PTSD, but into the airline industry, and some of it most serious failings when it comes to the health and safety of its inflight workers and its clients.

 

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