To my readers: Back to the love of flight!

Leland Shanle, Jr.

LCDR (Lieutenant Commander) Leland Shanle, Jr., 1998, Naval Air Weapons Test Station, Point Mugu. The aircraft is a McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II.

When I started a few years back, my goal was to host a site for my novels that are based on my love of aviation in general and WWII in particular. I wanted to share my experience through aviation-themed books. The reality of the airline industry forced me to seek a back-up plan.

Any writer can tell you there is little money in the written word; most of us do it because we are drawn to it. As I moved back into flight test, aviation consulting, and producing documentaries, the content of 7A has been convoluted. In fact, the scope of 7A has expanded to the point that the original goal has been lost.

Eleven years ago, after a career in the Navy, I was hired by a major airline. We were told, “Congratulations, you won the lottery!” All the major airline pilots had that same euphoric feeling once hired. I started writing as a hobby and was fortunate enough, after years of trying, to get published by Pen and Sword Books LTD.

The “airline lottery ticket” turned out to be a forgery and as the industry melted down, most pilots — especially the First Officers — were forced to augment their pay to support families. Houses were lost. Families fell apart under the economic pressure. There was never any good news and still isn’t. The only ones to flourish were upper management and Wall Street.

Nothing has changed. So I, like the others, was forced to start a business on the side.

A funny thing happened recently: I fell back in love with aviation. Returning to flight test, surrounded by people who loved aviation and wanted to move it forward, instead of exploiting it for personal gain, was rejuvenating. Melding that with doing documentaries on the work was icing on the cake!

With two friends, I incorporated Broken Wing LLC. All technical and industry postings will move to our site at, where they belong. will return to it’s original mission: that of putting forth the joy, hardship and reality of flight through words.

F-4 - Chip Shanle, pilot

F-4 - Chip Shanle, pilot

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2 comments on “To my readers: Back to the love of flight!
  1. Rick says:

    It’s a bit difficult to understand your change in direction here. I for one, and I think others, appreciated your opining on current events in aviation, particularly as it concerned aviation safety. Your dialogue regarding aircraft, airline practices, crew behavior, and convergence of inicidents leading to catastrphic incidents has been very informative. It appears you may be going in a different direction….so we’ll wait to see what that is and comment later when there is something to comment about. We wish you the very best with your ongoing efforts and interest in the momentum of Project7Alpha blog. Best,

  2. Chip says:

    Hi Rick;

    I will still do the industry/safety/crew comment posts. They will just be on a different site; it has a link here on 7A at the top. I thought the content more appropriate there. Brokenwing LLC was incorporated last year; all of the side stuff I have been doing finally started gaining so much momentum I had to divide my company for tax and liability reasons.

    Brokenwing recently landed a large contract for a documentary; it is still under wrap at this time but hopefully more will be announced this summer. We have already generated follow on projects and thus with splitting my company I also started a new website for it.

    Long/short: originally this site was started to get my book out there and as a site dedicated to the love of flight. I’m currently on my fourth book, and as they are published will tie this site to them.

    My interest in aviation (and side jobs) caused me to move 7A away from it’s initial purpose, getting my book publicity and generating sales. In fact recently my IT manager, LaVonne, pointed out the more hits I got the fewer books I sold. In flight test the in-disputable “one for one correlation”!

    So we decided to move everything but the literature and “Sea Stories” to the proper place, will be for those who want to read about flying, especially historically based from the cockpit articles.

    Everything else, including new stuff on aviation in the entertainment industry and more on flight test written by my partners, will be moved to an easy click away.

    As a successful businessman yourself you know you have to target your audience. I hope you like both sites. chip