Punching Holes in the Sky – Scully Levin

(Book Review). A long-awaited book that has been released in time for Christmas reading and as a treasured gift is Scully Levin’s biography: Punching Holes in the Sky. Scully is a living legend in South African aviation. His achievements would fill a book – and so he has. 

As a bright-eyed kid from Pietersburg with the sky in eyes, Scully joined the SAAF at a scrawny 55kg boy aged just 17. He excelled as a pupil pilot, wining the trophy for the best on his course. He earned his wings before his driver’s licence, and then instructed for two years before heading to Wits University to study engineering. Before he graduated he was accepted into SAA as a boy pilot. Scully has gone on to log 29,770 on over 180 different types of aircraft.  

Punching Holes in the Sky is more a series of anecdotes and a memoir than an autobiography. In his foreword to the book, Airlink CEO Rodger Foster writes, “Scully’s achievements in aviation have long been recognised in South Africa. In 2012 he was awarded The Order of the Baobab in Bronze by the Presidency for his contribution to aviation as a pilot and trainer. He is also the sole winner thus far of SA Flyer Magazine’s ‘Lifetime Aviation Achievement Award’.

Last year, Scully was recognised by The Honourable Company of Air Pilots, an international Guild founded in 1929, for his long service and consistently high standards in professional flying. The certificate, approved and signed by a member of the British Royal Family, honours the esteemed few who have consistently displayed qualities of pilotage, air navigation, airmanship and character, bringing honour and respect to the profession.  

Scully Levin in a De Havilland Chipmunk.

In this book – an industry first – Captain Scully Levin brings to life some of his most memorable aviation moments. Part memoir and part autobiography, this essential collector’s item shares some of the highlights of his notable career, spectacular stunts and exploits that have made him a living aviation legend.” 

An inspirational account, Punching Holes in the Sky features anecdotal commentary and technical insights into the many aircraft that Scully has flown throughout his distinguished career. His autobiography is packed with wonderful insights and anecdotes – from flying the Spitfire, to demonstrating an SAA Boeing 747-400 at an English Air show – to pioneering truck top landings in a Piper Cub. 

The book is packed with excellent pictures from the many photographers who have captured Scully’s achievements. It is written in clear accessible language which avoids jargon and successfully navigates the path between excessive modesty and braggadocio.  

Scully’s rich repository of experiences and his love for flying make this book a must-have for anyone even slight interested in flying. As a collector’s item, Punching Holes in the Sky is only available in print. Scully will sign your copy and provide a personalised message – so it is ideal as a gift.  

To order your copy click on this link:  https://form.jotform.com/202162654759056

The cost for a signed copy is a very reasonable R300, including postage to the nearest Postnet.  

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