Jerry Foster, the recipient of the Harmon Trophy—the highest civilian honor in aviation—has written about his career in a stunning new autobiography Earthbound Misfit.
What began as a job reporting local traffic conditions in a helicopter, evolved into an amazing, high profile career spanning 30 years working for three different television stations in Phoenix. The book covers Foster’s humble beginnings, his uncharted rise through television and news history, his public struggles with the FAA and life after 20 years in the business.
His early association with the FAA as a dual-rated instructor and chief pilot of the first search and rescue organization, the Ames Project, in addition to his availability to several law enforcement agencies, allowed Foster to assist with hundreds of rescues and recoveries. Foster often became the story as a result of his fearless missions. He loved his job. He was helping save people 24 hours a day and getting paid to talk about it on TV.
Foster was part of many firsts in aviation—search and rescue, helicopter technology, and broadcast news. He was the first, for example, to broadcast live from a chopper which helped shape the news industry into what it is today.
Foster made mistakes on the ground. His failures have been highly publicized and widely scrutinized. Like any other person who has achieved great things, he picked himself up and kept moving forward.
More like Hollywood movies, the stories prompted chopper wars among the local stations. Foster’s mission was to be first on the scene and was never more than 20 minutes from his chopper at any given time. As a result of his countless rescues, it made him one of the most recognizable TV personalities in the country and earned numerous broadcasting and aviation awards.
Earthbound Misfit is a great read, told from the man many called a hero, a cowboy and a reckless danger to society. The book is available on Amazon and Foster has been promoting his book at local book signings throughout the Valley. More information is available at www.sky12.tv.
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