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"From the Sandbox to the Clouds"

Bob McDaniel grew up hanging over the airport fence. His dream of flying began as a child in a sandbox and propelled him into the clouds. This true story chronicles his journey from a Cessna 150 to supersonic flight and back, covering military operations in war zones and peaceful flights at thirty miles per hour in a powered parachute. His civilian career is covered from his early days working as a lineboy to pay for his flying lessons, to his current position as director of one of the busiest reliever airports in the nation.

This is a flying story, a war story, and a bit of a love story, as it illustrates the sacrifices required of military families. This entertaining autobiography will inspire others to dream what may seem impossible, to believe they are achievable, and to reach out and fulfill those dreams.

Click here to download a preview in .pdf format.


Soft cover print edition (ISBN 978-0-9854948-0-3) available from:




E-BOOK EDITION NOW AVAILABLE AT:
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ISBN: 978-0-9854948-1-0

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Colonel Robert L. McDaniel, USAF (Retired)

Bob McDaniel is an adjunct instructor for St. Louis University Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology; is the founding director of AeroCareers, a not-for-profit organization focusing on aerospace education and mentoring; and is the Young Eagle program coordinator for EAA Chapter 64.

Bob flew his first solo flight on his 16th birthday and began working as an airport line service technician that same day. For the next six years he gassed planes, cut grass by the runways, repaired runway lights, and worked in the airport administration office to earn money to continue his flying lessons.

After earning his commercial pilot’s license and receiving his degree in Aeronautical Administration from Parks College, he continued his flying career in the Air Force. After 4 years as a T-38 Talon Instructor Pilot, he was assigned to the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter flying worldwide airlift missions.

During his tenure as a C-141 Instructor and Examiner Pilot, Bob served as Bob Hope’s pilot for his 1990 USO Tour and flew Presidential support missions and numerous combat support missions in Panama and Operation Desert Storm, the Persian Gulf War. During the last several years of Bob’s military career, he focused on establishing airport operations around the globe.

He led the first U.S. troops into the former Yugoslavia, now Bosnia and Croatia, directed humanitarian relief operations into the former Soviet Union, transformed the derelict Mogadishu, Somalia airport into the busiest airport in Africa, and directed other vital air hub operations at major international airports around the globe. Bob’s many military decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal with six oak leaf clusters.

After a 25-year Air Force Career, Bob returned to civilian airport management as director of Texarkana Regional Airport and later returned to the birthplace of his aviation career as the director of St. Louis Downtown Airport. Retiring from full-time employment again in 2014, he continues to be an active flight instructor, frequently flying youth on “Young Eagle” flights in his Cessna and his powered parachute. He is also involved in many aviation and community service organizations.

Bob received his Masters Degree in Management from Webster University and is a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives. He is married to his high school sweetheart and they have one son, an airline captain for JetBlue.


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