Robert F. DeBurgh was born and grew up in the northeastern United States. From a very early age his entire life has been dedicated to aviation, from flying airplanes himself as a professional pilot to writing about the people who fly them.
His first recollection of flight is sitting on his aunt’s lap in the front seat of an open cockpit biplane flown by his uncle at the tender age of five. He learned to fly at age fifteen and obtained his commercial pilot and flight instructor certificates at eighteen.
After completing his military service he returned to college and obtained graduate degrees in psychology, sociology and education and a master of arts in psychology, supporting himself and paying his tuition by doing what he loved best, flight instruction and writing about aviation. His writings have included aviation and sports car columns for several newspapers, many articles for American and foreign magazines, short stories in the realm of adventure, science fiction and fantasy and much poetry. He has also worked as associate editor for “American Roadracing Magazine.”
At the present time he writes articles for “Indian Aviation Magazine” and several
magazines and is the author of the widely acclaimed novels, Riders of the Wind and Winds of Fate. In each of these novels DeBurgh has woven a tale of high adventure set against an accurate background of actual historical events. US
Robert DeBurgh has served as captain for three overseas airlines and has sojourned widely in the
US, Canada, Central and South America, Asia and Africa. For the past seventeen years he has served his country in the capacity of a pilot examiner for the Federal Aviation Administration until his recent retirement. He still flies regularly and does some advanced flight instruction for airline transport pilots and flight instructors. He resides in the southeastern US with his wife of twenty-five years and his three dogs.
His new novel, The Winds of
Kunlun Shan, due to be released in the autumn of 2012, is the third book in the Riders of the Wind series.
Books by Robert DeBurgh
His new novel, The Winds of
Books by Robert DeBurgh
Riders of the Wind
Riders of the Wind is set in the turbulent times of the nineteen twenties and nineteen thirties. It traces the lives, loves and adventures of six people through this heroic era in aviation.
Loosely based on the life of airmail and airline pilot, Charles A. Cross, Jr., the tale is told in the language and spirit of the times. The book graphically portrays the adventure and romance of flight in the pioneering years before World War II, taking the reader into the cockpit with the airmail pilots battling the night through horrific weather and with the route survey pilot in the wilds of the Amazon. It guides the reader through the speakeasies of the prohibition era, the depths of the depression and ultimately to the Eagle Squadrons in the Battle of Britain.
Told in very human terms, the story also portrays the courtship and deep abiding love between Charlie Cross and his wife, Doretta and the friendship and camaraderie in the world of aviation in that era.
Excerpt from Riders of the Wind
Charlie was lost; there was no doubt about it. He was not disoriented nor was it his imagination he was definitely lost. He had left
Newark two hours ago bound for on a night express mail route in an unfamiliar airplane on a run he had never flown before over terrain that was unknown to him and unfriendly to say the least. He should have known better. The plane was an almost new Boeing model 95 with a wingspan of 45 feet. It was powered by a Pratt and Whitney Hornet engine that had been making strange sounds since he had left Elmira . The rattles and clanks he just put down to not being used to Pratt and Whiney engines. Newark
Without warning there was a great gout of flame from the exhaust that lit the whole underside of the aircraft followed by a streamer of heavy smoke. The engine died with a clanking rattle, seizing solid with the prop stopped in a horizontal position. Charlie knew the signs; a connecting rod had let go. His grip on the control stick tightened and his heart rate jumped a hundred percent. He didn’t panic but went through the engine out procedures as if it were a practice drill. He began a gliding descent until he finally broke out of the overcast at three thousand feet only to see by the dim light that mountains surrounded him. He had descended into a narrow defile between ridgelines and most of the mountain peaks were now above him. Looking down he could see nothing but trees and he was approaching all too rapidly. “Oh Hell, there’s no place to land this thing, just stall into the treetops straight ahead I guess.”
Time had seemingly slowed to a crawl and a thousand thoughts raced through Charlie’s mind, At that instant something seemed to touch him on his right shoulder and he turned to see what it could be. As he did he spied a small clearing that looked to be within gliding distance but as he turned toward it he saw that it would be too close and too short.
“Well, I can’t do anything about the short but I can sure do something about it being too close.”
He slammed the stick to the right and the rudder to the left, putting the biplane into an all-out sideslip. He dropped like a stone kicking the plane straight just before he touched down at the edge of the clearing. It bounced once and slewed sideways. Charlie kicked the rudder to straighten out his course toward the far edge of the field. He thought, “Too short, and too damn fast.”
The aircraft plowed through the drifted snow, throwing plumes high into the air. Just before they reached the trees at the far end of the field the landing gear struck something buried in the snow. The wheel broke off, spinning the charging plane around to the left so the right wing was the first part of the ship to hit a tree. The wing snapped off like a twig to the accompanying sounds of breaking wood, tearing fabric, and the screech of rending metal. The headlong slide of the Boeing came to an end with the side of the fuselage against a tree. Charlie’s head snapped forward on the first impact, smashing against the instrument panel. He never felt his lower leg snap or the piece of steel tubing that penetrated his calf.
Except for the muted hiss of falling snow, silence once again reigned in the tiny valley.
You can purchase Riders of the Wind from
Winds of Fate
Winds of Fate is by definition a war story but it is much more. The novel follows Colonel Charles Cross from the security of the civilian airlines to
China, Burma and India as a civilian Air Force Service Pilot flying the deadly Hump missions over the Himalayas and supplying the Allied Forces in Imphal during the Japanese siege of that city. Winds of Fate also accompanies Doretta Cross into the world of the Women’s Airforce Ferry Service (WAFS) and the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) and into deadly danger herself.
Winds of Fate is a novel filled with adventure, wartime action, humor and a bit of mysticism, yet it is also a love story; a story of a man and a woman who find each other amidst the thunder and chaos of war and the hope they embrace for a better future. Major events portrayed in the novel are actual historical events and many characters are based on real people.
Winds of Fate is for all who are interested in aviation, history, romance, or for that matter, anyone who simply likes an exciting read.
Excerpt from Winds of Fate
Excerpt from Winds of Fate
Suddenly they heard the “pink-pink” of bullets holing the fuselage and the right engine began to trail smoke. This was followed by an explosion that in normal circumstances would have been deafening. It did not come from their aircraft however, but was behind them. Charlie looked around in time to see a huge fireball where the other C-46 should have been. In place of a whole airplane there was now nothing but flame, smoke and slowly falling debris. Charlie was too busy trying to fly his own aircraft to say anything but he thought, poor bastards, they must have been carrying avgas.
After a moment one of the Japanese fighters pulled up on their right wing close enough so Charlie and Tyler could see the wide grin on the pilot’s face. By this time there was a Jap fighter on their left wing as well and one flying some distance away, pacing them. Briefly Charlie thought of turning sharply to the right and ramming the Jap pilot, but he would be risking the lives of
and the radioman as well as his own so he continued straight ahead. The Jap pilot grinned and waved once more, drawing a finger across his throat in a cutting motion. He then turned right in a vertical bank and all three Zeroes sped away and were soon lost to sight. Tyler
growled at the receding enemy aircraft. “Come back some other day and we’ll fry your bacon.” He shook his fist at the departing fighters. Tyler
The reason that the zeroes had left so suddenly soon became apparent as a flight of three shark mouthed P-40s pulled up next to the struggling C-46 and wagged their wings. Charlie mumbled cynically, “Better late than never,” even though he well knew that the Flying Tigers gave them the only protection available to the Hump crews.
You can purchase Winds of Fate from