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B-52 pilot Kelly Flinn’s life ‘in limbo’ after writing book

November 25, 1997

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Former Air Force pilot Kelly Flinn says her life is currently ``in limbo″ as she tours the country plugging her new book.

``I don’t have a home right now,″ the nation’s first and only female B-52 pilot said in a televised interview Monday night. ``Right now, I’ve been in a suitcase _ I’m on tour. Some of my stuff is in Georgia, some of it’s in New York and some of it’s in Colorado.″

Flinn appeared on CNN’s ``Larry King Live″ show to plug her book, ``Proud to Be,″ which gives her version of an affair with Mark Zigo, a married civilian employee at Minot Air Force Base, N.D. Flinn resigned in May and took a general discharge rather than face charges in a court-martial on charges of adultery, lying and disobeying an order.

``This is my chance to tell the story without any interference from the media, without any interference from the Air Force, and to tell plain out what happened,″ she said. ``And in that book is the honest blatant truth.″

King also interviewed former Air Force Secretary Sheila Widnall and Gen. Richard Hawley, commander of the Air Force’s Air Combat Command.

Widnall, who has not read the book, was asked if she was angry about Flinn’s decision to write it.

``I guess I’m very saddened by, really, the whole state of affairs, and I think all of us, the Air Force, clearly wants to move beyond this,″ she said. ``And I hope that Kelly is able to move beyond this and basically get on with her life.″

Hawley said he had read the book and offered his opinion.

``It speaks of a young lady who had charted a very difficult course for herself and came aground. She didn’t succeed at it, and that’s too bad,″ he said.

Hawley said Flinn’s downfall was not that she committed adultery but that she lied about it to her supervisors.

``In the military, you’re an officer first, and then you are whatever your specialty is, and you have to succeed as an officer and that’s where she came aground,″ he said.

Flinn’s attorney, Frank Spinner, who appeared on the show with his client, said he is attempting to get her dismissal upgraded to an honorable discharge. The upgrade would allow Flinn to re-enlist in the military, he said.

Flinn said piloting airplanes is definitely in her future.

``Flying will always be part of my life whether it’s with a commercial (airline), whether it’s privately or whether it’s back in some type of military unit,″ she said.

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