book release



Reads like a trial in a John Grisham novel. rich in complexity as it is illuminating, with Captain Mike Simkins laying bare the prescient issues of airline safety we all ought to be aware of. ”

– Justice George W. King

Mike’s already incredible life took a jump into a world so unexpected, it reads like something out of a Hollywood movie. It’s as compelling a story as you will ever read and every word is true 

– Sunday Times Bestselling Author and Queens of the stone age vocalist Mark Lanegan

It’s a wake-up call and therefore, in my mind, every pilot should read this book to fully realize what is really going on in the industry…and what nobody wants to publicly talk about.

– Captain Martin Stork “Cockpit Coaches”

Just read the opening book, cover to cover in one day, I could not put it down, fascinating, revealing and kick-ass brilliant.

– Thomas Cook Captain

“The most fabulous aviation book this year. One of the most phenomenal books I’ve read in a very long time! 

– Karlene Pettit CNN Aviation Consultant. pilot and author


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THE  TRUE STORY OF WHEN one captain refuses to jeopardise his passenger’s safety and stands alone against the entire aviation establishment


This is a true story that the entire aviation industry in the UK and the USA don’t want to be told.

Captain Mike Simkins refused to place his passengers and crews lives in danger when he was instructed by senior airline managers to perform a duty that would have resulted in him operating at the same effectiveness as that of a drunk driver. 

Until now the full details could not be released. However, In a series of three volumes, ‘Pulling Wings From Butterflies’, exposes the damning relationship between airlines, unions, regulators and governments, in both the UK and USA, that allows airlines to ignore legislation that is in place to protect passengers and crew with apparent impunity. 

Collectively, the trilogy of deception pulls back the heavy veil to expose the aviation industry mantra that safety is our number one priority’ for what it is. Nothing more than PR to sell to the uninformed.

two deadly warnings!

Lesson’s will (not) be learned

The series explains how two previous serious safety issues that Captain Simkins had predicted would result in tragedy if not immediately attended to, were ignored by the authorities. Both subsequently resulted in fatal air crashes. Haunted by these failures, this became the underlying driving force at the heart of his efforts to prevent a third.



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“Pepsi will be loaded on this route, not Coca- Cola as this is made by a Jewish owned company.” 


Captain Simkins introduction to the mentality of senior airline management occurred when he became  directly involved in a case where British female cabin crew were ordered to walk behind the men, remove their crucifix and wear the Islamic abaya. His involvement resulted in questions being asked by the UK Government, EU Parliament and demands from the Israeli parliament. Mike has subsequently been approached by Gideon Raff, the original screenwriter for the successful TV series ‘Homeland’ and ‘The Spy’ for the details. 

Nothing, it appears, will stand in the way of airline profit. In the above case, Mike also discovered airline managers were willing to descend to anti-semitism in order to pander to one cultural group over another when cabin crew were informed: “Pepsi will be loaded on this route, not Coca- Cola as this is made by a Jewish owned company.” 



  • Would you allow your family to board an aircraft if the pilot was so fatigued that it was the equivalent of flying at the drink drive limit?

  • What would your reaction be if you discovered, as your children look out from the aircraft window at four thousand feet on final approach, two out of the three pilots in the cockpit were asleep?

  • What is your opinion of a director of an airline, the pilot’s union and the CAA who conclude that it is acceptable for you and your family to be flown at a ‘reduced safety margin’, to allow the airline to be ‘efficient?’

  • Is this the acceptable industry payoff for cheap airfares?

part one - Tercio de varas

The first book in the trilogy begins by following the unique journey of Captain Mike Simkins from touring Europe as a drummer and performing with some of the most prominent musical artists of the late ’80s, to becoming a commander on the world’s most advanced passenger aircraft.

Ultimately, the wings were pulled from the butterfly of a dream career when, Mike stood alone to confront a multibillion-dollar aviation establishment when he refused to place profit before safety.

PArt TWO - Tercio de banderillas

Will the pilot union BALPA and the regulator, the CAA, support a legal case of major significance to the safety of airline passengers and crew? 

What’s the reason unions and regulators allow airlines to have  ‘Cash Cadet’ pilots with zero jet experience pay them to fly fare-paying passengers?

Why do pilots agree to fly when dangerously fatigued that directly places not only themselves but their passengers and crews in danger?

What was the answer from the Thomas Cook CEO to the question ‘did the company put profit before safety’ in relation to two children’s death in Corfu?

How will a pilot with zero legal experience confront a multimillion-pound multinational at trial?

part three - Tercio de mUeRTE

Crews admit that they are knowingly flying duties in the full expectation they will suffer fatigue. They are committing these criminal acts due to the “Bullying” culture at one of the UK’s biggest airlines.

The CAA is provided with irrefutable proof that duty times are knowingly falsified to make it appear they conformed with strictly laid down maximum times and that pilots are flying at the equivalent effectiveness of a drunk driver. Their response? ‘Get over it.’ . 


Thomas cook collapse after 178 years in business

A pilots perspective on the management culture behind the failure



a slow car crash

The eventual collapse of one of the  UK’s longest existing companies, condemning 21,000 to an uncertain future, is also examined within the trilogy ‘Pulling Wings From Butterflies.’

The repeated, apparently self-inflicted critical failings by senior management caused many to conclude, including the author, that their primary consideration was not the competent stewardship of what was one of the biggest UK titians of the FTSE 100, but rather personal financial gain.

At the airline, vicious cost-cutting had manifested itself in an ‘unforgivable lack of crew’. A significant number of pilots had been made redundant, captains demoted and many displaced out of home base.  The result? It was becoming commonplace for crew to fall asleep at the controls.


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71-75 Shelton Street

Covent Garden





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