Robert J. Serling

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Robert Jerome Serling (March 28, 1918 – May 6, 2010) was an American novelist and aviation writer. Born in Cortland, New York, Serling graduated from Antioch College.[1] He became full-time aviation editor for United Press International in 1960. His novel The President's Plane Is Missing was made into a 1973 made-for-TV film starring Buddy Ebsen. He was the older brother of screenwriter and The Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling.[2] He received the 1988 Lauren D. Lyman Award "for distinguished achievement in the field of aviation and aerospace journalism."[3] He died of heart failure on May 6, 2010 at age 92.


Title Published ISBNs Notes
Air Force One is Haunted 1993 978-0312900298 Sequel to The President's Plane is Missing, again featuring President Haines
Something's Alive on the Titanic 1990 Library of Congress 90-37467 None
Wings 1978 Paperback: ISBN None
The President's Plane is Missing 1967 Paperback: ISBN None
She'll Never Get off the Ground 1971 Paperback: None
The Left Seat 1966 Paperback: Library of Congress 66-12219 None

Aviation Books[edit]

Title Published ISBN Notes
The Probable Cause 1960 Doubleday & Company, Inc. Library of Congress 60-15194 "Behind every airline crash there is a mystery that must be solved."
The Electra Story 1963 Doubleday & Company, Inc. Library of Congress 63-7715 American Airlines Flight 320
Braniff International Airways Flight 542
Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 710
Eastern Air Lines Flight 375
Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 706
Character and Characters: The Spirit of Alaska Airlines 2008 Documentary Media LLC 978-1-933245-11-9 One chapter describes investigation of Alaska Airlines Flight 1866


  • Was a United Press International, Washington, DC, reporter and manager of Radio News Division, 1945–60, aviation editor, 1960–66; air safety lecturer and consultant, beginning 1966.
  • Received numerous honors of his work throughout his career: Trans-World Airlines, seven awards, 1958–65, for aviation news reporting, Strebig-Dobben Memorial Award, 1960; special citations from Sherman Fairchild Foundation, 1963, Flight Safety Foundation, 1970, and Airline Pilots Association, 1970; Aviation/Space Writers Association, James Trebig Memorial Award, 1964, special citation, 1967, award in fiction, 1966, for The Left Seat, and in nonfiction, 1969, for Loud and Clear.
  • Collected commercial airline models (more than four hundred during his life) and material on aviation research.
  • Member of the Society of Air Safety Investigators and the Aviation/Space Writers Association
  • Brother Rod Serling hired him as a consultant for the airplane sequences in the episode "The Odyssey of Flight 33" of his hit TV-show The Twilight Zone.
  • Something's Alive on the Titanic and The President's Plane Is Missing are fantasy novels set in real life high-profile backdrops.
  • Was a reporter for the Washington Redskins. Travelled with the team and roomed with quarterback Eddie LeBaron.
  • Authored the short story "Ghost Writer" published in Twilight Zone: 19 Original Stories on the 50th Anniversary.
  • Featured speaker at 2008 Airliners International convention in Dallas, Texas.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Henry, Bonny (September 24, 2006). "Love of aviation led to seven-decade writing career". Associated Press Newswires. 
  3. ^ "Robert Serling to receive 1988 Lauren D. Lyman Award". Aviation Daily. vol. 295, No. 3. January 5, 1989. 

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