Thursday, August 01, 2013

New Book “Modified Flight Plan”: Triple-Amputee Pilot Brian Thomas


SPRINGFIELD — Lincoln residents, Lisa Kovanda and former Springfield resident Brian Thomas released a new book, “Modified Flight Plan,” chronicling Thomas’s recovery from an illness that left him a triple amputee. The authors will be signing copies of the book at Norm’s Liquor in Springfield on Saturday, Aug. 10, from 2-4 p.m. Copies of the book will be available to purchase at the event.  

Most 16-year-old kids joyride in Daddy’s pickup. Not Brian Thomas. Instead, you found him out buzzing the football team in Daddy’s airplane. Flying was his life. Both of his parents were pilots. His older brother was in the Air Force. And Brian couldn’t imagine himself as anything but an aviator.

That is, until the bleeding disorder he had battled since he was 2 years old sidelined him. After several failed chemotherapy treatments, Brian opted for a potentially disease-curing, but risky spleen removal. After more chemotherapy, he regained his flight status, but was left with an altered immune system.

In April 2009, Brian left his job at Duncan Aviation, where he is an aviation mechanic, to go home with what he thinks is the flu. Four hours later, he was comatose and on life support. His hands, feet, and face developed gangrene. Ten days later when he woke up, he faced the prospect of becoming a quadruple amputee. Surgeons saved his left hand, but he faced a long road to recovery and regaining his life.

The book is available for purchase at in both print and Kindle versions.

A book trailer video for “Modified Flight Plan” is posted at

Brian is a member of the Nebraska Writers Guild, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), Experimental Aircraft Association, (EAA), Cessna Owners Association, Pilots of America, Aircraft Maintenance Technicians Society (AMT Society), and is a Certified Peer Visitor with Amputee Empowerment Partners.

Brian is the son of Ray and Trish Thomas of Springfield. He is an graduate of Bon Homme High School of Tyndall and Lake Area Technical Institute of Watertown.

Lisa Kovanda is the current President of the Nebraska Writers Guild, Municipal Liaison for the Nebraska: Lincoln, and Nebraska: Elsewhere regions for National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo, and an active member of the Nebraska Writers Workshop, Local Muse, and a charter member of the Nebraska Film Association.