Local Pilot Publishes Book About His ‘Canine Wingman’ – Mount Vernon, VA Patch

This Q&A feature helps readers learn more about Mount Vernon area residents working in our business community. This week’s Q&A profiles Randy Plante, Captain, MD-80, 140-passenger aircraft with American Airlines and new author.

Randy, who has flown planes for American Airlines for 21 years, recently wrote and self-published his very first book, “My Wingman Oliver. A Book About A Pilot and His Loyal Companion.” It’s a humorous reference guide about searching for, and adopting a shelter dog, as well as details about he and Oliver’s adventures during their first year together in Alexandria. The book was published in November 2011 and recounts how Plante initially became interested in adopting a dog — after attending a doggie happy hour at the Hotel Monaco on King Street in Old Town. In the book, he describes the process he went through to eventually end up with Oliver. The book also includes stories about the duos’ adventures together in dog-friendly Old Town with its 20 dog parks, doggie happy hour, dog bakeries, a canine cruise and restaurant with a dog menu. In addition, the book functions as a reference guide for people considering getting a dog, including a top 10 list for the dog adoption process, as well as a check list of supplies for new owners.

Growing up in Syracuse, NY, Randy moved with his family to the Hagerstown, Maryland area during his college years. He attended the University of Maryland, where during his senior year, he was the cadet commander of the university’s 235-cadet Air Force ROTC detachment. After college, Randy became a pilot in the Air Force and flew the F-111 fighter jet on two assignments. American Airlines hired him in 1991, and one year later, he joined the Air National Guard. He received an Air Medal for serving on a two-week tour during the Bosnia War, flying missions into Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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