Of Austro-Hungarian origin, Gerhard Heilig arrived in England in December 1938 as a teenage refugee from Nazi persecution. After completing his education he joined the Royal Air Force and was trained as a wireless operator. He completed a tour of duty with Bomber Command in 1944, followed by service with a transport squadron in the Far East until his release in the spring of 1947. He then entered civil aviation, gaining his commercial pilot’s licence in 1954 and his first command three years later. At the end of 1964 he took up a tempting offer by Austrian Airlines and moved back to his native Austria. His fiction and non-fiction books are inspired by his aviation experiences and international travels.