Looking for a pilot in the southwest

Update: Drat. It really looks like this is going to be impossible. Thanks to everyone who wrote in with offers and suggestions, but it just won't happen. Sorry about this — and sorry, New Mexico, I tried!

If you caught last
month's post
on my upcoming tour in February for Homeland,
the sequel to Little
, you'll have seen that I'm meant to be speaking in
Albuquerque, NM on the evening of Feb 11, and in NYC on the morning of
Feb 12. This turns out to be a nearly impossible trick to pull off,
because the last red-eye out of Albuquerque airport to New York on the
night of the 11th departs at 1930h, too early for me to do any kind of
event at the store in Albuquerque.

On the other hand, there is a slightly later flight out of
Phoenix that would work, but there's no way to get to PHX in time to
make it… Unless you happen to be or know a pilot who wants to help
out by zipping me from Albuquerque to Phoenix that night. I can offer
a signed
super-limited edition of my short story collection With a Little
, a signed copy of Homeland, and a $100 donation
to the southwestern library or literacy charity of your choice in return. Tor will also pick up your fuel costs.

Unfortunately, the alternative is canceling the Albuquerque stop,
which I really don't want to do. I've never been to Albuquerque, and
was looking forward to it, especially since I know that the nice folks
at Alamosa

really worked hard to get me in. It's a long shot — everyone else was
ready to give up on this when I suggested trying to find a pilot. But
the southwest is full of retired pilots, and it's the kind of big sky
country where hobby fliers sometimes congregate, so I thought it'd be
worth a shot.

Are you game? Please email my
, Patty Garcia. Please use the comments below to let me
know if I've overlooked another possibility, but please keep in mind
that the morning event in NYC can't be moved, and neither can the
event the day before. In other words, this is the only night
I can appear in Albuquerque, and Alamosa is the only place I can appear.

One more thing, and it should go without saying: I can only accept a ride from a qualified pilot with an up-to-date license and an airworthy, certified aircraft, and we reserve the right to gratefully decline your offer if we're even a little uncertain about either of these facts. I promised my wife I wouldn't risk my life on this tour.

(Image: Stearman Bi-Plane, Jack Herlihy, Pilot, 1929, PA1968.1.39, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from abqmuseumphotoarchives's photostream)