Kent State alumnus turns journals into aviation memoir

Elizabeth Randolph

 A  Kent State alumnus has written a memoir that details his life in the world of aviation.

Fred Tribuzzo said he wrote “American Sky” after he worked as a pilot in northeast Ohio for more than 30 years. Tribuzzo said, that during those years, he wrote in journals about his flying experiences.

“The memoir wasn’t something I was working on as a project for getting published at first,” he said. “I would observe and take note of things during my career.”

Tribuzzo also said he attended Kent State for two years, but has lived in the area his entire life. During his time at Kent State, he studied journalism and only took a few aerospace courses, even though he said he has always had a love of flying.

“I knew that I loved flying since I was a little kid, when I would try to jump off of my garage roof with an umbrella and make paper wings,” Tribuzzo said. “I didn’t go through Kent State’s aerospace program. I wouldn’t start flying until 1976, about six years after I left Kent.”

Isaac Richmond Nettey, associate dean of the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, said Tribuzzo asked him to review his book in an email request.

“I read the book while traveling overseas, so it was easy to read it on a long international flight to Nairobi,” Nettey said. “When we got to Brussels, I used the Wi-Fi in the club lounge to send the review back before finishing the trip to Nairobi.”

Nettey said there were two aspects of the book that he enjoyed the most.

“I enjoyed the rich detail it provides about aviation and flight activity in northeast Ohio, as well as his details about flying smaller airplanes in particular,” he said. “What I also found interesting was his own personal journey of coming here to Kent and then learning to fly on his own. It’s rich storytelling through aviation.”

Tribuzzo said the book will be released to the public April 15. He said his intent wasn’t to write a book specifically for those with an interest in aviation.

“I wrote the book for a general audience, not just for pilots,” Tribuzzo said. “There is a lot in there that pilots will appreciate, but I think it also has an inspirational tone to it.”

Junior aeronautics major Vaughan Vincent said he will be interested in reading the book once it’s released.

“He went to Kent, so his aspirations probably align with my own,” Vincent said. “I’m a student pilot right now, and I want to become a pilot in addition to an air-traffic controller.”

Tribuzzo said he hopes that this book will show the importance of recording life and career experiences.

“Unless you have a photographic memory, which I don’t, you should always write and record things,” Tribuzzo said. “It doesn’t have to be anything earth-shattering but just to get that human dimension would make it so much better.”

To find out more about Fred Tribuzzo or to pre-order “American Sky,” visit the Fred Tribuzzo website at

Contact Elizabeth Randolph at [email protected].