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Dave Morgan

Wot, no books?

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Does anyone have any good suggestions for aviation reading material? I'm looking for anecdotal, biographical or fictional stuff, not text books.In my small youth I borrowed Biggles (don't laugh) from my old man's bookshelf and have just finished David Fiddimore's 'Tuesday's War', which didn't really have enough flying or ground-ops in it. The only other aviation literature I've read is Bob Mason's 'Chickenhawk' documenting his year in Vietnam with the 1st Cav. (Best book I've read in a while).What else is out there, as I'm stuck for a good read? Any walk of life, and any nationality, just as long as it's about flying.D

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Dave,Are you looking for any particular period or type of flying? If not, I can recommend a couple:"Fate Is the Hunter" - Ernest K. Gann"Flying Fortress" - Edward JablonskiAlan :(

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I used to work at an aviation bookstore and during the down time I would read all our books we had. Here are a few of my suggestions:Anything written by Ernest Gann. Some were made into movies by John Wayne. Flight of Passage Rinker BuckNorth Star Over My Shoulder Bob BuckWind Sand and Stars Antoine de Saint-ExuperyThe Starship Diaries Dallas Kachan

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Can't believe it hasn't been mentioned yet!Yeager

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Can't believe it hasn't been mentioned yet!Yeager
yEAH THAT IS A GOOD ONE AS WELL

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..and then there's Paul Brickhill's The Dam Busters. Still in print (Pan Military Classics) despite original publication date of 1951.EDIT: I liked Biggles myself. Especially the WW1 tales, with Biggles on dawn patrol in his Sopwith Camel :(

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I always liked Freefall: From 41000 feet to zero about the Gimli Glider, or Air Canada Flight 143 that ran out of fuel at FL410 and landed on a race track. William Hoffer gets into a lot of detail on the 767 systems and what went wrong on this flight:Freefall: From 41,000 feet to zero - a true story, William and Marilyn Hoffer, Simon & Schuster, 1989 ISBN 978-0671696894

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<< Does anyone have any good suggestions for aviation reading material? I'm looking for anecdotal, biographical or fictional stuff, not text books >>Hi Dave...Ernest Gann's 'Fate is the Hunter' is a must. There's only one snag - you will notbe able to put it down. (..and you will need a hankie after reading a couple ofthe chapters). My family know when I'm reading that one....That is the crown ofaviation books. An excellent biography.Another author of mine - Brian Lecomber. His two books that I have, 'Talk Down'(Where our hero has to talk down a passenger in an Arrow over the UK)and 'Dead Weight' (A Carribean adventure) are brilliant.Down To A Sunless Sea' by David Graham is also one of my favourites - told by a747 pilot in a 'Last 747 flight' searching for a landing strip after a nuclear war.A brilliant tale.'Jetsteam' by Austin Ferguson, although a little dated by now, is a good read.I think that one was the source for the 'Airport' films.That good. original, now very dated, 'Flight into Danger' by John Castle & Arthur Haileyis also a good read. '90 Minutes At Entebbe' by William Stevenson, is a good read, although the aviationcontent is minimal, most of the action takes place on the ground. This was the story ofOperation 'Thunderbolt', the Israeli rescue of hostages.Most of these books have been made into films.Regards0.9nm SW R03 EGOWBill

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Wow!Wot a lot of books. I'll be visiting Amazon and the Book Depository later. They should keep me going for a month or two.Cessnaflyer, what a fine place to work- two of the best things life has to offer under the same roof. Raindance, The only title I was unsure about was 'The Camels are Coming' :( .Thank you all for your suggestions. I'll be putting the shelves up this weekend.Kind regards,D

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DaveIt might not be to everyone's liking, but Richard Bach's 'Nothing by chance', 'Biplane' and 'Stranger to the ground' are good reads. So is Jonathan Livingston SeagullJohn

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DaveIt might not be to everyone's liking, but Richard Bach's 'Nothing by chance', 'Biplane' and 'Stranger to the ground' are good reads. So is Jonathan Livingston SeagullJohn
Thanks for the reminder John. I read JLS and Illusions years ago and had forgotten about Richard Bach entirely. Itinerant ex-service barnstormer must have a few good tales to tell.Regards,D

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Can't believe it hasn't been mentioned yet!Yeager
Was thatBunny Yeager's Pin-up Girls of the 1950sorSelene Yeager's Ride Your Way Lean:Tounge:

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Can't believe it hasn't been mentioned yet!Yeager
That's a personaly favorite of mine as well, along with his sequel to that called "Press On!".I also enjoyed the original Tom Wolfe novel "The Right Stuff" which I enjoyed much more than the movie version, probably due to it going into further detail than what the movie depicted.

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Copied/edited from a message I posted in another forum/site:The Sky BeyondGordon Taylorhttp://www.amazon.com/Sky-Beyond-Air-Space-No/dp/055323949XGot it for 1 $ +shipping via abebooks.Pioneer flights across the pacific from 1933 on. Using nothing but compass, driftmeter and sextant.That man has some stories to tell... (and loads of luck to be able to tell them...)Very well written, should be a delight to read for anybody. To me in the same league as "Fate is the hunter" and "North star over my shoulder". Required reading for anybody even remotely interested in pioneer navigation and pioneer flights. Each of the chapters of this book is like a case study of another pioneer navigation/flight problem. (Spoilers below.)1933 - His first flight across the Tasman sea from Australia to NZ with Kingford-Smith. First flight after self-learning navigation and celestial, that his navigation really counted. And he was quite shaken by unexpected strong crosswinds from N that forced him to apply a wind correction angle of 45°, i.e. pointing the nose of the plane well N of the N tip of NZ, apparently headed for a wet landing. Based on celestial navigation mainly, as night flight. Really have to trust the theory learned, and that this celestial navigation thing really works... But what an experience to find out that it does work indeed! 1934 - First flight across the pacific Brisbane - Fiji - Hawaii - Oakland: On the leg to Hawaii spinning down to the sea due to flaps inadvertently extended. No fuel gauges - so while they thought they were arriving with comfortable reserves in Hawaii, actually they had just a few gal left upon landing due to a fuel leak.1935 - Flight across the Tasman sea to New Zealand:One out of three engines failing, but no problem, managed to keep flying by dumping all cargo and weight overboard. Then second engine loosing oil. Finally they end up doing an oil change in flight, barely managing to keep out of the sea - climb out into the structure in flight on one side to drain oil from the dead engine into a thermos flask, and then onto the other side to fill up oil into the running engine. Repeat till returning to Australia. Incredible...Btw, here's a report of the 1935 incident:http://www.airborne.org/flying/smithy.htm1944 - "Flying for range... and Bora Bora". Flight across the pacific from Acapulco - Clipperton island (weathered a hurricane there) to Bora Bora in a Catalina.Very marginal range and really had to fight to make it. But what a triumph as Mt Otemanu came in sigh. Did I already mention it's a great book, and a great read? ;)Highly recommended.Gunter

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