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Thread: Good book for those who have time to read

  1. #81
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Anne,

    In reply to your earlier question, yes, Bud (Harmon) Helmericks is still alive and well, and in Fairbanks, as is Jim Magoffin. If you're looking for one of Jim's books, try one of the usual sources, and if you can't find one, let me know at mvivion@mosquitonet.com, and I'll call Jim and see if he can send you one. He is a real gentleman.

    Roy Mason's book, Ice Runway, and anything by Ernie Gann, are great books. I'm currently reading Ken Eichner's book, Nine Lives of an Alaskan Bush Pilot. Ken started Temsco Helicopters, in Ketchikan. He's done many interesting things in both fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

    Want some serious reading on "bush" flying, of a more contemporary nature, read Jack Broughton's Thud Ridge, and Going Downtown, or Richard Drury's book, My Secret War, for some interesting insights on the Vietnam war and operations in Laos.

    Mike Vivion

  2. #82
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    books

    You can get Flight of Passage (one of my all-time favorites) at closeout price from Bookcloseouts.com http://www.bookcloseouts.com/bc/disp...154&rid=annals

    I think $3.99 plus shipping

  3. #83
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    Stewartb, no-one claimed these books were great literary classics, just enjoyable reading. I've learned a lot about flying and about different parts of the world by reading. When I can't go flying, I like to read about flying. Way better than cleaning the house.

    Anne.
    Baloney is still baloney, no matter how thin you slice it.

  4. #84
    StewartB
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    Anne,
    I agree some are good. Maybe I overstated the bad side, but some are just plain bad. I heard how good "Fate is the Hunter" was, so I bought it to read on an airline flight. That was one long flight. I also must disagree with Mike Vivion's inferral that Don Sheldon was wreckless or careless. It seems the chances he took were usually justified by someone needing help, which he was willing to provide. Maybe those feats were embellished upon in the book. Doesn't matter. We know he was a good pilot. Better yet, he seemed to be a good man. That's a good way to be remembered.
    SB

  5. #85
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    A little off the aviation topic, but "Minus 148 Degrees" is a great book. It's about the first winter ascent of Mt. McKinley. Whether you like to climb or not, you have to respect what some people can endure. It'll make you think twice before complaining about cold fingers, or wet socks. And, it won't put you to sleep.
    SB

  6. #86

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    Re: Books, and their authors

    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion

    Greiner did a great job of writing in Wager With the Wind, but there are others who flew McKinley (and do today) and never wrecked an airplane. Sheldon wrecked something like 29 airplanes in his 30 years of flying. That's not a very profitable program, but makes for news stories. Nonetheless, Greiner's book is a masterpiece of skilled writing.

    Mike Vivion

    Sheldon may have been hard on his equipment but he never killed anyone and saved numerous lives. A lot of McKinley pilots only wreck once...

  7. #87
    mvivion's Avatar
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    For the record, my comment wasn't intended to detract from Don Sheldon's record for assisting climbers in distress. What I SHOULD have said, is that there are a number of folks, Cliff Hudson and George Kitchen for a couple, who flew the mountain for many years, pulled off as many rescues, never bent an airplane in the process, and never had a book written about them, so nobody ever heard of them.

    There are guys out there, working these things every day, who never broke one, and have done and are doing some fantastic things with them. That I find remarkable. Stuff happens on occasion, and an accident needn't be the end of the world, but the folks who go out there and work the edge a good bit without having to be rescued themselves a lot are the guys I'd like to fly with.

    And, maybe you have to be in the right mood for Gann's Fate is the Hunter. Another book of his I liked is Gentlemen of Adventure, which is more or less an autobiography. There's a guy who did a lot of stuff over the years, as well.

    Mike V

  8. #88
    StewartB
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    Mike,
    You're right about Hudson and the others. And that reminds me of Don Bowers and the other unlucky ones.
    I wish somebody would sit down with Roberta Sheldon and write a book. Bob Reeve's daughter. Don Sheldon's wife. Think she's got a few stories, or could repeat a few?
    SB

  9. #89

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    Roberta Sheldon has written a book, The Mystery of the Cache Creek Murders. I haven't read it but I'm sure it doesn't quallify as aviation reading. I'll bet she would have some great stories.

  10. #90
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    Or, stop in Talkeetna and visit with Jay Hudson, Cliff's son, who still flies the mountain on a regular basis. There are lots of stories there.

    And, yes, Don Dawson's accident was a real loss. It does happen, and this, of course, is the essence of Gann's Fate is the Hunter.

    Dang, there I go on Gann again.

    Sometimes the guys who grind it out day after day are the ones we never hear about. There are more than a few of them in Alaska,

    Mike V

  11. #91
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    Speaking of Don Bowers... Before Don was killed on Denali he had started to write a book on the history of the Iditarod Trail. I had the opportunity to edit and review the first chapters. It looked as if it would be a terrific book. Unfortunately he never got to finish it.

    He did write two books that I have enjoyed. "Back of the Pack" is his story of his quest to run the Iditarod. He knew he would never be competitive, but he just wanted to finish (He did twice). He flew for a number of years with the Iditarod Air Force and was later elected to the Iditarod Hall of Fame.

    The book Don is probably best known for is the Alaska Airmen's Association Logbook. If you fly in or to Alaska its full of useful information. I think that Don could have authored that elusive "good" book on bushflying, but somebody else will have to try.

    BTW if anyone is interested in the history of the Iditarod a new book is out "The Cruelest Miles" by Gay and Laney Salisbury. It is very well written and full of lots of stories you never heard. They certainly did the research. If you have an interest in the Iditarod, its a good story.
    Mike

  12. #92
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    I forgot to reference a book written by Hal Terry, called "How to fly the Wild, and stay alive".

    I think it is only available from Hal, since it's self published. It is a bit difficult to read, but he gets very deep into bush flying techniques, and I haven't found a single thing I'd disagree with him on.

    Not sure if his e-mail is still valid, but it was hal@terryaviation.com

    You can order the book from him direct. I've forgotten the price, but it's worth it. Just don't expect an easy read.

    Mike V

  13. #93
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    Flight of the Red Beaver: A Yukon Adventure by Larry Whitesitt is a great book.

  14. #94
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    Wanted:

    Found it...

  15. #95
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    While we are in the Wanted mode I'm looking for Peter Bower's book "Piper Cubs". Loaned mine to someone yet no one has it. Great book with a section on the military Super Cubs. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  16. #96
    JMBreitinger's Avatar
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    great books on flying

    Great thread. A lot of my favorites are on the list. A few that I did not see:

    Tony Kern's book "Redefining Airmanship" is a must read for any pilot. Once you get through Stick and Rudder, this one should be next. He presents a holistic model for what it takes to be a pilot together with the tools to achieve the desired level of professionalism. The whole book is wonderfully illustrated with case studies of both successes and failures.

    The other two in the series "Flight Discipline" and "Darker Shades of Blue" are good too but not as good.

    For any low time pilot "Killing Zone" is an important book. The things that are going to hurt us are utterly predictable and this book presents a plan to train through the critical first 350 hours.

    "Mountain Flying Bible and Flight Operations Handbook" by Sparky Imeson.

    "True North" by George Eickson is a fun story of his flight in a 90 HP PA-11 on straight floats from Ely, MN to Alaska and back criss-crossing all of western Canada.

    Another travelogue that was a good read is "Zero Three Bravo: Solo Across America in a Small Plane" by Mariana Gosnell

    "Bush Pilot Angler" by Lee Wulff is a memoir of what it was like pioneering the great Atlantic Salmon fisheries in Labrador and Newfoundland.

  17. #97
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  18. #98
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    Just finished a good book called "Old Soggy No. 1" by Hart Stilwell and Slats Rodgers. Takes place in Texas in the 20s and 30s. Boot leeging liquor and all kinds of other stuff out of Mexico. Flying Jenny's, Standards, swallows and al kinds of other old birds. Pretty entertaining with lots of wild stories.

    This thread has been dead for a while and thought some might add to it. I am always looking for a good book.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  19. #99
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    Since we're getting into vintage stuff, bootleggin' and the like....The Last Barnstormer by Guy Jones. Great little autobiography of Guy Jones, a bootlegger and barnstormer in central Kentucky and Tennessee during the Golden Age. One of the best stories is his account of having two Waco 10's painted up identically. He would park one at a prominent airport and fly the other up into Canada to grab some booze. His family farm still stands in Danville, KY. The goldfish pond had a secret room cut in underneath of it only accessible by removing the statue in the middle of the pond, and his grain silo had a secret tunnel to his chicken coop where he kept a still. Both of these structures are still intact and present on the farm. Pretty cool. The neat thing for me is that Guy Jone's brother was my Scoutmaster in Boy Scouts.

    Guy went on to legitimize himself and ran several FBO's in the central Tennessee area up through the 60's and 70's.

  20. #100
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    Slats did the same thing with two Hisso powered Standards. He too later legitimized himself and was one of the first dusters in the Rio Grand Valley in South Texas. I will have to get "The Last Barnstormer" as I am originally from Tennessee and enjoy reading about the Golden Age where everyone did as they pleased.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  21. #101
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    Steve, if you can't readily find it PM me.

  22. #102
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    good books

    Anyone read No Visible Horizon? It was new last summer. Unbelievable flying stories and some thoughtful stuff on why we all fly. It is beautifully written.

  23. #103
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    SuperCub.org Book Club

    Just finished Winging It by Jack Jeffords. Great read, great stories.

    Recommended.

    And Steve Pierce, I have the Pete Bowers book if you wanted to borrow.

  24. #104
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    Clay, Thanks for the offer. Actually Pak sent me a copy.

    Been reading "Back to the Barrens" by George Erickson. Good book by the author of "True North".
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  25. #105

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    Books

    "Last of the Bush Pilots" by Bud Helmericks has always been right at the top of my list. I believe that it has just come back in print and can be found on Amazon. And no discussion would be complete without Saint-Exupery's "Wind, Sand and Stars".

    On the the used market sometimes you can find some other books By the Helmericks about Alaska life way back when.

    Dan

  26. #106
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    Delete...duplicate post...

    John

  27. #107
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    A couple of good ones that have "cycled" through here lately are:

    Success on the Step..... C. Marin Faure... the story of Bob Munro and Kenmore Air Harbor.

    Ragwings and Heavy Iron... Martin Caidin.... not all necessarily "bush" flying, but some definately is! I think this is about the 4th time I've read this one, and it's as good as the first.

    John

  28. #108
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    Just finished Flight of Passage by Rinker Buck. It's a story of two brothers, age 15 and 17, who in 1966 fly a PA-11 from New Jersey to California with map and compass. A great story of their coming to age with each other and their Dad who taught them to fly. Jim

  29. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by J5Ron
    Been reading a good book, FLIGHT OF PASSAGE by Rinker Buck...It is a story about two young men, 15 and 16 who in 1966 flew from the east to the west coast...Great read! Wonder if they are still flying cubs?

    Ron

  30. #110
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    best books

    Try the Canadian book "Blow Pots & Bent Props"/ It covers the late 1920's through the 30's bush flying in the Canadian North...It was written by someone who was there with his tool box and camera.....

  31. #111

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    Good book for those who have time to read

    I read Bent Props It's a good read.

    Bill

  32. #112
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    Being a SC.org Newbie and poking around the site, I'll throw in my 2 cents on this one. My favorite? Climb For The Evening Star by Tom Mayer. Being a round engine biplane guy, too, this book does it for me with some good Staggerwing adventures in Mexico, plus bush flying in a C180 South of the Border. Look for it at half.com...Can't go wrong.

    Gonna' be looking for The Last Barnstormer.

  33. #113
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    Sounds like a good book. I'll have to get that one. I have read some interesting stories from south of border.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers

  34. #114
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    If you want one that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and really doesn't have a darn thing to do with flying, it is "Lone Survivor" by Marcus Luttrell. Its a true story written by the "lone survivor" of a Navy Seal mission that goes terribly wrong. Its in Afghanistan and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Unbelievable what these guys go through. They are some tough SOB's.

  35. #115

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    great reads

    Moondogs Academy of the Air by Pete Fusco

  36. #116

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    WAGER WITH THE WIND

    I AM 56 AND STARTED FLYING WHEN I WAS 15. MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY HAVE GIVEN ME FLYING BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS AND I HAVE PURCHASED MANY MYSELF. DON'T REALLY HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MANY I HAVE READ ON DIFFERENT TOPICS. IF YOU OWN A SUPER CUB YOU REALLY NEED TO READ WAGER WITH THE WIND. I AM READING IT AGAIN NOW. IT IS JUST AS GOOD AS THE FIRST TIME.

  37. #117

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    My Life of Adventure by Norman D. Vaughan is a good one. Not directly flying related but Col. Vaughan had a hand in aviation off and on for most of his life.

    Among other things.....He went to Antarctica with Admiral Byrd. He was involved in the rescue of the downed airmen of the Lost Squadron in Greenland in WWII and the subsequent recovery of the P-38 "Glacier Girl". He ran the Iditarod into his 80s. .... and a lot more.

    I enjoyed it.

    Keith

  38. #118
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    Sure enjoyed Richard Bach's "Biplane" and "Nothing By Chance" even was acquainted with some of the characters in "Chance"

  39. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce
    While we are in the Wanted mode I'm looking for Peter Bower's book "Piper Cubs". Loaned mine to someone yet no one has it. Great book with a section on the military Super Cubs. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    HA! Pierce, I am that special someone that has your Bowers book. I wonder what the fine is for having it for like 5 years...

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  40. #120
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    I'll second "Nothing By Chance". Its right at the top of my BEST list along with "Fate is the Hunter" by Gann. They are the two books that together say everything for me about flying how it was, and how I often wish it could still be.

    Great video documentary of the journey was made of the same name. Lots of footage of Bach, "the" Jack Brown, and the rest of Richard's merry little circus that summer in the midwest.

    We have a VHS copy somewhere in the family, am always looking for it on DVD if it ever turns up.

    I had a great conversation about Cubs last year with Mr. Bach and his wife. They are really great folks and still very energetic and flying a lot despite his age.

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