A Christmas Treat for Aviation Lovers
I’ve done a lot of things in my life. My readers on 321Gold do not know all of them. From 1974 until 1986 I delivered new small planes to destinations all over the world. I mean little tiny, sometimes Cessna 172 size planes, to places from South Africa or Australia or Europe. We would pick them up from the factory, load them with internal fuel tanks and off we went.
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My 243 international trips over every ocean included breaking Lindberg’s New York to Paris record in two different categories, setting a Paris to New York speed record, flying in and winning four different air races. I got a guy across the Atlantic standing on top of an airplane in 1980 and made a flight through the Eiffel Tower in 1984.
Delivering small planes over big oceans was easily the most dangerous job in the world. Every year about ten percent of the ferry pilots were killed one way or another. When I was doing it, the aviation industry was booming with almost 20,000 aircraft manufactured a year. There were never more than fifty pilots in the world at one time who made a living delivering small general aviation aircraft.
Alas, a lawsuit after a preventable accident in 1979 literally killed the industry that used to provide ten percent of US exports by dollar value. I point out in the book that the dollar was dropping so fast for a decade that an owner could buy an aircraft, fly it for five years and sell it for more than he paid for it. For a short period in aviation history owning a small plane was an investment rather than an expense.
I got to fly with some of the best pilots in aviation history as well as a bunch of skirt chasing quasi-drunks barely capable of taking off much less landing safely. I will say that without exception the 5-10% of ferry pilots who were women were across the board more professional and better pilots than the males.
I actually wrote this book about thirty-five years ago and frankly because I am lazy at heart, I never got around to proof reading and editing the book. But both Lulu and Amazon now have the ability to produce a professional looking hardback book for anyone who can create a document file, I finally got off my ass and finished it.
I’ve done about ten books in the last decade ranging from short very funny fiction set in Cornwall for Barbara to serious tomes on combat and investing. This book, No Guts, No Glory, is one that most people interested in aviation and aviation history will find engaging. It’s a great gift for anyone interested in one of the most unusual areas of aviation history.
It’s $19.99 and frankly in today’s world that is cheap for a good hardback. If you wouldn’t enjoy reading an aviation adventure story told by someone who lived it, you probably know someone who would appreciate it.
Order No Guts, No Glory here.