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View Full Version : "Fate Is The Hunter"...Ernest Gann.


Ex FSO GRIFFO
29th May 2008, 06:16
One of my favourite authors from 'way back'.
I have thoroughly believed and enjoyed his narratives of his flying experiences from 'those days'.

I used to give a copy to some of my flying students to read as part of their 'history' of aviation, as well as the educational / entertainment value.

And of 'The Numbers'......

His story telling style has gripped my attention, and allowed me to relive his experiences.
His story about his 'near miss' with the Taj Mahal is compelling reading.

With the advent of 'Google Earth', I have been searching the globe for some of those locations of interest, and though I have found Agra and the Taj Mahal, I am unable to locate the airport so described.

"...Agra is fantastically endowed. There is a border of dark green trees along the northern side, and just beyond the trees there is the Jumna River which eventually joins the Ganges. Almost on the shore of this river, otherwise alone in its incredible and mysterious beauty, stands a monument to love - the Taj Mahal. Its dome and delicate minarets are just visible beyond the trees for the runway points at them straight as a cannon. any aeroplane taking off in this direction therefore becomes a projectile, .....It is easy to manoeuvre away from an object so small as the Taj Mahal....."
Page 213 in my copy.

Can any reader please advise the location of this airport?
Obviously, it is no longer where it once was - from the 'Google Earth' pics anyway.
Any details would be appreciated.

Cheers:ok::ok:

peterpallet
29th May 2008, 08:50
Wonderful book by a wonderful man ( alas now dead)

He was able to put you in his mind, and give you an understanding of what it took to be a pioneer mail pilot. ( And wartime and luxury airliner pilot) And I read a review he did testing the U2 spyplane, unfortunately I can´t remember what flying mag., it was. If anyone can point the way to this article I would be grateful.

I have bought 5 copies of the book and each time I have lent it and not got it back!!!!!!!!! Obviously the borrowers also thought it was a great book. I have a new one sitting on my bookshelves now though, and it´s not for lending

Can´t help you with the Taj Mahal airport but thought I´d put my tuppence worth in here.

Pinky the pilot
29th May 2008, 08:55
Can't help you either I'm afraid, Griffo. But I also have a copy of the book, in pride of place, not five feet away from me in my bookshelf.:ok:

Just my two cents worth.

PLovett
29th May 2008, 09:32
I have a very vague memory that the airport referred to in the book has been closed for the very reason Gann expounds. As well as the "obstruction" on takeoff I think there was also a risk of confusion between the civilian airport and the military one that Gann refers to. However, as always, I open to be corrected on this.:}

Certainly on the only ocassion I have been to Agra (and not seen the Taj Mahal as transit pax only) I recall the airport we landed at was nowhere near the building.:sad:

Brian Abraham
29th May 2008, 11:21
Ganns account does not stand up to scrutiny. He relates the take off is made to the north, then crosses the river and then over the Taj Mahal. A look at a map of Agra will show it can’t possibly be so. Don Downie in his book “Flying the Hump” has a aerial photo of the Taj Mahal looking towards the river (taken during the war) and there is nothing but farm land on the other side of the river. In the book he says “Though it (Taj Mahal) was too far from the airport to be an obstruction, it was almost always buzzed by sight seeing crews.” The airfield was a major US base for the overhaul of aircraft, engines etc of aircraft flying the hump and was taken over by the Indian Airforce in 1947. I strongly suspect the current airfield is a continued development of the wartime field given the substantial infra structure that would have been in place at the end of the war. Gann has made other errors in his books (inflate life jackets before ditching – High and the Mighty) and since “Fate” did not come out until 1961 we can perhaps put it down to faulty memory or literary licence.
And I read a review he did testing the U2 spyplane, unfortunately I can´t remember what flying mag
I think there may have been an article in the American "Flying" magazine. He did write a book "The Black Watch" which is mostly about the U-2, and a little SR-71.

rojread
29th May 2008, 12:13
Ernie and the U2

The article in American 'Flying' was when they gave him a ride in one of the NASA research aircraft. The memorable factoid was his description of crossing the airport boundary, after take off, at 38 000'. It was entitled 'Dragon Lady - 13 miles up' and was in the June 1980 edition'.

His tales with a tyrannical captain in his early airline days hit home with
many of us and were very true to life.

peterpallet
29th May 2008, 14:45
Thanks rojreadfor the info on the U2 in flying magazine.

It´s not in their archives but maybe someone has a copy lying about somewhere and can let us have a scan of it ???????????

Peter

Ex FSO GRIFFO
1st Jun 2008, 06:41
[B]G'Day 'PINK' /B] et al,

Many Thanks for the responses.
My problem / query was that I could not orientate the description of the AGRA story in the book, with the actual orientation of the Taj Mahal, being located on the SOUTH bank of the river, and Gann says he flew over the dark green trees located on the Northern side of the field, over the river and (Voila!) there it was!

Additionally, I have found what I thought was his 'Bluey-West One' which I think may now be BGBW, Narssarssuaq, at 61Deg09N, 45Deg 25W.

(Yeah, I know, its a quiet a Sun arvo, and I have just got home from goal umpiring @ the 'grandies' footy - under 11's & I'm bored...)

Don't get me wrong - I love the man's style of writing and have found his story to be compelling reading - but, this just did not 'add up', and I was looking for other input, hoping he had simply got his N & S mixed up.

And yet he gives so many other historical / factual references, that to doubt him seems.....not nice!:confused:

However, it seems to be that there is some 'confusion', so I guess I will leave it at that, and keep on enjoying 'retirement'.
Thanks again Guys, & nice to hear from ya 'Pink'.

Best Regards,
Griffo:ok::ok:

Brian Abraham
1st Jun 2008, 07:03
The Airfield at Narsarsuaq was first built by The American Ministry of Defense as an army airbase. Construction began 6. Juli 1941, and the first aircraft landed 24. January 1942. The airbase with the code name ” Bluie West One ”
http://iserit.greennet.gl/bgbw/contact.html
Have sent a message to the Manager of Agra airport as I'm intrigued as well. Will let you know the answer if I get one. Agree Gann is one hell of a writer and if he has erred it does not detract from the tale. Saint-Exupery had the red (nav) light on the right and the green on the left.

Davaar
1st Jun 2008, 07:07
I did not think there was any doubt that Bluie West One and Narsarssuaq are one and the same.

Almost forty years ago I was in the right-hand seat of an Aero Grand Commander from the USA to the UK via Canada, Greenland, and Iceland. As we aproached Greenland from the West we were looking for a radio beacon on an island off-shore. Beyond the island was a choice of fjords and we selected one, flying between the mountains on both sides. It all seemed famliar. At one stage we saw a wrecked ship to starboard and the feeling of deja vu grew stronger and stronger. Then I recalled that I had read all about this ten years before, in Gann's book. I read not long ago that the wreck has since been removed.

The fjord and the aproach end with a bit of a twist left then right and what I recall as an island in the middle. Whatever, it is certainly a hill. We came in low over the hill, the sheep as interested in us as we in them, and there was the runway. From the hill we could see the near end, but not the far end. "Finals" was a dip down the side of the island, over the ice-floes, and then to the runway. To the right of the runway is a mountain; to the left is a mountain; off the far end is a glacier and a mountain. The runway ran from the water to the foot of the glacier. Take-off was in the opposite direction, with a climb over said island.

As I write this I am looking at the photographs I took going up the fjord and to the runway. They are a bit faded now, but if I knew how I would post a few here. I believe I need some kind of "program" to do this.

Ex FSO GRIFFO
1st Jun 2008, 07:13
Thankyou for that Brian.
Muchly appreciated.

When I started doing this 'plotting' I just used 'basic data' of DC3 type range / speed and his description of the route in, and BW1 was one of the first I thought I had located. Now, you have confirmed it.
I'm NOT going ga-ga.but, I CAN feel it coming on sometimes....
Thanks again.:ok::ok:

Ex FSO GRIFFO
1st Jun 2008, 07:16
And a big thanks top you too Mr 'D',

If you work out how to do those photos, they would be a 'sight to see'.

Regards,
Griffo:ok::ok:

Brian Abraham
1st Jun 2008, 10:12
Bluie West One/Narsarssuaq
http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m56/babraham227/n.jpg
http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m56/babraham227/n1-1.jpg

Davaar
1st Jun 2008, 10:34
That's the place! So it was an island on the approach. We had to do a steepish cimbing turn to port immediately after take-off (downhill).

pranged
2nd Jun 2008, 07:10
Thanks to B.Abraham for those pics.

My father flew C-124s into BW1 in the early '50s. He also flew B-24s in the war. His Greenland stories are a hell of of lot scarier than his war stories!

Now picture yourself at that same landing field at 200 ft ceiling with less than a mile of vis and you at the controls of a four engine recip with one out and skosh fuel, picking your way up the fjord with only a radio range for navigation.

Sheet... I'm lucky to have been born!



Anyway, when I expressed an interest in aviation many years ago, my father passed me his copy of "Fate is the Hunter". I am still grateful.

Brian Abraham
6th Jun 2008, 02:07
Ex FSO GRIFFO - No answer from Agra thus far, and not really expecting one. Have found a few old maps on the net and I'm convinced that the airport has always been in its current location. On the attached you see the 3rd Air Depot is at the location of the current airport and since they were overhauling the aircraft/engines etc it sort of stands to logic that the airport was located there. Note that the area on the other side of the river to the Taj Mahal was out of bounds. I suspect the "Air Landing" area at the bottom may have been a paratroop area as other maps show the area to be too confined to be an airfield.
http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m56/babraham227/agra.jpg

BombayDuck
6th Jun 2008, 07:48
All I can say Griffo is that though Agra does have an airport, it is nowhere near the Taj now. So what existed then is history.

The current airport is almost due west of Agra; and the existing runway points NE-SW. Maybe it was re-configured to avoid pilots going smack into a few tonnes of marble.

Interesting tale, anyway. :)

busroute47
25th Oct 2009, 04:17
I suppose I may be late...
just read Fate is the Hunter, and googled Gann to know more about him.
came across this thread; then went to Google Earth.
I see something that could have been an airfield, 6000 ft, 6 nm East from the Taj Mahal, mostly in line (08/26); trees to the north, along a river...
Coords: 27°11'15.04N, 78°09'41.36E.
what do you think?
marc

MTOW
25th Oct 2009, 04:46
Anyone care to comment, in these days of CRM, on his story of the training captain lighting matches under his nose as he shot an instrument approach in IMC conditions almost to the minima?

I seem to recall him saying something along the lines of "it would be xx years before I saw those matches flaring under my nose again" (i.e., thanking the training captain) and I think he was referring to a very marginal approach into Bluie West One.

Um... lifting...
25th Oct 2009, 07:35
My copy of FITH is out on loan (what am I, mad?) but I seem to recall that quote was along the lines of: "...it would be many years before I would see Ross' matches again... and I would know their worth."

I always drew the impression that the fateful replay of that day was the spiraling descent into Stevensville (?) through the hole in the clouds with a fire in the baggage hold... but that's just my impression. Perhaps I am mistaken. The book forces you to draw your own conclusions, perhaps that's part of why we all seem to go back to it time and again. Gann, I think deliberately, leaves a lot of things open-ended, which makes a great deal of sense in a book that ultimately is not about flying, but is about fate.

I've never much thought about the Agra incident, I just took it at face value. There are so many extinct airfields around the world that became obsolete as airplanes grew larger and real estate more expensive that it's never really crossed my mind where that airport might have once been.

Tmbstory
25th Oct 2009, 09:18
It is still the best aviation book written and will remain so.

Tmb

Rainboe
25th Oct 2009, 09:41
Something in Gann's book is eerily true in my experience. It's about that Stephenville episode. In a long career flying, I have been struck how many times I have been flying over solid cloud cover, and there may be a single hole in it, and you look down into it, and recognise unique features and can place exactly where you are. It can be a point of land, special coastline, particular hill or mountain, airport or city. Bang- you have your exact location instantly. Little hole in the cloud- there's Ayers Rock! It's weird. If I remotely believed in spiritual rubbish, I would almost put it down to that because statistically, it should not happen almost every time. But it does.

Maybe I've been flying too long and I know the whole world too well!

ZEEBEE
25th Oct 2009, 10:24
Err Rainboe, How many times have you been caught above cloud ?

Sure it wasn't those diesel fumes you've been sniffing ??:}

SyllogismCheck
25th Oct 2009, 11:03
Not disputing what you're saying, Rainboe, simply curious. Could it be that many more holes in the cloud which reveal only featureless sea or land simply don't register due to their insignificance, whilst those you mention leap out at you and hence stick in the mind?

Um... lifting..., I took the matches to link to the spirralling descent during the hold fire, too. The implication being that the value of Ross teaching Gann to cope with additional distractions when already in a tight spot was then realised.

Tankertrashnav
25th Oct 2009, 11:18
Had to check my copy, and yes it was the Stevensville incident (correct, Um...lifting). The chapter is titled "A Hole - So small, but of exquisite design".

And I concur, it's a brilliant book - too many aviation books are written by aviators who cant write or writers who've never flown. Gann was a master of both arts.

Anyone who wants to read it can buy their own copy - I'm not lending mine out!

Discorde
25th Oct 2009, 13:18
'Fate' is No.2 on my favourites list. No.3 is 'The Sky Beyond' by Gordon Taylor. It describes his pioneering trans-ocean flights in Catalinas just before, during, and just after WW2. Finding remote islands using only celestial nav. Brilliant writing, a little more poetic than Gann's no-nonsense style. During one flight in a three-engine Fokker, Taylor repeatedly risked his life transferring oil from a failed engine to another which was losing oil, climbing out of the cabin into the slipstream to do so. For his bravery he won a George Cross. The book has been out of print for many years but occasionally copies turn up on eBay.

No.1 on my list is 'Spirit of St Louis', which most aviators will know of. Lindbergh was a flawed character (who isn't?) but it was this book, written in the present tense for added immediacy, which propelled me into aviation 42 years (and 20,000 hours) ago. I'm retired from big planes now, but even in a humble single-engine piston I still look down at the world and think: 'what a privilege to be up here'.

Brian Abraham
25th Oct 2009, 13:23
Must confess to having found holes of exquisite design on two occasions. Once in a 182 and the other with eight Hueys. The latter the most interesting being in the bad lands with little fuel.

Rossian
25th Oct 2009, 13:33
...is it in FITH or did I read it somewhere else? that they would wind out the trailing HF aerial wire until the lead ball weights on the end of the wire were hanging 60ft below the a/c. They then pressed the TX button while the PNF watched the aerial current meter. If the balls touched the water the aerial was earthed and the current meter dropped to zero, and height adjustments were made. Not the favourite version of "radio altimeter" I'd imagine.

The Ancient Mariner

There was a tendency for trailing aerials to weld themselves to the exit tube if struck by lightning. One was then left with maybe a couple of hundred yards of steel wire and a fair weight of lead balls all ready to tangle with the airfield boundary fence on landing. I once watched a Dutch Neptune landing at Bodo in this condition. The wire bounced forward and draped itself into the reversing props with a screeching noise audible from a mile away. NOT happy days!

Tankertrashnav
25th Oct 2009, 13:39
You get cloud in Australia, Brian? Thought the sun always shone there ;) Or as the 8 Hueys suggest, was this somewhere further North? Yes Rossian, that is in FITH - descending through the clag inbound to Reykjavik.

Re-reading the chapter referred to above (what a time-waster PPRune is) I thought it might be worth quoting the opening passage:

" To suggest, even by inference, that Captains should be given sole credit for moving a multi-engined aeroplane from one place to another, would be the ultimate in strutting dishonesty. Each man in the crew has his manifold duties and unless he performs them well, the Captain is sorely tried".

Couldn't have put it better myself :ok:

stickandrudderman
25th Oct 2009, 14:00
I've asked this question on here before....
What was the arrow in the snow for?

parabellum
25th Oct 2009, 14:37
During one flight in a three-engine Fokker, Taylor repeatedly risked his life transferring oil from a failed engine to another which was losing oil, climbing out of the cabin into the slipstream to do so. For his bravery he won a George Cross.




This rings a bell with one of Kingsford-Smiths flights. Only recently a close examination of debris in the engine losing oil showed minute fragments of a vacuum flask interior, the actual vessel used to transfer the oil, and so reinforced the story which, in some circles, was met with disbelief at the time.

Um... lifting...
25th Oct 2009, 15:25
I used to give a copy to some of my flying students to read as part of their 'history' of aviation, as well as the educational / entertainment value.

Me too. I wonder what the clerk at Amazon thought when I ordered a couple dozen copies. All gone now, except my dog-eared one... which I need to have returned... last time I lent the b*stard something, he had the bad form to have his house get hit by a hurricane.

...is it in FITH or did I read it somewhere else?

It is, though I forget the exact sequence of when it occurs. It's either before they get to BW1 or before Reykjavik on the subsequent flight after the pies. I think it's the latter, actually.

What was the arrow in the snow for?

Gann never felt he should ask, so I suspect the answer's been moldering below ground these many decades now. Though I've wondered the same.

pigboat
25th Oct 2009, 19:27
Re the arrow in the snow.

That incident was made into a book The Island In The Sky. The first aircraft to land successfully at Lake O'Connor was a Barkley Grow of Canadian Airways. I can't remember the pilot's name, but the engineer with him was Pete Midlege. Pete later became Chief Engineer at Hollinger Ungava Transport and remained in that post until his retirement in the 1980's. Lake O'Connor has disappeared, becoming part of the reservoir of the James Bay power project.

Wiley
26th Oct 2009, 02:09
I've just recovered my precious copy from storage and passed it on to my son (probably the only person I'll loan it to).

I have to say I am amazed how many of the younger generation of airline pilots haven't read the book. (I must have recommended it to twenty or [many?] more FOs over the years.)

I always recall a fighter pilot friend who, upon returning my copy to me, admitted (for a knuck) the unadmittable: "OK, I can see now there's a bit more to trash hauling that I realised."

Great book.

-----

And parabellum, Taylor was Kingsford Smith's engineer on the trans Tasman flight when he did the thermos transfer of oil. As I recall, they'd shattered the prop on one of the trimotor's wing engines and were burning a lot of oil on the remaining two with the higher power settings that were required to stay airborne. Taylor did repeated climbs out to the dead engine, filling his coffee thermos with oil, then out to the operating engine to top up its oil. Seriously gutsy stuff. I can't recall if he needed to do anything about the centre engine. (It's oil filler cap may have been marginally more easily accessible.)

Some years ago, an Australian TV crew did a mythbusters-style programme supposedly 'proving' that it was impossible to do what Taylor did.

JimR
26th Oct 2009, 02:20
Fantastic book. I did lend mine out once and actually got it back! After reading the horror stories I won't be doing that again.
Yes, life is strange; I too have had unexplainable coincidences (not necessarily flying) that have saved my ar.... Pre-destined ..... who knows?

Um... lifting...
26th Oct 2009, 03:22
There is a new edition in print... softcover, I have just discovered.
I've just returned from the bookstore where I pre-read some of Sullenberger's book (it's about what I expected, some slightly personal stories interspersed with more in-depth airline stuff... he strikes me as someone who would be more comfortable talking about his professional than his personal life). I'll probably buy it for the former rather than the latter.
On the way out I just happened to see on a table some copies of FITH. Inside the covers it looks just like mine, but the outside has a half-dozen photos of Gann at various stages of his life. I'm picking one up for my loanee for Chrimbo... which he doesn't get until I get mine back.

Taylor did repeated climbs out to the dead engine, filling his coffee thermos with oil, then out to the operating engine to top up its oil.The coffee must have been enough to make one's hair curl.

V2-OMG!
26th Oct 2009, 05:15
I recently checked out the two-disc collector's set of The High and the Mighty. The High and the Mighty is a 1954 drama starring John Wayne, based on Ernest Gann's novel.

I didn't enjoy the film that much. What I really enjoyed were the special features on disc two which featured a documentary, Flying in the 1950s, and another documentary about Gann. The Gann documentary is worth the purchase of this DVD set.

Discorde
26th Oct 2009, 13:28
The centre engine on the Southern Cross initially caused the problem. Before the flight, Taylor describes how he was alarmed to see this engine being reassembled by two men, neither of whom were engineers. Halfway across the Tasman the exhaust manifold of this engine disintegrated and shattered the wooden (fixed pitch) prop on the right engine as the debris was swept away in the slipstream.

With the right engine shut down and the other two at full chat the Cross could only be kept in the air by throwing overboard all non-essential equipment and dumping some fuel. KS turned the aircraft back to Australia but after a while Taylor noticed that the left engine was burning oil, discernible as smoke in its exhaust. When its oil pressure started to drop Taylor undertook the first of several oil transfers from right engine to left, which itself eventually began to fail through overheating. But they made it back to Sydney.

The full story is narrated in Chapter 7 of 'The Sky Beyond'. The last sentence: 'The engine which had kept going at full throttle was the one which had been strewn in pieces on the floor of the hangar and assembled mainly by John Stannage and Jack Percival'.

Apologies for thread creep.

j3pipercub
26th Oct 2009, 13:52
further thread creep.

V2, own one of said two disc sets, ok movie, great doco, but from a CRM point of view, THIS is my FAVOURITE AVIATION SCENE OF ALL TIME!!!!!!!

YouTube - The High & The Mighty funny cockpit moment (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnrTq9Y-uJY)

j3

TrafficPilot
26th Oct 2009, 20:37
Wonderful book.

I gave my Grandmother a copy of it for her birthday last year. Although not an aviator she reviews books for a living and loved it.

For Flight Sim (FSX/FS2004) enthusiasts - You can fly some of the routes mentioned in Ganns' book by downloading a flight/route file from AVSIM. For realism use the default (or MAAM) DC3 (or a DC2 if you can find one in the FSX/FS2004 libraries).

TrafficPilot

Pugilistic Animus
26th Oct 2009, 20:41
my favorite acounts include 'ground school with Lester,...and the DC-6 'aerodynamic unbalance story':\

Vee-Two did you read the book yet; it is great:ok:

PA

MTOW
26th Oct 2009, 23:16
I didn't enjoy the film that much.Arrrggghhh!! Please, younger avaitors all, do NOT make the mistake of thinking "I haven't got the time to read the book, I'll grab a video of the movie and watch it to see what all these old farts are rabbiting on about."

The movie would have to be up there in the top three of great books totally massacred by Hollwood. Except for the title, it bears no resemblance to the book.

con-pilot
26th Oct 2009, 23:24
Arrrggghhh!! Please, younger avaitors all, do NOT make the mistake of thinking "I haven't got the time to read the book, I'll grab a video of the movie and watch it to see what all these old farts are rabbiting on about."

The movie would have to be up there in the top three of great books totally massacred by Hollwood. Except for the title, it bears no resemblance to the book.

That is the absolute truth. Now the movie was not that bad, but look at the movie as an entirely different matter on the same basic subject that just happens to have the same name, because of other than the name, there is no connection at all.

pigboat
27th Oct 2009, 00:50
Fate Is The Hunter, the movie, was so putrid that Gann disassociated himself from it and had any mention of his name removed from the film. I've seen it, and if I hadn't read the book beforehand I doubt I would have even bought the book. To call the movie sh!t is to give excrement a bad name. :yuk:

V2-OMG!
27th Oct 2009, 04:39
Vee-Two did you read the book yet; it is greathttp://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/src:www.pprune.org/get/images/smilies/thumbs.gif

FITH is on my bedside table. I am saving it for those fast-approaching long winter nights.

Sciolistes
27th Oct 2009, 05:37
I read it when I started my PPL. I've worked my way through most of the other classics and, thanks to this thread, have it in mind to re-read again during my next rotation.

It is an incedible read compared to any subject, not just aviation.

A2QFI
27th Oct 2009, 07:43
Just went to AbeBooks Official Site - New & Secondhand Books, New &Used Textbooks, Rare & Out of Print Books (http://www.abebooks.co.uk) to see which of his books might be avaliable. They have over 3000, starting at 61p! No commercial connection I might add, it is just a very good place to find old or out of print books

X35B
17th May 2017, 09:04
Arrows in Snow.

"Magnetic North"?

Gordon17
17th May 2017, 09:16
I saw a big pile of brand new copies of "Fate Is The Hunter" in The Works for £3.00 yesterday.

Trossie
17th May 2017, 10:16
I was talking about this book only a day or so ago!

Someone that I knew once advised a new First Officer to read the book as "You will find every captain that you'll ever fly with in there!".

(Only £9.98 on Amazon! I say "only" as it is worth so much more.)

SASless
17th May 2017, 17:43
In part of my misspent Youth as an Aviator....I found myself in a Beech Baron on a flight from Central North Carolina to Indiana....during a Cold Front Passage...at night. The Trip west was interesting....the trip East was an experience I shall never forget no matter how much I try.

To give an idea....after landing at the airport....as I was filling out the Aircraft Log Book...a Tornado touched down and destroyed a huge Hangar full of very nice Beechcraft Airplanes....and mine that was on the Apron waiting for a Tow.

It took three hours to drive home due to fallen trees, flooding, and the loss of traffic signals due to downed power lines and the like.

Later....I thought back to Gann talking about flying DC-2/3's over those same mountains in those kinds of weather conditions.

He so beautifully described what it was like.....I can read his book and recall that night with absolute clarity.

Slow Biker
17th May 2017, 22:37
How strange. I thought I'd take a look at the election conversation on JB, and blow me, there is a thread on the book I am currently reading: FITH. Not only that, the thread starter mentions the near miss of the Taj Mahal which I read just last night! But what a book. It took me a good few pages to appreciate Gann's style, but now I almost feel part of his crew, sat in that cold cockpit at 40ft over the ocean with no vis, hoping not to bump into Iceland. I am not a flyer, but I can understand the courage it takes to fly like that.

X35B
19th Jun 2017, 09:20
Never lend your copy -- It will never come back.

IcePack
19th Jun 2017, 10:09
Had a somewhat eccentric Captain back in the day. When he found out I was reading the book. He requested an ADF let down into Southend. Yep I got the matches. (Story in book of matches being struck in front of Gann whilst making an approach)
Dangerous maybe, but different rules in those days.

Tarq57
19th Jun 2017, 10:33
Read that book many times. One of the greats.

Some of Con-pilots posts/stories under the accidents and close calls threads I found quite reminiscent of EK Gann's writing style. I believe con-pilot would have been quite the author, if he were still around.

Ascend Charlie
20th Jun 2017, 06:05
Some Captains I have known were said to be affected by the FITH Syndrome - but in their case it was "F***ed In The Head".

PLovett
21st Jun 2017, 11:33
An excellent video showing the approach and landing of a Premier 1 jet at Narsarsuaq while doing a delivery flight from Europe to the US. The next video n his series shows the departure and also worth a watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UYnJzHHckM