by Ernest K. Gann. Ernest K. Gann’s classic memoir is an up-close and thrilling account of the treacherous early days of commercial aviation. In his inimitable style, Gann brings you right into the cockpit, recounting both the triumphs and terrors of pilots who flew when flying. Read Fate Is the Hunter PDF - A Pilot's Memoir by Ernest K. Gann Simon & Schuster | Ernest K. Gann's classic memoir is an up-close and thr. This books (Fate is the Hunter [PDF]) Made by Ernest K. Gann. Book details Author: Ernest K. Gann Pages: pages Publisher: Pocket Books Language: English ISBN ISBN Read book Writing That Works, 3rd Edition: How to Communicate.
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Embeds 0 No embeds. Written in English. People Ernest K.
Places United States. Times Late s to late s , 20th century.
Classifications Dewey Decimal Class A56 F3. Readers waiting for this title: Check nearby libraries with: Share this book Facebook. History Created December 17, 8 revisions Download catalog record: Wikipedia citation Close.
November 14, Edited by Lisa. They contain some interesting and clever lies. If you are lucky and work a good solid eighteen hours a day in this school, it is barely possible that a few of you may succeed in actually going out on the line -- that is, if the company is still in such desperate need of pilots that it will hire anybody who wears wings in his lapel and walks slowly past the front door.
Just remember, you were hired on a ninety-day probation clause. To begin with, you are going to know every damn The requirements seem overwhelming. In six weeks we must pass severe examinations in air mass analysis, instrument flight, radio, hydraulics, maintenance, company procedures, routes, manuals, forms, flight planning, and air traffic control. Not only the company but a government inspector will check our final grades.
Lester drones on, pausing only occasionally to crack the knuckles of his talonlike fingers. I study the others, curious about my fellow unwashed who have come from flying fields all over the land. They are strangers still, and I wonder if their natural cocksureness, without which they could never have survived to reach this room, is being as thoroughly squashed as my own. With Gay I am the most familiar. We share a room in the cheap, musty hotel where we are supposed to live and study during the period of our incubation.
He is younger than I am, of dark complexion, very handsome, and most generous with his magical smile. He has come from a small field in Tennessee where he instructed and on Sundays flew passengers for a dollar a ride. Lippincott is immensely eager. His alertness is almost offensive, and it is already apparent that he will have little difficulty in mastering the engineering aspects which Lester has emphasized so much, to my own despair.
Sisto, a hoarse-voiced enfant terrible from somewhere in California, seems defiant, even bold enough to prod Lester with questions. I have spoken to Owen only as we gathered, and I was then astounded at the basso-profundo voice emerging from so slight a young man.
Mood and McGuire have also come up from the South, and the contrast between them is a measure of the group. For absolutely no reason, I have already taken a dislike to Mood and I am certain he regards me with equal antipathy.
McGuire, however, endeared himself at once by confessing both homesickness for the sight of a Carolina mule and claiming his head is composed almost entirely of bone and therefore a poor receptacle for all that Lester demands.
His face now, as he listens to Lester, is so chiseled in honest planes of concentration it would please the most finicky sculptor. I have learned only that hitherto he was mostly engaged in crop dusting -- a chancy way to earn a living with wings. Carter, large and red-faced, is propped audaciously and yet aloof against the back wall of the classroom. I do not know where he calls home, if indeed he has any in the usual sense.
He must be a much-traveled man, for just beneath his shirt cuffs, encircling both wrists with intricate design, are the beginnings of what must be vast and elaborate tattoos. I am very impressed with anyone who can so absolutely disregard convention. Charleton is a silent enigma, not having spoken so much as a word to any of us since first meeting. His face is kindly, although his eyes lack sparkle. His hair is prematurely gray and he seems very tired.
Peterson is a thin and hungry-looking man, slow-spoken and droll, and thus already much valued as a companion. Now straddling a bench, he looks like the reincarnation of Ichabod Crane. Watkins is near him, sprawling in his seat as if even Lester could never alert him. He is very tall and in his debonair manner seems to patronize the gaunt figure pacing before him.
He drums softly on a large silver belt buckle. He has a fine head of hair, blond, curly, and carefully groomed. Were his teeth better he would be an exceptionally beautiful man.
It is not in my power to know the ultimate destinies of these new companions. Certainly I cannot perceive or even imagine that three of them will be totally abandoned by fortune, six will several times experience incredible fondling and protection by whatever fates dispense them, and even the indestructible Lester will one day succumb in such a prosaic affair that it would seem his doom had been merely postponed.
Within a week it becomes obvious that our path to advancement will be strewn with thorns. Lester proves to be a devil, with a genius for probing his pitchfork into our most tender regions. His remarks are scalding as he becomes better acquainted with our individual faults. They become the more wounding because they are so frequently true.
I am a favorite target since I am an idiot at hydraulics. I cannot seem to comprehend the innumerable relief valves or the exact function of each pump and line, much less draw the whole intricate labyrinth from memory as I am supposed to do. My private excuse is that the hydraulic system of an airplane is a mechanic's business and that if the landing gear or the flaps -- which the hydraulic system controls -- refuse to go up or down, then there is nothing I can do to effect repairs while actually flying.
I am equally thickheaded in the matter of engine theory and maintenance, perhaps because those engines previously responsible for supporting me aloft were of extremely simple design. They either ran or did not run; there was no compromise. In the latter situation you landed in the nearest corn patch. In spite of Lester's insistence that a pilot should be thoroughly acquainted with the complexity of a Wright engine, I have difficulty visualizing myself climbing out on the wing and performing any beneficial repairs while still in flight.
There were to come certain times when I devoutly wished it were possible. Lester's caustic and brutally frank dictum becomes for us a standard flowing in the wind.
We need their business. Since once you are in the air there is no practical way of separating you from our customers, you will completely master the meaning of flight safety or you will never go near the line. When skillfully rolled, slipped, spun, and dived, a plane could provide endless delight if not a bountiful income.
For us there was still enough glamour left in flying to relegate all monetary considerations far to the background. We did not begin to fly because we might make more money with an airplane than we might have if otherwise employed.
We are, almost without exception, in love. It is more than love at this stage; we are each bewitched, gripped solidly in a passion few other callings could generate. Unconsciously or consciously, depending upon our individual courage for acknowledgment, we are slaves to the art of flying.
There is already ample proof that this love is not a passing infatuation or merely a steppingstone to be endured until time brings another opportunity. The wedding is permanent. Many of us are barely able to afford shelter and three full meals a day; indeed, some are existing on borrowed money, or have sold their planes or whatever they possessed in order to manage through this training period.
Yet we should each have been completely uninterested if the company had offered other employment. Separation of the dedicated from the merely hopeful has been a crafty affair performed mostly by the line's chief pilots. They are braced with a fixed set of standards from which, in self-protection, they rarely deviate. They are hard, suspicious men, navigating uncomfortably between what is a frankly commercial enterprise and a group of fractious, often temperamental zealots.
And since it is also their lot to be the first to inform a pilot's wife that she is now a widow, they do what they can to see within an applicant.