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While “Fate is the Hunter” ought to be required reading for any and all associated with flying of any type, Chp 3, “The Seasoning” is particularly apropos. Start at pg. 79 if you like, or here:

“I stop pumping, tune the D.F.’s radio to Knoxville frequency, and reach for the loop crank. In doing so my attention is caught by the airspeed. One hundred and twenty miles an hour! Only a few minutes before we were cruising at one hundred seventy. Yet Hughen had not touched the power. A queasy sensation passes through my stomach. The blood rushes to my head until my cheeks feel aflame. My hands are suddenly hot and throbbing. I catch myself working my lips. These I know to be the beginning feeling of fear. I cannot seem to stop it.
Because my lips insist on making these silly formations, I cannot say anything about the airspeed. One hundred and twenty. We must not lose anymore. With a load of ice this ship will cease to fly at one hundred, possibly even sooner.”  – Ernest K. Gann, Fate is the Hunter. (p. 88)

It may have been the 30’s and a DC-2 over the industrial Midwest, but the lesson and warning was and is timeless.

I learned a lot about flying before taking to the air by reading Gann…

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