AIR VAGABONDS by Anthony J. Vallone
Flying the Pacific Ocean in a single-engine propeller airplane is exciting enough, but not havng any navigation aids in the days before GPS could be deadly, and it was for many pilots. The 1970s and 1980s were a time when the US supplied almost all of the singleengine light planes to the rest of the World, and the most cost efficient way was to fly them there individually.
Many pilots were inexperienced and eager to build up flying time. Some took off for exotic destinations in blue-jeans, t-shirts and flip-flops. They battled storms, ice, desert winds, aircraft malfunctions, primitive navigational aids, gas crises, loneliness, and the unpredictable armies of the third world.
For navigation, very little use of sextants is mentioned, perhaps because the author was not so initiated. But they were in fact used. Peter Goldstern is mentioned as the only known pilot to have survived a single-engine failure and ditching in the winter North Atlantic. He subsequently phoned Celestaire for a replacement A-10 sextant when he returned, explaining that his went down with plane.
Author Anthony Vallone shares his eight years of experience and stories of these pilots and their adventures with humor and high drama. He is one of their own, a survivor with phenomenal recall. 2003, HC, 305 pages. SW 2 lb