by Many Retired Navigators
You are looking into the cockpit watching the compass on DG mode. Does it match the azimuth you got from the morning sun? Is the autopilot set correctly and is it holding the prescribed heading? How about the clouds at your altitude, and the wind on the sea below.? Do they match the weather forecast?
You may be the third officer but you are orchestrating the flight. No crewmember is more important over the miles of featureless ocean. Only you know if you have enough fuel remaining to the destination or with an engine failure. You are the maestro, and the sextant is your baton.
This is how it was when commercial oceanic flights began in the late 20s with a handful of professional navigators. WWII expandad their ranks greatly, and they spilled over post war to the airlines such as TWA and Pan Am and lasted into the 70s.
This a compendium of stories written by these men. They range from frightening, to hilarious to ribald. From clandestine to simply hauling cattle on a DC-8 (they got loose!), or placating scared passengers while being more scared yourself. Published by Celestaire because these stories needed to be told. 2016, 200 pages, SC, SW 2 lb.