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One Chance for Glory: --first nonstop flight across the Pacific Paperback – May 18, 2012
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James A Cox, Editor-in Chief
Midwest Book Review
Early flights of endurance asked much from the pilot and his crew. “One Chance for Glory: First Nonstop Flight Across the Pacific” tells the story of Clyde Pangborn, whose flight across the Pacific failed to gain the same attention as Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic, but was a daunting task ahead of him. Telling his story by drawing from history and adding some dramatization, “One Chance for Glory” is a must for followers of aviation history who seek a telling of another first.
Kirkus Media LLC
In this historical novel, an around-the-world journey of a “fly boy” hero and his zero of a partner chronicles the time when “flying was new and intriguing.”
At Tokyo’s Narita Airport, over layover sake, a lone traveler enlightens four pilots about the daredevil life of Clyde Pangborn, aka “The King of Barnstormers,” responsible for the first nonstop trans-Pacific flight. He shares Clyde’s riveting midair mishaps and explains how he fought fierce competition, ever-growing federal regulations, and the unfolding Depression, until reports of Lindbergh’s Atlantic crossing threw a
gauntlet at his feet. While Clyde had the experience and ability to accomplish anything in the air, he lacked capital. Enter “bumbling wannabe aviator” Hugh Herndon Jr. and his moneyed mother. After a series of mistakes during their perilous journey threaten to take down their plane (Miss Veedol), the usually taciturn Clyde tells Hugh, “Rich boys like you are too soft.” The technical and historical research of the Heikell brothers is top-notch and their odd couple, exotic locales, and white-knuckled flight scenes lend the novel a cinematic quality.
An evocative tale of aviation’s rich and risky beginnings, featuring an American pilot’s unsung adventures.
From the Author
There has been much written on Clyde Pangborn and his accomplishments during his lifetime. He was a unique individual born during the ideal time during the coming of age of heavier-than-air flight. Just by putting "Clyde Pangborn" in a computer web search engine, numerous articles appear. Although contradictory, a feeling about him and his partner Hugh Herndon begins to take shape.
It is hard to imagine a mom's feelings as her son in his thirties proclaims his intention of flying around the world in a single-engine airplane--as poor reliability was prevalent in those days.
This book was written in an attempt to solidify some of these contradictions, fill in possible solutions to the voids in the history and to bring to light the feelings and concerns the family members and friends must have experienced in those trying times. Possibly the most important thing was to bring to light the one thing that these guys should be famous for--being the first to fly the Pacific nonstop--an accomplishment that wasn't even duplicated until after WWII.
The result was a very interesting story filled with action from cover to cover. Kirkus Indie calls it a novel with "cinematic quality" while the Midwest book review people say it is "a must for followers of aviation history".
Read it, and if you like it--pass on the word. We need to put these guys on the map!!
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