||Silvercreek Books, LLC
||August 5, 2008
Through a gripping narrative spanning seven decades and two World Wars, the heroic pioneers of aviation are brought to life in this epic tale of triumph and tragedy. Their names are legendary - Orville and Wilbur Wright, "Hap" Arnold, Billy Mitchell, Jimmy Doolittle. Each possessed singular courage, a mastery of aeronautics, extraordinary leadership skills and the heart of a teacher. Sharing his knowledge and experience, each in turn helped fashion an enduring legacy of tradition and accomplishment which ultimately determined the fate of seven desperate crewmen one foggy, terror-filled night.
Silvercreek Books, LLC
Over thirty years ago, a B-52H aircraft while on a simple training mission lost all rudder and elevator control. In the early morning hours of May 30, 1974, Charlie Brown, an evaluator pilot, managed to gain control and fly the 200+ ton craft, even though 65% of all flight control surfaces had been lost.
The odds against total failure of those systems were exceedingly high, but the odds against landing a B-52 in that condition were higher. Yet Charlie attempted the impossible. The construction of this remarkable airplane played a critical role. With over 85% of that B-52H being utterly destroyed, it became an impossible situation for Charlie.
The force of the landing was 13Gs. A man's eight-pound arm under that force would weigh over a hundred pounds. A 160-pound man would weigh over a ton. Over 1,000 tons of force met the landing gear at touchdown. The Air Force Flying Safety Board described the incident as a "fatal crash."
Legacy is the story of how something that never should have happened, did; how a flyer took a contraption that shouldn't have flown and learned to fly it for the first time, did; and how it wasn't unique for an aviator to accomplish the impossible.
"Memorial Day, held for many years on May 30th, has had a colorful history. Hundreds of years ago, that date had significance to Columbus, departing for America on his third trip in 1498. Later, the U.S. almost doubled its size with the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, exchanging ratified copies with Mexico on that date in 1848. Six years after that, the Kansas-Nebraska Act created two new territories in the central U.S. In 1922, the Lincoln Memorial received its dedication. And on that day in 1965, a very happy Vivian Malone Jones became the first woman of color to graduate from the University of Alabama.
Exploits in the air held no less significance. Wilbur Wright penned a letter that day in 1899 to the Smithsonian Institution requesting any materials they might have in regard to the “problem of flight.” Wilbur died of typhoid on the same day in 1912. West German Mathias Rust would later land his Cessna 172B in Red Square in Moscow on that date in 1987. But on this early May 30th morning in 1974, Charlie Brown had his hands full of airplane, trying not to kill everyone as well as himself."
R. G. Stagner
"From the magical origins of powered flight to the miracle surrounding a "fatal crash" landing, the reader is escorted on a fascinating odyssey made all the more captivating by it's authenticity and historical accuracy. Through a gripping narrative spanning seven decades and two World Wars, the heroic pioneers of aviation are brought to life in this epic tale of triumph and tragedy. Their names are legendary - Orville and Wilbur Wright, "Hap" Arnold, Billy Mitchell, Jimmy Doolittle. Each possessed singular courage, a mastery of aeronautics, extraordinary leadership skills and the heart of a teacher. Sharing his knowledge and experience, each in turn helped fashion an enduring legacy of tradition and accomplishment which ultimately determined the fate of seven desperate crewmen one foggy, terror-filled night.
As this previously untold story unfolds, the reader is immersed into a first-hand exploration of how these remarkable men realized their dreams and attained greatness through perseverance, resourcefulness, relentless testing and an undaunted spirit of adventure. The result of their collective achievements was the creation of an entirely new enterprise - a set of historic initiatives which proved instrumental in preserving freedom, securing peace and shrinking the world. Following a suspensefully climactic thrill ride - including a surprise twist - the author concludes with a thought-provoking commentary on greatness.
The book was thoroughly appealing and at times poetic. I found it delightfully entertaining and would recommend it to those well-versed in aviation as well as anyone who simply enjoys a good read. The numerous photographs and illustrations serve as icing on the cake!"
Charles B. Brown, Col, USAF (ret)
"... the events described in this book about my emergency and accident are factual."
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