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From the Ground Up (Classic Reprint)

Sandy Alexander Forsyth Macdonald

Verlag: Forgotten Books, 2015
ISBN 10: 1331943582 / ISBN 13: 9781331943587
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Titel: From the Ground Up (Classic Reprint)

Verlag: Forgotten Books

Erscheinungsdatum: 2015

Einband: Soft cover

Zustand: Used


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Inhaltsangabe: Excerpt from From the Ground Up

Among other things, one of the problems a pilot should tackle is learning to fly. Countless deluded young men, yearning for a career in aviation, have the sadly mistaken idea that that is all there is to it. A few hundred hours of patient application, the acquired ability to handle a ship with skill and ease - and presto!... wings and gold braid... and the Airlines only too grateful for the privilege of granting one a commission! To those misguided young men I say, "Son, go back to the farm before Dad changes his mind." There is no easy way.

Ability to fly is a step in the right direction - but the most elementary one in our whole curriculum. In a few years Junior will learn to fly before he graduates from high school. Countless millions will line up once every year all over the world to renew their pilot's certificates - much the same as motorists do to-day. There is no pay-off on arts or crafts which are the common accomplishment of the masses. A transport pilot is, and always will be, however, a highly sought, highly paid individual specialist - because he is a master craftsman in his trade.

"Well," you ask, "what has he got that I haven't got?" That's exactly what I propose to tell you in these pages. "Weather sense," for one thing, a knowledge line squalls and thunderstorms and icing conditions stable and unstable air masses - of cold fronts, and dewpoint, and all the odds and ends that go to make up the science of meteorology.

He is an expert navigator, and understands how to plot headings and bearings. He has an expert knowledge of wind and drift problems. He is thoroughly conversant with such things as Azimuth, Isogonic lines, and Great Circle Tracks. And right here, let us definitely emphasize that the latter in no way refer to those affairs that railway trains run to and fro on. The bird who specializes in following railway lines around from place to place is not a navigator, but an opportunist. When the tracks go in a tunnel, he is lost and has to go home. His only means of getting a ship across open water is a matter of pure good fortune - if there happens to be a ferry boat going his way!

A transport pilot knows his ship and his engine. Their airworthiness is a matter on which the lives of his passengers depend as much as on his own skill and knowledge - so he conscientiously superintends their service and maintenance. He understands fuel-air ratio, and all that sort of thing, and knows how to get the last ounce of power and the most miles out of a given volume of gasoline. He is familiar with all the invisible forces and couples that act on an airplane in flight and he knows when his ship has been subjected to any abnormal stresses that may lead to a structural strain.

In other words, he is the type of skipper one flies behind with utmost confidence - based on assurance that he not only rates officially a Grade A Pilot and Navigator, but is a thorough technician as well, completely versed in every last-minute detail of his profession Both On The Ground And In The Air.

"But," you may point out, "I have no ambition to become an airline captain. I am only interested in learning to fly as a private pilot. Is it necessary that I should learn all this technical stuff as well?"

Suppose I answer that by asking you a question in turn. Is your own life not every bit as precious to you as the lives of its passengers are to an airline company?

An airplane moves in a medium known as the atmosphere. This layer of air surrounding the earth for a depth of several miles is a turbulent region of shifting winds, cross currents, storms, gusts and squalls. Invisible giants, the Polar and Equatorial Air Masses, forever in conflict, make this atmosphere of ours a perpetual proving ground for the science of air navigation - by frequent blanketing of entire areas with dense drop-curtains of cloud, fog, rain, or snow.

An airplane moves

Über den Autor: Sandy A. F. MacDonald was a pioneer of what still stands today as the standard curriculum for ground school flight training throughout the world. He received the Writing Award from the Aviation/Space Writers Association of America and the Sherman Fairchild International Flight Safety Award. Isabel L. Peppler has been the editor of From the Ground Up for more than 30 years.

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