Hard Airby W. Scott Olsen
Hard Air is a book about extraordinary flying—flying under conditions that keep fighters on the carrier deck and rockets on the launch pad—a book about rescue missions and long, lonely flights to gather urgently needed information, about flights to places where no one should be flying: into hurricanes, firestorms, and deep, engine-killing
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Hard Air is a book about extraordinary flying—flying under conditions that keep fighters on the carrier deck and rockets on the launch pad—a book about rescue missions and long, lonely flights to gather urgently needed information, about flights to places where no one should be flying: into hurricanes, firestorms, and deep, engine-killing cold. As a pilot himself, W. Scott Olsen brings to these tales a sense of wonder and adventure as well as a genuine, firsthand understanding of the dangers and rigors of such flying.
In prose that deftly conveys the grit and grace of his subjects, Olsen transports us into the air with hurricane hunters who fly into the planet’s fiercest storms, with helicopter pilots racing emergency patients to clinics, with Canadian pilots who fly supplies to the Arctic, and with heavy air tanker pilots who drop water and slurry on remote wildfires. Their stories afford a rare look into the working lives of pilots whose methods are extreme and missions are simple: get there, do the job, and get out alive.
With Gravity: The Allure of Distanceand At Speedalready to his credit, Olsen (English, Concordia Coll.) focuses his latest book on pilots flying on the edge of civilization and on the edge, and sometimes in the midst, of danger. The first-person account begins and ends with the author's own adventures in learning to fly, and in between he discusses his involved coverage of dangerous flights at the North Pole, hunting hurricanes, providing airborne ambulance service, and fighting fires. Though Olsen is not doing the flying himself, his narrative is reminiscent in tone of Beryl Markham's early African aviation adventures chronicled in West with the Night. The book might have been even more engaging if Olsen himself was the pilot, but he does a good job of capturing, in a journalistic interview style, the experiences of the men and women who routinely fly these adventurous missions. The stories are good enough to inspire future pilots. Recommended for public and academic libraries with travel and/or aviation collections.
Sara Tompson Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
- University of Nebraska Press
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 2 MB
Meet the Author
W. Scott Olsen is a professor of English at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. He is editor of the literary journal Ascent and author of several books, including At Speed: Traveling the Long Road between Two Points (Nebraska 2006) and Gravity: The Allure of Distance.
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