Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Spirit of St Louis - Charles Augustus Lindbergh

Charles A. Lindbergh captured the world's attention when he completed his famous nonstop flight from New York to Paris in 1927. In his Pulitzer Prize-winning 1953 account, Lindbergh carries the reader from his barnstorming days of youthful vision to his world-famous flight that would change history. This exciting and eloquent account brings to life the energy and foresight that inspired Lindbergh to brave the Atlantic in a single-engine plane.

This book was the first aviation book I read in my youth in Sweden and it really captured my interest for aviation. I continued to follow this passion in life and was able to start flying gliders at the age of 15, followed by my Private Pilot License at the age of 18. My life in the world of aviation has continued since that point in time.

The Spirit of Saint Louis is a book that I have read three times and it continues to be one of my favorite books. It has been a great source of motivation for me and it really conveys the idea that any dream that you have can be realized as long as you put your mind to it. So I found this great review and I hope you enjoy it.


Review by Douglas Smith (Houston, TX USA)

"I first read this book as a high school student, and remembered well the hour by hour description of the flight over the Atlantic. On my second reading as an adult, I discovered an additional story within the story that can apply to everyone who has a desire to accomplish something great in their life.

Lindbergh traces how the very wisp of an idea, that an aircraft with enough fuel, powered by a reliable engine, and held on course, could fly 3,600 miles from New York to Paris. Once he realized that he had enough qualifications to make the flight by himself, and could see himself doing it, he was a changed man, he was a man who was going to Paris by air! Now he faced the problem of obtaining support, a task that filled him with more anxiety than the flying itself.

He nurtured his idea, protecting it from the naysayers, carefully confiding in those who could accept his reasoning that a single engine plane made more sense than the trimotor aircraft others were planning to use in that era. He fretted about obtaining an engine, and then an airplane, and met almost continuous obstacles in his path. Yet again and again, to his surprise, financial and technical support was provided, often from totally unexpected quarters.

This book is not only an aviation classic, it is a classic on project management, on turning a vision into goals, and goals into tasks, knowing where the milestones of success can be measured, and when the go/nogo decisions can be made.

If you are a pilot, or want to become one, then this book belongs in your library, and you should consider buying a second copy to give to your CFI (Certified Flight Instructor). Our instructors represent an unbroken lineage of aviators back to the era described in the story.

But it would be a shame to limit this story to the aviation community. Everyone who has a burning desire to achieve something beyond themselves will gain new insight into how ideas change our lives.”

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Richard Bach's "Jonathan Livingston Seagull"

I think that being an aviator and having the ability to move around and meet the many people in the world, with all their differences and similarities, changes a person profoundly. The perspective in life becomes "believe and anything is possible." Because a basic understanding of humanity is almost inevitable.
For all our shortcomings, that glimpse of greatness is evident and inescapable when you meet so many great people. Jonathan Livingston Seagull was the very first book about flying I ever read, it permeated my childhood soul with a desire to travel and understand.
I believe that book was the reflection of the very personal transformation of Richard Bach. He wrote it so simply that any child could read it and yet one could at a very young age glean so much from it. I recently picked it up again, and was awed by its simplicity. There are some very basic simple messages:
Strive to be the best that you can.
Don’t long for approval from others.
Don’t forget to share your hard won knowledge with others.
There is more... In a very simple way, he shows us that anyone can help improve the world, but it also conveys the fun, the adventure, the thrill of searching for new horizons, of soaring high into the sky and seeing things from that unique vantage point. It does give one a different perspective. I hope you enjoy it. I recommend it for your kids too