Friday, January 28, 2011

A Home Movie and a Flashback

Mentioned in prior entries before is a wonderful aviation read, Flight of Passage, by Rinker Buck. It chronicles the 1966 flight of two young boys piloting a PA-11 Cub, N4971H, from New Jersey to California and back.

The book was written by one of the two participants, Rinker Buck, who is currently a staff writer for the Hartford Courant. A few years ago he won an award from AOPA for his aviation writing, in particular a series of articles dealing with the JFK crash. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.)

Rinker wasn't a licensed pilot at the time, as he was too young. So most of the actual flying was done by his older brother, Kernahan. To this day, Kern Buck is an active CFI.

A random internet search today turned up this video -- obviously from a home movie camera -- of Kern Buck's first solo in 1964. According to the book, Kern actually soloed four different airplanes that day. Quite a feat for any budding aviator. If you enjoy the book as much as I do (the abridged CD, read by Rinker himself, is even more fantastic), then perhaps you'll enjoy this video as well!

After the flight was over, Kern and Rinker were guests on To Tell The Truth. See for yourself:

Take a peek at the book through Google Books. Listen to Rinker share some more about his trip and general aviation at Episode #25 of The Pilotcast (February 2006).