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Fate is the Hunter

Old 14th Oct 2021, 09:01
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Fate is the Hunter

I've read Fate is the Hunter many time over the years, each time loving the familiar stories, each time finding something new in the writing and ideas. The thing is, I'm not a pilot. Iím just an ordinary Canadian guy who loves the book. I spent a career as a journalist at the CBC. Now, as an independent producer, Iím making a radio documentary about Fate is the Hunter and its author.

If you are a Gann fan, Iíd love to hear from you. Iím trying to understand what it is about Fate that grabs readers and keeps them coming back.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 10:55
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It has been a while since I read it... so I'm going to cheat and provide you with this link: https://inspire.eaa.org/2018/02/14/f...is-the-hunter/

By the way, I was geeky enough to go and visit this particular DC-3 in Dallas' American Airlines C.R. Smith museum:
Gann flew this particular airframe, so standing behind the flight deck you are standing where Gann once stood.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 13:33
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It is a book I pick up, every now and then, just to read a chapter during an idle hour. Indeed, it would be my Desert Island book for the reason you note....always something new to find despite the well thumbed pages

Save his unsurpassed command of the English language, I think its the books brutal humility, honesty and deadly dry/gallows humour that shine through.

I visited friends on San Juan a few years ago and only then discovered that this idyllic spot is where he spent his last days, surrounded by the North Pacific waters and sailing boats, that were his true passion
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 13:39
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If you think his flying books are good try the sailing ones!
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 15:09
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Thanks for the cool picture and the link to your article.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 15:39
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I like its authenticity, what he writes comes from bitter experience - he has been there, done it, survived and he tells it without bullshitting. He knows that hubris has no part in safe flying, he is humble and knows how to describe what goes on inside a pilot's mind. Even though modern aircraft and engines are much safer and more reliable, the basic lessons for flying which he describes so eloquently have not changed. They are the same now as they were then - plan your every move, check and verify every thing you do and, despite better weather forcasting, the weather is still the same as it was then. The elements have not changed, they are as fickle as ever and must always be respected.

The five rules in Jhieminga's link above say it all.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 15:54
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It is a shame that the Films of EKG's books were never done very well - there is usually enough aviation content for us aviation enthusiasts (if only for a laugh sometimes).
The Film called Fate Is the Hunter is actually more akin to the EKG novel Band Of Brothers.
His book The High and The Mighty is a very impressive read but the film is nowhere near as good - John Wayne plays the older co pilot very well but the cabin scenes are straight out of Airplane

Island in the sky is an interesting film for us but probably a bit slow for the average punter.

Fate is the Hunter is definitely at the top of my reading list and I must dig it out again sometime - it has been a while LOL

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Old 14th Oct 2021, 16:44
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Got this in my bookshelf alright, also got it as a Christmas present for my sister who is doing her ATPL.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 17:52
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My favorite chapter is the first chapter when describing Lester...on the whole I love, love, love FITH!
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 18:52
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I've given the book as a gift too...in my case to a good friend whose father flew a Lancaster during the war and later became a commercial pilot.

His character sketches are brilliant - so vivid, often in just a few sentences.

Is there one Gann book in particular you would recommend?
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 19:16
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Is there one Gann book in particular you would recommend?
The High and the Mighty is a really good read and the novel Twilight for the Gods or perhaps Song of the Sirens if you like sailing or boats.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 19:49
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Lake OíConner

I flew a lot in Northern Qc / Labrador.
I think I know where Lake O’Conner is located. N 54 20 / W 74 30
I wonder if the tractor is still there.
A magazine called Air Classics did a story in the 80’s called “Rescue at Lake O’Connor” about the bush pilots who got the stranded crew out and salvaged the aircraft. I have never found a copy of the article. Direct queries to the publishers were never answered.
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Last edited by albatross; 14th Oct 2021 at 19:52. Reason: add info
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 20:14
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Whatever you do, don't lend it out! I've lost three copies over the years, despite promises to return them. Gann was a great non-aviation fiction writer too; check his back catalogue.
Re classics, I've only lost one Chickenhawk (Robert Mason) so far.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 20:39
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Originally Posted by NSandell View Post
Thanks for the cool picture and the link to your article.
Itís not my articleÖ but youíre welcome. Personally I love any account of aviation from those days, but Gannís version is one of the most vivid. You can almost see the characters he describes and the situations he was in. And, as has been mentioned already, he not only manages to describe the scene but also provides the lessons that he learned. Lessons that any pilot can appreciate and apply.
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Old 14th Oct 2021, 23:51
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I book I find very good is “Stranger to the Ground” by Richard Bach. I recommend it to all.


https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Sea...the+Ground&kn=
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Old 15th Oct 2021, 03:39
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I enjoyed “Fate is the Hunter” will probably read it again since it’s been a decade or so since I read it. Another book worth mentioning is “Biplane” by Richard Bach.
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Old 15th Oct 2021, 08:18
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Wrong messages

Originally Posted by NSandell View Post
I've read Fate is the Hunter many time over the years, each time loving the familiar stories, each time finding something new in the writing and ideas. The thing is, I'm not a pilot. I’m just an ordinary Canadian guy who loves the book. I spent a career as a journalist at the CBC. Now, as an independent producer, I’m making a radio documentary about Fate is the Hunter and its author.

If you are a Gann fan, I’d love to hear from you. I’m trying to understand what it is about Fate that grabs readers and keeps them coming back.
I found it very difficult to read. I loved the historical value of the stories, but bridled at the poor captaincy, the expectstion that your co-pilot is expected almost to be a mind-reader, to understand the captain's intentions without words. Its value as a pilot’s story was low for me. It felt dangerous as a message about running a flight deck
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Old 15th Oct 2021, 08:24
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I’m trying to understand what it is about Fate that grabs readers and keeps them coming back.
I think what makes FITH an enduring classic to pilots is that it is every pilot's story. From the opening pages that lists the names of all the pilots he knew who died being pilots to the end when he writes "when is now.." about his decision to put away his flight bag for good.

I first read it when I was a co-pilot on turbo-props and it resonated with me. The stories of doing crap landings and the Captain just brings it all under control with a deft hand that only experience can develop. I read it twenty years later when I was a Captain on jets and his stories of being the Captain just captured the essence of Command which also struck a chord.

Now that I am in the twilight of my career I am fortunate not to be flying clapped out freighters across the Pacific but I am ruminating on the line: "Ah Howe, you of the iron face...when is when?". The last line of the book is "For me, when was now. And Howe seemed to understand."

The equipment might have changed beyond EKG's recognition but the people and the career are still the same as when he wrote the book 60 years ago. Thats why it is such a classic..
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Old 15th Oct 2021, 09:32
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Lookleft, You are absolutely right, that is what I meant in my post when I wrote about him being able to to describe what goes on inside a pilot's mind. But you said it better. Thank you.
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Old 15th Oct 2021, 09:36
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Angel

Am a BIG FAN of EKG, and managed to find on G/E most of the locations mentioned in his book.....However, am unable to locate the airfield in India where he almost 'took out' the Taj Mahal.....

A thrilling description of the event, including the judicious use of flaps....I can 'feel the moment'.....but where oh where is / was this airport ?

Any takers?

I found 'Bluey West 1' OK....mostly because its still there..!!

Cheers, Griffo.
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