LUCK & TIMING
Web site: www. glennklein.com
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$65.00 for outside USA orders.
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Aviation connected events in the author's life have shaped his strong
ipinion that Life for each of us is the result of the events that have come
about by our own idividual Luck & Timing have come about by our own
individual Luck & Timing. Many of the author's flying experiences
could have resulted in great injury or even death, had they happened at
the wrong place and at the wrong time. Airplane characteristics,
weather, and equipment peculiarities often were serious contributors to
less than satisfactory flights. Success or failure with daily events
sometimes has less to do with smartly using our brain.
for the reader to learn from and enjoy. Certainly any existing pilot,
student pilot, or someone who is interested in aviation will enjoy reading
about how pilots in their light airplanes went about doing things during
the Great Depression years, through World War II, and up until recent
time. A discussion about airports, prominent aviation persons that the
author has known, weather conditions, and various airplanes that the
author has flown are included. Flying equipment and flying methods
have changed greatly over the years.
events and adventures are told. During World War II Glenn and his
brother bought the surplus Ryan PT-22 pictured below. It had been
used as a primary trainer for many World War II pilots. This airplane
was a joy to fly because it was made for performing aerobatics, which
the author and his brother Ken often did.
The author and his brother restored and recovered the small two-place
orange & yellow 1941 model Aeronca Chief, also pictured below. The
author flew this airplane from San Francisco to Fairbanks Alaska in
1951, a trip that required four days and forty hours of flying time. The
Bush Pilot for Fairbanks Air Service, where he trained pilots and flew
people and cargo to small Alaskan villages.
The author learned how to fly during World War II, and first flew solo
in February of 1945, when he was seventeen years old. His great
interest in airplanes has been apparent since the age of five, when he
began making and flying model airplanes. After serving in the Army Air
Force he earned his Commercial Pilot License and Flight Instructor
Rating through the benefits he received under the G.I. Bill of Rights.
His Instrument Rating was paid for out of pocket. His Seaplane Rating
was earned at Fairbanks Alaska.
1941 Aeronca Chief Ryan PT-22
BOOK REVIEW Wayman Dunlap, Ed. of Pacific Flyer aviation newspaper.
course there were no radios to worry about, no complicated navigation
instruments and weather forecasting in those days wasn't quite as complex as
it is today. This is the meat of the story. What it was like to fly around the
country in a variety of simple airplanes such as Cubs, Aeroncas, Ercoupes,
when the best you could hope for was a tailwind (he seldom got one, he said)
and clear skies. Just getting the airplane to start was an accomplishment, as
most had to be hand-propped....no starters were installed.
He had his share of turbulence, bad weather, uncertain instruments, periods
of being lost, and some true aviation adventures. He does a yeoman's job of
bringing the reader along with him. Like most of us, he has some vivid
memories and some not quite so clear, but he is in his 80's now although you
would ever know it from talking to him. We asked him his motivation in
writing the book. "The short version would be, that I came to realize that I
had experienced many events that could have seriously hurt me, and most of
the events have been connected to airplanes or aviation in some way, "he
We asked him if he thought today's students with access to GPS navigation,
real time weather, and much more reliable electric start airplanes are better
or worse pilots than those of his early days. "Today's pilots are good at doing
what they have to be good at now, but I do not think they are better."
"However, I would call the flying of years ago to be truly flying the
airplane." "Today's pilots are more jugglers of gauges, radios, and indicators
to be managed, so that they indicate what flying is suppose to be," was his
We can sympathize, particularly when planning a cross country flight in a J-3
Cub or an Ercoupe. He did not have VOR's, GPS's or radios, but he did
have good sectional charts. He learned to navigate by landmarks, what he
saw on the ground and on his chart, watching which way the cows were
standing (cows always stand upwind), and watching how the smoke was
blowing. The compass was more of a trend indicator than a true navigation
device in those days.
Luck & Timing will give you a true appreciation of what it was like to aviate
when there were very few rules, but a lot more airports. Pilots were thought
of as heroes. In some ways they truly were, and this one hero's story is of
surviving everything that primitive flying could throw at him.