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90 YEARS LATER - A CELEBRATION OF LINDBERGH'S EPIC TRANSATLANTIC FLIGHT

— feeling amazing
The Flight: Charles Lindbergh's Daring and Immortal 1927 Transatlantic Crossing - Dan Hampton

As someone who has been an aviation fan since I was 10, "THE FLIGHT: Charles Lindbergh's Daring and Immortal 1927 Transatlantic Crossing" was a book that commanded my immediate attention. So I bought it and read it avidly. The strengths of the book are in the way, Hampton, himself a retired U.S. Air Force combat pilot, conveys vividly to the reader, the joys and thrills of flight as well as the challenges Lindbergh faced in making his solo flight across the Atlantic from New York to Paris in May 1927. Several aviators since 1919 (when the Orteig Prize was initially offered for any aviator(s) who were able to successfully fly non-stop across the Atlantic from New York to Paris or Paris to New York) had tried to fly the Atlantic non-stop, and failed. Many of them dying horrible deaths. And in the case of the celebrated First World War French aviators Charles Nungesser and François Coli, disappeared in an attempt to fly from Paris to New York several weeks before Lindbergh's flight from Roosevelt Field. 

Reading this book deepened my appreciation of Lindbergh's singular accomplishment. Imagine yourself flying alone in a small, upper-winged monoplane across 3,000 miles of ocean to Europe, not always sure of your position in the sky (even with the benefit of charts, compass, and other navigational aides) for roughly 33.5 hours straight without having slept for close to 3 days? Many people in the early to mid-1920s looked upon aviation as little more than a sport or a fool's hobby. What Lindbergh and his plane, The Spirit of St. Louis, managed to do showed aviation's potential and made possible the further development of commercial aviation and technology for space travel and exploration over the next 40 years. 

Hampton also shares with the reader how much Lindbergh's life was changed as a result of the flight - good and not-so-good, for Fame often exacts a high cost from anyone who becomes a public celebrity - which was sobering to me. "THE FLIGHT" is a book I would highly recommend to ANYONE who love stories of how seemingly ordinary, humble people can --- in spite of heavy odds --- accomplish great things and so inspire the world.