The Retired pilots association is currently encouraging it’s members to write books, or at the very least, some articles for posterity to be posted on it’s web site or in it’s magazine, PX .
This is a point well made for retired pilots, especially for those who started in the “golden age” of aviation when props were the norm before the jets became ubiquitous. So many tales of derring do and trials overcome, belongs to that hardy bunch which no longer is the status of the flying world we know today. Engine failures, hydraulic and electrical failures were not uncommon back then. We no longer have ‘points of no return’. (where going back was not an option due fuel load) Navigators have become as redundant as buggy whips. Engineers are long gone from the flight deck. The mighty cyclone engines that powered the Connies and Douglas series are all in the boneyards. But in those nostalgic days, the ocean was a long 12 to 14 hours over water with little or no radio contact from anyone; just hopeful HF radio. So much has changed but the stories of those pilots were nail biters. Some of the wartime pilots I flew with had days of sheer terror along with days of rapture in the cockpits. The transition to jets had some great tales of getting up to speed (pun intended) which were funny and harrowing at the same time. We need those tales to be committed to paper before that host is gone. Time is moving without remorse and we are losing much of what made aviation what it is today. The forerunners are now idle but the path they trod left its mark for what we have today; the safest transportation system known to man. We need those tales and we need them soon or they will be lost forever. Not enough of our breed are putting those stories to print. I commend RAPCAN (retired pilots of Canada) for it’s insight in prodding their members to make the effort. It is not that hard and the results will be imbedded long after the last contrail is swept from the blue.