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Wager with the Wind: The Don Sheldon Story St. Martin’s Griffin James Greiner


30th June 2012 History Books 40 Comments

Don Sheldon has been called ‘Alaska’s bush pilot among bush pilots’, but he was also just one man in a fragile airplane who, in the end, was solely responsible for each mission he flew, be it a high-risk landing to the rescue of others from certain death in the mountains of Alaska or the routine delivery of supplies to a lonely homesteader. Read this book to learn how a hero was born, and also how he made his courageous journey to the unknown skies of dealing with cancer.

“Don Sheldon is the unchallenged guardian angel of the mountain climber and downed aviator in distress…his story is a rare opportunity for those who place the quest for high adventure above all other worthy endeavors.”–L.A. Herald Examiner

“We’ll wager this is one book you won’t be able to put down!”–Seattle Times

“It’s full of hair-raising true stories. I have flown with Don Sheldon. He is one of our super airmen.”–Lowell Thomas

“Don Sheldon is the unchallenged guardian angel of the mountain climber and downed aviator in distress…his story is a rare opportunity for those who place the quest for high adventure above all other worthy endeavors.”–L.A. Herald Examiner

“We’ll wager this is one book you won’t be able to put down!”–Seattle Times

“It’s full of hair-raising true stories. I have flown with Don Sheldon. He is one of our super airmen.”–Lowell Thomas

Wager with the Wind: The Don Sheldon Story










  • 40 responses to "Wager with the Wind: The Don Sheldon Story St. Martin’s Griffin James Greiner"

  • N-n-Done
    4:09 on June 30th, 2012
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    To Aviators, this story portrays the outstanding performance of a pilot, who understood the limits of himself, and his airplane. This story was often about the upper limits of both, man and, machine, in terrain, ever changing weather, and landing sites, on and around a mountain where most of us would fear to tread. To non-aviators, it is a picture into the understanding of a pilot, whose passion for flying went beyond the boundless freedom of going anywhere, at most anytime, but to a commitment, of using, and improving, his talents, often at risk to his life, in the quest to save the lives of others. What piece of mind to the Adventurers in that territory of Alaska, to know if help was needed, Don Sheldon would put forth his best to come to their aid.

  • Lena Kavhovsky
    5:57 on June 30th, 2012
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    “Flight of Passage” goes deep within the human heart of brothers, sons and fathers. It is not often in this day and age that we are given this masculine insight of two brothers and their love for each other. Nor, are we given such a privleged look into the relationship of a father and his sons.

    The airplane (espcially the Piper Cub) is a metaphor. The boys learn how to cherish life, to be good men, to be good citizens in fact from their work on this small airplane as it cruises across the United States.

    And, do they cross the U.S.! Strangly we are given the rare opportunity to see our nation from the air, with the eyes of teenagers who believe in themselves, their dad and their Piper Cub. We meet the men and women of America as the Piper lands in strange little airports in the midwest, the south west and the California coast. Not only do they fly out, they fly back to New Jersey. What the brothers discover is the grandness of this country, qualities that bind this country together, and the things that make each region unique.

    This is not a travelogue. This is a coming of age story that touches the heart — deeply.

  • Scott Daniels
    6:56 on June 30th, 2012
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    I must have stumbled into this book 20 years ago, and loved it, recommended it and gave it as gifts. I had a in-active pilots license then. I purchased a plane and started flying again, 10 years ago. I re-read it, loved it , recommended it and gave it as gifts. Because of this “bush” flying, I changed planes and started doing this type of “off-airport” flying. My wife ( flying is not her bag) read it this spring and suggested that we fly our little two seater to Talkeena from Ohio, and make a three week vacation there. We just got back, and I’ve ordered 6 more books for gifts. We got to meet Don’s wife and grand daughter, and landed and camped beside his old Aeronca sedan that he used in the famous river canyon rescue. Read this book, it might change your life.

  • boozer
    8:15 on June 30th, 2012
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    If you like Mountains and Flying then this is a book for your library, most enjoyable.

  • Thaddeus Kane
    8:33 on June 30th, 2012
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    I am proud to say I knew Don Sheldon, and even spent 20,000 hours in sharing his Alaska wilderness flying experiences. Many times, Don Sheldon and I would cross paths somewhere “out there,” and each time I had to remark again that, in spite of his rough and specialized lifestyle, and his knife-edge flying challenges, he was nonetheless a gentleman through and through.

    When finally he went west at the ravages of a powerful cancer, I flew to Talkeetna, where I executed an inside loop in my little yellow Super Cub over the gravesite party. It was a “goodbye” that I had never expected to make.

    To any who appreciates true heroism, the real Alaska, or edge-of-the-seat flying of any sort, I heartedly recommend this marvelous book. It is the standard against which all other such volumes must be measued.

  • KidPhat
    10:17 on June 30th, 2012
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    I had originally listened to the book over the radio, and enjoyed the story. It was an exciting and enlightling adventure to listen to the book. I bought the book from Amazon for my mother to read. However, she was deeply offended by the profanity used in the book. The radio reader had edited out the profane parts. I was also going to buy this book for another elderly friend, but my mother explained that I shouldn’t as our 85 year old friend wouldn’t be as open minded as she was about the profanity (Ha!). So, I recommend this book highly for the open minded readers. I do wish the book came out in a rated G version so I could share it.

  • mslinda
    11:07 on June 30th, 2012
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    I think Rinker Buck has captured in this story all the joy and passion of an adventurous youth’s desires. It resonated with me in ways that are deep and emotional.

    Good job, well worth the read.

  • Janks LeBeau
    11:32 on June 30th, 2012
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    Rinker Buck’s Flight of Passage is a wonderful collection of passages devoted to the author’s long standing quest to reconcile his relationship with a domineering, eccentric father through the vehicle of a cross country flight with his peculiar and trusting older brother Kernanhan. It is an oddessey – a wonderful tale of wanderlust, brotherly devotion, friendship and understanding told through the recollections and remembrances of a fifteen year old boy, oftentimes at odds with his demanding and powerful father.

    The story is set in the mid-sixties, at a time when our country was still rattled by the Kennedy family tragedy, yet not so jaded as to lose interest in the story of two young men in an antique airplane reliving their father’s barnstorming days (and repeated, worn out stories of Stearman men and waterbags) and living their own memories to tell stories to their sons someday in probably the same fashion!

    Personally, I had much in comman with the author’s brother, having attended the same schools, and entered the same profession. I also happen to own and fly a restored Piper Cub. But the magic of this book is it’s ability to appeal to both flyers and non flyers alike. It reminds us that we live in a great and beautiful country. It has it’s faults, as we all do, and like most families, we have our problems and miscommunications, unmet expectations and misunderstandings, but with experience and “letting go” we appreciate the love that has been bestowed upon us – maybe years later – but a gift nonetheless.

    A beautiful story.

  • Alvin Lau
    13:18 on June 30th, 2012
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    “I enjoyed this book very much. I think it would be enjoyed by anyone, but would have special appeal to pilots and mountain climbers.

  • Greg K
    13:55 on June 30th, 2012
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    I enjoyed the flying experiences they had and I think the book should have been more about that. Before they even started the flight, Rinker wrote the first third of the book about his rough relationship with his dad. The story of the flight was the most interesting thing in the book as far as I’m concerned, the rest belonged in a personal diary.

  • Telecom_Guy
    15:07 on June 30th, 2012
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    Not so much a story about 2 mid-teenagers flying from coast to coast across America, but more the story of strained relations between brothers and between father and sons. It took over 25 years for Rinker Buck to get all this organised in his head, then put it on paper, but it was worth waiting for. What we get is the straight story, from his point of view, of the preparations and the journey, the turnaround in relations between him and brother Kern, and the two of them dealing with the expectations of a larger-than-life father who, perhaps secretly, wished to relive fame through the exploits of his sons. Told against the backdrop of ariel incidents, we find that the ebullient schoolboy prankster has to take (literally) a back seat to his shy, reclusive older brother, who suddenly comes out of his shell. It never descends into maudlin, or goes over-the-top, it is a straight from the shoulder account of the trip and the souring and cementing of relationships – a damn fine read.

  • Savonarola
    17:19 on June 30th, 2012
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    A great read about a true life story of a mountain, a man and courage….can not believe Hollywood has not made a movie about Sheldon and his Alaska adventures both in the air and on the ground…..

  • ChicagoBrock
    19:14 on June 30th, 2012
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    I was steered to this book through contacts with several alumni of the former Williamsport Technical Institute(predecessor of my employer, Pennsylvania College of Technology), where Don Sheldon received his airframe and powerplant license. The only appropriate word to describe his exploits is “amazing.” It seems as if every time he stepped into his airplane, he stepped into the jaws of death, and it’s hard to believe that he died (in 1975) from an illness, not a crash. Don Sheldon’s courage and dedication should serve as examples to us all. A must-read for anyone who likes adventure.

  • Les Escobar
    20:44 on June 30th, 2012
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    Don Sheldon was one of kind, and one of the greats of Alaska aviation. He was a pioneer without doubt on Denali. A good job by author James Greiner. If you liked this book, you will also like,

    FLYING NORTH SOUTH EAST AND WEST, by Captain Terry Reece This book covers not only Alaska aviation, but polar expeditions, cargo flying world wide.
    Flying North South East and West: Arctic to the Sahara

  • gsm playa
    22:33 on June 30th, 2012
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    I bought this book because it was about flying. I got hooked because of how well it was written, and the delightful and engaging portrait of relationships between father and sons (and between brothers). I couldn’t decide what I was enjoying the most, the parts about flying or the parts about the boys effort to make sense of their struggle with their father and with themselves. It all blended so well. It really touched my heart. Thanks Rink.

  • Allen
    1:07 on July 1st, 2012
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    I just finished this book and I have to dispute the review offered here by Gordon Reade. First, the book has very few swear words. Second, the “night of drinking” is actually a road trip to Mexico and the young pilot of the plane does not even take a drink “because he has to fly tomorrow.” I am not sure if Mr. Reade read the same book that I did or if he has an alternative motive here but this was a great read – I could not put it down for three days and it made me want to get in my own plane and do my own x-country trip.

  • here we go...
    5:23 on July 1st, 2012
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    I had been looking for this product for awhile but couldn’t find it for a good price. It came before it said it would and was in better shape than I thought it would’ve been.

  • Ozmodiar
    7:17 on July 1st, 2012
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    Rinker Buck and his brother certainly had an interesting youth, being able to fly cross country in a single engine plane as teens. The journey is fascinating, as is tbe account of their relationship with their father. Unfortunately, one must question the accuracy of the account since at least one glaring error is made. Buck talks of flying down through western Kentucky and seeing railroad tunnels and smoke drifting from lone cabins in the hills. I suspect he has confused this trip with an earlier trip over eastern Kentucky or Tennessee, since there are no hills to speak of in the western part of the state, no railroad tunnels, and almost certainly no cabins (in the 1960s!). A conspicuous error like this calls into question some of the other details in the book, but on balance it is enjoyable reading.

  • addicted
    8:52 on July 1st, 2012
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    A great read, particularly for those pilots who fly the awesome Super Cub! As you read the book you will be amazed at the high altitude landings made by Mr. Sheldon on sketchy glacier strips, even at night! He is a true pioneer of bush flying with several accidents that could have ended his career many times. I highly recommend this to all pilots and those interested in bush flying in Alaska.

  • lookitout.com
    10:55 on July 1st, 2012
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    I listened to this on cassette several years back, and after reading the one star reviews left here I felt compelled to enter my own positive review. Certainly this is not a book to rival Richard Bach’s writing, but it is nevertheless a pleasurable ride across the country with two interesting and stalwart individuals who enjoy flying and have issues to work out. The story has a good mix of human interest in addition to the flight aspects. I would recommend this book (specifically, the audio edition, if you still have access to a cassette player – since that is the version that I have experienced) to anyone that enjoys flying and isn’t uptight.

  • Arnold
    13:53 on July 1st, 2012
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    If you fly, love Alaska, or both, you really need to read this book. Sheldon’s career is sort of the middle period between the days of Bob Reeve (whom I had the pleasure of meeting, and who was Sheldon’s father-in-law) and other pioneers of Alaskan aviation and today. Sheldon pioneered a lot of what at that time was very risky flying; not around or over the mountains, but up into the mountains to land. He really was a legend of Alaskan flying.

    When I lived in Alaska, some friends of mine had scheduled a trip with Sheldon for the three of us as a birthday gift to me. We were on the part of his schedule he never reached when he died from cancer. My copy of this book is the first edition and is signed by both Greiner and Sheldon and has a foreword by Brad Washburn, a mountaineer, pilot and aerial photographer extraordinaire. I’ve passed it around to several other pilots, and all loved it.

  • Ben Dover
    14:55 on July 1st, 2012
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    Flight of Passage is an amazing book. I picked it up in 1998 when I saw the cover picture of a Piper Cub. I had flown a bunch of “orientation flights” in a Cub when I was a teenager in Civil Air Patrol in the late sixties. Although it was not official flight instruction, cadets were allowed to do everything but land the airplane. I learned a lot and loved every minute of it – flying low and slow with the door open, learning the basic air work, even the smell of the engine oil on a hot summer day. I wanted to be a pilot, but college, music, work, and marriage led me on a few different paths until my late forties, when I finally started taking flight lessons.

    Events at the time were making it difficult to keep the lessons going, and reading this book inspired me to keep at it even if I had to take a few breaks from the lessons. The teenage Buck brothers did a lot more with their Cub than I ever did, but the book sure brought back the memories and the romance of flying. Rinker Buck creates a vivid picture of the life and times of his interesting family and of the late 1960′s, in addition to writing one of the best “you are there” flying adventures I have ever read. Highly recommended even if you are not a big fan of flying books – it’s a really good read.

    But for me, the book had an even bigger role to play. I happened to meet Kern Buck at a Jiffy-Lube in Massachusetts in 1999. I overheard his name and asked him if he was related to the “Flight of Passage” boys, and he said he was Rinker Buck’s brother, the pilot in the book! We talked for a while about flying, and it turns out that he had just updated his flight instructor certification after a break of a few years (he is an attorney now, working in the Boston area). I was also coming back from a break in my lessons and looking for a new instructor. Kern signed on as a part-time instructor at the small airport where I was flying at the time, and I took around 8 lessons with him before I had to take another break (buying a house and moving). Kern was a great instructor and really helped me make progress with my landings. I finally completed my lessons in early 2001 (with yet another instructor) and passed my private pilot check ride that May.

    Last summer (2004) I decided to start working on a tail-wheel endorsement, and I found a local instructor who owns and teaches in a Piper Cub. I hadn’t flown in a Cub since 1968, and the memories came flooding back once I squeezed myself into the back seat and Ed turned the prop to start the engine. This prompted me to re-read Flight of Passage and I enjoyed it even more as I was experiencing once again the pure flying fun of the spunky little Piper Cub.

    Flight of Passage is a fine piece of writing and one of my favorite books.

  • joan of snarc
    15:14 on July 1st, 2012
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    Two boys, a rebuilt airplane, a cross-country journey including an impossible crossing of a mountain pass. Too good to be true. No. Too true to be left untold.Rinker Buck’s FLIGHT OF PASSAGE, retells the story of his joint flight into adulthood with his brother, a true story of two of the first teenagers to cross the country in a single engine plane. Although Buck repeats thoughts a bit too often for my taste, the turbulent tale spins along until you just have to buckle up your seat belt and ride it out till its conclusion. Surprisingly, I didn’t get too lost in the aviation terminology, even reaching a state of readiness to feel the acceleration every time the young boys “firewalled” the plane. The narrator (Buck as a youngster) makes an inviting character to join with on the journey, especially if you’re a man who remembers the frustrations of youth. I’m glad Rinker lived to tell about it and lucky to be able to live it with him by reading his memoir.

  • OhHenry
    17:52 on July 1st, 2012
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    Flight of Passage
    by Rinker Buck

    Imagine trying to write a memoir about the defining event of your life thirty years after it happened. This was the challenge facing Rinker Buck in his book Flight of Passage. In 1966, Rinker, then 15 years old, and his older brother Kern, who was 17, flew a 85-hp Piper Cub to become the youngest aviators ever to fly from coast to coast. They bought the Cub for $300 and rebuilt it themselves in their father’s barn in New Jersey.

    The simplicity of their aircraft seems astounding today. The tiny two-seat Cub had no battery, no radio, no lights, and needed to be hand-propped to start. Its tubular metal frame was coated with doped Irish linen. The Cub was a link to the low and slow, seat-of-the-pants flying of the barnstorming era.

    The boy’s father, Tom Buck, was a flying legend. A barnstormer in the 1930s, he had trained British flyers for the Battle of Britain and had lost a leg after the war in an air crash. This seeming handicap didn’t prevent him from flying stunt shows with a big AT-6 Texan warbird on weekends away from his job as a publisher. Being Tom Buck’s sons meant that the boys were destined to become flamboyant flyers–16-year-old Kern soloed 16 times on his 16th birthday in four separate airplanes. It was Kern’s idea that he and Rinker should fly the cub across the country, and he was the primary pilot on the adventure.

    Rinker Buck tells a tale with great drama and the flying scenes are spellbinding. “There’s no accounting for a young pilot as good as Kern was that morning in California. He was my father and Big Eddie Mahler, and all of the instructors and barnstormers back at our home strip, giving back all at once everything they had put into him over the years. Bonk he pulled out of the turn. Wham he crossed the controls, flying us sideways to bleed off speed. Slam he closed the throttle and then kicked in the last of his rudder and aileron to keep us in the sideways slip. All the while he was playing way over on the left side of the cockpit with the stick to hold us flat and nose-high in the slip, so the plane would be expended and have nothing left when we got over the runway.” His ability to describe the technique and craft of stick and rudder flight brings forth the same emotion and awe usually reserved for the flying prose of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

    Flight of Passage is much more than a flying story. It is a coming of age piece that carefully examines the relationships between two very different brothers and their demanding and heroic father. The Buck brothers were in fact retracing a transcontinental route that Tom Buck had described to them so many times that it had become family legend. But the boys soon find that to survive the perils of their flight they must separate the harsh facts and reality from their father’s romanticized fiction.

    Rinker and Kern Buck were successful in their transcontinental adventure and for a brief time were celebrities. Both went on to be successful in their careers and we are fortunate that thirty years later, Rinker Buck decided to tell their story. The cliché is that you find a book so engaging and riveting that you can’t put it down. With Flight of Passage, if you have any interest in flying and adventure, you’ll be staying up late into the night to finish it.

    Copyright 2009, Kevin Clemens (speedreaders.info)

  • Robert Agthe
    19:05 on July 1st, 2012
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    I have personally visited Talkeetna(the town of Don Sheldon’s home) during my tenure on the US Army’s High Altitude Rescue Team(79-82) as well as the places described in the book, including the landing sights on Mt. McKinley where Mr. Sheldon conducted his various climbing operations. The book is an insight to what a bush pilot had to endure in order to accomplish the flights in the harsh Alaskan environment. There are several examples of humorous incidents such as the rather large lady Mr. Sheldon rescued as well as the horrific crashes he miraculously survived. Mr. Sheldon help pave the way for other bush pilots through his common-sense approach to flying, while at the same time having an extremely high respect for the Alaskan wilderness. Mr. Grenier done an excellent job in exposing the aviation legend for which the skill of all bush pilots are measured. This book also looks inside Mr. Sheldon’s personal life with his wife and children, as well as the personal relationships he had with his fellow pilots, the Alaskan climbing community, the US Government and his friends. His compassion for life and his commitment to his family elevated him to an icon status as a symbol of what Alaska was all about during his life. I have read this book more than a dozen times because it is an example of what a person should strive to accomplish in the short period of time that each of us have on this earth. I will again read this book with the same amazment I had the first time I opened the cover.

  • Jermaine
    21:15 on July 1st, 2012
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    I have always treasured this book and other stories about Don Sheldon’s adventures in the Alaskan interior. Don came to Talkeetna shortly after my Dad moved there, and they became great friends. I remember stories about Don’s flying that Dad would tell me, from the time I was a small boy, so when he gave me a copy of the book it was like I was reliving adventures that had first-hand knowledge of. The book is great, and portrays a true pioneer of Alaskan aviation.

    Cal

  • Toomuchmusic
    22:19 on July 1st, 2012
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    With a father, three brothers, two sisters-in-law, a niece, and several nephews who fly or have flown or soloed, and a few hours toward soloing myself, this book had instant appeal for me. Brother Jim’s wife, Chris, recommended it to me and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Rinker Buck does a grand job of telling his story; the whole story not just the mind-boggling, spectacular flight across the country he and his brother, Kern, took as teenagers. The book is well written; easy and absorbing to read. This is not a book you will want to read quickly. I have not finished it and am in no hurry to do so. The story is to be savored; parts read and re-read. There are some photographs included which always adds to the appeal of a story about real people. (Two of my brothers soloed at 16. With a ten-year age difference between them, the older one soloed the younger one. It made all the local papers.)

    The relationship between the boys and their father is compelling, as is the fact that this is a family of eleven children, which makes for a pretty terrific mother, as well as a barnstorming, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants pilot for a father.

    Read and enjoy!

    Carolyn Rowe Hill

  • Rodney
    23:55 on July 1st, 2012
    Reply to comment

    Don Sheldon was one of kind, and one of the greats of Alaska aviation. He was a pioneer without doubt on Denali. A good job by author James Greiner. If you liked this book, you will also like,

    FLYING NORTH SOUTH EAST AND WEST, by Captain Terry Reece This book covers not only Alaska aviation, but polar expeditions, cargo flying world wide.
    Flying North South East and West: Arctic to the Sahara

  • themacadvocate
    1:28 on July 2nd, 2012
    Reply to comment

    I ENJOYED THE BOOK VERY MUCH. AS A PILOT I WOULD LOVE TO FLY SUCH A CROSS COUNTRY ADVENTURE. GREAT BOOK ,GREAT ADVENTURE.

  • rajudeshi
    2:46 on July 2nd, 2012
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    My one regret is that I didn’t read this book before my wife and I visited Talkeetna last September. I spent 13 months, in the late 50′s, stationed at a U.S. Air Force AC&W installation out of Fairbanks, and I have faint memories of the harsh Alaska elements which Don Sheldon had to pit his skills against on a routine basis. The author, James Greiner does a magnificant job of packing one illustrious episode after another of the exploits and accomplishments of what surely is one of of the most remarkable aviators this country has known. Don Sheldon epitomized the skills and dedication of a bush pilot and a humanitarian. His uncanny ability to “cheat death” repeatedly, illustrates total mastery and understanding of the limits of his aircraft, and his intimate familiarity with the terrain over which he flew. Utter disregard for his own safety in a number of instances where he placed the well being or survival of complete strangers, above his own, is vivid testimony to both his piloting skills and his humanitarian heart.

    Reviewing pictures that we’d taken in Talkeetna (A beautiful little town of friendly residents off the “beaten path.”) revealed glimpses of the main street runway and the Talkeetna Air Service hangers that Mr Sheldon built and used. Had I read the book prior to our visit in Talkeetna, I would have made a special effort to learn more from local residents about this fascinating man.

    This is truly a “must read” book for aviators or anyone who has an interest in one of the more intriquing occupations in Alaska. My wife and I will return to Talkeetna for a visit next year and I hope to learn more about this man and his exploits. Don Sheldon is a legend, and James Greiner does an exceptional job of making that point!!

  • TowerTone
    4:45 on July 2nd, 2012
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    Good book if you are interested in Bush Pilots in Alaska and flying.
    Don Sheldon was a fearless, dedicated pilot.

  • Delmer Zubris
    7:45 on July 2nd, 2012
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    This is a fantastic book! I’ve read it twice and will most likely read it again. It has so many compelling elements that it can’t be fully appreciated in one reading. I think that the sheer adventure in Kern and Rinker Buck’s 1966 coast-to-coast flight is what really seized me. I am the same age as the Buck brothers and struck out on my own the very same week they made their flight. Their desire to have an adventure, prove something to their father and master a pursuit reserved for skilled adults hit home with me. The book is funny, touching and insightful about family relationships.

    It is a great read and I, for one, am very grateful to Rinker Buck for putting this story down on paper all these years later.

  • Samual Dupray
    11:37 on July 2nd, 2012
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    Two young men enter their great adventure flying a very crude Piper Cub across the country. The conflicts with their father as they emerge from childhood remind us all, of those conflicts between ourselves and our sons as we and they left the nest. I really did not want the book to end as it was a very enjoyable reflection of all our passages into manhood. Thanks Rinker Buck for sharing your story with me

  • Rock and Roll
    12:57 on July 2nd, 2012
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    The experience of two teenagers flying coast-to-coast is an exciting tale that deserves to be told. As long as the storyline focuses on the actual travel adventure, it makes for an interesting read. On the flipside, the author’s lengthy description of his rather dysfunctional family situation gets tiresome before long. From a pilot’s perspective I hope that the irresponsible, at times outright dangerous acts described in the book will not encourage the next generation of flyers to follow suit. Sadly, the book’s supposed highlight, crossing the Rockies between two mountain peaks at high altitude in gusty wind conditions is the result of a blatant navigational error. By diverting 10 miles to the south and to lower terrain, this dangerous situation could have been avoided altogether…

  • Outlooked
    14:45 on July 2nd, 2012
    Reply to comment

    “Wager with the Wind” is a great read for all pilots and all prospective pilots. Don Sheldon was one of the greatest bush pilots to ever live and this book tells his story well.

  • Bertis
    15:59 on July 2nd, 2012
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    The most glaring factual error is the date of Stub Morrison’s death. Greiner places Stub’s death over 1.5 years earlier, ironically using the date of Glen Hudson’s death for Stub Morrison. Glen Hudson operated Hudson Air Service with his younger brother Cliff Hudson. They were operating in Talkeetna before Stub Morrison and Don Sheldon showed up, and went into business competing with the Hudsons. Check the old newspapers– PBS made a documentary about Don Sheldon and it included the falsehoods printed in Wager With The Wind. Considering all the stories about the bitter rivalry between Sheldon and Cliff Hudson (many rumors surround the circumstances of Glen’s death and some point to Morrison and Co. as a suspect) I find it hard to believe that this ‘fact’ of Morrison’s death went unresearched, and it perpetuates a cover up of history by the series of biographers.

  • Volker Detering
    16:42 on July 2nd, 2012
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    Although this is an excellent story, it is not meant to be shared with children. Our son loves airplanes and aviation, so we purchased it for him. Seems benign enough, the story of two brothers flying cross-country… Some of the language that is used throughout the book would make a sailor blush. Enjoy the book, but do not allow children under the age of 18 to read it by themselves!!!

  • max britton
    17:33 on July 2nd, 2012
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    In retrospect, I should have rated this a “10″ Mr. Buck brought back memories of my own youth and my relationships with my father and younger brothers. Very poignant, well crafted and a delight from start to finish. I am passing this book on to both of my sons with the hope that it will give them a mirror into themselves

  • What's the pay?
    18:44 on July 2nd, 2012
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    This book takes, in my opinion, a little to long to get set up. However it does have several great stories in it. I would still recommend it.

  • elvisman
    18:57 on July 2nd, 2012
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    Length:: 3:03 Mins

    Flight of Passage is a Rite of Passage book that will interest a wide audience. Would you like it? Would it make a good gift? I’ll tell you more in my video review. Frank Derfler, author of “A Glint in Time”

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