Edward T. and Robert L. Heikell mix history with some fiction to create a well-rounded view of lesser known pilot Clyde Pangborn in “One Chance for Glory: First nonstop flight across the Pacific” (ISBN 1468006088). Pangborn was the first pilot to successfully cross the Pacific Ocean nonstop, but his accomplishment was lost in the shuffle of other pilots who accomplished great aeronautical feats and became household names.
The Heikell brothers contacted a number of sources who were associated with Pangborn, and all questioned why Pangborn’s incredible flight was never advertised in history books. During the era of pilots like Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh and Jimmy Doolittle, Pangborn was overlooked; however, some suspect it was a result of a gag order placed on him by the sponsors of his trip.
The Heikells use emotions and fictitious conversations to piece together what sketchy historical information existed about the flight in an attempt to link the internal stresses that must have existed between Pangborn and his loved ones.
“The book is based on history, but some of it had to be fiction,” Edward Heikell says. “Actual pictures of the event will be included, but all of the conversations, emotions, some people and sub stories were made up to make a complete story out of the fragmented history trail.”
When their barnstorming business began to fizzle due to government regulations and the Depression, Pangborn and his co-pilot Hugh Herndon Jr. ventured on a record-breaking trip to make a name for themselves. From the beginning, Pangborn was shocked to discover Herndon, son of the sponsor of the trip, was not the flyer he had hoped, as Herndon’s inept flying nearly caused them to lose their lives on numerous occasions. The discovery of situations like this prompted the Heikells to add emotions they imagined probably existed to present a complete story of Pangborn.
“One Chance for Glory: First nonstop flight across the Pacific” is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels.
About the Authors: Edward T. Heikell was an aeronautical engineer who spent his entire career with the Boeing Company. Robert L. Heikell worked in school administration for most of his career, and also builds precise remote controlled airplanes. Both have obtained their private and commercial flying licenses.
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SOURCE: Edward T. and Robert L. Heikell
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