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For those interested purely in parachuting, Parachute to Survival is no history of jumping as was Martin Caidin's recent, nervewracking The Silken Angels. The present work is, instead, a kind of popularized military manual for survival once your two feet have hit...whatever they hit. It's quite fascinating to ponder these unknown possibilities wherein horror vanishes into a workaday carpentry of keeping alive. Mr. Dost focuses on USAF survival techniques as taught at the Combat Survival School at Stead AFB near Reno, the Arctic Survival School at Eielson AFB, Alaska, and the Tropical Survival School in the Canal Zone. Instructors for these courses are chosen on a ""living proof"" basis of effective survival methods. Individual bailouts are rare and the courses center on group survival. Since USAF activities are spread thinly over the whole face of the globe, techniques include survival on ice, water, desert, mountain and in jungle. (Few pilots, though, have nerve enough to bail out in the Arctic and prefer to ride in for a crash landing.) Many readers will find that the lore revealed here is imaginatively adaptable for simple activities like camping or small-boating. Hopefully, they'll never bail out where (say over Africa or South America) a diabolically relentless will to live may be one's only resource. Mr. Best illuminates such an unpredictability, though, with many shrewd hints on how to save your neck, O air passenger.

Pub Date: Jan. 21st, 1963
Publisher: John Day