ZERO THREE BRAVO by Mariana Gosnell


Solo Across America in a Small Plane
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 A pleasurable ride with aviatrix Gosnell on her leisurely summer odyssey, flying in to out-of-the-way airfields and seeing the US from a fresh perspective. The lure of the blue sky outside her office window in midtown Manhattan finally proved irresistible to Gosnell. Taking a three- month leave of absence from her reporter's job at Newsweek, she set out in her small, single-engine Luscombe Silvaire to hop-skip-and- jump to the West Coast and back. Gosnell had fallen in love with flying during a summer vacation in Kenya when she took a charter flight over the game-rich African plains, and she extended her vacation there in order to take flying lessons. Back home, she finished her flight training and bought her first airplane--``a weekend cabin that moved.'' On the cross-country trip described here--flying below 1500 feet whenever the weather and terrain permitted, stopping off at familiar and unfamiliar places, dropping in on friends, hiking and backpacking when the mood struck, exploring caves, spending the nights in her sleeping bag and as often as not under the wing of her beloved little plane--Gosnell saw America as few do: the ocean shores, the Mississippi, the Rockies, the Great Plains, and terrain both benign and terrifying. The characters she met were as interesting as the sights--among them, crop-dusters, tow-plane pilots, fire spotters, flight instructors, trading-post managers, cave specialists, and, of course, the FBOs (fixed-base operators: the term stands for both the small, private airfields and the dedicated folk who run them). A notable stop on the way back was at Columbus, Ohio, for a homecoming visit with her family. A satisfying companion to Laurence Gonzales's One Zero Charlie (1992). Like Gonzales, Gosnell is hopelessly in love with flying, and we are ensnared by her enthusiasm. (Photographs--not seen).

Pub Date: June 11th, 1993
ISBN: 0-679-40025-7
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1993