: New: Book Report: Three Eight Charlie

It's a memoir of the first solo woman around-the-world airplane voyage. Many of the challenges back then weren't so much the flying as the primitive airport technology and bureaucracy. This wasn't a non-stop flight; back then it took plenty of hops to get around the world. Each stop came with a set of stumbling blocks. E.g., regulations said that you had to get a weather report ahead of time. But you couldn't just go to the local weather service's web site or what-have-you. That weather report would involve a human hand-crafting a report. Someone had to draw out a weather map. There wasn't an internationally agreed-on notation for weather maps. So… visit airport offices for a few days to get a map that you maybe can't read; and if it boils down to "bad flying weather", then know that you'll spend the next few days coming back in for more reports hoping for better news. Also: navigation was scarier back when it was based on radio beacons. If you couldn't detect any beacons, were you just far away from everything, or was your equipment hosed? This was a quick, fun read. You don't think it's fun because I mentioned "bureaucracy" up there, but she doesn't dwell on the boring parts.

Remember back when my website got zapped for a few weeks? The good news is that it was mostly backed up. The bad news is that my draft blog posts weren't backed up. Maybe I had a wordier book report prepped? Anyhow, now it's months since I read this book and I don't remember so much. Sorry!

Tags: book travel

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