Writer Rinker Buck looks back more than 30 years to a summer when he and his brother, at ages 15 and 17 respectively, became the youngest duo to fly across America, from New Jersey to California. Having grown up in an aviation family, the two boys bought an old Piper Cub, restored it themselves, and set out on the grand journey. Buck is a great storyteller, and once you get airborne with the boys you find yourself absorbed in a story of adventure and family drama. And Flight of Passage is also an affecting look back to the summer of 1966, when the times seemed much less cynical and adventures much more enjoyable.
"It was the best summer of our lives and there would never be another one like it," Buck recalls in this gripping adventure story from June 1966. That was when, at age 15, he and his 17-year-old brother, Kern, flew from New Jersey to California and back in a Piper Cub that they had painstakingly restored, becoming the youngest aviators to fly coast to coast. Freelance writer Buck successfully combines details of this flight with a chronicle of the family interaction that inspired the trip. The eldest sons of magazine publisher Tom Buck, father of 11 children and a barnstorming pilot whose flying days ended when he lost a leg in a 1946 plane accident, Rink and Kern were raised to fly. This coming-of-age memoir, replete with colorful anecdotes about open-cockpit planes and their pilots, is a pleasure to read. Photos. BOMC, QPB and Reader's Digest Condensed Books selections; audio rights to BDD Audio.