Galt Airport in northern Illinois is known to the people who fly out of it as “One-Zero-Charlie” (for its FAA designation as Airport 10C). This evocative excursion into a little-known part of the heart of America takes us to a place where a love of flying draws people together, and a fascination with its sheer exhilaration keeps them that way.
Gonzales ( The Still Point ) conveys the mystique of piloting an aircraft; when he writes of the freedom and joys the skies afford he approaches the lyricism of Saint-Exupery. But in his portraits of others similarly obsessed with flying and with speed, and with his emphasis on aerobatics, he loses his primary focus, which is the disappearance of ``grass roots airports'' like Galt, near Chicago, Gonzales's headquarters. Although his lament for the vanishing small airfields is heartfelt, few readers are likely to share Gonzales's passionate regret that small private planes are also becoming extinct.