'Fate is the Hunter'

This article by James Fallows is not particularly interesting but he’s right about the book.

It is Fate Is the Hunter , by Ernest K. Gann, which was first published in the early 1960s. It is a memoir of Gann’s experience as a military pilot during World War II and as an airline pilot before and after.

Because so few people have first-hand experience in the cockpits of airplanes, a natural instinct would be to dismiss this as “genre” literature.

It is not. I found it a profound and memorable book.

1 Like

That is a great book, non-pilots will still enjoy it. Gann was also a sailor and wrote a great sailing book:

The boat that was the subject of much of this book was the Albatross, later sold onto a sail training outfit. That boat went down with some loss of life on a training cruise and became the subject of the movie “White Squall”.
See Albatross (1920 schooner) - Wikipedia
Knowing that, reading about Gann having the boat refitted from a somewhat under canvassed North Sea pilot boat to a brigantine is a bit creepy, you know years later that extra sail area and weight aloft will spell her doom.

Gann’s son was chief mate on the Chevron Mississippi. He was lost overboard in 1973.

There a was a great aviation accident movie back in the '60s called Fate is the Hunter. In the story line, indeed it was.

The movie’s plot is not in Ernest K. Gann’s book, also titled “Fate Is the Hunter.” The book is a series of vignettes about events in Gann’s flying career before, during, and after World War II. None of the eighteen chapters and one epilogue has a scenario that matches the movie. The closest is Chapter XVII, “A Certain Embarrassment,” which describes a mysterious problem with an aircraft’s engines that required the investigators to duplicate conditions to see if the problem would occur again. There was no spilled coffee on a console or warning bells involved, just a sudden, exasperating failure of the engines. Interestingly, Chapter XVIII of the book comes close to the screenplay of the movie “The High and the Mighty,” which was written by Gann.

Although Ernest K. Gann, who wrote the book on which the film was based, later claimed he was reportedly so unhappy with the film that he demanded his name be removed.

– from IMDB “Trivia” for the movie.