Top positive review
A Good Read for All, A Must Read for Pilots
August 12, 2016
This book describes a real event during the island-hopping phase of WW2 in the Pacific. In the steep mountains of New Guinea, a hidden valley was home to a large population of natives who had no knowledge of the world beyond the valley--until it was spotted from the air by fliers stationed at air fields along the coast. Soon, the valley was the destination of sight-seeing flights, but these only flew over, the valley having no place for a safe air field, and the rim of the valley being near the altitude limit of the available aircraft. To reach the valley, the planes had to fly a twisted path through passes in the mountains. One day, an officer decides to reward his staff, including a number of WACs, with a trip to see the valley in a C47. Then the trouble starts! The pilot is the only one who is familiar with the complex route , and he soon is distracted by socializing with the passengers, leaving the plane to an inexperienced co-pilot. They fail to clear a ridge, and the result is a fiery crash. There are 3 survivors, two of whom have serious injuries. This book is the story of how they survived and finally got home, To do so, they had to make their location, well off the intended course, known to searchers; deal with their medical needs; and deal with the natives, who vastly out number them, and for whom the chief entertainment is war among their numerous clans! This book is well written, and can be read as an real-life adventure story. It is also a cautionary tale of how a pilot's inattention can lead to disaster. Reading the accident reports that appear in Aviation Week, it appears that this still has not been fully learned.