Needle, ball and alcohol: The second great fleet biplane excursion
In an antique, open cockpit biplane, pilot Phil Bragg and his friend Wayland Cooke flew across the U.S. during the hot summer of 2012. After enduring delays, they finally departed from northeastern North Carolina in search of old friends in Greensburg, Kansas, whose town was demolished by a relentless tornado one tragic night. Their high-flying adventure takes them across the Appalachian Mountains and into the heart of America’s breadbasket, navigating with a bobbing alcohol compass and windblown paper charts in their laps.
With a humble sense of humor and patience, they share a seldom seen perspective of what flying used to be like in the old days, as well as what it can still be like today. In the quest to find their friends, they make many new ones along the way and unexpectedly stumble onto airports that are hidden jewels of grassroots aviation. Authored by Bragg, a Roanoke Electric Cooperative member, “Needle, Ball & Alcohol: The Second Great Fleet Biplane Excursion” is softcover, 197 pages, $9.80, e-book is $1.99.