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By Stephen Coonts

The compelling real-life event from New York occasions bestselling writer Stephen Coonts
Bestselling writer Stephen Coonts’s stirring ode to aviation: a revealing account of his 3 months spent exploring small-town the US from the skies
 
Stephen Coonts spent the summer season of 1991 cruising above rivers, farms, mountains, and swamps within the Cannibal Queen, his restored 1942 Boeing-Stearman open cockpit biplane. along with his fourteen-year-old son, David, alongside for the trip, Coonts explored the various landscapes of the forty-eight contiguous states, touching down in every one to checklist the untold tales of America’s nation-state. the result's The Cannibal Queen, a amazing memoir that includes all of the technical aviation knowledge of Coonts’s acclaimed thrillers, yet with the highlight concentrated squarely at the great thing about rural the USA and the spirit of these who dwell there.
 
This e-book beneficial properties an illustrated biography of Stephen Coonts, together with infrequent images from the author’s own collection.

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When we have the Queen fueled and tied down out within the grass among of her sisters, a fellow named Kirk and his spouse supply to force us the 3 blocks to the inn within the twenty-year-old Cadillac courtesy motor vehicle the inn supplied. We agree, then watch for part an hour whereas Kirk does anything or different on the different finish of the flight line. We sit down within the grass within the colour below the wing and watch a white-and-blue Stearman arcing above us within the blue sky. Stearman pilots close to us are giving rides—$30 for 15 minutes—so there are the standard squeals and trepidation because the neophytes are strapped into front cockpits. one of many planes lacks an electric procedure, so we watch the aviator hand-prop the engine. It begins simply at the first potent swing of the large polished-metal prop. one other planeload of skydivers leaps into the palms of Jesus and floats earthward because the throb of radial engines surrounds and engulfs us. ultimately Kirk is prepared, and we climb into the traditional Cad for the three-block jaunt to the lodge the place we have now a room reserved. An hour later David and that i stroll the six blocks to the St. Francis urban Park. The residential streets are covered with modest houses with large bushes within the yards. this is often the Madison road model of the USA, the good, middle-class dream the USA of contented married with young children and a pleasant mongrel puppy and a Chevy within the driveway. This fantasy pulls on our heartstrings even supposing we good understand that small-town the USA is already an anachronism, although we all know that those farming groups at the prairie are loss of life because the households go away one after the other for greater jobs and higher faculties within the monstrous towns, although we all know existence here's as demanding because it is anywhere else, or perhaps a little tougher. the homes have porches and folks sitting on them traveling with their pals in this beautiful early-summer night. while was once the final time a developer in California or Colorado outfitted a home with a porch on it? So we stroll alongside, this fourteen-year-old boy and that i, the homes and speaking of what those humans do to earn money. David is involved in what young ones his age do in a city this measurement “for enjoyable” on a Saturday evening. I inform him they get within the family members motor vehicle or pickup and drag major road, like they did in Longmont, Colorado, in the summertime of 1977 while i used to be at the police strength there. And as they nonetheless do in each city in Colorado, together with Denver. the youngsters force up and down the road all night, seeing who's within the different autos, sometimes preventing in a carpark and sitting at the hood because the parade is going via. they usually throw beer and pa cans. the entire scene infuriates the retailers, who nonetheless bitch to the police as vigorously now as they did in 1977, and 1967, and 1957. Why the retailers get no wiser I don’t be aware of. within the park a wheat farmer who barbecues commercially is cleansing up. he's complete cooking—all the beef is in huge pots prepared for serving. As he cleans his grill—a huge boilerlike contraption that he tows in the back of a pickup—he tells a narrative a couple of girl in a bikini (from out of city, most likely depraved Denver) who attended the fly-in years in the past.

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