It was with considerable dismay that I read Rendezvous with an Unknown Field (July 31). It seemed misplaced in your fine publication. You have distorted the true picture of private flying. You have scared your readers.
Any magazine can write a scare story. No—not SPORTS ILLUSTRATED!
RICHARD D. RAYMOND
?To conceal the risks of flying is as misleading as to say that no swimmer ever drowns. Pilot Knauth believes that any aspirant to flight should know its dangers as well as its rewards, and he has yet to find an experienced flier who will not admit to having sometimes been afraid.—ED.
As a private pilot since 1941, I certainly enjoyed Percy Knauth's story. It brought to mind one of Edgar Bergen's inimitable cracks: "Flying is safe but eventful!" And it recalled from my own experiences not a few sweaty incidents. Perhaps one of the most memorable joys of flying is that feeling of being solidly on ground again. At any rate, there's nothing like flying for keeping you young!
GEORGE V. CAESAR
Harbor Beach, Mich.
SKIING: POTENT AND POOR
I have been appalled by the lack of knowledge among the sportsmen of this country concerning the F�d�ration Internationale de Ski championship to be held at Chamonix, France, next winter (Feb. 18-25) and its importance in world skiing. This FIS championship, which is held every four years, probably means more to the European winter sports enthusiast than the Olympics, yet here in the U.S. very few people, including the average skiing enthusiasts, arc even aware this great world event exists.
At present the U.S. FIS team is in a very sad financial position because of this lack of knowledge. Fifty-five thousand dollars is needed to send only a skeleton team—not even considering a full-fledged squad—to Europe this next year, and in the last nine months only about $10,000 of this has been raised.
As I am writing this, 40 track athletes have been sent to Europe to compete, not particularly for any world's championship, but just for meets with other countries. My guess is that the expense of this trip is around $88,000 to $100,000. Where does this money come from? And why is it available at this time to track when teams of other sports need financial backing for a world's championship?
Three years from now, when the Olympic winter sports events will again be held, the U.S. can have the finest ski team it has ever had, if European training and competition can be obtained this year and next year. Never have we had as high a caliber of skier in the U.S. as now. Thus it is essential to have an organized group this winter in Europe competing officially and gaining valuable experience for the future.
WILLIAM P. CLOUGH JR., M.D.
Director, Eastern Amateur Ski Assn.
New London, N.H.