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But much more important than Mauldin's many errors, why not secure an old pro for your flying contributor also?
Someone, and there are many, who knows and reveres a fine art for exactly that. Someone who loves flying and has a deep respect for the skill required to do it well.
To many of us who fly almost daily it is much more than a job: it's a profession of which we are intensely proud. It is also a sport, requiring in its finest applications, all the coordination, judgment and self-control at man's command. It can be properly done, tremendously rewarding; and yet I have never known a truly fine pilot who did not know full well that actual danger, and death, can be the penalty for a bad misplay. No referee?no 15 yards?just serious injury, and death.
Discouraging or frightening? No!
Show me another sport more demanding, or more rewarding.
?Having read Capt. Trask's letter our Bill Mauldin sat down behind his eloquent typewriter and wrote:
Dear Captain Trask:
I didn't mean to get you in an uproar. I recognize your brand of flying as a delicate art, far beyond the realm of a mere weekend hobby, and I regard airline or military pilots with all the respect of a one-finger piano player in the presence of Paderewski. But at no point did I say, "Don't bother with practice," or "Laugh at experience," or say I "had it licked." As far as my future being "tragically predictable" is concerned, I'm well aware than an amateur who gives his airplane a careful line check, respects VFR weather minimums, doesn't try to pick up a stalled wing with his ailerons and keeps his neck on swivel, is still running only as much risk of piling up unexpectedly as he would driving carefully down a highway. What I was really trying to say was that a lot of old hands in the business still seem determined to keep all aviation a closed corporation, for certified supermen only, and resent brash tyros even learning to fly, let alone talking about it. Your letter might seem in some ways to bear this out. I'm not trying to make flying seem attractive to fools?I'm simply trying to give heart to a few poor timid souls like myself who have long stayed away from airplanes because of the squelching tactics of the high priests of the cult. Don't worry, when I meet you on Green Five I will be holding a proper altitude well out of your way and will salute you with genuine admiration, but can't I have a little piece of air to burn through my modest four cylinders as long as I know my limitations? You speak of experience. How else am I going to get it? I need those Saturday afternoons in the air and all the additional time I can get. As far as my writing about it is concerned, I need the dough.