It is neither a novel, nor memories. This is the journal of a French pilot of the RAF during world war 2. His purpose was to leave a "track" of his passage on Earth, in case he would not have returned of mission, what was very probable, so that his parents can understand the reasons of his commitment. These narratives have the force of what is lived and allow us to understand, more than 50 years later, why these young men could accept the unacceptable of the slaughter in the sky, even (it is the case of P.Clostermann), to ask for more, while they could quietly stay behind, once the maximum missions number was reached. Since the magic moments fliying the Spitfire for the first time, until the sourness of the fights of the end of the war, when he became "Wing Commander", steering a fighter squadron on his Hawker Tempest "Le Grand Charles", Pierre Clostermann entails us in this whirlwind, where missions succeed to other missions, taking each time their levy of young pilots, in the rumbling of the "Merlin" engines, the roarings of the sirens of alert or the heavy and alarming silence of the expectation since it was going to be necessary to take off in this howling metal, trying to forget that the chances of survival were small. For many of them, the first mission was a single ticket, as this young Canadian, strong of his ten hours of flight on Tempest, who, hardly arrived in the squadron where he had just been affected, just having time to put down his bag to replace hastily a pilot shot down the day before. In this book, P.Clostermann tells us also the nonsense of war situations as the sadness engendered by the announcement of the death of their worst enemy, a German pilot responsible of the death of lots of companions in misfortune. The pilots were sad because they thought that this man, that they respected and that frightened them, would have been an excellent companion, if only he had been in the other camp...
This book addresses those that fly from 0 to 60 mph, those that come back from flying with a blissful smile and mosquitoes stuck on teeth. For all the followers of hang-gliding soaring, ultralight, parachute, or other warm air baloons, this is a reference book for aerology and micro-meteorology. One can learn that the convection phenomena in low layers atmosphere, can simply be explained by the set of temperatures differences and that the ascending and downward currents which result from this phenomena are a tremendous engine which we begin hardly to exploit for some decades. Fliying in thermals, soaring near a hillside, streets of clouds, climbing in upwind gradients, going down in down wind gradients, all the ways are good to stay in the air as long as possible. H.Haupetit draws up an almost exhaustive list of the thousand and one manners to move us closer to birds, but while inviting us in the hightest humility for nature, by reminding us that even birds, that are nevertheless the result of centuries of evolution and adaptation to the aerial environment, are victims of the sky quirks too. Far from the scientific and technical treaties filled with equations and deductions, this book explains simply the meteorological phenomena by illustrating them by lived stories.