Stranger to the Ground

“I belong to a group of men who fly alone. There is only one seat in the cockpit of a fighter airplane. There is no space alotted for another pilot to tune the radios in the weather or make the calls to air traffic control centers or to help with the emergency procedures or to call off the airspeed down final approach. There is no one else to break the solitude of a long cross-country flight. There is no one else to make decisions.
I do everything myself, from engine start to engine shutdown. In a war, I will face alone the missiles and the flak and the small-arms fire over the front lines.
If I die, I will die alone.”

— Richard Bach, ‘Stranger to the Ground,’ 1963.

This book is not about fighting. It is a short novel about a single flight. About all the thing you can think of when you are up there alone in the cockpit during the cold war.

I think I read that book many years ago. It’s about a flight in the F84 Thunderstreak isn’t it? A good book.