The Flight Of The Phoenix Author:Elleston Trevor The plane, a Salmon-Rees Skystruck passenger-conversion freighter, had taken off into a pale blue sky on its usual Sahara run. — Frank Towns was flying the plane. The navigator was aware that some people called Frank a failure, but, as far as he was concerned, it was easy to trust Frank. He was a flier of the old school, who had to fly a plane by... more » the seat of his pants -and the sky was his playground.
The passengers were an odd lot; one was traveling with a monkey tucked in his jacket (a monkey with a strong smell, that). There was a driller named Cobb who was being shipped home for psychiatric treatment; and Loomis, a Texan, who'd had a cable about his wife; a Captain Harris and his sergeant, Watson; and a quiet young fellow named Stringer.
They'd been flying for about two hours, over the desert, when they ran into a blinding cloud, sand flung thirty thousand feet into the sky.
The wind tore the aerial out of its socket, but the pilot sent the navigator back to say everything was fine. Even with the sand hissing against the windscreen like dry rain, and a ten degree drift, everything was fine. But then the yellow of the windows went darker; the sand hit the panes like gravel. And the jets choked up!
The pilot turned the aircraft into the wind. "We're putting her down, Frank?" the navigator asked.
"The only thing. Tell them to prepare for a crash landing."
They were going to put down somewhere in the Central Libyan Desert. Fourteen men and a monkey. Enough water maybe for a couple days. They were losing airspeed. There was nothing visible below. The air was so thick with sand there was no line of demarcation.
So begins one of the most exciting, spellbinding stories of recent fiction -a story of man's determination to survive when survival seemed utterly impossible. There are certain men, writes Elleston Trevor, who, when faced with the choice of dying or doing the impossible, elect to live. This story is written in honor of their kind. It is a story you will not forget.« less