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WA - The Life of Soaring
Legend Wally Scott Author: Samantha Hilbert
Thomas Paperback, 220 pages, ~31 black and white photos
Dimensions: 5.94 x 9.2 x 0.47 inches
(151 x 234 x 12 mm)
Release Date: January, 2011
Forward by Ben Greene
The life story of Wallace A. Scott, who during his 36 years of soaring
pushed the limits of how far one can fly without an engine. His Texas
childhood and his families movie theater business set the roots for an
adventurous life. He learned to fly in a J-2 and continued his flying
career in the US Air Corps during WWII. He came to soaring later in life
but quickly made up for the missed years by starting his quest for long
distance records within a few years after learning to fly a glider. He
became a pioneer of free distance, straight out flight and won 4 FAI
international records, 20 Lewin A. Barringer Trophies for longest
flight, and numerous other awards. The book incorporates Wally’s own
words by using his personal journals and Soaring magazine articles as
well as interviews with his wife Boots. In addition to his lifelong
romance with flying, there are many other facets to this man, called the
‘John Wayne of soaring’, that make this book a fascinating addition to
your soaring library.
20-time Winner of the Lewin A.
Two-time Winner of the Smirnoff
Derby (cross-U.S. sailplane race)
Set 4 World Soaring Records
Wally's Longest Flight in a
Sailplane: 808 miles (1300 km), Out & Return Flight, July 14, 1995
From the Back Cover
How far can one fly without an engine? Wallace Scott pushed that
limit during his 36 years of soaring, setting four world records,
winning the Lewin A. Barringer trophy for the longest free distance
flight 20 times, by winning two Smirnoff Derby's, and with his legendary
dual 716.95 mile world record flight with Ben Greene.
Using extensive parts of Wally Scott's
personal journals and his many Soaring magazine articles, WA (Whiskey
Alpha) is the story of 'a John Wayne type of guy' who pushed himself
with every flight.
Wally Scott was part of the band of
pilots that made Odessa, TX into a famous soaring site and will always
be remembered as the pioneer of soaring free distance - and as Boots'
Samantha Hilbert Thomas is an Associate Producer for NBC Sports and won
an Emmy for her work on the NBC coverage of the Beijing Olympics. A
graduate of Tufts University, she lives in New York City with her
husband Charlie Thomas. This is her first book.
Review by Paul Remde
Wally Scott was an amazing man. Author Samantha did a fantastic job of pulling
together material from several sources and creating a nice, easy-to-read
summary of Wally's life and major accomplishments. I'm sure many
current soaring pilots knew Wally as the pilot that George Moffat
battled and beat in the classic film "The
Sun Ship Game". He flew a huge ASW 12 with great skill in that
film. He was a tough competitor, but mainly he enjoyed
long-distance record flights. It is remarkable that he had the
longest flight of the year in the U.S. for 20 years out of his 36 years of flying
sailplanes! I enjoyed reading about his early life, experiences
flying C-47's in World War II, and his adventures in sailplanes -
especially his articles as printed in Soaring magazine. It is
certainly a motivational book! It has me excited and enthused to
do more long soaring flights myself!
Wally Scott and Ben Greene in front of a map
showing their 716.95 mile record flight from Odessa, TX to Columbus, NE
on July 26, 1970.
Wally Scott in Schweizer 1-26 over hangers
at North side of Odessa-Schlemeyer Airport