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. Barringer trophy
  • 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' husband.

About the Author
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

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WA - The Life of Soaring Legend Wally Scott

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