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    Re: A-10 Sextant Manual
    From: Douglas Denny
    Date: 2009 Jun 11, 03:17 -0700

    Regarding  Sir Francis Chichester:
    Dr. Kolbe has it right.
    I was referring not his astonishing navigation for which I have the very 
    highest regard indeed, but to the fact he was willing to put his life on the 
    line with an aeroplane that he describes in his book already had various 
    problems such as having fitting floats without checking if they leaked or 
    not, and an engine that had already given him problems, and in the run-up 
    check before leaving for Norfolk Island he says:- 
    "I could only get 1780 revs, forty less than I expected, and my spirits sank. 
    I should never get off with a full load with a motor like that, but said 
    nothing to the CO about it.  The seaplane was launched. I faced her into the 
    wind, and opened the throttle; to my surprise she left the water as easily as 
    a sea bird..... ".
    The man must have been mad or very determined, or both.
    To cross the Tasman Sea - a nasty stretch of water notorious for bad weather, 
    two thirds the width of the Atlantic, in a single engined float plane with 
    engine in dubious condition is more than reckless.   But got away with it.
    My impression from reading his books is he was what we would call a "loose 
    cannon" and contemptuous of any advice or authority.  From reading about him 
    it seems he must have been a truly remarkable person but not very 'likeable'.
    Douglas Denny.
    Chichester. England.
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