Every writer keeps a secret, an episode from their past, hidden inside until maturity and their advancing powers conspire to bring it out; and that is certainly what happened with journalist Rinker Buck’s Flight of Passage. Part adventure tale, part literary memoir, Flight of Passage is the story of how two brothers resolved their differences and proved themselves to their father through a mythical odyssey across America.
In 1966, Rinker and Kernahan Buck, 15 and 17, bought a dilapidated Piper Cub for $300, rebuilt it in their barn, and then took off for California, making headlines across the country as "the youngest aviators ever to fly America coast-to-coast." Buck movingly recreates the pre-Vietnam America of cheap strip motels and dusty landing strips, the perilous crossing of the Rockies and the Arizona deserts in a fragile plane without a radio, narrating a classic tale of the Sixties. But Flight of Passage is also a timeless ode to fathers and sons, evoking the rites of coming of age in a family driven both by demons and big dreams.