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AT LAST ! ! !

The long-awaited re-publication of

‘Halfway to Heaven’ by Fred Hoinville.

 

If you want to learn some extraordinary flying techniques and philosophies, or bask in the splendor that was Fred's view of aviation, this is a book for you. It undoubtedly belongs in aviation literature's hall of fame.
Do yourself, or someone else who loves flying, a favour and give this precious tome a read.

(Thomas Cappell, Australian Flying July/August 1999 )

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The original 'Halfway to Heaven' was first published in 1960 but has been out of print now for many years. This newly re-published edition is available in paperback or limited edition hardcover. It can only be obtained exclusively by mail, phone, fax or e-mail order, through the publishers, Sage Pages.

Fred Hoinville was a well-known glider pilot who set a number of records in Australia before his untimely death in a glider crash in 1959. As an adult his sport was surfboard riding (he introduced the hollow board) until at thirty-five, he learnt to fly. He became a glider pilot of world standing, an aerobatic expert and stunt flier, and finally in 1952 Australia’s first commercial skywriter, known through his Sky Ads to hundreds of thousands of Australians.

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Fred Hoinville

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Fred was also the founder of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots’ Association and was involved in the founding of the Gliding Federation of Australia. The annual ‘Hoinville Award’ for ‘Outstanding service to gliding – Operations’ is named after him.

'Until his thirties Fred Hoinville had led a humdrum life. Then he decided to learn to fly, and after frighteningly few lessons he was looping the loop high over Sydney. As the plane wasn't designed for it, and the pilot's instructions came solely from a book, the episode nearly ended in disaster. But Hoinville went on to gain his licence and soon was an enthusiast not only for power flying but also for gliding.

In gliders he discovered the excitement of rising swiftly on an air current, and soared for idyllic hours over the countryside. He mastered the terrors of flying inside cloud, where all links with the world are lost and the senses cannot be trusted. In his Tiger Moth, Brolga - eventually to be almost as well known as its owner - Hoinville became a stunt-flyer and (in 1952) the first Australian commercial skywriter. He gives a fine, step-by-step description of how the skywriter executes his difficult work; in fact, throughout this book the reader is with the author in the cockpit, learning what it feels like, what has to be done, to tow a glider, to perform an inverted spin, to soar...
For Fred Hoinville nothing but flying could provide the same exhilaration, or the same beauty, which he found in the earth spread out below like a living map and even more in the majesty of the sky itself. Not long after this book was finished, flying caused his death. But he had thought about and accepted this possibility, and it is his adventurous and happy philosophy of life that permeates his autobiography. Halfway to Heaven is a tribute to the vocation he loved and to other men who, like himself, have set out to explore the "new ocean of the air".'

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... Frederic Douglas Hoinville was born in Adelaide, a fourth-generation Australian on his mother's side and on his father's descended from a long line of Frenchmen. He died in a glider crash on 18th April 1959.
He made his first flight, a joyride with the pioneer airman Major Shaw, as a small boy, but as an adult his sport was surfboard riding (he introduced the hollow board) until, at thirty-five, he learnt to fly. He became a glider pilot of world standing, an aerobatic expert, and finally a skywriter, known through his Sky Ads to hundreds of thousands of Australians. Although flying was by then his business, be never lost his delight in it, and never missed a chance to encourage amateur fliers or to make observations of value to meteorologists. He wrote articles and stories on flying subjects, and was the founder of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots' Association.

240p, Bookshelf size 146mm (5.75ins. ) wide, 207mm (8.125ins.) high. PB ~450g inc packaging, HC  ~580g inc packaging

"Halfway to Heaven still makes me laugh out loud or weep unashamed as no other book in any genre. If I was King for a day it would be issued with every student pilot licence and be an addendum to all flight manuals"

(Thomas Capell, commercial pilot, 31/7/98)

"When I was in 4th year at High School I borrowed the book Halfway to Heaven from the school library. The book took my heart and caused a dream of flying to become a reality. I now have approximately 2500 hours of gliding and motor gliding and 600 hours of power flying and it is Fred’s fantastic book that made my dreams come true."

(Private Pilot & AOPA Member, 18/3/98)

"It is a delightful book particularly about the difficulties of skywriting and the early days of gliding."

(David Cooke, AOPA book review, Feb 1999)

What do surfing and flying have in common? Fred Hoinville pondered this at Bondi Beach between breakers, and his curiosity would change his life irrevocably.
The resulting journal of his life may change your life a little bit too, for it is so enthralling and inspirational that you might just find yourself trying to emulate the "birdcage" or the "vertical flick". Perhaps you will drawn to the adventure, science and glory of wave soaring. Maybe you will hanker for the danger and precision of cloud flying - in cu nimbs! Fred Hoinville became a legend of the post WWII light aviation and gliding world: Australian soaring champion, our first commercial signwriter, airshow aerobat extraordinaire, aircraft designer and superb raconteur.
In this book you will learn why not to get raunchy in the grass around airfields, why some instruction is a good thing before attempting aerobatics, how to rub out or insert small print in sky writing, some unusual uses for toilet paper, and how Daisy the cow stole the limelight.
Or just visit the good ol' days, when you could fly a Tiger Moth into Kingsford Smith airport, scrounge petrol at RAAF aerodromes and even, God or CASA forbid, perform exciting low-level aerobatics at airshows.
Never maudlin or boring, Halfivay to Heaven has been out of print for several decades; and it is with heartfelt thanks to Fred's widow Grace that it is once more available. Grace, herself a very experienced pilot, tantalisingly promises to offer her own story soon.
If you want to learn some extraordinary flying techniques and philosophies, or bask in the splendor that was Fred's view of aviation, this is a book for you. It undoubtedly belongs in aviation literature's hall of fame.
Do yourself, or someone else who loves flying, a favour and give this precious tome a read.

( Thomas Capell, Reprinted with permission from Australian Flying July/August 1999 )

 

Reviews

The August/September 2001 Gliding Kiwi has a book review on "Halfway to Heaven"

 

Pricing Paperback

Description

Price *
(Aus)

Weight
Paperback AUD$40.00 ~450g
P & H single book

free

 

Pricing Hardcover ( Limited Edition )

Description

Price *
(Aus)

Weight
Hardcover AUD$60.00 ~580g
P & H single book

free

 
* Please note all Aus prices include 10% GST, there is no GST for Export Customers

Halfway to Heaven
* Please note all prices include free Australian P&P and 10% GST, Export Customers please contact us for pricing and p&p quote

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