The early days of flying were the toughest. In the early 20th century, people began taking to the skies at a time when humanity was still in the learning process about the pure physics of lift, weight, drag and thrust. By trial and error, you might have learned things like adding a little top rudder to make sure you don’t overbank, or adding some elevator in the turn so as not to lose altitude.
With this rudimentary knowledge, it’s not surprising that airplanes crashed at alarming rates. Talk to the really old-timers and you’ll find folks who can tell you about the 17 times they’ve had an engine quit or made a precautionary landing when things were looking tough. Stick and rudder skills were the core of every flight lesson.
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