Needle, Ball, and Alcohol: The Second Great Fleet Biplane Excursion
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In an antique, open-cockpit biplane, pilot Phill Bragg and his friend, Wayland Cooke, fly across the United States during the hot summer of 2012. After enduring delays for a whole year, they finally depart from northeastern North Carolina in search of old friends in Greensburg, Kansas, whose town was demolished by a relentless tornado one tragic night. Their high-flying adventure takes them across the Appalachian Mountains and into the heart of America's breadbasket, navigating with a bobbing alcohol compass and windblown paper charts in their laps. With a humble sense of humor and lots of patience, they share a seldom seen perspective of what flying used to be like in the old days, as well as what it can still be like today. In the quest to find their friends, they make many new ones along the way and unexpectedly stumble onto airports that are hidden jewels of grassroots aviation. Across the Great Plains and then back home again, their trusty Fleet biplane motors along, taking them on a journey above America that symbolizes the many wonderful freedoms we so often take for granted.