When Kai Gertsen passed away last year, he left a treasure of written stories as well as his common sense, humor-riddled, instructional manuals on Spinning, Cross-Country Soaring and Off-Airport Landings. Now, these life and soaring stories and the manuals are combined in a new book titled "Desperate to Fly," published by BTLink Publishing. Following his wish, all profits from the book will be donated to the U.S. JUNIOR Soaring Team.
In his book, Kai describes with colorful details and dry humor about growing up in beautiful Copenhagen as a happy, carefree only child surrounded by parents and grandparents. Vivid stories of Danish traditions, family, and summer vacations in the countryside are told with great love for the country he left behind. During WWII, he finds his passion – gliders – and forges friendships that last a lifetime. When he is 17, the family decides to move to the Yukon Territory where things don’t turn out as expected. He describes the families’ difficult years there with humor and pride, despite the dire living circumstances which lacked ‘the finer things’ they had become accustomed to in Denmark. When finally making his way out of the Yukon, he finds Helga, moves to the U.S. and gets back into soaring. For the next 55 years, he fills his life with family and cross-country soaring, with amazing flights to show for it – and not just on the good soaring days.
Kai Gertsen was an optimist, always able to see the beauty in life around him; a pilot at heart, with cross-country soaring as his passion, and a desire to share his love for soaring by instructing others. With his instruction manuals added as appendices, "Desperate to Fly" is a great instructional tool for students and their instructors; as he did in life, Kai continues to teach, inspire and make you laugh.
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