a blog by Peter Stekel

FINAL FLIGHT is the story of four aviators lost in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks on November 18, 1942


Read more about FINAL FLIGHT here.

November 2010

"An excellent job of research and writing went into this real life mystery. Final Flight compares favorably with The Last Season by Eric Blehm which is also set in Kings Canyon National Park. It is likely that those who enjoy one of these will appreciate the other."  From Steve Stocking, board member of the Sequoia Natural History Association in his recommendation that Final Flight be sold by the Association in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and on their website.

The 18th of November is the 68th anniversary of the loss of AT-7 41-21079 with William Gamber, John M. Mortenson, Ernest Glenn Munn, and Leo Mustonen on board. November 11th is the 93rd anniversary since Armistice Day celebrations began with the end of the Great War - the eleventh month, eleventh day, eleventh hour.

According to the sales manager for Wilderness Press, my publisher, Final Flight continues to sell well and sell consistently from week to week. On Amazon, Final Flight is usually in the top 10, and frequently #1, in the Sierra Nevada section and often appears in the top 50 of aviation titles.

On November 1st I did a book reading at the Powell's World of Books store in Beaverton, Oregon. It was well-attended with over 25 people and about 8-10 books were sold. The best part of the evening was seeing half a dozen high school students. They were there as part of an assignment for their english class. The requirement is to attend an author event and then write it up - kind of like a book report. I think this is an excellent way for high school students to become excited about reading. I was fortunate in being able to spend the night in Portland with friends, Debbie and Rob. Thank you!

I also had a book reading on the 10th at Village Books in Bellingham, WA. There were over 20 people there and 8 books were sold. On Veteran's Day, I did a book reading at University [of Washington] Bookstore in Seattle. Attendance was about the same as at Village Books with 4 books being sold. Another thank you goes out to Kathy and Rich in Bellingham for putting me up for the night.

On November 18 I was at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park. There were 35 people attending and a dozen books were sold.

That's me on the left, trying not to look to professorial!

At all these events I've been impressed by the questions asked after my readings and slide programs. I've also been impressed by the numbers of people attending as well as their backgrounds. Some are students, others ex-military, still others are history buffs. In short, Final Flight appears to be drawing a wide spectrum of readers. That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!


Here is a video I shot in late September, 2010 from an altitude of 15,000 feet. It includes the Mendel Glacier, Darwin Canyon, and northern Kings Canyon environs.



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Final Flight, Mendel, Mendel Glacier, Sierra Nevada, Peter Stekel, Leo Mustonen, Ernest Munn, William Gamber, John Mortenson, Kings Canyon National Park, Beech 18, AT-7, plane crash, mummy, JPAC, Wilderness Press, finalflightthebook, blog, 41-21070, airplane, lenticular cloud, hypoxia, navigation, wilderness