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Four Years Above the Earth: A Memoir

When his student and close friend Oliver Smithies accepted his Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology, he singled Field out as someone who was important in his life, saying, "Field Morey, a distinguished flight instructor taught me to fly…but he taught me something more important than flying. He taught me that it is possible to overcome fear with knowledge."During his four years above the earth, throughout fifty-eight years of teaching more than one thousand pilots, Field overcame fear, faced weather, set records, had abundant fun…and as he puts it, "learned from my students…probably more than I taught."Since he grew up in an aviation family, it was expected that Field would fly. A contemporary of Charles Lindbergh, his father, Howard, taught him about airplanes, about operating an airport, about character and responsibility, while Lindbergh inspired him to imagine more and aim higher. Twice the FAA named Field Flight Instructor of the Year. Later, his name was added to the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. Along with Oliver Smithies, the pair set a world record, and when the Aviation Hall of Fame inducted him, it was a career highlight.In this memoir, Field recounts his coming-of-age in aviation and relates stories of memorable flights and remarkable adventures. With an awareness that his story is also his students' story, he recognizes the privilege of having been born when he was and pays tribute to his father, Howard Morey, an exemplary aviation pioneer, by thanking him every day for guiding him in the right direction.Yes, this is a story about flying, but it is much more. It is a study of how excellence evolves, not always in a linear progression, but with passion and vision.

--Field Morey



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