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Principles of Flight

Flying Bush Planes Through a World of War, Sexism, and Meat

Bill Hatcher

After narrowly surviving a plane crash, Bill Hatcher wakes up to discover his life of carefree abandon shattered. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania in the 1990s, he had risen above his own racial prejudices and religious jingoism, and yet had remained emotionally aloft, afraid to commit to the full transformation that was calling to him.

In spite of misgivings, he returns to Africa. In Kenya, he flies bush planes, guides wilderness courses, and falls in love with a young Kikuyu woman. All seems well until Bill is attacked and beaten by thugs and then injured when he’s chased by an elephant. Still unable to deal with reality, he escapes to Alaska, where he flies still higher and loves even more recklessly. Ultimately, the principles of flight force him to make a choice: to fly away again or finally return to Earth as an advocate for social, animal, and environmental justice.

Set before, during, and after 9/11 and the wars that followed, and filled with spectacular scenes of flights over the African savanna and Alaskan glaciers, Principles of Flight is a memoir of grand adventure, as well as a psychosocial inquiry, into the hyper-masculinism that has dominated the world.

298 pp.  
5 1/2" x 8 1/2"

Lantern Books


Published:  December 2017


Bill Hatcher led wilderness courses for the National Outdoor Leadership School in Mexico, Kenya, Tanzania, and the western U.S. following his Peace Corps adventures. Along the way, he piloted bush planes in Kenya, Alaska, and Utah, and taught college courses that often focused on Africa. He now writes for Colorado Central Magazine from his home in rural Colorado, where he lives with his wife and two cats. He has begun work on his next book. See all books by Bill Hatcher

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