Vail library: A look at aviations fledgling days |

Vail library: A look at aviations fledgling days

Daily staff reportnewsroom@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., the Vail Public Library will present Flint Whitlock & Terry L. Barnhart, co-authors of Capt. Jepp and the Little Black Book. This is the compelling story of the amazing life of Elrey B. Jeppesen. Capt. Jepp was a daredevil barnstormer and wing walker of the 1920s. After nearly losing his life in a plane crash in the 1930s, Capt. Jepp started keeping a journal that eventually saved his life and the lives of countless fellow pilots. His little black book contained detailed information about every route he flew and every airport at which he landed. This simple notebook would one day become the system by which 90 percent of the worlds airlines and pilots navigate.Author Terry L. Barnhart conducted dozens of interviews with the family and friends who knew Capt. Jepp well. Late in 2005, Terry teamed up with Flint Whitlock, a noted historian, who agreed to research and write the book. Both men live in the Denver area.The book is a fascinating look at aviations fledgling days in America, the authors explain, (Its) the thrilling story of the earliest pilots; the colorful daredevils who risked, and sometimes lost, everything to entertain crowds, deliver the mail, and carry passengers commercially.This book is filled with nearly 100 photographs, both vintage aviation photographs and cherished family photographs. Interesting charts and maps explain the navigation process. Capt. Jepp and the Little Black Book was a finalist for the 2008 Colorado Book of the Year. This is the rags-to-riches story of the son of Danish immigrants who did more to make flying safer than anyone else on the planet, according to the authors.A nonprofit corporation, the Jeppesen Aviation Foundation was initially organized to raise funds for the sculpting of the Capt. Jepp statue currently residing outside the Elrey B. Jeppesen terminal at Denver International Airport. Copies of the book will be available at the event. The event is free. For more information, call 970-479-2187.

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