As a near to retiring professional pilot who has logged close to 17,000 flight hours worldwide, including Argentina (where this story is set), all I can say is: Those mail pioneers (for this story was based on fact when Saint Ex went to Argentina about 70 years ago to open up the mail routes) were indeed very brave men. The author portays another place and another time, but for all aviators (from private thru airline) there are always moments when you come face to face with your own fear - be it weather, mechanical failure, fire, or whatever - and hopefully survive. Saint Ex's protaganist and his radio operator are not as fortunate as those of us who walked away, but then we modern pilots do have a lot more going for us in the cockpit than the pioneers did. In France, Saint Ex has always been considered the poet storyteller - the best of the best. In the USA Ernie Gann and Richard Bach, in the UK John Templeton Smith. It seems to me that the finest works with an aviation theme can only come from those who have been there. St Ex, Gann, Bach, Templeton Smith were always first and foremost pilots - that their writing skills happened to be superlative would doubtless have been dismissed by these modest men. Four men in the near hundred year history of aviation with such writing genius is not many. Read them all - imagine if you like that these four flyers are together in a flight (two elements) painting contrails across a blue sky. For me the leader Saint Ex. I leave you to decide who is his wingman.