pilot • entrepreneur • adventurer
3 ... 2 ... 1 ...
The Next Five Minutes
by Dick Rutan with Kelly Hall
Hardcover Limited Edition,
numbered and autographed by Dick Rutan
On a cold December morning in 1986, Dick Rutan and co-pilot Jeana Yeager, against all odds, made aviation history when they successfully completed the first ever non-stop and non-refueled flight around the world in a homebuilt airplane! They had traversed 26,358 statute miles, returning with only 18.3
of the 1200 gallons of gas they had taken off with nine days prior. Following their arduous takeoff, Dick’s younger brother, Burt, watched the plane of his design disappear over the vast Pacific, believing it improbable he would ever see his brother alive again.
Dick had always been a risk-taker, possessing both a talent and passion for flying. Even at a young age he knew he wanted to achieve something of significance as a pilot. Although his motivation was strong, Dick struggled academically with what he learned decades later was undiagnosed dyslexia. With determination, he painfully devised ways to transcend those academic limitations and attain his goals. Little did he realize that the setbacks he experienced along the way would provide him with the exact skill-set he needed. This young man who had been deemed unfit for college would repeatedly succeed despite the odds. He rose through the ranks of the military and became a highly decorated fighter pilot who flew 105 combat missions over North Vietnam. Following his Air Force career, he set numerous aviation records, many of which remain unbroken. An inductee of the National Aviation Hall of Fame, he was the recipient of aviation’s most coveted awards and was presented the Citizens Medal by President Ronald Reagan.
Throughout his life, Dick sought adventure and welcomed challenge, frequently finding himself at “danger’s door” wondering what THE NEXT FIVE MINUTES of his life would be like. In his words, “It’s great to be an American . . . to live in a free country where, if you can dream it, you can do it. The only way to fail is if you quit.”
“What an amazing book. Inspiring, thought-provoking and so entertaining and honest. I loved it.”
– Debra Wilson Ayres
“I LOVED your book. Congratulations, both!!!”
– David Hartman,
Aviation Writer, Documentary Producer
and Original Host of Good Morning America
“Kudos for writing such an exhilarating and incredible true story. It’s absolutely an eye-opener illustrating human endurance and phenomenal flying.”
– Norma Gurba
Antelope Valley Historian
Former (retired) City of Lancaster Museum/
Art Gallery Director-Curator
Many of us grow up with dreams we never realize. We just don’t take time to live them — or we let others discourage us. We listen to the chorus of “Why bother?” or “What will you gain from it?” and never experience the joys of achieving goals we set for ourselves.
Everyone should have a dream — and strive to reach it. Dreams can be big or small. It doesn’t matter.
What matters is: that a dream come true can change a person in some wonderful yet indefinable way. And sometimes the best part is that one dream will lead to another, and another, until finally there is an endless cycle, a limitless horizon as vast as the sky itself.
Adapted by George A. “Pop” Rutan from the book Alone Against the Atlantic by Gerry Spiess.
Dedicated to Dick Rutan, Jeana Yeager and the Voyager program.
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