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Leighton Collins (1902-1995) is mirrored in "Takeoffs and Landings": practical, realistic, and authoritative. No other aviation journalist pioneered so long and ardently for flying safety. Few others can claim a half-century of flight experience or so sharp a focus on the realities of flying; and still fewer are held in such high esteem by their fellow pilots and aviation greats. Leighton Collins first soloed in 1929 in an open-cockpit biplane; he was still an active pilot when "Takeoffs and Landings" was first published in 1981. He is best known as the founder of "Air Facts" magazine, which he edited and produced almost single-handedly for 35 years. The magazine was widely recognized as the pioneering force for improvement of the aviation safety record.

While he did contribute a chapter to Wolfgang Langewiesche's classic "Stick and Rudder," "Takeoffs and Landings" was the first book in Collins' long writing career. He was the father of Richard L. Collins, an editor of "Flying Magazine" and the author of several popular aviation titles.

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