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Friends of mine who run a bookshop are looking for a book on behalf of one of their customers, and I thought maybe somebody here might be able to help.

The customer remembers a slim paperback novel that he read between 1968 and 1975 (so the book might be older). He read it in German, but any SF novel published in Germany from around that time would almost certainly have been translated from English.

Plot summary, a spaceship pilot has made an old spaceship (parked on Earth or another planet, the OP cannot remember) his retirement home. He has retained his piloting skills, and helps a young boy with piloting a remote controlled spaceship in a competition. In the end the boy loses because he uses his model spaceship to stop another model spaceship from crashing.

Alas that is all he can recall, but maybe that is already enough. Grateful for any hints.

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    The time fits with the popular German Perry Rhodan series of light sf novels. I have only read a few, but one of them was about an old, grizzled spaceman, whom I gathered was a recurring character with his own spin-off series. I can't remember the name or any details, but it could be a book with this character. Oct 1, 2023 at 10:22

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