ptr1959w

Good flying books recommendations?

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Hi there,

What are some good flying books that you guys could recommend? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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1 hour ago, ptr1959w said:

Hi there,

What are some good flying books that you guys could recommend? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

What type of flying books are you looking for? Books on learning to fly, aviation in general, military aviation, etc? Narrow it down so we can make some recommendations otherwise you’ll get posts touting many different facets of flying or aviation.

BTW, I moved your topic to Hangar Chat since it didn’t appear to have anything to do with FSX which was the forum it was posted in.

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Hi ,

Thanks for the reply. Books on learning how to fly is my interest.

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A quite exciting book with a lot of information about flying is Sullenbergers „Sully: My Search For What Really Matters“.

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IFR: A Sturctured Approach by John Eckalbar

Fly the Wing by Jim Webb and Billy Walker

 

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Posted (edited)

Although it is somewhat dated in terms of its literary style, since it was first published in 1944, you really should check out Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying, by Wolfgang Langewiesche. Obviously there are some aspects of the text which date a little bit in a book from that long ago, but the principles of flight of course do not change which is why this book has continuously been in print for over 70 years. It is definitely worth a read if you are already, or are planning on becoming, a pilot, as it is quite rightly considered one of the classic PPL texts to read. You'll find it will prove an interesting counterbalance to many of the more  modern books on the subject which focus on technical explanations and rules; stick and rudder is a bit more about understanding seat of the pants flying and getting a good feel for flight.

The author of Stick and Rudder was a born in Dusseldorf, but moved to the UK to study in the 1920s and from there moved to the US to continue his education, after which he pursued a career in aviation and writing. He was a ground school theory instructor for the US Army Air Corps in WW2 as well as being a test pilot for Vought when they were developing the F4U Corsair, later becoming a test pilot for Cessna too, he also wrote for a number of well known publications including Vanity Fair and Reader's Digest.

Personally, I think some good basic Stick and Rudder skills is what is lacking in a lot of pilots these days!

Edited by Chock
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Chock said:

Although it is somewhat dated in terms of its literary style, since it was first published in 1944, you really should check out Stick and Rudder: An Explanation of the Art of Flying, by Wolfgang Langewiesche. Obviously there are some aspects of the text which date a little bit in a book from that long ago, but the principles of flight of course do not change which is why this book has continuously been in print for over 70 years. It is definitely worth a read if you are already, or are planning on becoming, a pilot, as it is quite rightly considered one of the classic PPL texts to read. You'll find it will prove an interesting counterbalance to many of the more  modern books on the subject which focus on technical explanations and rules; stick and rudder is a bit more about understanding seat of the pants flying and getting a good feel for flight.

The author of Stick and Rudder was a born in Dusseldorf, but moved to the UK to study in the 1920s and from there moved to the US to continue his education, after which he pursued a career in aviation and writing. He was a ground school theory instructor for the US Army Air Corps in WW2 as well as being a test pilot for Vought when they were developing the F4U Corsair, later becoming a test pilot for Cessna too, he also wrote for a number of well known publications including Vanity Fair and Reader's Digest.

Personally, I think some good basic Stick and Rudder skills is what is lacking in a lot of pilots these days!

Stick and Rudder has probably saved many lives. It is worth it's weight in gold. 

Edited by Bobsk8
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Stick and Rudder is the first book any new flight sim enthusiast should own.

The second is probably "Fate is the Hunter" by Ernest K. Gann, a classic book about the first era of airline transport through WW2 and a bit afterwards. You'll want to crank up a DC-3 model in whatever sim you own, after reading it.

I've heard many recommendations for "Fly the Wing" if you're interested in modern airliner ops (don't own it myself).

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Posted (edited)

"Skygods" by Robert Gandt.  A fascinating and entertaining history of Pan American World Airways from the beginning to its end.  A lot of great true stories that had me laughing out loud.  I also have the audio version which is wonderfully narrated.  Highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the history of commercial aviation during its glory years.

 

Regards,

 

Todd L

Edited by toddl
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Many years ago I read a book by Stephen Coonts called Cannibal Queen which is one of the best father son accounts I've ever read.  He recalls 3 months of flying his Boeing Stearman all over the US with his son and everything that happened along the way.  A brilliant read 

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"From The Ground Up" is a good book for learning about flying.  Also, about 14 years ago I printed off "Ron Machado's Ground School" from FS9 / FS2004 and still refer to it once in awhile.

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, johncott said:

"From The Ground Up" is a good book for learning about flying.  Also, about 14 years ago I printed off "Ron Machado's Ground School" from FS9 / FS2004 and still refer to it once in awhile.

I'll second that and say that If you want to learn to fly from ab initio in Canada "From the Ground Up" is your text book. Or at least it was when I started and from years before that.

Edited by Avidean

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I'm going to throw an odd one into the mix on books about learning to fly, and one that was piublished even earlier than Stick and Rudder, and that's the WE Johns book, Biggles Learns to Fly.

What makes that book interesting, is that it is to a very large extent autobiographical. As such, it contains many nice observations about the process of becoming a flier which are still quite relevant even today. Originally published as a series of short serialised installments in the magazine, Modern Boy, for which Johns was a regular contributor, the popularity of Biggles novels led to this story being edited and tweaked to become the fifth in what proved to eventually be a very long series of Biggles novels.

Although Johns himself was a bomber pilot in WW1, flying DH.4s and DH.8s, and prior to this an instructor, apart from where in this 1935 novel, Biggles becomes a Scout pilot and the story diverges from Johns' own path as a bomber pilot with the Independent Air Force, the novel is pretty close to being a blow by blow retelling of his own early experiences of flying Farman biplanes and then learning how to survive in combat. His description of when the fictional Biggles learns to fly and struggles with it at first, will certainly bring a smile to anyone's face if they too have learned to fly, as it is an excellent description of the feelings and emotions involved in that process of learning. Likewise it contains very good descriptions of combat experiences, which Johns himself knew only too well after his own DH bomber got tangled up with a flight of five Fokker DVIIs en route to bomb Manheim, his aircraft eventually being shot down, with himself wounded and his gunner killed, he winding up as a prisoner of war. There are shades of this incident in the novel too, and some of the bitterness of the experience comes through in the novel as well.

Being one of the earlier of the Biggles novels, it was published as a novel at a time when Johns himself was the editor of Popular Flying magazine, which was the publication for aviators in the UK, Johns often using that position as a platform to be critical of the British Government's policy of appeasing Germany and of not training enough pilots. That outspokenness eventually saw him lose the job as editor owing to Government pressure, but as we now know, his views showed a great deal of foresight and give a bit of an insight into the man behind the stories, and so far from being the adolescent stories many imagine all the Biggles novels to be, when you read the ones written during the build up to WW2, they certainly don't shy away from being quite grim in places, and for all their 'thrilling stories' reputation, they actually make quite adult reading with a good deal of historical accuracy in them.

If you've any interest in those WW1 aeroplanes and flying them, those early Biggles novels are worth a look and might surprise you with some of their content, which is far more adult than one might expect. but if not, this one is still worth a look anyway, as it is a great tale of someone overcoming the apprehension of mastering flight, and quite inspirational for that if you are a budding flight student.

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31 minutes ago, Chock said:

I'm going to throw an odd one into the mix on books about learning to fly, and one that was piublished even earlier than Stick and Rudder, and that's the WE Johns book, Biggles Learns to Fly.

 

You've been watching Red Dwarf again, haven't you?

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Jude Bradley said:

You've been watching Red Dwarf again, haven't you?

You can never watch too much of that, however, as odd as it might seem, i really do recommend that Biggles book, some of the Biggles novels are a bit cack to be honest, but that one genuinely is an interesting read for all the reasons I mentioned. It might surprise you to see how good it actually is if you read it, sure it's not exactly A Tale of Two Cities, but it's a lot better than many novels I could mention which get undeserved praise heaped upon them, and for someone who is currently learning to fly, as the OP is, it might help with a bit of inspiration, as it mentions a lot of the pitfalls new fliers make, one of which I did on my very first solo in exactly the same way as is portrayed in the book, so it's definitely got the ring of truth to it for me.

Edited by Chock

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You're right of course,Alan. I am actually tempted by your reply. I read through it all and it seems a good read.

Not sure if you're from the North of England or not, but I recognize the word "cack" - we use in in Ireland too, well back in the 70's maybe 🙂
 

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5 minutes ago, Jude Bradley said:

Not sure if you're from the North of England or not, 🙂
 

Yup, sure am. incidentally, if you do decided to get hold of a copy of that book, I'd recommend finding an old used copy, the older the better, as many of those novels were subsequently edited in more recent versions to make them politically correct, for example, mentions of substance abuse among WW1 fliers were removed etc.

Edited by Chock

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Posted (edited)

Ah sure Dublin's idea of emmigration is Liverpool 🙂

A good read I would recommend for general reading would be one I got 2nd hand "Impact Erebus" shipped from New Zealand with the author's signature  - about the TE901 crash. It explains "sector whiteout" very well indeed. There's even a youtube documentary about it available online. 

 

Edited by Jude Bradley

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Rod Michado's Private Pilot Handbook is great, I used it when I was training for my private pilot license.

Cheers, Pete

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Posted (edited)

If you like airline Books, Final Destination is a good book, about Eastern Airlines demise. And don't forget Joe Sutters book, 747

Edited by Bobsk8
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Capt. Mike Rays books are all good for learning specific airliners. Very well illustrated and makes other wise dry technical material fun. Well, kind of fun. 

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Yup, second that Mike Ray recommendation fully. You can't go wrong with his books, which are both knowledgeable and humorous too.

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Check out the books by James Albright, the guy behind code7700.com.  The books chronicle his career starting with USAF training and VIP airlift and then his leadership as a Lt. Col. in the USAF in the 90s.  His website is a treasure trove of pilot education and he's a great writer.

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Posted (edited)

I would concur with all the folks who recommended "Stick and Rudder" by Wolfgang Langewiesche

But if you have graduated from basic stick and rudder and gotten into IFR. there is only 1 book. "Instrument Pilot flight training manual" by Ralph Butcher

https://www.amazon.com/Instrument-pilot-flight-training-manual/dp/188168802X

This book costs around $65 or so..not the outrageous price you see there. But I see you get a used book for 45$ grab it if you are into IFR.

This is different from all the 101 IFR books out there (like Jeppesen, rod Macordo..etc etc)  that teaches you the theoretical procedure  of IFR flying. The The FAA Instrument book is a good book to get for the theory stuff. Butcher's books is about HOW TO FLY IFR.  There is no other book like this I know of.  

Butcher is the IFR equivalent of Wolfgang for Stick and Rudder. 

 

The 3rd book I would suggest for PPLs is this "The killing zone.. How and Why Pilots die". This is my bed time book. Not any religious text. this is more valuable than any religious text.

Here is a simple statistical truth. A new pilot with a fresh license after 70 hrs of flight is a much safer pilot  than 130 hr experienced pilot. It would take close to 200+hrs of experience for a pilot to be come close to a 70 hr noob pilot.

https://www.amazon.com/Killing-Zone-Second-How-Pilots/dp/0071798404/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=BBT22Q6J2JR0BM9H3CXW

Edited by Manny

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