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2 Answers

Winter reading

Asked by: 3391 views
General Aviation, Private Pilot, Student Pilot

Now that winter season (snow) is coming soon to the midwest I'm hoping to find some interesting aviation related books.  Anyone have favorites that they like?  I would love to have something that can keep my feet wet but not be dry reading.

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2 Answers



  1. Kent Shook on Oct 27, 2010

    If you’re looking to learn more about aviation in general, Rod Machado’s books are about as far from “dry reading” as you’ll get.

    If you want some great time-consuming books, check out the aviation classics like Rinker Buck’s “Flight of Passage,” Ernest Gann’s “Fate is the Hunter,” and others.

    I also just read a book I had never heard of before – “Serenade to the Big Bird” by Bert Stiles, a WWII B-17 copilot. There are a lot of WWII books out there, but this one is different: Stiles wrote it DURING his B-17 tour in Europe. He re-upped as a fighter pilot and was killed a few months later, he never made it home (his mom got the book published). It is raw, moving, and maybe the most amazing book I’ve ever read. (I wish it were longer!) I highly recommend it.

    If you’re looking for a book on winter flying – Well, there’s some FAA publications I think, but that’s about as dry as you get.

    However I’d also suggest that you not just park the plane for the winter. There are still quite a few nice VFR days here in the Midwest in the winter, and I personally *really* like flying in the winter (I’m in Wisconsin) because aircraft performance is stellar and unless winds are high, the air is generally smooth as glass so it’s a great time to take first-timers flying. Just be sure you dress warmly enough to be outside long enough to preflight (and be sure to make sure your breather tube isn’t iced over) and get to takeoff without freezing – Once you take off the cabin heat should work effectively and get you warmed up again.

    Enjoy!

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  2. Paul Tocknell on Oct 27, 2010

    I am really into reading “old” flight training manuals right now and have a few favorites.  Both of them are hard to find but are collectible and well worth the investment. I have linked the titles to Abebooks.com which is a great source for finding used and rare books online.

    1) Student Pilot Handbook by Jack Hunt and illustrated by Ray  Fahringer.  This book is really unique.  There has never been a pilot training manual like this one and will never be one like this again.  This handbook is full of illustrations / cartoons illustrating every flight maneuver from S-Turns across a roads to loops and rolls.   I can read this book a hundred times and always learn something new.

    2)  Safe for Solo. What Every Young Aviator Should Know.  Another classic WWII era book which explains (for lack of better explanation) the commonsense of flying.  This is what every good instructor has been trying to explain but just can’t seem to get across.  This book with it’s clever illustrations (by Robert C. Osborn) lays out clearly the fundamentals of flying.  This is the kind of book Capt. Sully’s flight instructor would have read.

    *A little shameless self promotion*…sorry.

    Check out my other site, Flight Training Books.com which you can use to track down pilot training and flight instruction books.

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